FAQ – General (pre-hearings)
The chief executive officer or other official who made the decision being appealed (called the respondent) will be notified of the appeal and requested to provide a complete copy of the Appeal Record. The Appeal Record consists of the decision being appealed, the respondent’s reasons for the decision, all documentary evidence, reports, policies, legislative provisions and submissions considered by the respondent in making the decision.
Yes, the decision under appeal is still valid or in effect unless the Board makes an order to “stay” or suspend the decision from taking effect until after the appeal is decided.
The chair of the Board will decide whether to hold an oral hearing or a hearing in writing. The Board will consider requests for a hearing to be conducted in writing and in some circumstances, will order a written hearing on its own initiative. A hearing may also be electronic (via telephone or video-conference).
Oral hearings will be held as early as conveniently possible depending on a number of factors including: the urgency of the appeal issues, the complexity of the issues under appeal and the availability of all the parties to an appeal and any witnesses. A written hearing may be scheduled to begin earlier, but can take longer to complete because each party is given the opportunity to respond to the written submissions of the other parties. The Board will make its best efforts to hear each appeal within 120 days of receiving the notice of appeal.
No. Oral hearings are normally conducted by a panel of one or three members of the Board who will then make a decision on the appeal. A written hearing is normally reviewed and decided by one or three members of the Board.
If the hearing is in writing, the Board will provide a schedule of the deadlines for the written submissions. If there is to be an oral or electronic hearing, the Board will set the hearing date and the location, usually in consultation with the parties. When scheduling an oral hearing, the Board attempts to provide the parties with sufficient notice of a hearing to allow them to prepare.
If a party needs the date set for hearing changed, they must write to the office of the Board as soon as possible to explain the reasons for the change and ask for a postponement. The Board will not normally change the date unless all parties agree to the change or there are special circumstances involved.
If, without first notifying the Board, the appellant does not provide its written submissions or does not attend the hearing on the scheduled date, the appeal may be considered abandoned and dismissed.
If, without first notifying the Board, the respondent or other party does not attend the hearing or provide their written submissions, the appeal may be decided in their absence.
No. The Board members cannot discuss an appeal with a party unless all other parties are included in the discussion or consent to the discussion taking place, nor can a member discuss his or her reasons for a decision. Once a decision is rendered in an appeal, the decision “speaks for itself”.
An appeal management conference is a meeting, usually by telephone conference call, conducted by a Board member or staff from the Board Office, and attended by the participants to the appeal. The purpose of an appeal management conference is to discuss the issues raised by the appeal, the likely evidence, the best method of managing and hearing the appeal and whether all or part can be resolved between the parties without a hearing and decision by the Board. An appeal management conference may be scheduled by the Board on its own initiative or at the request of a participant in the appeal. Even if an appeal management conference does not result in the resolution of the appeal, it usually helps the parties to understand and narrow the issues, identify areas of agreement and disagreement and allow the appeal process to run more smoothly.
Yes, an appellant may withdraw his or her appeal at any time by informing the Board in writing, and the Board will then dismiss the appeal.