Recommendations to Improve the Coast Guard's System for Adjudicating Suspension and Revocation Matters   [open pdf - 2MB]

This Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) "report addresses certain issues related to the Coast Guard's system for adjudicating suspension and revocation matters. [...]. In October 2008, the United States Coast Guard requested that we assess the validity of a former Administrative Law Judge's [ALJ] allegations of bias and misconduct in the Coast Guard's Administrative Law Judge program, particularly in connection with the adjudication of cases involving the suspension and revocation of merchant mariner credentials. In January 2009, we initiated a review to determine whether the Chief Administrative Law Judge directed subordinate Administrative Law Judges to rule in favor of the Coast Guard and whether the Chief Administrative Law Judge's senior staff engaged in an improper, ex parte meeting with Coast Guard attorneys and investigating officers. Our report, Allegations of Misconduct within the Coast Guard's Administrative Law Judge Program (OIG-10-108), addressed the merits of the allegations. It did not contain any recommendations. While assessing the allegations, we reviewed the Administrative Law Judge program and the Coast Guard's suspension and revocation administrative proceedings, and noted programmatic issues not directly related to the allegations that warranted management's attention. The Administrative Law Judge program needs to review and update certain policies and procedures regarding the training, investigation, and discipline of Administrative Law Judges. The Coast Guard should also train and provide adequate legal support to its investigating officers. Commandant Decisions on Appeal need to be issued more timely and be more accessible to the public. Finally, the Coast Guard should establish guidelines governing interaction between staff handling prosecutorial and adjudicative functions. We are making 11 recommendations to address these issues and to improve the effectiveness, integrity, and efficiency of both the ALJ program and suspension and revocation administrative proceedings. In its response to our draft report, the Coast Guard concurred with each recommendation."

Report Number:
Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General, Report No. OIG-10-107
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
United States Department of Homeland Security, Office of Inspector General: http://www.dhs.gov/xoig/
Media Type:
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