Other Fields
Agency Scheme: 
Hearing Level: Basic Structure
Name of Hearing Office (local name): 
Office of the Secretary
Name of Hearing Office (global name): 
Nuclear Regulatory Commission: Office of the Secretary
Office of Deputy Exec. Director for Corporate Management
Hearing Officer #1 (Title): 
Hearing Officer #2 (Title): 
Designated Presiding Officer
Are administrative appeals permitted from final decisions at the hearing-level stage?: 
Comments/Notes on Adjudication Structure: 

This adjudication scheme covers "legislative hearings" in which the Commission (or a designated presiding officer), at its discretion, conducts oral hearings on two specified types of matters: (1) fact-finding related to issuance of rules for standard design certifications for nuclear power plants; and (2) certification by an Atomic Safety Licensing Board panel that a party to a proceeding has made a prima facie case that exemption from, or exception to, an NRC rule or regulation in that proceedings is warranted on the ground that special circumstances make application of such rule/regulation would not serve its underlying purpose. Legislative hearings are not required to be conducted on these matters; the Commission conducts such hearings at its discretion. (See 10 CFR Part 2, Subpart O).

When legislative hearings are conducted, the Commission may preside over the hearing or elect to designate a presiding officer.

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): 
10 CFR pt. 2, subpt. O (10 CFR 2.1500 - 2.1509)
Other published guidance for hearings (if any): 
"10 CFR Pt. 2: Rules of Practice for Domestic Licensing Proceedings and Issuance of Orders" (on NRC website)
PROCESS & PROCEDURE - Pre-Hearing Procedure
Is discovery permitted by either party at the hearing-level stage?: 
Briefly describe the scope and type(s) of discovery available (e.g., depositions, interrogatories, etc.): 
In all Subpart M proceedings, NRC is required to post on the agency's web site specified documents relating to the transfer application, including: the application and related requests, NRC correspondence with the applicant/licensee related to the application, NRC Staff Evaluation Reports (SER), and any NRC staff orders acting on the application (i.e., granting or denying the license transfer application). No other discovery -- including party-conducted discovery -- is otherwise permitted.
Does the hearing officer have subpoena authority?: 
Are ex parte contacts prohibited?: 
Yes (All Types of Cases)
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
Please provide the approximate percentage of each type of hearing relative to the total number of hearings (FY2013)
How is the type of hearing selected: 
Required by Rule
Please describe: 
By default, hearings under Subpart M are oral hearings. However, the parties may jointly move for a written (document-only) hearing.
How many hearing officers preside at each hearing?: 
Varies by Case
If "Varies by Case," please describe: 
If the Commission presides over the legislative hearing, they sit as a 5-member body. If the Commission elects to refer the hearing to a presiding officer, there is only one hearing officer.
Is witness testimony permitted at hearings?: 
Varies by Case
If "Varies by Case," please describe: 
While witness testimony is permitted, only the Commission or presiding officer may ask questions. Generally, neither parties nor participants are permitted to submit recommended questions. However, the Commission or presiding officer may, as a matter of discretion, permit submission of recommended questions if it/he/she believes that the oral hearing will be more efficient or develop a more focused hearing record through such proposals. (10 CFR 2.1507(b)) This question is not applicable to document-only hearings.
Can parties cross-examine witnesses?: 
If "Varies by Case," please describe: 
By regulation, only the Commission or other presiding officer may question witnesses (orally or in writing). (10 CFR 2.1323(e)).
Can third-parties submit amicus briefs and/or evidence?: 
Are hearings recorded and/or transcribed?: 
PROCESS & PROCEDURE - Post-Hearing Procedure
Who typically drafts the decision at the hearing-level stage?: 
If "Other," please specify (drafts): 
Because these are legislative hearings, they do not result per se in written decisions. If the Commission refers the hearing to a designated presiding officer, this officer, within 30 days of the close of the hearing, certifies the record to the Commission on each Commission-identified issue. The certification contains, among other things: the hearing transcript; list of participants and witnesses (with affiliations); list of documentary information or demonstrative information submitted; and, written answers by NRC staff to questions posed by presiding officer. The presiding officer may also, at his/her discretion, summarize the record and propose the resolution of the Commission-identified issues along with supporting bases.
Who has authority to issue final decisions?: 
If "Other," please specify: 
Because these are legislative hearings, they do not necessarily result per se in final written decisions. However, it is the Commission which has authority to determine the issues covered in legislative hearings. Such determinations may be reflected in a written decision, or may be reflected in a subsequently issued rule-making document (such as when matters related to rules for standard design certifications for nuclear power plants are at issue).
Do agency regulations or guidance provide time limits for issuance of final decisions?: 
If "Yes," please specify these time limit(s): 
NRC model milestones suggest that, if hearings in Subpart M proceedings are referred to non-Commission member presiding officers, that such presiding officer certify the hearing record to the Commission within 25 days of end of the end of the evidentiary hearing and closing of the record, with scheduling adjustments as needed depending on the type and complexity of the case. (See 10 CFR Part 2, Appendix A.III)
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?: 
If "Yes (Some Decisions)," how does the agency determine which final decisions to publish/post? Please briefly describe: 
Do agency regulations/rules of practice specify the contents of the administrative record at the hearing-level stage?: 
Yes (Some Types of Cases)
If "Yes," please provide citation(s): 
10 CFR 2.1508 (cases heard by presiding officer)
Do agency regulations/rules of practice provide for closure of the record at the hearing-level stage (subject to applicable exce: 
Yes (All Types of Cases)
If "Yes," please provide citation(s): 
10 CFR 2.1507(c)
Comments/Notes on Hearing-Level Process & Procedures (Optional): 
NRC staff are required to be parties in Subpart L proceedings when action involves an application/license denial, proposed enforcement action, or presiding officer issuance of an order stating that staff participation would materially aid resolution of identified issues. NRC staff may also elect to participate as a party in contested licensing or other matters at its discretion.
Total # of Hearing Officers: 
Comments/Notes on Hearing-Level Adjudicators (Optional): 
Hearings may be conducted by members of the Commission, an Atomic Safety Licensing Board (ASLB) panel, or a designated NRC presiding officer to whom final authority has been delegated. Additionally, pre-license application presiding officers may be designated by the presiding body/presiding officer to rule on disputes over electronic availability of documents (akin to a federal magistrate-judge).
ADR: General Information
Is ADR available at one or more points during the hearing process?: 
Is ADR a mandatory or voluntary process?: 
Varies by Case
If "Varies by Case," please describe:: 
Only Age Discrimination Act cases provide for mediation. Applicable regulations provide that NRC "will refer" complaints to a mediation agency designated by HHS, and that both the complainant and the recipient "shall participate." (10 CFR 4.333(a)-(b))
What type(s) of ADR are available?: 
Settlement Conference
If "Other," please specify:: 
NRC regulations do not specify additional types of ADR beyond settlement negotiations overseen by an NRC Settlement Judge. However, applicable regulations do note that the Chief AJ may "remit the proceeding to [other ADR] as the Commission may provide or to which the parties may agree." (10 CFR 2.338(b))
Regulations/rules of practice governing ADR process (please include CFR citations): 
10 CFR 2.338
Other published guidance on ADR process (if any):: 
NRC "Policy Statement on Alternative Means of Dispute Resolution" (posted on NRC web site)
Verified by Agency: 
Not verified