(a) In addition to public hearings and proceedings established under this part and other sections of this chapter, meetings may be held and correspondence may be exchanged between representatives of FDA and an interested person outside FDA on a matter within the jurisdiction of the laws administered by the Commissioner. Action on meetings and correspondence does not constitute final administrative action subject to judicial review under § 10.45.
(b) The Commissioner may conclude that it would be in the public interest to hold an open public meeting to discuss a matter (or class of matters) pending before FDA, in which any interested person may participate.
(1) The Commissioner shall inform the public of the time and place of the meeting and of the matters to be discussed.
(2) The meeting will be informal, i.e., any interested person may attend and participate in the discussion without prior notice to the agency unless the notice of the meeting specifies otherwise.
(c) Every person outside the Federal Government may request a private meeting with a representative of FDA in agency offices to discuss a matter. FDA will make reasonable efforts to accommodate such requests.
(1) The person requesting a meeting may be accompanied by a reasonable number of employees, consultants, or other persons with whom there is a commercial arrangement within the meaning of § 20.81(a) of this chapter. Neither FDA nor any other person may require the attendance of a person who is not an employee of the executive branch of the Federal Government without the agreement of the person requesting the meeting. Any person may attend by mutual consent of the person requesting the meeting and FDA.
(2) FDA will determine which representatives of the agency will attend the meeting. The person requesting the meeting may request, but not require or preclude, the attendance of a specific FDA employee.
(3) A person who wishes to attend a private meeting, but who is not invited to attend either by the person requesting the meeting or by FDA, or who otherwise cannot attend the meeting, may request a separate meeting with FDA to discuss the same matter or an additional matter.
(d) FDA employees have a responsibility to meet with all segments of the public to promote the objectives of the laws administered by the agency. In pursuing this responsibility, the following general policy applies where agency employees are invited by persons outside the Federal Government to attend or participate in meetings outside agency offices as representatives of the agency.
(1) A person outside the executive branch may invite an agency representative to attend or participate in a meeting outside agency offices. The agency representative is not obligated to attend or participate, but may do so where it is in the public interest and will promote the objectives of the act.
(2) The agency representative may request that the meeting be open if that would be in the public interest. The agency representative may decline to participate in a meeting held as a private meeting if that will best serve the public interest.
(3) An agency representative may not knowingly participate in a meeting that is closed on the basis of gender, race, or religion.
(e) An official transcript, recording, or memorandum summarizing the substance of any meeting described in this section will be prepared by a representative of FDA when the agency determines that such documentation will be useful.
(f) FDA promptly will file in the appropriate administrative file memoranda of meetings prepared by FDA representatives and all correspondence, including any written summary of a meeting from a participant, that relate to a matter pending before the agency.
(g) Representatives of FDA may initiate a meeting or correspondence on any matter concerning the laws administered by the Commissioner. Unless otherwise required by law, meetings may be public or private at FDA's discretion.
(h) A meeting of an advisory committee is subject to the requirements of part 14 of this chapter.
[66 FR 6468, Jan. 22, 2001]