34 CFR § 81.44 - Final decision of the Department.
(a) The ALJ's initial decision becomes the final decision of the Department 60 days after the recipient receives the ALJ's decision unless the Secretary modifies, sets aside, or remands the decision during the 60-day period.
(b) If the Secretary modifies or sets aside the ALJ's initial decision, a copy of the Secretary's decision is provided to the parties by submission to OES. If the ALJ has permitted written submissions to be filed in paper format, the decision will be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, or by another parcel service with delivery confirmation. The Secretary's decision becomes the final decision of the Department on the date it is electronically filed or, if sent via parcel delivery service, on the delivery date indicated by the certified mail or parcel delivery records.