Subject: Representation of Claimants
This transmittal amends section I-1-1 of the Hearings, Appeals and Litigation Law (HALLEX) manual to update the process for the Office of Hearing Operations (OHO) and Office of Appellate Operations (OAO) to refer suspected violations of the rules pertaining to a representative's conduct to the Office of the General Counsel (OGC).
I-1-1-50 – We changed the reference from “Office of Analytics, Review, and Oversight (OARO)” to “Office of Appeallate Operations (OAO)” throughout the provision as the component for referring and documenting suspected violations of the rules pertaining to a representative's conduct at the Appeals Council level. We added language in subsection A, third paragraph, to clarify that OHO or OAO management are responsible for submitting referrals of suspected violations to the OGC. We removed language in subsection A, last paragraph, noting OHO and OAO will take no other action on the referral unless requested by OGC, to reflect our current business process. We added a hyperlink to subsection B.1 to direct staff to the referral memorandum template. We updated subsection B.2 to indicate the Regional OHO (RO) and OAO will provide a copy of the electronic file and/or hearing recording only upon request by OGC. We deleted subsection B.3., last paragraph, as it is identical to subsection B.3., first paragraph. We updated subsection B.4, first paragraph, to include the RO information in the Remark in the processing system documenting the referral. We updated subsections C.1, second paragraph and C.2, third paragraph, to add ^HQ OGC Rep Conduct Referrals to the email addresses the OHO regional office and the Appeals Council Executive Director's Office will copy in sending the suspected misconduct referral. We added information on the possible actions the RO may take on the referrals in subsection C.1., second paragraph, to reflect updated business process. We retitled subsection D.2. to better reflect the information presented in that subsection. We also revised the language in subsection D.2 to clarify the representative will have the opportunity to respond to the allegations and to detail the different actions OGC may take based on the representative's response, if any. We deleted subsection D.3 in its entirety and moved the main information from that section to D.2, last sentence. We re-numbered subsection D.4 and D.5 due to this deletion. We also made editorial changes throughout the section.
Date: June 25, 2020