- § 27.121 - Compliance information.
- § 27.123 - Conduct of investigations.
- § 27.125 - Compliance procedure.
- § 27.127 - Hearings.
- § 27.129 - Decisions and notices.
§ 27.121 - Compliance information.
(a) Cooperation and assistance. The responsible Departmental official, to the fullest extent practicable, seeks the cooperation of recipients in securing compliance with this part and provides assistance and guidance to recipients to help them comply with this part.
(b) Compliance reports. Each recipient shall keep on file for one year all complaints of noncompliance received. A record of all such complaints, which may be in summary form, shall be kept for five years. Each recipient shall keep such other records and submit to the responsible Departmental official or his/her designee timely, complete, and accurate compliance reports at such times, and in such form, and containing such information as the responsible Department official may prescribe. In the case in which a primary recipient extends Federal financial assistance to any other recipient, the other recipient shall also submit compliance reports to the primary recipient so as to enable the primary recipient to prepare its report.
(c) Access to sources of information. Each recipient shall permit access by the responsible Departmental official or his/her designee during normal business hours to books, records, accounts, and other sources of information, and to facilities that are pertinent to compliance with this part. Where required information is in the exclusive possession of another agency or person who fails or refuses to furnish the information, the recipient shall so certify in its report and describe the efforts made to obtain the information. Considerations of privacy or confidentiality do not bar the Department from evaluating or seeking to enforce compliance with this part. Information of a confidential nature obtained in connection with compliance evaluation or enforcement is not disclosed by the Department, except in formal enforcement proceedings, where necessary, or where otherwise required by law.
(d) Information to beneficiaries and participants. Each recipient shall make available to participants, beneficiaries, and other interested persons such information regarding the provisions of this regulation and its application to the program or activity for which the recipient receives Federal financial assistance, and make such information available to them in such manner, as the responsible Departmental official finds necessary to apprise them of the protections against discrimination provided by the Act and this part.
§ 27.123 - Conduct of investigations.
(a) Periodic compliance reviews. The responsible Departmental official or his/her designee, from time to time, reviews the practices of recipients to determine whether they are complying with this part.
(b) Complaints. Any person who believes himself/herself or any specific class of individuals to be harmed by failure to comply with this part may, personally or through a representative, file a written complaint with the responsible Departmental official. A Complaint must be filed not later than 180 days from the date of the alleged discrimination, unless the time for filing is extended by the responsible Departmental official or his/her designee.
(c) Investigations. The responsible Departmental official or his/her designee makes a prompt investigation whenever a compliance review, report, complaint, or any other information indicates a possible failure to comply with this part. The investigation includes, where appropriate, a review of the pertinent practices and policies of the recipient, and the circumstances under which the possible noncompliance with this part occurred.
(d) Resolution of matters. (1) If, after an investigation pursuant to paragraph (c) of this section, the responsible Departmental official finds reasonable cause to believe that there is a failure to comply with this part, the responsible Departmental official will inform the recipient. The matter is resolved by informal means whenever possible. If the responsible Departmental official determines that the matter cannot be resolved by informal means, action is taken as provided in § 27.125.
(2) If an investigation does not warrant action pursuant to paragraph (d)(1) of this section, the responsible Departmental official or his/her designee so informs the recipient and the complainant, if any, in writing.
(e) Intimidating and retaliatory acts prohibited. No employee or contractor of a recipient shall intimidate, threaten, coerce, or discriminate against any individual for the purpose of interfering with any right or privilege secured by section 504 of the Act or this part, or because the individual has made a complaint, testified, assisted, or participated in any manner in an investigation, hearing, or proceeding, under this part. The identity of complainants is kept confidential at their election during the conduct of any investigation, hearing or proceeding under this part. However, when such confidentiality is likely to hinder the investigation, the complainant will be advised for the purpose of waiving the privilege.
§ 27.125 - Compliance procedure.
(a) General. If there is reasonable cause for the responsible Departmental official to believe that there is a failure to comply with any provision of this part that cannot be corrected by informal means, the responsible Departmental official may recommend suspension or termination of, or refusal to grant or to continue Federal financial assistance, or take any other steps authorized by law. Such other steps may include, but are not limited to:
(1) A referral to the Department of Justice with a recommendation that appropriate proceedings be brought to enforce any rights of the United States under any law of the United States (including other titles of the Act), or any assurance or other contractural undertaking; and
(2) Any applicable proceeding under State or local law.
(b) Refusal of Federal financial assistance. (1) No order suspending, terminating, or refusing to grant or continue Federal financial assistance becomes effective until:
(i) The responsible Departmental official has advised the applicant or recipient of its failure to comply and has determined that compliance cannot be secured by voluntary means; and
(ii) There has been an express finding by the Secretary on the record, after opportunity for hearing, of a failure by the applicant or recipient to comply with a requirement imposed by or pursuant to this part.
(2) Any action to suspend, terminate, or refuse to grant or to continue Federal financial assistance is limited to the particular recipient who has failed to comply, and is limited in its effect to the particular program or activity, or part thereof, in which noncompliance has been found.
(c) Other means authorized by law. No other action is taken until:
(1) The responsible Departmental official has determined that compliance cannot be secured by voluntary means;
(2) The recipient or other person has been notified by the responsible Departmental official of its failure to comply and of the proposed action;
(3) The expiration of at least 10 days from the mailing of such notice to the recipient or other person. During this period, additional efforts are made to persuade the recipient or other person to comply with the regulations and to take such corrective action as may be appropriate.
§ 27.127 - Hearings.
(a) Opportunity for hearing. Whenever an opportunity for a hearing is required by § 27.125(b), reasonable notice is given by the responsible Departmental official by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, to the affected applicant or recipient. This notice advises the applicant or recipient of the action proposed to be taken, the specific provision under which the proposed action is to be taken, and the matters of fact or law asserted as the basis for this action, and either:
(1) Fixes a date not less than 20 days after the date of such notice within which the applicant or recipient may request a hearing; or
(2) Advises the applicant or recipient that the matter in question has been set for hearing at a stated place and time.
(b) If the applicant or recipient waives its opportunity for a hearing, the responsible Departmental official shall notify the applicant or recipient that it has the opportunity to submit written information and argument for the record. The responsible Departmental official may also place written information and argument into the record.
(c) Time and place of hearing. Hearings are held at the office of the Department in Washington, DC, at a time fixed by the responsible Departmental official unless he/she determines that the convenience of the applicant or recipient or of the Department requires that another place be selected. Hearings are held before an Administrative Law Judge designated in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 3105 and 3344 (section 11 of the Administrative Procedure Act).
(d) Right to counsel. In all proceedings under this section, the applicant or recipient and the responsible Departmental official have the right to be represented by counsel.
(e) Procedures, evidence and record. (1) The hearing, decision, and any administrative review thereof are conducted in conformity with sections 554 through 557 of title 5 of the United States Code, and in accordance with such rules of procedure as are proper (and not inconsistent with this section) relating to the conduct of the hearing, giving notice subsequent to those provided for in paragraph (a) of this section, taking testimony, exhibits, arguments and briefs, requests for findings, and other related matters. The responsible Departmental official and the applicant or recipient are entitled to introduce all relevant evidence on the issues as stated in the notice for hearing or as determined by the officer conducting the hearing. Any person (other than a government employee considered to be on official business) who, having been invited or requested to appear and testify as a witness on the government's behalf, attends at a time and place scheduled for a hearing provided for by this part may be reimbursed for his/her travel and actual expenses in an amount not to exceed the amount payable under the standardized travel regulations applicable to a government employee traveling on official business.
(2) Technical rules of evidence do not apply to hearings conducted pursuant to this part, but rules or principles designed to assure production of the most credible evidence available and to subject testimony to cross examination are applied where reasonably necessary by the Administrative Law Judge conducting the hearing. The Administrative Law Judge may exclude irrelevant, immaterial, or unduly repetitious evidence. All documents and other evidence offered or taken for the record are open to examination by the parties and opportunity is given to refute facts and arguments advanced by either side. A transcript is made of the oral evidence except to the extent the substance thereof is stipulated for the record. All decisions are based on the hearing record and written findings shall be made.
(f) Consolidation or joint hearings. In cases in which the same or related facts are asserted to constitute noncompliance with this regulation with respect to two or more Federal statutes, authorities, or other means by which Federal financial assistance is extended and to which this part applies, or noncompliance with this part and the regulations of one or more other Federal departments or agencies issued under section 504 of the Act, the responsible Departmental official may, in agreement with such other departments or agencies, where applicable, provide for consolidated or joint hearings. Final decisions in such cases, insofar as this regulation is concerned, are made in accordance with § 27.129.
§ 27.129 - Decisions and notices.
(a) Decisions by Administrative Law Judge. After the hearing, the Administrative Law Judge certifies the entire record including his recommended findings and proposed decision to the Secretary for a final decision. A copy of the certification is mailed to the applicant or recipient and to the complainant, if any. The responsible Departmental official and the applicant or recipient may submit written arguments to the Secretary concerning the Administrative Law Judge's recommended findings and proposed decision.
(b) Final decision by the Secretary. When the record is certified to the Secretary by the Administrative Law Judge, the Secretary reviews the record and accepts, rejects, or modifies the Administrative Law Judge's recommended findings and proposed decision, stating the reasons therefor.
(c) Decisions if hearing is waived. Whenever a hearing pursuant to § 27.125(b) is waived, the Secretary makes his/her final decision on the record, stating the reasons therefor.
(d) Rulings required. Each decision of the Administrative Law Judge or the Secretary contains a ruling on each finding or conclusion presented and specifies any failures to comply with this part.
(e) Content of orders. The final decision may provide for suspension or termination, or refusal to grant or continue Federal financial assistance, in whole or in part, to which this first regulation applies. The decision may contain such terms, conditions, and other provisions as are consistent with and will effectuate the purposes of the Act and this part, including provisions designed to assure that no Federal financial assistance to which this regulation applies will thereafter be extended unless and until the recipient corrects its noncompliance and satisfies the Secretary that it will fully comply with this part.
(f) Subsequent proceedings. (1) An applicant or recipient adversely affected by an order issued under paragraph (e) of this section is restored to full eligibility to receive Federal financial assistance if it satisfies the terms and conditions of that order or if it brings itself into compliance with this part and provides reasonable assurance that it will fully comply with this part.
(2) Any applicant or recipient adversely affected by an order entered pursuant to paragraph (e) of this section may, at any time, request the responsible Departmental official to restore its eligibility, to receive Federal financial assistance. Any request must be supported by information showing that the applicant or recipient has met the requirements of paragraph (f)(1) of this section. If the responsible Departmental official determines that those requirements have been satisfied, he/she may restore such eligibility, subject to the approval of the Secretary.
(3) If the responsible Departmental official denies any such request, the applicant or recipient may submit a request, in writing, for a hearing specifying why it believes the responsible Departmental official should restore it to full eligibility. It is thereupon given a prompt hearing, with a decision on the record. The applicant or recipient is restored to eligibility if it demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Secretary at the hearing that it satisfied the requirements of paragraph (f)(1) of this section.
(4) The hearing procedures of § 27.127(b) through (c) and paragraphs (a) through (d) of this section apply to hearings held under paragraph (f)(3) of this section.
(5) While proceedings under this paragraph are pending, the sanctions imposed by the order issued under paragraph (e) of this section shall remain in effect.