§ 491.2a. Separation of adjudicatory function from representation of the Department.
(a) Separation of adjudicatory function. The adjudicatory function performed in accordance with this chapter and the General Rules will be separated from the function of representing the Department in administrative hearing matters. This chapter prescribes that an administrative hearing officer will preside over any hearing and, if exceptions are filed by any party, the decision ultimately is made by the Secretary. The Departments Chief Counsel advises the Secretary in his adjudicatory capacity.
(b) Ex parte discussions. Under no circumstances may any Department attorney representing the Department in an administrative hearing matter, or any Department employee involved in such a matter, discuss the case ex parte with the Administrative Hearing Officer, the Chief Counsel or the Secretary.
(c) Prohibited discussions with employees. The Administrative Hearing Officer, the Chief Counsel and the Secretary may not discuss with, or exercise any supervisory responsibility over, any employee with respect to an administrative hearing matter with which that employee is involved.
(d) Designation by Chief Counsel and Secretary. If it becomes necessary for the Chief Counsel or the Secretary to become involved on behalf of the Department in any administrative hearing matter, they are prohibited from participating in the adjudication of the case and shall designate appropriate individuals to exercise their adjudicatory functions.
The provisions of this § 491.2a issued under the Administrative Agency Law, 2 Pa.C.S. § § 501508 and 701704.
The provisions of this § 491.2a adopted July 27, 2001, effectvie July 28, 2001, 31 Pa.B. 4089.
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