710.26 Conduct of hearings.§ 710.26 Conduct of hearings.
(a) In all hearings conducted under this part, the individual shall have the right to be represented by a person of his/her own choosing, at the individual's own expense. The individual is responsible for producing witnesses in his/her own behalf, including requesting the issuance of subpoenas, if necessary, or presenting testimonial, documentary, or physical evidence before the Administrative Judge to support the individual's defense to the derogatory information contained in the notification letter. With the exception of procedural or scheduling matters, the Administrative Judge is prohibited from initiating or otherwise engaging in ex parte discussions about the case during the pendency of proceedings under this part.
(b) Unless the Administrative Judge finds good cause for deferring issuance of a decision, in the event that the individual unduly delays the hearing, such as by failure to meet deadlines set by the Administrative Judge, the record shall be closed, and an initial decision shall be made by the Manager on the basis of the record in the case per § 710.22(a)(3).
(c) Hearings shall be open only to DOE Counsel, duly authorized representatives of DOE, the individual and the individual's counsel or other representatives, and such other persons as may be authorized by the Administrative Judge. Unless otherwise ordered by the Administrative Judge, witnesses shall testify in the presence of the individual but not in the presence of other witnesses.
(d) DOE Counsel shall assist the Administrative Judge in establishing a complete administrative hearing record in the proceeding and bringing out a full and true disclosure of all facts, both favorable and unfavorable, having a bearing on the issues before the Administrative Judge. The individual shall be afforded the opportunity of presenting testimonial, documentary, and physical evidence, including testimony by the individual in the individual's own behalf. The proponent of a witness shall conduct the direct examination of that witness. All witnesses shall be subject to cross-examination, if possible. Whenever reasonably possible, testimony shall be given in person.
(e) The Administrative Judge may ask the witnesses any questions which the Administrative Judge deems appropriate to assure the fullest possible disclosure of relevant and material facts.
(f) During the course of the hearing, the Administrative Judge shall rule on all objections raised.
(g) In the event it appears during the course of the hearing that classified matter may be disclosed, it shall be the duty of the Administrative Judge to assure that disclosure is not made to persons who are not authorized to receive it, and take other appropriate measures.
(h) Formal rules of evidence shall not apply, but the Federal Rules of Evidence may be used as a guide for procedures and principles designed to assure production of the most probative evidence available. The Administrative Judge shall admit into evidence any matters, either oral or written, which are material, relevant, and competent in determining issues involved, including the testimony of responsible persons concerning the integrity of the individual. In making such determinations, the utmost latitude shall be permitted with respect to relevancy, materiality, and competency. The Administrative Judge may also exclude evidence which is incompetent, immaterial, irrelevant, or unduly repetitious. Every reasonable effort shall be made to obtain the best evidence available. Subject to §§ 710.26(l), 710.26(m), 710.26(n) and 710.26(o), hearsay evidence may, at the discretion of the Administrative Judge and for good cause show, be admitted without strict adherence to technical rules of admissibility and shall be accorded such weight as the Administrative Judge deems appropriate.
(i) Testimony of the individual and witnesses shall be given under oath or affirmation. Attention of the individual and each witness shall be directed to 18 U.S.C. 1001 and 18 U.S.C. 1621.
(j) The Administrative Judge shall endeavor to obtain all the facts that are reasonably available in order to arrive at a decision. If, prior to or during the proceedings, in the opinion of the Administrative Judge, the derogatory information in the notification letter is not sufficient to address all matters into which inquiry should be directed, the Administrative Judge may recommend to the Manager concerned that, in order to give more adequate notice to the individual, the notification letter should be amended. Any amendment shall be made with the concurrence of the local Office of Chief Counsel or the Office of the General Counsel in Headquarters cases. If, in the opinion of the Administrative Judge, the circumstances of such amendment may involve undue hardship to the individual because of limited time to respond to the new derogatory information in the notification letter, an appropriate adjournment shall be granted upon the request of the individual.
(k) A written or oral statement of a person relating to the characterization in the notification letter of any organization or person other than the individual may be received and considered by the Administrative Judge without affording the individual an opportunity to cross-examine the person making the statement on matters relating to the characterization of such organization or person, provided the individual is given notice that such a statement has been received and may be considered by the Administrative Judge, and is informed of the contents of the statement, provided such notice is not prohibited by paragraph (g) of this section.
(l) Any oral or written statement adverse to the individual relating to a controverted issue may be received and considered by the Administrative Judge without affording an opportunity for cross-examination in either of the following circumstances:
(1) The head of the agency supplying the statement certifies that the person who furnished the information is a confidential informant who has been engaged in obtaining intelligence information for the Government and that disclosure of the informant's identity would be substantially harmful to the national interest;
(2) The Secretary or the Secretary's special designee for that particular purpose has preliminarily determined, after considering information furnished by the investigative agency as to the reliability of the person and the accuracy of the statement concerned, that:
(i) The statement concerned appears to be reliable and material; and
(ii) Failure of the Administrative Judge to receive and consider such statement would, in view of the access sought to classified matter or special nuclear material, be substantially harmful to the national security and that the person who furnished the information cannot appear to testify:
(A) Due to death, severe illness, or similar cause, in which case the identity of the person and the information to be considered shall be made available to the individual, or
(B) Due to some other specified cause determined by the Secretary to be good and sufficient.
(m) Whenever procedures under paragraph (l) of this section are used:
(1) The individual shall be given a summary or description of the information which shall be as comprehensive and detailed as the national interest permits, and
(2) Appropriate consideration shall be accorded to the fact that the individual did not have an opportunity to cross-examine such person(s).
(n) Records compiled in the regular course of business, or other evidence other than investigative reports obtained by DOE, may be received and considered by the Administrative Judge subject to rebuttal without authenticating witnesses, provided that such information has been furnished to DOE by an investigative agency pursuant to its responsibilities in connection with assisting the Secretary to safeguard classified matter or special nuclear material.
(o) Records compiled in the regular course of business, or other evidence other than investigative reports, relating to a controverted issue which, because they are classified, may not be inspected by the individual, may be received and considered by the Administrative Judge, provided that:
(1) The Secretary or the Secretary's special designee for that particular purpose has made a preliminary determination that such evidence appears to be material;
(2) The Secretary or the Secretary's special designee for that particular purpose has made a determination that failure to receive and consider such evidence would, in view of the access sought to classified matter or special nuclear material, be substantially harmful to the national security; and
(3) To the extent that national security permits, a summary or description of such evidence is made available to the individual. In every such case, information as to the authenticity and accuracy of such evidence furnished by the investigative agency shall be considered.
(p) The Administrative Judge may request the Local Director of Security to arrange for additional investigation on any points which are material to the deliberations of the Administrative Judge and which the Administrative Judge believes need further investigation or clarification. In this event, the Administrative Judge shall set forth in writing those issues upon which more evidence is requested, identifying where possible persons or sources from which the evidence should be sought. The Local Director of Security shall make every effort through appropriate sources to obtain additional information upon the matters indicated by the Administrative Judge.
(q) A written transcript of the entire hearing shall be made and, except for portions containing classified matter, a copy of such transcript shall be furnished to the individual without cost.
(r) Whenever information is made a part of the record under the exceptions authorized by paragraphs (l) or (o) of this section, the record shall contain certificates evidencing that the determinations required therein have been made.