49 CFR 701.9 - Business information.
(a)General. Business information held by Amtrak will be disclosed under the FOIA only under this section.
(b)Definitions. For purposes of this section, the following definitions apply:
(1)Business information means commercial or financial information held by Amtrak that may be protected from disclosure under Exemption 4 of the FOIA, 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(4).
(2)Submitter means any person or entity including partnerships; corporations; associations; and local, state, tribal, and foreign governments.
(c)Designation of business information. A submitter of business information will use good faith efforts to designate, by appropriate markings, either at the time of submission or at a reasonable time thereafter, any portions of its submission that it considers to be protected from disclosure under Exemption 4. These designations will expire ten years after the date of the submission unless the submitter requests and provides justification for a longer designation period.
(d)Notice to submitters. Amtrak shall provide a submitter with prompt written notice of an FOIA request or an appeal that seeks its business information when required under paragraph (e) of this section, except as provided in paragraph (h) of this section, in order to give the submitter an opportunity to object to disclosure of any specified portion of the information under paragraph (f). The notice shall either describe the business information requested or include copies of the requested records or portions of records containing the information.
(e)When notice is required. Notice shall be given to a submitter when:
(1) The information has been designated in good faith by the submitter as information considered protected from disclosure under Exemption 4; or
(2) Amtrak has reason to believe that the information may be protected from disclosure under Exemption 4.
(f)Opportunity to object to disclosure. Amtrak will allow a submitter a reasonable amount of time, as determined by Amtrak in its sole discretion, to respond to the notice described in paragraph (d) of this section.
(1) A detailed written statement must be submitted to Amtrak if the submitter has any objection to disclosure. The statement must specify all grounds for withholding any specified portion of the information sought under the FOIA. In the case of Exemption 4, it must show why the information is a trade secret or commercial or financial information that is privileged or confidential.
(2) Unless otherwise specified, in the event that a submitter fails to respond within the time specified in the notice, the submitter may, in Amtrak's discretion, be considered to have no objection to disclosure of the information sought under the FOIA.
(3) Information provided by a submitter in response to the notice may be subject to disclosure under the FOIA.
(g)Notice of intent to disclose. Amtrak shall consider a submitter's objections and specific grounds for disclosure in making a determination whether to disclose the information. In any instance, when a decision is made to disclose information over the objection of a submitter, Amtrak shall give the submitter written notice which shall include:
(1) A statement of the reason(s) why each of the submitter's objections to disclosure was not sustained;
(2) A description of the information to be disclosed; and
(3) A specified disclosure date, which shall be a reasonable time subsequent to the notice as determined by Amtrak in its sole discretion.
(h)Exceptions to notice requirements. The notice requirements of this section shall not apply if:
(1) Amtrak determines that the information should not be disclosed;
(2) The information has been published or has been officially made available to the public;
(3) Disclosure of the information is required by law (other than the FOIA);
(4) The designation made by the submitter under paragraph (c) of this section appears obviously frivolous. In such a case, Amtrak shall, prior to a specified disclosure date, give the submitter written notice of the final decision to disclose the information; or
(5) The information requested is not designated by the submitter as exempt from disclosure in accordance with this part, unless Amtrak has substantial reason to believe that disclosure of the information would result in competitive harm.
(i)Notice of a FOIA lawsuit. Whenever a FOIA requester files a lawsuit seeking to compel disclosure of business information, Amtrak shall promptly notify the submitter.
(j)Notice to requesters.
(1) When Amtrak provides a submitter with notice and an opportunity to object to disclosure under paragraph (f) of this section, the FOIA Office shall also notify the requester(s).
(3) When a submitter files a lawsuit seeking to prevent the disclosure of business information, Amtrak shall notify the requester(s).