Page:United States Statutes at Large Volume 110 Part 2.djvu/917

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PUBLIC LAW 104-185—AUG. 13, 1996 110 STAT. 1709 that demand is rendered, unless the Secretary or the applicable delegated State authorizes in writing an earlier release of the requirement to maintain such records. Notwithstanding an3rthing herein to the contrary, under no circumstance shall a record holder be required to maintain or produce any record relating to an obligation for any time period which is barred by the applicable limitation in this section. In connection with any hearing, administrative proceeding, inquiry, investigation, or audit by the Secretary or a delegated State under this Act, the Secretary or the delegated State shall minimize the submission of multiple or redundant information and make a good faith effort to locate records previously submitted by a lessee or a designee to the Secretary or the delegated State, prior to requiring the lessee or the designee to provide such records. "(g) TIMELY COLLECTIONS.—In order to most effectively utilize resources available to the Secretary to maximize the collection of oil and gas receipts from lease obligations to the Treasury within the seven-year period of limitations, and consequently to maximize the State share of such receipts, the Secretary should not perform or require accounting, reporting, or audit activities if the Secretary and the State concerned determine that the cost of conducting or requiring the activity exceeds the expected amount to be collected by the activity, based on the most current 12 months of activity. This subsection shall not provide a defense to a demand or an order to perform a restructured accounting. To the maximum extent possible, the Secretary and delegated States shall reduce costs to the United States Treasury and the States by discontinuing requirements for unnecessary or duplicative data and other information, such as separate allowances and payor information, relating to obligations due. If the Secretary and the State concerned determine that collection will result sooner, the Secretary or the applicable delegated State may waive or forego interest in whole or in part. "(h) APPEALS AND FIN^VL AGENCY ACTION. — "(1) 33-MONTH PERIOD. —Demands or orders issued by the Secretary or a delegated State are subject to administrative appeal in accordance with the regulations of the Secretary. No State shall impose any conditions which would hinder a lessee's or its designee's immediate appeal of an order to the Secretary or the Secretary's designee. The Secretary shall issue a final decision in any administrative proceeding, including any administrative proceedings pending on the date of enactment of this section,, within 33 months from the date such proceeding was commenced or 33 months from the date of such enactment, whichever is later. The 33-month period may be extended by any period of time agreed upon in writing by the Secretary and the appellant. "(2) EFFECT OF FAILURE TO ISSUE DECISION. —If no such decision has been issued by the Secretary within the 33-month period referred to in paragraph (1)— "(A) the Secretary shall be deemed to have issued and granted a decision in favor of the appellant as to any nonmonetary obligation and any monetary obligation the principal amount of which is less than $10,000; and "(B) the Secretary shall be deemed to have issued a final decision in favor of the Secretary, which decision shall be deemed to affirm those issues for which the agency