50 CFR 600.235 - Financial disclosure.

§ 600.235 Financial disclosure.
(a) Definitions. For purposes of § 600.235:
Affected individual means an individual who is—
(1) Nominated by the Governor of a state or appointed by the Secretary of Commerce to serve as a voting member of a Council in accordance with section 302(b)(2) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act; or
(2) A representative of an Indian tribe appointed to the Pacific Council by the Secretary of Commerce under section 302(b)(5) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act who is not subject to disclosure and recusal requirements under the laws of an Indian tribal government.
(3) A member of an SSC shall be treated as an affected individual for the purposes of paragraphs (b)(1), (b)(5) through (b)(7), and (i) of this section.
Council decision means approval of a fishery management plan (FMP) or FMP amendment (including any proposed regulations); request for amendment to regulations implementing an FMP; finding that an emergency exists involving any fishery (including recommendations for responding to the emergency); and comments to the Secretary on FMPs or amendments developed by the Secretary. It does not include a vote by a committee of a Council.
Designated official means an attorney designated by the NOAA General Counsel.
Financial Interest Form means NOAA Form 88-195, “STATEMENT OF FINANCIAL INTERESTS For Use By Voting Members of, and Nominees to, the Regional Fishery Management Councils, and Members of the Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC)” or such other form as the Secretary may prescribe.
Financial interest in harvesting, processing, lobbying, advocacy, or marketing (1) includes:
(i) Stock, equity, or other ownership interests in, or employment with, any company, business, fishing vessel, or other entity or employment with any entity that has any percentage ownership in or by another entity engaging in any harvesting, processing, lobbying, advocacy, or marketing activity in any fishery under the jurisdiction of the Council concerned;
(ii) Stock, equity, or other ownership interests in, or employment with, any company or other entity or employment with any entity that has any percentage ownership in or by another entity that provides equipment or other services essential to harvesting, processing, lobbying, advocacy, or marketing activities in any fishery under the jurisdiction of the Council concerned, such as a chandler or a dock operation;
(iii) Employment with, or service as an officer, director, or trustee of, an association whose members include companies, vessels, or other entities engaged in any harvesting, processing, lobbying, advocacy, or marketing activities, or companies or other entities providing services essential to harvesting, processing, lobbying, advocacy, or marketing activities in any fishery under the jurisdiction of the Council concerned; and
(iv) Employment with an entity that has any percentage ownership in or by another entity providing consulting, legal, or representational services to any entity engaging in, or providing equipment or services essential to harvesting, processing, lobbying, advocacy, or marketing activities in any fishery under the jurisdiction of the Council concerned, or to any association whose members include entities engaged in the activities described in paragraphs (1)(i) and (ii) of this definition;
(2) Does not include stock, equity, or other ownership interests in, or employment with, an entity engaging in scientific fisheries research in any fishery under the jurisdiction of the Council concerned, unless it is covered under paragraph (1) of this definition. A financial interest in such entities is covered by 18 U.S.C. 208, the Federal conflict-of-interest statute.
(b) Reporting.
(1) The Magnuson-Stevens Act requires the disclosure of any financial interest in harvesting, processing, lobbying, advocacy, or marketing activity that is being, or will be, undertaken within any fishery over which the Council concerned has jurisdiction. An affected individual must disclose such financial interest held by that individual; the affected individual's spouse, minor child, partner; or any organization (other than the Council) in which that individual is serving as an officer, director, trustee, partner, or employee. The information required to be reported must be disclosed on the Financial Interest Form (as defined in paragraph (a) of this section), or such other form as the Secretary may prescribe.
(2) The Financial Interest Form must be filed by each nominee for Secretarial appointment to the Council with the Assistant Administrator by April 15 or, if nominated after March 15, one month after nomination by the Governor. A seated voting member appointed by the Secretary must file a Financial Interest Form with the Executive Director of the appropriate Council within 45 days of taking office; must file an update of his or her statement with the Executive Director of the appropriate Council within 30 days of the time any such financial interest is acquired or substantially changed by the affected individual or the affected individual's spouse, minor child, partner, or any organization (other than the Council) in which that individual is serving as an officer, director, trustee, partner, or employee; and must update his or her form annually and file that update with the Executive Director of the appropriate Council by February 1 of each year, regardless of whether any information has changed on that form.
(3) The Executive Director must, in a timely manner, provide copies of and updates to the Financial Interest Forms of appointed Council members to the NMFS Regional Administrator, the Regional Attorney who advises the Council, the Department of Commerce Assistant General Counsel for Administration, and the NMFS Office of Sustainable Fisheries. These completed Financial Interest Forms shall be kept on file in the office of the NMFS Regional Administrator and at the Council offices, and shall be made available for public inspection at such offices during normal office hours. In addition, the forms shall be made available at each Council meeting or hearing and shall be posted for download from the Internet on the Council's website.
(4) Councils must retain the Financial Interest Form for a Council member for at least 5 years after the expiration of that individual's last term.
(5) An individual being considered for appointment to an SSC must file the Financial Interest Form with the Regional Administrator for the geographic area concerned within 45 days prior to appointment. A member of the SSC must file an update of his or her statement with the Regional Administrator for the geographic area concerned within 30 days of the time any such financial interest is acquired or substantially changed by the SSC member or the SSC member's spouse, minor child, partner, or any organization (other than the Council) in which that individual is serving as an officer, director, trustee, partner, or employee; and must update his or her form annually and file that update with the Regional Administrator by February 1 of each year.
(6) An individual who serves as an SSC member to more than one Council shall file Financial Interest Forms with each Regional Administrator for the geographic areas concerned.
(7) The Regional Administrator shall maintain on file the Financial Interest Forms of all SSC members for at least five years after the expiration of that individual's term on the SSC. Such Forms are not subject to sections 302(j)(5)(B) and (C) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act.
(c) Restrictions on voting.
(1) No affected individual may vote on any Council decision that would have a significant and predictable effect on a financial interest disclosed in his/her report filed under paragraph (b) of this section.
(2) As used in this section, a Council decision will be considered to have a “significant and predictable effect on a financial interest” if there is a close causal link between the decision and an expected and substantially disproportionate benefit to the financial interest in harvesting, processing, lobbying, advocacy, or marketing of any affected individual or the affected individual's spouse, minor child, partner, or any organization (other than the Council) in which that individual is serving as an officer, director, trustee, partner, or employee, relative to the financial interests of other participants in the same gear type or sector of the fishery. The relative financial interests of the affected individual and other participants will be determined with reference to the most recent fishing year for which information is available. However, for fisheries in which IFQs are assigned, the percentage of IFQs assigned to the affected individual will be the determining factor.
(3) “Expected and substantially disproportionate benefit” means a quantifiable positive or negative impact with regard to a matter likely to affect a fishery or sector of the fishery in which the affected individual has a significant interest, as indicated by:
(i) A greater than 10-percent interest in the total harvest of the fishery or sector of the fishery in question;
(ii) A greater than 10-percent interest in the marketing or processing of the total harvest of the fishery or sector of the fishery in question; or
(iii) Full or partial ownership of more than 10 percent of the vessels using the same gear type within the fishery or sector of the fishery in question.
(4) A member of an SSC is not subject to the restrictions on voting under this section.
(d) Voluntary recusal. An affected individual who believes that a Council decision would have a significant and predictable effect on that individual's financial interest disclosed under paragraph (b) of this section may, at any time before a vote is taken, announce to the Council an intent not to vote on the decision and identify the financial interest that would be affected.
(e) Participation in deliberations. Notwithstanding paragraph (c) of this section, an affected individual who is recused from voting under this section may participate in Council and committee deliberations relating to the decision, after notifying the Council of the voting recusal and identifying the financial interest that would be affected.
(f) Requests for determination.
(1) At the request of an affected individual, the designated official shall determine for the record whether a Council decision would have a significant and predictable effect on that individual's financial interest. The determination will be based upon a review of the information contained in the individual's financial disclosure form and any other reliable and probative information provided in writing. All information considered will be made part of the public record for the decision. The affected individual may request a determination by notifying the designated official—
(i) Within a reasonable time before the Council meeting at which the Council decision will be made; or
(ii) During a Council meeting before a Council vote on the decision.
(2) The designated official may initiate a determination on the basis of—
(i) His or her knowledge of the fishery and the financial interests disclosed by an affected individual; or
(ii) Written and signed information received within a reasonable time before a Council meeting or, if the issue could not have been anticipated before the meeting, during a Council meeting before a Council vote on the decision.
(3) At the beginning of each Council meeting, or during a Council meeting at any time reliable and probative information is received, the designated official shall announce the receipt of information relevant to a determination concerning recusal, the nature of that information, and the identity of the submitter of such information.
(4) If the designated official determines that the affected individual may not vote, the individual may state for the record how he or she would have voted. A Council Chair may not allow such an individual to cast a vote.
(5) A reversal of a determination under paragraph (g) of this section may not be treated as cause for invalidation or reconsideration by the Secretary of a Council's decision.
(g) Review of determinations.
(1) Any Council member may file a written request to the NOAA General Counsel for review of the designated official's determination. A request for review must be received within 10 days of the determination.
(2) A request must include a full statement in support of the review, including a concise statement as to why the Council's decision did or did not have a significantly disproportionate benefit to the financial interest of the affected individual relative to the financial interests of other participants in the same gear type or sector of the fishery, and why the designated official's determination should be reversed.
(3) If the request for review is from a Council member other than the affected individual whose vote is at issue, the requester must provide a copy of the request to the affected individual at the same time it is submitted to the NOAA General Counsel. The affected individual may submit a response to the NOAA General Counsel within 10 days from the date of his/her receipt of the request for review.
(4) The NOAA General Counsel must complete the review and issue a decision within 30 days from the date of receipt of the request for review. The NOAA General Counsel will limit the review to the record before the designated official at the time of the determination, the request, and any response.
(h) The provisions of 18 U.S.C. 208 regarding conflicts of interest do not apply to an affected individual who is a voting member of a Council appointed by the Secretary, as described under section 302(j)(1)(A)(ii) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and who is in compliance with the requirements of this section for filing a financial disclosure report. The provisions of 18 U.S.C. 208 do not apply to a member of an SSC, unless that individual is an officer or employee of the United States or is otherwise covered by the requirements of 18 U.S.C. 208.
(i) It is unlawful for an affected individual to knowingly and willfully fail to disclose, or to falsely disclose, any financial interest as required by this section, or to knowingly vote on a Council decision in violation of this section. In addition to the penalties applicable under § 600.735, a violation of this provision may result in removal of the affected individual from Council or SSC membership.
[63 FR 64185, Nov. 19, 1998, as amended at 75 FR 59152, Sept. 27, 2010]

Title 50 published on 2013-10-01

no entries appear in the Federal Register after this date.

This is a list of United States Code sections, Statutes at Large, Public Laws, and Presidential Documents, which provide rulemaking authority for this CFR Part.

This list is taken from the Parallel Table of Authorities and Rules provided by GPO [Government Printing Office].

It is not guaranteed to be accurate or up-to-date, though we do refresh the database weekly. More limitations on accuracy are described at the GPO site.


United States Code
Statutes at Large
Public Laws