Section 26.89 What Is the Process for Certification Appeals to the Department of Transportation?
Several commenters addressed this section, supporting it with a few requests for modification. Some commenters wanted a time limit for DOT consideration of appeals. We have added a provision saying that if DOT takes longer than 180 days from the time we receive a complete package, we will write everyone concerned with an explanation of the delay and a new target date for completion. Some commenters thought a different time limit for appeals to the Department (e.g., 180 days) would be beneficial. We believe that 90 days is enough time for someone to decide whether a decision of a recipient or UCP should be appealed and write a letter to DOT. This time period starts to run from the date of the final recipient decision on the matter. DOT can accept late-filed appeals on the basis of a showing of good cause (e.g., factors beyond the control of the appellant). Some recipients thought that more time might be necessary to compile an administrative record, so we have permitted DOT to grant extensions for good cause. Generally, however, the Department will adhere to the 90-day time period in order to prevent delays in the appeals process. As a clarification, we have added a provision that all recipients involved must provide administrative record material to DOT when there is an appeal. For example, State A has relied on the information gathered by State B to certify Firm X. A competitor files an ineligibility complaint with State A, which decertifies the firm. Firm X appeals to the Department. Both State A and State B must provide their administrative record materials to DOT for purposes of the appeal. (The material would be provided to the Departmental Office of Civil Rights.)