About GPO   |   Newsroom/Media   |   Congressional Relations   |   Inspector General   |   Careers   |   Contact   |   askGPO   |   Help  
 
Home   |   Customers   |   Vendors   |   Libraries  

The Electronic Code of Federal Regulations (e-CFR) is a regularly updated, unofficial editorial compilation of CFR material and Federal Register amendments produced by the National Archives and Records Administration's Office of the Federal Register (OFR) and the Government Printing Office.

Parallel Table of Authorities and Rules for the Code of Federal Regulations and the United States Code
Text | PDF

Find, review, and submit comments on Federal rules that are open for comment and published in the Federal Register using Regulations.gov.

Purchase individual CFR titles from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore.

Find issues of the CFR (including issues prior to 1996) at a local Federal depository library.

[1]
 
 

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR Data is current as of October 29, 2014

Title 16Chapter IISubchapter A → Part 1015


Title 16: Commercial Practices


PART 1015—PROCEDURES FOR DISCLOSURE OR PRODUCTION OF INFORMATION UNDER THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT


Contents

Subpart A—Production or Disclosure Under 5 U.S.C. 552(a)

§1015.1   Purpose and scope.
§1015.2   Public reference facilities.
§1015.3   Requests for records and copies.
§1015.4   Responses to requests for records; responsibility.
§1015.5   Time limitation on responses to requests for records and requests for expedited processing.
§1015.6   Responses: Form and content.
§1015.7   Appeals from initial denials; reconsideration by the Secretary.
§1015.8   Requests received during the course of administrative hearings. [Reserved]
§1015.9   Fees for production of records.
§1015.10   Commission report of actions to Congress.
§1015.11   Disclosure of trade secrets to consultants and contractors; nondisclosure to advisory committees and other government agencies.
§1015.12   Disclosure to Congress.

Subpart B—Exemptions From Production and Disclosure Under 5 U.S.C. 552(b)

§1015.15   Purpose and scope.
§1015.16   Exemptions (5 U.S.C. 552(b)).
§1015.17   Internal Commission procedure for withholding exempt records.
§1015.18   Information submitted to the Commission; request for treatment as exempt material.
§1015.19   Decisions on requests for exemption from disclosure under 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(4).

Subpart C—Disclosure of Commission Accident or Investigation Reports Under 15 U.S.C. 2074(c)

§1015.20   Public availability of accident or investigation reports.

Authority: 15 U.S.C. 2051-2084; 15 U.S.C. 1261-1278; 15 U.S.C. 1471-1476; 15 U.S.C. 1211-1214; 15 U.S.C. 1191-1204; 5 U.S.C. 552.

Source: 42 FR 10490, Feb. 22, 1977, unless otherwise noted.

Subpart A—Production or Disclosure Under 5 U.S.C. 552(a)

§1015.1   Purpose and scope.

(a) The regulations of this subpart provide information concerning the procedures by which Consumer Product Safety Commission records may be made available for inspection and the procedures for obtaining copies of records from the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Official records of the Consumer Product Safety Commission consist of all documentary material maintained by the Commission in any format, including an electronic format. These records include those maintained in connection with the Commission's responsibilities and functions under the Consumer Product Safety Act, as well as those responsibilities and functions transferred to the Commission under the Federal Hazardous Substances Act, Poison Prevention Packaging Act of 1970, Refrigerator Safety Act, and Flammable Fabrics Act, and those maintained under any other authorized activity. Official records do not, however, include objects or articles such as tangible exhibits, samples, models, equipment, or other items of valuable property; books, magazines, or other reference material; or documents routinely distributed by the Commission in the normal course of business such as copies of Federal Register notices, pamphlets, and laws. Official records include only existing records. Official records of the Commission made available under the requirements of the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552) shall be furnished to the public as prescribed by this part 1015. A request by an individual for records about himself or herself that are contained in the Commission's system of records under the Privacy Act (5 U.S.C. 552a) will be processed under the Privacy Act. A request by a third party for records that are contained in the Commission's system of records under the Privacy Act will be processed administratively under these regulations with respect to the time limits and appeals rights (§§1015.5 and 1015.7), but substantively under the applicable provisions of first the Freedom of Information Act and then the Privacy Act. Documents routinely distributed to the public in the normal course of business will continue to be furnished to the public by employees of the Commission informally and without compliance with the procedures prescribed herein.

(b) The Commission's policy with respect to requests for records is that disclosure is the rule and withholding is the exception. All records not exempt from disclosure will be made available. Moreover, records which may be exempted from disclosure will be made available as a matter of discretion when disclosure is not prohibited by law or is not against the public interest. See, §1015.15(b). Section 6(a)(2) of the Consumer Product Safety Act, 15 U.S.C. 2055(a)(2), prohibits the disclosure of trade secrets or other matters referred to in 18 U.S.C. 1905.

(c) The Attorney General's Memorandum on the 1974 Amendments to the Freedom of Information Act published in February, 1975 is available from the Superintendent of Documents and may be consulted in considering questions arising under the Freedom of Information Act.

[42 FR 10490, Feb. 22, 1997, as amended at 62 FR 46196, Sept. 2, 1997]

§1015.2   Public reference facilities.

(a) The Consumer Product Safety Commission will maintain in a public reference room or area the materials relating to the Consumer Product Safety Commission that are required by 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(2) and 552(a)(5) to be made available for public inspection and copying. The principal location will be in the Office of the Secretary of the Commission. The address of this office is:

Office of the Secretary, Consumer Product Safety Commission, Room 502, 4330 East West Highway, Bethesda, MD 20814.

(b) This public reference facility will maintain and make available for public inspection and copying a current index of the materials available at that facility which are required to be indexed by 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(2). For the purpose of providing the opportunity for greater public access to records of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the Commission may establish additional public reference facilities. Each such additional reference facility will also maintain and make available for public inspection and copying a current index of the materials available at that facility which are required to be indexed by 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(2).

(c) The Consumer Product Safety Commission will maintain an “electronic reading room” on the World-Wide Web for those records that are required by 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(2) to be available by “computer telecommunications.”

[42 FR 10490, Feb. 22, 1997, as amended at 62 FR 46197, Sept. 2, 1997]

§1015.3   Requests for records and copies.

(a) A request for access to records of the Commission shall be in writing addressed to the Secretary, Consumer Product Safety Commission, Washington, DC 20207. Any written request for records covered by this part shall be deemed to be a request for records pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act, whether or not the Freedom of Information Act is mentioned in the request. An oral request for records will not be considered a request for records pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act. Responses to oral requests for records shall be made as promptly as resources and time restraints permit.

(b) A request for access to records must reasonably describe the records requested. Where possible, specific information regarding dates, title, file designations, and other information which may help identify the records should be supplied by the requester. If the request relates to a matter in pending litigation, where the Commission is a party, the court and its location should be identified. Where the information supplied by the requester is not sufficient to permit identification and location of the records by Commission personnel without an unreasonable amount of effort, the requester will be contacted and asked to supply the necessary information. Every reasonable effort shall be made by Commission personnel to assist in the identification and location of requested records.

(c) If it is determined that a request would unduly burden or interfere with the operations of the Commission, the response shall so state and shall extend to the requester an opportunity to confer with appropriate Commission personnel in an attempt to reduce the request to manageable proportions by reformulation and by agreeing on an orderly procedure for the production of the records.

(d) If a requested record cannot be located from the information supplied, or is known to have been destroyed or otherwise disposed of, the requester shall be so notified by the Secretary or delegate of the Secretary.

(e) The Consumer Product Safety Commission uses a multitrack system to process requests under the Freedom of Information Act that is based on the amount of work and/or time involved in processing requests. Requests for records are processed in the order they are received within each track. Upon receipt of a request for records, the Secretary or delegate of the Secretary will determine which track is appropriate for the request. The Secretary or delegate of the Secretary may contact requesters whose requests do not appear to qualify for the fastest tracks and provide such requesters the opportunity to limit their requests so as to qualify for a faster track. Requesters who believe that their requests qualify for the fastest tracks and who wish to be notified if the Secretary or delegate of the Secretary disagrees may so indicate in the request and, where appropriate and feasible, will also be given an opportunity to limit their requests.

[42 FR 10490, Feb. 22, 1997, as amended at 62 FR 46197, Sept. 2, 1997]

§1015.4   Responses to requests for records; responsibility.

The ultimate responsibility for responding to requests for records is vested in the Secretary of the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The Secretary or delegate of the Secretary may respond directly or forward the request to any other office of the Commission for response. In any case where the Secretary or delegate of the Secretary in his/her discretion determines that a request for an identifiable record should be initially determined by the Commission, the Secretary, or the delegate of the Secretary, may certify the matter to the Commission for a decision. In that event the Commission decision shall be made within the time limits set forth in §1015.5 and shall be final. The Commission response shall be in the form set forth in §1015.7(d) for action on appeal. If no response is made by the Commission within twenty working days, or any extension thereof, the requester and the Commission may take the action specified in §1015.7(e).

[42 FR 10490, Feb. 22, 1997, as amended at 62 FR 46197, Sept. 2, 1997]

§1015.5   Time limitation on responses to requests for records and requests for expedited processing.

(a) The Secretary or delegate of the Secretary shall respond to all written requests for records within twenty (20) working days (excepting Saturdays, Sundays, and legal public holidays). The time limitations on responses to requests for records shall begin to run as of the time a request for records is received by the Office of the Secretary and a date stamp notation placed directly on the request.

(b) The time for responding to requests for records may be extended by the Secretary at the initial stage or by the General Counsel of the Commission at the appellate stage up to an additional ten (10) working days under the following unusual circumstances:

(1) The need to search for and collect the requested records from field facilities or other establishments that are separate from the Office of the Secretary.

(2) The need to search for, collect and appropriately examine a voluminous amount of separate and distinct records which are demanded in a single request.

(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 Commission having substantial subject matter interest therein.

(c) Any extension of time must be accompanied by written notice to the person making the request setting forth the reason(s) for such extension and the time within which a response is expected to be made.

(d) If the Secretary at the initial stage or the General Counsel at the appellate stage determines that an extension of time greater than ten (10) working days is necessary to respond to a request satisfying the “unusual circumstances” specified in paragraph (b) of this section, the Secretary or the General Counsel shall so notify the requester and give the requester the opportunity to:

(1) Limit the scope of the request so that it may be processed within the time limit prescribed in paragraph (b); or

(2) Arrange with the Secretary or the General Counsel an alternative time frame for processing the request or a modified request.

(e) The Secretary or delegate of the Secretary may aggregate and process as a single request requests by the same requester, or a group of requesters acting in concert, if the Secretary or delegate reasonably believes that the requests actually constitute a single request which would otherwise satisfy the unusual circumstances specified in paragraph (b) of this section, and the requests involve clearly related matters.

(f) The Secretary or delegate of the Secretary will provide expedited processing of requests in cases where the requester demonstrates a compelling need for such processing.

(1) The term “compelling need” means:

(i) That a failure to obtain requested records on an expedited basis could reasonably be expected to pose an imminent threat to the life or physical safety of an individual; or

(ii) With respect to a request made by a person primarily engaged in disseminating information, that there is an urgency to inform the public concerning actual or alleged Federal Government activity.

(2) Requesters for expedited processing must include in their requests a statement setting forth the basis for the claim that a “compelling need” exists for the requested information, certified by the requester to be true and correct to the best of his or her knowledge and belief.

(3) The Secretary or delegate of the Secretary will determine whether to grant a request for expedited processing and will notify the requester of such determination within ten (10) days of receipt of the request.

(4) Denials of requests for expedited processing may be appealed to the Office of the General Counsel as set forth in §1015.7 of this part. The General Counsel will expeditiously determine any such appeal.

(5) The Secretary or delegate of the Secretary will process as soon as practicable the documents responsive to a request for which expedited processing is granted.

(g) The Secretary may be unable to comply with the time limits set forth in this §1015.5 when disclosure of documents responsive to a request under this part is subject to the requirements of section 6(b) of the Consumer Product Safety Act, 15 U.S.C. 2055(b), and the regulations implementing that section, 16 CFR part 1101. The Secretary or delegate of the Secretary will notify requesters whose requests will be delayed for this reason.

[42 FR 10490, Feb. 22, 1997, as amended at 62 FR 46197, Sept. 2, 1997]

§1015.6   Responses: Form and content.

(a) When a requested record has been identified and is available for disclosure, the requester shall either be supplied with a copy or notified as to where and when the record will be made available for inspection. If a requester desires to inspect records at one of the regional offices of the Commission, the Secretary will ordinarily make the records available at the requested regional office. If the payment of fees is required the requester shall be advised by the Secretary in writing of any applicable fees under §1015.9 hereof.

(b) A response denying a written request for a record shall be in writing signed by the Secretary or delegate of the Secretary and shall include:

(1) The identity of each person responsible for the denial.

(2) A reference to the specific exemption or exemptions under the Freedom of Information Act authorizing the withholding of the record with a brief explanation of how the exemption applies to the record withheld; and

(3) An estimation of the volume of requested material withheld. When only a portion or portions of a document are withheld, the amount of information deleted shall be indicated on the released portion(s) of the record. When technically feasible, the indication of the amount of material withheld will appear at the place in the document where any deletion is made. Neither an estimation of the volume of requested material nor an indication of the amount of information deleted shall be included in a response if doing so would harm an interest protected by the exemption in 5 U.S.C. 552(b) pursuant to which the material is withheld.

(4) A statement that the denial may be appealed to the Commissioners of the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Any such appeal must be made within 30 calendar days of receipt of the denial by the requester.

(c) If no response is made within twenty (20) working days or any extension thereof, the requester can consider his or her administrative remedies exhausted and seek judicial relief in a United States District Court as specified in 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(4)(B). When it appears that no response can be made to the requester within the applicable time limit, the Secretary or delegate of the Secretary may ask the requester to forego judicial relief until a response can be made. The Secretary or delegate of the Secretary shall inform the requester of the reason for the delay, of the date on which a response may be expected and of his/her right to seek judicial review as specified in 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(4)(B).

[42 FR 10490, Feb. 22, 1997, as amended at 62 FR 46197, Sept. 2, 1997]

§1015.7   Appeals from initial denials; reconsideration by the Secretary.

(a) When the Secretary or delegate of the Secretary has denied a request for records in whole or in part, the requester may, within 30 days of its receipt, appeal the denial to the General Counsel of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, attention of the Secretary, Washington, DC 20207.

(b) The General Counsel, or the Secretary upon reconsideration, will act upon an appeal within 20 working days of its receipt. The time limitations on an appeal begin to run as of the time an appeal is received by the Office of the Secretary and date stamped.

(c) After reviewing the appeal, the Secretary will reconsider his/her initial denial. If the Secretary upon reconsideration decides to release any or all of the information requested on appeal, an appeal as to the information released will be considered moot; and the Secretary will so inform the requester and submitter of the information in accordance with §§1015.6(a) and 1015.18(b). If the Secretary decides to affirm the initial denial, in whole or in part, the General Counsel will decide the appeal within the 20-day time limit or any extension thereof in accordance with §1015.5.

(d) The General Counsel shall have the authority to grant or deny all appeals and, as an exercise of discretion, to disclose records exempt from mandatory disclosure under 5 U.S.C. 552(b). In unusual or difficult cases the General Counsel may, in his/her discretion, refer an appeal to the Commissioners for determination.

(e) The General Counsel's action on appeal shall be in writing, shall be signed by the General Counsel, and shall constitute final agency action. A denial in whole or in part of a request on appeal shall set forth the exemption relied upon; a brief explanation, consistent with the purpose of the exemption, of how the exemption applies to the records withheld; and the reasons for asserting it. A denial in whole or in part shall also inform the requester of his/her right to seek judicial review of the Commission's final determination in a United States district court, as specified in 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(4)(B).

(f) If no response is made to the requester within 20 working days or any extension thereof, the requester may consider his/her administrative remedies exhausted and seek judicial relief in a United States district court. When no response can be made within the applicable time limit, the General Counsel shall inform the requester of the reason for the delay, of the date by which a response may be expected, and of the requester's right to seek judicial review as specified in 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(4)(B).

(g) Copies of all appeals and copies of all actions on appeal shall be furnished to and maintained in a public file by the Secretary.

(5 U.S.C. 552(a)(6)(A); 5 U.S.C. 553; 15 U.S.C. 2076(b)(9))

[50 FR 7753, Feb. 26, 1985]

§1015.8   Requests received during the course of administrative hearings. [Reserved]

§1015.9   Fees for production of records.

(a) The Commission will provide, at no charge, certain routine information. For other Commission responses to information requests, the Secretary shall determine and levy fees for duplication, search, review, and other services, in accordance with this section.

(b) Fees shall be paid by check or money order, payable to the Treasury of the United States and sent to the Commission.

(c) The following definitions shall apply under this section:

(1) Direct costs means those expenditures which an agency actually incurs in searching for and duplicating (and in the case of commercial requesters, reviewing) documents to respond to a FOIA request.

(2) Search includes all time spent looking for material that is responsive to a request, including page-by-page or line-by-line identification of material within documents.

(3) Duplication refers to the process of making a copy of a document necessary to respond to a FOIA request.

(4) Review refers to the process of examining documents located in response to a commercial use request to determine whether any portion of any document located is permitted to be withheld.

(5) Commercial use request refers to a request that seeks information for a use or purpose that furthers commercial, trade, or profit interests.

(6) Educational institution refers to an entity organized and operated exclusively for educational purposes, whose purpose is scholarly.

(7) Non-commercial scientific institution refers to an entity organized and operated exclusively for the purpose of conducting scientific research, the results of which are not intended to promote any particular product or industry.

(8) Representative of the news media refers to any person or organization which regularly publishes or disseminates news to the public, in print or electronically.

(d) A commercial use request may incur charges for duplication, search, and review. The following requests may incur charges only for duplication: A request from an educational institution for records not sought for commercial use; a request from a non-commercial scientific institution for records not sought for commercial use; a request from a representative of the news media. Any other request may incur charges for duplication and search.

(e) The following fee schedule will apply:

(1) Copies of documents reproduced on a standard photocopying machine: $0.10 per page.

(2) File searches conducted by clerical personnel: $3.00 for each one-quarter hour (a fraction thereof to be counted as one-quarter hour). Any special costs of sending records from field locations to headquarters for review will be included in search fees, billed at the clerical personnel rate.

(3) File searches conducted by non-clerical or professional or managerial personnel: $4.90 for each one-quarter hour (a fraction thereof to be counted as one-quarter hour).

(4) Review of records: $4.90 for each one-quarter hour (a fraction thereof to be counted as one-quarter hour).

(5) Computerized records: $0.10 per page of computer printouts or, for central processing, $0.32 per second of central processing unit (CPU) time; for printer, $10.00 per 1,000 lines; and for computer magnetic tapes or discs, direct costs.

(6) Postage: Direct-cost basis for mailing requested materials, if the requester wants special handling or if the volume or dimensions of the materials requires special handling.

(7) Microfiche: $0.35 for each frame.

(8) Other charges for materials requiring special reproducing or handling, such as photographs, slides, blueprints, video and audio tape recordings, or other unusual materials: direct-cost basis.

(9) Any other service: An appropriate fee established by the Secretary, based on direct costs.

(f) Fees shall be waived as follows:

(1) No automatic fee waiver shall apply to commercial use requests.

(2) The first $10.00 of duplication costs shall be waived for requests from educational institutions, non-commercial scientific institutions, and representatives of the news media.

(3) For all other requests, the first $10.00 of duplication costs and the first $40 of search costs shall be waived.

(4) The Secretary shall waive or reduce fees whenever disclosure of the requested information is in the public interest because it is likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of the operations or activities of the government and disclosure of the requested information is not primarily in the commercial interest of the requester.

(5) In making a determination under paragraph (f)(4) of this section, the Secretary shall consider the following factors:

(i) The subject of the request: Whether the subject of the requested records concerns the operations or activities of the government.

(ii) The informative value of the information to be disclosed: Whether the disclosure is likely to contribute to an understanding of government operations or activities.

(iii) The contribution to an understanding of the subject by the general public likely to result from disclosure: Whether disclosure of the requested information will contribute to public understanding.

(iv) The significance of the contribution to public understanding: Whether the disclosure is likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of government operations or activities.

(v) The existence and magnitude of a commercial interest: Whether the requester has a commercial interest that would be furthered by the requested disclosure; and, if so

(vi) The primary interest in disclosure: Whether the magnitude of the identified commercial interest of the requester is sufficiently large, in comparison with the public interest in disclosure, that disclosure is primarily in the commercial interest of the requester.

(6) Any determination made by the Secretary concerning fee waivers may be appealed by the requester to the Commission's General Counsel in the manner described at §1015.7.

(g) Collection of fees shall be in accordance with the following:

(1) Interest will be charged on amounts billed, starting on the 31st day following the day on which the requester received the bill. Interest will be at the rate prescribed in 31 U.S.C. 3717.

(2) Search fees will be imposed (on requesters charged for search time) even if no responsive documents are located or if the search leads to responsive documents that are withheld under an exemption to the Freedom of Information Act. Such fees shall not exceed $25.00, unless the requester has authorized a higher amount.

(3) Before the Commission begins processing a request or discloses any information, it will require advance payment if:

(i) Charges are estimated to exceed $250.00 and the requester has no history of payment and cannot provide satisfactory assurance that payment will be made; or

(ii) A requester failed to pay the Commission for a previous Freedom of Information Act request within 30 days of the billing date.

(4) The Commission will aggregate requests, for the purposes of billing, whenever it reasonably believes that a requester or group of requesters is attempting to separate a request into more than one request for the purpose of evading fees.

(5) If a requester's total bill is less than $9.00, the Commission will not request payment.

[52 FR 28979, Aug. 5, 1987, as amended at 62 FR 46198, Sept. 2, 1997]

§1015.10   Commission report of actions to Congress.

On or before February 1 of each year, the Commission shall submit a report of its activities with regard to freedom of information requests during the preceding fiscal year to the Attorney General of the United States. This report shall include:

(a) The number of determinations made by the Commission not to comply with requests for records made to the Commission under the provisions of this part and the reasons for each such determination.

(b)(1) The number of appeals made by persons under such provisions, the result of such appeals, and the reason for the action upon each appeal that results in a denial of information; and

(2) A complete list of all statutes that the Commission relies upon to withhold information under such provisions, a description of whether a court has upheld the decision of the Commission to withhold information under each such statute, and a concise description of the scope of any information withheld.

(c) The number of requests for records pending before the Commission as of September 30 of the preceding year, and the median number of days that such requests had been pending before the Commission as of that date.

(d) The number of requests for records received by the Commission and the number of requests which the Commission processed.

(e) The median number of days taken by the Commission to process different types of requests.

(f) The total amount of fees collected by the Commission for processing requests.

(g) The number of full-time staff of the Commission devoted to processing requests for records under such provisions, and the total amount expended by the Commission for processing such requests.

[42 FR 10490, Feb. 22, 1997, as amended at 62 FR 46198, Sept. 2, 1997]

§1015.11   Disclosure of trade secrets to consultants and contractors; nondisclosure to advisory committees and other government agencies.

(a) In accordance with section 6(a)(2) of the CPSA, the Commission may disclose information which it has determined to be a trade secret under 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(4) to Commission consultants and contractors for use only in their work for the Commission. Such persons are subject to the same restrictions with respect to disclosure of such information as any Commission employee.

(b) In accordance with section 6(a)(2) of the CPSA, the Commission is prohibited from disclosing information which it has determined to be a trade secret under 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(4) to advisory committees, except when required in the official conduct of their business, or to other Federal agencies and state and local governments.

§1015.12   Disclosure to Congress.

(a) All records of the Commission shall be disclosed to Congress upon a request made by the chairman or ranking minority member of a committee or subcommittee of Congress acting pursuant to committee business and having jurisdiction over the matter about which information is requested.

(b) An individual member of Congress who requests a record for his or her personal use or on behalf of any constituent shall be subject to the same rules that apply to members of the general public.

[42 FR 10490, Feb. 22, 1977, as amended at 52 FR 45632, Dec. 1, 1987; 53 FR 3868, Feb. 10, 1988]

Subpart B—Exemptions From Production and Disclosure Under 5 U.S.C. 552(b)

§1015.15   Purpose and scope.

(a) The regulations of this subpart provide information concerning the types of records which may be withheld from production and disclosure by the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the internal Commission procedure for withholding exempt records. These regulations also provide information on the method whereby persons submitting information to the Commission may request that the information be considered exempt from disclosure, and information concerning the Commission's treatment of documents submitted with a request that they be treated as exempt from disclosure.

(b) No identifiable record requested in accordance with the procedures contained in this part shall be withheld from disclosure unless it falls within one of the classes of records exempt under 5 U.S.C 552(b). The Commission will make available, to the extent permitted by law, records authorized to be withheld under 5 U.S.C. 552(b) unless the Commission determines that disclosure is contrary to the public interest. In this regard the Commission will not ordinarily release documents that provide legal advice to the Commission concerning pending or prospective litigation where the release of such documents would significantly interfere with the Commission's regulatory or enforcement proceedings.

(c) Draft documents that are agency records are subject to release upon request in accordance with this regulation. However, in order to avoid any misunderstanding of the preliminary nature of a draft document, each draft document released will be marked to indicate its tentative nature. Similarly, staff briefing packages, which have been completed but not yet transmitted to the Commission by the Office of the Secretary are subject to release upon request in accordance with this regulation. Each briefing package or portion thereof released will be marked to indicate that it has not been transmitted to or acted upon by the Commission. In addition, briefing packages, or portions thereof, which the Secretary upon the advice of the Office of the General Counsel has determined would be released upon request in accordance with this regulation, will be publicly available in the public reference facility established under §1015.2 promptly after the briefing package has been transmitted to the Commissioners by the Office of the Secretary. Such packages will be marked to indicate that they have not been acted upon by the Commission.

(d) The exceptions contained in §1015.16 are as contained in 5 U.S.C. 552(b). These exemptions will be interpreted in accordance with the applicable law at the time a request for production or disclosure is considered.

[42 FR 10490, Feb. 22, 1977, as amended at 45 FR 22022, Apr. 3, 1980]

§1015.16   Exemptions (5 U.S.C. 552(b)).

(a) Records specifically authorized under criteria established by an Executive Order to be kept secret in the interest of national defense or foreign policy and are in fact properly classified pursuant to such Executive Order.

(b) Records related solely to the internal personnel rules and practices of the Commission.

(c) Records specifically exempted from disclosure by statute (other than section 552b of Title 5, United States Code), provided that such statute either requires that the matters be withheld from the public in such a manner as to leave no discretion on the issue, or establishes particular criteria for withholding or refers to particular types of matters to be withheld.

(d) Trade secrets and commercial or financial information obtained from a person and privileged or confidential.

(e) Interagency or intra-agency memoranda or letters which would not be available by law to a party other than an agency in litigation with the agency.

(f) Personnel and medical files and similar files the disclosure of which would consititute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

(g) Records or information compiled for law enforcement purposes, but only to the extent that the production of such law enforcement records or information:

(1) Could reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement proceedings,

(2) Would deprive a person of a right to a fair trial or an impartial adjudication,

(3) Could reasonably be expected to constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy,

(4) Could reasonably be expected to disclose the identity of a confidential source, including a State, local, or foreign agency or authority or any private institution which furnished information on a confidential basis, and, in the case of a record or information compiled by criminal law enforcement authority in the course of a criminal investigation or by an agency conducting a lawful national security intelligence investigation, information furnished by a confidential source,

(5) Would disclose techniques and procedures for law enforcement investigations or prosecutions, or would disclose guidelines for law enforcement investigations or prosecutions if such disclosure could reasonably be expected to risk circumvention of the law, or

(6) Could reasonably be expected to endanger the life or physical safety of any individual.

(h) Records contained in or related to examinations, 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.

(i) Records of geological and geophysical information and data, including maps, concerning wells.

[42 FR 10490, Feb. 22, 1977, as amended at 52 FR 44597, Nov. 20, 1987]

§1015.17   Internal Commission procedure for withholding exempt records.

Paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section describe the internal Commission procedure to be followed for requesting that a record exempt from disclosure under the inter- intra-agency memorandum exemption, 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(5), or the investigatory file exemption, 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(7), not be disclosed.

(a) If a bureau or office director believes that it is against the public interest to disclose a Commission record prepared by his/her bureau or office, he/she may request in writing that the Secretary withhold the document. The request must specify why the release would be against the public interest.

(1) If the Secretary agrees to withhold the document, the requester shall be notified in writing of the denial and of his/her right to appeal in accordance with §1015.6(b).

(2) If the Secretary decides to release the document, the bureau or office director shall be notified and given two working days within which to appeal to the Commissioners. An appeal by a bureau or office director shall be in writing addressed to the Chairman. If an appeal is taken by a bureau or office director, the Secretary will not disclose the document. The Commissioner's action on appeal shall be in accordance with §1015.7(d).

(b) If a Commissioner believes that it is not in the public interest to disclose a Commission record prepared by himself/herself or by his/her office personnel, the Commissioner shall so inform the Secretary and shall specify in writing why the release would be against the public interest. The Secretary shall notify the requester in writing of the denial in accordance with §1015.6(b). Any appeal by a requester shall be in accordance with §1015.7 except the provisions for reconsideration by the Secretary is not applicable. On appeal, the Commissioner who withheld the document shall not participate in the decision.

[42 FR 10490, Feb. 22, 1977, as amended at 45 FR 22023, Apr. 3, 1980]

§1015.18   Information submitted to the Commission; request for treatment as exempt material.

(a) A person who is submitting information to the Commission, after being notified by the Commission of his/her opportunity to request confidential treatment for information, must accompany the submission with a request that the information be considered exempt from disclosure or indicate that a request will be submitted within 10 working days of the submission. The failure to make a request within the prescribed time limit will be considered an acknowledgment that the submitter does not wish to claim exempt status.

(b) A person who has previously submitted information to the Commission, that is now the subject of a Freedom of Information request, after being notified by the Commission of his/her opportunity to request confidential treatment for the information, must submit a request that the information be considered exempt from disclosure within 5 working days from receipt of notification. The failure to make a request within the prescribed time limit will be considered an acknowledgment that the submitter does not wish to claim exempt status.

(c) Each request for exemption from disclosure under 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(4) as a trade secret or privileged or confidential commercial or financial information must:

(1) Specifically identify the exact portion(s) of the document claimed to be confidential;

(2) State whether the information claimed to be confidential has ever been released in any manner to a person who was not an employee or in a confidential relationship with the company;

(3) State whether the information so specified is commonly known within the industry or is readily ascertainable by outside persons with a minimum of time and effort;

(4) State how release of the information so specified would be likely to cause substantial harm to the company's competitive position; and

(5) State whether the submitter is authorized to make claims of confidentiality on behalf of the person or organization concerned.

(d) Material received with a request that it be considered exempt shall not be maintained in a public file. If, in complying with a request for the disclosure of records, it is determined that some or all of the material relative to the request has been claimed to be exempt from disclosure, the requester will be supplied with a list of this material and informed that those portions found not to be exempt will be made available as soon as possible.

(e) No request for exemption from disclosure under 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(4) should be made by any person who does not intend in good faith to assist the Commission in the defense of any judicial proceeding that might thereafter be brought to compel the disclosure of information which the Commission has determined to be a trade secret or privileged or confidential commercial or financial information.

§1015.19   Decisions on requests for exemption from disclosure under 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(4).

(a) The Commission generally will not decide whether material received with a request for exemption from disclosure under 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(4) is entitled to be withheld until a request for production or disclosure is made for that information. The determination will be based on the most authoritative judicial interpretations available at the time a request for disclosure or production is considered. Any reasonably segregable portion of a record will be disclosed to any person requesting such record after deletion of any portions determined to be exempt under 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(4). The requester will be given a brief description of any information found to be exempt.

(b) If material received with a request for exemption from disclosure under 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(4) is found to be disclosable, in whole or in part, the person submitting the material will be notified in writing and given 10 calendar days from the receipt of the letter to seek judicial relief. In no event, however, will the material be returned to the person submitting it.

Subpart C—Disclosure of Commission Accident or Investigation Reports Under 15 U.S.C. 2074(c)

§1015.20   Public availability of accident or investigation reports.

(a) Accident or investigation reports made by an officer, employee, or agent of the Commission are available to the public under the procedures set forth in subpart A of this part 1015. No portion of such report are subject to the investigatory file exemption contained in the Freedom of Information Act (as restated in §1015.16) except that portions identifying any injured person or any person treating such injured person will be deleted in accordance with section 25(c)(1) of the CPSA. Where disclosure of an accident or investigation report is requested by supplying the name of the person injured or other details of a specific accident (other than cases where the report is requested by the injured person or the injured person's legal representative), the Commission will offer to obtain the written consent of the injured party or the injured party's representative to the disclosure of the report without deleting the party's identity. No deletion of identifying portions of such reports or refusal to disclose without the Commission having first obtained written consent shall be considered as a denial by the Commission of disclosure of Commission records.

(b) Research reports, demonstration reports, and reports of other related activities of the Commission are available to the public under the procedures set forth in subpart A of this part 1015.



For questions or comments regarding e-CFR editorial content, features, or design, email ecfr@nara.gov.
For questions concerning e-CFR programming and delivery issues, email webteam@gpo.gov.