| 510.50 General Information
A. National Appeals Division
The National Appeals Division (NAD) of the USDA is an independent agency that hears appeals for USDA agencies specified in 7 CFR Section 11.1, including NRCS. Appeals to NAD must be made by participants in accordance with NAD regulations at 7 CFR Section 11.1 et seq. Appeals to NAD are subject to strict requirements and timelines. (See NAD Hearing Guide.)
(i) Agency Record
Upon notice of an appeal to NAD, NAD will immediately request that NRCS provide copies of the agency record to the appellant and themselves.
(ii) Prehearing Teleconference (7 CFR Section 11.8(c)(4))
Upon receipt of the agency record, NAD will conduct a prehearing teleconference for all parties involved. The prehearing teleconference will identify all parties, clarify the decision and issues under appeal, and establish the time, date, location, and procedure for the actual formal hearing.
(iii) Formal Hearing (7 CFR Sections 11.8 (c) and (e)).—The formal hearing may be conducted—
· In person at a location selected by the hearing officer and the participant.
· By teleconference.
· By a review of the agency record and any materials submitted by the appellant.
-- The appellant has the burden of proof in demonstrating agency error in making the adverse decision, including whether NRCS followed the applicable regulations when the decision or determination was issued. It is NRCS’s, as well as the representative agency’s, responsibility to ensure the adverse decision is correct and follows all applicable regulations and policy.
(iv) Director Review
Either party to the appeal, NRCS or the appellant, may request a review of the hearing officer’s determination by the NAD director. Director reviews have very strict timelines for submission and response (see 7 CFR Section 11.9)).
(v) NRCS must implement the final NAD determination no later than 30 days after agency receipt of the determination (7 CFR Section 614.15).
Implementing the final NAD determinations will likely result in a withdrawal of the NRCS technical determination or program decision. The agency is required to consider that NAD has no authority to assert the technical determination or program decision. NAD adjudication provides a proving of agency error.
B. Ex Parte Communications
(i) NRCS employees may not communicate in writing or orally at any time between the filing of an appeal and issuance of the final determination with any NAD employee having any interest in an appeal pending before NAD (see 7 CFR Section 11.7).
(ii) This prohibition does not apply to—
· Procedural or administrative matters related to the appeal.
· Discussions between NRCS and the appellant or third parties on merits of the appeal where all parties have been provided notice of opportunity to participate in the discussions. In such case, a memorandum of the discussion will be made part of the hearing record (see 7 CFR Section 11.7(a)(1)(ii)).
(iii) All discussions on the merits of the appeal in the presence of the NAD hearing officer must be made a part of the hearing record.
(2) Communications With NAD
(i) When providing documents to the NAD hearing officer, the NRCS must give the appellant a copy of all written correspondence relating to an appeal, including any attachments.
(ii) The agency representative should be the only employee to contact NAD during an appeal. NRCS must notify the appellant before contacting NAD, unless the two exceptions in section 510.50(B)(1)(ii) above apply. The appellant must be given the opportunity to participate in any dialogue regarding the merits of the appeal.
(3) Documenting Ex Parte Communications
If an employee participating in an appeal believes there has been an ex parte communication that is not documented in the hearing record by the NAD hearing officer, he or she must—
(i) Provide a copy of all written communications believed to be ex parte communications to the NAD hearing officer and make the communication a part of the agency administrative record (see 7 CFR Section 11.7(c)).
(ii) Document all oral communications in a memorandum, providing a copy of the documentation to the NAD hearing officer and making the documentation a part of the agency administrative record (see 7 CFR Section 11.7(a)(2)).
(4) Ex Parte Consequences
Any party to the appeal making an ex parte communication may be required to prove why that party's claim or interest in the appeal should not be dismissed, denied, disregarded, or otherwise have an adverse affect on the outcome of the appeal (see 7 CFR Section 11.7(d)).
510.51 Appeal Rights Under NAD
A. Participant's Rights
Participants have the right to—
(i) File an appeal with NAD of any NRCS title XII final technical determination.
(ii) File an appeal with NAD of any NRCS program decision for title XII and non-title-XII programs. File a request with the NAD director to determine the appealability of an NRCS technical determination or program decision (see 7 CFR Section 11.6). Receive notification of the appeal hearing at least 14 calendar days before the scheduled hearing (see 7 CFR Section 11.8(c) (3)). Request an inperson hearing in the participant's State of residence or a location convenient to the appellant, NRCS, and NAD (see 7 CFR Section 11.8(c)(3)).
(iii) Participate in a prehearing conference with the NAD hearing officer and NRCS prior to the hearing (see 7 CFR Section 11.8(c)(4)).
(iv) Have an individual represent them in the NAD appeal process (see 7 CFR Section 11.6(c)).
(v) A hearing within 45 calendar days of the appeal request (see 7 CFR Section 11.8(c)(1)).
(vi) Request a NAD director review of a hearing officer's appeal determination (see 7 CFR Section 11.9(a)(1)).
(vii) Request a reconsideration of the NAD director review determination (see 7 CFR Section 11.11(a)).
B. Agency Rights
NRCS has the right to—
(i) Select an agency representative who will represent the agency at the appeal hearing.
(ii) Participate in a prehearing conference with the NAD hearing officer and appellant prior to the hearing (see 7 CFR Section 11.8(c)(4)).
(iii) Receive notification of the appeal hearing at least 14 calendar days before the scheduled hearing (see 7 CFR Section 11.8(c)(3)).
(iv) Participate in the NAD hearing and present the agency's case to support the final technical determination or program decision (see 7 CFR Section 11.8(c)(5)(ii)).
(v) Request a director review of an NAD hearing officer's appeal determination (see 7 CFR Section 11.9(a)(2)).
(vi) Request a reconsideration of the NAD director review determination (see 7 CFR Section 11.11(a)).
(vii) Rescind the agency's adverse technical determination or program decision at any time prior to NAD rendering a determination that adjudicates the issues on appeal.
C. Burden of Proof (7 CFR Section 11.8(e))
The appellant has the burden of proving that the NRCS adverse decision was erroneous by a preponderance of the evidence. This means that the appellant must demonstrate it is more likely than not that the agency's adverse decision is in error.
510.52 NAD Appeal Process
A. Agency Record (7 CFR Section 11.1)
The agency record, with respect to a NAD appeal, consists of documents contained in the administrative record relevant to the adverse decision on appeal and are not otherwise protected by other laws, including the Privacy Act. In all cases, NRCS must include a copy of the adverse decision, all correspondence, legal documents, relevant regulations, statutes, and agency operating procedures relied upon by the agency in reaching the adverse decision. Additional information regarding the agency record can be found in section 510.50(A)(ii).
B. Access to Records (7 CFR Section 11.8(a)(1))
The NAD director, hearing officers, the appellant, third parties, and any authorized representatives, such as legal counsel of record, will have access to the agency record for any adverse decision appealed to NAD.
C. Submitting the Record (7 CFR Section 11.8(b)(1))
The NAD regional office will notify the agency to submit a copy of the agency administrative record. The agency must promptly submit the record within 10 calendar days of receipt of the request to all parties to the appeal.
D. Labeling Requirements (NAD Hearing Officer Guide VI(c)(5))
The documentary evidence presented at the hearing must be kept organized and as easy as possible to find, follow, and use, throughout the appeal process. All documents submitted as evidence prior to the prehearing must be labeled numerically in the lower right corner of the page (see NAD Hearing Officer Guide V(c)(5)).
Example: "Agency Record, page 1”
E. Hearing Record (7 CFR Section 11.1)
(1) The hearing record consists of all documents, evidence, and other materials generated in a NAD hearing.
(2) All documents that are part of the agency record will be entered into the hearing record.
(1) The agency may request a verbatim transcript if the State Conservationist determines that a verbatim transcript is necessary to protect the agency's interests. The agency should only request a verbatim transcript in cases involving the following:
(i) Extremely sensitive issues
(ii) High-profile cases
(iii) Complex cases involving multiple appellants or witnesses
(2) Either party may request a verbatim transcript be made a part of the official hearing record. The party requesting the transcript must—
(i) Pay for the transcription service.
(ii) Provide a certified copy to the hearing officer free of charge.
(iii) Allow any other party desiring to purchase a copy of the transcript to order it from the transcription service.
G. Official Recordings (7 CFR Section 11.8(c)(5)(iii))
An official audio recording will be made of the proceedings of every NAD prehearing and hearing. This record will be made by an official digital recording by NAD.
H. Written Statements
Parties may introduce relevant written statements made by others while the appeal record is open. If the witness who made the statement is not available for questioning, the agency representative should ask sufficient questions to determine the identity and credibility of the witness and the basis for the witness's knowledge.
510.53 NAD Hearings
A. Prehearing Teleconferences (7 CFR Section 11.8(c)(4))
(1) Though not required by their Federal regulations at 7 CFR Part 11, NAD will generally hold prehearing teleconferences for every appeal to narrow the issues and disputes and prepare all parties for the appeals process. A prehearing teleconference will be conducted by telephone with all parties and the hearing officer. They must be held at least 14 calendar days prior to the NAD appeal hearing. These teleconferences serve as a tool to ensure the agency's adverse decision and position is clearly understood by the hearing officer and the appellant.
(2) Prehearing teleconferences allow the parties to—
(i) Resolve disputes.
(ii) Clearly define the issues under appeal.
(iii) Narrow the issues under appeal.
(iv) Clarify procedure to be followed during the NAD appeal process.
(v) Stipulate (or agree to) to certain facts that are not in dispute.
Note: Any and all agency objections regarding NAD's jurisdiction to hear an appeal should be raised and made part of the prehearing record.
B. Components of the Prehearing Teleconference
(1) The prehearing teleconference is not intended as an opportunity for the parties to present evidence. The NRCS representative will be requested to reference the regulatory citations and the applicable agency operating procedures relied upon to issue the adverse decision.
(2) Prehearing teleconferences may also be used to discuss possible witnesses or exhibits and what evidence must be presented. The hearing officer will also discuss options available to the appellant.
C. Features of NAD Hearings
(1) Under NAD rules of procedure, the agency’s adverse decision under appeal is presumed to be correct. Therefore, while the hearing officers exercise control over the conduct of hearings, normally after both parties have made opening statements, the appellant will be required to submit evidence or make arguments to demonstrate that the appealed adverse decision is erroneous.
(2) The record of a NAD hearing should exclude irrelevant, immaterial, and unduly repetitive evidence. The record should only include relevant and credible evidence.
D. Appellant Options From NAD for Resolving Issues
Appellants have the right to one of the following:
(i) An Inperson Hearing.—An inperson hearing is the preferred appeal forum for NAD under their “Face-to-Face Fairness” mission statement to adjudicate the issues on appeal (see 7 CFR Section 11.8(c)(5)(i)).
(ii) A Telephone Hearing.—In this type of hearing, the process is essentially the same as if it were in person. For the hearing record, parties should identify all individuals present (see 7 CFR Section 11.8(c)(5)(i)).
(iii) A Record Review.—A record review is an appeal request in which the hearing officer’s appeal determination is based on the agency record and other information submitted by the appellant and the agency, including information submitted by affidavit or declaration (see 7 CFR Section 11.1). If the appellant requests a record review—
· The appellant waives the right to an inperson or telephone hearing.
· Both parties have the option to submit information in documentary form to the hearing officer.
· The hearing officer will notify the agency and the appellant of the right to submit additional evidence, the established deadlines, and other requirements as applicable.
E. Hearing Officer Actions (7 CFR Section 11.8(c)(2))
In preparation for the hearing, the hearing officer will set a reasonable deadline for submission of the following documents by the—
· A short statement of why the adverse decision is wrong
· A copy of any document not in the agency record that the appellant anticipates introducing at the hearing
· A list of anticipated witnesses
· A brief description of the evidence each witness will offer
· A copy of the adverse decision the appellant is challenging
· A written explanation of the agency's position, including the regulatory or statutory basis, detailing the agency record documents previously submitted to the hearing officer and their significance in support of the adverse decision under review
· A copy of any document not in the agency record that the agency plans to introduce at the hearing
· A list of anticipated witnesses
· A brief description of the evidence each witness will offer
F. Opportunities at Hearings (7 CFR Section 11.8(c)(5)(ii))
Parties to the appeal shall have the opportunity to—
(i) Present oral and documentary evidence.
(ii) Present oral testimony of witnesses.
(iii) Present arguments in support of the party's positions.
(iv) Dispute evidence relied on by any other party.
(v) Question all witnesses.
G. Normal Order of the Hearing
The hearing will be conducted in a manner most likely to obtain the facts relevant to the matters at issue. Therefore, procedures should conform to the hearing format (see NAD Hearing Officer Guide VI(B)(7)). The general order of a NAD hearing will be as detailed in figure 510-F1.
Hearing officer's opening statement.
Appellant's opening statement.
Agency's opening statement.
Appellant main presentation including—
· Evidence presentation.
· Witness testimony.
The agency may cross-examine witnesses. Objections may be noted and ruled on by the hearing officer.
Agency main presentation including—
· Evidence presentation (see subpart G, exhibit 6)
· Witness testimony.
The appellant may cross-examine witnesses. Objections may be noted and ruled on by the hearing officer.
Appellant's rebuttal period.
Agency's rebuttal period.
Appellant's closing argument
Agency's closing argument.
Hearing officer's instructions regarding posthearing proceedings, including the NAD director review process, submission of documents, deadline for closing the hearing record, etc.
Note: This order may be modified by the hearing officer.
510.54 Specific NAD Hearing Procedures
A. Opening Statement (NAD Hearing Officer Guide VI(B)(9))
The NRCS representative should use the opening statement to summarize the evidence in the agency record that supports the agency's adverse decision. (See subpart G, exhibit 7)
Note: If the agency believes that NAD is hearing a nonappealable issue, an objection to the jurisdictional issues should be made at the prehearing and noted again at the appeal hearing.
B. Relevant Evidence (7 CFR Section 11.8(c)(5)(ii))
(1) Only evidence that is relevant to the underlying issues should be submitted to the hearing officer. Relevant evidence is generally defined as evidence that has any tendency to make the existence of any fact more probable or less probable than it would have been without the evidence. Hearing officers have the authority to exclude evidence if it is irrelevant or repetitive, though either party may object for the record to any such exclusions. The NAD regulation (7 CFR Section 11.1, “Definitions”) requires that "All materials contained in the agency record submitted to the Division shall be deemed admitted as evidence for purposes of a hearing or a record review under Section11.8."
(2) Evidence may be presented in three forms:
(i) Testimony by the parties
(ii) Testimony by other witnesses
(iii) Through documents
(3) NAD hearing officers may allow presentation of evidence at the hearing by any party without regard to whether the evidence was known to the agency at the time the adverse decision was made. The formal rules of evidence used in judicial proceedings do not apply to NAD appeal proceedings.
C. Rebuttal (NAD Hearing Officer Guide VI(B)(11)(g))
Each party is afforded the opportunity to present evidence. This includes an adequate opportunity to rebut the other side's presentation. It is the hearing officer's responsibility to ensure that each party has sufficient opportunity for rebuttal.
D. Exhibits and Documentary Evidence (NAD Hearing Officer Guide VI(B)(11)(c))
(1) There may be instances in which documentary evidence presented at a hearing has not been exchanged prior to the hearing. In such instances, the party seeing information for the first time may ask for time to review the new evidence. If this happens, the hearing officer may provide time for review by taking a short recess or, in unusual cases, may continue the hearing until a later date.
(2) Each party has the right to object to evidence before it is accepted into the record. A party may argue that the evidence is irrelevant, cumulative, or unnecessarily prejudicial. If a hearing officer accepts evidence into the record in the face of an objection, the hearing officer will usually state for the record why the evidence was accepted. Likewise, if evidence is rejected, the hearing officer will usually make a similar statement for the record. The mere acceptance of evidence into the record is not indicative that the hearing officer accepts what the evidence purportedly represents. The hearing officer has the authority to determine the appropriate weight accorded to each piece of evidence in the record.
Note: All materials maintained by the agency related to the adverse decision under consideration that have been submitted as the agency record to NAD will be deemed admitted as evidence (7 CFR Section 11.1).
(3) The hearing officer also has the right to introduce documents into the record. If the hearing officer decides to take such action, each party to the hearing will have the opportunity to review evidence and respond accordingly.
(4) If, for some reason, evidence was not available for the hearing that a party or the hearing officer believes relevant to decide the case, NAD rules allow for the record to remain open for 10 workdays after the hearing, or for whatever time period that the hearing officer establishes for the submission of additional evidence. The hearing officer has the authority to either adjourn the hearing or to continue the hearing in lieu of the new evidence submission. (See 7 CFR Section 11.8(c) (7).)
E. Witness Testimony (NAD Hearing Officer Guide VI(B)(11)(d))
(1) Testimony is evidence given verbally under oath by the parties or by witnesses. Witnesses should limit testimony to factual information within the scope of their experience and should focus on the factual evidence. Testimony should not include arguments.
(2) All witnesses, including the parties involved in the hearing, are required to be sworn in prior to providing testimony.
(3) When appropriate, agency witnesses requested by the appellant will be made available at the hearing. An employee who receives a request to testify at an NAD hearing must immediately notify his or her supervisor and the State Conservationist or designee. The employee may not provide any statements to the hearing officer or the appellant without the prior knowledge and consent of the State Conservationist.
(4) Both parties may cross-examine all witness. If the appellant or the appellant's representative asks improper questions, the NRCS representative may object to this practice or may point out to the hearing officer that the representative is asking improper questions.
F. Closing Statement (NAD Hearing Officer Guide VI (B)(12)).—The NRCS representative should ensure that the agency's closing statement sufficiently summarizes the evidence in the hearing record. The closing statement should support the agency's adverse decision and refute the appellant's position.
(1) Example: "The hearing officer should find the agency’s adverse decision is correct because [state the reasons], [and/or] the appellant failed to meet [his/her] burden of proof because [state the reasons]."
(2) Written closing statements are generally not necessary or required by NAD. A written statement should be submitted to ensure program integrity in complex cases, cases that need additional clarification, or other similar cases including record review cases.
(3) If additional information will be submitted by either party, the NRCS representative should ensure that the hearing officer establish deadlines for the submission of such evidence before the hearing concludes.
G. Posthearing Procedure (7 CFR Section 11.8(c)(7))
(1) The hearing officer may leave the hearing record open after the hearing for 10 workdays, or for whatever time period the hearing officer establishes, to allow submission of information by the appellant or the agency, to the extent necessary to respond to new facts, information, arguments, or evidence presented or discussed at the hearing.
(2) The hearing officer will include any new information submitted in the hearing record. The party submitting the additional information must provide copies to all parties.
(3) The hearing officer may, at his or her discretion, allow the parties to the appeal to make a response to the newly submitted information.
H. Hearing Officer Authority (7 CFR Section 11.10 (a) and (b); NAD Hearing Officer Guide VII(D))
(1) In making a determination on the issue under review, the hearing officer is not bound by previous findings of fact on which the agency based its adverse decision. Therefore, the hearing officer has the authority to make findings of fact. The hearing officer applies the statutes and regulations governing the program to the findings of fact.
Note: NAD has determined that agency policy and procedure interprets statutes and regulations. Statutes within the U.S. Code and Federal regulations take precedence over agency policy and procedure.
(2) Reopening Hearings (NAD Hearing Officer Guide VI(I)).—Circumstances may require the hearing officer to reopen the hearing or the hearing record. Such situations include the following:
(i) The hearing officer receives unsolicited and relevant evidence from either party after the hearing record is closed.
(ii) NAD director remands the case to the hearing officer for additional evidence.
510.55 NAD Hearing Officer Determination
A. Timeframes (7 CFR Section 11.8(f))
(1) NAD hearing officers issue appeal determinations to appellants, their representatives, and the FSA or NRCS (depending on jurisdiction of the case) no later than 30 calendar days after the date of the hearing or 30 calendar days after the hearing record is closed.
(2) In the case of a record review, the hearing officer will issue a notice of determination within 45 days of receipt of the appellant’s request for a record review (see 7 CFR Section 11.8(f)).
B. Distribution of the Decision
(1) The hearing officer appeal determination will be forwarded to the NRCS program appeals electronic mailbox (via FSA, if title XII) for action, if any is required on the part of NRCS. The mailbox is maintained and reviewed by the national appeals and equitable relief specialist.
(2) The NRCS Chief or a designee, such as the State Conservationist, will ensure that the NAD final determination is fully implemented not later than 30 days after the effective date of the notice of final determination, unless a NAD director review is to be requested (see 7 CFR Section 11.12).
C. Effect of NAD Decision on Highly Erodible Land Conservation or Wetland Conservation Compliance (HELC/WC) Determinations
If a NAD decision reverses an agency technical determination for HELC/WC and all requests for review or reconsideration fail or the agency does not request a review, NRCS must issue a revised NRCS-CPA-026-E, changing the HEL or WC determination to designations such as “NHEL/NAD” or “NW/NAD.” Also note that the NAD decision is only applicable to NRCS programs (the Food Security Act of 1985, as amended). Other local, State, or Federal laws, regulations, and permits may still apply.
510.56 NAD Director Reviews
A. Requesting a NAD Director Review (7 CFR Section 11.9)
(1) Either party to the appeal may request a NAD director review of a hearing officer appeal determination. The timeframes are as follows:
(i) NRCS Chief.—Not later than 15 business days after the date on which the agency receives the NAD hearing officer's decision.
(ii) Appellant.—Not later than 30 calendar days after the date the appellant receives the hearing officer's decision.
(2) When requesting a NAD director review, the party filing the request must provide the other party with a copy of the request (7 CFR Section 11.9(a)(3)). Failure to do so may result in denial of the request.
(3) The NAD director will promptly notify the agency decision maker of an appellant's request for review (7 CFR Section 11.9(b)). If the original appeal was filed with FSA, then FSA will be the agency representative before NAD on behalf of NRCS.
B. Responding to Appellant's Request for Director Review
(1) NRCS has 5 business days upon receipt of the notification from NAD to respond to the appellant's request for a NAD director review (7 CFR Section 11.9(c)). If a response is warranted, State Conservationist must—
(i) Prepare replies to an appellant's request (in coordination with the NRCS national appeals and equitable relief specialist).
(ii) Fax the response to the NAD director.
(2) A complete copy of the agency response must be provided to the appellant or to the appellant's designated representative. Failure to do so may result in NAD disregarding the agency response.
C. Guidelines for NRCS Director Review Request
Within 5 working days of receipt of a hearing officer's appeal determination that determined agency error, the State Conservationist must provide a recommendation to the NRCS national appeals and equitable relief specialist if a NAD director review will be pursued. An analysis explaining the recommendation should be included with the following information:
(i) The case background, including the important and relevant facts of the case
(ii) An actual or approximate value of program benefits at issue
(iii) An assessment of the significance of the decision to implementation of agency programs
(iv) A summary of the relevant issues, including the reasons why the hearing officer's appeal determination should be challenged or why the determination should not be challenged, such as specific errors of fact or erroneous application of regulations or agency procedures
(v) Specific recommendations regarding whether a request should be submitted to the NAD director seeking a review of the hearing officer's appeal determination.
(vi) Reference key documents, if known, which provided a significant basis for the hearing officer’s appeal determination
Note: Do not submit the complete agency record unless specifically requested by National Headquarters. Do not submit original documents.
D. Chief's Responsibilities (7 CFR Section 11.9(a)(2))
(1) The Chief must submit a written request to the NAD director within 15 business days from the date the agency receives a hearing officer's appeal determination that reverses or modifies an agency technical determination or decision.
(2) All agency requests for a NAD director review must be—
(i) Signed by the Chief (FSA Administrator for title XII conservation program appeals).
(ii) Coordinated through the NRCS appeals and equitable relief specialist.
E. National Appeals and Equitable Relief Specialist’s Responsibilities
(1) The national appeals and equitable relief specialist will review the request and make recommendations to the Chief.
(2) If it is determined that a NAD director review is not warranted, the State Conservationist will be notified within 10 days of the decision, including an explanation of why the request was denied.
(3) If the request for the NAD director review is approved, the State Conservationist will be notified and furnished a copy of the request within 15 days.
(4) All correspondence and information regarding agency requests for a NAD director review, and all other correspondence and information provided to the NAD director, will be coordinated through the national appeals and equitable relief specialist.
510.57 Requests for Reconsideration of a NAD Director Review Determination (7 CFR Section 11.11)
The Chief must submit requests for reconsideration of a NAD director's determination within 10 calendar days of receipt of the decision.
A request for review of a NAD director's determination must show one or both of the following:
(i) A material error of fact in the NAD director’s determination
(ii) The NAD director's determination is contrary to statute or regulations
C. State Office Review
If, upon review, the State Conservationist believes that the NAD director's determination contains a material error of fact or is contrary to statute, regulation, or agency policy, the State Conservationist should contact the national appeals and equitable relief specialist immediately.
510.58 Implementing NAD Determinations (7 CFR Section 11.12)
A. Final Determinations
Final determinations include—
(i) Determinations issued by a NAD hearing officer that became final as a result of no request for review by the NAD director.
(ii) Determinations that became final after review or reconsideration by the NAD director.
B. Proper and Prompt Action
NRCS personnel must take appropriate actions in the case of all appeal actions to ensure that all final technical determinations or program decisions are properly and promptly implemented. The agency is required to implement all final NAD determinations not later than 30 calendar days after the notice of the final determination. Timely implementation occurs when the first of the steps required to implement a final decision is initiated.