(a) The presiding officer shall have the duty to conduct a fair hearing, to avoid delay, maintain order, and make a record of the proceedings. The presiding officer shall have all powers necessary to accomplish these ends, including, but not limited to, the power to:

(1) Change the date, time, and place of the hearing, upon due notice to the parties. This authority includes the power to continue the hearing in whole or in part;

(2) Hold conferences to settle or simplify the issues in a proceeding, or to consider other matters that may aid in the expeditious disposition of the proceeding;

(3) Regulate participation of parties and amici curiae and require parties and amici curiae to state their position with respect to the various issues in the proceeding;

(4) Administer oaths and affirmations;

(5) Rule on all pending motions and other procedural items including issuance of protective orders or other relief to a party against whom discovery is sought;

(6) Regulate the course of the hearing and conduct of counsel therein;

(7) Examine witnesses;

(8) Receive, rule on, exclude or limit evidence or discovery;

(9) Fix the time for filing motions, petitions, briefs, or other items in matters pending;

(10) If the presiding officer is the Assistant Secretary, make a final decision;

(11) If the presiding officer is not the Assistant Secretary, certify the entire record including the recommended findings and proposed decision to the Assistant Secretary; and

(12) Take any action authorized by the rules in this part or in conformance with the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 551 through 559.

(b) The presiding officer does not have authority to compel by subpoena the production of witnesses, papers, or other evidence.

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