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Posibles consecuencias de una exclusin del RUM por NSF

sobre fondos de otras agencias y becas Pell


Qu otras consecuencias puede tener la terminacin definitiva de las subvenciones de NSF al
RUM? Ms all de la imposibilidad de conseguir fondos de esa agencia en particular lo que ya
sera una prdida enorme esta implicara la probable exclusin por todas las dems agencias
federales. No slo se detendra casi la totalidad de los proyectos de investigacin o de enseanza
subvencionados en el RUM, sino que la paralizacin puede extenderse a las becas Pell.
El documento anejo es copia de la reglamentacin federal (Code of Federal Regulations - CFR)
aplicable a programas del Departamento de Educacin en lo que respecta a ayuda financiera a
estudiantes. Les sugiero que lo examinen en conjunto con los comentarios siguientes. La
reglamentacin es enteramente similar para otras agencias, pero enfatizo esta por el impacto que
puede tener sobre las becas Pell.
La exclusin (debarment es el trmino en ingls) de una persona o institucin por una agencia del
gobierno federal significa que la agencia ha determinado que no puede adquirir o contratar servicios
de esa persona o institucin porque se pondra en riesgo el buen uso de sus fondos. Como la accin
no es en s un castigo sino una accin administrativa que salvaguarda los fondos federales, el
procedimiento que se sigue no requiere de todas las garantas y formalidades de un juicio. El
procedimiento administrativo aplicable a estos casos es gil y sencillo y se conduce de conformidad
a criterios bsicos de trato justo e imparcial. De acuerdo a las disposiciones anejadas del CFR en
estos casos el peso de la prueba recae sobre la agencia que propone la exclusin y el quntum de
prueba que la agencia necesita descargar para sostener sus alegaciones corresponde a la categora de
preponderancia de evidencia, que es una manera de decir que basta con que sea ms probable que
menos probable que las acciones o fallas alegadamente incurridas en efecto s han ocurrido.
No se trata de un caso en corte, las reglas de evidencia no son de aplicacin estricta y no hace falta
que la evidencia sea clara y convincente. Las agencias son cuidadosas con la aplicacin de esta
accin administrativa, mucho ms tratndose de un caso en que se afectara negativamente una
universidad y, por tanto, muchsima gente. Sin embargo, la agencia, particularmente la Oficina del
Inspector General dentro de cada agencia, tiene el mandato en ley de salvaguardar el buen uso de los
fondos asignados por el Congreso. NSF ha sido muy indulgente hasta ahora con nosotros (es decir,
con la administracin de la UPR y del RUM): casi un ao entero para someter y aceptar un plan
correctivo luego de una visita en la que se encontraron las fallas, un segundo ao para que
cumplisemos el plan, un tercer ao (que venci el pasado 3 de febrero) a partir de un aviso al
Presidente Muoz, con carcter de ultimtum, de que el plan no se haba implementado cabalmente.
Si NSF no levanta la suspensin durante los prximos meses, el 22 de abril se cumplir un ao de
la suspensin. No hay que ser adivino para saber que es una fecha crtica y que nos expondramos
a una exclusin.
Las exclusiones se decretan por un perodo de tiempo determinado caso por caso por la propia
agencia y que podra ser de hasta 3 aos o an ms. Durante ese tiempo la persona o entidad
excluida no podra recibir ni solicitar fondos de la agencia, ni de ninguna otra agencia federal. Esto
ltimo debe estar bien claro. Si la agencia X encuentra fallas que ameriten la exclusin, eso es
suficiente siempre que el proceso efectuado por dicha agencia haya cumplido ciertos requisitos
tcnicos para que las agencias federales A, B, C,.... todo el abecedario, incluyendo al DE
(Departamento de Educacin), tengan que observar la misma exclusin. Es significativo que NSF
anunci en su carta del 1
ro
de febrero que examinar documentacin de tiempo y esfuerzo que
corresponda no solamente a NSF sino a cualesquiera otras agencias federales.

NSF nos visitar durante este mes de febrero o ms probablemente en marzo para evaluar la
documentacin de tiempo y esfuerzo del semestre pasado, tanto en el RUM como en el CRCI. Si
el resultado no es satisfactorio, una de las acciones que podra tomar NSF es la exclusin. Es
probable que esto no ocurrira sino hasta despus de una vista en la cual la UPR podra mostrar causa
por la cual no debe ocurrir la exclusin. Sin embargo, la ejecutoria hasta el presente de la
administracin de la UPR no puede inspirar confianza. En numerosas ocasiones la administracin
nos asegur que la suspensin estaba a punto de terminar. Por qu habramos de creerles ahora?
Debo aadir que aunque los nicos afectados por la presente suspensin por NSF somos el RUM y
AC-CRCI, una accin negativa de la agencia despus de su prxima visita podra extenderse
rpidamente a otros recintos del sistema. No van a esperar varios aos como en el caso nuestro.
Flix E. Fernndez

U.S. GOVERNMENT
INFORMATION
GPO
85.610
85.610 What procedures does the De-
partment of Education use in su s-
pension and debarment actions?
In deciding whether to suspend or
debar you, we handle the actions as in-
formally as practicable, consistent
with principles of fundamental fair-
ness.
(a) For suspension actions, we use
the procedures in this subpart and sub-
part G of tl1is part.
(b) For debarment actions, we use the
procedures in this subpart and subpart
H of this part.
Authority: E.O. 12549 (3 CFR. 1986 Comp .. p.
189); E.O 12689 (3 CFR, 1989 Comp., p. 235); 20
U.S.C. 1082. 1094, 1221e-3 and 3474; and Sec.
2455. Pub. L. 103-355. 108 St at. 3243 at 3327.
85.611 What procedures do we u se
for a s uspension or debarment ac-
tion involving a title IV, HEA trans-
action?
(a) If we suspend a title IV, HEA par-
t i cipant under Executive Order 12549,
we use the following procedures to en-
sure that the suspension prevents par-
t i cipation in title IV, HEA trans-
actions:
(1) The notification procedures in
85.715.
(2) Instead of the procedures in
85.720 through 85.760, the procedures
in 34 CFR part 668, subpart G or 34 CFR
part 682, subpart D or G as applicabl e.
(3) In addition to the findings and
conclusions required by 34 CFR part
668, subpart G or 34 CFR part 682, sub-
part D or G, the suspending official,
and, on appeal , the Secretary deter-
mines whether there is sufficient cause
for suspension as explained in 85.700.
(b) If we debar a title IV, HEA partic-
ipant under E.O. 12549, we use the fol-
lowing procedures to ensure that the
debarment al so precludes participation
in titl e IV, HEA transactions:
(1) The notification procedures in
85.805 and 85.870.
(2) Instead of the procedures in
85.810 through 85.885. the procedures
in 34 CFR part 668, subpart G or 34 CFR
part 682, subpart D or G, as applicable.
(3) On appeal from a decision debar-
ring a title IV, HEA participant, we
issue a final decision after we receive
any written materials from the parties.
(4) In addition to the findings and
conclusions required by 34 CFR part
34 CFR Subtitle A (7-1-10 Edition)
668, subpart G or 34 CFR part 682, sub-
part D or G, the debarring official. and,
on appeal, the Secretary determines
whether there is sufficient cause for de-
barment as explained in 85.800.
Authority: E.O. 12549 (3 CFR 1986 Comp. , p.
189); E.O. 12689 (3 CFR Cornp. , p . 235); 20
u.s.c. 1082, 1094, 1221e-3 and 3474; and Sec.
2455 of Pub. L. 103-355, 108 St at. 3243 a t 3327.
[68 FR 66612. Nov. 26. 2003]
85.612 When does an exclusion by an-
other agency affect the ability of
the excluded person to participate
in a title IV, HEA transaction?
(a ) If a t i tle IV. HEA parti cipant is
debarred by another agency under E.O.
12549, using procedures described in
paragraph (d) of this section, that
party i s not eligibl e to enter into title
IV, HEA transactions for the duration
of the debarment.
(b)(l) U a title IV, HEA participant is
suspended by another agency under
E.O. 12549 or under a proposed debar-
ment under the Federal Acquisition
Regulation (FAR) (48 CFR part 9, sub-
part 9.4), using procedures described in
paragraph (d) of this section, that
party is not eligible to enter into title
IV. HEA transactions for the duration
of the suspension.
(2)(i ) The suspension of title IV, HEA
eligibility as a resul t of suspension by
another agency lasts for at least 60
days.
(ii) If the excluded party does not ob-
ject to the suspension, the 60-day pe-
riod begins on the 35th day after that
agency issues the notice of suspension.
(iii) If the excluded party objects to
the suspension, the 60-day period be-
gins on the date of t he decision of the
suspending official.
(3) The suspension of title IV, HEA
eligibility does not end on the 60th day
if-
(i) The excluded party agrees to an
extension; or
(ii) Before the 60th day we begin a
limitation or termination proceeding
against the excluded party under 34
CFR part 668, subpart G or part 682,
subpart D or G.
(c)(l ) If a title IV. HEA participant is
debarred or suspended by another Fed-
eral agency-
(i) We notify the participant whether
the debarment or suspension prohibits
282
Definiciones:
C.F.R.: Code of Federal Regulations. Codification of the general and permanent rules published in the
Federal Register by the departments and agencies of the Federal Government. It is divided into 50 titles
that represent broad areas subject to Federal regulation.
HEA: Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended.
E.O. 12549: Executive Order 12549--Debarment and suspension
Fuente: 34 C.F.R. PART 85GOVERNMENTWIDE
DEBARMENT AND SUSPENSION (NONPROCUREMENT)
Title 34 - Education
Title IV of the Higher Education Act
of 1965 (HEA) covers the
administration of the United States
federal student financial aid
programs

The Pell Grant is covered by HEA,
Title IV, Part A, Subpart 1; 20 U.S.C.
1070a

Al1THENTICATE9
U.S. COVERNMENT
INFORMATION
GPO
Office of the Secretory, Education
participation in title IV, HEA trans-
actions; and
(ii) If participation is prohibited, we
state the effective date and duration of
the prohibition.
(2) If a debarment or suspension by
another agency prohibits participation
in title IV, HEA transactions, that pro-
hibition takes effect 20 days after we
mail not ice of our action.
(3) If ED or another Federal agency
suspends a title IV, HEA pal'ticipant,
we det ermine whether grounds exist for
an emergency action against the par-
ticipant under 34 CFR part 668, subpart
G or part 682, subpart D or G, as a ppli-
cable.
(4) We use the procedures in 85.611 to
exclude a title IV, HEA participant ex-
cl uded by another Federal agency
using procedures that did not meet the
standards in paragraph (d) of this sec-
tion.
(d) If a t i t le IV, HEA participant is
excluded by another agency, we debar,
terminate, or suspend the participant-
as provided under tbis part, 34 CFR
part 668, or 34 CFR part 682, as applica-
ble- if that agency followed procedures
that gave the excl uded party-
(1) Notice of the proposed action;
(2) An opportunity to submit and
have considered evidence and argument
to oppose the proposed action;
(3) An opportunity to present its ob-
jection at a hearing-
( i ) At which the agency has the bur-
den of persuasion by a preponderance
of the evidence that there is cause for
the excl usion; and
(i i) Conducted by an i mpartial person
who does not also exercise prosecu-
torial or investigative responsibilities
with respect to the exclusion action;
(4) An opportunity to present witness
testimony, unless the hearing official
finds that there is no genuine dispute
about a material fact;
(5) An opportunity to have agency
witnesses with personal knowledge of
material facts in genuine dispute tes-
tify about those facts, if the hearing of-
ficial determines their testimony to be
needed, in light of other available evi-
dence and witnesses; and
85.625
(6) A written decision stating find-
ings of fact and concl usions of law on
wbicb the decision is rendered.
Authority: E.O. 12549 (3 CFR, 1986 Comp. , p.
189). E.O. 12689 (3 CFR, 1989 Cornp. , p. 235); 20
U.S.C. 1082. 1094, 1221e-3 and 3474; and Sec.
2455 of Pub. L. 103--355. 108 Stat. 3243 at 3327.
[68 FR 66613, Nov. 26, 2003]
85.615 How does the Department of
Education notify a person of a sus-
pension or debarment action?
(a) The suspending or debarring offi-
cial sends a written notice to the last
known street address, facsimile num-
ber, or e-mail address of-
(1) You or your identified counsel ; or
(2) Your agent for service of process,
or any of your partners, officers. direc-
tors, owners, or joint ventmers.
(b) The notice is effective if sent to
any of these persons.
Authority: E.O. 12549 (3 CFR, 1986 Cornp. , p.
189); E.O 12689 (3 CFR. 1989 Comp .. p. 235) ; 20
u.s.c. 1082. 1094. 1221e-3 and 3474; and Sec.
2455, Pub. L. 103--355. 108 Stat. 3243 a t 3327.
85.620 Do Federal agencies coordi-
nate suspension and debarment ac-
tions?
Yes. when more than one Federal
agency has an interest in a suspension
or debarment, the agencies may con-
sider designating one agency as the
lead agency for making the decision.
Agencies are encouraged to establish
methods and procedmes for coordi-
nating their suspension and debarment
actions.
Authority : E.O. 12549 (3 CFR, 1986 Cornp. , p.
189); E.O 12689 (3 CFR. 1989 Cornp. , p. 235); 20
U.S.C. 1082, 1094, 122le-3 and 3474; and Sec.
2455, Pub. L. 103--355, 108 Stat. 3243 at 3327.
85.625 What is the scope of a suspen-
sion or debarment?
If you are suspended or debarred, the
suspension or debarment is effecti ve as
follows:
(a) Your suspension or debarment
constitutes suspension or debarment of
all of your divisions and other organi-
zational elements from all covered
transactions, unless the suspension or
debarment decision is limited-
(!) By its terms to one or more spe-
cifically identified individuals, divi-
sions, or other organizational ele-
ments; or
283
"A preponderance of evidence has been described as just enough
evidence to make it more likely than not that the fact the claimant seeks to
prove is true"
i.e.: Menos que "evidencia clara y convincente" y mucho menos que "ms
all de duda razonable", que sera requerido para lograr una condena en
casos criminales en una corte de justicia.