16 CFR 1101.45 - Adjudicatory proceeding exception.
(a)Statutory provision. Section 6(b)(4)(B) provides that the requirements of section 6(b)(1) do not apply to public disclosure of “information in the course of or concerning * * * [an] adjudicatory proceeding * * * under this Act.”
(b)Scope of exception. This exception applies once the Commission begins an administrative adjudication under the CPSA. The Commission will also apply the exception to any administrative adjudicatory proceeding under FHSA, FAA, or PPPA. An adjudicatory proceeding begins with the filing of a complaint under section 15(c) or (d), 17(a)(1) or (3), or 20 of the CPSA ( 15 U.S.C. 2064(c) or (d), 2066(a)(1), or (3), or 2069); section 15 of the FHSA ( 15 U.S.C. 1274); section 5(b) of the FFA, ( 15 U.S.C. 1194(b)); or section 4(c) of the PPPA ( 15 U.S.C. 1473(c)). An adjudicatory proceeding ends when the Commission issues a final order, 16 CFR 1025.51- 1025.58.
(c) The phrase “in the course of” refers to information disclosed as part of the adjudication, whether in documents filed or exchanged during discovery, or in testimony given in such proceedings, and may therefore, include information generated before the adjudication began.
(d) The phrase “concerning” refers to information about the administrative adjudication itself, both once it begins and indefinitely thereafter. Therefore, the Commission may publicly disclose information that describes the substance, process and outcome of the proceeding including, for example, the effectiveness of any corrective action such as information on the number of products corrected as a result of a remedial action. By issuing opinions and public statements, the Commissioners and the presiding official, who act as decisionmakers, may publicly explain their individual votes and any decision rendered.