2000 - Rules and Regulations
PART 311RULES GOVERNING PUBLIC OBSERVATION OF MEETINGS OF THE CORPORATION'S BOARD OF DIRECTORS
§ 311.1 Purpose.
This part implements the policy of the "Government in the Sunshine Act", section 552b of title 5, United States Code, which is to provide the public with as much information as possible regarding the decision-making process of certain Federal agencies, including the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, while preserving the rights of individuals and the ability of the agency to carry out its responsibilities.
§ 311.2 Definitions.
For purposes of this part--
(a) Board means Board of Directors of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and includes any subdivision of the Board authorized to act on behalf of the Corporation.
(b) "Meeting" means the deliberations (including those conducted by conference telephone call, or by any other method) of at least three members where such deliberations determine or result in the joint conduct or disposition of agency business but does not include:
(1) Deliberations to determine whether meetings will be open or closed or whether information pertaining to closed meetings will be withheld;
(2) Informal background discussions among Board members and staff which clarify issues and expose varying views;
(3) Decision-making by circulating written material to individual Board members;
(4) Sessions with individuals from outside the Corporation where Board members listen to a presentation and may elicit additional information.
(c) "Member" means a member of the Board.
(d) "Open to public observation" and "open to the public" mean that individuals may witness the meeting but not participate in the deliberations. The meeting may be recorded, photographed, or otherwise reproduced if the reproduction does not disturb the meeting.
(e) "Public announcement" and "publicly announce" mean making reasonable effort under the particular circumstances of each case to fully inform the public. This may include posting notice on the Corporation's public notice bulletin board maintained in the lobby of its offices located at 550 17th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20429, issuing a press release and employing other methods of notification that may be desirable in a particular situation.
[Codified to 12 C.F.R. § 311.2]
§ 311.3 Meetings.
(a) Open meetings. Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, every portion of every meeting of the Corporation's Board will be open to public observation. Board members will not jointly conduct or dispose of Corporation business other than in accordance with this part.
(b) When meetings may be closed and announcements and disclosures withheld. Except where the Board finds that the public interest requires otherwise, a meeting or portion thereof may be closed, and announcements and disclosure pertaining thereto may be withheld when the Board determines that such meeting or portion of the meeting or the disclosure of such information is likely to--
(1) Disclose matters that are (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 Corporation;
(3) Disclose matters specifically exempted from disclosure by statute (other than the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552): Provided, That such statute (i) requires that the matters be withheld from the public in such a manner as to leave no discretion on the issue, or (ii) establishes particular types of matters to be withheld;
(4) Disclose trade secrets and commercial or financial information obtained from a person and privileged or confidential;
(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 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 (i) interfere with enforcement proceedings, (ii) deprive a person of a right to a fair trial or an impartial adjudication, (iii) constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy, (iv) disclose the identity of a confidential source, (v) disclose investigative techniques and procedures, or (vi) endanger the life or physical safety of law enforcement personnel;
(8) Disclose information contained in or related to examination, operating, or condition reports prepared by, on behalf of, or for the use of the Corporation or any other agency responsible for the supervision of financial institutions;
(9) Disclose information the premature disclosure of which would be likely to:
(i)(A) Lead to significant financial speculation in currencies, securities, or commodities, or (B) significantly endanger the stability of any financial institution; or
(ii) Significantly frustrate implementation of a proposed Corporation action, except that this subdivision (ii) shall not apply in any instance where the Corporation has already disclosed to the public the content or nature of its proposed action, or where the Corporation is required by law to make such disclosure on its own initiative prior to taking final action on such proposal; or
(10) Specifically concern the Corporation's issuance of a subpoena, or the Corporation'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 Corporation of a particular case of formal agency adjudication pursuant to the procedures in 5 U.S.C. 554 or otherwise involving a determination on the record after opportunity for a hearing.
[Codified to 12 C.F.R. § 311.3]
§ 311.4 Procedure for announcing meetings.
(a) Scope. Except to the extent that such announcements are exempt from disclosure under § 311.3(b), announcements relating to open meetings, and meetings closed under the regular closing procedures of § 311.5, will be made in the manner set forth in this section.
(b) Time and content of announcement. The Corporation will make public announcement at least seven days before the meeting of the time, place, and subject matter of the meeting, whether it is to be open or closed to the public, and the name and telephone number of the official designated by the Corporation to respond to requests for information about the meeting. This announcement will be made unless a majority of the Board determines by a recorded vote that Corporation business requires that a meeting be called on lesser notice. In such cases, the Corporation will make public announcement of the time, place, and subject matter of the meeting, and whether it is open or closed to the public, at the earliest practicable time, which may be later than the commencement of the meeting.
(c) Changing time or place of meeting. The time or place of a meeting may be changed following the public announcement required by paragraph (b) of this section only if the Corporation publicly announces the change at the earliest practicable time, which may be later than the commencement of the meeting.
(d) Changing subject matter or nature of meeting. The subject matter of a meeting, or the determination to open or close a meeting or a portion of a meeting, may be changed following the public announcement only if:
(1) A majority of the entire Board determines by recorded vote that agency business so requires and that no earlier announcement of the change was possible; and,
(2) The Corporation publicly announces the change and the vote of each member upon such change at the earliest practicable time, which may be later than the commencement of the meeting.
(e) Publication of announcements in Federal Register. Immediately following each public announcement under this section, such announcement will be submitted for publication in the Federal Register by the Executive Secretary.
[Codified to 12 C.F.R. § 311.4]
§ 311.5 Regular procedure for closing meetings.
(a) Scope. Unless § 311.6 is applicable, the procedures for closing meetings will be those set forth in this section.
(b) Procedure. (1) A decision to close a meeting or portion of a meeting will be taken only when a majority of the entire Board votes to take such action. In deciding whether to close a meeting or portion of a meeting, the Board will consider whether the public interest requires an open meeting. A separate vote of the Board will be taken with respect to each meeting which is proposed to be closed in whole or in part to the public. A single vote may be taken with respect to a series of meetings which are proposed to be closed in whole or in part to the public, or with respect to any information concerning such series of meetings, so long as each meeting in the series involves the same particular matters and is scheduled to be held no more than thirty days after the initial meeting in the series. The vote of each Board member will be recorded and no proxies will be allowed.
(2) Any individual whose interests may be directly affected may request that the Corporation close any portion of a meeting for any of the reasons referred to in subparagraphs (5), (6), or (7) of § 311.3(b). Requests should be directed to the Executive Secretary, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, 550 17th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20429. After receiving notice that an individual desires a portion of a meeting to be closed, the Board, upon request of any one of its members, will vote by recorded vote whether to close the relevant portion of the meeting. This procedure will apply even if the individual's request is made subsequent to the announcement of a decision to hold an open meeting.
(3) The Corporation's General Counsel will make the public certification required by section 311.7.
(4) Within one day after any vote taken pursuant to paragraphs (b)(1) or (2) of this section, the Corporation will make publicly available a written copy of the vote, reflecting the vote of each Board member. Except to the extent that such information is exempt from disclosure, if a meeting or portion of a meeting is to be closed to the public, the Corporation will make publicly available within one day after the required vote a full written explanation of its action, together with a list of all persons expected to attend the meeting and their affiliation.
(5) The Corporation will publicly announce the time, place, and subject matter of the meeting, with determinations as to open and closed portions, in the manner and within the time limits prescribed in section 311.4.
[Codified to 12 C.F.R. § 311.5]
§ 311.6 Expedited procedure for announcing and closing certain meetings.
(a) Scope. Since a majority of its meetings may properly be closed pursuant to paragraphs (4), (8), (9)(i), or (10) of § 311.3(b), subsection (d)(4) of the Government in the Sunshine Act (5 U.S.C. 552b) allows the Corporation to use expedited procedures in closing meetings under these four subparagraphs. Absent a compelling public interest to the contrary, meetings or portions of meetings that can be expected to be closed using these procedures include, but are not limited to: Administrative enforcement proceedings under section 8 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act (12 U.S.C. 1818); appointment of the Corporation as conservator of a depository institution, or as receiver, liquidator or liquidating agent of a closed depository institution or a depository institution in danger of closing; and certain management and liquidation activities pursuant to such appointments; possible financial assistance by the Corporation under section 13 of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act (12 U.S.C. 1823); certain depository institution applications including applications to establish or move branches, applications to merge, and applications for insurance; and investigatory activity under section 10(c) of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act (12 U.S.C. 1820(c)). In announcing and closing meetings or portions of meetings under this section, the following procedures will be observed.
(b) Announcement. Except to the extent that such information is exempt from disclosure under the provisions of § 311.3(b) the Corporation will make public announcement of the time, place and subject matter of the meeting and of each portion thereof at the earliest practicable time. This announcement will be published in the Federal Register if publication can be effected at least one day prior to the scheduled date of the meeting.
(c) Procedure for closing. (1) The Corporation's General Counsel will make the public certification required by § 311.7.
(2) At the beginning of a meeting or portion of a meeting to be closed under this section, a recorded vote of the Board will be taken. The Board will determine by its vote whether to proceed with the closing. If a majority of the entire Board votes to close, the meeting will be closed to public observation. Even though a meeting or portion thereof could properly be closed under this section, a majority of the entire Board may find that the public interest requires an open session and vote to open the meeting. A copy of the vote, reflecting the vote of each Board member, will be made available to the public.
[Codified to 12 C.F.R. § 311.6]
[Section 311.6 amended at 42 Fed. Reg. 16616, March 29, 1977; 54 Fed. Reg. 38965, September 22, 1989]
§ 311.7 General Counsel Certification.
For every meeting or portion thereof closed under § 311.5 or § 311.6, the Corporation's General Counsel will publicly certify that, in the opinion of such General Counsel, the meeting may be closed to the public and will state each relevant exemptive provision. In the absence of the General Counsel, the next ranking official in the Legal Division may perform the certification. If the General Counsel and such next ranking official in the Legal Division are both absent, the official in the Legal Division who is then next in rank may provide the required certification. A copy of this certification, together with a statement from the presiding officer of the meeting setting forth the time and place of the meeting, and the persons present, will be retained in the Board's permanent files.
[Codified to 12 C.F.R. § 311.7]
§ 311.8 Transcripts and minutes of meetings.
(a) When required. The Corporation will maintain a complete transcript, identifying each speaker, to record fully the proceedings of each meeting or portion of a meeting closed to the public, except that in the case of a meeting or portions of a meeting closed to the public pursuant to paragraphs (8), (9)(i), or (10) of § 311.3(b), the Corporation may, in lieu of a transcript, maintain a set of minutes.
(b) Content of minutes. If minutes are maintained, they will fully and clearly describe all matters discussed and will provide a full and accurate summary of any actions taken, and the reasons for taking such action. Minutes will also include a description of each of the views expressed by each person in attendance on any item and the record of any roll call vote, reflecting the vote of each member. All documents considered in connection with any action will be identified in the minutes.
(c) Available material. The Corporation will maintain a complete verbatim copy of the transcript or minutes of each meeting or portion of a meeting closed to the public for a period of at least two years after the meeting, or until one year after the conclusion of any proceeding with respect to which the meeting or portion was held, whichever occurs later. The Corporation will make promptly available to the public the transcript, identifying each speaker, or minutes of items on the agenda or testimony of any witness received at the closed meeting except that in cases where the Privacy Act of 1974 (5 U.S.C. 552a) does not apply, the Corporation may withhold information exempt from disclosure under § 311.3(b). For the convenience of members of the public who may be unable to attend open meetings of the Board, the Corporation will maintain for at least two years a set of minutes of each meeting of the Board or portion thereof open to public observation.
(d) Procedures for inspecting or copying available material. (1) An individual may inspect materials made available under paragraph (c) of this section at the offices of the Executive Secretary, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, 550 17th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20429, during normal business hours. If the individual desires a copy of such material, the Corporation will furnish copies at a cost of 10 cents per page. Whenever the Corporation determines that in the public interest a reduction or waiver is warranted, it may reduce or waive any fees imposed under this section.
(2) An individual may also submit a written request for transcripts or minutes, reasonably identifying the records sought, to the Executive Secretary, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, 550 17th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20429.
(e) Procedures for obtaining documents identified in minutes. Copies of documents identified in minutes or considered by the Board in connection with any action identified in the minutes may be made available to the public upon request, to the extent permitted by the Freedom of Information Act, under the provisions of 12 CFR part 309, Disclosure of Information.
[Codified to 12 C.F.R. § 311.8]
[Section 311.8 amended at 61 Fed. Reg. 38357, July 24, 1996; 67 Fed Reg. 71071, November 29, 2002]