Ex parte communications.
As used in this section:
Board decisional employee means a Board Member or employee who is or who may reasonably be expected to be involved in the decisional process of the proceeding;
Ex parte communication means an oral or written communication not on the public record with respect to which reasonable prior notice to all parties is not given, but it shall not include requests for status reports on any matter or proceeding covered by this part.
The prohibition of paragraph (c) of this section shall apply from the time a proceeding is noticed for hearing unless the person responsible for the communication has knowledge that it will be noticed, in which case the prohibition shall apply at the time of the acquisition of such knowledge.
Except to the extent required for the disposition of ex parte matters as authorized by law:
No interested person outside the Board shall make or knowingly cause to be made to any Board employee an ex parte communication relevant to the merits of the proceeding;
No Board employee shall make or knowingly cause to be made to any interested person outside the Board an ex parte communication relevant to the merits of the proceeding.
Ex parte communications regarding solely matters of Board procedure or practice are not prohibited by this paragraph.
A Board employee who receives or who makes or knowingly causes to be made a communication prohibited by paragraph (c) of this section, shall place on the public record of the proceeding:
All such written communications;
Memoranda stating the substance of all such oral communication; and
All written responses, and memoranda stating the substance of all oral responses, to materials described in paragraphs (d) (1) and (2) of this section.
Upon receipt of a communication knowingly made or caused to be made in violation of paragraph (c) of this section, the Board may, to the extent consistent with the interests of justice and the policy of the underlying statutes, require the party to show cause why his or her interest in the proceeding should not be dismissed, denied, disregarded, or otherwise adversely affected on account of such violation.
The Board may, to the extent consistent with the interests of justice and the policy of the underlying statutes administered by the Board, consider a violation of this section sufficient grounds for a decision adverse to a party who has knowingly committed such violation or knowingly caused such violation to occur.
(Authority: Sec. 4, Government in the Sunshine Act, Pub. L. 94-409, amending
5 U.S.C. 556
5 U.S.C. 557
; Independent Safety Board Act of 1974, Pub. L. 93-633, 88 Stat. 2166 (
49 U.S.C. 1901
[42 FR 21614, Apr. 28, 1977]