View all text of Subjgrp 112 [§ 240.21F-1 - § 240.21F-18]

§ 240.21F-18 - Summary disposition.

(a) Notwithstanding the procedures specified in § 240.21F-10(d) through (g) and in § 240.21F-11(d) through (g) of this chapter, the Office of the Whistleblower may determine that an award application that meets any of the following conditions for denial shall be resolved through the summary disposition process described further in paragraph (b) of this section:

(1) You submitted an untimely award application;

(2) You did not comply with the requirements of § 240.21F-9 of this chapter when submitting the tip upon which your award claim is based, and you otherwise are not eligible for a waiver under either § 240.21F-9(e) or the Commission's other waiver authorities;

(3) The information that you submitted was never provided to or used by the staff handling the covered action or the underlying investigation (or examination), and those staff members otherwise had no contact with you;

(4) You did not comply with § 240.21F-8(b) of this chapter;

(5) You failed to specify in the award application the submission pursuant to § 240.21F-9(a) of this chapter upon which your claim to an award is based;

(6) Your application does not raise any novel or important legal or policy questions.

(b) The following procedures shall apply to any award application designated for summary disposition:

(1) The Office of the Whistleblower shall issue a Preliminary Summary Disposition that notifies you that your award application has been designated for resolution through the summary disposition process. The Preliminary Summary Disposition shall also state that the Office has preliminarily determined to recommend that the Commission deny the award application and identify the basis for the denial.

(2) Prior to issuing the Preliminary Summary Disposition, the Office of the Whistleblower shall prepare a staff declaration that sets forth any pertinent facts regarding the Office's recommendation to deny your application. At the same time that it provides you with the Preliminary Summary Disposition, the Office of the Whistleblower shall, in its sole discretion, either

(i) Provide you with the staff declaration; or

(ii) Notify you that a staff declaration has been prepared and advise you that you may obtain the declaration only if within fifteen (15) calendar days you sign and complete a confidentiality agreement in a form and manner acceptable to the Office of the Whistleblower pursuant to § 240.21F-8(b)(4) of this chapter. If you fail to return the signed confidentiality agreement within fifteen (15) calendar days, you will be deemed to have waived your ability to receive the staff declaration.

(3) You may reply to the Preliminary Summary Disposition by submitting a response to the Office of the Whistleblower within thirty (30) calendar days of the later of:

(i) The date of the Preliminary Summary Disposition, or

(ii) The date that the Office of the Whistleblower sends the staff declaration to you following your timely return of a signed confidentiality agreement. The response must identify the grounds for your objection to the denial (or in the case of item (a)(5) of this section, correct the defect). The response must be in the form and manner that the Office of the Whistleblower shall require. You may include documentation or other evidentiary support for the grounds advanced in your response.

(4) If you fail to submit a timely response pursuant to paragraph (b)(3) of this section, the Preliminary Summary Disposition will become the Final Order of the Commission. Your failure to submit a timely written response will constitute a failure to exhaust administrative remedies.

(5) If you submit a timely response pursuant to paragraph (b)(3) of this section, the Office of the Whistleblower will consider the issues and grounds advanced in your response, along with any supporting documentation that you provided, and will prepare a Proposed Final Summary Disposition. The Office of the Whistleblower may supplement the administrative record as appropriate. (This provision does not prevent the Office of the Whistleblower from determining that, based on your written response, the award claim is no longer appropriate for summary disposition and that it should be resolved through the claims adjudication procedures specified in either §§ 240.21F-10 or 240.21F-11 of this chapter).

(6) The Office of the Whistleblower will then notify the Commission of the Proposed Final Summary Disposition. Within thirty (30) calendar days thereafter, any Commissioner may request that the Proposed Final Summary Disposition be reviewed by the Commission. If no Commissioner requests such a review within the 30-day period, then the Proposed Final Summary Disposition will become the Final Order of the Commission. In the event a Commissioner requests a review, the Commission will consider the award application and issue a Final Order.

(7) The Office of the Whistleblower will provide you with the Final Order of the Commission.

(c) In considering an award determination pursuant to this rule, the Office of the Whistleblower and the Commission may rely upon the items specified in § 240.21F-12(a) of this chapter. Further, § 240.21F-12(b) of this chapter shall apply to summary dispositions.

[85 FR 70947, Nov. 5, 2020]