(a) In general.
Meetings of the Commission, as defined in 5 U.S.C. 552b(a)(2), are held at the principal office of the Commission, unless otherwise directed.
(2) Initial announcements of meetings.
For each meeting, the Commission shall announce:
The time, place and subject matter of the meeting,
Whether the meeting will be open or closed to the public, and
The name and phone number of the official who will respond to requests for information about the meeting.
Such announcement shall be made at least one week before the meeting except that where the agency determines pursuant to
5 U.S.C. 552b(e)(1)
to call the meeting on less than one week's notice, or where the agency determines to close the meeting pursuant to paragraph (c)(2) of this section, the announcement shall be made at the earliest practicable time.
(3) Announcements of changes in meetings.
Following the announcement of a meeting, any change in the time, place or subject matter will be announced at the earliest practicable time, and, except with respect to meetings closed under paragraph (c)(2) of this section, any change in the subject matter or decision to open or close a meeting shall be made only as provided in 5 U.S.C. 552b(e)(2).
(4) Deletions from announcements.
The requirements of paragraphs (a)(2) and (a)(3) of this section do not require the disclosure of any information pertaining to a portion of a closed meeting where such disclosure is likely to concern a matter within the scope of 5 U.S.C. 552b(c).
(5) Dissemination of notices.
Notices required under paragraphs (a)(2) and (a)(3) of this section will be posted at the principal office of the Commission, recorded on a telephone message device, and, except as to notices of meetings closed under paragraph (c)(2) of this section, submitted to the Federal Register for publication. In addition, notices issued under paragraph (a)(2) of this section one week in advance of the meeting will be sent to all persons and organizations who have requested inclusion on a meeting notice mailing list, and will be issued as a press release to interested media.
(b) Open meetings.
Commission meetings shall be open to public observation unless the Commission determines that portions may be closed pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552b(c).
Any person whose interest may be directly affected if a portion of a meeting is open, may request that the Commission close that portion for any of the reasons described in 5 U.S.C. 552b(c). The Commission shall vote on such requests if at least one member desires to do so. Such requests shall be in writing, filed at the earliest practicable time, and describe how the matters to be discussed will have any of the effects enumerated in 5 U.S.C. 552b(c). Requests shall be addressed as follows:
The Commissioner to whom a matter has been assigned for presentation to the Commission shall have the authority to make available to the public, prior to consideration of that matter at an open meeting, material sufficient to inform the public of the issues likely to be discussed in connection with that matter.
(c) Closed meetings.
Whenever the Commission votes to close a meeting or series of meetings under these rules, it shall make publicly available within one day notices both of such vote and the General Counsel's determination regarding certification under 5 U.S.C. 552b(f)(1). Such determination by the General Counsel shall be made prior to the Commission vote to close a meeting or series of meetings. Further, except with respect to meetings closed under paragraph (c)(2) of this section, the Commission shall make publicly available within one day a full written explanation of its action in closing any meeting, and a list specifying the names and affiliations of all persons expected to attend, except Commission employees and consultants and any stenographer or court reporter attending for the sole purpose of preparing a verbatim transcript. All Commission employees and consultants may attend nonadjudicative portions of any closed meeting and members of Commissioners' personal staffs, the General Counsel and his staff, and the Secretary and his staff may attend the adjudicative portions of any closed meeting except to the extent the notice of a particular closed meeting otherwise specifically provides. Stenographers or court reporters may attend any closed meeting at which their services are required by the Commission.
If a Commission meeting, or portions thereof, may be closed pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552b(c)(10), the Commission may, by vote recorded at the beginning of the meeting, or portion thereof, close the portion or portions of the meeting so exempt.
Closed meeting transcripts or minutes required by 5 U.S.C. 552b(f)(1) will be released to the public insofar as they contain information that either is not exempt from disclosure under 5 U.S.C. 552b(c), or, although exempt, should be disclosed in the public interest. The Commission will determine whether to release, in whole or in part, the minutes of its executive sessions to consider oral arguments. With regard to all other closed meetings, the General Counsel or the General Counsel's designee shall determine, in accordance with § 4.9(c), which portions of the transcripts or minutes may be released.
The presiding officer shall be responsible for preserving order and decorum at meetings and shall have all powers necessary to that end.
[42 FR 13541, Mar. 11, 1977; 42 FR 15409, Mar. 22, 1977, as amended at 42 FR 62912, Dec. 14, 1977: 43 FR 1937, Jan. 13, 1978; 43 FR 35684, Aug. 11, 1978; 63 FR 32978, June 17, 1998]