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Date Published

The Customer Service Charter Timeliness Guidelines provide that decisions will be issued within 13 weeks from the date of the hearing, unless further submissions or evidence is filed.

Hearing officers should provide an indication to the parties of the likely timeframe for the issuing of their decision (usually at the hearing) and explain and accept responsibility for any delays that occur, other than delays attributable to the parties. For additional information on time frames, including indicative times for procedural matters and decisions on examiner’s objections, and the issuance of apologies, see Time for Issuing a Decision.

Efficiency, however, extends beyond the timeliness of issuing decisions. It also includes the conduct of the proceedings up to and including the hearing. In this regard, it is important that proceedings are streamlined as much as possible to reduce costs and unnecessary delays while not compromising procedural fairness. Achieving an appropriate balance can be difficult, however hearing officers should ensure that they retain control of proceedings, establish clear expectations for the parties and take action to prevent them from making repetitious and irrelevant submissions. In this regard, it is important that the hearing officer is sufficiently prepared and is able to identify and question the parties on those issues that are most pertinent to the matter at hand.

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