§ 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.