Title 17

SECTION 204.38

204.38 Pre-offset hearing.

§ 204.38 Pre-offset hearing.

(a) The hearing official shall determine the form and content of hearings granted under this section, pursuant to 31 CFR 901.3(e). All oral hearings shall be on the record. Except as otherwise ordered by the hearing official, hearings shall be recorded or transcribed verbatim by shorthand, mechanical means, electronic sound recording, or any other method, subject to the discretion and approval of the hearing official, and a transcript thereof shall be made.

(b) Oral hearings are informal in nature. The Commission, represented by an attorney from the Office of General Counsel, and accompanied by a program official and the employee, and/or the employee's representative, orally shall explain their respective positions using relevant documentation. The employee may testify on his or her own behalf, subject to cross examination. Other witnesses may be called to testify where the hearing official determines the testimony to be relevant and not redundant. The Federal Rules of Evidence serve as a guideline, but are not controlling. The employee bears the burdens of proof and persuasion.

(c) The hearing official shall:

(1) Conduct a fair and impartial hearing;

(2) Preside over the course of the hearing, maintain decorum and avoid delay in the disposition of the hearing; and

(3) Issue a decision in accordance with § 204.39, Written decision, on the basis of the oral hearing and the written record.

(d) Oral hearings are normally open to the public. However, the hearing official may close all or any portion of the hearing at either the request of either party or upon the hearing official's initiative when doing so is in the best interest[s] of the employee or the public.

(e) Oral hearings may be conducted by conference call at the request of the employee or at the discretion of the hearing official.

(f) Pre-offset “paper” hearing. If a hearing is to be held only upon written submissions, the hearing official shall issue a decision based solely upon the written record.

[58 FR 38520, July 19, 1993, as amended at 66 FR 54132, Oct. 26, 2001]