Complaints of Ineligibility for All Programs
A complainant must submit a Complaint of Ineligibility regarding certification of an individual or firm to the COBID. The COBID will process complaints according to the following procedure:
Any individual or agency who believes that an individual or certified firm does not qualify under the standards of eligibility for certification may file a complaint of ineligibility. The complainant(s) must fill out a formal complaint form provided by the COBID. The purpose of the complaint process is to maintain the transparency of all programs.
The complainant must use the form provided and submit the document to the COBID setting forth facts, which indicate that the applicant or certified firm is not eligible. The complaint must include copies of any supporting documents the complainant(s) may possess. The complainant(s) shall describe the facts in as much detail as possible.
The COBID will only investigate complaints based on firsthand knowledge and those that contain allegations supported by evidence. The COBID will not investigate anonymous or third party complaints. Complaints based on hearsay (i.e. third person account, general assumption, word-of-mouth, and/or speculation) will not be investigated. The COBID does not accept general allegations. The COBID will not investigate unsupported complaints and will return the document to the complainant.
The COBID will notify the complainant(s) in writing when it refuses to investigate a complaint. The notification may include:
The initial complaint filed by the complainant(s);
Explanation of why the complaint is not being investigated; and
A request for additional information, when applicable.
The complainant(s) may submit a revised complaint addressing the COBID’s concerns.
The complainant(s) must sign the complaint and provide a physical mailing and email address, and telephone number where the COBID may reach the individual during the investigation.
While responding to requests for information concerning any aspect of the programs, the COBID complies with provisions of the Federal Freedom of Information and Privacy Acts. The COBID may make available to the public any information concerning the programs not prohibited by federal or state law. Information submitted to the COBID is subject to public record law, ORS 192.410, 192.501, 192.502, and 192.505. The public may inspect certain information in the agency’s possession. The information may include names of the complainant. Certain other records the COBID may keep confidential, under certain circumstances. These may include, but are not limited to: reports from creditors, employers, customers, suppliers, financial statements, tax returns, business records, employment history and other personal data submitted by the applicant, customer lists, bids, proposals, and contracting information, production, sales or cost data, and marketing strategy information. Although the agency will attempt to keep the information submitted confidential, it cannot guarantee confidentiality in all cases.
The COBID may keep the identity of the complainant(s) confidential, at the complainant(s) election, throughout the course of the investigation. A complainant(s) may waive this privilege of confidentiality at any time. If such confidentiality will hinder the investigation, proceeding, hearing, or result in a denial of appropriate administrative due process to other parties, the COBID will advise the complainant(s) that, in some circumstances, failure to waive the privilege of confidentiality may result in the closure of the investigation or dismissal of the proceeding or hearing.
The COBID will investigate each complaint as promptly as resources allow. If preliminary investigative results show good cause for in-depth investigation, the COBID will notify the applicant or certified firm identified in the complaint by certified mail. The notice will summarize the grounds for the challenge and will require the applicant or certified firm to provide to the COBID, within a reasonable period of time, information sufficient to permit the agency to evaluate the complaint and the application or certified firm’s qualifications for the programs. The applicant, certified firm, and complainant(s) shall cooperate fully in the COBID’s investigation.
After the investigation is complete, the COBID will issue a written decision in the form of a rejection of the complaint, Notice of Intent to Deny, or Notice of Intent to Decertify. The decision will address each issue raised in the complaint and throughout the investigation and the reasoning for the decision. The COBID will mail the written decision to the applicant or certified firm and to the complainant(s). The COBID will not deny or decertify a firm based on a complaint without first giving the firm an opportunity to respond.
The applicant or certified firm has 21 calendar days from the date of Notice of Intent to Deny or Notice of Intent to Decertify in which to submit a written appeal to the manager of the COBID. Following the review of the applicant’s written appeal, the manager of COBID will issue a decision.
If the applicant or certified firm does not agree with the manager’s decision, he or she may request a contested case hearing. The COBID will conduct a contested case hearing in accordance with ORS 183.310 (Definitions for chapter) to 183.550. Following the contested case hearing, the Hearings Officer will forward a proposed order to the manager of the COBID for issuance of a final order.
If the applicant or certified firm files an appeal in writing or requests a contested case hearing, the COBID will stay the denial or decertification pending the issuance of the final order. If the applicant or certified firm does not submit a written appeal or request for a contested case hearing to the COBID within the 21-day period, the denial or decertification shall be final.
The COBID will not consider opposing information received about an applicant prior to the initial certification as a complaint, but will consider the information in the investigation of the application for certification.