I-2-0-5.Hearing Office Chief Administrative Law Judge, Administrative Law Judge and Hearing Office Staff Responsibilities

Last Update: 9/28/05 (Transmittal I-2-66)

A. Hearing Office Chief Administrative Law Judge (HOCALJ) Responsibilities

In addition to hearing and deciding cases, the Hearing Office Chief Administrative Law Judge (HOCALJ), under delegation from the Chief Administrative Law Judge, has the authority to assign cases to administrative law judges (ALJs). The HOCALJ has administrative and managerial responsibility for all personnel in the hearing office (HO) and provides overall guidance and direction regarding adherence to time and attendance procedures; staffing, space, equipment and expert witness needs; rotational assignment of cases and review of work products; application of performance standards and appraisals; and approval of travel vouchers, itineraries, and expenditures. The HOCALJ provides advice and guidance to ALJs regarding the interpretation of applicable law, regulations, rulings and judicial precedents. The HOCALJ participates in investigations, in coordination with the Regional Chief Administrative Law Judge, into allegations of misconduct on the part of any employee, including ALJs, ensures compliance with the principles of equal employment opportunity, and conducts labor management functions consistent with collective bargaining agreements. The HOCALJ also ensures the timely and accurate response to public and congressional inquiries; performs liaison functions between the HO and various Federal and local government agencies, including bar associations, medical and vocational rehabilitation associations; and conducts periodic training.

B. ALJ Responsibilities

When a case is assigned to an ALJ for a hearing and decision, the ALJ is responsible for all actions necessary to process the case. The ALJ's principal responsibilities are to hold a full and fair hearing and issue a legally sufficient and defensible decision.

C. Hearing Office (HO) Staff Responsibilities

Under the overall guidance and direction of the HOCALJ and HO management, the HO staff conducts initial case screening and preparation; establishes controls for the orderly processing of cases; acknowledges receipt of requests for hearing; prepares and maintains HO files; maintains a control system for all cases in the HO; enters an ALJ's designation as the decision maker in the Case Processing and Management System; conducts prehearing case analyses and workups; develops additional evidence or information; discloses proposed exhibits to claimants and representatives; schedules hearings; prepares and sends notices, status letters and other correspondence; and, writes, types and proofreads decisions and orders.