5 U.S. Code § 552b - Open meetings

(a) For purposes of this section—
(1) the term “agency” means any agency, as defined in section 552 (e)  [1] of this title, headed by a collegial body composed of two or more individual members, a majority of whom are appointed to such position by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate, and any subdivision thereof authorized to act on behalf of the agency;
(2) the term “meeting” means the deliberations of at least the number of individual agency members required to take action on behalf of the agency where such deliberations determine or result in the joint conduct or disposition of official agency business, but does not include deliberations required or permitted by subsection (d) or (e); and
(3) the term “member” means an individual who belongs to a collegial body heading an agency.
(b) Members shall not jointly conduct or dispose of agency business other than in accordance with this section. Except as provided in subsection (c), every portion of every meeting of an agency shall be open to public observation.
(c) Except in a case where the agency finds that the public interest requires otherwise, the second sentence of subsection (b) shall not apply to any portion of an agency meeting, and the requirements of subsections (d) and (e) shall not apply to any information pertaining to such meeting otherwise required by this section to be disclosed to the public, where the agency properly determines that such portion or portions of its meeting or the disclosure of such information is likely to—
(1) disclose matters that are
(A) specifically authorized under criteria established by an Executive order to be kept secret in the interests of national defense or foreign policy and
(B) in fact properly classified pursuant to such Executive order;
(2) relate solely to the internal personnel rules and practices of an agency;
(3) disclose matters specifically exempted from disclosure by statute (other than section 552 of this title), provided that such statute
(A) requires that the matters be withheld from the public in such a manner as to leave no discretion on the issue, or
(B) establishes particular criteria for withholding or refers to particular types of matters to be withheld;
(4) disclose trade secrets and commercial or financial information obtained from a person and privileged or confidential;
(5) involve accusing any person of a crime, or formally censuring any person;
(6) disclose information of a personal nature where disclosure would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy;
(7) disclose investigatory records compiled for law enforcement purposes, or information which if written would be contained in such records, but only to the extent that the production of such records or information would
(A) interfere with enforcement proceedings,
(B) deprive a person of a right to a fair trial or an impartial adjudication,
(C) constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy,
(D) disclose the identity of a confidential source and, in the case of a record compiled by a criminal law enforcement authority in the course of a criminal investigation, or by an agency conducting a lawful national security intelligence investigation, confidential information furnished only by the confidential source,
(E) disclose investigative techniques and procedures, or
(F) endanger the life or physical safety of law enforcement personnel;
(8) disclose information contained in or related to examination, operating, or condition reports prepared by, on behalf of, or for the use of an agency responsible for the regulation or supervision of financial institutions;
(9) disclose information the premature disclosure of which would—
(A) in the case of an agency which regulates currencies, securities, commodities, or financial institutions, be likely to
(i) lead to significant financial speculation in currencies, securities, or commodities, or
(ii) significantly endanger the stability of any financial institution; or
(B) in the case of any agency, be likely to significantly frustrate implementation of a proposed agency action,
except that subparagraph (B) shall not apply in any instance where the agency has already disclosed to the public the content or nature of its proposed action, or where the agency is required by law to make such disclosure on its own initiative prior to taking final agency action on such proposal; or
(10) specifically concern the agency’s issuance of a subpena, or the agency’s participation in a civil action or proceeding, an action in a foreign court or international tribunal, or an arbitration, or the initiation, conduct, or disposition by the agency of a particular case of formal agency adjudication pursuant to the procedures in section 554 of this title or otherwise involving a determination on the record after opportunity for a hearing.
(d)
(1) Action under subsection (c) shall be taken only when a majority of the entire membership of the agency (as defined in subsection (a)(1)) votes to take such action. A separate vote of the agency members shall be taken with respect to each agency meeting a portion or portions of which are proposed to be closed to the public pursuant to subsection (c), or with respect to any information which is proposed to be withheld under subsection (c). A single vote may be taken with respect to a series of meetings, a portion or portions of which are proposed to be closed to the public, or with respect to any information concerning such series of meetings, so long as each meeting in such series involves the same particular matters and is scheduled to be held no more than thirty days after the initial meeting in such series. The vote of each agency member participating in such vote shall be recorded and no proxies shall be allowed.
(2) Whenever any person whose interests may be directly affected by a portion of a meeting requests that the agency close such portion to the public for any of the reasons referred to in paragraph (5), (6), or (7) of subsection (c), the agency, upon request of any one of its members, shall vote by recorded vote whether to close such meeting.
(3) Within one day of any vote taken pursuant to paragraph (1) or (2), the agency shall make publicly available a written copy of such vote reflecting the vote of each member on the question. If a portion of a meeting is to be closed to the public, the agency shall, within one day of the vote taken pursuant to paragraph (1) or (2) of this subsection, make publicly available a full written explanation of its action closing the portion together with a list of all persons expected to attend the meeting and their affiliation.
(4) Any agency, a majority of whose meetings may properly be closed to the public pursuant to paragraph (4), (8), (9)(A), or (10) of subsection (c), or any combination thereof, may provide by regulation for the closing of such meetings or portions thereof in the event that a majority of the members of the agency votes by recorded vote at the beginning of such meeting, or portion thereof, to close the exempt portion or portions of the meeting, and a copy of such vote, reflecting the vote of each member on the question, is made available to the public. The provisions of paragraphs (1), (2), and (3) of this subsection and subsection (e) shall not apply to any portion of a meeting to which such regulations apply: Provided, That the agency shall, except to the extent that such information is exempt from disclosure under the provisions of subsection (c), provide the public with public announcement of the time, place, and subject matter of the meeting and of each portion thereof at the earliest practicable time.
(e)
(1) In the case of each meeting, the agency shall make public announcement, at least one week before the meeting, of the time, place, and subject matter of the meeting, whether it is to be open or closed to the public, and the name and phone number of the official designated by the agency to respond to requests for information about the meeting. Such announcement shall be made unless a majority of the members of the agency determines by a recorded vote that agency business requires that such meeting be called at an earlier date, in which case the agency shall make public announcement of the time, place, and subject matter of such meeting, and whether open or closed to the public, at the earliest practicable time.
(2) The time or place of a meeting may be changed following the public announcement required by paragraph (1) only if the agency publicly announces such change at the earliest practicable time. The subject matter of a meeting, or the determination of the agency to open or close a meeting, or portion of a meeting, to the public, may be changed following the public announcement required by this subsection only if
(A) a majority of the entire membership of the agency determines by a recorded vote that agency business so requires and that no earlier announcement of the change was possible, and
(B) the agency publicly announces such change and the vote of each member upon such change at the earliest practicable time.
(3) Immediately following each public announcement required by this subsection, notice of the time, place, and subject matter of a meeting, whether the meeting is open or closed, any change in one of the preceding, and the name and phone number of the official designated by the agency to respond to requests for information about the meeting, shall also be submitted for publication in the Federal Register.
(f)
(1) For every meeting closed pursuant to paragraphs (1) through (10) of subsection (c), the General Counsel or chief legal officer of the agency shall publicly certify that, in his or her opinion, the meeting may be closed to the public and shall state each relevant exemptive provision. A copy of such certification, together with a statement from the presiding officer of the meeting setting forth the time and place of the meeting, and the persons present, shall be retained by the agency. The agency shall maintain a complete transcript or electronic recording adequate to record fully the proceedings of each meeting, or portion of a meeting, closed to the public, except that in the case of a meeting, or portion of a meeting, closed to the public pursuant to paragraph (8), (9)(A), or (10) of subsection (c), the agency shall maintain either such a transcript or recording, or a set of minutes. Such minutes shall fully and clearly describe all matters discussed and shall provide a full and accurate summary of any actions taken, and the reasons therefor, including a description of each of the views expressed on any item and the record of any rollcall vote (reflecting the vote of each member on the question). All documents considered in connection with any action shall be identified in such minutes.
(2) The agency shall make promptly available to the public, in a place easily accessible to the public, the transcript, electronic recording, or minutes (as required by paragraph (1)) of the discussion of any item on the agenda, or of any item of the testimony of any witness received at the meeting, except for such item or items of such discussion or testimony as the agency determines to contain information which may be withheld under subsection (c). Copies of such transcript, or minutes, or a transcription of such recording disclosing the identity of each speaker, shall be furnished to any person at the actual cost of duplication or transcription. The agency shall maintain a complete verbatim copy of the transcript, a complete copy of the minutes, or a complete electronic recording of each meeting, or portion of a meeting, closed to the public, for a period of at least two years after such meeting, or until one year after the conclusion of any agency proceeding with respect to which the meeting or portion was held, whichever occurs later.
(g) Each agency subject to the requirements of this section shall, within 180 days after the date of enactment of this section, following consultation with the Office of the Chairman of the Administrative Conference of the United States and published notice in the Federal Register of at least thirty days and opportunity for written comment by any person, promulgate regulations to implement the requirements of subsections (b) through (f) of this section. Any person may bring a proceeding in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia to require an agency to promulgate such regulations if such agency has not promulgated such regulations within the time period specified herein. Subject to any limitations of time provided by law, any person may bring a proceeding in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia to set aside agency regulations issued pursuant to this subsection that are not in accord with the requirements of subsections (b) through (f) of this section and to require the promulgation of regulations that are in accord with such subsections.
(h)
(1) The district courts of the United States shall have jurisdiction to enforce the requirements of subsections (b) through (f) of this section by declaratory judgment, injunctive relief, or other relief as may be appropriate. Such actions may be brought by any person against an agency prior to, or within sixty days after, the meeting out of which the violation of this section arises, except that if public announcement of such meeting is not initially provided by the agency in accordance with the requirements of this section, such action may be instituted pursuant to this section at any time prior to sixty days after any public announcement of such meeting. Such actions may be brought in the district court of the United States for the district in which the agency meeting is held or in which the agency in question has its headquarters, or in the District Court for the District of Columbia. In such actions a defendant shall serve his answer within thirty days after the service of the complaint. The burden is on the defendant to sustain his action. In deciding such cases the court may examine in camera any portion of the transcript, electronic recording, or minutes of a meeting closed to the public, and may take such additional evidence as it deems necessary. The court, having due regard for orderly administration and the public interest, as well as the interests of the parties, may grant such equitable relief as it deems appropriate, including granting an injunction against future violations of this section or ordering the agency to make available to the public such portion of the transcript, recording, or minutes of a meeting as is not authorized to be withheld under subsection (c) of this section.
(2) Any Federal court otherwise authorized by law to review agency action may, at the application of any person properly participating in the proceeding pursuant to other applicable law, inquire into violations by the agency of the requirements of this section and afford such relief as it deems appropriate. Nothing in this section authorizes any Federal court having jurisdiction solely on the basis of paragraph (1) to set aside, enjoin, or invalidate any agency action (other than an action to close a meeting or to withhold information under this section) taken or discussed at any agency meeting out of which the violation of this section arose.
(i) The court may assess against any party reasonable attorney fees and other litigation costs reasonably incurred by any other party who substantially prevails in any action brought in accordance with the provisions of subsection (g) or (h) of this section, except that costs may be assessed against the plaintiff only where the court finds that the suit was initiated by the plaintiff primarily for frivolous or dilatory purposes. In the case of assessment of costs against an agency, the costs may be assessed by the court against the United States.
(j) Each agency subject to the requirements of this section shall annually report to the Congress regarding the following:
(1) The changes in the policies and procedures of the agency under this section that have occurred during the preceding 1-year period.
(2) A tabulation of the number of meetings held, the exemptions applied to close meetings, and the days of public notice provided to close meetings.
(3) A brief description of litigation or formal complaints concerning the implementation of this section by the agency.
(4) A brief explanation of any changes in law that have affected the responsibilities of the agency under this section.
(k) Nothing herein expands or limits the present rights of any person under section 552 of this title, except that the exemptions set forth in subsection (c) of this section shall govern in the case of any request made pursuant to section 552 to copy or inspect the transcripts, recordings, or minutes described in subsection (f) of this section. The requirements of chapter 33 of title 44, United States Code, shall not apply to the transcripts, recordings, and minutes described in subsection (f) of this section.
(l) This section does not constitute authority to withhold any information from Congress, and does not authorize the closing of any agency meeting or portion thereof required by any other provision of law to be open.
(m) Nothing in this section authorizes any agency to withhold from any individual any record, including transcripts, recordings, or minutes required by this section, which is otherwise accessible to such individual under section 552a of this title.


[1]  See References in Text note below.

Source

(Added Pub. L. 94–409, § 3(a),Sept. 13, 1976, 90 Stat. 1241; amended Pub. L. 104–66, title III, § 3002,Dec. 21, 1995, 109 Stat. 734.)
References in Text

Section 552 (e) of this title, referred to in subsec. (a)(1), was redesignated section 552 (f) of this title by section 1802(b) ofPub. L. 99–570.
180 days after the date of enactment of this section, referred to in subsec. (g), means 180 days after the date of enactment of Pub. L. 94–409, which was approved Sept. 13, 1976.
Amendments

1995—Subsec. (j). Pub. L. 104–66amended subsec. (j) generally. Prior to amendment, subsec. (j) read as follows: “Each agency subject to the requirements of this section shall annually report to Congress regarding its compliance with such requirements, including a tabulation of the total number of agency meetings open to the public, the total number of meetings closed to the public, the reasons for closing such meetings, and a description of any litigation brought against the agency under this section, including any costs assessed against the agency in such litigation (whether or not paid by the agency).”
Effective Date

Pub. L. 94–409, § 6,Sept. 13, 1976, 90 Stat. 1248, provided that:
“(a) Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, the provisions of this Act [see Short Title note set out below] shall take effect 180 days after the date of its enactment [Sept. 13, 1976].
“(b) Subsection (g) ofsection 552b of title 5, United States Code, as added by section 3(a) of this Act, shall take effect upon enactment [Sept. 13, 1976].”
Short Title of 1976 Amendment

Pub. L. 94–409, § 1,Sept. 13, 1976, 90 Stat. 1241, provided: “That this Act [enacting this section, amending sections 551, 552, 556, and 557 of this title, section 10 ofPub. L. 92–463, set out in the Appendix to this title, and section 410 of Title 39, and enacting provisions set out as notes under this section] may be cited as the ‘Government in the Sunshine Act’.”
Termination of Reporting Requirements

For termination, effective May 15, 2000, of provisions of law requiring submittal to Congress of any annual, semiannual, or other regular periodic report listed in House Document No. 103–7 (in which the report required by subsec. (j) of this section is listed on page 151), see section 3003 ofPub. L. 104–66, as amended, set out as a note under section 1113 of Title 31, Money and Finance.
Termination of Administrative Conference of United States

For termination of Administrative Conference of United States, see provision of title IV of Pub. L. 104–52, set out as a note preceding section 591 of this title.
Declaration of Policy and Statement of Purpose

Pub. L. 94–409, § 2,Sept. 13, 1976, 90 Stat. 1241, provided that: “It is hereby declared to be the policy of the United States that the public is entitled to the fullest practicable information regarding the decisionmaking processes of the Federal Government. It is the purpose of this Act [see Short Title note set out above] to provide the public with such information while protecting the rights of individuals and the ability of the Government to carry out its responsibilities.”

This is a list of parts within the Code of Federal Regulations for which this US Code section provides rulemaking authority.

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.


5 CFR - Administrative Personnel

5 CFR Part 1206 - OPEN MEETINGS

5 CFR Part 1632 - RULES REGARDING PUBLIC OBSERVATION OF MEETINGS

5 CFR Part 2413 - OPEN MEETINGS

6 CFR - Domestic Security

6 CFR Part 1003 - IMPLEMENTATION OF THE GOVERNMENT IN THE SUNSHINE ACT

7 CFR - Agriculture

7 CFR Part 1409 - MEETINGS OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF COMMODITY CREDIT CORPORATION

10 CFR - Energy

10 CFR Part 9 - PUBLIC RECORDS

10 CFR Part 1703 - PUBLIC INFORMATION AND REQUESTS

10 CFR Part 1704 - RULES IMPLEMENTING THE GOVERNMENT IN THE SUNSHINE ACT

11 CFR - Federal Elections

11 CFR Part 2 - SUNSHINE REGULATIONS; MEETINGS

11 CFR Part 9407 - IMPLEMENTATION OF THE GOVERNMENT IN THE SUNSHINE ACT

12 CFR - Banks and Banking

12 CFR Part 261b - RULES REGARDING PUBLIC OBSERVATION OF MEETINGS

12 CFR Part 311 - RULES GOVERNING PUBLIC OBSERVATION OF MEETINGS OF THE CORPORATION'S BOARD OF DIRECTORS

12 CFR Part 407 - REGULATIONS GOVERNING PUBLIC OBSERVATION OF EX-IM BANK MEETINGS

12 CFR Part 791 - RULES OF NCUA BOARD PROCEDURE; PROMULGATION OF NCUA RULES AND REGULATIONS; PUBLIC OBSERVATION OF NCUA BOARD MEETINGS

12 CFR Part 792 - REQUESTS FOR INFORMATION UNDER THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT AND PRIVACY ACT, AND BY SUBPOENA; SECURITY PROCEDURES FOR CLASSIFIED INFORMATION

16 CFR - Commercial Practices

16 CFR Part 1011 - NOTICE OF AGENCY ACTIVITIES

16 CFR Part 1013 - GOVERNMENT IN THE SUNSHINE ACT, RULES FOR COMMISSION MEETINGS

16 CFR Part 1025 - RULES OF PRACTICE FOR ADJUDICATIVE PROCEEDINGS

17 CFR - Commodity and Securities Exchanges

17 CFR Part 3 - REGISTRATION

17 CFR Part 147 - OPEN COMMISSION MEETINGS

17 CFR Part 155 - TRADING STANDARDS

17 CFR Part 200 - ORGANIZATION; CONDUCT AND ETHICS; AND INFORMATION AND REQUESTS

18 CFR - Conservation of Power and Water Resources

18 CFR Part 6 - SURRENDER OR TERMINATION OF LICENSE

18 CFR Part 8 - RECREATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES AND DEVELOPMENT AT LICENSED PROJECTS

18 CFR Part 36 - RULES CONCERNING APPLICATIONS FOR TRANSMISSION SERVICES UNDER SECTION 211 OF THE FEDERAL POWER ACT

18 CFR Part 154 - RATE SCHEDULES AND TARIFFS

18 CFR Part 281 - NATURAL GAS CURTAILMENT UNDER THE NATURAL GAS POLICY ACT OF 1978

18 CFR Part 286 - ACCOUNTS, RECORDS, MEMORANDA AND DISPOSITION OF CONTESTED AUDIT FINDINGS AND PROPOSED REMEDIES

18 CFR Part 375 - THE COMMISSION

18 CFR Part 382 - ANNUAL CHARGES

18 CFR Part 385 - RULES OF PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE

18 CFR Part 388 - INFORMATION AND REQUESTS

18 CFR Part 390 - ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION

18 CFR Part 1301 - PROCEDURES

19 CFR - Customs Duties

19 CFR Part 201 - RULES OF GENERAL APPLICATION

20 CFR - Employees' Benefits

20 CFR Part 200 - GENERAL ADMINISTRATION

21 CFR - Food and Drugs

21 CFR Part 10 - ADMINISTRATIVE PRACTICES AND PROCEDURES

21 CFR Part 12 - FORMAL EVIDENTIARY PUBLIC HEARING

21 CFR Part 13 - PUBLIC HEARING BEFORE A PUBLIC BOARD OF INQUIRY

22 CFR - Foreign Relations

22 CFR Part 507 - RULES FOR IMPLEMENTING OPEN MEETINGS UNDER THE SUNSHINE ACT FOR THE BROADCASTING BOARD OF GOVERNORS

22 CFR Part 708 - SUNSHINE REGULATIONS

22 CFR Part 1413 - OPEN MEETINGS

22 CFR Part 1500 - SUNSHINE REGULATIONS

25 CFR - Indians

25 CFR Part 504 - 512 [Reserved]

28 CFR - Judicial Administration

28 CFR Part 16 - PRODUCTION OR DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL OR INFORMATION

29 CFR - Labor

29 CFR Part 18 - RULES OF PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE FOR ADMINISTRATIVE HEARINGS BEFORE THE OFFICE OF ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGES

29 CFR Part 511 - WAGE ORDER PROCEDURE FOR AMERICAN SAMOA

29 CFR Part 1612 - GOVERNMENT IN THE SUNSHINE ACT REGULATIONS

29 CFR Part 2203 - REGULATIONS IMPLEMENTING THE GOVERNMENT IN THE SUNSHINE ACT

31 CFR - Money and Finance: Treasury

31 CFR Part 8 - PRACTICE BEFORE THE BUREAU OF ALCOHOL, TOBACCO AND FIREARMS

31 CFR Part 10 - PRACTICE BEFORE THE INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE

32 CFR - National Defense

32 CFR Part 202 - RESTORATION ADVISORY BOARDS

32 CFR Part 242a - PUBLIC MEETING PROCEDURES OF THE BOARD OF REGENTS, UNIFORMED SERVICES UNIVERSITY OF THE HEALTH SCIENCES

33 CFR - Navigation and Navigable Waters

33 CFR Part 209 - ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURE

34 CFR - Education
39 CFR - Postal Service

39 CFR Part 2 - GENERAL AND TECHNICAL PROVISIONS (ARTICLE II)

39 CFR Part 3 - BOARD OF GOVERNORS (ARTICLE III)

39 CFR Part 6 - MEETINGS (ARTICLE VI)

39 CFR Part 7 - PUBLIC OBSERVATION (ARTICLE VII)

40 CFR - Protection of Environment

40 CFR Part 1517 - PUBLIC MEETING PROCEDURES OF THE COUNCIL ON ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY

40 CFR Part 1601 - PROCEDURES FOR DISCLOSURE OF RECORDS UNDER THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT

41 CFR - Public Contracts and Property Management

41 CFR Part 105-55 - COLLECTION OF CLAIMS OWED THE UNITED STATES

41 CFR Part 105-57 - ADMINISTRATION WAGE GARNISHMENT

43 CFR - Public Lands: Interior

43 CFR Part 2650 - ALASKA NATIVE SELECTIONS

43 CFR Part 10000 - ORGANIZATION AND FUNCTIONS

45 CFR - Public Welfare

45 CFR Part 614 - GOVERNMENT IN THE SUNSHINE ACT REGULATIONS OF THE NATIONAL SCIENCE BOARD

45 CFR Part 704 - INFORMATION DISCLOSURE AND COMMUNICATIONS

45 CFR Part 1703 - GOVERNMENT IN THE SUNSHINE ACT

45 CFR Part 1802 - PUBLIC MEETING PROCEDURES OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES

45 CFR Part 2505 - RULES IMPLEMENTING THE GOVERNMENT IN THE SUNSHINE ACT

46 CFR - Shipping

46 CFR Part 501 - THE FEDERAL MARITIME COMMISSION—GENERAL

46 CFR Part 503 - PUBLIC INFORMATION

49 CFR - Transportation

49 CFR Part 804 - RULES IMPLEMENTING THE GOVERNMENT IN THE SUNSHINE ACT

49 CFR Part 1012 - MEETINGS OF THE BOARD

49 CFR Part 1022 - CIVIL MONETARY PENALTY INFLATION ADJUSTMENT

50 CFR - Wildlife and Fisheries

50 CFR Part 560 - IMPLEMENTATION OF THE GOVERNMENT IN THE SUNSHINE ACT

 

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