The Office of Hearings and Appeals (OHA) is the quasi-judicial arm of the Department of Energy that conducts hearings and issues initial Departmental decisions with respect to any adjudicative proceedings which the Secretary may delegate, except those within the jurisdiction of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). OHA jurisdiction principally includes Personnel Security Hearing Officer functions (10 CFR Part 710) and "whistleblower" complaints filed under the DOE Contractor Employee Protection Program (10 CFR Part 708). The Office also analyzes and decides appeals requesting review of determinations reached by officials within the Department under the jurisdiction of the Secretary, including initial determinations under the Freedom of Information Act, 10 CFR 1004.1, the Privacy Act, 10 CFR 1008, the payments-equal-to-taxes (PETT) provisions of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, as amended, and the Alternative Fuels Transportation Program (10 CFR Part 490). In addition, OHA is responsible for deciding Applications for Exception from generally applicable requirements of a rule, regulation or order of the Department, and analyzes Petitions for Special Redress seeking "extraordinary relief" apart from or in addition to any other remedy provided in the Department’s enabling statutes.
Within OHA resides the Alternative Dispute Resolution Office whose mission is to provide mediation services and to promote the use of dispute prevention and alternative dispute resolution techniques at all levels of the DOE complex.