ACUS Announces Publication of Report on Remote Hearings by Federal Agencies

Contact: Harry M. Seidman

ACUS Announces Publication of Report on Remote Hearings by Federal Agencies

Washington, D.C., June 16, 2020 – ACUS is pleased to announce the publication of a new report, Legal Considerations for Remote Hearings in Agency Adjudications, by Deputy Research Director Jeremy Graboyes.

Federal agencies have experimented with a variety of remote hearing types, including video and virtual hearings, telephone hearings, and written-only hearings. Many adjudication offices have relied on remote hearings to continue to serve the public during the COVID-19 pandemic. ACUS continues to document those offices’ policies in response to the pandemic on its website.

The report provides an overview of the legal considerations that federal agencies may encounter as they develop and implement processes for remote hearings. It addresses potential due process and other constitutional questions; the requirements of generally applicable statutes including the Administrative Procedure Act and Rehabilitation Act; and concerns arising under agency-specific statutes and regulations. 

The report builds on several previous ACUS resources, including Recommendation 2014-7, Best Practices for Using Video Teleconferencing for Hearings; Recommendation 2011-4, Agency Use of Video Hearings: Best Practices and Possibilities for Expansion; and the 2015 Handbook on Best Practices for Using Video Teleconferencing in Adjudicatory Hearings.

As federal agencies continue to respond to the ongoing public health emergency while managing their other vital responsibilities, ACUS welcomes feedback on how it can best carry out its statutory charge to arrange for the “interchange among administrative agencies of information potentially useful in improving administrative procedure.”

About ACUS

The Administrative Conference of the United States is an independent federal agency dedicated to improving the administrative process through consensus-driven applied research and providing nonpartisan expert advice and recommendations for federal agency procedures. Its membership is composed of senior federal officials, academics, and other experts from the private sector. Except for the Chairman, all Conference Members are unpaid.

The Conference is committed to promoting effective public participation and efficiency in the rulemaking process by leveraging interactive technologies and encouraging open communication with the public as well as making improvements to the regulatory process by reducing unnecessary litigation, and improving the use of science and the effectiveness of applicable laws.

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