7 CFR 900.64 - The Judge's decision.
(a)Corrections to and certification of transcript.
(1) At such time as the judge may specify, but not later than the time fixed for filing proposed findings of fact, conclusions and order, or briefs, as the case may be, the parties may file with the judge proposed corrections to the transcript.
(2) As soon as practicable after the filing of proposed findings of fact, conclusions and order, or briefs, as the case may be, the judge shall file with the hearing clerk his certificate indicating any corrections to be made in the transcript, and stating that, to the best of his knowledge and belief, the transcript, as corrected, is a true, correct, and complete transcript of the testimony given at the hearing, and that the exhibits are all the exhibits properly a part of the hearing record. The original of such certificate shall be attached to the original transcript and a copy of such certificate shall be served upon each of the parties by the hearing clerk who shall also enter onto the transcript (without obscuring the text) any correction noted in the certification.
(b)Proposed findings of fact, conclusions, and orders. Within 10 days (unless the judge shall have announced at the hearing a shorter or longer period of time) after the transcript has been filed with the hearing clerk, as provided in paragraph (a) of this section, each party may file with the hearing clerk proposed findings of fact, conclusions, and order, based solely upon the evidence of record, and briefs in support thereof.
(c)Judge's Decision. The judge, within a reasonable time after the termination of the period allowed for the filing of proposed findings of fact, conclusions,and orders, and briefs in support thereof, shall prepare upon the basis of the record, and shall file with the hearing clerk, his initial decision, a copy of which shall be served by the hearing clerk, upon each of the parties. Such decision shall become final without further proceedings 35 days after the date of service thereof, unless there is an appeal to the Secretary by a party to the proceeding: Provided, however, That no decision shall be final for the purpose of judicial review except a final decision issued by the Secretary pursuant to an appeal by a party to the proceeding.