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National Appeals Office

The National Appeals Office is a division of NOAA Fisheries' Office of Management and Budget. Fish - reef

The Office adjudicates appeals of persons affected by initial administrative determinations, including those related to implementation of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.  The appeals may include hearings.  During hearings an administrative appeals officer accepts testimony, and receives evidence into the record. 

The Office also may respond to motions and other requests related to the administrative appeals process.  The Office ensures due process is afforded to all participants in the appeals process, and ensures sound and consistent jurisprudence in the appeals process.  The Office determines the regulatory issues to be resolved, evaluates the evidence, and prepares written appellate decisions. 

For each appeal, the Office provides the decision to the appellant and relevant persons within NOAA.  The Office may publish its decisions on the Internet.  The Office maintains a database of current and historical caseload data and responds to requests for statistical data about appeals.  The Office is responsible for drafting, publishing and applying procedural regulations consistent with due process requirements.

Mission Statement

The National Appeals Office (NAO) advances the mission of the National Marine Fisheries Service, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Department of Commerce by providing quality administrative appeals services; conducting DOC administrative inquiries; and managing Freedom of Information Act requests.  The NAO performs these functions with professionalism, integrity, timeliness, consistency, and accountability.

Hot Topic

      NMFS Policy Directive: Use of National Appeals Office (signed January 24, 2014)
      National Appeals Office Rules of Procedure - Final (published February 6, 2014)
      National Appeals Office Rules of Procedure - Proposed  (published June 8, 2012)

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