§ 261.16Request for access to confidential commercial or financial information.
(a)Request for confidential information. A request by a submitter for confidential treatment of any information shall be considered in connection with a request for access to that information. At their discretion, appropriate Board or staff members (including Federal Reserve Bank staff) may act on the request for confidentiality prior to any request for access to the documents.
(b)Notice to the submitter. When a request for access is received pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552):
(1) The Secretary shall notify a submitter of the request, if:
(i) The submitter requested confidential treatment of the information pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(4); and
(ii) The request by the submitter for confidential treatment was made within 10 years preceding the date of the request for access.
(2) Absent a request for confidential treatment, the Secretary may notify a submitter of a request for access to information provided by the submitter if the Secretary reasonably believes that disclosure of the information may cause substantial competitive harm to the submitter.
(3) The notice given to the submitter shall:
(i) Be given as soon as practicable after receipt of the request for access;
(ii) Describe the request; and
(iii) Give the submitter a reasonable opportunity, not to exceed ten working days from the date of notice, to submit written objections to disclosure of the information.
(c)Exceptions to notice to submitter. Notice to the submitter need not be given if:
(1) The Secretary determines that the request for access should be denied;
(2) The requested information lawfully has been made available to the public;
(3) Disclosure of the information is required by law (other than 5 U.S.C. 552); or
(4) The submitter's claim of confidentiality under 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(4) appears obviously frivolous or has already been denied by the Secretary, except that in this last instance the Secretary shall give the submitter written notice of the determination to disclose the information at least five working days prior to disclosure.
(d)Notice to requester. At the same time the Secretary notifies the submitter, the Secretary also shall notify the requester that the request is subject to the provisions of this section.
(e)Written objections by submitter. Upon receipt of notice of a request for access to its information, the submitter may provide written objections to release of the information. Such objections shall state whether the information was provided voluntarily or involuntarily to the Board.
(1) If the information was voluntarily provided to the Board, the submitter shall provide detailed facts showing that the information is customarily withheld from the public.
(2) If the information was not provided voluntarily to the Board, the submitter shall provide detailed facts and arguments showing:
(i) The likelihood of substantial harm that would be caused to the submitter's competitive position; or
(ii) That release of the information would impair the Board's ability to obtain necessary information in the future.
(f)Determination by Secretary. The Secretary's determination whether or not to disclose any information for which confidential treatment has been requested pursuant to this section shall be communicated to the submitter and the requester immediately. If the Secretary determines to disclose the information and the submitter has objected to such disclosure pursuant to paragraph (e) of this section, the Secretary shall provide the submitter with the reasons for disclosure, and shall delay disclosure for ten working days from the date of the determination.
(g)Notice of lawsuit. (1) The Secretary shall promptly notify any submitter of information covered by this section of the filing of any suit against the Board to compel disclosure of such information.
(2) The Secretary shall promptly notify the requester of any suit filed against the Board to enjoin the disclosure of any documents requested by the requester.
Title 12 published on 2014-01-01
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