Last Update: 2/28/17 (Transmittal I-4-68)
The transcript of the hearing is a written record of the testimony given at the hearing before the administrative law judge. The court records assistant (CRA) must review the transcript of the hearing for accuracy and completeness before placing it in the record.
B. Determining Whether to Audit the Hearing
1. Determining Whether an Audit Is Necessary
The CRA will make a preliminary determination of whether he or she needs an audit of the recording. If an audit is not necessary, the CRA will continue preparing the hearing transcript. 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 must be as complete and accurate as possible. Names of medications, dosage, description of medical treatment, and description of work activity are also important. Therefore, if these sections contain inaudible or unintelligible portions, an audit is necessary.
2. Actions When an Audit Is Necessary
If the CRA decides an audit of the recording is necessary, he or she will:
Complete a request for recording audit;
If a paper claim(s) file, place the request on top of the claim(s) file; and
Refer the case to a branch chief.
The Court Case Preparation and Review Branch (CCPRB) chief, or supervisory legal assistant (SLA), will assign the case to an analyst. Once the case is returned to the branch chief or SLA, he or she will prepare a memorandum to the contracts staff, including a copy of the recording and a paper copy of the transcript. The branch chief or SLA will then deliver the package to contracts staff for an audit.
C. Review of the Hearing Transcript
The CRA's review of the hearing transcript may reveal deficiencies. The CRA should be aware of the following deficiencies 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's testimony as commencing with an oath, even though the administrative law judge (ALJ) administered the oath at the start of the hearing. The CRA must discuss any irregularities with the branch chief to determine whether a recording audit is necessary.
b. Spelling Errors (Paper Claim(s) File Only)
The CRA must correct any spelling errors, using caution with respect to medical terminology. The CRA must not alter the substance of any testimony.
c. Numbering Errors (Paper Claim(s) File Only)
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. For more information, see Hearings, Appeals and Litigation Law (HALLEX) manual I-4-2-25 A.
d. Missing Certifications
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 branch chief. The branch chief must consult the contracts staff to arrange to have the contractor certify the transcript and return the transcript to the branch chief. This does not unduly delay preparation of the record, 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 branch chief requests a certification, he or she must enter the request and return dates in the Appeals Review Processing System.
When the CRA releases a transcript with any deficiency, the branch chief must follow-up to obtain any material that is missing from the record and to ensure that the CRA prepares a supplemental transcript.
Also, if the ALJ or Appeals Council 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 before release. As a general rule, the CRA will avoid such alterations.
D. Placing the Hearing Transcript into the Record
The transcript must be placed into the certified administrative record. When placing the transcript into the record, the CRA must ensure that:
If transcripts of two hearings are to be entered, the transcript of the earlier hearing is placed in the certified administrative record immediately preceding the second hearing. In this instance, the index to the record (see HALLEX I-4-2-25 B) would show: Transcripts of Oral Hearings: January 24, 1999 and April 18, 2000.
If the ALJ did not hold an oral hearing, the index must note “Oral Hearing Waived” 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.