15 CFR § 904.255 - Ex parte communications.

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§ 904.255 Ex parte communications.

(a) Except to the extent required for disposition of ex parte matters as authorized by law, the Judge may not consult a person or party on any matter relevant to the merits of the administrative proceeding, unless there has been notice and opportunity for all parties to participate.

(b) Except to the extent required for the disposition of ex parte matters as authorized by law:

(1) No interested person outside the Agency shall make or knowingly cause to be made to the Judge, the Administrator, or any Agency employee who is or may reasonably be expected to be involved in the decisional process of the administrative proceeding an ex parte communication relevant to the merits of the adjudication; and

(2) Neither the Administrator, the Judge, nor any Agency employee who is or may reasonably be expected to be involved in the decisional process of the administrative proceeding, shall make or knowingly cause to be made to any interested person outside the agency an ex parte communication relevant to the merits of the administrative proceeding.

(c) The Administrator, the Judge, or any Agency employee who is or may reasonably be expected to be involved in the decisional process who receives, makes, or knowingly causes to be made a communication prohibited by this rule shall place in the record of decision:

(1) All such written communications;

(2) Memoranda stating the substance of all such oral communications; and

(3) All written responses, and memoranda stating the substance of all oral responses, to the materials described in paragraphs (c)(1) and (c)(2) of this section.

(d)

(1) Paragraphs (a), (b) and (c) of this section do not apply to communications concerning national defense or foreign policy matters. Such ex parte communications to or from an Agency employee on national defense or foreign policy matters, or from employees of the U.S. Government involving intergovernmental negotiations, are allowed if the communicator's position with respect to those matters cannot otherwise be fairly presented for reasons of foreign policy or national defense.

(2) Ex parte communications subject to this paragraph will be made a part of the record to the extent that they do not include information classified under an Executive order. Classified information will be included in a classified portion of the record that will be available for review only in accordance with applicable law.

(e) Upon receipt of a communication made, or knowingly caused to be made, by a party in violation of this section the Judge may, to the extent consistent with the interests of justice, national security, the policy of underlying statutes, require the party to show cause why its claim or interest in the adjudication should not be dismissed, denied, disregarded, or otherwise adversely affected by reason of such violation.

(f) The prohibitions of this rule shall apply beginning after issuance of a NOVA, NOPS, NIDP or any other notice and until a final administrative decision is rendered, but in no event shall they begin to apply later than the time at which an administrative proceeding is noticed for hearing unless the person responsible for the communication has knowledge that it will be noticed, in which case the prohibitions shall apply beginning at the time of her/his acquisition of such knowledge.

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