18 CFR 2.1a - Public suggestions, comments, proposals on substantial prospective regulatory issues and problems.
(a) The Commission by this policy statement explicitly encourages the public, including those persons subject to regulation by the Commission, to submit suggestions, comments, or proposals concerning substantial prospective regulatory policy issues and problems, the resolution of which will have a substantial impact upon those regulated by the Commission or others affected by the Commission's activities. This policy is intended to serve as a means of advising the Commission on a timely basis of potential significant issues and problems which may come before it in the course of its activities and to permit the Commission an early opportunity to consider argument regarding policy questions and administrative reforms in a general context rather than in the course of individual proceedings.
(b) Upon receipt of suggestions, comments, or proposals pursuant to paragraph (a) of this section, the Commission shall review the matters raised and take whatever action is deemed necessary with respect to the filing, including, but not limited to, requesting further information from the filing party, the public, or the staff, or prescribing an informal public conference for initial discussion and consultation with the Commission, a Commissioner, or the Staff, concerning the matter(s) raised. In the absence of a notice of proposed rulemaking, any conferences or procedures undertaken pursuant to this section shall not be deemed by the Commission as meeting the requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act with respect to notice of rulemakings, but are to be utilized by the Commission as initial discussions for advice as a means of determining the need for Commission action, investigation or study prior to the issuance of a notice of proposed rulemaking to the extent required by the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. 553.
(d) A person may not invoke this policy as a means of advocating ex parte before the Commission a position in a proceeding pending at the Commission and any such filing will be rejected. Comments must relate to general conditions in industry or the public or policies or practices of the Commission which may need reform, review, or initial consideration by the Commission.