50 CFR 228.10 - 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 Assistant Administrator, Deputy Assistant Administrator, or Chief of the Marine Mammal Division, National Marine Fisheries 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 persons who are contacted. All communications shall be available for public viewing at the place(s) specified in the notice of hearing.
(c) The presiding office shall not consult any person or party on any fact in issue or on the merits of the matter unless notice and opportunity is given for all parties to participate.