12 CFR 1102.309 - Confidential treatment procedures.
(a)In general. Any submitter of written information to the ASC who desires that some or all of his or her submission be afforded confidential treatment under 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(4) (i.e., trade secrets and commercial or financial information obtained from a person and privileged or confidential) shall file a request for confidential treatment with the Executive Director of the ASC at the time the written information is submitted to the ASC or within ten business days thereafter. Nothing in this section limits the authority of the ASC and its staff to make determinations regarding access to documents under this subpart.
(b)Form of request. A request for confidential treatment shall be submitted in a separate letter or memorandum conspicuously entitled, “Request for Confidential Treatment.” Each request shall state in reasonable detail the facts and arguments supporting the request and its legal justification. If the submitter had been required by the ASC to provide the particular information, conclusory statements that the information would be useful to competitors or would impair sales or similar statements generally will not be considered sufficient to justify confidential treatment. When the submitter had voluntarily provided the particular information to the ASC, the submitter must specifically identify the documents or information which are of a kind the submitter would not customarily make available to the public.
(c)Designation and separation of confidential material. Submitters shall clearly designate all information considered confidential and shall clearly separate such information from other non-confidential information, whenever possible.
(d)ASC action on request. A request for confidential treatment of information will be considered only in connection with a request for access to the information under FOIA as implemented by this subpart. Upon the receipt of a request for access, the Executive Director or his or her designee (“ASC Officer”) as soon as possible shall provide the submitter with a written notice describing the request and shall provide the submitter with a reasonable opportunity, no longer than ten business days, to submit written objections to disclosure of the information. Notice may be given orally, and such notice shall be promptly confirmed in writing. The ASC Officer may provide a submitter with a notice if the submitter did not request confidential treatment of the requested information. If the ASC required the submitter to provide the requested information, the ASC Officer would need substantial reason to believe that disclosure of the requested information would result in substantial competitive harm to the submitter. If the submitter provided the information voluntarily to the ASC, the ASC officer would need to believe that the information is of a kind the submitter would not customarily make available to the public. The ASC Officer similarly shall notify the person seeking disclosure of the information under FOIA of the existence of a request for confidential treatment. These notice requirements need not be followed if the ASC Officer determines under this subpart that the information should not be disclosed; the information has been published or has been officially made available to the public; disclosure of the information is required by law (other than FOIA); or the submitter's request for confidential treatment appears obviously frivolous, in such instance the submitter shall be given written notice of the determination to disclose the information at least five business days prior to release. The ASC Officer shall carefully consider the issues involved, and if disclosure of the requested information is warranted, a written notice, containing a brief description of why the submitter's objections were not sustained, must be forwarded to the submitter within ten business days. The time for response may be extended up to ten additional business days, as provided in 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(6)(B), or for other periods by agreement between the requester and the ASC Officer. This notice shall be provided to the submitter at least five business days prior to release of the requested information.
(e)Notice of lawsuit. The ASC Officer shall notify a submitter of any filing of any suit against the ASC pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552 to compel disclosure of documents or information covered by the submitter's request for confidential treatment within ten business days of service of the suit. The ASC Officer also shall notify the requester of the documents or information of any suit filed by the submitter against the ASC to enjoin their disclosure within ten business days of service of the suit.