EEOICPA BULLETIN NO. 05-07
Issue Date: September 2, 2005
Effective Date: September 2, 2005
Expiration Date: September 2, 2006
Subject: ECMS Procedures related to Co-located FAB.
Background: FAB offices are geographically located as set out under EEOICPA PM 2-1300. With the implementation of Part E, DO adjudicatory functions are sometimes required while a case is at FAB for review. Each district office assigns certain DO CEs to handle district office development and adjudication while the case is pending review at FAB. This group of designated CEs is referred to as the “Co-located FAB.” The Co-located FAB may be physically located in the FAB or the DO, but will be managed by DO personnel, not the FAB. The individuals within the Co-located FAB will be referred to as secondary CEs. However, while the case is under the jurisdiction of the FAB, the FAB CE or Hearing Representative (HR) is considered the primary adjudicator. The August 26, 2005 release of ECMS (ECMS_B version 188.8.131.52 and ECMS_E version 184.108.40.206) will allow the case screen in ECMS to reflect the Co-located FAB’s involvement with the case, as well as allow the secondary CEs to enter status codes and other information into ECMS while the file is assigned to a FAB District Office location in ECMS. This bulletin provides written guidance regarding the procedures that are to be followed regarding the Co-located FAB.
Reference: ECMS Release Notes (August 26, 2005)
Purpose: To provide ECMS procedures for cases that require DO development while located at FAB.
Applicability: All Staff
1. When a CE prepares a recommended decision, he/she must be aware of any outstanding claim issues that need further development. If additional development is needed during the FAB’s review of the case, the CE prepares a memorandum. The header of the memorandum is addressed to the FAB manager, from the Senior CE, Supervisor, or District Director (DD) who is the final reviewer of the recommended decision at the DO. The subject line reads “Co-located FAB development for (case #).” The body of the memorandum addresses any outstanding claims issues that require development while the case is being reviewed by the FAB. The memorandum must also designate a secondary CE, who is assigned to work the case for DO development while the case is being adjudicated by the FAB. Each DO will determine the CE to handle this development while the case is being adjudicated by the FAB. When the recommended decision is finalized, the signed memorandum accompanies the recommended decision to the FAB.
2. Once a case is transferred to the FAB, the FAB CE/HR must be aware if any DO development is needed on any portion of the case. The FAB CE/HR will become aware of such issues because of the Co-located FAB development memorandum. However, they may also become aware of issues during their review process. For example, the FAB CE/HR may come across an additional illness that needs development. If it is determined that DO development is needed, the FAB CE, HR or Manager must complete the additional CE/location area titled "Co-located Development" located on the case screen in ECMS. The fields that need completion in this section are the “CE2” and “CE2 Assign Dt” fields. The “CE2” field represents the Co-located FAB CE (secondary CE), who is designated in the Co-located FAB development memorandum. To complete the secondary CE assignment, the appropriate Co-located FAB CE is selected from the drop down menu. The FAB CE/HR tabs over to the CE assign date, which automatically populates with the current date and time. (This field can be manually input if needed.)
Note: Only the FAB can assign the CE2 in ECMS, but actual workload assignments should be routed through the DO. If the FAB comes across secondary development that is needed on a case where there was no Co-located FAB development memorandum, they will notify the DD, or whoever the DD delegates, to determine which secondary CE should be assigned the additional development.
3. Each Co-located FAB unit will have a code that will automatically populate the “DO2” field. The “DO2” field represents the DO that is handling the co-located FAB development. This field is populated when the “Co-located Development” section is activated in ECMS. The associated codes are:
· SEF – Seattle Co-located FAB
· CLF – Cleveland Co-located FAB
· JAF – Jacksonville Co-located FAB
· DEF – Denver Co-located FAB
· NAF – National Office Co-located FAB
Note: The CEs/HRs will not need to complete this field, but it will be used for various reporting needs.
4. When the Co-located development section has been completed in ECMS, it will be highlighted in white. This indicates that there is a simultaneous ownership in ECMS. Both the FAB CE/HR and the secondary CE will be able to make entries into ECMS without having to transfer the case file in the system.
Note: The FAB CE/HR and the secondary CE will need to coordinate with each other to ensure that the file is where it is needed and the appropriate work can be completed on the case. If both the FAB CE/HR and the secondary CE need the actual file, the FAB CE/HR’s need takes precedence.
5. Once the Co-located Development section is activated and a secondary CE is assigned, any outstanding call-ups in ECMS from the DO CE will be automatically re-assigned to the secondary CE. Any call-ups that the FAB CE/HR enters will still function and be viewable for that FAB CE/HR.
6. Every secondary CE in the Co-located FAB will have a three character location identifier of DO1-DO9. (More location codes will be added if necessary.) As always, the case location code and case file jacket must be annotated to reflect any change in the file’s physical location.
7. After the case is transferred out by the DO, and assigned to the FAB awaiting a Final Decision, the DO assignment will remain a FAB location code (FAC, FAJ, FAS, FAD, or FAB) for as long as the case is in the FAB’s jurisdiction, even if the secondary CE is working on the case. The physical case file can be located with a FAB employee or a secondary CE while the DO listed in ECMS is one of the FAB location codes.
8. The secondary CE is to conduct all necessary development on all outstanding claim elements not related to the decision currently in front of the FAB CE/HR, and code ECMS appropriately to reflect those actions for the duration of the FAB review process. The secondary CE also determines when there is enough information available to issue a recommended decision (RD).
· If FAB completes their review process and the DO development issues are not completed with a recommended decision, the secondary CE ceases development. The secondary CE then prepares a memorandum to the DD explaining what development actions have been taken and what future actions are required to address any outstanding issues. This memorandum is important because outstanding DO call-ups will not be re-assigned back to the DO (though they will be viewable).
· If the secondary CE determines that there is enough evidence to support a RD on any outstanding claim elements, he/she issues the RD and keeps the file at FAB.
9. When the case file is ready to be returned to the DO, the person transferring the case file out of the office will press the “Unassign CE2” button in the Co-located Development portion of the case screen. This will deactivate the co-located development. If the individual who transfers cases to the DO from the FAB office does not currently have the ability to “unassign CE2”, that capability can be requested by the FAB manager in an email to Energy Tech Support.
Disposition: Retain until incorporated in the Federal (EEOICPA) Procedure Manual.
PETER M. TURCIC
Director, Division of Energy Employees
Occupational Illness Compensation
Distribution List No. 1: Claims Examiners, Supervisory Claims Examiners, Technical Assistants, Customer Service Representatives, Fiscal Officers, FAB District Managers, Operation Chiefs, Hearing Representatives, District Office Mail & File Sections