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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR Data is current as of September 26, 2014

Title 19Chapter IISubchapter A → Part 201


Title 19: Customs Duties


PART 201—RULES OF GENERAL APPLICATION


Contents
§201.0   Seal.
§201.1   Applicability of part.

Subpart A—Miscellaneous

§201.2   Definitions.
§201.3   Commission offices, mailing address, and hours.
§201.3a   Missing children information.
§201.4   Performance of functions.
§201.5   Attendance fees and mileage.
§201.6   Confidential business information.

Subpart B—Initiation and Conduct of Investigations

§201.7   Investigative authority and initiation of investigations.
§201.8   Filing of documents.
§201.9   Methods employed in obtaining information.
§201.10   Public notices.
§201.11   Appearance in an investigation as a party.
§201.12   Requests.
§201.13   Conduct of nonadjudicative hearings.
§201.14   Computation of time, additional hearings, postponements, continuances, and extensions of time.
§201.15   Attorneys or agents.
§201.16   Service of process and other documents.

Subpart C—Availability of Information to the Public Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552

§201.17   Procedures for requesting access to records.
§201.18   Denial of requests, appeals from denial.
§201.19   Notification regarding requests for confidential business information.
§201.20   Fees.
§201.21   Availability of specific records.

Subpart D—Safeguarding Individual Privacy Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a

§201.22   Purpose and scope.
§201.23   Definitions.
§201.24   Procedures for requests pertaining to individual records in a records system.
§201.25   Times, places, and requirements for identification of individuals making requests.
§201.26   Disclosure of requested information to individuals.
§201.27   Special procedures: Medical records.
§201.28   Requests for correction or amendment of records.
§201.29   Commission disclosure of individual records, accounting of record disclosures, and requests for accounting of record disclosures.
§201.30   Commission review of requests for access to records, for correction or amendment to records, and for accounting of record disclosures.
§201.31   Fees and employee conduct.
§201.32   Specific exemptions.

Subpart E—Opening Commission Meetings to Public Observation Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552b

§201.33   Purpose and scope.
§201.34   Definitions.
§201.35   Notices to the public.
§201.36   Closing a portion or portions of a meeting or a series of meetings.
§201.37   Changing the time, place, subject matter, or determination to open or close a meeting following a public notice.
§201.38   Requests by interested persons that the Commission close a portion of a Commission meeting.
§201.39   General Counsel's certification of Commission action in closing a meeting or a series of meetings.
§201.40   Records-retention requirements.
§201.41   Public inspection and copying of records; applicable fees.

Subpart F—National Security Information

§201.42   Purpose and scope.
§201.43   Mandatory declassification review.

Subpart G—Enforcement of Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Handicap in Programs or Activities Conducted by the U.S. International Trade Commission

§201.101   Purpose.
§201.102   Application.
§201.103   Definitions.
§§201.104-201.109   [Reserved]
§201.110   Self-evaluation.
§201.111   Notice.
§§201.112-201.129   [Reserved]
§201.130   General prohibitions against discrimination.
§§201.131-201.139   [Reserved]
§201.140   Employment.
§§201.141-201.148   [Reserved]
§201.149   Program accessibility: Discrimination prohibited.
§201.150   Program accessibility: Existing facilities.
§201.151   Program accessibility: New construction and alterations.
§§201.152-201.159   [Reserved]
§201.160   Communications.
§§201.161-201.169   [Reserved]
§201.170   Compliance procedures.
§§201.171-201.999   [Reserved]

Subpart H—Debt Collection

§201.201   Definitions.
§201.202   Purpose and scope of salary and administrative offset rules.
§201.203   Delegation of authority.
§201.204   Salary offset.
§201.205   Salary adjustments.
§201.206   Administrative offset.
§201.207   Administrative offset against amounts payable from Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund
§201.208   Tax refund offset.

Authority: Sec. 335 of the Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1335), and sec. 603 of the Trade Act of 1974 (19 U.S.C. 2482), unless otherwise noted.

Source: 27 FR 12118, Dec. 7, 1962, unless otherwise noted.

§201.0   Seal.

(a) Pursuant to section 331(g) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1331(g)), the United States International Trade Commission has adopted an official seal, the depiction of which follows:

eCFR graphic ec05oc91.026.gif

View or download PDF

(b) Custody and certification obligations. The Secretary shall have custody of the seal of the United States International Trade Commission and he, or the Acting Secretary, may execute under seal any certification required to authenticate any books, records, papers, or other documents as true copies of official records of the United States International Trade Commission.

(Sec. 331(g), Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1331(g)))

[40 FR 53384, Nov. 18, 1975; 40 FR 55838, Dec. 2, 1975]

§201.1   Applicability of part.

This part relates generally to functions and activities of the Commission under various statutes and other legal authority. Rules having special application appear separately in parts 202 through 207, inclusive, and parts 210, 212 and 213, of this chapter. In case of inconsistency between a rule of general application and a rule of special application, the latter is controlling.

[68 FR 32973, June 3, 2003]

Subpart A—Miscellaneous

§201.2   Definitions.

As used in this chapter—

(a) Commission means the United States International Trade Commission;

(b) Inspector General means the Inspector General of the Commission;

(c) Tariff Act means the Tariff Act of 1930, 19 U.S.C. 1202-1677j, 1677m-n;

(d) Trade Expansion Act means the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, 19 U.S.C. 1801-1991;

(e) Trade Act means the Trade Act of 1974, 19 U.S.C. 2101-2487;

(f) Trade Agreements Act means the Trade Agreements Act of 1979, Public Law 96-39, 93 Stat. 144;

(g) Rule means a section of the Commission Rules of Practice and Procedure (19 CFR chapter II);

(h) Secretary means the Secretary of the Commission.

(i) Except for adjudicative investigations under subchapter C of this chapter, party means any person who has filed a complaint or petition on the basis of which an investigation has been instituted, or any person whose entry of appearance has been accepted pursuant to §201.11 (a) or (c). Mere participation in an investigation without an accepted entry of appearance does not confer party status.

(j) Person means an individual, partnership, corporation, association, or public or private organization.

[56 FR 11922, Mar. 21, 1991, as amended at 60 FR 37336, July 20, 1995; 68 FR 32973, June 3, 2003]

§201.3   Commission offices, mailing address, and hours.

(a) Offices. The Commission's offices are located in the United States International Trade Commission Building on 500 E Street SW., Washington, DC.

(b) Mailing address. All communications to the Commission should be addressed to the “Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW., Washington, DC 20436.”

(c) Hours. The business hours of the Commission are from 8:45 a.m. to 5:15 p.m., eastern standard or daylight savings time, whichever is in effect in Washington, DC. Any document filed with the Secretary of the Commission after 5:15 p.m. will be considered filed the next business day. If filing on that day would be untimely, the filing may not be accepted unless a request is made for acceptance of a late filing for good cause shown pursuant to 201.14(b)(2).

[45 FR 80276, Dec. 4, 1980, as amended at 68 FR 32973, June 3, 2003]

§201.3a   Missing children information.

(a) Pursuant to 39 U.S.C. 3220, penalty mail sent by the Commission may be used to assist in the location and recovery of missing children. This section establishes procedures for such use and is applicable on a Commission-wide basis. The Commission's Office of Facilities Management, telephone 202-205-2741, shall be the point of contact for matters related to the implementation of this section.

(b) Missing children information shall be inserted in or affixed to such mailings of Commission monthly calendars, notices, press releases, and other documents as the Commission may direct. Such missing children information shall be obtained exclusively from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

(c) The procedure established in subsection (b) above will result in missing childern information being inserted in an estimated 25 percent of the Commission's penalty mail and will cost an estimated $1,500 for the first year of implementation. The Director of Administration shall make such changes in the procedure as he deems appropriate to maximize the use of missing children information in the Commission's mail.

[51 FR 25195, July 11, 1986, as amended at 68 FR 32974, June 3, 2003]

§201.4   Performance of functions.

(a) Conduct of business. A majority of the members of the Commission constitutes a quorum. The Commission may meet and exercise its powers at any place, and may, by one or more of its members, or by such agents as it may designate, prosecute any inquiry necessary to its duties in any part of the United States or in any foreign country.

(b) Alteration or waiver of rules. Rules in this chapter may be amended, waived, suspended, or revoked by the Commission only. A rule may be waived or suspended only when in the judgment of the Commission there is good and sufficient reason therefor, provided the rule is not a matter of procedure required by law.

(c) Authority to make decisions. Authority to interpret the Commission's rules and the laws applying to the Commission, and to make findings, determinations, or other decisions not relating to matters of internal management, is retained in the Commission itself and is not delegated.

(d) Presentation of matter that may come within the purview of other laws. Whenever any party or person, including the Commission staff, has reason to believe that (1) a matter under investigation pursuant to section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, or (2) a matter under an investigation pursuant to section 202 of the Trade Act of 1974 (19 U.S.C. 2252), which is causing increased imports may come within the purview of another remedial provision of law not the basis of such investigation, including but not limited to the antidumping provisions (19 U.S.C. 1673 et seq.) or the countervailing duty provisions (19 U.S.C. 1671 et seq.) of the Tariff Act of 1930, then the party or person may file a suggestion of notification with the Commission that the appropriate agency be notified of such matter or circumstances, together with such information as the party or person has available. The Secretary shall promptly thereafter publish notice of the filing of such suggestion and information, and make them available for inspection and copying to the extent permitted by law. Any person may comment on the suggestion within 10 days after the publication of said notice. Thereafter, the Commission shall determine whether notification is appropriate under the law and, if so, shall notify the appropriate agency of such matters or circumstances. The Commission may at any time make such notification in the absence of a suggestion under this rule when the Commission has reason to believe, on the basis of information before it, that notification is appropriate under law.

[27 FR 12118, Dec. 7, 1962, as amended at 45 FR 80276, Dec. 4, 1980; 68 FR 32974, June 3, 2003]

§201.5   Attendance fees and mileage.

(a) Deponents and witnesses. Any person compelled to appear in person to depose or testify in response to a subpoena shall be paid the same fees and mileage as are paid witnesses in the courts of the United States: Provided, that salaried employees of the United States summoned to depose or testify as to matters related to their public employment, irrespective of at whose instance they are summoned, shall be paid in accordance with applicable Government regulations.

(b) Responsibility. The fees and mileage referred to in this section shall be paid by the party at whose instance deponents or witnesses appear: Provided, that when it is the Commission, one or more Commissioners, or one of its employees at whose instance deponents or witnesses appear, such fees and mileage shall be paid by the Commission.

[41 FR 17710, Apr. 27, 1976]

§201.6   Confidential business information.

(a) Definitions—(1) Confidential business information is information which concerns or relates to the trade secrets, processes, operations, style of works, or apparatus, or to the production, sales, shipments, purchases, transfers, identification of customers, inventories, or amount or source of any income, profits, losses, or expenditures of any person, firm, partnership, corporation, or other organization, or other information of commercial value, the disclosure of which is likely to have the effect of either impairing the Commission's ability to obtain such information as is necessary to perform its statutory functions, or causing substantial harm to the competitive position of the person, firm, partnership, corporation, or other organization from which the information was obtained, unless the Commission is required by law to disclose such information. The term “confidential business information” includes “proprietary information” within the meaning of section 777(b) of the Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1677f(b)). Nonnumerical characterizations of numerical confidential business information (e.g., discussion of trends) will be treated as confidential business information only at the request of the submitter for good cause shown.

(2) Nondisclosable confidential business information is privileged information, classified information, or specific information (e.g., trade secrets) of a type for which there is a clear and compelling need to withhold from disclosure. Special rules for the handling of such information are set out in §206.17 and §207.7 of this chapter.

(b) Procedure for submitting business information in confidence. (1) A request for confidential treatment of business information shall be addressed to the Secretary, United States International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW., Washington, DC 20436, and shall indicate clearly on the envelope that it is a request for confidential treatment.

(2) In the absence of good cause shown, any request relating to material to be submitted during the course of a hearing shall be submitted at least three (3) working days prior to the commencement of such hearing.

(3) With each submission of, or offer to submit, business information which a submitter desires to be treated as confidential business information, under paragraph (a) of this section, the submitter shall provide the following, which may be disclosed to the public:

(i) A written description of the nature of the subject information;

(ii) A justification for the request for its confidential treatment;

(iii) A certification in writing under oath that substantially identical information is not available to the public;

(iv) A copy of the document

(A) Clearly marked on its cover as to the pages on which confidential information can be found;

(B) With information for which confidential treatment is requested clearly identified by means of brackets; and

(C) With information for which nondisclosable confidential treatment is requested clearly identified by means of triple brackets (except when submission of such document is withheld in accord with paragraph (b)(4) of this section); and

(v) A nonconfidential copy of the documents as required by §201.8(d).

(4) The submission of the documents itemized in paragraph (b)(3) of this section will provide the basis for rulings on the confidentiality of submissions, including rulings on the confidentiality of submissions offered to the Commission which have not yet been placed under the possession, control, or custody of the Commission. The submitter has the option of providing the business information for which confidential treatment is sought at the time the documents itemized in paragraph (b)(3) of this section are provided or of withholding them until a ruling on their confidentiality has been issued.

(c) Identification of business information submitted in confidence. Business information which a submitter desires to be treated as confidential shall be clearly labeled “confidential business information” when submitted, and shall be segregated from other material being submitted.

(d) Approval or denial of requests for confidential treatment. Approval or denial of requests shall be made only by the Secretary or Acting Secretary. An approval or a denial of a request for confidential treatment shall be in writing. A denial shall specify the reason therefor, and shall advise the submitter of the right to appeal to the Commission.

(e) Appeals from denial of confidential treatment. (1) For good cause shown, the Commission may grant an appeal from a denial by the Secretary of a request for confidential treatment of a submission. Any appeal filed shall be addressed to the Chairman, United States International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW., Washington, DC 20436, and shall clearly indicate that it is a confidential submission appeal. An appeal may be made within twenty (20) days of a denial or whenever the approval or denial has not been forthcoming within ten (10) days (excepting Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal legal holidays) of the receipt of a confidential treatment request, unless an extension notice in writing with the reasons therefor has been provided the person requesting confidential treatment.

(2) An appeal will be decided within twenty (20) days of its receipt (excepting Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal legal holidays) unless an extension notice in writing with the reasons therefor, has been provided the person making the appeal.

(3) The justification submitted to the Commission in connection with an appeal shall be limited to that presented to the Secretary with the original or amended request. When the Secretary or Acting Secretary has denied a request on the ground that the submitter failed to provide adequate justification, any such additional justification shall be submitted to the Secretary for consideration as part of an amended request. For purposes of paragraph (e)(1) of this section, the twenty (20) day period for filing an appeal shall be tolled on the filing of an amended request and a new twenty (20) day period shall begin once the Secretary or Acting Secretary has denied the amended request, or the approval or denial has not been forthcoming within ten (10) days of the filing of the amended request. A denial of a request by the Secretary on the ground of inadequate justification shall not obligate a requester to furnish additional justification and shall not preclude a requester from filing an appeal with the Commission based on the justification earlier submitted to the Secretary.

(f) Appeals from approval of confidential treatment. (1) For good cause shown, the Commission may grant an appeal from an approval by the Secretary of a request for confidential treatment of a submission. Any appeal filed shall be addressed to the Chairman, United States International Trade Commission, 500 E Street, SW., Washington, DC 20436, shall show that a copy thereof has been served upon the submitter, and shall clearly indicate that it is a confidential submission appeal. An appeal may be made within twenty (20) days of the approval by the Secretary of a request for confidential treatment or whenever the approval or denial has not been forthcoming within ten (10) days (excepting Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal legal holidays) of the receipt of a confidential treatment request, unless an extension notice in writing with the reasons therefor has been provided the person requesting confidential treatment.

(2) An appeal will be decided within twenty (20) days of its receipt (excepting Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal legal holidays) unless an extension notice, in writing with the reasons therefor, has been provided the person making the appeal.

(g) Granting confidential status to business information. Any business information submitted in confidence and determined to be entitled to confidential treatment shall be maintained in confidence by the Commission and not disclosed except as required by law. In the event that any business information submitted to the Commission is not entitled to confidential treatment, the submitter will be permitted to withdraw the tender within five days of its denial of confidential treatment unless it is the subject of a request under the Freedom of Information Act or of judicial discovery proceedings. After such five day period, the business information deemed not entitled to confidential treatment, and not withdrawn, will be treated as public information.

(h) Scope of provisions. The provisions of §§201.6(b) and 201.6 (d) through (g) shall not apply to adjudicative investigations under subchapter C, part 210, of the Commission's rules of practice and procedure.

[41 FR 28951, July 14, 1976, as amended at 49 FR 32571, Aug. 15, 1984; 54 FR 13678, Apr. 5, 1989; 61 FR 37827, July 22, 1996; 68 FR 32974, June 3, 2003]

Subpart B—Initiation and Conduct of Investigations

§201.7   Investigative authority and initiation of investigations.

(a) Investigative authority. In order to expedite the performance of its functions, the Commission may engage in investigative activities preliminary to and in aid of any authorized investigation, consolidate proceedings before it, and determine the scope and manner of its proceedings;

(b) Initiation of investigations. Investigations may be initiated by the Commission on the Commission's own motion, upon request of the President or the United States Trade Representative, upon resolution of the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives or the Committee of Finance of the Senate, upon resolution of either branch of Congress, or upon application, petition, complaint, or request of private parties, as required or provided for in the pertinent statute, Presidential proclamation, Executive Order, or in this chapter.

[44 FR 76476, Dec. 26, 1979, as amended at 63 FR 29351, May 29, 1998]

§201.8   Filing of documents.

(a) Applicability; where to file; date of filing. This section applies to all Commission proceedings except, notwithstanding any other section of this chapter, those conducted under 19 U.S.C. 1337, which are covered by requirements set out in part 210 of this chapter. Documents shall be filed at the office of the Secretary of the Commission in Washington, DC. Such documents, if properly filed within the hours of operation specified in §201.3(c), will be deemed to be filed on the date on which they are actually received in the Commission.

(b) Conformity with rules. Each document filed with the Commission for the purpose of initiating any investigation shall be considered properly filed if it conforms with the pertinent rules prescribed in this chapter. Substantial compliance with the pertinent rules may be accepted by the Commission provided good and sufficient reason is stated in the document for inability to comply fully with the pertinent rules.

(c) Specifications for documents. Each document filed under this chapter shall be signed, double-spaced, clear and legible, except that a document of two pages or less in length need not be double-spaced. All submissions shall be in letter-sized format (8.5 × 11 inches), except copies of documents prepared for another agency or a court (e.g. pleadings papers), and single sided. The name of the person signing the original shall be typewritten or otherwise reproduced on each copy.

(d) Filing. (1) Except as provided in paragraphs (d)(2) through (6) and (f) of this section, all documents filed with the Commission shall be filed electronically. Completion of filing requires the submission of paper copies by 12 noon, Eastern time, on the next business day. A paper copy provided for in this section must be a true copy of the electronic version of the document, i.e., a copy that is identical in all possible respects. All paper copies of electronic submissions exceeding fifty (50) pages in length must have a divider page and an identifying tab preceding each exhibit and/or attachment. The divider page and/or tab must be labeled with a letter or number that corresponds to a more fully descriptive index. All filings shall comply with the procedures set forth in the Commission's Electronic Document Information System Web site at https://edis.usitc.gov. Failure to comply with the requirements of this chapter and the Handbook on Filing Procedures that apply to the filing of a document may result in the rejection of the document as improperly filed.

(2) Briefs, statements, responses, comments, and requests filed pursuant to §201.12, §201.14, §206.8, §207.15, §207.23, §207.25, §207.28, §207.30, §207.61, §207.62, §207.65, §207.67, or §207.68 of this chapter shall be filed electronically and the requisite number of true paper copies of these documents shall be submitted to the Commission in accordance with the provisions of the applicable section.

(3) Petitions and requests filed under §206.2 or §207.10 of this chapter shall be filed in paper form and exhibits, appendices, and attachments to the documents shall be filed in electronic form on CD-ROM, DVD or other portable electronic media approved by the Secretary in accordance with the provisions of the applicable section. Submitted media will be retained by the Commission, except that media may be returned to the submitter if a document is not accepted for filing.

(4) Supplementary material and witness testimony provided for under §201.13, §207.15, or §207.24 of this chapter shall be filed in paper form in accordance with the provisions of the applicable section.

(5) Certain documents filed under §201.4 of this chapter and applications for administrative protective orders filed under §§206.17 and 207.7 of this chapter shall only be filed electronically; no paper copies will be required.

(6) The Secretary may provide for exceptions and modifications to the filing requirements set out in this chapter. A person seeking an exception should consult the Handbook on Filing Procedures.

(7) During any period in which the Commission is closed, deadlines for filing documents electronically and by other means are extended so that documents are due on the first business day after the end of the closure.

(e) Identification of party filing document. Each document filed with the Commission for the purpose of initiating any investigation shall show on the first page thereof the name, address, and telephone number of the party or parties by whom or on whose behalf the document is filed and shall be signed by the party filing the document or by a duly authorized officer, attorney, or agent of such party. (Also, any attorney or agent filing the document shall give his address and telephone number.) The signature of the person signing such a document constitutes a certification that he had read the document, that to the best of his knowledge and belief the statements contained therein are true, and that the person signing the document was duly authorized to sign it.

(f) Nonconfidential copies. In the event that confidential treatment of a document is requested under §201.6(b), a nonconfidential version of the document shall be filed, in which the confidential business information shall have been deleted and which shall have been conspicuously marked “nonconfidential” or “public inspection.'” The nonconfidential version shall be filed electronically, and two (2) true paper copies shall be submitted on the same business day as this electronic filing, except as provided in §206.8 or §207.3 of this chapter. In the event that confidential treatment is not requested for a document under §201.6(b), the document shall be conspicuously marked “No confidential version filed,” and the document shall be filed in accordance with paragraph (d) of this section. The name of the person signing the original shall be typewritten or otherwise reproduced on each copy.

(g) Cover sheet. When making a paper filing, parties must complete the cover sheet on-line at http://edis.usitc.gov and print out the cover sheet for submission to the Office of the Secretary with the paper filing. For documents that are filed electronically, parties must complete the cover sheet for such filing on-line at http://edis.usitc.gov at the time of the electronic filing. The party submitting the cover sheet is responsible for the accuracy of all information contained in the cover sheet, including, but not limited to, the security status and the investigation number, and must comply with applicable limitations on disclosure of business proprietary information or confidential information under §201.6 and §§206.8, 206.17, 207.3, and 207.7 of this chapter.

[41 FR 17710, Apr. 27, 1976, as amended at 49 FR 32571, Aug. 15, 1984; 56 FR 11922, Mar. 21, 1991; 67 FR 68037, Nov. 8, 2002; 68 FR 32974, June 3, 2003; 76 FR 61941, Oct. 6, 2011; 79 FR 35924, June 25, 2014]

§201.9   Methods employed in obtaining information.

In obtaining information necessary to carry out its functions and duties, the Commission may employ any means authorized by law. In general, the Commission obtains pertinent information from its own files, from other agencies of the Government, through questionnaires and correspondence, through field work by members of the Commission's staff, and from testimony and other information presented at the hearings.

[27 FR 12118, Dec. 7, 1962, as amended at 44 FR 76476, Dec. 26, 1979]

§201.10   Public notices.

As appropriate, notice of the receipt of documents properly filed, of the institution of investigations, of public hearings, and of other formal actions of the Commission will be given by publication in the Federal Register. In addition to such publication, a copy of each notice will be posted at the Office of the Secretary to the Commission in Washington, DC, and, as appropriate, copies will be sent to press associations, trade and similar organizations of producers and importers, and others known to have an interest in the subject matter.

[63 FR 29347, May 29, 1998]

§201.11   Appearance in an investigation as a party.

(a) Who may appear as a party. Any person may apply to appear in an investigation as a party, either in person or by representative, by filing an entry of appearance with the Secretary. Each entry of appearance shall state briefly the nature of the person's reason for participating in the investigation and state the person's intent to file briefs with the Commission regarding the subject matter of the investigation. The Secretary shall promptly determine whether the person submitting the entry of appearance has a proper reason for participating in the investigation. In any investigation conducted under part 207 of this chapter, industrial users, and if the merchandise under investigation is sold at the retail level, representative consumer organizations, will be deemed to have a proper reason for participating in the investigation. If it is found that a person does not have a proper reason for participating in the investigation, that person shall be so notified by the Secretary and shall not be entitled to appear in the investigation as a party. A person found to have a proper reason for participating in the investigation shall be permitted to appear in the investigation as a party, and acceptance of such person's entry of appearance shall be signified by the Secretary's inclusion of such person on the service list established pursuant to paragraph (d) of this section.

(b) Time for filing. (1) Except in the case of investigations conducted under part 207 of this chapter, each entry of appearance shall be filed with the Secretary not later than twenty-one (21) days after publication of the Commission's notice of investigation in the Federal Register.

(2) In the case of investigations conducted under subpart B of part 207 of this chapter, each entry of appearance shall be filed with the Secretary not later than seven (7) days after publication of the Commission's notice of investigation in the Federal Register. A party that files a notice of appearance during such time need not file an additional notice of appearance during the portion of the investigation conducted under subpart C of part 207 of this chapter.

(3) Notwithstanding paragraph (b)(2) of this section, a party may file an entry of appearance during the final phase of an investigation conducted under part 207 of this chapter no later than twenty-one (21) days prior to the hearing date listed in the Federal Register notice published pursuant to §207.24(b) of this chapter.

(4) In the case of reviews conducted under subpart F of part 207 of this chapter, each entry of appearance shall be filed with the Secretary not later than twenty-one (21) days after publication in the Federal Register of the notice of institution described in §207.60(d) of this chapter.

(5) Notwithstanding paragraph (b)(4) of this section, a party may file an entry of appearance in a review conducted under subpart F of part 207 of this chapter within the period specified in the notice issued under §207.62(c) of this chapter. This period shall be at least 45 days.

(c) Late filing. Any entry of appearance filed with the Secretary after the filing date established in paragraph (b) of this section shall be referred to the Chairman, or other person designated to conduct the investigation, who shall promptly determine whether to accept such entry for good cause shown by the person desiring to file the notice. The Secretary shall promptly notify the submitter of a decision to deny the entry, or if the entry is accepted, include such person on the service list established pursuant to paragraph (d) of this section.

(d) Service list. Upon the expiration of the time for filing notices of appearance established in paragraph (b) of this section, the Secretary shall prepare a service list. The service list shall contain the names and addresses of all persons, or their representatives, who are parties to the investigation pursuant to §201.2(h) and paragraph (a) of this section. Upon the acceptance of a late entry of appearance pursuant to paragraph (c) of this section, the Secretary shall amend the service list to include the name and address of the person whose notice has been accepted and shall promptly forward such notice to all parties to the investigation.

[56 FR 11922, Mar. 21, 1991, as amended at 61 FR 37828, July 22, 1996; 63 FR 30607, June 5, 1998]

§201.12   Requests.

Any party to a nonadjudicative investigation may request the Commission to take particular action with respect to that investigation. Such requests shall be made by letter addressed to the Secretary, shall be placed by him in the record, and shall be served on all other parties. Such request shall be filed electronically and two (2) true paper copies shall be submitted on the same business day. The Commission shall take such action or make such response as it deems appropriate.

[76 FR 61941, Oct. 6, 2011]

§201.13   Conduct of nonadjudicative hearings.

(a) In general. Public hearings are held by the Commission when required by law or, if not required by law, when in the judgment of the Commission there is good and sufficient reason therefor. Public hearings will be held at the time and place specified in notices issued under §201.10. Public hearings are ordinarily held in the Hearing Room of the International Trade Commission Building, in Washington, DC, but may be held elsewhere at the Commission's discretion.

(b) Presiding officials—(1) Who presides. Public hearings or conferences in nonadjudicative investigations will be conducted by the Commission or by one or more Commissioners. When the Commission deems it necessary, such hearings will be conducted by one or more designated employees. In all cases the transcript of the testimony at a hearing will be presented for the consideration of the Commission.

(2) Powers and duties. The Commission, one or more of the Commissioners, or one or more designated employees shall have all the powers to conduct fair and impartial hearings, to take necessary action to avoid delay in the disposition of proceedings, including the prescription of time allocated to testimony, argument, and questioning, to regulate the course of hearings and the conduct of the parties and their counsel therein, and to maintain order.

(c) Participation in a hearing—(1) Who may participate. A party may participate in the hearing, either in person or by representative. A nonparty who has testimony or arguments that may aid the Commission's deliberations may also participate, under such conditions as may be established by the presiding officials at the hearing.

(2) Notices of participation. Notices of participation in a hearing shall be filed with the Secretary at least three (3) days in advance of the date set for the hearing or two (2) days in advance of the date set in the notice of investigation for a prehearing conference, whichever shall first occur, except that the presiding officials may waive this requirement for good cause. Witnesses on behalf of persons filing notices of participation need not file separate notices.

(d) Witness list. Each person who files a notice of participation pursuant to paragraph (c) of this section shall simultaneously file with the Secretary a list of the witnesses he intends to call at the hearing.

(e) Order of the testimony. Unless otherwise ordered by the presiding officials, witnesses will give testimony in the order designated by the Secretary to the Commission. Each witness, after being duly sworn, will be permitted to proceed with his or her testimony without interruption except by presiding officials.

(f) Supplementary material. A party to the investigation may file with the Secretary supplementary material, other than remarks read into the record, for acceptance into the record. The party shall file any such material with the Secretary at the hearing. Supplementary materials must be marked with the name of the organization submitting it. As used herein, the term supplementary material refers to (1) additional graphic material such as charts and diagrams used to illuminate an argument or clarify a position and (2) information not available to a party at the time its prehearing brief was filed.

(g) Questioning of witnesses. After completing testimony, a witness may be questioned by any member of the Commission or by its staff. Any participant may, with the permission of the presiding officials, direct questions to the witness, but only for the purpose of assisting the Commission in obtaining relevant and material facts with respect to the subject matter of the investigation.

(h) Oral argument. When, in the opinion of the presiding officials, time permits and the nature of the proceedings and the complexity or importance of the questions of fact or law involved warrant, the presiding officials may allow oral argument after conclusion of the testimony in a hearing. The presiding officials will determine in each instance the time to be allowed for argument and the allocation thereof.

(i) Briefs—(1) Parties. Briefs of the information produced at the hearing and arguments thereon may be presented to the Commission by parties to the investigation. Time to be allowed for submission of briefs will be set after conclusion of testimony and oral argument, if any.

(2) Nonparties. Any person who is not a party to an investigation may submit a short statement for the record regarding the subject matter of an investigation.

(j) Verification of testimony. Oral or written information submitted at hearings will, upon order of the Commission, be subject to verification from books, papers, and records of the persons submitting the information and from any other available sources.

(k) Hearing transcripts. A verbatim transcript of all hearings will be taken. The Commission does not distribute transcripts of the records of such hearings. Any person may inspect the transcript of a hearing at the Commission's office in Washington, DC, or purchase it from the official reporter.

(l) To facilitate the conduct of hearings, parties intending to use easels, audio visual, and similar equipment in the course of hearing presentations should advise the Secretary of their intent to use such equipment at least three (3) working days before the hearing.

(m) Closed sessions. (1) Upon a request filed by a party to the investigation no later than seven (7) days prior to the date of the hearing (or three (3) days prior to the date of a conference conducted under §207.15 of this chapter) that

(i) Identifies the subjects to be discussed;

(ii) Specifies the amount of time requested; and

(iii) Justifies the need for a closed session with respect to each subject to be discussed, the Commission (or the Director, as defined in §207.2(c) of this chapter, for a conference under §207.15 of this chapter) may close a portion of a hearing (or conference under §207.15 of this chapter) held in any investigation in order to allow such party to address confidential business information, as defined in §201.6, during the course of its presentation.

(2) In addition, during each hearing held in an investigation conducted under section 202 of the Trade Act, as amended, or in an investigation under title VII of the Tariff Act as provided in §207.24 of this chapter, following the public presentation of the petitioner(s) and that of each panel of respondents, the Commission will, if it deems it appropriate, close the hearing in order to allow Commissioners to question parties and/or their representatives concerning matters involving confidential business information.

[47 FR 6189, Feb. 10, 1982, as amended at 47 FR 33682, Aug. 4, 1982; 54 FR 13678, Apr. 5, 1989; 59 FR 66722, Dec. 28, 1994; 61 FR 37829, July 22, 1996; 68 FR 32975, June 3, 2003]

§201.14   Computation of time, additional hearings, postponements, continuances, and extensions of time.

(a) Computation of time. Computation of any period of time prescribed or allowed by the rules in this chapter, by order of the Commission, or by order of the presiding officer under part 210 of this chapter shall begin with the first business day following the day on which the act or event initiating such period of time shall have occurred. The last day of the period so computed is to be included, unless it is a Saturday, Sunday, or Federal legal holiday, in which event the period runs until the end of the next business day. When the period of time prescribed or allowed is less than 7 days, intermediate Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal legal holidays shall be excluded from the computation. As used in this rule, a Federal legal holiday refers to any full calendar day designated as a legal holiday by the President or the Congress of the United States. In the event of an early or all-day closing of the Commission on a business day, the Secretary is authorized to accept on the next full business day filings due the day of the early or all-day closing, without requiring the granting of an extension of time by the Chairman of the Commission, or such other person designated to conduct the investigation.

(b) Additional hearings, postponements, continuances, and extensions of time. (1) Prior to its final determination in any investigation, the Commission may in its discretion for good cause shown grant additional hearings, postponements, or continuances of hearings.

(2) The Chairman of the Commission or such other person as is designated to conduct the investigation shall determine whether to grant for good cause shown extensions of time for performing any act required by or pursuant to the rules contained in this chapter.

(3) A request that the Commission take any of the actions described in this section shall be filed with the Secretary and served on all parties to the investigation. Such request shall be filed electronically and two (2) true paper copies shall be submitted on the same business day.

[41 FR 17710, Apr. 27, 1976, as amended at 56 FR 11923, Mar. 21, 1991; 68 FR 32975, June 3, 2003; 76 FR 61941, Oct. 6, 2011]

§201.15   Attorneys or agents.

(a) In general. No register of attorneys or agents who may practice before the Commission is maintained. No application for admission to practice is required. Any person desiring to appear as attorney or agent before the Commission may be required to show to the satisfaction of the Commission his acceptability in that capacity. Any attorney or agent practicing before the Commission, or desiring so to practice, may for good cause shown be suspended or barred from practicing before the Commission, or have imposed on him such lesser sanctions as the Commission deems appropriate, but only after he has been accorded an opportunity to present his views in the matter.

(b) Former officers or employees. No former officer or employee of the Commission who personally and substantially participated in a matter which was pending in any manner or form in the Commission during his employment shall be eligible to appear before the Commission as attorney or agent in connection with such matter. No former officer or employee of the Commission shall be eligible to appear as attorney or agent before the Commission in connection with any matter which was pending in any manner or form in the Commission during his employment, unless he first obtains written consent from the Commission.

[27 FR 12118, Dec. 7, 1962, as amended at 56 FR 11923, Mar. 21, 1991]

§201.16   Service of process and other documents.

(a) By the Commission. Except when service by another method shall be specifically ordered by the Commission, the service of a process or other document of the Commission shall be served by anyone duly authorized by the Commission and be effected—

(1) By mailing or delivering a copy of the document to the person to be served, to a member of the partnership to be served, to the president, secretary, other executive officer, or member of the board of directors of the corporation, association, or other organization to be served, or, if an attorney represents any of the above before the Commission, by mailing or delivering a copy to such attorney; or

(2) By leaving a copy thereof at the principal office of such person, partnership, corporation, association, or other organization, or, if an attorney represents any of the above before the Commission, by leaving a copy at the office of such attorney.

(3) By using an express delivery service to send a copy of the document to the principal office of such person, partnership, corporation, association, or other organization, or, if an attorney represents any of the above before the Commission, by serving the attorney by express delivery.

(4) When service is by mail, it is complete upon mailing of the document. When service is by an express service, service is complete upon submitting the document to the express delivery service or depositing it in the appropriate container for pick-up by the express delivery service.

(b) By a party other than the Commission. Except when service by another method shall be specifically ordered by the Commission, the service of a document of a party shall be effected:

(1) By mailing or delivering a copy of a nonconfidential version of the document to each party, or, if the party is represented by an attorney before the Commission, by mailing or delivering a nonconfidential version thereof to such attorney; or

(2) By leaving a copy thereof at the principal office of each other party, or, if a party is represented by an attorney before the Commission, by leaving a copy at the office of such attorney.

(3) When service is by mail, it is complete upon mailing of the document.

(4) When service is by mail, it shall be by first class mail, postage prepaid. In the event the addressee is outside the United States, service shall be by first class airmail, postage prepaid.

(c) Proof of service; certificate. (1) Each document filed with the Secretary to the Commission by a party in the course of an investigation (as provided in §201.8 of this part) shall be served on each other party to the investigation (as provided in §210.4(i) of this chapter for investigations under 19 U.S.C. 1337).

(2) Each document served by a party shall include a certificate of service, setting forth the manner and date of such service. The certificate of service shall be deemed proof of service of the document. In the event a document is not accompanied by a certificate of service, the Secretary shall not accept such document for filing and shall promptly notify the submitter.

(d) Additional time after service by mail. Whenever a party or Federal agency or department has the right or is required to perform some act or take some action within a prescribed period after the service of a document upon it and the document is served upon it by mail, three (3) calendar days shall be added to the prescribed period, except that when mailing is to a person located in a foreign country, ten (10) calendar days shall be added to the prescribed period.

(e) Additional time after service by express delivery. Whenever a party or Federal agency or department has the right or is required to perform some act or take some action within a prescribed period after the service of a document upon it and the document is served by express delivery, one (1) day shall be added to the prescribed period if the service is to a destination in the United States, and five (5) days shall be added to the prescribed period if the service is to a destination outside the United States. “Service by express delivery” refers to a method that would provide delivery by the next business day within the United States and refers to the equivalent express delivery service when the delivery is to a foreign location.

(f) Electronic service. Parties may serve documents by electronic means in all matters before the Commission. Parties may effect such service on any party, unless that party has, upon notice to the Secretary and to all parties, stated that it does not consent to electronic service. If electronic service is used, no additional time is added to the prescribed period. However, any dispute that arises among parties regarding electronic service must be resolved by the parties themselves, without the Commission's involvement.

(19 U.S.C. 1335 and the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. 551, et seq.)

[41 FR 17711, Apr. 27, 1976, as amended at 47 FR 6190, Feb. 10, 1982; 47 FR 33682, Aug. 4, 1982; 49 FR 32571, Aug. 15, 1984; 67 FR 68037, Nov. 8, 2002; 73 FR 38320, July 7, 2008; 76 FR 61942, Oct. 6, 2011; 78 FR 23840, Apr. 19, 2013]

Subpart C—Availability of Information to the Public Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552

Authority: 19 U.S.C. 1335, 5 U.S.C. 552.

Source: 40 FR 8328, Feb. 27, 1975, unless otherwise noted.

§201.17   Procedures for requesting access to records.

(a) Requests for records. (1) A request for any information or record shall be addressed to the Secretary, United States International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW., Washington, DC 20436 and shall indicate clearly in the request, and if the request is in paper form on the envelope, that it is a “Freedom of Information Act Request.” A written request may be made either (1) in paper form, or (2) electronically by contacting the Commission at http://www.usitc.gov/foia.htm.

(2) Any request shall reasonably describe the requested record to facilitate location of the record. If the request pertains to a record that is part of the Commission's file in an investigation, the request should identify the investigation by number and name. A clear description of the requested record(s) should reduce the time required by the Commission to locate and disclose releasable responsive record(s) and minimize any applicable search and copying charges.

(3) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, requests will be processed in the order in which they are filed.

(4) Requests for transcripts of hearings should be addressed to the official hearing reporter, the name and address of which can be obtained from the Secretary. A copy of such request shall at the same time be forwarded to the Secretary.

(5) Copies of public Commission reports and other publications can be requested by calling or writing the Publications Office in the Office of the Secretary. Generally, such publications can be obtained more quickly from this office. Certain Commission publications are sold by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, and are available from that agency at the price set by that agency.

(6) A day-to-day, composite record will be kept by the Secretary of each request with the disposition thereof.

(b) Expedited processing. (1) Requests for records under paragraph (a)(1) of this section will be taken out of order and given expedited treatment whenever it is determined that they involve:

(i) Circumstances in which the lack of expedited treatment could reasonably be expected to pose an imminent threat to the life or physical safety of an individual;

(ii) An urgency to inform the public about an actual or alleged federal government activity, if made by a person primarily engaged in disseminating information;

(iii) The loss of substantial due process rights; or

(iv) A matter of widespread and exceptional media interest in which there exist possible questions about the government's integrity which affect public confidence.

(2) A request for expedited processing may be made at the time of the initial request for records or at any later time.

(3) A requester who seeks expedited processing must submit a statement, certified to be true and correct to the best of that person's knowledge and belief, explaining in detail the basis for requesting expedited processing. For example, a requester within paragraph (b)(1)(ii) of this section, if not a full-time member of the news media, must establish that he or she is a person whose main professional activity or occupation is information dissemination, though it need not be his or her sole occupation. A requester within paragraph (b)(1)(ii) of this section also must establish a particular urgency to inform the public about the government activity involved in the request, beyond the public's right to know about government activity generally. The formality of certification may be waived as a matter of administrative discretion.

(4) Within ten calendar days of receipt of a request for expedited processing, the Secretary will decide whether to grant it and will notify the requester of the decision. If a request for expedited treatment is granted, the request will be given priority and will be processed as soon as practicable. If a request for expedited processing is denied, any appeal of that decision will be acted on expeditiously.

(c) Public reading room. The Commission maintains a public reading room in the Office of the Secretary for access to the records that the FOIA requires to be made regularly available for public inspection and copying. Reading room records created by the Commission on or after November 1, 1996, are available electronically. This includes a current subject-matter index of reading room records, which will indicate which records are available electronically.

[63 FR 29347, May 29, 1998, as amended at 68 FR 32975, June 3, 2003]

§201.18   Denial of requests, appeals from denial.

(a) Written requests for inspection or copying of records shall be denied only by the Secretary or Acting Secretary, or, for records maintained by the Office of Inspector General, the Inspector General. Denials of written requests shall be in writing, shall specify the reason therefor, and shall advise the person requesting of the right to appeal to the Commission. Oral requests may be dealt with orally, but if the requester is dissatisfied he shall be asked to put the request in writing.

(b) An appeal from a denial of a request must be received within sixty days of the date of the letter of denial and shall be made to the Commission and addressed to the Chairman, United States International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW., Washington, DC 20436. Any such appeal shall be in writing, and shall indicate clearly in the appeal, and if the appeal is in paper form on the envelope, that it is a “Freedom of Information Act Appeal.” An appeal may be made either in paper form, or electronically by contacting the Commission at http://www.usitc.gov/foia.htm.

(c) Except when expedited treatment is requested and granted, appeals will be decided in the order in which they are filed, but in any case within twenty days (excepting Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays) unless an extension, noticed in writing with the reasons therefor, has been provided to the person making the request. Notice of the decision on appeal and the reasons therefor will be made promptly after a decision. Requests for expedited treatment should conform with the requirements in §201.17(c) of this part.

(d) The extensions of time mentioned in paragraph (c) of this section shall be made only for one or more of the following reasons:

(1) The need to search for and collect the requested records from field facilities or other establishments that are separate from the office processing the request;

(2) The need to search for, collect, and appropriately examine a voluminous amount of separate and distinct records which are requested in a single communication; 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 a substantial subject-matter interest therein.

(e) The extensions of time mentioned in paragraph (c) of this section shall not exceed ten working days in the aggregate.

[40 FR 8328, Feb. 27, 1975, as amended at 54 FR 13678, Apr. 5, 1989; 60 FR 37336, July 20, 1995; 63 FR 29348, May 29, 1998; 68 FR 32975, June 3, 2003]

§201.19   Notification regarding requests for confidential business information.

(a) In general. Business information provided to the Commission by a business submitter which the Commission has designated as “confidential business information” will not be disclosed pursuant to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request except in accordance with this section.

(b) Definitions. The following definitions are to be used in reference to this section:

Confidential business information means commercial or financial information that has been designated as confidential business information by the Commission under §201.6 of this part.

Submitter means any person or entity who provides confidential business information, directly or indirectly, to the Commission. The term includes, but is not limited to, corporations, producers, importers, and state and federal governments, as well as others who have an administrative relationship with the Commission such as contractors, bidders and vendors.

(c) Notice to submitters. Except as provided for in paragraph (e) of this section, the Commission will, to the extent permitted by law, provide a submitter with prompt written notice of a FOIA request or administrative appeal encompassing its confidential business information whenever required under paragraph (d) of this section, in order to afford the submitter an opportunity to object to disclosure pursuant to paragraph (f) of this section. Such written notice will describe the nature of the confidential business information requested. The requester will also be notified that notice and opportunity to object to are being provided to a submitter.

(d) When notice is required. Notice will be given to a submitter in writing at submitter's last known address whenever:

(1) The information the subject of the FOIA request or appeal has been designated by the Commission as confidential business information; and

(2) The Commission has reason to believe that the information may not be protected from disclosure under FOIA Exemptions 3 or 4.

(e) Exceptions to notice requirment. The notice requirements of paragraph (c) of this section will not apply if:

(1) The Commission determines that the information should not be disclosed;

(2) The information lawfully has been published or has been officially made available to the public; or

(3) Disclosure of the information is required by law (other than 5 U.S.C. 552).

(f) Opportunity to object to disclosure. In general, the Commission has 10 working days in which to respond to a FOIA request. Through the notice described in paragraph (c) of this section, the Commission will afford a submitter an opportunity, within the period afforded to the Commission to make its decision in response to the FOIA request, to provide the Commission with a detailed written statement of any objection to disclosure. Such statement shall be filed at least one working day before the Commission is required to respond to the FOIA request, and it shall specify all grounds for withholding any of the information under any exemption of FOIA. In the case of FOIA Exemptions 3 or 4, it shall demonstrate why the information should continue to be considered confidential business information within the meaning of §201.6 of this part and should not be disclosed. The submitter's claim of continued confidentiality should be supported by a certification by an officer or authorized representative of the submitter. Information provided by a submitter pursuant to this paragraph may itself be subject to disclosure under FOIA.

(g) Notice of intent to disclose. The Commission will consider carefully a submitter's objections and specific grounds for nondisclosure prior to determining whether to disclose the information. Whenever the Commission decides to disclose such information over the objection of a submitter, the Commission will forward to the submitter a written notice which will include:

(1) A statement of the reasons for which the submitter's disclosure objections were not sustained;

(2) A description of the information to be disclosed; and

(3) A specified disclosure date.

Such notice of intent to disclose will be forwarded to the submitter a reasonable number of days prior to the specified disclosure date and the requester will be notified likewise.

(h) Notice of FOIA lawsuit. Whenever a requester brings suit seeking to compel disclosure of information that the Commission has designated as confidential business information, the Commission will promptly notify the submitter at its last known address. For the purpose of this paragraph, the Secretary may assume such address to be that given on the submission.

[54 FR 13678, Apr. 5, 1989, as amended at 68 FR 32975, June 3, 2003]

§201.20   Fees.

(a) In general. Fees pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552 shall be assessed according to the schedule contained in paragraph (b) of this section for services rendered by agency personnel in responding to and processing requests for records under this subpart. All fees so assessed shall be charged to the requester, except where the charging of fees is limited under paragraph (c) of this section or where a waiver or reduction of fees is granted under paragraph (d) of this section. The Secretary will collect all applicable fees. Requesters shall pay fees by check or money order made payable to the Treasury of the United States.

(b) Charges. In responding to requests under this subpart, the following fees shall be assessed, unless a waiver or reduction of fees has been granted pursuant to paragraph (d) of this section:

(1) Search. (i) No search fee shall be assessed with respect to requests by educational institutions, noncommercial scientific institutions, and representatives of the news media as defined in paragraphs (j) (6), (7), and (8) of this section, respectively. Search fees shall be assessed with respect to all other requests, subject to the limitations of paragraph (c) of this section. The secretary may assess fees for time spent searching even if agency personnel fail to locate any respective record or where records located are subsequently determined to be entirely exempt from disclosure.

(ii) For each quarter hour spent by agency personnel in salary grades GS-2 through GS-10 in searching for and retrieving a requested record, the fee shall be $4.00. When the time of agency personnel in salary grades GS-11 and above is required, the fee shall be $6.50 for each quarter hour of search and retrieval time spent by such personnel.

(iii) For computer searches of records, which may be undertaken through the use of existing programming, requester shall be charged the actual direct costs of conducting the search, although certain requesters (as defined in paragraph (c)(2) of this section) shall be entitled to the cost equivalent of two hours of manual search time without charge. These direct costs shall include the cost of operating a central processing unit for that portion of operating time that is directly attributable to searching for records responsive to a request, as well as the costs of operator/programmer salary apportionable to the search (at no more than $6.50 per quarter hour of time so spent).

(2) Duplication. Duplication fees shall be assessed with respect to all requesters, subject to the limitations of paragraph (c) of this section. For a paper photocopy of a record (no more than one copy of which need be supplied), the fee shall be $0.10 per page. For copies produced by computer, such as tapes or printouts, the Secretary shall charge the actual direct costs, including operator time, of producing the copy. For other methods of duplication, the Secretary shall charge the actual direct costs of duplicating a record.

(3) Review. (i) Review fees shall be assessed with respect to only those requesters who seek records for a commercial use, as defined in paragraph (j)(5) of this section. For each quarter hour spent by agency personnel in reviewing a requested record for possible disclosure, the fee shall be $6.50.

(ii) Review fees shall be assessed only for the initial record review, i.e., all of the review undertaken when a component analyzes the applicability of a particular exemption to a particular record or record portion at the initial request level. No charge shall be assessed for review at the administrative appeal level of an exemption already applied. However, records or record portions withheld pursuant to an exemption that is subsequently determined not to apply may be reviewed again to determine the applicability of other exemptions not previously considered. The costs of such a subsequent review are properly assessable, particularly where that review is made necessary by a change of circumstances.

(c) Limitations on charging fees. (1) No search or review fee shall be charged for a quarter-hour period unless more than half of that period is required for search or review.

(2) Except for requesters seeking records for a commercial use (as defined in paragraph (j)(5) of this section), the Secretary shall provide without charge—

(i) The first 100 pages of duplication (or its cost equivalent), and

(ii) The first two hours of search (or its cost equivalent).

(3) Whenever a total fee calculated under paragraph (b) of this section is $25.00 or less, no fee shall be charged.

(4) The provisions of paragraphs (c)(2) and (3) of this section work together. For requesters other than those seeking records for a commercial use, no fee shall be charged unless the cost of search is in excess of two hours plus the cost of duplication in excess of 100 pages exceeds $25.00.

(d) Waiver or reduction of fees. (1) Records responsive to a request under 5 U.S.C. 552 shall be furnished without charge or at a charge reduced below that established under paragraph (b) of this section where the Secretary determines, based upon information provided by a requester in support of a fee waiver request or otherwise made known to the Secretary that 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 is not primarily in the commercial interest of the requester. Requests for a waiver or reduction of fees shall be considered on a case-by-case basis.

(2) In order to determine whether the first fee waiver requirement is met—i.e., that 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—the Secretary shall consider the following four factors in sequence:

(i) The subject of the request: Whether the subject of the requested records concerns “the operations or activities of the government.” The subject matter of the requested records, in the context of the request, must specifically concern identifiable operations or activities of the federal government—with a connection that is direct and clear, not remote or attenuated. Furthermore, the records must be sought for their informative value with respect to those government operations or activities; a request for access to records for their intrinsic informational content alone will not satisfy this threshold consideration.

(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. The disclosable portions of the requested records must be meaningfully informative on specific government operations or activities in order to hold potential for contributing to increased public understanding of those operations and activities. The disclosure of information that already is in the public domain, in either a duplicative or a substantially identical form, would not be likely to contribute to such understanding, as nothing new would be added to the public record.

(iii) The contribution of an understanding of the subject by the public likely to result from disclosure: Whether disclosure of the requested information will contribute to “public understanding.” The disclosure must contribute to the understanding of the public at large, as opposed to the individual understanding of the requester or a narrow segment of interested persons. A requester's identity and qualifications—e.g., expertise in the subject area and ability and intention to effectively convey information to the general public—shall be considered. It will be presumed that a representative of the news media (as defined in paragraph (j)(8) of this section) who has access to the means of public dissemination readily will be able to satisfy this consideration. Requests from libraries or other record repositories (or requesters who intend merely to disseminate information to such institutions) shall be analyzed, like those of other requesters, to identify a particular person who represents that he actually will use the requested information in scholarly or other analytic work and then disseminate it to the general public.

(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. The public's understanding of the subject matter in question, as compared to the level of public understanding existing prior to the disclosure, must be likely to be enhanced by the disclosure to a significant extent. The Secretary shall not make separate judgments as to whether information, even though it in fact would contribute significantly to public understanding of the operations or activities of the government, is “important” enough to be made public.

(3) In order to determine whether the second fee waiver requirement is met—i.e., that disclosure of the requested information is not primarily in the commercial interest of the requester—the Secretary shall consider the following two factors in sequence:

(i) The existence and magnitude of a commercial interest: Whether the requester has a commercial interest that would be furthered by the requested disclosure. The Secretary shall consider all commercial interests of the requester (with reference to the definition of commercial use in paragraph (j)(5) of this section), or any person on whose behalf the requester may be acting, but shall consider only those interests which would be furthered by the requested disclosure. In assessing the magnitude of identified commercial interests, consideration shall be given to the role that such FOIA-disclosed information plays with respect to those commercial interests, as well as to the extent to which FOIA disclosures serve those interests overall. Requesters shall be given a reasonable opportunity in the administrative process to provide information bearing upon this consideration.

(ii) 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.” A fee waiver or reduction is warranted only where, once the “public interest” standard set out in paragraph (d)(2) of this section is satisfied, that public interest can fairly be regarded as greater in magnitude than that of the requester's commercial interest in disclosure. The Secretary shall ordinarily presume that, where a news media requester has satisfied the “public interest” standard, that will be the interest primarily served by disclosure to that requester. Disclosure to data brokers or others who compile and market government information for direct economic return shall not be presumed to primarily serve the “public interest.”

(4) Where only a portion of the requested records satisfies both of the requirements for a waiver or reduction of fees under this paragraph, a waiver or reduction shall be granted only as to that portion.

(5) Requests for the waiver or reduction of fees shall address each of the factors listed in paragraphs (d) (2) and (3) of this section, as they apply to each record request.

(e) Notice of anticipated fees in excess of $25.00. Where the Secretary determines or estimates that the fees to be assessed under this section may amount to more than $25.00, he shall notify the requester as soon as practicable of the actual or estimated amount of the fees, unless the requester has indicated in advance his willingness to pay fees as high as those anticipated. (If only a portion of the fee can be estimated readily, the Secretary shall advise the requester that the estimated fee may be only a portion of the total fee.) In cases where a requester has been notified that actual or estimated fees may amount to more than $25.00, the request will be deemed not to have been received until the requester has agreed to pay the anticipated total fee. A notice of the requester pursuant to this paragraph shall offer him the opportunity to confer with agency personnel in order to reformulate his request to meet his needs at a lower cost.

(f) Aggregating requests. Where the Secretary reasonably believes that a requester or a group of requesters acting in concert is attempting to divide a request into a series of requests for the purpose of evading the assessment of fees, the Secretary may aggregate any such requests and charge accordingly. The Secretary may presume that multiple requests of such type made within a 30-day period have been made in order to evade fees. Where requests are separated by a longer period, the Secretary shall aggregate them only where there exists a reasonable basis for determining that said aggregation is warranted, e.g., where the requests involve clearly related matters. Multiple requests involving unrelated matters shall not be aggregated

(g) Advance payments. (1) Where the Secretary estimates that a total fee to be assessed under this section is likely to exceed $250.00, the Secretary may require the requester to make an advance payment of an amount up to the entire estimated fee before beginning to process the request, except where the Secretary receives a satisfactory assurance of full payment from a requester with a history of prompt payment.

(2) Where a requester has previously failed to pay a records access fee within 30 days of the date of billing, the Secretary may require the requester to pay the full amount owed, plus any applicable interest (as provided for in paragraph (h) of this section), and to make an advance payment of the full amount of any estimated fee before he begins to process a new request or continues to process a pending request from that requester.

(3) For requests other than those described in paragraphs (g) (1) and (2) of this section, the Secretary shall not require the requester to make an advance payment, i.e., a payment made before work is commenced or continued on a request. Payment owed on work already completed is not an advance payment.

(4) Where the Secretary acts under paragraph (g) (1) or (2) of this section, the administrative time limits described in subsection (a)(6) of the FOIA for the processing of an initial request or an appeal, plus permissible extensions of these time limits, shall be deemed not to begin to run until the Secretary has received payment of the assessed fee.

(h) Charging interest. The Secretary may assess interest charges on an unpaid bill starting on the 31st day following the day on which the bill was sent to the requester. Once a fee payment has been received by the Secretary, even if not processed, the accrual of interest shall be stayed. Interest charges shall be assessed at the rate prescribed in section 3717 of title 31 U.S.C. and shall accrue from the date of the billing. The Secretary shall follow the provisions of the Debt Collection Act of 1982, Pub. L. 97-265 (Oct. 25, 1982), and its implementing procedures, including the use of consumer reporting agencies, collection agencies, and offset.

(i) Other statutes specifically providing for fees. (1) The fee schedule of this section does not apply with respect to the charging of fees under a statute specifically providing for setting the level of fees for particular types of records—i.e., any statute that specifically requires a government entity such as the Government Printing Office or the National Technical Information Service, to set and collect fees for particular types of records—in order to:

(i) Serve both the general public and private sector organizations by conveniently making available government information;

(ii) Ensure that groups and individuals pay the cost of publications and other services that are for their special use so that these costs are not borne by the general taxpaying public;

(iii) Operate an information-dissemination activity on a self-sustaining basis to the maximum extent possible; or

(iv) Return revenue to the Treasury for defraying, wholly or in part, appropriate funds used to pay the costs of disseminating government information.

(2) Where records responsive to requests are maintained for distribution by agencies operating statutorily based fee schedule programs, the Secretary shall inform requesters of the steps necessary to obtain records from those sources.

(j) Definitions. For the purpose of this section:

(1) The term direct costs means those expenditures which the agency actually incurs in searching for and duplicating (and, in the case of commercial use requesters, reviewing) records to respond to a FOIA request. Direct costs include, for example the salary of the employee performing the work (the basic rate of pay for the employee plus 16 percent of that rate to cover benefits) and the cost of operating duplicating machinery. Not included in direct costs are overhead expenses such as costs of space and heating or lighting of the facility in which the records are stored.

(2) The term 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. The Secretary shall ensure, however, that searches are undertaken in the most efficient and least expensive manner reasonably possible; thus, for example, the Secretary shall not engage in line-by-line search where merely duplicating an entire document would be quicker and less expensive.

(3) The term duplication refers to the process of making a copy of a record necessary to respond to a FOIA request. Such copies can take the form of paper copy, microform, audio-visual materials, or machine-readable documentation (e.g., magnetic tape or disk), among others. The copy provided shall be in a form that is reasonably usable by requesters.

(4) The term review refers to the process of examining a record located in response to a request in order to determine whether any portion of it is permitted to be withheld. It also includes processing any record for disclosure, e.g., doing all that is necessary to excise it and otherwise prepare it for release, although review costs shall be recoverable even where there ultimately is no disclosure of a record. Review time does not include time spent resolving general legal or policy issues regarding the application of exemptions.

(5) The term commercial use in the context of a request refers to a request from or on behalf of one who seeks information for a use or purpose that furthers the commercial, trade, or profit interests of the requester or the person on whose behalf the request is made, which can include furthering those interests through litigation. The Secretary shall determine, as well as reasonably possible, the use to which a requester will put the records requested. Where the circumstances of a request suggest that the requester will put the records sought to a commercial use, either because of the nature of the request itself or because the Secretary otherwise has reasonable cause to doubt a requester's stated use, the Secretary shall provide the requester a reasonable opportunity to submit further clarification.

(6) The term educational institution refers to a preschool, a public or private elementary or secondary school, an institution of undergraduate higher education, an institution of graduate higher education, an institution of professional education, and an institution of vocational education, which operates a program or programs of scholarly research. To be eligible for inclusion in this category, a requester must show that the request is being made as authorized by and under the auspices of a qualifying institution and that the records are not sought for a commercial use but are sought in furtherance of scholarly research.

(7) The term noncommercial scientific institution refers to an institution that is not operated on a “commercial” basis as that term is referenced in paragraph (j)(5) of this section, and which is operated solely for the purpose of conducting scientific research the results of which are not intended to promote any particular product or industry. To be eligible for inclusion in this category, a requester must show that the request is being made as authorized by and under the auspices of a qualifying institution and that the records are not sought for a commercial use but are sought in furtherance of scientific research.

(8) The term representative of the news media refers to any person actively gathering news for an entity that is organized and operated to publish or broadcast news to the public. The term news means information that is about current events or that would be of current interest to the public. Examples of news media entities include television or radio stations broadcasting to the public at large and publishers of periodicals (but only in those instances where they can qualify as disseminators of “news”) who make their products available for purchase or subscription by the general public. For “freelance” journalists to be regarded as working for a news organization, they must demonstrate a clear basis for expecting publication through that organization; a publication contract would be the clearest proof, but the Secretary shall also look to the past publication record of a requester in making this determination. To be eligible for inclusion in this category, a requester also must not be seeking the requested records for a commercial use. In this regard, a request for records supporting the news dissemination function of the requester shall not be considered to be for a commercial use.

(k) Charges for other services and materials. Apart from the other provisions of this section, where the Secretary elects, as a matter of administrative discretion, to comply with a request for a special service or materials, such as certifying that records are true copies or sending them other than by ordinary mail, the actual direct costs of providing the service or materials shall be charged.

[54 FR 13673, Apr. 5, 1989, as amended at 63 FR 29348, May 29, 1998]

§201.21   Availability of specific records.

(a) Records available. The following information, on request to the Secretary of the Commission, is available for public inspection and copying: (1) final opinions, including concurring and dissenting opinions, as well as orders, made in the adjudication of cases; (2) those statements of policy and interpretations which have been adopted by the agency; and (3) administrative staff manuals and instructions to staff that affect a member of the public. Available information includes, but is not limited to: (i) Applications, petitions, and other formal documents filed with the Commission, (ii) notices to the public concerning Commission matters, (iii) transcripts of testimony taken and exhibits submitted at hearings, (iv) reports to the President, to either or both Houses of Congress, or to Committees of Congress, release of which has been authorized by the President or the legislative body concerned, (v) reports and other documents issued for general distribution. Much of the information described above also is available on the Commission's World Wide Web site. The Commission's home page is at http://www.usitc.gov. The Web site also includes information subject to repeated Freedom of Information Act requests. Persons accessing the Web site can find instructions on how to locate Commission information by following the “Freedom of Information Act” link on the home page.

(b) Records not available. Information specifically exempted from disclosure by 5 U.S.C. 552(b), including reports to the President, to either or both Houses of Congress, or to Committees of Congress, the release of which has not been authorized by the President or the legislative body concerned, and confidential business data as defined in 18 U.S.C. 1905 and 19 CFR 201.06 are not available to the public.

(c) Information requested in cases or matters to which the Commission is not a party. (1) The procedure specified in this section will apply to all demands directed to Commission employees for the production of documents or for testimony that relates in any way to the employees' official duties. These procedures will also apply to demands directed to former employees if the demands seek nonpublic materials or information acquired during Commission employment. The provisions of paragraph (c)(2) of this section will also apply to demands directed to the agency. For purposes of this section, the term demand means any request, order or subpoena for testimony or production of documents; the term subpoena means any compulsory process in a case or matter to which the Commission is not a party; the term nonpublic includes any material or information which, under §201.21(b), is exempt from availability for public inspection and copying; the term employee means any current or former officer or employee of the Commission; the term documents means all records, papers or official files, including without limitation, official letters, telegrams, memoranda, reports, studies, calendar and diary entries, graphs, notes, charts, tabulations, data analysis, statistical or information accumulations, records of meetings and conversations, film impressions, magnetic tapes, and sound or mechanical reproductions; the term case or matter means any civil proceeding before a court of law, administrative board, hearing officer, or other body conducting a legal or administrative proceeding in which the Commission is not a named party.

(2) Prior to or simultaneously with a demand to a Commission employee for the production of documents or for testimony concerning matters relating to official duties, the party seeking such production or testimony must serve upon the General Counsel of the Commission an affidavit, or if that is not feasible, then a statement which sets forth the title of the case, the forum, the party's interest in the case, the reasons for the request, and a showing that the desired testimony or documents are not reasonably available from any other source. Where testimony is sought, the party must also provide a summary of the testimony desired, the intended use of the testimony, and show that Commission records could not be provided and used instead of the requested testimony. A subpoena for testimony from a Commission employee concerning official matters or for the production of documents shall be served in accordance with Rule 45 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and a copy of the subpoena shall be sent to the General Counsel.

(3) Any employee or former employee who is served with a subpoena or other demand shall promptly advise the General Counsel of the service of the subpoena or other demand, the nature of the documents or information sought, and all relevant facts and circumstances.

(4) Absent written authorization from the Chairman of the Commission (“Chairman”), the employee shall respectfully decline to produce the requested documents, to testify, or to otherwise disclose requested information. If a court rules that the demand must be complied with despite the absence of such written authorization, the employee upon whom the demand is made shall respectfully refuse to comply based upon these regulations and Touhy v. Ragan, 340 U.S. 462 (1951).

(5) The Chairman will consider and act upon subpoenas under this section with due regard for statutory restrictions, the Commission's rules and the public interest, taking into account such factors as the need to conserve employees' time for conducting official business, the need to prevent the expenditure of the United States government's time and money for private purposes, the need to maintain impartiality between private litigants in cases where no substantial governmental interest is involved, and the relevant legal standards for determining whether justification exists for the disclosure of nonpublic information and documents. If the Chairman determines that the subpoenaed documents or information are protected by a privilege or that the Commission has a duty in law or equity to protect such documents or information from disclosure, the General Counsel shall move the court to quash the subpoena or for other appropriate action.

(6) The General Counsel may consult or negotiate with counsel or the party seeking testimony or documents to refine and limit the demand so that compliance is less burdensome, or obtain information necessary to make the determination described in paragraph (c)(5) of this section. Failure of the counsel or party seeking the testimony or documents to cooperate in good faith to enable the General Counsel to make an informed recommendation to the Chairman under paragraph (c)(5) of this section may serve as the basis for a determination not to comply with the demand.

(7) Permission to testify will, in all cases, be limited to the information set forth in the affidavit as described in paragraph (c)(2) of this section, or to such portions thereof as the Chairman deems proper.

(8) If the Chairman authorizes the testimony of an employee, then the General Counsel shall arrange for the taking of the testimony by methods that are least disruptive of the official duties of the employee. Testimony may, for example, be provided by affidavits, answers to interrogatories, written depositions, or depositions transcribed, recorded, or preserved by any other means allowable by law. Costs of providing testimony, including transcripts, will be borne by the party requesting the testimony. Such costs shall also include reimbursing the Commission for the usual and ordinary expenses attendant upon the employee's absence from his or her official duties in connection with the case or matter, including the employee's salary and applicable overhead charges and any necessary travel expenses.

(9) The Secretary in consultation with the General Counsel is further authorized to charge reasonable fees to parties demanding documents or information. Such fees, calculated to reimburse the government for the expense of responding to such demand, may include the costs of time expended by Commission employees to process and respond to the demand, attorney time for reviewing the demand and for related legal work in connection with the demand, and expenses generated by equipment used to search for, produce and copy the responsive information. In general, such fees will be assessed at the rates and in the manner specified in §201.20 of this part.

(10) This section does not affect the rights and procedures governing the public access to official documents pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act or the Privacy Act.

(11) This section is intended to provide instructions to Commission employees and does not create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable by any party against the Commission.

[40 FR 8328, Feb. 27, 1975, as amended at 54 FR 13676, Apr. 5, 1989; 68 FR 32975, June 3, 2003]

Subpart D—Safeguarding Individual Privacy Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a

Source: 63 FR 29348, May 29, 1998, unless otherwise noted.

§201.22   Purpose and scope.

This subpart contains the rules that the Commission follows under the Privacy Act of 1974, 5 U.S.C. 552a. The rules in this subpart apply to all records in systems of records maintained by the Commission that are retrieved by an individual's name or other personal identifier. They describe the procedures by which individuals may request access to records about themselves, request amendment or correction of those records, and request an accounting of disclosures of those records by the Commission.

§201.23   Definitions.

For the purpose of these regulations:

(a) The term individual means a citizen of the United States or an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence;

(b) The term maintain includes maintain, collect, use, or disseminate;

(c) The term record means any item, collection, or grouping of information about an individual that is maintained by the Commission, including, but not limited to, his or her education, financial transactions, medical history, and criminal or employment history and that contains his or her name, or the identifying number, symbol, or other identifying particular assigned to the individual;

(d) The term system of records means a group of any records under the control of the Commission from which information is retrieved by the name of the individual or by some identifying particular assigned to the individual;

(e) The term Privacy Act Officer refers to the Director, Office of Administration, United States International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW., Washington, DC 20436, or his or her designee.

§201.24   Procedures for requests pertaining to individual records in a records system.

(a) A request by an individual to gain access to his or her record(s) or to any information pertaining to him or her which is contained in a system of records maintained by the Commission shall be addressed to the Privacy Act Officer, United States International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW., Washington, DC 20436, and shall indicate clearly both on the envelope and in the letter that it is a Privacy Act request.

(b) In order to facilitate location of requested records, whenever possible, the request of the individual shall name the system(s) of records maintained by the Commission which he or she believes contain records pertaining to him or her, shall reasonably describe the requested records, and identify the time period in which the records were compiled.

(c) The Privacy Act Officer shall acknowledge receipt of a request within ten days (excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and legal public holidays), and wherever practicable, indicate whether or not access can be granted. If access is not to be granted, the requestor shall be notified of the reason in writing.

(d) The Privacy Act Officer, or, the Inspector General, if such records are maintained by the Inspector General, shall ascertain whether the systems of records maintained by the Commission contain records pertaining to the individual, and whether access will be granted. Thereupon the Privacy Act Officer shall:

(1) Notify the individual whether or not the requested record is contained in any system of records maintained by the Commission; and

(2) Notify the individual of the procedures as prescribed in Secs. 201.25 and 201.26 of this part by which the individual may gain access to those records maintained by the Commission which pertain to him or her. Access to the records will be provided within 30 days (excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and legal public holidays).

§201.25   Times, places, and requirements for identification of individuals making requests.

(a) If an individual wishes to examine his or her records in person, it shall be the responsibility of the individual requester to arrange an appointment with the Privacy Act Officer for the purpose of inspecting individual records. The time of inspection shall be during the regular office hours of the Commission, 8:45 a.m. to 5:15 p.m., Monday through Friday. The time arranged should be mutually convenient to the requester and to the Commission.

(b) The place where an individual may gain access to records maintained by the Commission which pertain to him or her shall be at the United States International Trade Commission Building, 500 E Street SW., Washington, DC 20436. The Privacy Act Officer shall inform the individual requester of the specific room wherein inspection will take place.

(c) An individual may also request the Privacy Act Officer to provide the individual with a copy of his or her records by certified mail.

(d) An individual who requests to gain access to those records maintained by the Commission which pertain to him or her shall not be granted access to those records without first presenting adequate identification to the Privacy Act Officer. Adequate identification may include, but is not limited to, a government identification card, a driver's license, Medicare card, a birth certificate, or a passport. If requesting records by mail, an individual must provide full name, current address, and date and place of birth. The request must be signed and either notarized or submitted under 28 U.S.C. 1746, which permits statements to be made under penalty of perjury as a substitute for notarization. In order to help the identification and location of requested records, a requestor may also, at his or her option, include the individual's social security number.

§201.26   Disclosure of requested information to individuals.

(a) Once the Privacy Act Officer has made a determination to grant a request for access to individual records, in whole or in part, the Privacy Act Officer shall inform the requesting individual in writing and permit the individual to review the pertinent records and to have a copy made of all or any portion of them. Where redactions due to exemptions pursuant to §201.32 would render such records or portions thereof incomprehensible, the Privacy Act Officer shall furnish an abstract in addition to an actual copy.

(b) An individual has the right to have a person of his or her own choosing accompany him or her to review his or her records. The Privacy Act Officer shall permit a person of the individual requester's choosing to accompany the individual during inspection.

(c) When the individual requests the Privacy Act Officer to permit a person of the individual's choosing to accompany him or her during the inspection of his or her records, the Privacy Act Officer shall require the individual requester to furnish a written statement authorizing discussion of the records in the accompanying person's presence.

(d) The Privacy Act Officer shall take all necessary steps to insure that individual privacy is protected while the individual requester is inspecting his or her records or while those records are being discussed. Only the Privacy Act Officer shall accompany the individual as representative of the Commission during the inspection of the individual's records. The Privacy Act Officer shall be authorized to discuss the pertinent records with the individual.

§201.27   Special procedures: Medical records.

(a) While an individual has an unqualified right of access to the records in systems of records maintained by the Commission which pertain to him or her, medical and psychological records merit special treatment because of the possibility that disclosure will have an adverse physical or psychological effect upon the requesting individual. Accordingly, in those instances where an individual is requesting the medical and/or psychological records which pertain to him or her, he or she shall, in his or her Privacy Act request to the Privacy Act Officer as called for in §201.24(a) of this part, specify a physician to whom the medical and/or psychological records may be released.

(b) It shall be the responsibility of the individual requesting medical or psychological records to specify a physician to whom the requested records may be released. If an individual refuses to name a physician and insists on inspecting his or her medical or psychological records in the absence of a doctor's discussion and advice, the individual shall so state in his or her Privacy Act request to the Privacy Act Officer as called for in §201.24(a) of this part and the Privacy Act Officer shall provide access to or transmit such records directly to the individual.

§201.28   Requests for correction or amendment of records.

(a) If, upon viewing his or her records, an individual disagrees with a portion thereof or feels sections thereof to be erroneous, the individual may request amendment[s] of the records pertaining to him or her. The individual should request such an amendment in writing and should identify each particular record in question, the system[s] of records wherein the records are located, specify the amendment requested, and specify the reasons why the records are not correct, relevant timely or complete. The individual may submit any documentation that would be helpful. The request for amendment of records shall be addressed to the Privacy Act Officer, United States International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW., Washington, DC 20436, and shall clearly indicate both on the envelope and in the letter that it is a Privacy Act request for amendment of records.

(b) Not later than 10 days (excluding Saturdays, Sundays and legal public holidays) after the date of receipt of a Privacy Act request for amendment of records, the Privacy Act Officer shall acknowledge such receipt in writing. Such a request for amendment will be granted or denied by the Privacy Act Officer or, for records maintained by the Inspector General. If the request is granted, the Privacy Act Officer, or the Inspector General for records maintained by the Inspector General, shall promptly make any correction of any portion of the record which the individual believes is not accurate, relevant, timely, or complete. If, however, the request is denied, the Privacy Act Officer shall inform the individual of the refusal to amend the record in accordance with the individual's request and give the reason(s) for the refusal. In cases where the Privacy Act Officer or the Inspector General has refused to amend in accordance with an individual's request, he or she also shall advise the individual of the procedures under §201.30 of this part for the individual to request a review of that refusal by the full Commission or by an officer designated by the Commission.

§201.29   Commission disclosure of individual records, accounting of record disclosures, and requests for accounting of record disclosures.

(a) It is the policy of the Commission not to disclose, except as permitted under 5 U.S.C. 552a(b), any record which is contained in any system of records maintained by the Commission to any person, or to another agency, except pursuant to a written request by, or with the prior written consent of, the individual to whom the record pertains.

(b) Except for disclosures either to officers and employees of the Commission, or to contractor employees who, in the Inspector General's or the Privacy Act Officer's judgment, as appropriate, are acting as federal employees, who have a need for the record in the performance of their duties, and any disclosure required by 5 U.S.C. 552, the Privacy Act Officer shall keep an accurate accounting of:

(1) The date, nature, and purpose of each disclosure of a record to any person or to another agency under paragraph (a) of this section; and

(2) The name or address of the person or agency to whom the disclosure is made.

(c) The Privacy Act Officer shall retain the accounting required by paragraph (b) of this section for at least five years or the life of the record, whichever is longer, after such disclosure.

(d) Except for disclosures made to other agencies for civil or criminal law enforcement purposes pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(b)(7), the Privacy Act Officer shall make any accounting made under paragraph (b) of this section available to the individual named in the record at the individual's request.

(e) An individual requesting an accounting of disclosure of his or her records should make the request in writing to the Privacy Act Officer, United States International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW., Washington, DC 20436. The request should identify each particular record in question and, whenever possible, the system[s] of records wherein the requested records are located, and clearly indicate both on the envelope and in the letter that it is a Privacy Act request for an accounting of disclosure of records.

(f) Where the Commission has provided any person or other agency with an individual record and such accounting as required by paragraph (b) of this section has been made, the Privacy Act Officer shall inform all such persons or other agencies of any correction, amendment, or notation of dispute concerning said record.

§201.30   Commission review of requests for access to records, for correction or amendment to records, and for accounting of record disclosures.

(a) The individual who disagrees with the refusal of the Privacy Act Officer or the Inspector General for access to a record, to amend a record, or to obtain an accounting of any record disclosure, may request a review of such refusal by the Commission within 60 days of receipt of the denial of his or her request. A request for review of such a refusal should be addressed to the Chairman, United States International Trade Commission, 500 E Street, SW., Washington, DC 20436, and shall clearly indicate both on the envelope and in the letter that it is a Privacy Act review request.

(b) Not later than 30 days (excluding Saturdays, Sundays, and legal public holidays) from the date on which the Commission receives a request for review of the Privacy Act Officer's or the Inspector General's refusal to grant access to a record, to amend a record, or to provide an accounting of a record disclosure, the Commission shall complete such a review and make a final determination thereof unless, for good cause shown, the Commission extends the 30-day period.

(c) After the individual's request has been reviewed by the Commission, if the Commission agrees with the Privacy Act Officer's or the Inspector General's refusal to grant access to a record, to amend a record, or to provide an accounting of a record disclosure, in accordance with the individual's request, the Commission shall:

(1) Notify the individual in writing of the Commission's decision;

(2) For requests to amend or correct records, advise the individual that he or she has the right to file a concise statement of disagreement with the Commission which sets forth his or her reasons for disagreement with the refusal of the Commission to grant the individual's request; and

(3) Notify the individual of his or her legal right, if any, to judicial review of the Commission's final determination.

(d) In any disclosure, containing information about which the individual has filed a statement of disagreement regarding an amendment of an individual's record, the Privacy Act Officer, or, for records maintained by the Inspector General, the Inspector General, shall clearly note any portion of the record which is disputed and shall provide copies of the statement and, if the Commission deems it appropriate, copies of a concise statement of the reasons of the Commission for not making the amendments requested, to persons or other agencies to whom the disputed record has been disclosed.

§201.31   Fees and employee conduct.

(a) The Commission shall not charge any fee for the cost of searching for and reviewing an individual's records.

(b) Reproduction, duplication or copying of records by the Commission shall be at the rate of $0.10 per page. There shall be no charge, however, when the total amount does not exceed $25.00.

(c) The Privacy Act Officer shall establish rules of conduct for persons involved in the design, development, operation, or maintenance of any system of records, or in maintaining any record, and periodically instruct each such person with respect to such rules and the requirements of the Privacy Act including the penalties for noncompliance.

[63 FR 29348, May 29, 1998, as amended at 68 FR 32975, June 3, 2003]

§201.32   Specific exemptions.

(a) Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(2), and in order to protect the effectiveness of Inspector General investigations by preventing individuals who may be the subject of an investigation from obtaining access to the records and thus obtaining the opportunity to conceal or destroy evidence or to intimidate witnesses, records contained in the system titled Office of Inspector General Investigative Files (General), insofar as they include investigatory material compiled for law enforcement purposes, shall be exempt from this subpart and from subsections (c)(3), (d), (e)(1), (e)(4)(G), (H), and (I) and (f) of the Privacy Act. However, if any individual is denied any right, privilege, or benefit to which he is otherwise entitled to under Federal law due to the maintenance of this material, such material shall be provided to such individual except to the extent that the disclosure of such material would reveal the identity of a source who furnished information to government investigators under an express promise that the identity of the source would be held in confidence.

(b) Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(j)(2), and in order to protect the confidentiality and integrity of Inspector General investigations by preventing individuals who may be the subject of an investigation from obtaining access to the records and thus obtaining the opportunity to conceal or destroy evidence or to intimidate witnesses, records maintained in the Office of Inspector General Investigative Files (Criminal), insofar as they contain information pertaining to the enforcement of criminal laws, shall be exempt from this subpart and from the Privacy Act, except that subsections (b), (c)(1) and (2), (e)(4)(A) through (F), (e)(6), (7), (9), (10), and (11) and (i) shall still apply to these records.

(c) Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(1), (5) and (6), records contained in the system entitled “Personnel Security Investigative Files” have been exempted from subsections (c)(3), (d), (e)(1), (e)(1)(G) through (I) and (f) of the Privacy Act. Pursuant to section 552a(k)(1) of the Privacy Act, the Commission exempts records that contain properly classified information that pertains to national defense or foreign policy and is obtained from other systems of records or another Federal agency. Application of exemption (k)(1) may be necessary to preclude the data subject's access to and amendment of such classified information under 5 U.S.C. 552a(d). All information about individuals in these records that meets the criteria stated in 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(5) is also exempted because this system contains investigatory material compiled solely for determining suitability, eligibility, and qualifications for Federal civilian employment, Federal contracts or access to classified information. To the extent that the disclosure of such material would reveal the identity of a source who furnished information to the Government under an express promise that the identity of the source would be held in confidence, or, prior to September 27, 1975, under an implied promise that the identity of the source would be held in confidence, the application of exemption (k)(5) will be required to honor such a promise should an individual request access to the accounting of disclosure, or access to or amendment of the record, that would reveal the identity of a confidential source. All information in these records that meets the criteria stated in 5 U.S.C. 552a(k)(6) is also exempt because portions of a case file record may relate to testing and examining material used solely to determine individual qualifications for appointment or promotion in the Federal service. Access to or amendment of this information by the data subject would compromise the objectivity and fairness of the testing or examining process.

Subpart E—Opening Commission Meetings to Public Observation Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552b

Authority: 5 U.S.C. 552b; 19 U.S.C. 1335.

Source: 42 FR 11243, Feb. 28, 1977, unless otherwise noted.

§201.33   Purpose and scope.

(a) Consistent with the principle that the public is entitled to the fullest practicable information regarding the decisionmaking processes of the Federal Government, it is the purpose of this subpart to open the meetings of the United States International Trade Commission to public observation while protecting the rights of individuals and the ability of the Commission to carry out its statutory functions and responsibilities. These regulations are promulgated pursuant to the directive of section (g) of the Government in the Sunshine Act (5 U.S.C. 552b(g)), and specifically implement sections (b) through (f) of said act (5 U.S.C. 552(b) through (f)).

(b) Public access to documents being considered at Commission meetings may be obtained by access to the public files of the Commission or, where documents are not in said public files, shall be obtained in the manner set forth in subpart C of this part (§§201.17 through 201.21).

(c) Unless otherwise provided by the public notices as described in §201.35 of this subpart, public observation of Commission meetings does not encompass public participation in the deliberations at such meetings.

§201.34   Definitions.

For the purpose of this subpart:

(a)(1) Except as hereinafter provided, the term meeting means the deliberations of at least the number of individual Commissioners required to take action on behalf of the Commission where such deliberations determine or result in the joint conduct or disposition of official Commission business.

(2) The consideration by individual Commissioners of business which is circulated sequentially in writing (circulation by “action jacket”) is not considered a meeting under paragraph (a)(1) of this section because circulation by action jacket does not determine or result in the joint conduct or disposition of Commission business until ratification thereof by formal vote of the Commissioners in a meeting as defined by paragraph (a)(1) of this section, although action proposed by action jacket may be taken before or after formal ratification thereof by vote at a Commission meeting.

(3) Conference telephone calls among the Commissioners are considered meetings as defined by paragraph (a)(1) of this section if they involve the number of Commissioners requisite for Commission action.

(4) Deliberations of a majority of the entire membership of the Commission with the sole purpose of determining whether or not to call a meeting at a date earlier than the requisite public notice period as specified in §201.35 of this subpart are not considered to constitute a meeting or portion of a meeting as defined by paragraph (a)(1) of this section.

(5) Deliberations of a majority of the entire membership of the Commission with the sole purpose of determining whether or not to close a portion or portions of a meeting or series of meetings pursuant to §201.36 of this subpart are not considered to constitute a meeting or portion of a meeting within the meaning of paragraph (a)(1) of this section.

(6) Deliberations of a majority of the entire membership of the Commission with the sole purpose of determining whether or not to change the subject matter of a publicly announced meeting, or to change the determination of the Commission to open or close a meeting, or portion thereof, to the public, following a public notice, as permitted under §201.37(b) of this subpart, are not considered to constitute a meeting or portion of a meeting under paragraph (a)(1) of this section.

(b) The terms Secretary and General Counsel mean the Secretary and General Counsel of the Commission and their respective designees within their respective offices.

§201.35   Notices to the public.

(a) At least seven (7) days before each Commission meeting the Commission shall issue a public notice which:

(1) States the time and place of the meeting;

(2) Lists the subjects or agenda items to be discussed at the meeting;

(3) States whether the meeting or portion thereof is to be open or closed to public observation; and

(4) Gives the name and business phone number of the Secretary to the Commission.

(b) When the Commission has voted to close any portion of any meeting in accordance with §201.36 of this subpart, the notice referred to in paragraph (a) of this section shall also include, or be amended to include, if already issued, (1) A list of the persons reasonably expected to be present at such closed portion or portions of the meeting, (2) A corresponding list of the affiliations of those persons reasonably expected to be present, (3) A written copy of the vote of each Commissioner on whether or not the portion or portions of the meeting or series of meetings should be closed to public observation, (4) A full, written explanation of the Commission's action in closing the portion or portions of the meeting or series of meetings, and (5) A copy of the certification of the General Counsel, called for by §201.39 of this subpart, that such portion or portions of the meeting or series of meetings were properly closed to the public by the Commission. When a vote to close a portion or portions of a meeting in accordance with §201.36 of this subpart or a vote to change the subject matter of a meeting or to change a determination to open or close a meeting, or portion thereof, to the public in accordance with §201.37(b) of this subpart fails for lack of a majority of the entire membership of the Commission, the vote shall also be published as part of the notice required by paragraph (a) of this section.

(c)(1) The 7-day period for public notice provided for in paragraph (a) of this section shall not apply when a majority of the entire membership of the Commission determines by recorded vote that Commission business requires that a particular meeting be called with less than 7 days' notice and that no earlier announcement of such meeting was possible.

(2) When the Commission has voted in conformity with paragraph (c)(1) of this section to shorten the 7-day period for public notice provided for by paragraph (a) of this section with respect to a particular meeting, the Commission shall issue the public notice required by paragraph (a) of this section at the earliest practicable time.

(3) When the Commission not only has voted in conformity with paragraph (c)(1) of this section to shorten the 7-day period for public notice provided for in paragraph (a) of this section with respect to a particular meeting, but also has voted to close a portion or portions of such meeting in accordance with §201.36 of this subpart, the public notice required by paragraph (c)(2) of this section shall also include, or be amended to include, if already issued, those items specified in paragraph (b) of this section.

(d)(1) When the Commission has changed the time or place of a publicly announced meeting by acting under §201.37(a) of this subpart, the public notice required by paragraph (a) or (c)(2) of this section shall be amended to reflect such changed time or place.

(2) When the Commission has changed the subject matter of a meeting or its determination to open or close a meeting, or portion thereof, to the public following a public notice by acting under §201.37(b) of this subpart, the public notice required by paragraph (a) or (c)(2) of this section shall be amended to

(i) Include a statement affirming that Commission business required the change in subject matter and that no earlier announcement of such change was possible and

(ii) Indicate the change in subject matter and the vote of each Commissioner upon such change.

(e)(1) The Secretary shall issue the public notices required by this section and such amendments thereto as are appropriate to the specific meeting to which they pertain.

(2) The Secretary

(i) Shall promptly post the public notices referred to in paragraph (e)(1) of this section on bulletin boards outside the Office of the Secretary to the Commission,

(ii) Shall make copies thereof available to interested members of the public, including mailing copies thereof through a mailing list of those persons desiring to receive such notices and distributing copies to the press, whether of specialized or general readership, and

(iii) Shall immediately submit said public notices to the Federal Register for publication.

(3) The Office of the Secretary shall respond to all questions from the public concerning the agendas of Commission meetings. Persons desiring to receive copies of notices of Commission meetings should contact the Office of the Secretary and request to be placed on the mailing list.

[42 FR 11243, Feb. 28, 1977, as amended at 58 FR 64121, Dec. 6, 1993]

§201.36   Closing a portion or portions of a meeting or a series of meetings.

(a) Every meeting of the Commission shall be open to public observation except when the Commission properly determines in the manner specified in paragraph (d) of this section that a portion or portions of a Commission meeting shall be closed to the public for the specific reasons enumerated in paragraph (b) of this section.

(b) The Commission may close a portion or portions of a Commission meeting only when it determines that public disclosure of information to be discussed at such meeting is likely to:

(1) Disclose matters that are (i) Specifically authorized under criteria established by Executive order to be kept secret in the interests of national defense or foreign policy and (ii) in fact properly classified pursuant to such 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), provided that such 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 trade secrets and commercial or financial information obtained from a person and privileged or confidential;

(5) Involve accusing any person of a crime, or formally censuring any person;

(6) Disclose information of a personal nature when disclosure would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy;

(7) Disclose 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 such records or information would: (i) Interfere with enforcement proceedings, (ii) deprive a person of a right to a fair trial or to an impartial adjudication, (iii) constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy, or (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;

(8)(i) Disclose information the premature disclosure of which would, in those instances where the Commission regulates commodities, be likely to lead to significant financial speculation in such commodities;

(ii) Disclose information the premature disclosure of which would be likely to significantly frustrate implementation of a proposed Commission action except (A) When the Commission has already disclosed to the public the content or nature of its proposed action or (B) when the Commission is required by law to make such disclosure on its own initiative prior to taking final Commission action on such proposal; or

(9) Specifically concern:

(i) The Commission's issuance of a subpoena,

(ii) The Commission's participation in a civil action or proceeding, or

(iii) The initiation, conduct, or disposition by the Commission of a particular case of formal Commission adjudication under 19 U.S.C. 1337 pursuant to the procedures of 5 U.S.C. 554 or otherwise involving a determination on the record after opportunity for a hearing.

(c)(1) When the Commission has determined that one or more of the specific reasons enumerated in paragraph (b) of this section for closing a portion or portions of a Commission meeting is applicable to the subject matter or matters to be discussed, the Commission shall consider whether or not the public interest requires that such portion or portions of the meeting be open to public observation.

(2) In making the public-interest determination under paragraph (c)(1) of this section, the Commission shall consider whether public disclosure would (i) Interfere with the Commission's carrying out its statutory responsibilities, (ii) Conflict with the individual right of privacy under the Privacy Act of 1974 (5 U.S.C. 552a), or (iii) Place the Commission in violation of any other applicable provision of law, in addition to any other factors which it deems to be relevant to the particular meeting in question.

(d)(1) Action by the Commission to close a portion or portions of a meeting for one or more of the specific reasons enumerated in paragraphs (b) (1) through (9) of this section shall be taken only when a majority of the entire membership of the Commission has voted to take such action.

(2) A single recorded vote of the Commission shall be taken with respect to: (i) Each Commission meeting of which the Commission proposes to close a portion or portions to the public for one or more of the specific reasons enumerated in paragraphs (b) (1) through (9) of this section, or (ii) any information which the Commission proposes to withhold from the public for one or more of the specific reasons enumerated in paragraphs (b) (1) through (9) of this section. No proxy votes are permissible.

(e)(1) Action by the Commission to close a series of meetings of which the Commission proposes to close a portion or portions to the public for one or more of the specific reasons enumerated in paragraphs (b) (1) through (9) of this section may be taken by a single recorded vote of the Commission to close such portion or portions of the series. No proxy votes are permissible.

(2) A series of meetings may be closed pursuant to paragraph (e)(1) of this section so long as each meeting in such series: (i) Involves the same particular matters and (ii) is scheduled to be held no more than 30 days after the initial meeting in such series.

(f) When the Commission (i) Has voted to close a portion or portions of a meeting in accordance with paragraph (d) of this section or (ii) has voted to close a portion or portions of a series of meetings in accordance with paragraph (e) of this section, the public notices referred to in paragraph (a) or (c)(2) of §201.35 shall be issued or amended in accordance with paragraph (b) or (c)(3) of §201.35 at the earliest practicable time, but no later than one (1) working day following such vote.

§201.37   Changing the time, place, subject matter, or determination to open or close a meeting following a public notice.

(a) The time or place of a Commission meeting may be changed following a public announcement required by §201.35 only if the Commission publicly announces such change or changes at the earliest practicable time by issuing an appropriate amendment to the public notice as required by §201.35.

(b) The subject matter or matters of a Commission meeting or the determination of the Commission to open or close a meeting, or portion of a meeting, to the public may be changed following a public announcement required by §201.35 only if:

(i) A majority of the entire membership of the Commission determines by recorded vote that Commission business so requires and that no earlier announcement of the change was possible and

(ii) The Commission publicly announces such change in subject matter or such change in the determination of the Commission to open or close a meeting, or a portion of a meeting, to the public and the vote of each Commissioner upon such change or changes in a subsequent amendment of the public notice required by §201.35.

§201.38   Requests by interested persons that the Commission close a portion of a Commission meeting.

(a) Whenever any person whose interests may be directly affected by a portion of a Commission meeting requests that the Commission close such portion to the public for any of the specific reasons enumerated in paragraphs (b) (5), (6), or (7) of §201.36, the Commission, upon the request of any one of the Commissioners, shall take a vote in the manner specified in §201.36 of this subpart on whether or not to close such portion of the meeting.

(b) When the Commission votes on a request to close a portion of a meeting under paragraph (a) of this section in the manner specified in §201.36(d), a public notice as required by paragraphs (a) and (b) of §201.35 shall be issued.

§201.39   General Counsel's certification of Commission action in closing a meeting or a series of meetings.

Before a Commission meeting may be closed for the specific reasons enumerated in paragraphs (b) (1) through (9) of §201.36, the General Counsel (i) Shall, in the related public notice, certify that in his or her opinion the meeting may be closed to the public and (ii) Shall state each applicable exemptive provision of paragraphs (b) (1) through (9) of §201.36.

§201.40   Records-retention requirements.

(a) The Secretary shall maintain a copy of the certification by the General Counsel required by §201.39 for each Commission meeting of which a portion or portions are closed to the public pursuant to a vote under §201.36(d).

(b) The Secretary shall also maintain a copy of a statement from the presiding officer of each Commission meeting or portion thereof which was closed to the public for the specific reasons enumerated in paragraphs (b) (1) through (9) of §201.36(b) setting forth (i) The time and place of the closed meeting, or portion thereof, and (ii) A list of the persons present thereat.

(c) The Secretary shall also maintain a complete transcript or electronic recording of the proceedings of each Commission meeting or portion of a meeting, whether open to public observation or closed to the public. The Secretary shall also maintain a complete transcript or electronic recording of all deliberations conducted under paragraphs (a) (4), (5), and (6) of §201.34 of this subpart.

(d) Where portions of a Commission meeting are closed for the reasons contained in paragraphs (b) (8)(A) or (9) of §201.36, the Commission preserves the option to maintain detailed minutes of such portions. Such detailed minutes shall fully and clearly describe all matters discussed and shall provide a full and accurate summary of any actions taken, and the reasons therefor, including a description of each of the views expressed on any item and the record of any rollcall vote (reflecting the vote of each member on the question). All documents considered in connection with any action shall be identified in such minutes.

(e) The retention period for the records required by paragraphs (a), (b), (c), and (d) of this section shall be for a period of at least two (2) years after the particular Commission meeting, or until one (1) year after the conclusion of any Commission proceeding with respect to which the meeting or portion thereof was held, whichever occurs later.

(f) The requirements of paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section shall not affect or supplant the existing duty of the Secretary to maintain permanent minutes of each Commission meeting. The Secretary shall also maintain permanent minutes of all deliberations conducted under paragraphs (a) (4), (5), and (6) of §201.34 of this subpart.

§201.41   Public inspection and copying of records; applicable fees.

(a) The Secretary shall promptly make available to interested members of the public the transcript or electronic recording of the discussion of any item on the agenda of a Commission meeting or of any item of the testimony of any witness received at the meeting, except for such item or items of such discussion or testimony as the Secretary determines to contain information which may be withheld for reasons specified in paragraphs (b) (1) through (9) of §201.36. The determination of the Secretary shall be in conformity with a prior vote of the Commission under §201.36(d) to close a portion or portions of a meeting.

(b) Public inspection of electronic recordings, transcripts, or minutes of Commission meetings shall take place at the United States International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW., Washington, DC 20436. A room is designated by the Office of the Secretary and tape recorders with earphones are provided by the Commission for public-inspection purposes when proceedings are recorded on tape.

(c)(1) The Secretary shall provide any person with copies of transcripts, minutes of Commission meetings, or transcriptions of electronic recordings of Commission meetings, which disclose the identity of each speaker, at the actual cost of transcription or duplication.

(2) The Secretary shall not include items of discussion or testimony determined by the Secretary to contain information which may be withheld from the public for the reasons specified in paragraphs (b) (1) through (9) of §201.36 in the copies furnished to the public in accordance with paragraph (c)(1) of this section. The determination of the Secretary shall be in conformity with a prior vote of the Commission under §201.36(d) to close a portion or portions of a meeting.

Subpart F—National Security Information

Authority: 19 U.S.C. 1335; E.O. 13526, 75 FR 707.

Source: 79 FR 46350, Aug. 8, 2014, unless otherwise noted.

§201.42   Purpose and scope.

This subpart supplements Executive Order 13526 of December 29, 2009, and its implementing directive (32 CFR part 2001) as it applies to the Commission.

§201.43   Mandatory declassification review.

(a) Requests for mandatory declassification review—(1) Definitions. Mandatory declassification review (“MDR”) means the review for declassification of classified information in response to a request for declassification that meets the requirements under section 3.5 of Executive Order 13526.

(2) Procedures. Requests for MDR of information in the custody of the Commission that is classified under Executive Order 13526 or predecessor orders shall be directed to the Secretary to the Commission, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW., Washington, DC 20436. MDR requests will be processed in accordance with Executive Order 13526, its implementing directive, and this section. An MDR request must describe the document or material containing the requested information with sufficient specificity to enable Commission personnel to locate it with a reasonable amount of effort. Requests for broad types of information, entire file series of records, or similar non-specific requests may be denied processing. The Secretary shall notify a requester who has submitted a non-specific request that no further action will be taken on the request unless the requester provides additional description.

(b) Freedom of Information Act and Privacy Act requests. (1) Requests for records submitted under the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) (5 U.S.C. 552), as amended, or the Privacy Act of 1974 (5 U.S.C. 552a), as amended, which include classified information shall be processed in accordance with the provisions of those acts and applicable Commission regulations (subpart C of this part (FOIA regulations); subpart D of this part (Privacy Act regulations)).

(2) If a requester submits a request under FOIA and also requests MDR, the Secretary shall require the requester to select one process or the other. If the requester fails to select one or the other process, the Secretary will treat the request as a FOIA request unless the requested materials are subject only to MDR.

(c) Referral of MDR requests. (1) Because the Commission does not have original classification authority and all U.S. originated classified information in its custody has been originally classified by another Federal agency, the Secretary shall refer all requests for MDR and the pertinent records to the originating agency for review. Following consultations with the originating agency, the Secretary shall notify the requester of the referral unless such association is itself classified under Executive Order 13526 or its predecessor orders. The Secretary shall request that the originating agency, in accordance with 32 CFR 2001.33(a)(2)(ii) and 2001.34(e):

(i) Promptly process the request for declassification,

(ii) Communicate its declassification determination to the Secretary, and

(iii) If the originating agency proposes to withhold any information from public release, notify the Secretary of the specific information at issue and the applicable law that authorizes and warrants withholding such information.

(2) Unless a prior arrangement has been made with the originating agency, the Secretary shall collect the results of that agency's review and inform the requester of any final decision regarding the declassification of the requested information as follows:

(i) If the originating agency denies declassification of the requested information in whole or in part, the Secretary shall ensure that the decision provided to the requester includes notification of the right to file an administrative appeal with the originating agency within 60 days of receipt of the denial and the mailing address for the appellate authority at the originating agency.

(ii) If the originating agency declassifies the requested information in whole or in part, the Secretary shall determine whether the requested declassified information is exempt from disclosure, in whole or in part, under the provisions of a statutory authority, such as the FOIA. The Secretary shall inform the requester that an appeal from a denial of requested declassified information must be received within 60 days of the date of the letter of denial and shall be made to the Commission and addressed to the Chairman, United States International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW., Washington, DC 20436.

(d) Foreign Government Information—(1) Definitions. “Foreign government information” (“FGI”) means information provided to the United States Government by a foreign government or governments, an international organization of governments, or any element thereof, with the expectation that the information, the source of the information, or both, are to be held in confidence; information produced by the United States Government pursuant to or as a result of a joint arrangement with a foreign government or governments, or an international organization of governments, or any element thereof, requiring that the information, the arrangement, or both, are to be held in confidence; or information received and treated as FGI under the terms of a predecessor of Executive Order 13526.

(2) MDR requests for classified records in Commission custody that contain FGI. The Commission will handle such MDR requests consistent with the requirements of Executive Order 13526 and 32 CFR part 2001. MDR requests for FGI initially received or classified by another Federal agency shall be referred to such agency following the referral procedures in paragraph (c) of this section.

(e) Appeals of denials of MDR requests. MDR appeals are for the denial of classified information only. Appeals of denials are handled in accordance with 32 CFR 2001.33(a)(2)(iii), which provides that the agency appellate authority deciding an administrative appeal of the denial of an MDR request shall notify the requester in writing of the reasons for any denial and inform the requester of his or her final appeal rights to the Interagency Security Classification Appeals Panel.

Subpart G—Enforcement of Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Handicap in Programs or Activities Conducted by the U.S. International Trade Commission

Authority: 29 U.S.C. 794.

Source: 51 FR 4575, 4579, Feb. 5, 1986, unless otherwise noted.

§201.101   Purpose.

This part effectuates section 119 of the Rehabilitation, Comprehensive Services, and Developmental Disabilities Amendments of 1978, which amended section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 to prohibit discrimination on the basis of handicap in programs or activities conducted by Executive agencies or the United States Postal Service.

§201.102   Application.

This part applies to all programs or activities conducted by the agency.

§201.103   Definitions.

For purposes of this part, the term—

Assistant Attorney General means the Assistant Attorney General, Civil Rights Division, United States Department of Justice.

Auxiliary aids means services or devices that enable persons with impaired sensory, manual, or speaking skills to have an equal opportunity to participate in, and enjoy the benefits of, programs or activities conducted by the agency. For example, auxiliary aids useful for persons with impaired vision include readers, Brailled materials, audio recordings, telecommunications devices and other similar services and devices. Auxiliary aids useful for persons with impaired hearing include telephone handset amplifiers, telephones compatible with hearing aids, telecommunication devices for deaf persons (TDD's), interpreters, notetakers, written materials, and other similar services and devices.

Complete complaint means a written statement that contains the complainant's name and address and describes the agency's alleged discriminatory action in sufficient detail to inform the agency of the nature and date of the alleged violation of section 504. It shall be signed by the complainant or by someone authorized to do so on his or her behalf. Complaints filed on behalf of classes or third parties shall describe or identify (by name, if possible) the alleged victims of discrimination.

Facility means all or any portion of buildings, structures, equipment, roads, walks, parking lots, rolling stock or other conveyances, or other real or personal property.

Handicapped person means any person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, has a record of such an impairment, or is regarded as having such an impairment.

As used in this definition, the phrase:

(1) Physical or mental impairment includes—

(i) Any physiological disorder or condition, cosmetic disfigurement, or anatomical loss affecting one or more of the following body systems: Neurological; musculoskeletal; special sense organs; respiratory, including speech organs; cardiovascular; reproductive; digestive; genitourinary; hemic and lymphatic; skin; and endocrine; or

(ii) Any mental or psychological disorder, such as mental retardation, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness, and specific learning disabilities. The term physical or mental impairment includes, but is not limited to, such diseases and conditions as orthopedic, visual, speech, and hearing impairments, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, mental retardation, emotional illness, and drug addition and alcholism.

(2) Major life activities includes functions such as caring for one's self, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working.

(3) Has a record of such an impairment means has a history of, or has been misclassified as having, a mental or physical impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.

(4) Is regarded as having an impairment means—

(i) Has a physical or mental impairment that does not substantially limit major life activities but is treated by the agency as constituting such a limitation;

(ii) Has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits major life activities only as a result of the attitudes of others toward such impairment; or

(iii) Has none of the impairments defined in subparagraph (1) of this definition but is treated by the agency as having such an impairment.

Qualified handicapped person means—

(1) With respect to any agency program or activity under which a person is required to perform services or to achieve a level of accomplishment, a handicapped person who meets the essential eligibility requirements and who can achieve the purpose of the program or activity without modifications in the program or activity that the agency can demonstrate would result in a fundamental alteration in its nature; or

(2) With respect to any other program or activity, a handicapped person who meets the essential eligibility requirements for participation in, or receipt of benefits from, that program or activity.

(3) Qualified handicapped person is defined for purposes of employment in 29 CFR 1613.702(f), which is made applicable to this part by §201.140.

Section 504 means section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Pub. L. 93-112, 87 Stat. 394 (29 U.S.C. 794)), as amended by the Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1974 (Pub. L. 93-516, 88 Stat. 1617), and the Rehabilitation, Comprehensive Services, and Developmental Disabilities Amendments of 1978 (Pub. L. 95-602, 92 Stat. 2955). As used in this part, section 504 applies only to programs or activities conducted by Executive agencies and not to federally assisted programs.

[51 FR 4575, 4579, Feb. 5, 1986; 51 FR 7543, Mar. 5, 1986]

§§201.104-201.109   [Reserved]

§201.110   Self-evaluation.

(a) The agency shall, by April 9, 1987, evaluate its current policies and practices, and the effects thereof, that do not or may not meet the requirements of this part, and, to the extent modification of any such policies and practices is required, the agency shall proceed to make the necessary modifications.

(b) The agency shall provide an opportunity to interested persons, including handicapped persons or organizations representing handicapped persons, to participate in the self-evaluation process by submitting comments (both oral and written).

(c) The agency shall, until three years following the completion of the self-evaluation, maintain on file and make available for public inspections:

(1) A description of areas examined and any problems identified, and

(2) A description of any modifications made.

§201.111   Notice.

The agency shall make available to employees, applicants, participants, beneficiaries, and other interested persons such information regarding the provisions of this part and its applicability to the programs or activities conducted by the agency, and make such information available to them in such manner as the head of the agency finds necessary to apprise such persons of the protections against discrimination assured them by section 504 and this regulation.

§§201.112-201.129   [Reserved]

§201.130   General prohibitions against discrimination.

(a) No qualified handicapped person shall, on the basis of handicap, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or otherwise be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity conducted by the agency.

(b)(1) The agency, in providing any aid, benefit, or service, may not, directly or through contractual, licensing, or other arrangements, on the basis of handicap—

(i) Deny a qualified handicapped person the opportunity to participate in or benefit from the aid, benefit, or service;

(ii) Afford a qualified handicapped person an opportunity to participate in or benefit from the aid, benefit, or service that is not equal to that afforded others;

(iii) Provide a qualified handicapped person with an aid, benefit, or service that is not as effective in affording equal opportunity to obtain the same result, to gain the same benefit, or to reach the same level of achievement as that provided to others;

(iv) Provide different or separate aid, benefits, or services to handicapped persons or to any class of handicapped persons than is provided to others unless such action is necessary to provide qualified handicapped persons with aid, benefits, or services that are as effective as those provided to others;

(v) Deny a qualified handicapped person the opportunity to participate as a member of planning or advisory boards; or

(vi) Otherwise limit a qualified handicapped person in the enjoyment of any right, privilege, advantage, or opportunity enjoyed by others receiving the aid, benefit, or service.

(2) The agency may not deny a qualified handicapped person the opportunity to participate in programs or activities that are not separate or different, despite the existence of permissibly separate or different programs or activities.

(3) The agency may not, directly or through contractual or other arrangements, utilize criteria or methods of administration the purpose or effect of which would—

(i) Subject qualified handicapped persons to discrimination on the basis of handicap; or

(ii) Defeat or substantially impair accomplishment of the objectives of a program or activity with respect to handicapped persons.

(4) The agency may not, in determining the site or location of a facility, make selections the purpose or effect of which would—

(i) Exclude handicapped persons from, deny them the benefits of, or otherwise subject them to discrimination under any program or activity conducted by the agency; or

(ii) Defeat or substantially impair the accomplishment of the objectives of a program or activity with respect to handicapped persons.

(5) The agency, in the selection of procurement contractors, may not use criteria that subject qualified handicapped persons to discrimination on the basis of handicap.

(c) The exclusion of nonhandicapped persons from the benefits of a program limited by Federal statute or Executive order to handicapped persons or the exclusion of a specific class of handicapped persons from a program limited by Federal statute or Executive order to a different class of handicapped persons is not prohibited by this part.

(d) The agency shall administer programs and activities in the most integrated setting appropriate to the needs of qualified handicapped persons.

§§201.131-201.139   [Reserved]

§201.140   Employment.

No qualified handicapped person shall, on the basis of handicap, be subjected to discrimination in employment under any program or activity conducted by the agency. The definitions, requirements, and procedures of section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. 791), as established by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 29 CFR part 1613, shall apply to employment in federally conducted programs or activities.

§§201.141-201.148   [Reserved]

§201.149   Program accessibility: Discrimination prohibited.

Except as otherwise provided in §201.150, no qualified handicapped person shall, because the agency's facilities are inaccessible to or unusable by handicapped persons, be denied the benefits of, be excluded from participation in, or otherwise be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity conducted by the agency.

§201.150   Program accessibility: Existing facilities.

(a) General. The agency shall operate each program or activity so that the program or activity, when viewed in its entirety, is readily accessible to and usable by handicapped persons. This paragraph does not—

(1) Necessarily require the agency to make each of its existing facilities accessible to and usable by handicapped persons; or

(2) Require the agency to take any action that it can demonstrate would result in a fundamental alteration in the nature of a program or activity or in undue financial and administrative burdens. In those circumstances where agency personnel believe that the proposed action would fundamentally alter the program or activity or would result in undue financial and administrative burdens, the agency has the burden of proving that compliance with §201.150(a) would result in such alteration or burdens. The decision that compliance would result in such alteration or burdens must be made by the agency head or his or her designee after considering all agency resources available for use in the funding and operation of the conducted program or activity, and must be accompanied by a written statement of the reasons for reaching that conclusion. If an action would result in such an alteration or such burdens, the agency shall take any other action that would not result in such an alteration or such burdens but would nevertheless ensure that handicapped persons receive the benefits and services of the program or activity.

(b) Methods. The agency may comply with the requirements of this section through such means as redesign of equipment, reassignment of services to accessible buildings, assignment of aides to beneficiaries, home visits, delivery of services at alternate accessible sites, alteration of existing facilities and construction of new facilities, use of accessible rolling stock, or any other methods that result in making its programs or activities readily accessible to and usable by handicapped persons. The agency is not required to make structural changes in existing facilities where other methods are effective in achieving compliance with this section. The agency, in making alterations to existing buildings, shall meet accessibility requirements to the extent compelled by the Architectural Barriers Act of 1968, as amended (42 U.S.C. 4151-4157), and any regulations implementing it. In choosing among available methods for meeting the requirements of this section, the agency shall give priority to those methods that offer programs and activities to qualified handicapped persons in the most integrated setting appropriate.

(c) Time period for compliance. The agency shall comply with the obligations established under this section by June 6, 1986, except that where structural changes in facilities are undertaken, such changes shall be made by April 7, 1989, but in any event as expeditiously as possible.

(d) Transition plan. In the event that structural changes to facilities will be undertaken to achieve program accessibility, the agency shall develop, by October 7, 1986, a transition plan setting forth the steps necessary to complete such changes. The agency shall provide an opportunity to interested persons, including handicapped persons or organizations representing handicapped persons, to participate in the development of the transition plan by submitting comments (both oral and written). A copy of the transition plan shall be made available for public inspection. The plan shall, at a minimum—

(1) Identify physical obstacles in the agency's facilities that limit the accessibility of its programs or activities to handicapped persons;

(2) Describe in detail the methods that will be used to make the facilities accessible;

(3) Specify the schedule for taking the steps necessary to achieve compliance with this section and, if the time period of the transition plan is longer than one year, identify steps that will be taken during each year of the transition period; and

(4) Indicate the official responsible for implementation of the plan.

[51 FR 4575, 4579, Feb. 5, 1986; 51 FR 7543, Mar. 5, 1986]

§201.151   Program accessibility: New construction and alterations.

Each building or part of a building that is constructed or altered by, on behalf of, or for the use of the agency shall be designed, constructed, or altered so as to be readily accessible to and usable by handicapped persons. The definitions, requirements, and standards of the Architectural Barriers Act (42 U.S.C. 4151-4157), as established in 41 CFR 101-19.600 to 101-19.607, apply to buildings covered by this section.

§§201.152-201.159   [Reserved]

§201.160   Communications.

(a) The agency shall take appropriate steps to ensure effective communication with applicants, participants, personnel of other Federal entities, and members of the public.

(1) The agency shall furnish appropriate auxiliary aids where necessary to afford a handicapped person an equal opportunity to participate in, and enjoy the benefits of, a program or activity conducted by the agency.

(i) In determining what type of auxiliary aid is necessary, the agency shall give primary consideration to the requests of the handicapped person.

(ii) The agency need not provide individually prescribed devices, readers for personal use or study, or other devices of a personal nature.

(2) Where the agency communicates with applicants and beneficiaries by telephone, telecommunication devices for deaf persons (TDD's) or equally effective telecommunication systems shall be used.

(b) The agency shall ensure that interested persons, including persons with impaired vision or hearing, can obtain information as to the existence and location of accessible services, activities, and facilities.

(c) The agency shall provide signage at a primary entrance to each of its inaccessible facilities, directing users to a location at which they can obtain information about accessible facilities. The international symbol for accessibility shall be used at each primary entrance of an accessible facility.

(d) This section does not require the agency to take any action that it can demonstrate would result in a fundamental alteration in the nature of a program or activity or in undue financial and administrative burdens. In those circumstances where agency personnel believe that the proposed action would fundamentally alter the program or activity or would result in undue financial and administrative burdens, the agency has the burden of proving that compliance with §201.160 would result in such alteration or burdens. The decision that compliance would result in such alteration or burdens must be made by the agency head or his or her designee after considering all agency resources available for use in the funding and operation of the conducted program or activity, and must be accompanied by a written statement of the reasons for reaching that conclusion. If an action required to comply with this section would result in such an alteration or such burdens, the agency shall take any other action that would not result in such an alteration or such burdens but would nevertheless ensure that, to the maximum extent possible, handicapped persons receive the benefits and services of the program or activity.

§§201.161-201.169   [Reserved]

§201.170   Compliance procedures.

(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, this section applies to all allegations of discrimination on the basis of handicap in programs or activities conducted by the agency.

(b) The agency shall process complaints alleging violations of section 504 with respect to employment according to the procedures established by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 29 CFR part 1613 pursuant to section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. 791).

(c) The Director, Office of Equal Employment Opportunity, shall be responsible for coordinating implementation of this section. Complaints may be sent to the Director, Office of Equal Employment Opportunity, United States International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW., Washington, DC 20436.

(d) The agency shall accept and investigate all complete complaints for which it has jurisdiction. All complete complaints must be filed within 180 days of the alleged act of discrimination. The agency may extend this time period for good cause.

(e) If the agency receives a complaint over which it does not have jurisdiction, it shall promptly notify the complainant and shall make reasonable efforts to refer the complaint to the appropriate government entity.

(f) The agency shall notify the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board upon receipt of any complaint alleging that a building or facility that is subject to the Architectural Barriers Act of 1968, as amended (42 U.S.C. 4151-4157), or section 502 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (29 U.S.C. 792), is not readily accessible to and usable by handicapped persons.

(g) Within 180 days of the receipt of a complete complaint for which it has jurisdiction, the agency shall notify the complainant of the results of the investigation in a letter containing—

(1) Findings of fact and conclusions of law;

(2) A description of a remedy for each violation found;

(3) A notice of the right to appeal.

(h) Appeals of the findings of fact and conclusions of law or remedies must be filed by the complainant within 90 days of receipt from the agency of the letter required by §201.170(g). The agency may extend this time for good cause.

(i) Timely appeals shall be accepted and processed by the head of the agency.

(j) The head of the agency shall notify the complainant of the results of the appeal within 60 days of the receipt of the request. If the head of the agency determines that additional information is needed from the complainant, he or she shall have 60 days from the date of receipt of the additional information to make his or her determination on the appeal.

(k) The time limits cited in paragraphs (g) and (j) of this section may be extended with the permission of the Assistant Attorney General.

(l) The agency may delegate its authority for conducting complaint investigations to other Federal agencies, except that the authority for making the final determination may not be delegated to another agency.

[51 FR 4575, 4579, Feb. 5, 1986, as amended at 51 FR 4576, Feb. 5, 1986; 68 FR 32975, June 3, 2003]

§§201.171-201.999   [Reserved]

Subpart H—Debt Collection

Authority: 19 U.S.C. 1335; 5 U.S.C. 5514(b)(1); 31 U.S.C. 3716(b); 31 U.S.C. 3720A(b)(4); 31 CFR chapter IX; 26 CFR 301.6402-6(b).

Source: 62 FR 38019, July 16, 1997, unless otherwise noted.

§201.201   Definitions.

Except where the context clearly indicates otherwise or where the term is defined elsewhere in this section, the following definitions shall apply to this subpart.

(a) Agency means a department, agency, court, court administrative office, or instrumentality in the executive, judicial, or legislative branch of Government, including government corporations.

(b) Certification means a written statement received by a paying agency from a creditor agency that requests the paying agency to offset the salary of an employee and specifies that required procedural protections have been afforded the employee.

(c) Chairman means the Chairman of the Commission.

(d) Compromise means the settlement or forgiveness of a debt.

(e) Creditor agency means an agency of the Federal government to which the debt is owed.

(f) Director means the Director, Office of Finance of the Commission or an official designated to act on the Director's behalf.

(g) Disposable pay means that part of current basic pay, special pay, incentive pay, retired pay, retainer pay, and, in the case of an employee not entitled to basic pay, other authorized pay, remaining for each pay period after the deduction of any amount required by law to be withheld. The Commission shall allow the following deductions in determining the amount of disposable pay that is subject to salary offset:

(1) Federal employment taxes;

(2) Amounts mandatorily withheld for the United States Soldiers' and Airmen's Home;

(3) Fines and forfeiture ordered by a court-martial or by a commanding officer;

(4) Amounts deducted for Medicare;

(5) Federal, state, or local income taxes to the extent authorized or required by law, but no greater than would be the case if the employee claimed all dependents to which he or she is entitled and such additional amounts for which the employee presents evidence of a tax obligation supporting the additional withholding;

(6) Health insurance premiums;

(7) Normal retirement contributions, including employee contributions to the Thrift Savings Plan;

(8) Normal life insurance premiums (e.g., Serviceman's Group Life Insurance and “Basic Life” Federal Employee's Group Life Insurance premiums), not including amounts deducted for supplementary coverage.

(h) Employee means a current employee of the Commission or other agency, including a current member of the Armed Forces or a Reserve of the Armed Forces of the United States.

(i) Federal Claims Collection Standards (FCCS) means standards published at 31 CFR chapter IX.

(j) Hearing official means an individual responsible for conducting any hearing with respect to the existence or amount of a debt claimed and for rendering a decision on the basis of such hearing. A hearing official may not be under the supervision or control of the Chairman when the Commission is the creditor agency but may be an administrative law judge.

(k) Notice of Intent to Offset or Notice of Intent means a written notice from a creditor agency to an employee, organization, or entity stating that the debtor is indebted to the creditor agency and apprising the debtor of certain procedural rights.

(l) Notice of Salary Offset means a written notice from the paying agency to an employee after a certification has been issued by a creditor agency, informing the employee that salary offset will begin at the next officially established pay interval.

(m) Office of Finance means the Office of Finance of the Commission.

(n) Paying agency means the agency of the Federal government that employs the individual who owes a debt to an agency of the Federal government. In some cases, the Commission may be both the creditor agency and the paying agency.

[62 FR 38019, July 16, 1997, as amended at 68 FR 32976, June 3, 2003]

§201.202   Purpose and scope of salary and administrative offset rules.

(a) Purpose. The purpose of sections 201.201 through 201.207 is to implement 5 U.S.C. 5514, 31 U.S.C. 3716, and 31 U.S.C. 3720A which authorize the collection by salary offset, administrative offset, or tax refund offset of debts owed by persons, organizations, or entities to the Federal government. Generally, however, a debt may not be collected by such means if it has been outstanding for more than ten years after the agency's right to collect the debt first accrued. These proposed regulations are consistent with the Office of Personnel Management regulations on salary offset, codified at 5 CFR Part 550, subpart K, and with regulations on administrative offset codified at 31 CFR part 901.

(b) Scope. (1) Sections 201.201 through 201.207 establish agency procedures for the collection of certain debts owed the Government.

(2) Sections 201.201 through 201.207 apply to collections by the Commission from:

(i) Federal employees who are indebted to the Commission;

(ii) Employees of the Commission who are indebted to other agencies; and

(iii) Other persons, organizations, or entities that are indebted to the Commission.

(3) Sections 201.201 through 201.207 do not apply:

(i) To debts or claims arising under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (26 U.S.C. et seq.), the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 301 et seq.), or the tariff laws of the United States;

(ii) To a situation to which the Contract Disputes Act (41 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) applies; or

(iii) In any case where collection of a debt is explicitly provided for or prohibited by another statute (e.g., travel advances in 5 U.S.C. 4108).

(4) Nothing in Sections 201.201 through 201.207 precludes the compromise, suspension, or termination of collection actions where appropriate under the standards implementing the Federal Claims Collection Act (31 U.S.C. 3711 et seq.), namely, 31 CFR chapter IX.

[62 FR 38019, July 16, 1997, as amended at 68 FR 32976, June 3, 2003]

§201.203   Delegation of authority.

Authority to conduct the following activities is hereby delegated to the Director:

(a) Initiate and effectuate the administrative collection process;

(b) Accept or reject compromise offers and suspend or terminate collection actions where the claim does not exceed $100,000 or such higher amount as the Chairman may from time to time prescribe, exclusive of interest, administrative costs, and penalties as provided herein, as set forth in 31 U.S.C. 3711(a)(2);

(c) Report to consumer reporting agencies certain data pertaining to delinquent debts;

(d) Use offset procedures to effectuate collection; and

(e) Take any other action necessary to facilitate and augment collection in accordance with the policies contained herein and as otherwise provided by law.

§201.204   Salary offset.

(a) Notice requirements before offset where the Commission is the creditor agency. Deductions under the authority of 5 U.S.C. 5514 will not be made unless the Commission provides the employee with a written Notice of Intent to Offset a minimum of 30 calendar days before salary offset is initiated. The Notice of Intent shall state:

(1) That the Director has reviewed the records relating to the claim and has determined that a debt is owed;

(2) The Director's intention to collect the debt by means of deduction from the employee's current disposable pay account until the debt and all accumulated interest is paid in full;

(3) The amount of the debt and the facts giving rise to the debt;

(4) A repayment schedule that includes the amount, frequency, proposed beginning date, and duration of the intended deductions;

(5) The opportunity for the employee to propose an alternative written schedule for the voluntary repayment of the debt, in lieu of offset, on terms acceptable to the Commission. The employee shall include a justification in the request for the alternative schedule. The schedule shall be agreed to and signed by both the employee and the Director;

(6) An explanation of the Commission's policy concerning interest, penalties, and administrative costs, including a statement that such assessments must be made unless excused in accordance with the Federal Claims Collection Standards;

(7) The employee's right to inspect and copy all records of the Commission not exempt from disclosure pertaining to the debt claimed or to receive copies of such records if the debtor is unable personally to inspect the records, due to geographical or other constraints;

(8) The name, address, and telephone number of the Director to whom requests for access to records relating to the debt must be sent;

(9) The employee's right to a hearing conducted by an impartial hearing official (an administrative law judge or other hearing official not under the supervision or control of the Chairman) with respect to the existence and amount of the debt claimed or the repayment schedule (i.e., the percentage of disposable pay to be deducted each pay period), so long as a request is filed by the employee as prescribed in paragraph (c)(1) of this section;

(10) The name, address, and telephone number of the Director to whom a proposal for voluntary repayment must be sent and who may be contacted concerning procedures for requesting a hearing;

(11) The method and deadline for requesting a hearing;

(12) That the timely filing of a request for a hearing on or before the 15th calendar day following receipt of the Notice of Intent will stay the commencement of collection proceedings;

(13) The name and address of the office to which the request should be sent;

(14) That the Commission will initiate certification procedures to implement a salary offset not less than 30 days from the date of receipt of the Notice of Intent to Offset, unless the employee files a timely request for a hearing;

(15) That a final decision on whether a hearing will be held (if one is requested) will be issued at the earliest practical date;

(16) That any knowingly false or frivolous statements, representations, or evidence may subject the employee to:

(i) Disciplinary procedures appropriate under 5 U.S.C. Chapter 75, 5 CFR part 752, or any other applicable statutes or regulations;

(ii) Penalties under the False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. 3729-3733, or under any other applicable statutory authority; or

(iii) Criminal penalties under 18 U.S.C. 286, 287, 1001, and 1002 or under any other applicable statutory authority;

(17) Any other rights and remedies available to the employee under statutes or regulations governing the program for which the collection is being made;

(18) That unless there are applicable contractual or statutory provisions to the contrary, amounts paid on or deducted from debts that are later waived or found not to be owed to the United States will be promptly refunded to the employee; and

(19) That proceedings with respect to such debt are governed by 5 U.S.C. 5514.

(b) Review of Commission records related to the debt. (1) An employee who desires to inspect or copy Commission records related to a debt owed to the Commission must send a letter to the Director as designated in the Notice of Intent requesting access to the relevant records. The letter must be received in the office of the Director within 15 calendar days after the employee's receipt of the Notice of Intent.

(2) In response to a timely request submitted by the debtor, the Director will notify the employee of the location and time when the employee may inspect and copy records related to the debt.

(3) If the employee is unable personally to inspect the records, due to geographical or other constraints, the Director shall arrange to send copies of such records to the employee.

(c) Opportunity for a hearing where the Commission is the creditor agency—(1) Request for a hearing. (i) An employee who requests a hearing on the existence or amount of the debt held by the Commission or on the offset schedule proposed by the Commission must send such request to the Director. The request for a hearing must be received by the Director on or before the 15th calendar day following receipt by the employee of the notice.

(ii) The employee must specify whether an oral hearing is requested. If an oral hearing is desired, the request should explain why the matter cannot be resolved by review of the documentary evidence alone. The request must be signed by the employee and must fully identify and explain with reasonable specificity all the facts, evidence, and witnesses, if any, that the employee believes support his or her position.

(2) Failure to timely submit. If the employee files a request for hearing after the expiration of the 15-calendar-day period provided for in paragraph (c)(1) of this section, the Director may accept the request if the employee can show that the delay was the result of circumstances beyond his or her control or that he or she failed to receive actual notice of the filing deadline.

(3) Obtaining the services of a hearing official. (i) When the debtor is not a Commission employee and the Commission cannot provide a prompt and appropriate hearing before an administrative law judge or other hearing official, the Commission may request a hearing official from an agent of the paying agency, as designated in 5 CFR part 581, appendix A, or as otherwise designated by the paying agency.

(ii) When the debtor is a Commission employee, the Commission may contact any agent of another agency, as designated in 5 CFR part 581, appendix A, or as otherwise designated by the agency, to request a hearing official.

(4) Procedure—(i) Notice. After the employee requests a hearing, the hearing official shall notify the employee of the form of the hearing to be provided. If the hearing will be oral, the notice shall set forth the date, time, and location of the hearing, which must occur no more than 30 calendar days after the request is received, unless the employee requests that the hearing be delayed. If the hearing will be conducted by examination of documents, the employee shall be notified within 30 calendar days that he or she should submit evidence and arguments in writing to the hearing official.

(ii) Oral hearing. An employee who requests an oral hearing shall be provided an oral hearing if the hearing official determines that the matter cannot be resolved by review of documentary evidence alone (e.g., when an issue of credibility or veracity is involved). The hearing need not be an adversarial adjudication, and rules of evidence need not apply. Witnesses who testify in oral hearings shall do so under oath or affirmation. Oral hearings may take the form of, but are not limited to:

(A) Informal conferences with the hearing official in which the employee and agency representative are given full opportunity to present evidence, witnesses, and argument;

(B) Informal meetings in which the hearing examiner interviews the employee; or

(C) Formal written submissions followed by an opportunity for oral presentation.

(iii) Documentary hearing. If the hearing official determines that an oral hearing is not necessary, he or she shall make the determination based upon a review of the written record.

(iv) Record. The hearing official shall maintain a summary record of any hearing conducted under this section.

(5) Date of decision. The hearing official shall issue a written opinion stating his or her decision, based upon all evidence and information developed at the hearing, as soon as practicable after the hearing, but not later than 60 calendar days after the date on which the request was received by the Commission, unless the hearing was delayed at the request of the employee, in which case the 60 day decision period shall be extended by the number of days by which the hearing was postponed. The decision of the hearing official shall be final.

(6) Content of decision. The written decision shall include:

(i) A summary of the facts concerning the origin, nature, and amount of the debt;

(ii) The hearing official's findings, analysis, and conclusions; and

(iii) The terms of any repayment schedules, if applicable.

(7) Failure to appear. If, in the absence of good cause shown (e.g., illness), the employee or the representative of the Commission fails to appear, the hearing official shall proceed with the hearing as scheduled, and make his or her determination based upon the oral testimony presented and the documentation submitted by both parties. At the request of both parties, the hearing official may schedule a new hearing date. Both parties shall be given reasonable notice of the time and place of this new hearing.

(d) Certification where the Commission is the creditor agency. (1) The Director shall issue a certification in all cases where:

(i) The hearing official determines that a debt exists; or

(ii) The employee admits the existence and amount of the debt, for example, by failing to request a hearing.

(2) The certification must be in writing and must state:

(i) That the employee owes the debt;

(ii) The amount and basis of the debt;

(iii) The date the Government's right to collect the debt first accrued;

(iv) That the Commission's regulations have been approved by OPM pursuant to 5 CFR part 550, subpart K;

(v) If the collection is to be made by lump-sum payment, the amount and date such payment will be collected;

(vi) If the collection is to be made in installments, the number of installments to be collected, the amount of each installment, and the date of the first installment, if a date other than the next officially established pay period; and

(vii) The date the employee was notified of the debt, the action(s) taken pursuant to the Commission's regulations, and the dates such actions were taken.

(e) Voluntary repayment agreements as alternative to salary offset where the Commission is the creditor agency. (1) In response to a Notice of Intent, an employee may propose to repay the debt in accordance with scheduled installment payments. Any employee who wishes to repay a debt without salary offset shall submit in writing a proposed agreement to repay the debt. The proposal shall set forth a proposed repayment schedule. Any proposal under paragraph (e) of this section must be received by the Director within 15 calendar days after receipt of the Notice of Intent.

(2) In response to a timely proposal by the debtor, the Director shall notify the employee whether the employee's proposed written agreement for repayment is acceptable. It is within the discretion of the Director to accept, reject, or propose to the debtor a modification of the proposed repayment agreement.

(3) If the Director decides that the proposed repayment agreement is unacceptable, the employee shall have 15 calendar days from the date he or she received notice of the decision in which to file a request for a hearing.

(4) If the Director decides that the proposed repayment agreement is acceptable or the debtor agrees to a modification proposed by the Director, the agreement shall be put in writing and signed by both the employee and the Director.

(f) Special review where the Commission is the creditor agency. (1) An employee subject to salary offset or a voluntary repayment agreement may, at any time, request a special review by the Director of the amount of the salary offset or voluntary payment, based on materially changed circumstances, including, but not limited to, catastrophic illness, divorce, death, or disability.

(2) In determining whether, as a result of materially changed circumstances, an offset would prevent the employee from meeting essential subsistence expenses (costs incurred for food, housing, clothing, transportation, and medical care), the employee shall submit to the Director a detailed statement and supporting documents for the employee, his or her spouse, and dependents indicating:

(i) Income from all sources;

(ii) Assets;

(iii) Liabilities;

(iv) Number of dependents;

(v) Expenses for food, housing, clothing, and transportation;

(vi) Medical expenses; and

(vii) Exceptional expenses, if any.

(3) If the employee requests a special review under paragraph (f) of this section, the employee shall file an alternative proposed offset or payment schedule and a statement, with supporting documents, showing why the current salary offset or payments result in extreme financial hardship to the employee.

(4) The Director shall evaluate the statement and supporting documents and determine whether the original offset or repayment schedule imposes extreme financial hardship on the employee. The Director shall notify the employee in writing within 30 calendar days of such determination, including, if appropriate, his or her acceptance of a revised offset or payment schedule.

(5) If the special review results in a revised offset or repayment schedule, the Director shall provide a new certification to the paying agency.

(g) Notice of salary offset where the Commission is the paying agency. (1) Upon issuance of a proper certification by the Director (for debts owed to the Commission) or upon receipt of a proper certification from another creditor agency, the Office of Finance shall send the employee a written notice of salary offset. Such notice shall advise the employee:

(i) Of the certification that has been issued by the Director or received from another creditor agency;

(ii) Of the amount of the debt and of the deductions to be made; and

(iii) Of the initiation of salary offset at the next officially established pay interval or as otherwise provided for in the certification.

(2) The Office of Finance shall provide a copy of the notice to the creditor agency and advise such agency of the dollar amount to be offset and the pay period when the offset will begin.

(h) Procedures for salary offset where the Commission is the paying agency—(1) Generally. (i) The Director shall coordinate salary deductions under this section.

(ii) The Director shall determine the amount of an employee's disposable pay and the amount of the salary offset subject to the requirements in this paragraph.

(iii) Deductions shall begin the pay period following the issuance of the certification by the Director or the receipt by the Office of Finance of the certification from another agency or as soon thereafter as possible.

(2) Types of collection—(i) Lump-sum payment. If the amount of the debt is equal to or less than 15 percent of the employee's disposable pay, such debt ordinarily will be collected in one lump-sum payment.

(ii) Installment deductions. Installment deductions will be made over a period not greater than the anticipated period of employment. The size and frequency of installment deductions will bear a reasonable relation to the size of the debt and the employee's ability to pay. However, the amount deducted for any pay period will not exceed 15 percent of the disposable pay from which the deduction is made unless the employee has agreed in writing to the deduction of a greater amount. The installment payment should normally be sufficient in size and frequency to liquidate the debt in no more than three years. Installment payments of less than $50 should be accepted only in the most unusual circumstances.

(iii) Lump-sum deductions from final check. In order to liquidate a debt, a lump-sum deduction exceeding 15 percent of disposable pay may be made pursuant to 31 U.S.C. 3716 and 5 U.S.C. 5514(a)(1) from any final salary payment due a former employee, whether the former employee was separated voluntarily or involuntarily.

(iv) Lump-sum deductions from other sources. Whenever an employee subject to salary offset is separated from the Commission, and the balance of the debt cannot be liquidated by offset of the final salary check, the Commission, pursuant to 31 U.S.C. 3716, may offset any later payments of any kind to the former employee to collect the balance of the debt.

(3) Multiple debts. Where two or more creditor agencies are seeking salary offset, or where two or more debts are owed to a single creditor agency, the Office of Finance may, at its discretion, determine whether one or more debts should be offset simultaneously within the 15 percent limitation.

(4) Order of precedence for recovery of debts owed the Government. (i) For Commission employees, subject to paragraph (h)(3) of this section and (paragraph (h)(4)(ii) of this section, offsets to recover debts owed the United States Government shall be made from disposable pay in the following order of precedence:

(A) Indebtedness due the Commission;

(B) Indebtedness due other agencies.

(ii) In the event that a debt to the Commission is certified while an employee is subject to salary offset to repay another agency, the Office of Finance may, at its discretion, determine whether the debt to the Commission should be repaid before the debt to the other agency, repaid simultaneously, or repaid after the debt to the other agency.

(iii) A levy pursuant to the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 shall take precedence over other deductions under this section, as provided in 5 U.S.C. 5514(d).

(i) Coordinating salary offset with other agencies—(1) Responsibility of the Commission as the creditor agency. (i) The Director shall be responsible for:

(A) Arranging for a hearing upon proper request by a Federal employee;

(B) Preparing the Notice of Intent to Offset consistent with the requirements of paragraph (a) of this section;

(C) Obtaining hearing officials from other agencies pursuant to paragraph (c)(3) of this section; and

(D) Ensuring that each certification of debt is sent to a paying agency pursuant to paragraph (d)(2) of this section.

(ii) Upon completion of the procedures established in paragraphs (a) through (f) of this section, the Director shall submit a certified debt claim and an installment agreement or other instruction on the payment schedule, if applicable, to the employee's paying agency.

(iii) If the employee is in the process of separating from Government employment, the Commission shall submit its debt claim to the employee's paying agency for collection by lump-sum deduction from the employee's final check. The paying agency shall certify the total amount of its collection and furnish a copy of the certification to the Commission and to the employee.

(iv) If the employee is already separated and all payments due from his or her former paying agency have been paid, the Commission may, unless otherwise prohibited, request that money due and payable to the employee from the Federal Government be administratively offset to collect the debt.

(v) When an employee transfers to another paying agency, the Commission shall not repeat the procedures described in paragraphs (a) through (f) of this section in order to resume collecting the debt. Instead, the Commission shall review the debt upon receiving the former paying agency's notice of the employee's transfer and shall ensure that collection is resumed by the new paying agency.

(2) Responsibility of the Commission as the paying agency—(i) Complete claim. When the Commission receives a certified claim from a creditor agency, the employee shall be given written notice of the certification, the date salary offset will begin, and the amount of the periodic deductions. Deductions shall be scheduled to begin at the next officially established pay interval or as otherwise provided for in the certification.

(ii) Incomplete claim. When the Commission receives an incomplete certification of debt from a creditor agency, the Commission shall return the debt claim with notice that procedures under 5 U.S.C. 5514 and 5 CFR 550.1104 must be followed and that a properly certified debt claim must be received before action will be taken to collect from the employee's current pay account.

(iii) Review. The Commission is not authorized to review the merits of the creditor agency's determination with respect to the amount or validity of the debt certified by the creditor agency.

(iv) Employees who transfer from one paying agency to another agency. If, after the creditor agency has submitted the debt claim to the Commission, the employee transfers to an agency outside the Commission before the debt is collected in full, the Commission must certify the total amount collected on the debt. One copy of the certification shall be furnished to the employee and one copy shall be sent to the creditor agency along with notice of the employee's transfer. If the Commission is aware that the employee is entitled to payments from the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund, or other similar payments, it must provide written notification to the agency responsible for making such payments that the debtor owes a debt (including the amount) and that the requirements set forth herein and in the Office of Personnel Management's regulation (5 CFR part 550) have been fully met.

(j) Interest, Penalties, and Administrative Costs. Where the Commission is the creditor agency, it shall assess interest, penalties, and administrative costs pursuant to 31 U.S.C. 3717 and 31 CFR 901.9.

(k) Refunds. (1) Where the Commission is the creditor agency, it shall promptly refund any amount deducted under the authority of 5 U.S.C. 5514 when:

(i) The debt is compromised or otherwise found not to be owing to the United States; or

(ii) An administrative or judicial order directs the Commission to make a refund.

(2) Unless required by law or contract, refunds under this paragraph (k) shall not bear interest.

(l) Request from a creditor agency for the services of a hearing official. (1) The Commission may provide a hearing official upon request of the creditor agency when the debtor is employed by the Commission and the creditor agency cannot provide a prompt and appropriate hearing before a hearing official furnished pursuant to another lawful arrangement.

(2) The Commission may provide a hearing official upon request of a creditor agency when the debtor works for the creditor agency and that agency cannot arrange for a hearing official.

(3) The Director shall arrange for qualified personnel to serve as hearing officials.

(4) Services rendered under this paragraph (l) shall be provided on a fully reimbursable basis pursuant to 31 U.S.C. 1535.

(m) Non-waiver of rights by payments. A debtor's payment, whether voluntary or involuntary, of all or any portion of a debt being collected pursuant to this section shall not be construed as a waiver of any rights that the debtor may have under any statute, regulation, or contract except as otherwise provided by law or contract.

(n) Exception to due process procedures. The procedures set forth in this section shall not apply to adjustments described in 5 U.S.C. 5514(a)(3) and 5 CFR 550.1104(c).

[62 FR 38019, July 16, 1997, as amended at 68 FR 32976, June 3, 2003]

§201.205   Salary adjustments.

Any negative adjustment to pay arising out of an employee's election of coverage, or a change in coverage, under a Federal benefits program requiring periodic deductions from pay shall not be considered collection of a “debt” for the purposes of this section if the amount to be recovered was accumulated over four pay periods or less. In such cases, the Commission need not comply with §201.204, but it will provide a clear and concise statement in the employee's earnings statement advising the employee of the previous overpayment at the time the adjustment is made.

§201.206   Administrative offset.

(a) Collection. The Director may collect a claim pursuant to 31 U.S.C. 3716 from a person, organization, or entity other than an agency of the United States Government by administrative offset of monies payable by the Government. Collection by administrative offset shall be undertaken where the claim is certain in amount, where offset is feasible and desirable and not otherwise prohibited, where the applicable statute of limitations has not expired, and where the offset is in the best interest of the United States.

(b) Offset prior to completion of procedures. Prior to the completion of the procedures described in paragraph (c) of this section, the Commission may effect offset if:

(1) Failure to offset would substantially prejudice the Commission's ability to collect the debt; and

(2) The time before the payment is to be made does not reasonably permit completion of the procedures described in paragraph (c) of this section. Such prior offsetting shall be followed promptly by the completion of the procedures described in paragraph (c) of this section.

(c) Debtor's rights. (1) Unless the procedures described in paragraph (b) of this section are used, prior to collecting any claim by administrative offset or referring such claim to another agency for collection through administrative offset, the Director shall provide the debtor with the following:

(i) Written notification of the nature and amount of the claim, the intention of the Director to collect the claim through administrative offset, and a statement of the rights of the debtor under this paragraph;

(ii) An opportunity to inspect and copy the records of the Commission not exempt from disclosure with respect to the claim;

(iii) An opportunity to have the Commission's determination of indebtedness reviewed by the Director. Any request for review by the debtor shall be in writing and be submitted to the Commission within 30 calendar days of the date of the notice of the offset. The Director may waive the time limit for requesting review for good cause shown by the debtor. The Commission shall provide the debtor with a reasonable opportunity for an oral hearing when:

(A) An applicable statute authorizes or requires the Commission to consider waiver of the indebtedness involved, the debtor requests waiver of the indebtedness, and the waiver determination turns on an issue of credibility or veracity; or

(B) The debtor requests reconsideration of the debt and the Commission determines that the question of the indebtedness cannot be resolved by review of the documentary evidence, for example, when the validity of the debt turns on an issue of credibility or veracity. Unless otherwise required by law, an oral hearing under this section is not required to be a formal evidentiary hearing, although the Commission shall document all significant matters discussed at the hearing. In those cases where an oral hearing is not required by this section, the Commission shall nevertheless accord the debtor a “paper hearing,” (i.e., the Commission will make its determination on the request for waiver or reconsideration based upon a review of the written record); and

(iv) An opportunity to enter into a written agreement for the repayment of the amount of the claim at the discretion of the Commission.

(2) If the procedures described in paragraph (b) of this section are employed, the procedures described in this paragraph shall be effected after offset.

(d) Interest. Pursuant to 31 U.S.C. 3717 and 31 CFR 901.9, the Commission shall assess interest, penalties and administrative costs on debts owed to the United States. The Commission is authorized to assess interest and related charges on debts that are not subject to 31 U.S.C. 3717 to the extent authorized under the common law or other applicable statutory authority.

(e) Refunds. Amounts recovered by offset but later found not to be owed to the Government shall be promptly refunded.

(f) Requests for offset to other Federal agencies. The Director may request that a debt owed to the Commission be administratively offset against funds due and payable to a debtor by another Federal agency. In requesting administrative offset, the Commission, as creditor, will certify in writing to the Federal agency holding funds of the debtor:

(1) That the debtor owes the debt;

(2) The amount and basis of the debt; and

(3) That the Commission has complied with the requirements of its own administrative offset regulations and the applicable provisions of 31 CFR part 901 with respect to providing the debtor with due process.

(g) Requests for offset from other Federal agencies. Any Federal agency may request that funds due and payable to its debtor by the Commission be administratively offset in order to collect a debt owed to such Federal agency by the debtor. The Commission shall initiate the requested offset only upon:

(1) Receipt of written certification from the creditor agency:

(i) That the debtor owes the debt;

(ii) The amount and basis of the debt;

(iii) That the agency has prescribed regulations for the exercise of administrative offset; and

(iv) That the agency has complied with its own administrative offset regulations and with the applicable provisions of 31 CFR part 901, including providing any required hearing or review.

(2) A determination by the Commission that collection by offset against funds payable by the Commission would be in the best interest of the United States as determined by the facts and circumstances of the particular case and that such offset would not otherwise be contrary to law.

[62 FR 38019, July 16, 1997, as amended at 68 FR 32976, June 3, 2003]

§201.207   Administrative offset against amounts payable from Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund

(a) Unless otherwise prohibited by law, the Commission may request that moneys which are due and payable to a debtor from the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund be administratively offset in reasonable amounts in order to collect in one full payment or a minimal number of payments debt owed to the Commission by the debtor. Such requests shall be made to the appropriate officials of the Office of Personnel Management in accordance with such regulations as may be prescribed by the Director of that Office.

(b) When making a request for administrative offset under paragraph (a) of this section, the Commission shall include a written certification that:

(1) The debtor owes the Commission a debt, including the amount of the debt;

(2) The Commission has complied with the applicable statutes, regulations, and procedures of the Office of Personnel Management; and

(3) The Commission has complied with the requirements of 31 CFR 901.3, including any required hearing or review.

(c) Once the Commission decides to request administrative offset under paragraph (a) of this section, it shall make the request as soon as practical after completion of the applicable procedures. This will satisfy any requirement that offset be initiated prior to expiration of the applicable statute of limitations. At such time as the debtor makes a claim for payments from the Fund, if at least a year has elapsed since the offset request was originally made, the debtor shall be permitted to offer a satisfactory repayment plan in lieu of offset upon establishing that changed financial circumstances would render the offset unjust.

(d) If the Commission collects part or all of the debt by other means before deductions are made or completed pursuant to paragraph (a) of this section, the Commission shall act promptly to modify or terminate its request for offset under paragraph (a) of this section.

[62 FR 38019, July 16, 1997, as amended at 68 FR 32976, June 3, 2003]

§201.208   Tax refund offset.

(a) Scope. The provisions of 26 U.S.C. 6402(d) and 31 U.S.C. 3720A authorize the Secretary of the Treasury to offset a delinquent debt owed to the United States Government from the tax refund due a taxpayer when other collection efforts have failed to recover the amount due.

(b) Definitions—(1) Debt. Debt means money owed by an individual, organization or entity from sources which include loans insured or guaranteed by the United States and all other amounts due the United States from fees, leases, services, overpayments, civil and criminal penalties, damages, interest, fines, administrative costs, and all other similar sources. A debt becomes eligible for tax refund offset procedures if:

(i) It cannot currently be collected pursuant to the salary offset procedures of 5 U.S.C. 5514(a)(1);

(ii) The debt is ineligible for administrative offset under 31 U.S.C. 3716(a) by reason of 31 U.S.C. 3716(c)(2) or cannot currently be collected by administrative offset under 31 U.S.C. 3716(a); and

(iii) The requirements of this section are otherwise satisfied.

(2) Dispute. A dispute is a written statement supported by documentation or other evidence that all or part of an alleged debt is not past due or legally enforceable, that the amount is not the amount currently owed, that the outstanding debt has been satisfied, or, in the case of a debt reduced to judgment, that the judgment has been satisfied or stayed.

(3) Notice. Notice means the information sent to the debtor pursuant to §201.208(d). The date of the notice is the date shown on the notice letter as its date of issuance.

(4) Past due. All judgment debts are past due for purposes of this section. Such debts remain past due until paid in full.

(c) The Commission may refer any past due, legally enforceable non-judgment debt of an individual, organization or entity to Treasury for offset if the Commission's or the referring agency's rights of action accrued more than three months but less than ten years before the offset is made. Debts reduced to judgment may be referred at any time. Debts in amounts lower than $25.00 are not subject to referral.

(d) The Commission will provide the debtor with written notice of its intent to offset before initiating the offset. Notice will be mailed to the debtor at the current address of the debtor, as determined from information obtained from the IRS pursuant to 26 U.S.C. 6103(m)(2), (4), (5) or from information regarding the debt maintained by the Commission. The notice sent to the debtor will state the amount of the debt and inform the debtor that:

(1) The debt is past due;

(2) The Commission intends to refer the debt to Treasury for offset from tax refunds that may be due to the taxpayer;

(3) The Commission intends to provide information concerning the delinquent debt exceeding $100 to a consumer reporting bureau unless such debt has already been disclosed; and

(4) The debtor has 65 calendar days from the date of notice in which to present evidence that all or part of the debt is not past due, that the amount is not the amount currently owed, that the outstanding debt has been satisfied, or, if a judgment debt, that the debt has been satisfied, or stayed, before the debt is reported to a consumer reporting agency, if applicable, and referred to Treasury for offset from tax refunds.

(e) If the debtor neither pays the amount due nor presents evidence that the amount is not past due or is satisfied or stayed, the Commission will report the debt to a consumer reporting agency at the end of the notice period, if applicable, and refer the debt to Treasury for offset from the taxpayer's federal tax refund. The Commission shall certify to Treasury that reasonable efforts have been made by the Commission to obtain payment of such debt.

(f) A debtor may request a review by the Commission if the debtor believes that all or part of the debt is not past due or is not legally enforceable, or, in the case of a judgment debt, that the debt has been stayed or the amount satisfied, as follows:

(1) The debtor must send a written request for review to the Director at the address provided in the notice.

(2) The request must state the amount disputed and the reasons why the debtor believes that the debt is not past due, is not legally enforceable, has been satisfied, or, if a judgment debt, has been satisfied or stayed.

(3) The request must include any documents that the debtor wishes to be considered or state that additional information will be submitted within the time permitted.

(4) If the debtor wishes to inspect records establishing the nature and amount of the debt, the debtor must make a written request to the Director for an opportunity for such an inspection. The office holding the relevant records not exempt from disclosure shall make them available for inspection during normal business hours within one week from the date of receipt of the request.

(5) The request for review and any additional information submitted pursuant to the request must be received by the Director at the address stated in the notice within 65 calendar days of the date of issuance of the notice.

(6) The Commission will review disputes and shall consider its records and any documentation and arguments submitted by the debtor. The Commission's decision to refer to Treasury any disputed portion of the debt shall be made by the Chairman. The Commission shall send a written notice of its decision to the debtor. There is no administrative appeal of this decision.

(7) If the evidence presented by the debtor is considered by a non-Commission agent or other entities or persons acting on the Commission's behalf, the debtor will be accorded at least 30 calendar days from the date the agent or other entity or person determines that all or part of the debt is past-due and legally enforceable to request review by an officer or employee of the Commission of any unresolved dispute.

(8) Any debt that previously has been reviewed pursuant to this section or any other section of this subpart, or that has been reduced to a judgment, may not be disputed except on the grounds of payments made or events occurring subsequent to the previous review or judgment.

(g) The Commission will notify Treasury of any change in the amount due promptly after receipt of payments or notice of other reductions.

(h) In the event that more than one debt is owed, the tax refund offset procedure will be applied in the order in which the debts became past due.



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