ACUS Assembly Adopts Four Recommendations


December 15, 2016

Contact:  Harry M. Seidman

The Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS) held its 66th Plenary Session on December 13-14 in Washington, D.C. culminating in the Assembly’s adoption of four recommendations:

  1. Special Procedural Rules for Social Security Litigation in District Court encourages the Judicial Conference of the United States to develop a uniform set of procedural rules for social security cases commenced in federal court that involve claims for benefits arising under Titles II and XVI of the Social Security Act. It also highlights areas in which such rules should be adopted and sets forth criteria for the promulgation of additional rules.
  2. Evidentiary Hearings Not Required by the Administrative Procedure Act offers best practices to agencies for structuring evidentiary hearings that are not required by the Administrative Procedure Act.  It suggests ways to ensure the integrity of the decision-making process; sets forth recommended pre-hearing, hearing, and post-hearing practices; and urges agencies to describe their practices in a publicly accessible document and seek feedback on those practices.
  3. The Use of Ombuds in Federal Agencies describes the scope of ombuds activities at federal agencies, identifies best practices for the establishment and operation of ombuds offices, and recommends situations in which expanded use of ombuds may benefit agencies. 
  4. Self-Represented Parties in Administrative Proceedings offers best practices for agencies dealing with self-represented parties in administrative hearings. Recommendations include the use of triage and diagnostic tools, development of a continuum of services to aid parties, and re-evaluation and simplification of existing hearing practices, where possible.

The next Plenary Session will be held on June 15-16, 2017. Details, including times and recommendations to be considered, will be posted on as soon as they become available. Join our mailing list at to be notified instantly.

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.

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.  Learn more at

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Administrative Conference of the United States
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