Other Fields
Agency Scheme: 
Hearing Level: Basic Structure
Name of Hearing Office (local name): 
Foreign Service Grievance Board
Name of Hearing Office (global name): 
Department of State: Foreign Service Grievance Board
Hearing Officer #1 (Title): 
FSGB Member(s)
Hearing Officer #2 (Title): 
Agency Head
Are administrative appeals permitted from final decisions at the hearing-level stage?: 
Comments/Notes on Adjudication Structure: 

Informal proceedings that provide foreign service officers and employees a forum for consideration and resolution of covered employment-related grievances against a foreign affairs agency. The Board is statutory authorized as the sole, independent grievance appeals forum of the foreign service.(See 22 CFR pt. 16; 3 Foreign Affairs Manual 4400). Covered foreign affairs agencies are: Departments of State, Commerce, and Agriculture; U.S. Information Agency (USIA); and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Grievants must exhaust administrative remedies within their respective foreign service agency before filing a grievance with the Board.

[*Note: The Board has final authority for certain matters/remedial relief (e.g., correction of personnel records, reinstatement with back pay, attorney's fees), while, for other specified matters (e.g., promotion, assignment, discipline), the head of the agency employing the grievant has final authority. In the latter scenario, the Board issues a recommendation to the agency head. Accordingly, "FSGB Member(s)" are listed above as "Hearing Officer #1," and "Agency Head" is listed as "Hearing Officer #2"

PROCESS & PROCEDURE - General Information
Are private parties permitted to have representation at hearings?: 
Yes (All Types of Cases)
Who may serve as a private party representative?: 
Is the agency permitted to have representation at hearings?: 
Yes (All Types of Cases)
Who may serve as an agency representative?: 
Regulations/rules of practice for hearings (please include CFR citations): 
22 CFR pt. 16
Other published guidance for hearings (if any): 
3 Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM) 4400
PROCESS & PROCEDURE - Pre-Hearing Procedure
Is discovery permitted by either party at the hearing-level stage?: 
Yes (All Types of Cases)
Briefly describe the scope and type(s) of discovery available (e.g., depositions, interrogatories, etc.): 
While traditional court-type discovery is unavailable, and grievant may request copies of agency documents or records related to the grievance, subject to privilege or national security considerations. The documents normally shall be provided within 15 days of a request. (22 CFR 16.3(b)(2); 3 FAM 4426.1)
Does the hearing officer have subpoena authority?: 
Are ex parte contacts prohibited?: 
Are parties provided notice of hearing?: 
Yes (All Types of Cases)
PROCESS & PROCEDURE - Hearing Procedure
What types of hearings are permitted at the hearing-level stage?: 
Written (Document-Only) Hearing
How is the type of hearing selected: 
By Agency
Required by Rule
Please describe: 
The FSGB must conduct hearings, upon request of the grievant, in cases involving disciplinary action or retirement from the foreign service under sections 633 or 634 of the Foreign Service Act. The FSGB may also conduct hearings or entertain oral argument in cases in which, in the Board's judgement, can be best resolved by an evidentiary hearing or presentation of oral argument. (22 CFR 16.11(d))
How many hearing officers preside at each hearing?: 
Varies by Case
If "Varies by Case," please describe: 
The FSGB is currently composed of 20 members. The Board may act through individual members or panels, except that hearings within the continental United States must be held before panels of at least 3 members. (22 CFR 16.10). Historically, the Board most often has uses 3-member panels. (FSGB 2013 Annual Report, p. 2)
Is witness testimony permitted at hearings?: 
Varies by Case
If "Varies by Case," please describe: 
When the Board holds evidentiary hearings, witness testimony is permitted. (22 CFR 16.12(a)(2))
Can parties cross-examine witnesses?: 
Varies by Case
If "Varies by Case," please describe: 
When the Board holds evidentiary hearings, cross-examination of witnesses is permitted. (22 CFR 16.12(a)(2))
Can third-parties submit amicus briefs and/or evidence?: 
Are hearings recorded and/or transcribed?: 
Are hearings open to the public?: 
Varies by Case
If "Varies by Case," please describe: 
Pursuant to FSGB regulations, the Board may decide that a hearing should be "open to others" after consulting with the parties. (22 CFR 16.2(a))
PROCESS & PROCEDURE - Post-Hearing Procedure
Who typically drafts the decision at the hearing-level stage?: 
Adjudication Officer
Who has authority to issue final decisions?: 
Adjudication Officer
If "Other," please specify: 
The Board has final authority to order various types of relief/matters, including: correction of personnel records, reversal of decision by agency denying compensation, reinstatement with back pay, and payment of attorney's fees. However, certain other matters are reserved by regulation for agency heads: promotion, tenure, assignments, and discipline. Consequently, if the Board finds that the case warrants any of these latter actions, it makes a recommendation to the head of the appropriate foreign affairs agency that employs the grievant. (See 22 CFR 16.13(d); 2 FAM 4455)
Do agency regulations or guidance provide time limits for issuance of final decisions?: 
Yes (Some Types of Cases)
If "Yes," please specify these time limit(s): 
For matters referred to agency heads, he/she has 30 days to issue a written decision. (22 CFR 16.13(d)). There is no regulatory time linefor issuance of decision by the Board.
About how long does it take on average—as of FY2013—to adjudicate claims/cases at the hearinglevel stage (i.e., from case filing: 
301 Days
Is judicial review available after issuance of a final decision?: 
Yes (All Types of Cases)
PROCESS & PROCEDURE - Case Management
Does the agency permit web-based electronic filing of hearing-related briefs or other documents?: 
Are final decisions published and/or posted on the agency website?: 
Yes (All Decisions)
Do agency regulations/rules of practice specify the contents of the administrative record at the hearing-level stage?: 
Do agency regulations/rules of practice provide for closure of the record at the hearing-level stage (subject to applicable exce: 
Comments/Notes on Hearing-Level Process & Procedures (Optional): 
Although grievances come to the Board as appeals exhaustion of the agency's administrative process, the Board considers the evidence de novo and bases its decisions on the Record of Proceedings (ROP). (See FSGB 2013 Annual Report, p. 2) If the Board finds that a grievance to be meritorious, it only has authority to issue final decision relating to certain enumerated remedies: correction of personnel records; reversal of an agency decision denying compensation; retaining in the foreign service an individual whose separation would be in consequence of the aggrieved action; reinstatement (with back pay, if applicable); attorney's fees; or other corrective action authorized by law. For other matters (i.e., promotion, tenure, or assignment of the grievant), the Board issues a recommended to the agency head. (See 22 CFR 16.13; 3 FAM 4455). The agency head has 30 days to issue a written decision. The agency head may only reject the Board's recommendation unless he/she finds that doing so would be contrary to law, adversely affect the foreign policy of security of the United States, or substantially impair the efficiency of the foreign service. If the agency head rejects the Board's recommendation in whole or in part, the decision must state the bases for such action.
Total # of Hearing Officers: 
Comments/Notes on Hearing-Level Adjudicators (Optional): 
FSGB members are appointed by the Secretary of State, following nomination by the Board, and serve 2 year terms. (22 CFR 16.10(d)-(e)). According to the Board's 2013 Annual Report: "Historically, the Board has utilized three-member panels for deciding grievance appeals, including grievances involving hearings that are statutorily mandated to include three members. The panels are typically comprised of a presiding member selected from the labor law professionals and two members from the Foreign Service." (FSGB 2013 Annual Report, p. 3)
ADR: General Information
Is ADR available at one or more points during the hearing process?: 
If "Yes," when is ADR available?: 
Is ADR a mandatory or voluntary process?: 
What type(s) of ADR are available?: 
Comments/Notes on ADR Process (Optional): 
Neither applicable regulations nor the Foreign Affairs Manual expressly provide for alternative dispute resolution of matters before the FSGB. However, the FSGB 2013 Annual Report references mediation, while also noting that none was conducted in 2013.
CASELOAD STATISTICS - Summary Statistics
Total # Cases Filed/Opened (FY2013): 
Total # Cases Decided/Closed (FY2013): 
Total # Cases Pending (End of FY2013): 
CASELOAD STATISTICS - Supplementary Statistics
Does your agency maintain annual caseload statistics for this hearing office by case type (e.g., discrimination complaint, licen: 
If "Yes," please indicate preferred format below.: 
By providing case type statistics on this form
Verified by Agency: 
Not verified