(a)Responsibilities of Clerk of the Board. The Clerk of the Board shall furnish a copy of the applicable Board regulations to each party that is not a Federal, State, or local government agency and shall inform such a party of the party's rights under paragraph (b) of this section and the requirements regarding the timeliness and content of an answer to the Special Counsel's complaint under paragraphs (c) and (d), respectively, of this section.
(b)Rights. When the Special Counsel files a complaint proposing a disciplinary action against an employee under 5 U.S.C. 1215(a)(1), the employee has the right:
(1) To file an answer, supported by affidavits and documentary evidence;
(2) To be represented;
(3) To a hearing on the record before an administrative law judge;
(4) To a written decision, issued at the earliest practicable date, in which the administrative law judge states the reasons for his or her decision; and
(5) To a copy of the administrative law judge's decision and subsequent final decision by the Board, if any.
(c)Filing and default. A party named in a Special Counsel disciplinary action complaint may file an answer with the Clerk of the Board within 35 days of the date of service of the complaint. If a party fails to answer, the failure may constitute waiver of the right to contest the allegations in the complaint. Unanswered allegations may be considered admitted and may form the basis of the administrative law judge's decision.
(d)Content. An answer must contain a specific denial, admission, or explanation of each fact alleged in the complaint. If the respondent has no knowledge of a fact, he or she must say so. The respondent may include statements of fact and appropriate documentation to support each denial or defense. Allegations that are unanswered or admitted in the answer may be considered true.
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