708.34 Procedure for issuing an appeal decision.§ 708.34 Procedure for issuing an appeal decision.
(a) If there is no appeal of an initial agency decision, and the time for filing an appeal has passed, the initial agency decision becomes the final agency decision.
(b) If there is an appeal of an initial agency decision, the OHA Director will issue an appeal decision based on the record of proceedings by the 60th day after the record is closed.
(1) An appeal decision issued by the OHA Director will contain appropriate findings, conclusions, an order, and the factual basis for each finding, whether or not a hearing has been held on the complaint. In making such findings, the OHA Director may rely upon, but is not bound by, the report of investigation and/or the initial agency decision.
(2) If the OHA Director determines that an act of retaliation has occurred, the appeal decision will include an order for any form of relief permitted under § 708.36.
(3) If the OHA Director does not determine that the employer has committed an act of retaliation, the appeal decision will deny the complaint.
(4) If the OHA Director determines that the complaint was properly dismissed, the appeal decision will deny the appeal.
(5) If the OHA Director determines that a complaint should not have been dismissed, the appeal decision will vacate the initial agency decision and order further processing of the complaint.
(c) The OHA Director will send an appeal decision to all parties and to the Head of Field Element or EC Director having jurisdiction over the contract under which the complainant was employed when the alleged retaliation occurred.
(d) The appeal decision issued by the OHA Director - other than an appeal decision ordering further processing of a complaint - is the final agency decision unless a party files a petition for Secretarial review by the 30th day after receiving the appeal decision. A decision by the OHA Director to reverse a dismissal may not be the subject of a petition for Secretarial review.