(1) A guaranty agency may appeal the Secretary's determination that Federal funds or assets must be returned by filing a written notice of appeal within 20 days of the date of the guaranty agency's receipt of the notice of the Secretary's determination. If the agency files a notice of appeal, the requirement that the return of Federal funds or assets be completed by a particular date is suspended pending completion of the appeal process. If the agency does not file a notice of appeal within the period specified in this paragraph, the Secretary's determination is final.
(2) A guaranty agency must submit the information described in paragraph (d)(4) of this section within 45 days of the date of the guaranty agency's receipt of the notice of the Secretary's determination unless the Secretary agrees to extend the period at the agency's request. If the agency does not submit that information within the prescribed period, the Secretary's determination is final.
(3) A guaranty agency's appeal of a determination that Federal funds or assets must be returned is considered and decided by a Departmental official other than the official who issued the determination or a subordinate of that official.
(4) In an appeal of the Secretary's determination, the guaranty agency must -
(i) State the reasons the guaranty agency believes the Federal funds or assets need not be returned;
(ii) Identify any evidence on which the guaranty agency bases its position that Federal funds or assets need not be returned;
(iii) Include copies of the documents that contain this evidence;
(iv) Include any arguments that the guaranty agency believes support its position that Federal funds or assets need not be returned; and
(v) Identify the steps taken by the guaranty agency to comply with the requirements referred to in paragraph (c)(2)(v) of this section.
(i) In its appeal, the guaranty agency may request the opportunity to make an oral argument to the deciding official for the purpose of clarifying any issues raised by the appeal. The deciding official provides this opportunity promptly after the expiration of the period referred to in paragraph (d)(2) of this section.
(ii) The agency may not submit new evidence at or after the oral argument unless the deciding official determines otherwise. A transcript of the oral argument is made a part of the record of the appeal and is promptly provided to the agency.
(6) The guaranty agency has the burden of production and the burden of persuading the deciding official that the Secretary's determination should be modified or withdrawn.