Changes made to VII.B.5.a. of the OAH Hearing Regulation

vii.  Written notice of a party’s right to review or appeal
       of a decision within the agency or review of a
       decision by the courts, as the case may be, and of
       the action required and the time within which such
       action must be taken in order to exercise the right
       of review or appeal.

     b.  In cases where the parties have mutually agreed to the outcome
          of a hearing (‘consent decisions’) the content of a consent
          decision need not include all of the information required by
          subsection 5(a) above.  Any consent decision, however, shall
          state with clarity the following: The identity of the parties
          involved; the subject matter of the decision; the results of
          the consent decision; and a determination that the result is
          in accordance with applicable law.

     5.  Recommended Findings and Decision

          In any case in which law or regulation or special instructions
          from the Commissioner dictate that an individual other than
          the hearing officer will make a final hearing decision, the
          hearing officer will prepare a recommended hearing decision
          rather than a final hearing decision.  A recommended decision
          will be made on the same basis and in the same form as a final
          decision.  Copies of recommended decisions will be provided to
          all parties, who will have an opportunity to submit responses
          and exceptions to the final decision maker.

          a.  Exceptions and Responses

         In any case in which final decision making authority is
         reserved to the Commissioner or the Commissioner’s
         designe, the parties may file exceptions or responses to
         the recommended decision.
         
                   i.       Time for filing.  For MaineCare cases, the exceptions or
                   responses must be received by the Office of Administrative
                  Hearings within 15 calendar days after the date the
                  recommended decision was mailed to the parties.  For all
                  other cases, the exceptions or responses must be received by
                  the Office of Administrative Hearings within 20 calendar
                  days after the date the recommended decision was mailed to
                  the parties.  The date of mailing will be stamped on the
                  upper right-hand corner of the recommended decision.

                  ii.      Content.  The written exceptions and responses filed
                   with the Office of Administrative Hearings shall contain:

                    (aa.)  A clear statement of the party’s position and
                             the reason for it;

                     (bb.)  A listing of any errors or omissions made by
                            the parties during the decision making process;

                     (cc.)  Any relevant legal arguments the party wishes to
                           offer.

             If additional factual information which could have been    
             presented and considered during the decision making process,
             including the administrative hearing, is made part of the
             exceptions and responses, it need not be considered by the final
             decision maker.

                   iii.     Method of filing.  Exceptions or responses must be sent
                   to the Office of Administrative Hearings by mail, fax or
                   e-mail.  Copies of written exceptions and responses must be
                   provided to all parties.

                   iv.     Extensions.  A reasonable extension of time to file
                   exceptions and responses may be granted by the Chief 
                   Administrative Hearing Officer for good cause shown or if all
                   parties are in agreement.