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e-CFR data is current as of September 24, 2020

Title 47Chapter ISubchapter APart 0 → Subpart F


Title 47: Telecommunication
PART 0—COMMISSION ORGANIZATION


Subpart F—Meeting Procedures


Contents
§0.601   Definitions.
§0.602   Open meetings.
§0.603   Bases for closing a meeting to the public.
§0.605   Procedures for announcing meetings.
§0.606   Procedures for closing a meeting to the public.
§0.607   Transcript, recording or minutes; availability to the public.

Authority: Secs. 4, 303, 48 Stat., as amended, 1066, 1082; (47 U.S.C. 154, 303).

Source: 42 FR 12867, Mar. 7, 1977, unless otherwise noted.

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§0.601   Definitions.

For purposes of this section:

(a) The term agency means:

(1) The Commission,

(2) A board of Commissioners (see §0.212),

(3) The Telecommunications Committee (see §0.215), and

(4) Any other group of Commissioners hereafter established by the Commission on a continuing or ad hoc basis and authorized to act on behalf of the Commission.

(b) The term meeting means the deliberations among a quorum of the Commission, a Board of Commissioners, or a quorum of a committee of Commissioners, where such deliberations determine or result in the joint conduct or disposition of official agency business, except that the term does not include deliberations to decide whether to announce a meeting with less than seven days notice, or whether a meeting should be open or closed. (The term includes conference telephone calls, but does not include the separate consideration of Commission business by Commissioners.) For purposes of this subpart each item on the agenda of a meeting is considered a meeting or a portion of a meeting.

[42 FR 12867, Mar. 7, 1977, as amended at 48 FR 56391, Dec. 21, 1983; 64 FR 2149, Jan. 13, 1999]

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§0.602   Open meetings.

(a) All meetings shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions of this subpart.

(b) Except as provided in §0.603, every portion of every meeting shall be open to public observation. Observation does not include participation or disruptive conduct by observers, and persons engaging in such conduct will be removed from the meeting.

(c) The right of the public to observe open meetings does not alter those rules in this chapter which relate to the filing of motions, pleadings, or other documents. Unless such pleadings conform to the other procedural requirements of this chapter, pleadings based upon comments or discussions at open meetings, as a general rule, will not become part of the official record, will receive no consideration, and no further action by the Commission will be taken thereon.

(d) Deliberations, discussions, comments or observations made during the course of open meetings do not themselves constitute action of the Commission. Comments made by Commissioners may be advanced for purposes of discussion and may not reflect the ultimate position of a Commissioner.

[42 FR 12867, Mar. 7, 1977, as amended at 45 FR 63491, Sept. 25, 1980]

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§0.603   Bases for closing a meeting to the public.

Except where the agency finds that the public interest requires otherwise, an agency or advisory committee meeting may be closed to the public, and information pertaining to such meetings which would otherwise be disclosed to the public under §0.605 may be withheld, if the agency determines that an open meeting or the disclosure of such information is likely to:

(a) Disclose matters that: (1) Are specifically authorized under criteria established by executive order to be kept secret in the interest of national defense or foreign policy, and (2) are in fact properly classified pursuant to such executive order (see §0.457(a));

(b) Relate solely to the internal personnel rules and practices of an agency (see §0.457(b));

(c) Disclose matters specifically exempted from disclosure, by statute (other than the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552). Provided, That such statute (1) requires that the matters be withheld from the public in such a manner as to leave no discretion on the issue, or (2) establishes particular criteria for withholding or refers to particular types of matters to be withheld (see §0.457(c));

(d) Disclose trade secrets and commercial or financial information obtained from a person and privileged or confidential (see §0.457(d));

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

(f) Disclose information of a personal nature where disclosure would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy (see §0.457(f));

(g) 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 (1) interfere with enforcement proceedings, (2) deprive a person of a right to a fair trial or an impartial adjudication, (3) constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy, (4) 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, (5) disclose investigative techniques and procedures, or (6) endanger the life or physical safety of law enforcement personnel;

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

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

(j) Specifically concern the agency's issuance of a subpoena, or the agency's participation in a civil action or proceeding, an action in a foreign court or international tribunal, or an arbitration, or the initiation, conduct, or disposition by the agency of a particular case of formal agency adjudication pursuant to the procedures specified in 5 U.S.C. 554 or otherwise involving a determination on the record after opportunity for hearing.

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§0.605   Procedures for announcing meetings.

(a) Notice of all open and closed meetings will be given.

(b) The meeting notice will be submitted for publication in the Federal Register on or before the date on which the announcement is made. Copies will be available in the Press and News Media Division on the day the announcement is made. Copies will also be attached to “FCC Actions Alert”, which is mailed to certain individuals and groups who have demonstrated an interest in representing the public in Commission proceedings.

(c)(1) If the agency staff determines that a meeting should be open to the public, it will, at least one week prior to the meeting, announce in writing the time, place and subject matter of the meeting, that it is to be open to the public, and the name and phone number of the Chief, Press and News Media Division, who has been designated to respond to requests for information about the meeting.

(2) If the staff determines that a meeting should be closed to the public, it will refer the matter to the General Counsel, who will certify that there is (or is not) a legal basis for closing the meeting to the public. Following action by the General Counsel, the matter may be referred to the agency for a vote on the question of closing the meeting (See §0.606).

(d)(1) If the question of closing a meeting is considered by the agency but no vote is taken, the agency will, at least one week prior to the meeting, announce in writing the time, place and subject matter of the meeting, that it is to be open to the public, and the name and phone number of the Chief, Press and News Media Division.

(2) If a vote is taken, the agency will, in the same announcement and within one day after the vote, make public the vote of each participating Commissioner.

(3) If the vote is to close the meeting, the agency will also, in that announcement, set out a full written explanation of its action, including the applicable provision(s) of §0.603, and a list of persons expected to attend the meeting, including Commission personnel, together with their affiliations. The Commissioners, their assistants, the General Counsel, the Executive Director, the Chief, Press and News Media Division, and the Secretary are expected to attend all Commission meetings. The appropriate Bureau or Office Chief and Division Chief are expected to attend meetings which relate to their responsibilities (see subpart A of this part).

(4) If a meeting is closed, the agency may omit from the announcement information usually included, if and to the extent that it finds that disclosure would be likely to have any of the consequences listed in §0.603.

(e) If the prompt and orderly conduct of agency business requires that a meeting be held less than one week after the announcement of the meeting, or before that announcement, the agency will issue the announcement at the earliest practicable time. In addition to other information, the announcement will contain the vote of each member of the agency who participated in the decision to give less than seven days notice, and the particular reason for that decision.

(f) If, after announcement of a meeting, the time or place of the meeting is changed or the meeting is cancelled, the agency will announce the change at the earliest practicable time.

(g) If the subject matter or the determination to open or close a meeting is changed, the agency will publicly announce the change and the vote of each member at the earliest practicable time. The announcement will contain a finding that agency business requires the change and that no earlier announcement of the change was possible.

(47 U.S.C. 154, 155, 303)

[42 FR 12867, Mar. 7, 1977, as amended at 44 FR 12425, Mar. 7, 1979; 44 FR 70472, Dec. 7, 1979; 64 FR 2150, Jan. 13, 1999]

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§0.606   Procedures for closing a meeting to the public.

(a) For every meeting closed under §0.603, the General Counsel will certify that there is a legal basis for closing the meeting to the public and will state each relevant provision of §0.603. The staff of the agency will refer the matter to the General Counsel for certification before it is referred to the agency for a vote on closing the meeting. Certifications will be retained in a public file in the Office of the Secretary.

(b) The agency will vote on the question of closing a meeting.

(1) If a member of the agency requests that a vote be taken;

(2) If the staff recommends that a meeting be closed and one member of the agency requests that a vote be taken; or

(3) If a person whose interests may be directly affected by a meeting requests the agency to close the meeting for any of the reasons listed in §0.603 (e), (f) or (g), or if any person requests that a closed meeting be opened, and a member of the agency requests that a vote be taken. (Such requests may be filed with the Secretary at any time prior to the meeting and should briefly state the reason(s) for opening or closing the meeting. To assure that they reach the Commission for consideration prior to the meeting, they should be submitted at the earliest practicable time and should be called specifically to the attention of the Secretary—in person or by telephone. It will be helpful if copies of the request are furnished to the members of the agency and the General Counsel. The filing of a request shall not stay the holding of a meeting.)

(c) A meeting will be closed to the public pursuant to §0.603 only by vote of a majority of the entire membership of the agency. The vote of each participating Commissioner will be recorded. No Commissioner may vote by proxy.

(d) A separate vote will be taken before any meeting is closed to the public and before any information is withheld from the meeting notice. However, a single vote may be taken with respect to a series of meetings proposed to be closed to the public, and with respect to information concerning such series of meetings (a vote on each question, if both are presented), if each meeting involves the same particular matters and is scheduled to be held no later than 30 days after the first meeting in the series.

(e) Less than seven days notice may be given only by majority vote of the entire membership of the agency.

(f) The subject matter or the determination to open or close a meeting will be changed only if a majority of the entire membership of the agency determines by recorded vote that agency business so requires and that no earlier announcement of the change was possible.

[42 FR 12867, Mar. 7, 1977, as amended at 71 FR 15618, Mar. 29, 2006]

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§0.607   Transcript, recording or minutes; availability to the public.

(a) The agency will maintain a complete transcript or electronic recording adequate to record fully the proceedings of each meeting closed to the public, except that in a meeting closed pursuant to paragraph (h) or (j) of §0.603, the agency may maintain minutes in lieu of a transcript or recording. Such 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 roll call vote. All documents considered in connection with any item will be identified in the minutes.

(b) A public file of transcripts (or minutes) of closed meetings will be maintained in the Office of the Secretary. The transcript of a meeting will be placed in that file if, after the meeting, the responsible Bureau or Office Chief determines, in light of the discussion, that the meeting could have been open to the public or that the reason for withholding information concerning the matters discussed no longer pertains. Transcripts placed in the public file are available for inspection under §0.460. Other transcripts, and separable portions thereof which do not contain information properly withheld under §0.603, may be made available for inspection under §0.461. When a transcript, or portion thereof, is made available for inspection under §0.461, it will be placed in the public file. Copies of transcripts may be obtained from the duplicating contractor pursuant to §0.465(a). There will be no search or transcription fee. Requests for inspection or copies of transcripts shall specify the date of the meeting, the name of the agenda and the agenda item number; this information will appear in the notice of the meeting. Pursuant to §0.465(c)(3), the Commission will make copies of the transcript available directly, free of charge, if it serves the financial or regulatory interests of the United States.

(c) The Commission will maintain a copy of the transcript or minutes for a period of at least two years after the meeting, or until at least one year after conclusion of the proceeding to which the meeting relates, whichever occurs later.

(d) The Commissioner presiding at the meeting will prepare a statement setting out the time and place of the meeting, the names of persons other than Commission personnel who were present at the meeting, and the names of Commission personnel who participated in the discussion. These statements will be retained in a public file in the Minute and Rules Branch, Office of the Secretary.

[42 FR 12867, Mar. 7, 1977, as amended at 71 FR 15618, Mar. 29, 2006]

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