The mission of the Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA) is to provide independent forums for the fair, impartial, equitable, and timely resolution of disputes involving the U.S. Department of Education and recipients of federal education funds.
OHA ensures coordinated administrative oversight of the Department’s various hearing bodies and is headed by a Director who reports to the Assistant Secretary for Finance and Operations Management.
In performing its responsibilities, the Immediate Office of the Director:
- Facilitates the development of standardized internal procedures, to the extent appropriate, among OHA components.
- Ensures proper and coordinated case tracking and reporting.
- Insulates the adjudicative process by serving as the Principal Office for inquiries about cases, including Congressional inquiries.
- Coordinates arrangements for publication of decisions.
- Coordinates the maintenance of security of files.
- Coordinates arrangements for access by external parties to case precedents and responds, in conjunction with the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Officer where appropriate, to FOIA requests for OHA
- Coordinates general support for all hearing-related functions including arrangements for hearing rooms.
- Conducts and/or oversees the assignment of all non-Administrative Procedure Act (APA) informal proceedings, including the tracking, dissemination and archiving of those proceedings.