28 CFR 50.17 - Ex parte communications in informal rulemaking proceedings.

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§ 50.17 Ex parte communications in informal rulemaking proceedings.

In rulemaking proceedings subject only to the procedural requirements of 5 U.S.C. 553:

(a) A general prohibition applicable to all offices, boards, bureaus and divisions of the Department of Justice against the receipt of private, ex parte oral or written communications is undesirable, because it would deprive the Department of the flexibility needed to fashion rulemaking procedures appropriate to the issues involved, and would introduce a degree of formality that would, at least in most instances, result in procedures that are unduly complicated, slow, and expensive, and, at the same time, perhaps not conducive to developing all relevant information.

(b) All written communications from outside the Department addressed to the merits of a proposed rule, received after notice of proposed informal rulemaking and in its course by the Department, its offices, boards, and bureaus, and divisions or their personnel participating in the decision, should be placed promptly in a file available for public inspection.

(c) All oral communications from outside the Department of significant information or argument respecting the merits of a proposed rule, received after notice of proposed informal rulemaking and in its course by the Department, its offices, boards, bureaus, and divisions or their personnel participating in the decision, should be summarized in writing and placed promptly in a file available for public inspection.

(d) The Department may properly withhold from the public files information exempt from disclosure under 5 U.S.C. 552.

(e) The Department may conclude that restrictions on ex parte communications in particular rulemaking proceedings are necessitated by considerations of fairness or for other reasons.

[Order No. 801-78, 43 FR 43297, Sept. 25, 1978, as amended at Order No. 1409-90, 55 FR 13130, Apr. 9, 1990]

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