I-4-2-15.Preliminary Review and Placement of the Hearing Transcript(s) into the Certified Administrative Record
Last Update: 6/26/23 (Transmittal I-4-93)
The transcript of the hearing is a written record of the testimony given at the hearing before the administrative law judge (ALJ). The court legal assistant must review the transcript(s) of the hearing(s) for accuracy and completeness before placing it in the certified administrative record (CAR).
Instructions for obtaining hearing transcripts are set forth in Hearings, Appeals and Litigation Law (HALLEX) manual I-4-1-14.
B. Associating Hearing Transcripts
After receiving the hearing recording and transcript, the Court Case Preparation and Review Branch (CCPRB) staff will add the transcript(s) to the B section of the file.
C. Determining Whether to Audit the Hearing
The court legal assistant will make a preliminary determination of whether an audit of the recording is necessary. If an audit is not necessary, the court legal assistant will continue preparing the CAR. If the transcript contains “inaudible” or “unintelligible” portions (in excess of three per page), portions the contractor did not type due to equipment malfunction, deficiencies, or other issues, the court legal assistant will assign the case to a CCPRB analyst for further action pursuant to HALLEX I-4-1-15 B.
Vocational expert testimony and medical expert testimony are vital, and the transcription must be as complete and accurate as possible. Names of medications, dosage, description of medical treatment, and description of work and daily activities are also important. Therefore, if these portions of testimony contain inaudible or unintelligible portions, an audit is necessary.
If a CCPRB analyst determines recontact with the contractor is necessary to correct errors on the transcript, the analyst will contact their branch chief for a case-by-case assessment for requesting a new transcription of the hearing. The case will then be assigned and processed as described in HALLEX I-4-1-14 C for a new hearing transcript.
D. Reviewing the Hearing Transcript
The court legal assistant's review of the hearing transcript may reveal defects. The court legal assistant must be aware of the following defects and make the corresponding changes.
a. Incorrect 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' testimony as commencing with an oath, even though the ALJ administered the oath at the start of the hearing. The court legal assistant must discuss any irregularities with a supervisory legal assistant (SLA) to determine whether an audit of the recording by a CCPRB analyst is necessary.
b. Missing Certifications
Each transcript of the hearing must include certifications from the transcriber and proofreader at the end. If the transcript does not contain the required certifications, the court legal assistant will refer it to an SLA. The SLA will coordinate with the contracting officer's representative to arrange to have the contractor certify the transcript and return the transcript to the SLA. When the SLA requests a certification, the SLA will enter a remark in the Appeals Review Processing System documenting such request.
2. Notification of Defect in the Hearing Transcript
When the Office of the General Counsel (OGC) or a United States Attorney's Office contacts the CCPRB mailbox or branch chief regarding a defect in the hearing transcript, the SLA or branch chief will correct the defect and ensure that the court legal assistant prepares a supplemental or modified transcript, as appropriate. If OGC contacts the CCPRB mailbox or branch chief not for a defect but for a deficiency or inaudible portions in the hearing transcript, the branch chief will follow the instructions set forth in HALLEX I-4-1-15 for assignment to an analyst to review.
E. Placing the Hearing Transcript into the Record
The court legal assistant will place the transcript into the procedural section of the CAR.
When placing the transcript into the record, the court legal assistant will ensure that:
If transcripts of two hearings are to be entered, the transcript of the earlier hearing is placed in the CAR before the transcript of the second hearing.
If the ALJ did not hold an oral hearing, the record must contain documentation that the oral hearing was waived.
If the claimant did not designate on the request for hearing that the oral hearing was waived, there must be correspondence or other evidence such as a report of contact verifying that the claimant waived an oral hearing.