34 CFR 682.417 - Determination of Federal funds or assets to be returned.
(a)General. The procedures described in this section apply to a determination by the Secretary that -
(1) A guaranty agency must return to the Secretary a portion of its Federal Fund that the Secretary has determined is unnecessary to pay the program expenses and contingent liabilities of the agency; and
(2) A guaranty agency must require the return to the agency or the Secretary of Federal funds or assets within the meaning of section 422(g)(1) of the Act held by or under the control of any other entity that the Secretary determines are necessary to pay the program expenses and contingent liabilities of the agency or that are required for the orderly termination of the guaranty agency's operations and the liquidation of its assets.
(b)Return of unnecessary Federal funds.
(1) The Secretary may initiate a process to recover unnecessary Federal funds under paragraph (a)(1) of this section if the Secretary determines that a guaranty agency's Federal Fund ratio under § 682.410(a)(10) for each of the two preceding Federal fiscal years exceeded 2.0 percent.
(2) If the Secretary initiates a process to recover unnecessary Federal funds, the Secretary requires the return of a portion of the Federal funds that the Secretary determines will permit the agency to -
(i) Have a Federal Fund ratio of at least 2.0 percent under § 682.410(a)(10) at the time of the determination; and
(ii) Meet the minimum Federal Fund requirements under § 682.410(a)(10) and retain sufficient additional Federal funds to perform its responsibilities as a guaranty agency during the current Federal fiscal year and the four succeeding Federal fiscal years.
(i) The Secretary makes a determination of the amount of Federal funds needed by the guaranty agency under paragraph (b)(2) of this section on the basis of financial projections for the period described in that paragraph. If the agency provides projections for a period longer than the period referred to in that paragraph, the Secretary may consider those projections.
(ii) The Secretary may require a guaranty agency to provide financial projections in a form and on the basis of assumptions prescribed by the Secretary. If the Secretary requests the agency to provide financial projections, the agency must provide the projections within 60 days of the Secretary's request. If the agency does not provide the projections within the specified time period, the Secretary determines the amount of Federal funds needed by the agency on the basis of other information.
(1) The Secretary or an authorized Departmental official begins a proceeding to order a guaranty agency to return a portion of its Federal funds, or to direct the return of Federal funds or assets subject to return, by sending the guaranty agency a notice by certified mail, return receipt requested.
(2) The notice -
(i) Informs the guaranty agency of the Secretary's determination that Federal funds or assets must be returned;
(iii) States the date by which the return of Federal funds or assets must be completed;
(v) Identifies any actions that the guaranty agency must take to ensure that the Federal funds or assets that are the subject of the notice are maintained and protected against use, expenditure, transfer, or other disbursement after the date of the Secretary's determination, and the basis for requiring those actions. The actions may include, but are not limited to, directing the agency to place the Federal funds in an escrow account. If the Secretary has directed the guaranty agency to require the return of Federal funds or assets held by or under the control of another entity, the guaranty agency must ensure that the agency's claims to those funds or assets and the collectability of the agency's claims will not be compromised or jeopardized during an appeal. The guaranty agency must also comply with all other applicable regulations relating to the use of Federal funds and assets.
(1) A guaranty agency may appeal the Secretary's determination that Federal funds or assets must be returned by filing a written notice of appeal within 20 days of the date of the guaranty agency's receipt of the notice of the Secretary's determination. If the agency files a notice of appeal, the requirement that the return of Federal funds or assets be completed by a particular date is suspended pending completion of the appeal process. If the agency does not file a notice of appeal within the period specified in this paragraph, the Secretary's determination is final.
(2) A guaranty agency must submit the information described in paragraph (d)(4) of this section within 45 days of the date of the guaranty agency's receipt of the notice of the Secretary's determination unless the Secretary agrees to extend the period at the agency's request. If the agency does not submit that information within the prescribed period, the Secretary's determination is final.
(3) A guaranty agency's appeal of a determination that Federal funds or assets must be returned is considered and decided by a Departmental official other than the official who issued the determination or a subordinate of that official.
(i) State the reasons the guaranty agency believes the Federal funds or assets need not be returned;
(ii) Identify any evidence on which the guaranty agency bases its position that Federal funds or assets need not be returned;
(iii) Include copies of the documents that contain this evidence;
(iv) Include any arguments that the guaranty agency believes support its position that Federal funds or assets need not be returned; and
(i) In its appeal, the guaranty agency may request the opportunity to make an oral argument to the deciding official for the purpose of clarifying any issues raised by the appeal. The deciding official provides this opportunity promptly after the expiration of the period referred to in paragraph (d)(2) of this section.
(ii) The agency may not submit new evidence at or after the oral argument unless the deciding official determines otherwise. A transcript of the oral argument is made a part of the record of the appeal and is promptly provided to the agency.
(6) The guaranty agency has the burden of production and the burden of persuading the deciding official that the Secretary's determination should be modified or withdrawn.
(1) If the Secretary issues a determination under paragraph (a)(1) of this section, the Secretary promptly publishes a notice in the Federal Register announcing the portion of the Federal Fund to be returned by the agency and providing interested persons an opportunity to submit written information relating to the determination within 30 days after the date of publication. The Secretary publishes the notice no earlier than five days after the agency receives a copy of the determination.
(2) If the guaranty agency to which the determination relates files a notice of appeal of the determination, the deciding official may consider any information submitted in response to the Federal Register notice. All information submitted by a third party is available for inspection and copying at the offices of the Department of Education in Washington, D.C., during normal business hours.
(f)Adverse information. If the deciding official considers information in addition to the evidence described in the notice of the Secretary's determination that is adverse to the guaranty agency's position on appeal, the deciding official informs the agency and provides it a reasonable opportunity to respond to the information without regard to the period referred to in paragraph (d)(2) of this section.
(1) The deciding official issues a written decision on the guaranty agency's appeal within 45 days of the date on which the information described in paragraphs (d)(4) and (d)(5)(ii) of this section is received, or the oral argument referred to in paragraph (d)(5) of this section is held, whichever is later. The deciding official mails the decision to the guaranty agency by certified mail, return receipt requested. The decision of the deciding official becomes the final decision of the Secretary 30 days after the deciding official issues it. In the case of a determination that a guaranty agency must return Federal funds, if the deciding official does not issue a decision within the prescribed period, the agency is no longer required to take the actions described in paragraph (c)(2)(v) of this section.
(3) The deciding official's written decision includes the basis for the decision. The deciding official bases the decision only on evidence described in the notice of the Secretary's determination and on information properly submitted and considered by the deciding official under this section. The deciding official is bound by all applicable statutes and regulations and may neither waive them nor rule them invalid.
(h)Collection of Federal funds or assets.
(1) If the deciding official's final decision requires the guaranty agency to return Federal funds, or requires the guaranty agency to require the return of Federal funds or assets to the agency or to the Secretary, the decision states a new date for compliance with the decision. The new date is no earlier than the date on which the decision becomes the final decision of the Secretary.
(2) If the guaranty agency fails to comply with the decision, the Secretary may recover the Federal funds from any funds due the agency from the Department without any further notice or procedure and may take any other action permitted or authorized by law to compel compliance.