Title 44

SECTION 295.41

295.41 Administrative appeal.

§ 295.41 Administrative appeal.

(a) Notice of appeal. A Claimant may request that the Director of OCGFC review the Authorized Official's Determination by written request to the Appeals Docket, Office of Cerro Grande Claims, P.O. Box 1480, Los Alamos, NM 87544-1480, postmarked or delivered within 120 Days after the date that appears on the Authorized Official's Determination. The Claimant will submit along with the notice of appeal a statement explaining why the Authorized Official's Determination was incorrect.

(b) Acknowledgement of appeal. OCGFC will acknowledge the receipt of appeals that are timely filed. Following the receipt of a timely filed appeal, the Director of OCGFC will obtain the Administrative Record from the Authorized Official and transmit a copy to the Claimant.

(c) Supplemental filings. The Claimant may supplement the statement of reasons and provide any additional documentary evidence supporting the appeal within 60 Days after the date when the appeal is filed. The Director of OCGFC may extend these timeframes or authorize additional filings either on his or her own initiative or in response to a request by the Claimant for good cause shown.

(d) Admissible evidence. The Claimant may rely upon any relevant evidence to support the appeal, regardless of whether the evidence was previously submitted to the Claims Reviewer for consideration by the Authorized Official.

(e) Obtaining evidence. The Director of OCGFC may request from the Claimant or from the Authorized Official any additional information that is relevant to the issues posed by the appeal in his or her discretion.

(f) Conferences. The Director of OCGFC may schedule a conference to gain a better understanding of the issues or to explore settlement possibilities.

(g) Hearings. The Director of OCGFC may exercise the discretion to convene an informal hearing to receive oral testimony from witnesses or experts. The rules under which hearings will be conducted will be established by the Director of OCGFC. Formal rules of evidence applicable to court proceedings will not be used in hearings under this subsection. Hearings will be transcribed and the transcript will be entered in the Administrative Record.

(h) Decision on appeal. After the allotted time for submission of evidence has passed, the Director of OCGFC will close the Administrative Record and render a written decision on the Administrative Appeal. The Director of OCGFC's decision on the Administrative Appeal will constitute the final decision of the Administrator of FEMA under §§ 104(d)(2)(B) and 104(i)(1) of the CGFAA.

(i) Claimant's options following appeal. The Claimant's concurrence with the decision in the Administrative Appeal will be conclusively presumed unless the Claimant initiates arbitration in accordance with § 295.42 or seeks judicial review in accordance with § 295.43. If the Claimant concurs with the Director's determination, payment of any additional damages awarded by the Director will be made to the Claimant upon receipt of a properly executed Release and Certification Form.