41 CFR 105-54.301 - Meetings.

§ 105-54.301 Meetings.

(a) Each GSA advisory committee meeting is open to the public unless the Administrator decides otherwise;

(b) Each meeting is held at a reasonable time and in a place reasonably accessible to the public;

(c) The meeting room size is sufficient to accommodate committee members, committee or GSA staff, and interested members of the public;

(d) Any private citizen is permitted to file a written statement with the advisory committee;

(e) Any private citizen is permitted to speak at the advisory committee meeting, at the chairperson's discretion;

(f) All persons attending committee meetings at which classified information will be considered are required to have an adequate security clearance;

(g) The Designated Federal Officer (who may be either full time or permanent part-time) for each advisory committee and its subcommittees does the following:

(1) Approves or calls the meetings of the advisory committee;

(2) Approves the meeting agenda, which lists the matters to be considered at the meeting and indicates whether any part of the meeting will be closed to the public under the Government in the Sunshine Act ( 5 U.S.C. 552b(c)). Ordinarily, copies of the agenda are distributed to committee members before the date of the meeting;

(3) Attends all meetings (no part of a meeting may proceed in the Designated Federal Officer's absence);

(4) Adjourns the meeting when he or she determines that adjournment is in the public interest; and

(5) Chairs the meeting when asked to do so.

(h) The Committee Chairperson makes sure that detailed minutes of each meeting are kept and certifies to their accuracy. The minutes include:

(1) Time, date, and place;

(2) A list of the following persons who were present;

(i) Advisory committee members and staff;

(ii) Agency employees; and

(iii) Private citizens who presented oral or written statements;

(3) The estimated number of private citizens present;

(4) An accurate description of each matter discussed and the resolution of the matter, if any; and

(5) Copies of each report or other document the committee received, issued, or approved.

(i) The responsible HSSO or the Regional Administrator publishes at least 15 calendar days before the meeting a notice in the Federal Register that includes:

(1) The name of the advisory committee as chartered;

(2) The time, date, place, and purpose of the meeting;

(3) A summary of the agenda; and

(4) A statement whether all or part of the meeting is open to the public of closed; and if closed, the reasons why, and citing the specific exemptions of the Government is the Sunshine Act ( 5 U.S.C. 552b) as the basis for closure;

(j) In exceptional circumstances and when approved by the General Counsel or designee, less than 15 calendar days notice may be given, provided the reasons for doing so are included in the committee meeting notice published in the Federal Register;

(k) Notices to be published in the Federal Register are submitted to the Federal Register Liaison Officer (CAID). At least five workdays are needed for printing of the notice;

(l) Meetings may also be announced by press release, direct mail, publication in trade and professional journals, or by notice to special interest and community groups affected by the Committee's deliberations. This procedure cannot be a substitute for Federal Register publication;

(m) The fact that a meeting may be closed to the public under the exemptions of the Government in the Sunshine Act does not relieve GSA of the requirement to publish a notice of it in the Federal Register. The Administrator may authorize an exception to this requirement for reasons of national security if the HSSO requests it at least 30 calendar days before the meeting, with the concurrence of the General Counsel of designee.

(n) An advisory committee meeting is not open to the public, nor is the attendance, appearance, or filing of statements by interested persons permitted, if the Administrator decides that the meeting is exempted under the Government in the Sunshine Act ( 5 U.S.C. 552b (c)) and there is sufficient reason to invoke the exemption. If only part of the meeting concerns exempted matters, only that part is closed. The HSSO or Regional Administrator submits any decisions concerning the closing of meetings in writing to the Administrator for approval at least 30 calendar days in advance of the meeting. These decisions clearly set forth the reasons for doing so, citing the specific exemptions used from the Government in the Sunshine Act in the meeting notice published in the Federal Register. They are made available to the public on request. The Administrator may waive the 30-day requirement when a lesser period of time is requested and adequately justified.

(o) If any meeting or portion of a meeting is closed to public attendance, the advisory committee issues a report at lease annually setting forth a summary of its activities and such related matters as would be informative to the public, consistent with the policy of 5 U.S.C. 552(b). Notice of the availability of the report and instructions on how to gain access to it are published in the Federal Register no later than 60 days after its completion. In addition, copies of the report are filed with the Library of Congress.

(p) The General Counsel reviews all requests to close meetings.

(q) The HSSO or Regional Administrator publishes the meeting notices in the Federal Register, including the reasons why all or part of the meeting is closed, citing the specified exemptions used from the Government in the Sunshine Act.