Page:United States Statutes at Large Volume 99 Part 2.djvu/416

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PUBLIC LAW 99-000—MMMM. DD, 1985

99 STAT. 1526

study. Loans.

Ante, p. 1524. Report.

PUBLIC LAW 99-198—DEC. 23, 1985

"(b)(1) Not later than 10 days after such adverse decision, the Secretary shall provide the appellant with written notice of the decision, an opportunity for an informal meeting, an opportunity for a hearing, and the procedure to appeal such decision (including any deadlines for filing appeals). "(2) Upon the request of the appellant and in order to provide an opportunity to resolve differences and minimize formal appeals, the Secretary shall hold an informal meeting with the appellant prior to the initiation of any formal appeal of the decision of the Secretary. "(c)(l) An appellant shall have the right to have— "(A) access to the personal file of the appellant maintained by the Secretary, including a reasonable opportunity to inspect and reproduce the file at an office of the Farmers Home Administration located in the area of the appellant; and "(B) representation by an attorney or nonattorney during the inspection and reproduction of files under subparagraph (A) and at any informal meeting or hearing. "(2) The Secretary may charge an appellant for any reasonable costs incurred in reproducing files under paragraph (I)(A).". (b)(1) The Secretary of Agriculture shall conduct a study of the administrative appeals procedure used in the farm loan programs of the Farmers Home Administration. (2) In conducting such study, the Secretary shall examine— (A) the number and type of appeals initiated by loan applicants and borrowers; (B) the extent to which initial administrative actions are reversed on appeal; (C) the reasons that administrative actions are reversed, modified, or sustained on appeal; (D) the number and disposition of appeals in which the loan applicant or borrower is represented by legal counsel; (E) the quantity of time required to complete action on appeals and the reasons for delays; (F) the feasibility of the use of administrative law judges in the appeals process; and (G) the desirability of electing members of county committees established under section 332 of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act (7 U.S.C. 1982). (c) Not later than September 1, 1986, the Secretary shall submit a report describing the results of the study required under this section to the Committee on Agriculture of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry of the Senate. DISPOSITION AND LEASING OF FARMLAND

Conservation. State and local governments.

SEC. 1314. (a) Section 335 of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act (7 U.S.C. 1985) is amended by— (1) striking out "Real" in subsection (b) and inserting in lieu thereof "Except as provided in subsection (e), real"; (2) in subsection (c)— (A) striking out "The" in the first sentence and inserting in lieu thereof "Except as provided in subsection (e), the'; and (B) adding at the end thereof the following new sentence: "Notwithstanding the preceding sentence, the Secretary may for conservation purposes grant or sell an easement, restriction, development rights, or the equivalent thereof.