5 CFR 1501.13 - Conduct of hearings.
(a) Not less than three members of a panel of the Board shall be present at all hearings. The Board shall conduct its hearings in such manner as to protect from disclosure information affecting the national security. The chairman of the panel shall preside and be responsible for the maintenance of decorum and order in the hearing.
(b) Attendance at hearings shall be limited to the applicant or employee, his attorney or representative, the panel of the Board assigned to the case, Board members, Board staff employees participating in the case, the witness who is testifying, and such other persons as in the opinion of the panel are required for the proper presentation of the case. Representation for an applicant or employee shall be limited to one attorney or representative and one bona fide assistant, both representing the applicant or employee only.
(c) Hearings shall begin with the reading of the interrogatory. The applicant or employee shall thereupon be informed of his right to participate in the hearing, to be represented by counsel, to present witnesses and other evidence in his behalf, and to cross-examine witnesses offered in support of the derogatory information.
(d) Testimony shall be given under oath or affirmation.
(e) Strict legal rules of evidence shall not be applied at the hearings, but reasonable bounds shall be maintained as to competency, relevancy, and materiality and due allowance shall be made for the effect of any nondisclosure to the individual of information or the absence of any opportunity to cross-examine persons who supplied information but who do not appear and testify. Both the Government and the applicant or employee may introduce such evidence as the panel may deem proper in the particular case.
(f) A complete verbatim stenographic transcript shall be made of the hearing, and the transcript shall constitute a permanent part of the record.
(g) Applicants and employees must pay their own travel and subsistence expenses incident to attendance at hearings, except that the Board may authorize the payment of travel and subsistence expenses to applicants or employees when the hearing is held at a place other than the place outside the continental limits of the United States where the employee works, or the applicant resides, and such payment is considered in the interest of good administration and funds are available for this purpose.