Administrative Law - CFR - 28 CFR 16.203: Closed meetings-Formal procedure.

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28 CFR 16.203: Closed meetings--Formal procedure.


The Commission, by majority vote, may close to public observation any meeting or portion thereof, and withhold from the public announcement concerning such meeting any information, if public observation or the furnishing of such information is likely to:

            (1) Disclose matters:

                        (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) Relate solely to the internal personnel rules and practices of the Commission or any agency of the Government of the United States;


            (3) Disclose matters specifically exempted from disclosure by statute (other than 5 U.S.C. 552, or the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure): Provided, that such statute or rule (i) requires that the matters be withheld 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, including exempted material under the Privacy Act of 1974 or the Commission's Alternate Means of Access under the Privacy Act of 1974, as set forth at 28 CFR 16.85;


            (4) Disclose a trade secret or commercial or financial information obtained from any person, corporation, business, labor or pension organization, which is privileged or obtained upon a promise of confidentiality, including information concerning the financial condition or funding of labor or pension organizations, or the financial condition of any individual, in conjunction with applications for exemption under 29 U.S.C. 504 and 1111, and information concerning income, assets and liabilities of inmates, and persons on supervision;

            (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 an investigatory record compiled for law enforcement purposes, or information derived from such a record, which describes the criminal history or associations of any person under the Commission's jurisdiction or which describes the involvement of any person in the commission of a crime, 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 trail 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 compiled by a criminal law enforcement authority in the course of a criminal investigation, or 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, the premature disclosure of which would be likely to significantly frustrate implementation of proposed Commission action except where

                        (i) The Commission has already publicly disclosed the content or nature of its proposed action or

                        (ii) The Commission is required by law to make such disclosure on its own initiative prior to taking final Commission action on such proposal;

            (9) Specifically concern the Commission's issuance of subpoena or participation in a civil action or proceeding; or

            (10) Specifically concern the initiation, conduct, or disposition of a particular case of formal adjudication pursuant to the procedures in 5 U.S.C. 554, or of any case involving a determination on the record after opportunity for a hearing. Included under the above terms are:

                        (i) Record review hearings following opportunity for an in-person hearing pursuant to the procedures of 28 CFR 4.1 through 4.17 and 28 CFR 4a.1 through 4a.17 (governing applications for certificates of exemption under the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act of 1959 and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974), and

                        (ii) The initiation, conduct, or disposition by the Commission of any matter pursuant to the procedures of 28 CFR 2.1 through 2.58 (parole, release, supervision, and recommitment of prisoners, youth offenders, and juvenile delinquents).

(b) Public interest provision.

Notwithstanding the exemptions at paragraphs (a)(1) through (a)(10) of this section, the Commission may conduct a meeting or portion of a meeting in public when the Commission determines, in its discretion, that the public interest in an open meeting clearly outweighs the need for confidentiality.

(c) Nonpublic matter in announcements.

The Commission may delete from any announcement or notice required in these regulations information the disclosure of which would be likely to have any of the consequences described in paragraphs (a)(1) through (a)(10) of this section, including the name of any individual considered by the Commission in any case of formal or informal adjudication.

(d) Voting and certification.

            (1) A separate recorded vote of the Commission shall be taken with respect to each meeting or portion thereof which is proposed to be closed, and with respect to any information which is proposed to be withheld pursuant to this section. Voting by proxy shall not be permitted. In the alternative, the Commission may, by a single majority vote, close to public observation a series of meetings, or portion(s) thereof or withhold information concerning such series of meetings, provided that:

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

                        (ii) Each meeting is scheduled to be held no more than thirty days after the initial meeting in the series.

            (2) Upon the request of any Commissioner, the Commission shall make a determination as to closure pursuant to this subsection if any person whose interests may be directly affected by a portion of a meeting requests the Commission to close such portion or portions to the public observation for any of the grounds specified in paragraph (a) (5), (6) or (7) of this section.

            (3) The determination to close any meeting to public observation pursuant to this section shall be made at least one week prior to the meeting or the first of a series of meetings as the case may be. If a majority of the Commissioners determines by recorded vote that agency business requires the meeting to take place at any earlier date, the closure determination and announcement thereof shall be made at the earliest practicable time. Within one day of any vote taken on whether to close a meeting under this section, the Commission shall make available to the public a written record reflecting the vote of each Commissioner on the question, including a full written explanation of its action in closing the meeting, portion(s) thereof, or series of meetings, together with a list of all persons expected to attend the meeting(s) or portion(s) thereof and their affiliation, subject to the provisions of paragraph (c) of this section.

            (4) For every meeting or series of meetings closed pursuant to this section, the General Counsel of the Parole Commission shall publicly certify that, in Counsel's opinion, the meeting may be closed to the public and shall state each relevant exemptive provision.