5 CFR § 1820.8 - Business information.

(a) In general. Business information obtained by OSC from a submitter may be released only pursuant to this section.

(b) Definitions. For purposes of this section:

Business information means trade secrets and commercial or financial information obtained by OSC from a submitter that may be protected from release under FOIA Exemption 4. 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(4).

Submitter means any individual or entity from whom OSC obtains business information, directly or indirectly.

(c) Designation of business information. A submitter of business information must use good-faith efforts to designate, by appropriate markings, any portion of its submission that it considers to be protected from release under FOIA Exemption 4.

(d) Notice to submitters. OSC shall provide a submitter with prompt written notice of a FOIA request or administrative appeal that appears to seek confidential business information wherever 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 release of any specified portion of those records under paragraph (f) of this section. The notice shall either describe the confidential business information requested or include copies of the requested records or record portions containing the information.

(e) When notice is required. Notice shall be given to a submitter whenever:

(1) The submitter designated the records in good faith as considered protected from release under FOIA Exemption 4; or

(2) OSC has reason to believe that the records or portions of records may be protected from release under FOIA Exemption 4.

(f) Opportunity to object to release. OSC will allow a submitter a reasonable time to respond to the notice described in paragraph (d) of this section and will specify that time period within the notice. The submitter must submit any objections to release in a detailed written statement. The statement must specify all grounds for withholding any portion of the records under any exemption of the FOIA and, in the case of Exemption 4, it must show why the information contained in the record is privileged or confidential. Submitters who fail to respond timely to the notice are deemed to have consented to release of the records. Information provided by a submitter under this paragraph may itself be subject to release under FOIA.

(1) Notice of intent to release. OSC shall consider a submitter's objections and specific grounds for non-release in deciding whether to release business information. If OSC decides to release business information over the objection of a submitter, OSC shall provide written notice including the reason(s) why OSC overruled the submitter's objections; a description of the business information to be released; and a reasonable specified release date.

(2) [Reserved]

(g) Exceptions to notice requirements. The notice requirements of paragraphs (d) and (e) of this section shall not apply if:

(1) OSC determines that the information should not be released;

(2) The information has been lawfully published or has been officially made available to the public;

(3) Release of the information is required by statute (other than the FOIA) or by a regulation issued in accordance with the requirements of Executive Order 12600; or

(4) The designation made by the submitter under paragraph (c) of this section appears obviously frivolous—except that, in such a case, OSC shall, within a reasonable time prior to a specified release date, give the submitter written notice of any final decision to release the information.

(h) Notice of FOIA lawsuit. OSC shall promptly notify a submitter if a requestor files a lawsuit seeking to compel the release of the submitter's business information.

(i) Corresponding notice to requestors. OSC shall notify requestor(s): that it provided submitters the opportunity to object to release under paragraph (d) of this section; if OSC subsequently releases the requested records under paragraph (g) of this section; and whenever a submitter files a lawsuit seeking to prevent OSC's release of business information.