42 CFR § 93.523 - The Administrative Law Judge's ruling.
(a) The ALJ shall issue a ruling in writing setting forth proposed findings of fact and any conclusions of law within 60 days after the last submission by the parties in the case. If unable to meet the 60-day deadline, the ALJ must set a new deadline and promptly notify the parties, the Assistant Secretary for Health and the debarring official, if debarment or suspension is under review. The ALJ shall serve a copy of the ruling upon the parties and the Assistant Secretary for Health.
(b) The ruling of the ALJ constitutes a recommended decision to the Assistant Secretary for Health. The Assistant Secretary for Health may review the ALJ's recommended decision and modify or reject it in whole or in part after determining it, or the part modified or rejected, to be arbitrary and capricious or clearly erroneous. The Assistant Secretary for Health shall notify the parties of an intention to review the ALJ's recommended decision within 30 days after service of the recommended decision. If that notification is not provided within the 30-day period, the ALJ's recommended decision shall become final. An ALJ decision that becomes final in that manner or a decision by the Assistant Secretary for Health modifying or rejecting the ALJ's recommended decision in whole or in part is the final HHS action, unless debarment or suspension is an administrative action recommended in the decision.
(c) If a decision under § 93.523(b) results in a recommendation for debarment or suspension, the Assistant Secretary for Health shall serve a copy of the decision upon the debarring official and the decision shall constitute findings of fact to the debarring official in accordance with 45 CFR 76.845(c). The decision of the debarring official on debarment or suspension is the final HHS decision on those administrative actions.
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