(a) Commission personnel who believe that an oral presentation which is being made to them or is about to be made to them is prohibited shall promptly advise the person initiating the presentation that it is prohibited and shall terminate the discussion.
(b) Commission personnel who receive oral ex parte presentations which they believe are prohibited shall forward to the Office of General Counsel a statement containing the following information:
(1) The name of the proceeding;
(2) The name and address of the person making the presentation and that person's relationship (if any) to the parties to the proceeding;
(3) The date and time of the presentation, its duration, and the circumstances under which it was made;
(4) A full summary of the substance of the presentation;
(5) Whether the person making the presentation persisted in doing so after being advised that the presentation was prohibited; and
(6) The date and time that the statement was prepared.
(c) Commission personnel who receive written ex parte presentations which they believe are prohibited shall forward them to the Office of General Counsel. If the circumstances in which the presentation was made are not apparent from the presentation itself, a statement describing those circumstances shall be submitted to the Office of General Counsel with the presentation.
(d) Prohibited written ex parte presentations and all documentation relating to prohibited written and oral ex parte presentations shall be placed in a public file which shall be associated with but not made part of the record of the proceeding to which the presentations pertain. Such materials may be considered in determining the merits of a restricted proceeding only if they are made part of the record and the parties are so informed.
(e) If the General Counsel determines that an ex parte presentation or presentation during the Sunshine period is prohibited by this subpart, he or she shall notify the parties to the proceeding that a prohibited presentation has occurred and shall serve on the parties copies of the presentation (if written) and any statements describing the circumstances of the presentation. Service by the General Counsel shall not be deemed to cure any violation of the rules against prohibited ex parte presentations.
(f) If the General Counsel determines that service on the parties would be unduly burdensome because the parties to the proceeding are numerous, he or she may issue a public notice in lieu of service. The public notice shall state that a prohibited presentation has been made and may also state that the presentation and related materials are available for public inspection.
(g) The General Counsel shall forward a copy of any statement describing the circumstances in which the prohibited ex parte presentation was made to the person who made the presentation. Within ten days thereafter, the person who made the presentation may file with the General Counsel a sworn declaration regarding the presentation and the circumstances in which it was made. The General Counsel may serve copies of the sworn declaration on the parties to the proceeding.
(h) Where a restricted proceeding precipitates a substantial amount of correspondence from the general public, the procedures in paragraphs (c) through (g) of this section will not be followed with respect to such correspondence. The correspondence will be placed in a public file and be made available for public inspection.
[62 FR 15857, Apr. 3, 1997]