5 CFR § 1201.139 - Rights; answer to complaint.
(a) Responsibilities of Clerk of the Board. The Clerk of the Board shall furnish a copy of the applicable Board regulations to each administrative law judge named as a respondent in the complaint and shall inform each respondent of his or her rights under paragraph (b) of this section and the requirements regarding the timeliness and content of an answer to the agency's complaint under paragraphs (c) and (d), respectively, of this section.
(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
(c) Filing and default. A respondent named in an agency complaint may file an answer with the Clerk of the Board within 35 days of the date of service of the complaint. If a respondent 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.