38 U.S.C. § 7101 - U.S. Code - Unannotated Title 38. Veterans' Benefits § 7101. Composition of Board of Veterans' Appeals
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There is in the Department a Board of Veterans' Appeals (hereinafter in this chapter referred to as the “Board”). The Board is under the administrative control and supervision of a chairman directly responsible to the Secretary. The Board shall consist of a Chairman, a Vice Chairman, and such number of members as may be found necessary in order to conduct hearings and dispose of appeals properly before the Board in a timely manner. The Board shall have such other professional, administrative, clerical, and stenographic personnel as are necessary in conducting hearings and considering and disposing of appeals properly before the Board. The Board shall have sufficient personnel under the preceding sentence to enable the Board to conduct hearings and consider and dispose of appeals properly before the Board in a timely manner.
The Chairman shall be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, for a term of six years. The Chairman shall be subject to the same ethical and legal limitations and restrictions concerning involvement in political activities as apply to judges of the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.
The Chairman may be removed by the President for misconduct, inefficiency, neglect of duty, or engaging in the practice of law or for physical or mental disability which, in the opinion of the President, prevents the proper execution of the Chairman's duties. The Chairman may not be removed from office by the President on any other grounds. Any such removal may only be made after notice and opportunity for hearing.
The Chairman may be appointed under this subsection to more than one term. If, upon the expiration of the term of office for which the Chairman was appointed, the position of Chairman would become vacant, the individual serving as Chairman may, with the approval of the Secretary, continue to serve as Chairman until either appointed to another term or a successor is appointed, but not beyond the end of the Congress during which the term of office expired.
The Secretary shall designate one member of the Board as Vice Chairman. The Vice Chairman shall perform such functions as the Chairman may specify. Such member shall serve as Vice Chairman at the pleasure of the Secretary.
The Chairman may from time to time designate one or more employees of the Department to serve as acting members of the Board. Except as provided in subparagraph (B), any such designation shall be for a period not to exceed 90 days, as determined by the Chairman.
An individual designated as an acting member of the Board may continue to serve as an acting member of the Board in the making of any determination on a proceeding for which the individual was designated as an acting member of the Board, notwithstanding the termination of the period of designation of the individual as an acting member of the Board under subparagraph (A) or (C).
An individual may not serve as an acting member of the Board for more than 270 days during any one-year period.
At no time may the number of acting members exceed 20 percent of the total of the number of Board members and acting Board members combined.
In each annual report to the Congress under section 529 of this title, the Secretary shall provide detailed descriptions of the activities undertaken and plans made in the fiscal year for which the report is made with respect to the authority provided by paragraph (1) of this subsection. In each such report, the Secretary shall indicate, in terms of full-time employee equivalents, the number of acting members of the Board designated under such paragraph (1) during the year for which the report is made.
After the end of each fiscal year, the Chairman shall prepare a report on the activities of the Board during that fiscal year and the projected activities of the Board for the fiscal year during which the report is prepared and the next fiscal year. Such report shall be included in the documents providing detailed information on the budget for the Department that the Secretary submits to the Congress in conjunction with the President's budget submission for any fiscal year pursuant to section 1105 of title 31 .
Each such report shall include, with respect to the preceding fiscal year, information specifying--
the number of cases appealed to the Board during that year;
the number of cases pending before the Board at the beginning and at the end of that year;
the number of such cases which were filed during each of the 36 months preceding the current fiscal year;
the average length of time a case was before the Board between the time of the filing of an appeal and the disposition during the preceding fiscal year;
the number of members of the Board at the end of the year and the number of professional, administrative, clerical, stenographic, and other personnel employed by the Board at the end of the preceding fiscal year; and
the number of employees of the Department designated under subsection (c)(1) to serve as acting members of the Board during that year and the number of cases in which each such member participated during that year.
The projections in each such report for the current fiscal year and for the next fiscal year shall include (for each such year)--
an estimate of the number of cases to be appealed to the Board; and
an evaluation of the ability of the Board (based on existing and projected personnel levels) to ensure timely disposition of such appeals as required by section 7101(a) of this title.
A performance incentive that is authorized by law for officers and employees of the Federal Government may be awarded to a member of the Board (including an acting member) by reason of that member's service on the Board only if the Chairman of the Board determines that such member should be awarded that incentive. A determination by the Chairman for such purpose shall be made taking into consideration the quality of performance of the Board member.
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