204.34 Employee response.§ 204.34 Employee response.
(a) Introduction. An employee must respond to a pre-offset notice, if at all, within 15 calendar days following receipt, in one or more of the ways discussed in § 204.34, Employee response, and § 204.35, Petition for pre-offset hearing. Where applicable, the employee bears the burdens of proof and persuasion.
(b) Responses must be submitted in writing to the program official who signed the pre-offset notice. A timely response will stay the commencement of collection by salary offset, at least until the issuance of a written decision. (See § 204.37, Extensions of time). Failure to submit a timely response will be treated as an admission of indebtedness, and will result in salary offset in accordance with the terms specified in the pre-offset notice.
(c) A response filed after expiration of the 15 day period may be accepted if the employee can show that the delay was due to circumstances beyond his or her control or failure to receive notice of the time limit (unless otherwise aware of it).
(d) Voluntary repayment agreement. An employee may request to enter into a voluntary written agreement for repayment of the debt in lieu of offset. It is within the discretion of the program official whether to enter into such an agreement, and if so, upon what terms. Voluntary deductions may exceed 15 percent of the employee's disposable pay. If an agreement is reached, the agreement must be in writing, and must be signed by both the employee and the program official. A signed copy must be sent to the Office of Financial Management. The program official shall notify the employee in writing of its decision not to accept the proposed voluntary repayment schedule before making any deductions from the employee's salary.
(e) Waiver. Any request for waiver of the debt must be accompanied by evidence that the waiver is authorized by law.
(f) Reconsideration. An employee may request reconsideration of the existence or amount of the debt or the offset schedule as reflected in the pre-offset notice. The request must be accompanied by a detailed narrative and supporting documentation as to why the offset decision is erroneous and/or why the offset schedule imposes an undue hardship.[58 FR 38520, July 19, 1993, as amended at 76 FR 60372, Sept. 29, 2011]