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United States Regulations
50 CFR PART 560—IMPLEMENTATION OF THE GOVERNMENT IN THE SUNSHINE ACT
Title 50: Wildlife and Fisheries
PART 560—IMPLEMENTATION OF THE GOVERNMENT IN THE SUNSHINE ACT
Authority: 5 U.S.C. 552b(g).
Source: 50 FR 2571, Jan. 17, 1985, unless otherwise noted.
§ 560.1 Purpose and scope.
This part contains the regulations of the Marine Mammal Commission implementing the Government in the Sunshine Act (5 U.S.C. 552b). Consistent with the Act, it is the policy of the Marine Mammal Commission that the public is entitled to the fullest practicable information regarding its decision making processes. The provisions of this part set forth the basic responsibilities of the Commission with regard to this policy and offer guidance to members of the public who wish to exercise the rights established by the Act. These regulations also fulfill the requirement of 5 U.S.C. 552b(g) that each agency subject to the Act promulgate regulations to implement the open meeting requirements of subsections (b) through (f) of section 552b.
§ 560.2 Definitions.
For purposes of this part, the term—
Administrative Officer means the Administrative Officer of the Marine Mammal Commission.
Commission means the Marine Mammal Commission, a collegial body established under 16 U.S.C. 1401 that functions as a unit and is composed of three individual members, each of whom is appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate.
Commissioner means an individual who is a member of the Marine Mammal Commission.
Executive Director means the Executive Director of the Marine Mammal Commission.
General Counsel means the General Counsel of the Marine Mammal Commission.
Meeting means the deliberations of at least a majority of the members of the Commission where such deliberations determine or result in the joint conduct or disposition of official Commission business, but does not include an individual Commissioner's consideration of official Commission business circulated in writing for disposition either by notation or by separate, sequential consideration, and deliberations on whether to:
(1) Hold a meeting with less than 7 days notice, as provided in §560.4(d) of this part;
(2) Change the subject matter of a publicly announced meeting or the determination of the Commission to open or close a meeting or portions thereof to public observation, as provided in §560.4(e) of this part;
(3) Change the time or place of an announced meeting, as provided in §560.4(f) of this part;
(4) Close a meeting or portions of a meeting, as provided in §560.5 of this part; or
(5) Withhold from disclosure information pertaining to a meeting or portions of a meeting, as provided in §560.5 of this part.
Public observation means attendance by one or more members of the public at a meeting of the Commission, but does not include participation in the meeting.
Public participation means the presentation or discussion of information, raising of questions, or other manner of involvement in a meeting of the Commission by one or more members of the public in a manner that contributes to the disposition of Commission business.
§ 560.3 Open meetings.
(a) Except as otherwise provided in this part, every portion of every meeting of the Commission shall be open to public observation.
(b) Meetings of the Commission, or portions thereof, shall be open to public participation only when an announcement to that effect is issued under §560.4(b)(4) of this part. Public participation shall be conducted in an orderly, nondisruptive manner and in accordance with such procedures as the chairperson of the meeting may establish. Public participation may be terminated at any time for any reason.
(c) When holding open meetings, the Commission shall make a diligent effort to provide ample space, sufficient visibility, and adequate acoustics to accommodate the public attendance anticipated for the meeting.
(d) Members of the public may record open meetings of the Commission by means of any mechanical or electronic device, unless the chairperson of the meeting determines that such recording would disrupt the orderly conduct of the meeting.
§ 560.4 Notice of meetings.
(a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, the Commission shall make a public announcement at least 7 days prior to a meeting.
(b) The public announcement shall include:
(1) The time and place of the meeting;
(2) The subject matter of the meeting;
(3) Whether the meeting is to be open, closed, or portions thereof closed;
(4) Whether public participation will be allowed; and
(5) The name and telephone number of the person who will respond to requests for information about the meeting.
(c) The public announcement requirement shall be implemented by:
(1) Submitting the announcement for publication in the Federal Register;
(2) Distributing the announcement to affected governmental entities;
(3) Mailing the announcement to persons and organizations known to have an interest in the subject matter of the meeting; and
(4) Other means that the Executive Director deems appropriate to inform interested parties.
(d) A meeting may be held with less than 7 days notice if a majority of the members of the Commission determine by recorded vote that the business of the Commission so requires. The Commission shall make a public announcement to this effect at the earliest practicable time. The announcement shall include the information required by paragraph (b) of this section and shall be issued in accordance with those procedures set forth in paragraph (c) of this section that are practicable given the available period of time.
(e) The subject matter of an announced meeting, or the determination of the Commission to open or close a meeting or portions thereof to public observation, may be changed if a majority of the members of the Commission determine by recorded vote that Commission business so requires and that no earlier announcement of the change was possible. The Commission shall make a public announcement of the changes made and the vote of each member on each change at the earliest practicable time. The announcement shall be issued in accordance with those procedures set forth in paragraph (c) of this section that are practicable given the available period of time.
(f) The time or place of an announced meeting may be changed only if a public announcement of the change is made at the earliest practicable time. The announcement shall be issued in accordance with those procedures set forth in paragraph (c) of this section that are practicable given the available period of time.
§ 560.5 Closed meetings.
(a) A meeting or portions thereof may be closed, and information pertaining to such meeting or portions thereof may be withheld from the public, only if the Commission determines that such meeting or portions thereof, or the disclosure of such information, is likely to:
(1) Disclose matters that are (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) in fact properly classified pursuant to that Executive order;
(2) Relate solely to the internal personnel rules and practices of the Commission;
(3) Disclose matters specifically exempted from disclosure by statute (other than the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552), provided that the statute:
(i) Requires that the matters be withheld from the public in such a manner as to leave no discretion on the issue, or
(ii) Establishes particular criteria for withholding or refers to particular types of matters to be withheld;
(4) Disclose the trade secrets and commercial or financial information obtained from a person and privileged or confidential;
(5) Involve either accusing any person of a crime or formally censuring any person;
(6) Disclose information of a personal nature, if disclosure would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy;
(7) Disclose either investigatory records compiled for law enforcement purposes or information which if written would be contained in such records, but only to the extent that the production of the records or information would:
(i) Interfere with enforcement proceedings,
(ii) Deprive a person of a right to either a fair trial or an impartial ajudication,
(iii) Constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy,
(iv) Disclose the identity of a confidential source or sources and, in the case of a record compiled either 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 or sources,
(v) Disclose investigative techniques and procedures, or
(vi) Endanger the life or physical safety of law enforcement personnel;
(8) Disclose information 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;
(9) Disclose information the premature disclosure of which would be likely to significantly frustrate implementation of a proposed action of the Commission. This exception shall not apply in any instance where the Commission has already disclosed to the public the content or nature of the proposed action or where the Commission is required by law to make such disclosure on its own initiative prior to taking final action on the proposal; or
(10) Specifically concern the issuance of a subpoena by the Commission, or the participation of the Commission in a civil action or proceeding, an action in a foreign court or international tribunal, or an arbitration, or the initiation, conduct, or disposition by the Commission of a particular case of formal adjudication pursuant to the procedures in 5 U.S.C. 554 or otherwise involving a determination on the record after opportunity for a hearing.
(b) Before a meeting or portions thereof may be closed to public observation, the Commission shall determine, notwithstanding the exemptions set forth in paragraph (a) of this section, whether or not the public interest requires that the meeting or portions thereof be open. The Commission may open a meeting or portions thereof that could be closed under paragraph (a) of this section if the Commission finds it to be in the public interest to do so.
§ 560.6 Procedures for closing meetings.
(a) A meeting or portions thereof may be closed and information pertaining to such meeting or portions thereof may be withheld under §560.5 of this part only when a majority of the members of the Commission vote to take such action.
(b) A separate vote of the members of the Commission shall be taken with respect to each meeting or portion thereof proposed to be closed and with respect to information which is proposed to be withheld. A single vote may be taken with respect to a series of meetings or portions thereof which are proposed to be closed, so long as each meeting or portion thereof in such series involves the same particular matter and is scheduled to be held no more than thirty days after the initial meeting in such series. The vote of each participating Commission member shall be recorded, and no proxies shall be allowed.
(c) A person whose interests may be directly affected by a portion of a meeting may request in writing that the Commission close that portion of the meeting for any of the reasons referred to in §560.5(a) (5), (6) or (7) of this part. Upon the request of a Commissioner, a recorded vote shall be taken whether to close such meeting or a portion thereof.
(d) Before the Commission may hold a meeting that is closed, in whole or part, a certification shall be obtained from the General Counsel that, in his or her opinion, the meeting may properly be closed. The certification shall be in writing and shall state each applicable exemptive provision from §560.5(a) of this part.
(e) Within one day of a vote taken pursuant to this section, the Commission shall make publicly available a written copy of such vote reflecting the vote of each Commissioner.
(f) In the case of the closure of a meeting or portions thereof, the Commission shall make publicly available within one day of the vote on such action a full written explanation of the reasons for the closing together with a list of all persons expected to attend the meeting and their affiliation.
§ 560.7 Recordkeeping requirements.
(a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, the Commission shall maintain either a complete transcript or electronic recording of the proceedings of each meeting, whether opened or closed.
(b) In the case of either a meeting or portions of a meeting closed to the public pursuant to §560.5(a) (8) or (10) of this part, the Commission shall maintain a complete transcript, an electronic recording, or a set of minutes of the proceedings. If minutes are maintained, they shall fully and clearly describe all matters discussed and shall provide a full and accurate summary of any actions taken and the reasons for which such actions were taken, including a description of the views expressed on any item and a record reflecting the vote of each Commissioner. All documents considered in connection with any action shall be identified in the minutes.
(c) The transcript, electronic recording, or copy of the minutes shall disclose the identity of each speaker.
(d) The Commission shall maintain a complete verbatim copy of the transcript, a complete electronic recording, or a complete copy of the minutes of the proceedings of each meeting for at least two years, or for one year after the conclusion of any Commission proceeding with respect to which the meeting was held, whichever occurs later.
§ 560.8 Public availability of records.
(a) The Commission shall make available to the public the transcript, electronic recording, or minutes of a meeting, except for items of discussion or testimony that relate to matters the Commission has determined to contain information which may be withheld under §560.5 of this part.
(b) The transcript, electronic recordings or minutes of a meeting shall be made available for public review as soon as practicable after each meeting at the Marine Mammal Commission, 1625 I Street NW., Washington, DC 20006.
(c) Copies of the transcript, a transcription of the electronic recording, or the minutes of a meeting shall be furnished at cost to any person upon written request. Written requests should be addressed to the Administrative Officer, Marine Mammal Commission, 1625 I Street NW., Washington, DC 20006.