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g 101-8.711 General responsibilities.

Each recipient of Federal financial assistance from GSA is responsible for ensuring that its programs and activities comply with the Act and this regulation and must take steps to eliminate violations of the Act. A recipient is also responsible for maintaining records, providing information, and affording GSA access to its records to the extent GSA finds necessary to determine whether the recipient is complying with the Act and this regulation.

8 101-8.712 Notice to subrecipients and

beneficiaries.

(a) If a primary recipient passes on Federal financial assistance from GSA to subrecipients, the primary recipient provides to subrecipients, written notice of their obligations under the Act and this regulation.

(b) Each recipient makes necessary information about the Act and this regulation available to its program beneficiaries to inform them about the protections against discrimination provided by the Act and this regulation.

mines necessary to ensure that the recipient is complying with the Act and this regulation.

(b) Provide to GSA upon request, information and reports that GSA determines necessary to find out whether the recipient is complying with the Act and this regulation.

(c) Permit reasonable access by GSA to books, records, accounts, facilities, and other sources of information to the extent GSA finds it necessary to find out whether the recipient is complying with the Act and this regulation. GSA adopts HHS policy regarding the kinds of data and information recipients are expected to keep (45 CFR 90.34). This policy is parallel to compliance information sections in the title VI, title IX, and section 504 implementation regulations. While recognizing the need for enough data to assess recipient compliance, GSA is committed to lessening the data gathering burden on recipients. GSA further recognizes that there is no established body of knowledge or experience to guide the assessment of age discrimination. This regulation, therefore, does not impose specific data requirements upon recipients, rather, it allows GSA to be flexible in deciding what kinds of data should be kept by recipients, based on what kinds of data prove useful as GSA gains experience with the Age Discrimination Act, and age discrimination issues become clearer.

(d) In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1980 (Pub. L. 59-511), the reporting and record keeping provisions included in this regulation will be submitted, for approval, to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). No data collection or record keeping requirement will be imposed on recipients or donees without the required OMB approval number.

8 101-8.713 Assurance of compliance

and recipient assessment of age dis

tinctions. (a) Each recipient of Federal financial assistance from GSA signs a written assurance as specified by GSA that it intends to comply with the Act and this regulation.

(b) Recipient assessment of age distinctions.

(1) As part of a compliance review under $101–8.715 or complaint investigation under $101.8.718, GSA may require a recipient employing the equivalent of 15 or more employees to complete a written self-evaluation of any age distinction imposed in its program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance from GSA to assess the recipient's compliance with the Act.

(2) If an assessment indicates a violation of the Act and the GSA regulation, the recipient takes corrective action.

§ 101-8.715 Compliance reviews.

(a) GSA may conduct compliance reviews and use similar procedures to investigate and correct violations of the Act and this regulation. GSA may conduct the reviews even in the absence of a complaint against a recipient. The reviews may be as comprehensive as necessary to determine whether a violation of the Act and this regulation has occurred.

8 101-8.714 Information requirements.

Each recipient must:

(a) Keep records in a form and containing information that GSA deter

(b) If a compliance review indicates a violation of the Act or this regulation, GSA attempts to achieve voluntary compliance with the Act. If compliance cannot be achieved, GSA arranges for enforcement as described in $101-8.720.

8 101-8.716 Complaints.

(a) Any person, individually or as a member of a class (defined at $ 101– 8.703(e)) or on behalf of others, may file a complaint with GSA alleging discrimination prohibited by the Act or this regulation based on an action occurring after July 1, 1979. A complainant must file a complaint within 80 days from the date the complainant first has knowledge of the alleged act of discrimination. However, for good cause shown, GSA may extend this time limit.

(b) GSA considers the date a complaint is filed to be the date upon which the complaint is sufficient to be processed.

(c) GSA attempts to facilitate the filing of complaints if possible, including taking the following measures:

(1) Accepting as a sufficient complaint, any written statement that identifies the parties involved and the date the complainant first had knowledge of the alleged violation, describes the action or practice complained of, and is signed by the complainant;

(2) Freely permitting a complainant to add information to the complaint to meet the requirements of a sufficient complaint;

(3) Notifying the complainant and the recipient (or their representative) of their right to contact GSA for information and assistance regarding the complaint resolution process.

(d) GSA returns to the complainant any complaint outside the jurisdiction of this regulation, and states the reason(s) why it is outside the jurisdiction of the regulation.

(2) Contain the information needed for further processing.

(b) Both the complainant and the recipient must participate in the mediation process to the extent necessary to reach an agreement or make an informed judgement that an agreement is not possible. Both parties need not meet with the mediator at the same time.

(c) If the complainant and the recipient agree, the mediator will prepare a written statement of the agreement and have the complainant and the recipient sign it. The mediator must send a copy of the agreement to GSA. GSA takes no further action on the complaint unless the complainant or the recipient fails to comply with the agreement.

(d) The mediator must protect the confidentiality of all information obtained in the course of the mediation, No mediator may testify in any adjudicative proceeding, produce any document, or otherwise disclose any information obtained in the course of the mediation process without prior approval of the head of the mediation agency.

(e) The mediation proceeds for a maximum of 60 calendar days after a complaint is filed with GSA. Mediation ends if:

(1) 60 calendar days elapse from the time the complaint is filed; or

(2) Before the end of the 60 calendarday period an agreement is reached; or

(3) Before the end of that 60 calendarday period, the mediator finds that an agreement cannot be reached.

NOTE: The 60 calendar day period may be extended by the mediator, with the concurrence of GSA, for not more than 30 calendar days if the mediator determines that agreement is likely to be reached during the extension period.

(f) The mediator must return unresolved complaints to GSA.

§ 101-8.717 Mediation.

(a) GSA promptly refers to the mediation agency designated by the Secretary, HHS, all sufficient complaints that:

(1) Fall within the jurisdiction of the Act and this regulation, unless the age distinction complained of is clearly within an exception; and

$ 101-8.718 Investigation.

(a) Informal investigation. GSA investigates complaints that are unresolved after mediation or are reopened because of a violation of a mediation agreement. As part of the initial investigation, GSA uses informal factfinding methods, including joint or separate discussions with the complainant and the recipient, to establish the fact and, if possible, settle the complaint on terms that are mutually agreeable to the parties. GSA may seek the assistance of any involved State program agency. GSA puts any agreement in writing and has it signed by the parties and an authorized official designated by the Administrator or the Director, Office of Organization and Personnel. The settlement may not affect the operation of any other enforcement efforts of GSA, including compliance reviews and investigation of other complaints that may involve the recipient. The settlement is not a finding of discrimination against a recipient.

(b) Formal investigation. If GSA cannot resolve the complaint through informal investigation, it begins to develop formal findings through further investigation of the complaint. If the investigation indicates a violation of these regulations, GSA attempts to obtain voluntary compliance. If GSA cannot obtain voluntary compliance, it begins enforcement as described in $ 101– 8.720.

g 101-8.719 Prohibition against intimi.

dation or retaliation,

(ii) Use of any requirement of or referral to any Federal, State, or local government agency that has the effect of correcting a violation of the Act or this regulation.

(b) GSA limits any termination to the particular recipient and program or activity or part of such program and activity GSA finds in violation of this regulation. GSA does not base any part of a termination on a finding with respect to any program or activity of the recipient that does not receive Federal financial assistance from GSA.

(c) GSA takes no action under paragraph (a) until:

(1) The administrator advises the recipient of its failure to comply with the Act and this regulation and determines that voluntary compliance cannot be obtained, and

(2) 30 calendar days elapse after the Administrator sends a written report of the grounds of the action to the committees of Congress having legislative jurisdiction over the Federal program or activity involved. The Administrator files a report if any action is taken under paragraph (a) of this section.

(d) GSA may also defer granting new Federal financial assistance from GSA to a recipient when a hearing under $ 101-8.721 is initiated.

(1) New Federal financial assistance from GSA includes all assistance for which GSA requires an application or approval, including renewal or continuation of existing activities, or authorization of new activities, during the deferral period. New Federal financial assistance from GSA does not include assistance approved before the beginning of a hearing.

(2) GSA does not begin a deferral until the recipient receives notice of an opportunity for a hearing under $101– 8.721, GSA does not continue à deferral for more than 50 calendar days unless a hearing begins within that time or the time for beginning the hearing is extended by mutual consent of the recipient and the Administrator. GSA does not continue a deferral for more than 30 calendar days after the close of the hearing, unless the hearing results in a finding against the recipient.

A recipient may not engage in acts of intimidation or retaliation against any person who:

(a) Attempts to assert a right protected by the Act of this regulation; or

(b) Cooperates in any mediation, investigation, hearing, conciliation, and enforcement process.

8 101-8.720 Compliance procedure.

(a) GSA may enforce the Act and these regulations through:

(1) Termination of a recipient's Federal financial assistance from GSA under the program or activity involved where the recipient has violated the Act or this regulation. The determination of the recipient's violation may be made only after a recipient has had an opportunity for a hearing on the record before an administrative law judge.

(2) Any other means authorized by law including, but not limited to:

(i) Referral to the Department of Justice for proceeding to enforce any rights of the United States or obligations of the recipients created by the Act or this regulation, or

(3) GSA limits any deferral to the particular recipient and program or activity or part of such program or activity GSA finds in violation of these regulations. GSA does not base any part of a deferral on a finding with respect to any program or activity of the recipient which does not, and would not, receive Federal financial assistance from GSA.

8 101-8.721 Hearings.

(a) Opportunity for hearing. Whenever an opportunity for a hearing is required, reasonable notice shall be given by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, to the affected applicant or recipient. This notice shall advise the applicant or recipient of the action proposed to be taken, the specific provision under which the proposed action against it is to be taken, and the matters of fact or law asserted as the basis for this action; and either fix a date not less than 20 days after the date of such notice within which the applicant or recipient may request of the responsible GSA official that the matter be scheduled for hearing or advise the applicant or recipient that the matter in question has been set down for hearing at a stated place and time. The time and place so fixed shall be reasonable and shall be subject to change for cause. The complainant, if any, shall be advised of the time and place of the hearing. An applicant or recipient may waive a hearing and submit written information and argument for the record. The failure of an applicant or recipient to request a hearing for which a data has been set shall be deemed to be a waiver of the right to a hearing under section 602 of the Act, and consent to the making of a decision on the basis of such information as may be filed as the record.

(b) Time and place of hearing. Hearings shall be held at GSA in Washington, D.C., at a time fixed by the Director, Office of Civil Rights (OCR), unless he or she determines that the convenience of the applicant or recipient or of GSA requires that another place be selected. Healings shall be held before a hearing examiner designated in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 3105 and 3344 (section 11 of the Administrative Procedure Act).

(c) Right to counsel. In all proceedings under this section, the applicant or recipient and GSA shall have the right to be represented by counsel.

(d) Procedures, evidence, and record. (1) The hearing, decision, and any administrative review thereof shall be conducted in conformity with sections 58 of the Administrative Procedure Act, and in accordance with such rules of procedure as are proper (and not inconsistent with this section) relating to the conduct of the hearing, giving of notices subsequent to those provided for in paragraph (a) of this section, taking of testimony, exhibits, arguments and briefs, requests for findings, and other related matters. Both GSA and the applicant or recipient shall be entitled to introduce all relevent evidence on the issues as stated in the notice for hearing or as determined by the Officer conducting the hearing at the outset of or during the hearings. Any person (other than a Government employee considered to be on official business) who, having been invited or requested to appear and testify as a witness on the Government's behalf, attends at a time and place scheduled for a hearing provided for by this part, may be reimbursed for his travel and actual expenses of attendance in an amount not to exceed the amount payable under the standardized travel regulations to a Government employee traveling on official business.

(2) Technical rules of evidence shall not apply to hearings conducted pursuant to this part, but rules or principles designed to assure production of the most credible evidence available and to subject testimony to test by cross-examination shall be applied where reasonably necessary by the officer conducting the hearing. The hearing officer may exclude irrelevant, immaterial, or unduly repetitious evidence. All documents and other evidence offered or taken for the record shall be open to examination by the parties and opportunity shall be given to refute facts and arguments advances on either side of the issues. A transcript shall be made of the oral evidence except to the extent the substance thereof is stipulated for the record. All decisions shall be based upon the hearing record and written findings shall be made.

(e) Consolidated of Joint Hearings. In cases in which the the same or related facts are asserted to constitute noncompliance with this regulation with respect to two or more programs to which this part applies, or noncompliance with this part, and the regulations of one or more other Federal departments or agencies issued under title VI of the Act, the responsible GSA official may, by agreement with such other departments or agencies where applicable, provide for the conduct of consolidated or joint hearings, and for the application to such hearings of rules of procedures not inconsistent with this part. Final decisions in such cases, insofar as this regulation is concerned, shall be made in accordance with $ 101-8.722.

8 101-8.722 Decisions and notices.

(a) Decisions by hearing examiners. After a hearing is held by a hearing examiner such hearing examiner shall either make an initial decision, if so authorized or certify the entire record including his recommended findings and proposed decision to the Agency designated reviewing authority for final decision. A copy of such initial decision or certification shall be mailed to the applicant or recipient and to the complainant, if any. Where the initial decision referred to in this paragraph or in paragraph (c) of this section is made by the hearing examiner, the applicant or recipient or the counsel for GSA may, within the period provided for in the rules of procedure issued by GSA official, file with the reviewing authority exceptions to the initial decision, with his or her reasons therefore. Upon the filing of such exceptions the reviewing authority shall review the initial decision and issue a decision including the reasons therefor. In the absence of exceptions the initial decision shall constitute the final decision, subject to the provisions of paragraph (e) of this section.

(b) Decisions on record or review by the reviewing authority. Whenever a record is certified to the reviewing authority for decision or it reviews the decision of a hearing examiner pursuant to paragraph (a) or (c) of this section, the applicant or recipient shall be given reasonable opportunity to file with it

briefs or other written statements of its contentions, and a copy of the final decision of the reviewing authority shall be given in writing to the applicant or recipient and to the complainant, if any.

(c) Decisions on record where a hearing is waived. Whenever a hearing is waived pursuant to $101–8.721(a) the reviewing authority shall make its final decision on the record or refer the matter to a hearing examiner for an initial decision to be made on the record. A copy of such decision shall be given in writing to the applicant or recipient, and to the complainant, if any.

(d) Rulings required. Each decision of a hearing examiner or reviewing authority shall set forth a ruling on each findings, conclusion, or exception presented, and shall identify the requirement or requirements imposed by or pursuant to this part with which it is found that the applicant or recipient has failed to comply.

(e) Review in certain cases by the Administrator. If the Administrator has not personally made the final decision referred to in paragraph (a), (b), or (c) of this section, a recipient or applicant or the counsel for GSA may request the Administrator to review a decision of the Reviewing Authority in accordance with rules of procedure issued by the responsible GSA official. Such review is not a matter of right and shall be granted only where the Administrator determines there are special and important reasons therefor. The Administrator may grant or deny such request, in whole or in part. He or she may also review such a decision in accordance with rules of procedure issued by the responsible GSA official. In the absence of a review under this paragraph, a final decision referred to in paragraphs (a), (b), (c) of this section shall become the final decision of GSA when the Administrator transmits it as such to Congressional committees with the report required under section 602 of the Act. Failure of an applicant or recipient to file an exception with the Reviewing Authority or to request review under this paragraph shall not be deemed a failure to exhaust administrative remedies for the purpose of obtaining judicial review.

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