34 CFR § 395.13 - Evidentiary hearings and arbitration of vendor complaints.

§ 395.13 Evidentiary hearings and arbitration of vendor complaints.

(a) The State licensing agency shall specify in writing and maintain procedures whereby such agency affords an opportunity for a full evidentiary hearing to each blind vendor (which procedures shall also apply to cases under § 395.6(e)) dissatisfied with any State licensing agency action arising from the operation or administration of the vending facility program. When such blind vendor is dissatisfied with any action taken or decision rendered as a result of such hearing, he may file a complaint with the Secretary. Such complaint shall be accompanied by all available supporting documents, including a statement of the decision which was rendered and the reasons in support thereof.

(b) The filing of a complaint under paragraph (a) of this section with either the State licensing agency or the Secretary shall indicate consent by the blind vendor for the release of such information as is necessary for the conduct of a full evidentiary hearing or the hearing of an ad hoc arbitration panel.

(c) Upon receipt of a complaint filed by a blind vendor which meets the requirements established by the Secretary, the Secretary shall convene an ad hoc arbitration panel which shall, in accordance with the provisions of 5 U.S.C. chapter 5, subchapter II, give notice, conduct a hearing, and render its decision which shall be final and binding on the parties except that such decision shall be subject to appeal and review as a final agency action for purposes of the provisions of 5 U.S.C. chapter 7.

(d) The arbitration panel convened by the Secretary to hear the grievances of blind vendors shall be composed of three members appointed as follows:

(1) One individual designated by the State licensing agency;

(2) One individual designated by the blind vendor; and

(3) One individual not employed by the State licensing agency or, where appropriate, its parent agency, who shall be jointly designated by the other members of the panel and who shall serve as chairman of the panel.

(e) If either the State licensing agency or the blind vendor fails to designate a member of an arbitration panel, the Secretary shall designate such member on behalf of such party.

(f) The decisions of an arbitration panel convened by the Secretary under this section shall be matters of public record and shall be published in the Federal Register.

(g) The Secretary shall pay all reasonable costs of arbitration under this section in accordance with a schedule of fees and expenses which shall be published in the Federal Register.

(h) The provisions of this section shall not require the participation of grantors of permits for the operation of vending facilities on property other than Federal property.

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