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(1) Meeting. For purposes of this section, the term “meeting” shall mean the deliberations of at least two of the three members of the Railroad Retirement Board, which deliberations determine or result in the joint conduct or disposition of official agency business. The term “meeting” shall not include:
(i) Deliberations of the Board members concerning the closure of a meeting, the withholding of any information with respect to a meeting, the scheduling of a meeting, the establishment of the agenda of a meeting, or any change in the scheduling, agenda, or the open or closed status of a meeting; or
(ii) Consideration by the Board members of agency business circulated to them individually in writing for disposition by notation.
(2) Public announcement. For purposes of this section the term “public announcement” shall mean the posting of the notice of a scheduled meeting as required by this section on a bulletin board available to the public on the first floor of the Board's headquarters building located at 844 Rush Street, Chicago, Illinois 60611.
(b)(1) The members of the Board shall not jointly conduct or dispose of agency business except in accordance with the procedures and requirements established by this section.Provided, however, That nothing in this section shall be construed so as to prohibit the Board from disposing of routine or administrative matters by sequential, notational voting.
(2) Where agency business is disposed of by notational voting as provided in paragraph (b)(1) of this section, the minutes of the next succeeding Board meeting shall reflect such action.
(3) Every portion of every meeting of the Board at which agency business is conducted or disposed of shall be open to public observation, except as provided in paragraph (c) of this section.
(c)(1) Except as provided in this section, every portion of every meeting of the Board shall be open to the public. A meeting or a portion of a meeting may be closed where (i) the Board properly determines that the subject matter of the meeting or portion thereof is such as to make it likely that disclosure of matters falling within one or more of the exceptions set out in paragraph (c)(3) of this section would result, and (ii) the Board determines that the public interest would not require that the meeting or portion thereof be open to the public.
(2) The requirements of paragraphs (d) and (e) of this section shall not apply to information pertaining to a meeting which would otherwise be required to be disclosed to the public under this section where the Board properly determines that the disclosure of the information is likely to disclose matters within the exceptions listed in paragraph (c)(3) of this section, and that the public interest would not require that the matters, even though excepted, should be disclosed.
(3) The Board may close a meeting or a portion thereof and may withhold information concerning the meeting or portion thereof, including the explanation of closure, the description of the subject matter of the meeting, and the list of individuals expected to attend, which otherwise would be required to be made public under paragraphs (d) and (e) of this section, where it has determined, as provided in paragraphs (c)(1) and (2) of this section, where it has determined, as provided in paragraphs (c)(1) and (2) of this section, that the public interest would not otherwise require that the meeting or portion thereof be open or that the information be made public, and that the meeting, or portion thereof, or the disclosure of the information is likely to:
(i) Disclose matters that are (A) specifically authorized under criteria established by Executive Order to be kept secret in the interests of national defense or foreign policy and (B) in fact properly classified pursuant to such executive order;
(ii) Relate solely to the internal personnel rules and practices of the Board;
(iii) Disclose matters exempted from disclosure under 45 U.S.C. 362(d) and 362(n) and 45 U.S.C. 231f(b)(3) or disclose matters specifically exempted from disclosure by any other statute (other than 5 U.S.C 552), Provided, That such other statute either requires that the matters be withheld from the public in such a manner as to afford no discretion on the issue or establishes particular criteria for withholding or refers to particular types of matters to be withheld;
(iv) Disclose trade secrets and commercial or financial information obtained from a person and privileged or confidential;
(v) Involve accusing any person of a crime, or formally censuring any person;
(vi) Disclose information of a personal nature where disclosure would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy;
(vii) 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
(A) Interfere with law enforcement proceedings,
(B) Deprive a person of a right to a fair trial or an impartial adjudication,
(C) Constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy,
(D) 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 by an agency conducting a lawful national security intelligence investigation, confidential information furnished only by the confidential source,
(E) Disclose investigative techniques and procedures, or
(F) Endanger the life or physical safety of law enforcement personnel;
(viii) Disclose information the premature disclosure of which would be likely to significantly frustrate implementation of a proposed Board action, except that this paragraph shall not apply in any instance where the Board has already disclosed to the public the content or nature of its proposed action, or where the Board is required by law to make such disclosure on its own initiative prior to taking final agency action on such proposal; or
(ix) Specifically concern the agency's issuance of a subpoena, or the agency'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 agency of a particular case of formal agency adjudication pursuant to the authority granted in 45 U.S.C. 231f and 45 U.S.C. 365.
(d)(1) Any action by the Board to close a meeting or a portion thereof, or to withhold any information pertaining to such meeting or portion thereof, shall be taken only upon the vote of at least two members of the Board that the meeting or portion thereof be closed or information withheld for one or more of the reasons set forth in paragraph (c)(3) of this section. A single vote may be taken with respect to a series of meetings, to close the meetings or portions thereof or to withhold information pertaining to such meetings, where the meetings or portions thereof involve the same subject matter and are scheduled within 30 calendar days after the date of the initial meeting in the series.
(2) The vote of each member of the Board participating in the vote on closure of a meeting or portion thereof shall be recorded. Vote by proxy shall not be allowed.
(3) A person whose interests might be directly affected by a meeting or portion thereof which otherwise would be open may request that the meeting or portion thereof which concerns such person's interests be closed under paragraphs (c)(3)(v), (vi), or (vii) of this section. The request should be directed to The Secretary, Railroad Retirement Board, 844 Rush Street, Chicago, Illinois 60611, and must be received no later than the beginning of the meeting to which it applies. Upon receipt of such a request the Board shall vote by recorded vote on the question as to whether the meeting or portion thereof should be closed.
(4) Within one day following a vote taken under paragraphs (d)(2) and (3) of this section, a copy of such vote showing the vote of each member shall be available for public inspection and copying in the office of the Secretary of the Board, located in the Board's headquarters office.
(5) If a meeting or portion thereof is closed in accordance with an action under paragraphs (d)(2) or (3) of this section, the Board shall, within one day following the vote, except to the extent such information is exempt from disclosure under paragraph (c) of this section, make available for inspection and copying in the office of the Secretary of the Board a written explanation of the Board's action and a list of the persons expected to attend and their affiliations.
(e)(1) Except as to those meetings or portions of meetings scheduled as provided in paragraphs (d)(2) and (3) of this section, the Board shall for each meeting make public announcement at least one week prior thereto of the time, place and subject matter of the meeting, whether the meeting is to be open or closed to the public, and the name and telephone number of an official of the Railroad Retirement Board designated by the Board to respond to any requests from the public pertaining to the meeting.
(2) The requirement contained in paragraph (e)(1) of this section that the Board give one week advance notice of each meeting shall not apply where the Board determines by majority vote, which vote shall be recorded, that agency business requires that a meeting be scheduled at an earlier date. If a meeting is scheduled less than one week in the future, as provided in this paragraph, the Board shall make a public announcement at the earliest practicable time of the time, place and subject matter of the meeting and whether the meeting is to be open or closed to the public.
(3) The Board may change the time and place of a previously scheduled and announced meeting, but such change must be announced to the public at the earliest practicable time. The Board may change the subject matter, or its determination to open or close a meeting or portion thereof, of a previously scheduled and announced meeting only if (i) a majority of the Board determines by recorded vote that agency business requires the change and that no earlier public announcement of the change was possible, and (ii) the Board makes a public announcement of the change and the vote of each member thereon at the earliest practicable time.
(4) Immediately following each public announcement required by this subsection, the Board shall submit for publication in the Federal Register notice of the time, place, and subject matter of the meeting, whether the meeting is to be open or closed, any changes in such items from a previous announcement, and the name and telephone number of the Railroad Retirement Board official designated by the Board to respond to requests concerning the announced meeting.
(f)(1) Whenever the Board should determine to close a meeting or a portion of a meeting under any of the exemptions contained in paragraph (c)(3) of this section, the General Counsel of the Railroad Retirement Board shall, prior to the meeting, certify in writing that in his or her opinion the meeting or portion thereof may be closed to the public and shall state the applicable exemptions which permit closure. The Board shall maintain a copy of the General Counsel's certification and a copy of the statement of the presiding officer of the meeting setting forth the time and place of the meeting and a list of the persons present, other than those present merely as spectators.
(2) In the event that a meeting or any portion of a meeting is closed to the public, a complete transcript or recording shall be made of the meeting or portion thereof closed; Provided, however, That if the meeting or portion thereof is closed under paragraph (c)(3)(ix) of this section, a set of minutes may be made of the closed meeting or portion of a meeting in lieu of a complete transcript or recording thereof. If a set of minutes is the method chosen to record the proceedings of a meeting or portion thereof closed under paragraph (c)(3)(ix) of this section, such minutes shall fully and clearly describe the matters discussed. The minutes shall also fully reflect any actions taken by the Board, set forth a statement of the reasons for such actions, summarize each of the views expressed concerning such actions, identify any documents considered in connection with such agency actions, and show the vote of the Board and each of its members on such actions.
(3) The transcript, recording, or minutes of each meeting or portion thereof closed to the public shall be available for public inspection or listening in the office of the Secretary of the Board, 844 Rush Street, Chicago, Illinois 60611, no later than two weeks following the meeting. There shall be expunged or erased from the transcript, recording, or minutes of each meeting which is made available to the public any items of discussion or testimony when it has been determined that they contain information which may be withheld under paragraph (c) of this section, and that the public interest would not require disclosure. The determination as to what items of discussion or testimony shall be expunged or erased from the copies of the transcript, recording, or minutes available to the public shall be made by the Secretary of the Board with the approval of the Board.
(4) Copies of transcripts, minutes, or transcriptions of recordings maintained by the Board as provided in paragraph (e)(3) of this section shall be provided to members of the public who request such copies, at the actual cost of duplicating or transcription. Requests for copies of transcripts, minutes or transcriptions of recordings should be in writing, addressed to the Secretary of the Board, Railroad Retirement Board, 844 Rush Street, Chicago, Illinois 60611, and should clearly indicate the date of the meeting or meetings for which such copies are requested. If the requester desires a copy of only a portion or portions of the transcript, minutes, or transcription of a specified meeting, the request should specify which portion or portions are desired.
(5) The Board shall maintain the complete transcript, recording, or minutes required to be made under paragraph (e)(2) of this section for a period of at least two years after the meeting, or for at least one year after the conclusion of any agency proceeding with respect to which the meeting or portion of the meeting was held, whichever occurs later.
(g) Nothing in this section shall expand or limit the rights of any person under 5 U.S.C. 552, and 20 CFR 200.3, except that the exemptions contained in paragraph (c) of this section shall govern in the case of any request under 5 U.S.C. 552 and 20 CFR 200.3 to copy, inspect, or obtain copies of transcripts, recordings, or minutes described in paragraph (f) of this section. Nothing in this section shall limit the rights of any individual under 5 U.S.C. 552a and 20 CFR 200.4 to gain access to any record which would be available to such individual under those provisions.
Cite this article: FindLaw.com - Code of Federal Regulations Title 20. Employees' Benefits § 20.200.6 Open meetings - last updated October 03, 2022 | https://codes.findlaw.com/cfr/title-20-employees-benefits/cfr-sect-20-200-6/
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