Except as authorized in writing by the Chairman pursuant to paragraph (b) of this section, or otherwise as authorized by the Commission or its rules, nonpublic information shall not be disclosed, directly or indirectly, to any person outside the Commission. Such information includes, but is not limited to, the following:
The content of agenda items (except for compliance with the Government in the Sunshine Act, 5 U.S.C. 552b ); or
Actions or decisions made by the Commission at closed meetings or by circulation prior to the public release of such information by the Commission.
An employee engaged in outside teaching, lecturing, or writing shall not use nonpublic information obtained as a result of his Government employment in connection with such teaching, lecturing, or writing except when the Chairman gives written authorization for the use of that nonpublic information on the basis that its use is in the public interest.
This section does not prohibit the disclosure of an official Commission meeting agenda listing titles and summaries of items for discussion at an open Commission meeting. Also, this section does not prohibit the disclosure of information about the scheduling of Commission agenda items.
Any person regulated by or practicing before the Commission coming into possession of written nonpublic information (including written material transmitted in electronic form) as described in paragraph (a) of this section under circumstances where it appears that its release was inadvertent or otherwise unauthorized shall promptly return the written information to the Commission's Office of the Inspector General without further distribution or use of the written nonpublic information. Any person regulated by or practicing before the Commission who willfully violates this section by failing to promptly notify the Commission's Office of the Inspector General of the receipt of written nonpublic information (including written material transmitted in electronic form) that he knew or should have known was released inadvertently or in any otherwise unauthorized manner may be subject to appropriate sanctions by the Commission. In the case of attorneys practicing before the Commission, such sanctions may include disciplinary action under the provisions of § 1.24 of this chapter.
Employees also should refer to the provisions of the Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch, at 5 CFR 2635.703
, on the use of nonpublic information. Additionally, employees should refer to § 19.735-107 of this part, which provides that employees of the Commission who violate this part may be subject to disciplinary action which may be in addition to any other penalty prescribed by law. As is the case with section 2635.703
, this part is intended only to cover knowing unauthorized disclosures of nonpublic information.
[61 FR 56112, Oct. 31, 1996, as amended at 65 FR 66185, Nov. 3, 2000]