(a) Unless otherwise provided by the Commission or the staff pursuant to § 1.1200(a), until the proceeding is no longer subject to administrative reconsideration or review or to judicial review, ex parte presentations (other than ex parte presentations exempt under § 1.1204(a)) to or from Commission decision-making personnel are permissible in the following proceedings, which are referred to as permit-but-disclose proceedings, provided that ex parte presentations to Commission decision-making personnel are disclosed pursuant to paragraph (b) of this section:
In the case of petitions for declaratory ruling that seek Commission preemption of state or local regulatory authority and petitions for relief under 47 U.S.C. 332(c)(7)(B)(v), the petitioner must serve the original petition on any state or local government, the actions of which are specifically cited as a basis for requesting preemption. Service should be made on those bodies within the state or local governments that are legally authorized to accept service of legal documents in a civil context. Such pleadings that are not served will be dismissed without consideration as a defective pleading and treated as a violation of the ex parte rules unless the Commission determines that the matter should be entertained by making it part of the record under § 1.1212(d) and the parties are so informed.
(1) An informal rulemaking proceeding conducted under section 553 of the Administrative Procedure Act other than a proceeding for the allotment of a broadcast channel, upon release of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (see also § 1.1204(b)(2));
(2) A proceeding involving a rule change, policy statement or interpretive rule adopted without a Notice of Proposed Rule Making upon release of the order adopting the rule change, policy statement or interpretive rule;
(3) A declaratory ruling proceeding;
(4) A tariff proceeding which has been set for investigation under section 204 or 205 of the Communications Act (including directly associated waiver requests or requests for special permission) (see also § 1.1204(b)(4));
(5) Unless designated for hearing, a proceeding under section 214(a) of the Communications Act that does not also involve applications under Title III of the Communications Act (see also § 1.1208);
(6) Unless designated for hearing, a proceeding involving an application for a Cable Landing Act license that does not also involve applications under Title III of the Communications Act (see also § 1.1208);
(7) A proceeding involving a request for information filed pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act;
Where the requested information is the subject of a request for confidentiality, the person filing the request for confidentiality shall be deemed a party.
(8) A proceeding before a Joint Board or a proceeding before the Commission involving a recommendation from a Joint Board;
(9) A proceeding conducted pursuant to section 220(b) of the Communications Act for prescription of common carrier depreciation rates upon release of a public notice of specific proposed depreciation rates (see also § 1.1204(b)(4));
(10) A proceeding to prescribe a rate of return for common carriers under section 205 of the Communications Act; and
(11) A cable rate complaint proceeding pursuant to section 623(c) of the Communications Act where the complaint is filed on FCC Form 329.
(13) Petitions for Commission preemption of authority to review interconnection agreements under § 252(e)(5) of the Communications Act and petitions for preemption under § 253 of the Communications Act.
(b) The following disclosure requirements apply to ex parte presentations in permit but disclose proceedings:
(1) Oral presentations. A person who makes an oral ex parte presentation subject to this section shall submit to the Commission's Secretary a memorandum that lists all persons attending or otherwise participating in the meeting at which the ex parte presentation was made, and summarizes all data presented and arguments made during the oral ex parte presentation. Memoranda must contain a summary of the substance of the ex parte presentation and not merely a listing of the subjects discussed. More than a one or two sentence description of the views and arguments presented is generally required. If the oral ex parte presentation consisted in whole or in part of the presentation of data or arguments already reflected in the presenter's written comments, memoranda or other filings in the proceeding, the presenter may provide citations to such data or arguments in his or her prior comments, memoranda, or other filings (specifying the relevant page and/or paragraph numbers where such data or arguments can be found) in lieu of summarizing them in the memorandum.
Where, for example, presentations occur in the form of discussion at a widely attended meeting, preparation of a memorandum as specified in the rule might be cumbersome. Under these circumstances, the rule may be satisfied by submitting a transcript or recording of the discussion as an alternative to a memorandum. Likewise, Commission staff in its discretion may file an ex parte summary of a multiparty meeting as an alternative to having each participant file a summary.
(2) Written and oral presentations. A written ex parte presentation and a memorandum summarizing an oral ex parte presentation (and cover letter, if any) shall clearly identify the proceeding to which it relates, including the docket number, if any, and must be labeled as an ex parte presentation. Documents shown or given to Commission staff during ex parte meetings are deemed to be written ex parte presentations and, accordingly, must be filed consistent with the provisions of this section. Consistent with the requirements of § 1.49 paragraphs (a) and (f), additional copies of all written ex parte presentations and notices of oral ex parte presentations, and any replies thereto, shall be mailed, e-mailed or transmitted by facsimile to the Commissioners or Commission employees who attended or otherwise participated in the presentation.
(i) In proceedings governed by § 1.49(f) or for which the Commission has made available a method of electronic filing, written ex parte presentations and memoranda summarizing oral ex parte presentations, and all attachments thereto, shall, when feasible, be filed through the electronic comment filing system available for that proceeding, and shall be filed in a native format (e.g., .doc, .xml, .ppt, searchable .pdf). If electronic filing would present an undue hardship, the person filing must request an exemption from the electronic filing requirement, stating clearly the nature of the hardship, and submitting an original and one copy of the written ex parte presentation or memorandum summarizing an oral ex parte presentation to the Secretary, with a copy by mail or by electronic mail to the Commissioners or Commission employees who attended or otherwise participated in the presentation.
(ii) Confidential Information. In cases where a filer believes that one or more of the documents or portions thereof to be filed should be withheld from public inspection, the filer should file electronically a request that the information not be routinely made available for public inspection pursuant to § 0.459 of this chapter. Accompanying any such request, the filer shall include in paper form a copy of the document(s) containing the confidential information, and also shall file electronically a copy of the same document(s) with the confidential information redacted. The redacted document shall be machine-readable whenever technically possible. Where the document to be filed electronically contains metadata that is confidential or protected from disclosure by a legal privilege (including, for example, the attorney-client privilege), the filer may remove such metadata from the document before filing it electronically.
(iii) Filing dates outside the Sunshine period. Except as otherwise provided in paragraphs (b)(2)(iv) and (v) of this section, all written ex parte presentations and all summaries of oral ex parte presentations must be filed no later than two business days after the presentation. As set forth in § 1.4(e)(2), a “business day” shall not include a holiday (as defined in § 1.4(e)(1)). In addition, for purposes of computing time limits under the rules governing ex parte presentations, a “business day” shall include the full calendar day (i.e., from 12:00 a.m. Eastern Time until 11:59:59 p.m. Eastern Time).
On Tuesday a party makes an ex parte presentation in a permit-but-disclose proceeding to a Commissioner. The second business day following the ex parte presentation is the following Thursday (absent an intervening holiday). The presenting party must file its ex parte notice before the end of the day (11:59:59 p.m.) on Thursday. Similarly, if an ex parte presentation is made on Friday, the second business day ordinarily would be the following Tuesday, and the ex parte notice must be filed no later than 11:59:59 p.m. on that Tuesday.
(iv) Filing dates for presentations made on the day that the Sunshine notice is released. For presentations made on the day the Sunshine notice is released, any written ex parte presentation or memorandum summarizing an oral ex parte presentation required pursuant to § 1.1206 or § 1.1208 must be submitted no later than the end of the next business day. Written replies, if any, shall be filed no later than two business days following the presentation, and shall be limited in scope to the specific issues and information presented in the ex parte filing to which they respond.
On Tuesday, a party makes an ex parte presentation in a permit-but-disclose proceeding to a Commissioner. That same day, the Commission's Secretary releases the Sunshine Agenda for the next Commission meeting and that proceeding appears on the Agenda. The Sunshine period begins as of Wednesday, and therefore the presenting party must file its ex parte notice by the end of the day (11:59:59 p.m.) on Wednesday. A reply would be due by the end of the day (11:59:59 p.m.) on Thursday.
(v) Filing dates during the Sunshine Period. If an ex parte presentation is made pursuant to an exception to the Sunshine period prohibition, the written ex parte presentation or memorandum summarizing an oral ex parte presentation required under this paragraph shall be submitted by the end of the same business day on which the ex parte presentation was made. The memorandum shall identify plainly on the first page the specific exemption in § 1.1203(a) on which the presenter relies, and shall also state the date and time at which any oral ex parte presentation was made. Written replies to permissible ex parte presentations made pursuant to an exception to the Sunshine period prohibition, if any, shall be filed no later than the next business day following the presentation, and shall be limited in scope to the specific issues and information presented in the ex parte filing to which they respond.
On Tuesday, the Commission's Secretary releases the Sunshine Agenda for the next Commission meeting, which triggers the beginning of the Sunshine period on Wednesday. On Thursday, a party makes an ex parte presentation to a Commissioner on a proceeding that appears on the Sunshine Agenda. That party must file an ex parte notice by the end of the day (11:59:59 p.m.) on Thursday. A reply would be due by the end of the day (11:59:59 p.m.) on Friday.
(vi) If a notice of an oral ex parte presentation is incomplete or inaccurate, staff may request the filer to correct any inaccuracies or missing information. Failure by the filer to file a corrected memorandum in a timely fashion as set forth in paragraph (b) of this section, or any other evidence of substantial or repeated violations of the rules on ex parte contacts, should be reported to the General Counsel.
(3) Notwithstanding paragraphs (b)(1) and (2) of this section, permit-but-disclose proceedings involving presentations made by members of Congress or their staffs or by an agency or branch of the Federal Government or its staff shall be treated as ex parte presentations only if the presentations are of substantial significance and clearly intended to affect the ultimate decision. The Commission staff shall prepare written summaries of any such oral presentations and place them in the record in accordance with paragraph (b) of this section and also place any written presentations in the record in accordance with that paragraph.
(4) Notice of ex parte presentations. The Commission's Secretary shall issue a public notice listing any written ex parte presentations or written summaries of oral ex parte presentations received by his or her office relating to any permit-but-disclose proceeding. Such public notices generally should be released at least twice per week.
Interested persons should be aware that some ex parte filings, for example, those not filed in accordance with the requirements of this paragraph (b), might not be placed on the referenced public notice. All ex parte presentations and memoranda filed under this section will be available for public inspection in the public file or record of the proceeding, and parties wishing to ensure awareness of all filings should review the public file or record.