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121 

Federal Aviation Administration, DOT 

§ 17.23 

(7) Unless timely objection is made, 

documents properly filed with the 
ODRA will be deemed admitted into 
the administrative record. 

(j) Hearings are not typically held in 

bid protests. The DRO or Special Mas-
ter may conduct hearings, and may 
limit the hearings to the testimony of 
specific witnesses and/or presentations 
regarding specific issues. The DRO or 
Special Master shall control the nature 
and conduct of all hearings, including 
the sequence and extent of any testi-
mony. Hearings will be conducted: 

(1) Where the DRO or Special Master 

determines that there are complex fac-
tual issues in dispute that cannot ade-
quately or efficiently be developed 
solely by means of written presen-
tations and/or that resolution of the 
controversy will be dependent on his/ 
her assessment of the credibility of 
statements provided by individuals 
with first-hand knowledge of the facts; 
or 

(2) Upon request of any party to the 

protest, unless the DRO or Special 
Master finds specifically that a hearing 
is unnecessary and that no party will 
be prejudiced by limiting the record in 
the adjudication to the parties’ written 
submissions. All witnesses at any such 
hearing shall be subject to cross-exam-
ination by the opposing party and to 
questioning by the DRO or Special 
Master. 

(k) The Director of the ODRA may 

review the status of any protest in the 
Adjudicative Process with the DRO or 
Special Master. 

(l) After the closing of the adminis-

trative record, the DRO or Special 
Master will prepare and submit find-
ings and recommendations to the 
ODRA that shall contain the following: 

(1) Findings of fact; 
(2) Application of the principles of 

the AMS, and any applicable law or au-
thority to the findings of fact; 

(3) A recommendation for a final 

FAA order; and 

(4) If appropriate, suggestions for fu-

ture FAA action. 

(m) In preparing findings and rec-

ommendations in protests, the DRO or 
Special Master, using the preponder-
ance of the evidence standard, shall 
consider whether the Product Team ac-
tions in question were consistent with 

the requirements of the AMS, had a ra-
tional basis, and whether the Product 
Team decision was arbitrary, capri-
cious or an abuse of discretion. Not-
withstanding the above, allegations 
that government officials acted with 
bias or in bad faith must be established 
by clear and convincing evidence. 

(n) The DRO or Special Master has 

broad discretion to recommend a rem-
edy that is consistent with § 17.23. 

(o) A DRO or Special Master shall 

submit findings and recommendations 
only to the Director of the ODRA or 
the Director’s designee. The findings 
and recommendations will be released 
to the parties and to the public upon 
issuance of the final FAA order in the 
case. If an ODRA protective order was 
issued in connection with the protest, 
or if a protest involves proprietary or 
competition-sensitive information, a 
redacted version of the findings and 
recommendations, omitting any pro-
tected information, shall be prepared 
wherever possible and released to the 
public, as soon as is practicable, along 
with a copy of the final FAA order. 
Only persons admitted by the ODRA 
under the protective order and Govern-
ment personnel shall be provided cop-
ies of the unredacted findings and rec-
ommendations that contain propri-
etary or competition-sensitive infor-
mation. 

(p) Other than communications re-

garding purely procedural matters or 
ADR, there shall be no substantive ex 
parte 

communication between ODRA 

personnel and any principal or rep-
resentative of a party concerning a 
pending or potentially pending matter. 
A potential or serving ADR neutral 
may communicate on an ex parte basis 
to establish or conduct the ADR. 

§ 17.23

Protest remedies. 

(a) The ODRA has broad discretion to 

recommend and impose protest rem-
edies that are consistent with the AMS 
and applicable law. Such remedies may 
include, but are not limited to one or a 
combination of, the following: 

(1) Amend the SIR; 
(2) Refrain from exercising options 

under the contract; 

(3) Issue a new SIR; 
(4) Require a recompetition or reval-

uation; 

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