Title 45


672.3 Powers and duties of the Director; Presiding Official; Office of Polar Programs.

§ 672.3 Powers and duties of the Director; Presiding Official; Office of Polar Programs.

(a) Director. The Director of NSF shall exercise all powers and duties as prescribed or delegated under the Act and these rules.

(b) The Director may delegate all or part of his authority. Partial delegation does not prevent the Presiding Officer from referring any motion or case to the Director.

(c) Presiding Officer. The Director may designate one or more Presiding Officers to perform the functions described below. The Presiding Officers shall be attorneys who are permanent or temporary employees of the Foundation or some other Federal Agency and may perform other duties compatible with their authority as hearing officers. Administrative Law Judges may perform the functions of Presiding Officers. The Presiding Officer shall have performed no prosecutorial or investigatory functions in connection with any matter related to the hearing.

(d) The Presiding Officer shall conduct a fair and impartial proceeding, assure that the facts are fully elicited, adjudicate all issues, and avoid delay. The Presiding Officer shall have authority to:

(1) Conduct administrative hearings under these rules of practice;

(2) Rule upon motions, requests, and offers of proof, dispose of procedural requests, and issue all necessary orders;

(3) Administer oaths and affirmations and take affidavits;

(4) Examine witnesses and receive documentary or other evidence;

(5) For good cause, upon motion or sua sponte, order a party, or an officer or agent thereof, to produce testimony, documents, or other nonprivileged evidence, and failing the production thereof without good cause being shown, draw adverse inferences against that party;

(6) Admit or exclude evidence;

(7) Hear and decide questions of facts, law or discretion;

(8) Require parties to attend conferences for the settlement or simplification of the issues, or the expedition of facts, law or discretion;

(9) Issue subpoenas authorized by the Act; and

(10) Take all actions necessary for the maintenance of order and for the efficient, fair and impartial adjudication of issues arising in proceedings governed by these rules.

(e) Disqualification; Withdrawal. (1) The Presiding Officer may not participate in any matter in which he (i) has a financial interest or (ii) has any relationship with a party or with the subject matter which would make it inappropriate for him to act. Any party may at any time by motion made to the Director, or his delegatee, request that the Presiding Officer be disqualified from the proceeding.

(2) If the Presiding Officer is disqualified or withdraws from the proceeding, the Director shall assign a qualified replacement who has none of the infirmities listed in paragraph (e)(1) of this section. The Director, should he withdraw or disqualify himself, shall assign the Deputy Director to be his replacement.

(f) Office of Polar Programs. The Office of Polar Programs (OPP) manages and operates the national program in Antarctica, including administration of the Antarctic Conservation Act (ACA) permit system. OPP is responsible for investigating alleged violations of the “prohibited acts” section of the ACA and alleged noncompliance with ACA permits. OPP will act as the official complainant in all proceedings under the ACA governed by these rules. OPP may delegate all or part of its investigatory duties to other appropriate NSF employees, other qualified federal employees, or consultants. OPP will prepare complaints with the assistance of designated prosecuting attorneys within NSF's Office of the General Counsel, other qualified federal attorneys, or other appropriate legal representative selected jointly by OPP and OGC. The designated prosecuting attorney will represent OPP in all proceedings governed by these rules.

(g) The Office of Polar Programs, acting on behalf of the Director, may designate qualified individuals as enforcement officers empowered to execute all of the law enforcement functions set forth in section 10 of the ACA, 16 U.S.C. 2409, as well as any other appropriate actions ancillary to those statutory duties. OPP will provide each enforcement officer with official enforcement credentials for identification purposes and use during execution of official duties.

OPP may also designate knowledgeable individuals to provide educational and other information regarding the Antarctic to tour operators, their clients and employees, and other visitors to the Antarctic.

(h) The Office of the General Counsel, with the concurrence of the Office of Polar Programs, may refer appropriate cases to the Department of Justice for possible prosecution of criminal violations of the Antarctic Conservation Act.

[54 FR 7132, Feb. 16, 1989. Redesignated at 58 FR 34718, June 29, 1993, and amended at 59 FR 37438, July 22, 1994; 61 FR 51022, Sept. 30, 1996; 66 FR 42451, Aug. 13, 2001]