7 CFR 246.22 - Administrative appeal of FNS decisions.
(a) Right to appeal. When FNS asserts a sanction against a State agency under the provisions of § 246.19, the State agency may appeal and must be afforded a hearing or review by an FNS Administrative Review Officer. The right of appeal shall not apply to claims for repayment assessed by FNS against the State agency under § 246.23(a). A State agency shall have the option of requesting a hearing to present its position or a review of pertinent documents and records including any additional written submission prepared by the State agency.
(1) FNS will send a written notice by Certified Mail-Return Receipt Requested to the state agency or otherwise ensure receipt of such notice by the agency when asserting a sanction against a State agency as specified in § 246.19(a).
(2) A State agency aggrieved by a sanction asserted against it may file a written request with the Director, Administrative Review Division, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, 3101 Park Center Drive, Alexandria, Va. 22302, for a hearing or a review of the record. Such request shall be sent by Certified Mail-Return Receipt Requested and postmarked within 30 days of the date of receipt of the sanction notice. The envelope containing the request shall be prominently marked “REQUEST FOR REVIEW OR HEARING.” The request shall clearly identify the specific FNS sanction(s) being appealed and shall include a photocopy of the FNS notice of sanction. If the State agency does not request a review of hearing within 30 days of receipt of the notice, the administrative decision on the sanctions will be considered final.
(b) Acknowledgment of request. Within 15 days of receipt by the Director of the Administrative Review Division of a request for review or hearing, the Director will provide the State agency with a written acknowledgment of the request.
(1) The acknowledgment will include the name and address of the FNS Administrative Review Officer to review the sanction;
(2) The acknowledgment will also notify the State agency that within 30 days of the receipt of the acknowledgment, the State agency shall submit three sets of the following information to the Administrative Review Officer -
(i) A clear, concise identification of the issue(s) in dispute;
(ii) The State agency's position with respect to the issue(s) in dispute;
(iv) All pertinent documents, correspondence and records which the State agency believes are relevant and helpful toward a more thorough understanding of the issue(s) in dispute;
(v) The relief sought by the State agency;
(vi) The identity of the person(s) presenting the State agency's position when a hearing is involved; and
(vii) A list of prospective State agency witnesses when a hearing is involved.
(c) FNS action.
(1) When a hearing is requested pursuant to this section, the Administrative Review Officer will, within 60 days after receipt of the State agency's information, schedule and conduct the hearing. The State agency will be advised of the time, date and location of the hearing at least 10 days in advance.
(2) When a hearing is requested, the FNS Administrative Review Officer will make a final determination within 30 days after the hearing, and the final determination will take effect upon delivery of the written notice of this final decision to the State agency.
(3) When a review is requested, the FNS Administrative Review Officer will review information presented by a State agency and will make a final determination within 30 days after receipt of that information. The final determination will take effect upon delivery of the written notice of this final decision to the State agency.