50 CFR 228.20 - Recommended decision, certification of the transcript and submission of comments on the recommended decision.
(a) Promptly after expiration of the period for receiving written briefs, the presiding officer shall make a recommended decision based on the record and transmit the decision to the Assistant Administrator. The recommended decision shall include:
(1) A statement containing a description of the history of the proceedings;
(2) Findings on the issues of fact with the reasons therefor; and
(3) Rulings on issues of law.
(b) The presiding officer shall also transmit to the Assistant Administrator the transcript of the hearing, the original and all copies of the direct testimony, and written comments. The presiding officer shall attach to the original transcript of the hearing a certificate stating that, to the best of his knowledge and belief, the transcript is a true transcript of the testimony given at the hearing except in such particulars as are specified.
(c) Immediately after receipt of the recommended decision, the Assistant Administrator shall give notice thereof in the Federal Register, send copies of the recommended decision to all parties, and provide opportunity for the submission of comments. The recommended decision may be reviewed and/or copied in the office of the Assistant Administrator, National Marine Fisheries Service, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910.
(d) Within 20 days after the notice of receipt of the recommended decision has been published in the Federal Register, any interested person may file with the Assistant Administrator any written comments on the recommended decision. All comments, including recommendations from or consultation with the Marine Mammal Commission, must be submitted during the 20-day period to the Assistant Administrator at the previously mentioned address.