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e-CFR data is current as of August 5, 2020

Title 45Subtitle BChapter VIIPart 702 → Subpart B


Title 45: Public Welfare
PART 702—RULES ON HEARINGS, REPORTS, AND MEETINGS OF THE COMMISSION


Subpart B—Meetings


Contents
§702.50   Purpose and scope.
§702.51   Definitions.
§702.52   Open meeting requirements.
§702.53   Closed meetings.
§702.54   Closed meeting procedures.
§702.55   Public announcement of meetings.
§702.56   Records.
§702.57   Administrative review.

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§702.50   Purpose and scope.

This subpart contains the regulations of the United States Commission on Civil Rights implementing sections (a)-(f) of 5 U.S.C. 552b, the “Government in the Sunshine Act.” They are adopted to further the principle that the public is entitled to the fullest practicable information regarding the decision-making processes of the Commission. They open meetings of the Commission to public observation except where the rights of individuals are involved or the ability of the Commission to carry out its responsibilities requires confidentiality.

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§702.51   Definitions.

(a) Commission means the United States Commission on Civil Rights and any subcommittee of the Commission authorized under the United States Commission on Civil Rights Act of 1983, 97 Stat. 1301, as amended by the Civil Rights Commission Amendments Act of 1994, 108 Stat. 4339. The statutes are codified in 42 U.S.C. 1975 through 1975d.

(b) Commissioner means a member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights appointed by the President, the President pro tempore of the Senate, or the Speaker of the House of Representatives, as provided in 42 U.S.C. 1975.

(c) Meeting means the deliberations of at least the number of 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.

(1) The number of Commissioners required to take action on behalf of the Commission is four, except that such number is two when the Commissioners are a subcommittee of the Commission authorized under 42 U.S.C. 1975a(e)(1).

(2) Deliberations among Commissioners regarding the setting of the time, location, or subject matter of a meeting, whether the meeting is open or closed, whether to withhold information discussed at a closed meeting, and any other deliberations required or permitted by 5 U.S.C. 552b (d) and (e) and §702.54 and §702.55 of this subpart, are not meetings for the purposes of this subpart.

(3) The consideration by Commissioners of Commission business that is not discussed through conference calls or a series of two party calls by the number of Commissioners required to take action on behalf of the Commission is not a meeting for the purposes of this subpart.

(d) Public announcement or publicly announce means the use of reasonable methods, such as the posting on the Commission's website or public notice bulletin boards and the issuing of press releases, to communicate information to the public regarding Commission meetings.

(e) Staff Director means the Staff Director of the Commission.

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§702.52   Open meeting requirements.

(a) Every portion of every Commission meeting shall be open to public observation, except as provided in §702.53 of this subpart. Commissioners shall not jointly conduct or dispose of agency business other than in accordance with this subpart.

(b) This subpart gives the public the right to attend and observe Commission open meetings; it confers no right to participate in any way in such meetings.

(c) The Staff Director shall be responsible for making physical arrangements for Commission open meetings that provide ample space, sufficient visibility, and adequate acoustics for public observation.

(d) The presiding Commissioner at an open meeting may exclude persons from a meeting and shall take all steps necessary to preserve order and decorum.

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§702.53   Closed meetings.

(a) The Commission may close a portion or portions of a meeting and withhold information pertaining to such meeting when it determines that the public interest does not require otherwise and when such portion or portions of a meeting or the disclosure of such information is likely to:

(1) Disclose matters that are:

(i) Specifically authorized under criteria established by an Executive Order to be kept secret in the interests of national defense or foreign policy and

(ii) In fact properly classified pursuant to such Executive Order;

(2) Disclose information relating solely to the internal personnel rules and practices of the Commission;

(3) Disclose matters specifically exempted from disclosure by statute (other than 5 U.S.C. 552b), 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 is privileged or confidential;

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

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

(7) Disclose investigatory records compiled for law enforcement purposes, or information that 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 an impartial adjudication,

(iii) Constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy,

(iv) Disclose the identity of a confidential source and, in the case of a record received by the Commission from a criminal law enforcement authority in the course of a criminal investigation or by an agency conducting a lawful national security intelligence investigation, confidential information furnished only by the confidential source,

(v) Disclose investigative techniques and procedures, or

(vi) Endanger the life or physical safety of law enforcement personnel;

(8) Disclose information received by the Commission and contained in or related to examination, operating, or condition reports prepared by, on behalf of, or for the use of an agency responsible for the regulation or supervision of financial institutions;

(9) Disclose information the premature disclosure of that would:

(i) In the case of information received by the Commission from an agency that regulates currencies, securities, commodities, or financial institutions, be likely to:

(A) Lead to significant financial speculation in currencies, securities, or commodities, or

(B) Significantly endanger the stability of any financial institution; or

(ii) Be likely to significantly frustrate implementation of a proposed action, except that this paragraph shall not apply in any instance where the Commission has already disclosed to the public the content or nature of its proposed action or where the Commission is required by law to make such disclosure on its own initiative prior to taking final agency action on such proposal; or

(10) Specifically concern the Commission's issuance of a subpoena or the Commission's participation in a civil action or proceeding, an action in a foreign court or international tribunal, or an arbitration.

(b) [Reserved]

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§702.54   Closed meeting procedures.

(a) A meeting or portion thereof will be closed, and information pertaining to a closed meeting will be withheld, only after four Commissioners when no Commissioner's position is vacant, three Commissioners when there is a vacancy, or two Commissioners on a subcommittee authorized under 42 U.S.C. 1975a(e)(1), vote to take such action.

(b)(1) A separate vote shall be taken with respect to each meeting, a portion or portions of which are proposed to be closed to the public under §702.53, and with respect to any information to be withheld under §702.53.

(2) A single vote may be taken with respect to a series of meetings, a portion or portions of which are proposed to be closed to the public, or with respect to any information concerning such series of meetings, so long as:

(i) Each meeting in such series involves the same particular matters, and

(ii) Is scheduled to be held no more than thirty (30) days after the initial meeting in such series.

(c) The Commission will vote on the question of closing a meeting or portion thereof and withholding information under paragraph (b) of this section if one Commissioner calls for such a vote. The vote of each Commissioner participating in a vote to close a meeting shall be recorded and no proxies shall be allowed.

(1) If such vote is against closing a meeting and withholding information, the Staff Director, within one working day of such vote, shall make publicly available by putting in a place easily accessible to the public a written copy of such vote reflecting the vote of each Commissioner.

(2) If such vote is for closing a meeting and withholding information, the Staff Director, within one working day of such vote, shall make publicly available by putting in a place easily accessible to the public a written copy of such vote reflecting the vote of each Commissioner, and:

(i) A full written explanation of the decision to close the meeting or portions thereof (such explanation will be as detailed as possible without revealing the exempt information);

(ii) A list of all persons other than staff members expected to attend the meeting and their affiliation (the identity of persons expected to attend such meeting will be withheld only if revealing their identity would reveal the exempt information that is the subject of the closed meeting).

(d) Prior to any vote to close a meeting or portion thereof under paragraph (c) of this section, the Commissioners shall obtain from the General Counsel an opinion as to whether the closing of a meeting or portions thereof is in accordance with paragraphs (a)(1) through (10) of §702.53.

(1) For every meeting closed in accordance with paragraphs (a)(1) through (10) of §702.53, the General Counsel shall publicly certify in writing that, in his or her opinion, the meeting may be closed to the public and shall cite each relevant exemptive provision.

(2) A copy of certification by the General Counsel together with a statement from the presiding officer of the closed meeting setting forth the time and location of the meeting and the persons present, shall be retained by the Commission.

(e) For all meetings closed to the public, the Commission shall maintain a complete verbatim transcript or electronic recording adequate to record fully the proceedings of each meeting or portion of a meeting, which sets forth the time and location of the meeting and the persons present. In the case of a meeting or a portion of a meeting closed to the public pursuant to paragraphs (a)(8), (9)(i)(A), or (10) of §702.53, the Commission may retain a set of minutes and such minutes shall fully and clearly describe all matters discussed and 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 roll call vote (reflecting the vote of each member on the question). All documents considered in connection with any action shall be identified in such minutes.

(f) Any person whose interests may be directly affected by a portion of a meeting may request that such portion be closed to the public under §702.53 or that it be open to the public if the Commission has voted to close the meeting pursuant to §702.53(a)(5), (6) or (7). The Commission will vote on the request if one Commissioner asks that a vote be taken. Such requests shall be made to the Staff Director within a reasonable amount of time after the meeting or vote in question is publicly announced.

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§702.55   Public announcement of meetings.

(a) Agenda. The Staff Director shall set as early as possible but in any event at least eight calendar days before a meeting, the time, location, and subject matter for the meeting. Agenda items will be identified in adequate detail to inform the general public of the specific business to be discussed at the meeting.

(b) Notice. The Staff Director, at least eight calendar days before a meeting, shall make public announcement of:

(1) The time of the meeting;

(2) Its location;

(3) Its subject matter;

(4) Whether it is open or closed to the public; and

(5) The name and phone number of a Commission staff member who will respond to requests for information about the meeting.

(c) Changes. (1) The time of day or location of a meeting may be changed following the public announcement required by paragraph (b) of this section, if the Staff Director publicly announces such change at the earliest practicable time subsequent to the decision to change the time of day or location of the meeting.

(2) The date of a meeting may be changed following the public announcement required by paragraph (b) of this section, or a meeting may be scheduled less than eight calendar days in advance, if:

(i) Four Commissioners when no Commissioner's position is vacant, three Commissioners when there is such a vacancy, or two Commissioners on a subcommittee authorized under 42 U.S.C. 1975a(d), determine by recorded vote that Commission business requires such a meeting at an earlier date; and

(ii) The Staff Director, at the earliest practicable time following such vote, makes public announcement of the time, location, and subject matter of such meeting and whether it is open or closed to the public.

(3) The subject matter of a meeting or the determination to open or close a meeting or a portion of a meeting to the public may be changed following the public announcement required by paragraph (b) of this section if:

(i) Four Commissioners when no Commissioner's position is vacant, three Commissioners when there is such a vacancy, or two Commissioners on a subcommittee authorized under 42 U.S.C. 1975a(e)(1) determine by recorded vote that Commission business so requires; and

(ii) The Staff Director publicly announces such change and the vote of each Commissioner upon such change at the earliest practicable time subsequent to the decision to make such change.

(d)(1) Federal Register. Immediately following all public announcements required by paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section, notice of the time, location, and subject matter of a meeting, whether the meeting is open or closed to the public, any change in one of the preceding, and the name and phone number of the official designated by the Commission to respond to requests for information about meeting, shall be submitted for publication in the Federal Register.

(2) Notice of a meeting will be published in the Federal Register even after the meeting that is the subject of the notice has occurred in order to provide a public record of all Commission meetings.

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§702.56   Records.

(a) The Commission shall promptly make available to the public in an easily accessible place at Commission headquarters the following materials:

(1) A copy of the certification by the General Counsel required by §702.54(e)(1).

(2) A copy of all recorded votes required to be taken by these rules.

(3) A copy of all announcements published in the Federal Register pursuant to this subpart.

(4) Transcripts, electronic recordings, and minutes of closed meetings determined not to contain items of discussion or information that may be withheld under §702.53. Copies of such material will be furnished to any person at the actual cost of transcription or duplication.

(b)(1) Requests to review or obtain copies of records compiled under this Act, other than transcripts, electronic recordings, or minutes of a closed meeting, will be processed under the Freedom of Information Act and, where applicable, the Privacy Act regulations of the Commission (parts 704 and 705, respectively, of this title). Nothing in this subpart expands or limits the present rights of any person under the rules in this part with respect to such requests.

(2) Requests to review or obtain copies of transcripts, electronic recordings, or minutes of a closed meeting maintained under §702.54(e) and not released under paragraph (a)(4) of this section shall be directed to the Staff Director who shall respond to such requests within ten (10) working days.

(c) The Commission shall maintain a complete verbatim copy of the transcript, a complete copy of minutes, or a complete electronic recording of each meeting, or portion of a meeting, closed to the public, for a period of two years after such meeting or until one year after the conclusion of any agency proceeding with respect to which the meeting or portion was held, whichever occurs later.

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§702.57   Administrative review.

Any person who believes a Commission action governed by this subpart to be contrary to the provisions of this subpart shall file an objection in writing with the Staff Director specifying the violation and suggesting corrective action. Whenever possible, the Staff Director shall respond within ten (10) working days of the receipt of such objections.

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