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(a) The commission will, in its discretion, assign a proceeding under AS 42.06 to an administrative law judge or hearing officer, or a proceeding under AS 42.05 to a hearing officer, for hearing and proposed decision. The assignment will be made by order.
(b) Unless specifically ordered otherwise by the commission, in an assigned proceeding an administrative law judge or hearing officer will have all powers which the commission possesses, including ruling on discovery and other prehearing matters, holding prehearing conferences in accordance with 3 AAC 48.140, conducting hearings in accordance with 3 AAC 48.150(c) and 3 AAC 48.151, and ordering briefing in accordance with 3 AAC 48.160.
(c) The administrative law judge or hearing officer shall render a proposed decision in writing unless the commission orders that the entire record be certified to the commission for a decision. The administrative law judge or hearing officer shall issue the proposed decision within 60 days after the hearing is concluded or the evidentiary record is closed, whichever occurs later, unless good cause exists to extend that deadline. Findings of good cause must be set out in an order extending that deadline.
(d) A party has 30 days after issuance of the proposed decision to comment on the decision. A party disagreeing with the proposed decision shall list the findings or conclusions to which the party takes exception, the reasons why the party takes exception, and the portions of the record by title and page number that the party believes the commission must review in order to evaluate the party's comments.
(e) The commission will consider the proposed decision of the administrative law judge or hearing officer and any comments received on the proposed decision and will issue an order accepting, modifying, or rejecting the proposed decision. The commission will issue its order within 60 days after the deadline for comments on the proposed decision as provided for in (d) of this section, unless good cause exists to extend that deadline. The commission will set out its findings on good cause in an order extending that deadline.
(f) An administrative law judge or hearing officer, at the request of a party or on the judge's or hearing officer's own motion, may certify a question to the commission for decision at any time during a proceeding when it appears to the judge or hearing officer that a novel or unsettled issue of law or policy is involved in the question or that a decision by the commission during the proceeding will simplify or shorten the proceeding. A copy of the certification will be served on all parties. The administrative law judge or hearing officer will set a schedule for briefing the question to the commission, giving consideration to the elements contained in 3 AAC 48.160. The commission will, in its discretion, decide the question or decline to consider it. If the commission does not act within 30 days after the filing of the last brief on the question, unless that time is extended by the commission, the question will be considered to have been declined.
History: Eff. 6/29/84, Register 90; am 5/5/2000, Register 154
Authority: AS 42.04.050
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Last modified 7/05/2006