50 CFR § 18.80 - Ex parte communications.

§ 18.80 Ex parte communications.

(a) After notice of a hearing is published in the Federal Register, all communications, whether oral or written, involving any substantive or procedural issue and directed either to the presiding officer or to the Director, Deputy Director or Marine Mammal Coordinator, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, without reference to these rules of procedure, shall be deemed ex parte communications and are not to be considered part of the record for decision.

(b) A record of oral conversations shall be made by the above persons who are contacted. All communications shall be available for public viewing at times and place(s) specified in the notice of hearing.

(c) The presiding officer shall not communicate with any party on any fact in issue or on the merits of the matter unless notice and opportunity is given for all parties to participate.

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