2 U.S. Code § 1402a. Preliminary review of claims

(a) Preliminary review by hearing officer
(1) Appointment

Not later than 7 days after transmission to the employing office of a claim pursuant to section 1402(b) of this title, the Executive Director shall appoint a hearing officer to conduct a preliminary review of the claim.

(2) Process for appointment

The Executive Director shall appoint a hearing officer under this subsection in the same manner and in accordance with the same requirements and procedures applicable to the appointment of a hearing officer under section 1405(c) of this title.

(b) Assessments requiredIn conducting a preliminary review of a claim under this section, the hearing officer shall assess each of the following:
(1)
Whether the claimant is a covered employee authorized to obtain relief relating to the claim under this subchapter.
(2)
Whether the office which is the subject of the claim is an employing office under this chapter.
(3)
Whether the individual filing the claim has met the applicable deadlines for filing the claim under this subchapter.
(4)
The identification of factual and legal issues involved with respect to the claim.
(5)
The specific relief sought by the individual.
(6)
Whether, on the basis of the assessments made under paragraphs (1) through (5), the individual filing the claim is a covered employee who has stated a claim for which, if the allegations contained in the claim are true, relief may be granted under this subchapter.
(7)
The potential for the settlement of the claim without a formal hearing as provided under section 1405 of this title or a civil action as provided under section 1408 of this title.
(c) Report on review
(1) Report

Not later than 30 days after a claim is filed under section 1402 of this title, the hearing officer shall submit to the individual filing the claim and the office which is the subject of the claim a report on the preliminary review conducted under this section, and shall include in the report the hearing officer’s determination as to whether the individual is a covered employee who has stated a claim for which relief may be granted under this subchapter (as described in paragraph (6) of subsection (b)). The submission of the report shall conclude the preliminary review.

(2) Extension of deadline

The hearing officer may (upon notice to the individual filing the claim and the employing office which is the subject of the claim) use an additional period of not to exceed 30 days to conclude the preliminary review.

(d) Effect of determination of failure to state claim for which relief may be grantedIf the hearing officer’s report on the preliminary review of a claim under subsection (c) includes the determination that the individual filing the claim is not a covered employee or has not stated a claim for which relief may be granted under this subchapter—
(1)
the individual (including an individual who is a Library claimant, as defined in section 1401(d)(1) of this title) may not obtain a formal hearing with respect to the claim as provided under section 1405 of this title; and
(2)
the hearing officer shall provide the individual and the Executive Director with a written notice that the individual may file a civil action with respect to the claim in accordance with section 1408 of this title.
(e) Transmission of report on preliminary review of certain claims to congressional ethics committeesIn the case of a hearing officer’s report under subsection (c) on the preliminary review of a claim alleging a violation described in section 1415(d)(1)(A) of this title, the hearing officer shall transmit the report to—
(1)
the Committee on Ethics of the House of Representatives, in the case of such an act by a Member of the House of Representatives (including a Delegate or Resident Commissioner to the Congress); or
(2)
the Select Committee on Ethics of the Senate, in the case of such an act by a Senator.
References in Text

This chapter, referred to in subsec. (b)(2), was in the original “this Act”, meaning Pub. L. 104–1, Jan. 23, 1995, 109 Stat. 3, which is classified principally to this chapter. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 1301 of this title and Tables.

Prior Provisions

A prior section 403 of Pub. L. 104–1 was renumbered section 404 and is classified to section 1403 of this title.

Effective Date

Section effective upon expiration of the 180-day period beginning on Dec. 21, 2018, with provisions for effect on pending proceedings, see section 401 of Pub. L. 115–397, set out as an Effective Date of 2018 Amendment note under section 1301 of this title.