Last Update: 9/13/05 (Transmittal I-4-15)
The transcript of the oral hearing is a typed record of the testimony given at the hearing before the ALJ. The Court Records Assistant (CRA) must review the transcript of the oral hearing for accuracy and completeness before placing it into the record. As a first step in preparation of the administrative record (see I-4-1-51), the CRA will have made a preliminary determination of whether he or she needs to audit the recording. However, if the ALJ or AC previously provided the attorney or claimant with a copy of the transcript (check by scanning the procedural material), the CRA must clear any corrections to the transcript with the analyst, footnote the corrections; e.g., a spelling correction, and forward a copy of the corrected transcript portion to the attorney or claimant. As a general rule, avoid such alterations.
Review of the hearing transcript may reveal deficiencies in the following items:
Correct placement of “Q and A” and swearing in of witnesses.
The index page of the hearing transcript must list all persons who appeared at the hearing and indicate where each person's testimony begins. The transcriber must show each witness's testimony as commencing with an oath, even though the ALJ administered the oath at the start of the hearing. The CRA must discuss any irregularities with the operations supervisor to determine whether a recording audit is necessary.
The CRA corrects any spelling errors, using caution with respect to medical terminology, etc. The CRA must not alter the substance of any testimony.
If there are errors in the numbering of the pages, the CRA must line through the number shown and insert the correct number in pencil. If a page does not have a number, the CRA must make it an “A” page.
Each transcript of oral hearing must include certifications of the transcriber and proofreader (with signature) at the end. If the contractor did not sign and certify the transcript, the CRA must refer it to the OS. The OS must consult the Contracts Staff to arrange to have the contractor certify the transcript and return the transcript to the OS. This does not delay preparation of the record unduly and the CRA need not remove the case from his or her records, but must simply note the action taken along with the date. When the OS requests a certification, he or she must enter the request and return dates on LOTS.
Inaudible portions of recording
If the transcript contains “inaudible” or “unintelligible” portions (in excess of three per page) or portions the contractor did not type due to equipment malfunction, the CRA must consult with an analyst to determine if it is necessary to send the recording of the hearing for audit. Vocational expert testimony and medical expert testimony are vital and the transcription thereof must be as complete and accurate as possible. Names of medications, dosage, description of medical treatment, and description of work activity are also important.
If the CRA decides audit of the recording is necessary, he or she:
Completes a “Request for Recording Audit” memorandum (see I-4-1-98).
Places it on top of the case files.
Refers the case to the OS.
The OS, together with the analyst, reviews the memorandum and, if he or she concurs with the request, initials the memorandum and delivers the case to the Contracts Staff. The supervisor notes the audit request and the date on the LOTS system. After Contracts Staff audits and corrects the transcript, they will return it to the CRA who referred the case for audit.
Do not send aged cases to audit if the ALJ summarized the testimony in his or her decision (consult OS if there is any question). If audit is necessary, the CR assistant must ask the OS to find out if OGC will accept a partial record.
In some instances, the CRA may need to prepare the administrative record when the hearing transcript contains excessive “inaudible” or “unintelligible” portions. For example, auditing the recording may cause the Commissioner to miss a court deadline. Also, the recording may be poor and the auditor unable to improve the hearing transcript, or a recording equipment malfunction may prevent transcription of testimony which is not vital to the case and an analyst may instruct the CR assistant to prepare the record. In these instances, the CR assistant must note the deficiency on the index and on the actual record.
On rare occasions, e.g., to meet court deadlines, the CRA may prepare the administrative record and not include a transcript of the oral hearing in the record. In such a case, the index must reflect this fact and the CRA must notify the OGC office preparing the answer. However, omitting the hearing transcript is done only when it is absolutely essential that the CCPRB expedite the transcript and only at the direction of an analyst, branch chief or OS.
When the CRA releases a transcript with this or any other deficiency, the OS must follow-up to obtain whatever material is missing from the record and to ensure that the CRA prepares a supplemental transcript.
If transcripts of two hearings are to be entered, the CRA places the transcript of the earlier hearing in the certified administrative record immediately preceding the second hearing. In this instance, the index to the record would show:
Transcripts of Oral Hearings: January 24, 1999 and April 18, 2000
If the ALJ did not hold an oral hearing, the CRA must note “Oral Hearing Waived” on the index where the “Transcript of Oral Hearing” (date) would normally appear. If the claimant did not designate on the Request for Hearing that he or she waived an oral hearing, there must be correspondence or other evidence, such as a report of telephone contact verifying the fact that the claimant waived an oral hearing.