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United States Regulations
50 CFR PART 520—PUBLIC AVAILABILITY OF AGENCY MATERIALS
Title 50: Wildlife and Fisheries
PART 520—PUBLIC AVAILABILITY OF AGENCY MATERIALS
Authority: 5 U.S.C. 552.
Source: 41 FR 3307, Jan. 22, 1976, unless otherwise noted.
§ 520.1 Purpose.
These regulations implement the provisions of the “Freedom of Information Act,” 5 U.S.C. 552. They establish procedures under which the public may inspect and obtain copies of nonexempt material maintained by the Commission, provide for administrative appeal of initial determinations to deny requests for material, and prescribe uniform fees to be charged by the Commission to recover direct search and duplication costs.
§ 520.2 Scope.
(a) These regulations shall apply to all final opinions, including concurring and dissenting opinions, as well as orders, made by the Commission in the adjudication of cases; to all statements of policy and interpretations which have been adopted by the Commission and are not published in the Federal Register; to the Commission's administrative staff manuals and instructions to staff that affect a member of the public; and to any other Commission records reasonably described and requested by a person in accordance with these regulations—except to the extent that such material is exempt in accordance with paragraph (b) of this section.
(b) Requests for inspection and copies shall not be granted with respect to materials that are:
(1)(i) Specifically authorized under criteria established by an Executive Order to be kept secret in the interest of national defense or foreign policy, and
(ii) Are in fact properly classified pursuant to such Executive order;
(2) Related solely to the internal personnel rules and practices of the Commission;
(3) Specifically exempted from disclosure by statute;
(4) Trade secrets and commercial or financial information obtained from a person and privileged or confidential;
(5) Inter-agency or intra-agency memorandums or letters which would not be available by law to a party other than an agency in litigation with the Commission;
(6) Personnel and medical files and similar files, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy;
(7) Investigatory records compiled for law enforcement purposes, but only to the extent that the production of such records would:
(i) Interfere with enforcement proceedings,
(ii) Deprive a person of a right to a fair trial or an impartial adjudication,
(iii) Constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy,
(iv) Disclose the identity of a confidential source and, in the case of a record compiled by a criminal law enforcement authority in the course of a criminal investigation, or by an agency conducting a lawful national security intelligence investigation, confidential information furnished only by the confidential source,
(v) Disclose investigative techniques and procedures, or
(vi) Endanger the life or physical safety of law enforcement personnel;
(8) Contained in or related to examination, operating, or condition reports prepared by, on behalf of, or for the use of an agency responsible for the regulation or supervision of financial institutions; or
(9) Geological and geophysical information and data, including maps, concerning wells.
§ 520.3 Definitions.
As used in these regulations:
(a) The term Commission means the Marine Mammal Commission;
(b) The term Director means the Executive Director of the Marine Mammal Commission;
(c) The term exempt materials means those materials described in §520.2(b);
(d) The term non-exempt materials refers to all materials described in §520.2(a), but not included in §520.2(b); and
(e) The term General Counsel means the General Counsel of the Marine Mammal Commission.
§ 520.4 Availability of materials.
(a) All non-exempt materials shall be available for inspection during normal business hours at the Commission offices, 1625 I Street, NW., Room 307, Washington, DC. Space shall be made available at that location for the use of any person who is granted permission to inspect such materials.
(b) Requests to inspect, and obtain copies of, any material maintained by the Commission may be made in person at the Commission offices, or submitted in writing to the Executive Director, Marine Mammal Commission, 1625 I St., NW., Room 307, Washington, DC 20006. Each request should include a reasonable description of the material being sought, and should contain sufficient detail to facilitate retrieval of the material without undue delay. The Commission staff shall assist to the extent practicable in identifying material that is imprecisely described by the person requesting such material.
(c) An initial determination whether, and to what extent, to grant each request shall be made by the General Counsel or his delegate within 10 days (excepting Saturdays, Sundays, and legal public holidays) after receipt of that request. The person making the request shall be notified immediately of the determination made. In making such determinations, it shall first be considered whether the material requested is of a type described in §520.2(a); if it is, the request shall be granted unless the material is exempted by §520.2(b). If the material requested is not of a type described in §520.2(a), or is the subject of one or more exemptions, the request shall be denied.
(d) If a determination is made to grant a request, the relevant material shall promptly be made available for inspection at the Commission offices. Copies of the material disclosed shall be furnished within a reasonable time after payment of the fee specified in §520.7. Copies of less than 10 pages of material requested in person ordinarily will be furnished immediately following the determination to grant the request and payment of the fee. Larger numbers of copies may be furnished at the earliest convenience of the Commission staff, but must be furnished within a reasonable time following payment of the fee.
(e) Whenever required to prevent a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy, the General Counsel or his delegate shall determine that identifying details shall be deleted from an opinion, statement of policy, interpretation, or staff manual or instruction to which access is granted or of which copies are furnished. Where portions of the requested material are exempt under §520.2(b), and are reasonably segregable from the remainder of the material, those portions shall be excised from the material disclosed. Whenever details are deleted or portions are excised and not disclosed, the notification shall include the information specified in §520.4(f).
(f) If a determination is made to deny a request, the notification shall include a statement of the reasons for such action, shall set forth the name and position of the person responsible for the denial, and shall advise the requester of the right, and the procedures required under §520.5, to appeal the denial to the Director.
§ 520.5 Administrative appeal.
(a) An appeal to the Director of any denial, in whole or in part, of a request for access to and copies of material may be made by submission of a written request for reconsideration. Such requests must state specific reasons for reconsideration that address directly the grounds upon which the denial was based. Requests should be addressed to the Director at the Commission offices.
(b) The Director shall make a determination with respect to any appeal within 20 days (excepting Saturdays, Sundays, and legal public holidays) after receipt of the request for reconsideration. The person making such a request shall immediately be notified by mail of the determination.
(c) If the initial denial is reversed by the Director, any material with which the reversal is concerned shall be made available for inspection, and copies shall be furnished, in accordance with §520.4(d).
(d) If the denial is upheld, in whole or in part, the Director shall include in the notification a statement of the requester's right of judicial review under 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(4), and the names and positions of the persons responsible for the denial.
§ 520.6 Extensions of time.
(a) Whenever unusual circumstances exist, as set forth in §520.6(b), the times within which determinations must be made by the General Counsel on requests for access (10 working days), and by the Director on requests for reconsideration (20 working days), may be extended by written notice to the requester. The notice shall set forth the reasons for such extension, and the date on which a determination is expected to be made. The maximum extension of time allowed under this section shall be 10 working days, but shall be utilized only to the extent reasonably necessary to the proper processing of the particular request.
(b) As used in this section, “unusual circumstances” shall mean:
(1) The need to search for and collect the requested records from field facilities or other establishments that are separate from the Commission offices;
(2) The need to search for, collect, and appropriately examine a voluminous amount of separate and distinct records which are the subject of a single request; or
(3) The need for consultation, which shall be conducted with all practicable speed, with another agency having a substantial interest in the determination of the request or among two or more components of the agency having substantial subject-matter interest therein.
§ 520.7 Fees.
(a) The following standard charges for document search and duplication, based on the direct costs of such services, must be paid before access to, or copies of material will be granted under these regulations:
(1) Search: $4.00 per person-hour for clerical time; $8.00 per person-hour for professional or supervisory time;
(2) Duplication: $0.10 per page of photocopied material.
(b) The Commission shall furnish without charge, or at a reduced charge, copies of any material disclosed pursuant to these regulations, whenever the General Counsel or the Director determines that waiver or reduction of the fee is in the public interest because furnishing the information can be considered as primarily benefiting the general public.
[41 FR 3307, Jan. 22, 1976; 41 FR 4020, Jan. 28, 1976]