Last Update: 9/08/05 (Transmittal I-3-36)
Date: July 20, 1995
To: All OAO Branches
From: Executive Director Office of Appellate Operations, OHA
Subject: The Request for Review Workload
As we have expected, the many initiatives to increase productivity in hearing offices are succeeding to the point that the Docket and Files Branch is currently receiving all-time record numbers of files to be held in anticipation of a request for review. The number of requests for review awaiting action by the Appeals Council is rapidly increasing and we can expect receipts to outpace dispositions for some time to come. Although we do not have sufficient resources to reverse this trend, because of STPD details and other factors, we have decided that revising some procedures can increase our productivity without diminishing the quality of our work products.
Effective immediately, we are temporarily suspending the requirement for a detailed discussion of additional evidence and for specific responses to contentions in denial notices. Please note that this change does not in any way lessen the analyst's responsibility to consider the evidence and contentions and to make an appropriate recommendation to the Administrative Appeals Judge. It does mean that any required analysis can be included in the less formal setting of the recommendation, saving the time it would take to compose, edit and perhaps revise more formal language in the notice itself. The evidence and briefs, etc. must still be identified and/or acknowledged and we have developed the attached paragraphs, which are available as macros, for that purpose. There is no change in the processing of complaints of bias and unfair hearing which must still be acknowledged and responded to in the Appeals Council's action documents, including denial notices.
We will be assessing the effectiveness of this change over the next 60 days, both in terms of its impact on productivity and in terms of feedback from all parties to the process including NOSSCR and OGC. In the meantime, we will be implementing some additional changes which will allow analysts to concentrate on the request for review workload.
William C. Taylor
The appeals Council has also considered the contentions raised in your (a) representative's [select b, c, or d] (b) letter OR (c) brief OR (d) request for review dated (e)_________, but concluded that these contentions do not provide a basis for changing the Administrative Law Judge's decision.
Additional Evidence Only
The Appeals Council has also considered the additional evidence from (a)_________ dated (b)____________, but concluded that this additional evidence does not provide a basis for changing the Administrative Law Judge's decision.
Contentions and Additional Evidence
The Appeals Council has also considered the contentions raised in your (a) representative's [select b, c or d] (b) letter OR (c) brief OR (d) request for review dated (e)__________, as well as the additional evidence from (f)__________ dated (g)__________, but concluded that neither the contentions not the additional evidence provide a basis for changing the Administrative Law Judge's decision.