(a)Informal proceeding. The presiding official may conduct the fact-finding proceedings as informally as practicable, consistent with principles of fundamental fairness. Formal rules of evidence or procedure do not apply to these proceedings.
(b)Proceeding limited to disputed material facts. The presiding official shall consider only the genuinely disputed facts identified by the debarring official as material to the basis for the debarment. Matters that have been previously adjudicated or that are not in bona fide dispute within the administrative record shall not be considered by presiding official.
(c)Provider's right to present information, evidence, and arguments. A provider may appear before the presiding official with counsel, submit oral and written arguments and documentary evidence, present witnesses on his own behalf, question any witnesses testifying in support of the debarment, and challenge the accuracy of any other evidence that the agency offers as a basis for the debarment.
(d)Record of proceedings. The presiding official shall make an audio recording of the proceedings and shall provide a copy to the provider at no charge. If the provider wishes to have a transcribed record, OPM shall arrange for production of one which may be purchased at cost.
(e)Presiding official's findings. The presiding official shall resolve all of the disputed facts identified by the debarring official, on the basis of a preponderance of the evidence contained within the entire administrative record. The presiding official shall issue a written report of all findings of fact to the debarring official within 30 days after the record of the fact-finding proceeding closes.
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