8000 - Miscellaneous Statutes and Regulations
Subpart DDescription of Office, Procedures, Public Information
§ 1102.300 Purpose and scope.
This part sets forth the basic policies of the Appraisal Subcommittee of the Federal Financial Institutions Examination council ("ASC") regarding information it maintains and the procedures for obtaining access to such information. This part does not apply to the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council. Section 1102.301 sets forth definitions applicable to this part 1102, subpart D. Section 1102.302 describes the ASC's statutory authority and functions. Section 1102.303 describes the ASC's organization and methods of operation. Section 1102.304 describes the types of information and documents typically published in the Federal Register. Section 1102.305 explains how to access public records maintained on the ASC's World Wide Web site and at the ASC's office and describes the categories of records generally found there. Section 1102.306 implements the Freedom of Information Act ("FOIA") (5 U.S.C. 552). Section 1102.307 authorizes the discretionary disclosure of exempt records under certain limited circumstances. Section 1102.308 provides anyone with the right to petition the ASC to issue, amend, and repeal rules of general application. Section 1102.309 sets out the ASC's confidential treatment procedures. Section 1102.310 outlines procedures for serving a subpoena or other legal process to obtain information maintained by the ASC.
[Codified to 12 C.F.R. § 1102.300]
§ 1102.301 Definitions.
For purposes of this subpart:
(a) ASC means the Appraisal Subcommittee of the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council.
(b) Commercial use request means a request from, or on behalf of, a requester who seeks records for a use or purpose that furthers the commercial, trade, or profit interests of the requester or the person on whose behalf the request is made. In determining whether a request falls within this category, the ASC will determine the use to which a requester will put the records requested and seek additional information as it deems necessary.
(c) Direct costs means those expenditures the ASC actually incurs in searching for, duplicating, and, in the case of commercial requesters, reviewing records in response to a request for records.
(d) Disclose or disclosure means to give access to a record, whether by producing the written record or by oral discussion of its contents. Where the ASC member or employee authorized to release ASC documents makes a determination that furnishing copies of the documents is necessary, these words include the furnishing of copies of documents or records.
(e) Duplication means the process of making a copy of a record necessary to respond to a request for records or for inspection of original records that contain exempt material or that cannot otherwise be directly inspected. Such copies can take the form of paper copy, microfilm, audiovisual records, or machine readable records (e.g., magnetic tape or computer disk).
(f) Educational institution means a preschool, a public or private elementary or secondary school, an institution of undergraduate or graduate higher education, an institution of professional education, and an institution of vocational education, which operates a program or programs of scholarly research.
(g) Field review includes, but is not limited to, formal and informal investigations of potential irregularities occurring at State appraiser regulatory agencies involving suspected violations of Federal or State civil or criminal laws, as well as such other investigations as may conducted pursuant to law.
(h) Non-commercial scientific institution means an institution that is not operated on a commercial basis as that term is defined in paragraph (b) of this section, and which is operated solely for the purpose of conducting scientific research, the results of which are not intended to promote any particular product or industry.
(i) Record includes records, files, documents, reports correspondence, books, and accounts, or any portion thereof, in any form the ASC regularly maintains them.
(j) Representative of the news media means any person primarily engaged in gathering news for, or a free-lance journalist who can demonstrate a reasonable expectation of having his or her work product published or broadcast by, an entity that is organized and operated to publish or broadcast news to the public. The term news means information that is about current events or that would be of current interest to the general public.
(k) Review means the process of examining documents located in a response to a request that is for a commercial use to determine whether any portion of any document located is permitted to be withheld. It also includes processing any documents for disclosure, e.g., doing all that is necessary to excise them and otherwise prepare them for release. Review does not include time spent resolving general legal or policy issues regarding the application of exemptions.
(l) Search includes all time spent looking for material that is responsive to a request, including page-by-page or line-by-line identification of material within records. Searches may be done manually and/or by computer using existing programming.
(m) State appraiser regulatory agency includes, but is not limited to, any board, commission, individual or other entity that is authorized by State law to license, certify, and supervise the activities or persons authorized to perform appraisals in connections with federally related transactions and real estate related financial transactions that require the services of a State licensed or certified appraiser.
[Codified to 12 C.F.R. § 1102.301]
§ 1102.302 ASC authority and functions.
(a) Authority. The ASC was established on August 9, 1989, pursuant to title XI of the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989, as amended ("FIRREA"), 12 U.S.C. 3331 and 3310 through 3351. Title XI is intended "to provide that federal financial and public policy interests in real estate related transactions will be protected by requiring that real estate appraisals utilized in connection with federally related transactions are performed in writing, in accordance with uniform standards, by individuals whose competency has been demonstrated and whose professional conduct will be subject to effective supervision." 12 U.S.C. 3331.
(b) Functions. The ASC's statutory functions are generally set out in 12 U.S.C. 3332. In summary, the ASC must:
(1) Monitor the requirements established by the states for the certification and licensing of individuals who are qualified to perform appraisals in connection with federally related transactions, including a code of professional responsibility;
(2) Monitor the requirements of the federal financial institutions regulatory agency and Resolution Trust Corporation with respect to appraisal standards for federally related transactions and determinations as to which federally related transactions require the services of a state certified appraiser and which require the services of a state licensed appraiser;
(3) Monitor and review the practices, procedures, activities and organizational structure of the Appraisal Foundation; and
(4) Maintain a national registry of state certified and licensed appraisers eligible to perform appraisals in federally related transactions.
[Codified to 12 C.F.R. § 1102.302]
[Source: Section 1102.302 added at 57 Fed. Reg. 60724, December 22, 1992]
§ 1102.303 Organization and methods of operation.
(a) Statutory and other guidelines. Statutory requirements relating to the ASC's organization are stated in 12 U.S.C. 3310, 3333 and 3334. The ASC has adopted and published Rules of Operation guiding its administration, meetings and procedures. These Rules of Operation were published at 56 FR 28561 (June 21, 1991) and 56 FR 33451 (July 22, 1991).
(b) ASC members and staff. The ASC is composed of six members, each being designated by the head of their respective agencies: the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, National Credit Union Administration, Office of Thrift Supervision, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Administrative support and substantive program, policy and legal guidance for ASC activities are provided by a small, full-time, professional staff supervised by an Executive Director.
(c) FFIEC. Title XI placed the ASC within FFIEC as a separate, appropriated agency of the United States Government with specific statutory responsibilities under federal law.
(d) ASC Address. ASC offices are located at 2000 K Street, N.W., Suite 310, Washington, D.C., 20006.
[Codified to 12 C.F.R. § 1102.303]
§ 1102.304 Federal Register publication.
The ASC publishes the following information in the Federal Register for the guidance of the public.
(a) Description of its organization and the established places at which, the officers from whom, and the methods whereby, the public may secure information, make submittals or re nests, or obtain decisions;
(b) Statements of the general course and method by which its functions are channeled and determined, including the nature and requirements of all formal and informal procedures available;
(c) Rules of procedure, descriptions of forms available or the places at which forms may be obtained, and instruction as to the scope and contents of all papers, reports or examinations;
(d) Substantive rules of general applicability adopted as authorized by law, and statements of general policy or interpretations of general applicability formulated and adopted by the ASC;
(e) Every amendment, revision or repeal of the foregoing; and
(f) General notices of proposed rulemaking.
[Codified to 12 C.F.R. § 1102.304]
§ 1102.305 Publicly available records.
(a) Records available on the ASCs World Wide Web site--(1) Discretionary release of documents. The ASC encourages the public to explore the wealth of resources available on the ASC's Internet World Wide Web site, located at: http://www.asc.gov. The ASC has elected to publish a broad range to materials on its Web site.
(2) Documents required to be made available via computer telecommunications. (i) The following types of documents created on or after November 1, 1996, and required to be made available through computer telecommunications, may be found on the ASC's Internet World Wide Web site located at: http://www.asc.gov:
(A) Final opinions, including concurring and dissenting opinions, as well as final orders, made in the adjudication of cases;
(B) Statements of policy and interpretations adopted by the ASC that are not published in the FEDERAL REGISTER:
(C) Administrative staff manuals and instructions to staff that affect a member of the public;
(D) Copies of all records (regardless of form or format), such as correspondence relating to field reviews or other regulatory subjects, released to any person under § 1102.306 that, because of the nature of their subject matter, the ASC has determined are likely to be the subject of subsequent requests;
(E) A general index of the records referred to in paragraph (a)(2)(i)(D) of this section.
(ii) To the extent permitted by law, the ASC may delete identifying details when it makes available or publishes any records. If reduction is necessary, the ASC will, to the extent technically feasible, indicate the amount of material deleted at the place in the record where such deletion is made unless that indication in and of itself will jeopardize the purpose for the redaction.
(b) Types of written communications. The following types of written communications shall be subject to paragraph (a) of this section:
(1) The ASC's annual report to Congress;
(2) All final opinions and orders made in the adjudication of cases;
(3) All statements of general policy not published in the FEDERAL REGISTER.
(4) Requests for the ASC or its staff to provide interpretive advise with respect to the meaning or application or any statute administered by the ASC or any rule or regulation adopted thereunder and any ASC responses thereto;
(5) Requests for a statement that, on the basis of the facts presented in such a request, the ASC would not take any enforcement action pertaining to the facts as represented and any ASC responses thereto; and
(6) Correspondence between the ASC and a State appraiser regulatory agency arising out of the ASC's field review of the State agency's appraiser regulatory program.
(c) Applicable fees. (1) If applicable, fees for furnishing records under this section are as set forth in § 1102.306(e).
(2) Information on the ASC's World Wide Web site is available to the public without charge. If, however, information available on the ASC's World Wide Web site is provided pursuant to a Freedom of Information Act request processed under g 1102.306 then fees apply and will be assessed pursuant to § 1102.306(e).
[Codified to 12 C.F.R. § 1102.305]
§ 1102.306 Proceedings for requesting records.
(a) Making a request for records. (1) The request shall be submitted in writing to the Executive Director:
(i) By facsimile clearly marked "Freedom of Information Act Request" to (202) 293-6251;
(ii) By letter to the Executive Director marked "Freedom of Information Act Request"; 2000 K Street, NW., Suite 301; Washington, DC 20006; or
(iii) By sending Internet e-mail to the Executive Director marked "Freedom of Information Act Request" at his or her e-mail address listed on the ASC's World Wide Web site.
(2) The request shall contain the following information:
(ii) Whether the requester is an educational institution, non-commerical scientific institution, or news media representative;
(iii) A statement agreeing to pay the applicable fees, or a statement identifying a maximum fee that is acceptable to the requester, or a request for a waiver or reduction of fees that satisfies paragraph (e)(1)(x) of this section; and
(iv) The preferred form and format of any responsive information requested, if other than paper copies.
(3) A request for identifiable records shall reasonably describe the records in a way that enables the ASC's staff to identify and produce the records with reasonable effort and without unduly burdening or significantly interfering with any ASC operations.
(b) Defective requests. The ASC need not accept or process a request that does not reasonably describe the records requested or that does not otherwise comply with the requirements of this subpart. The ASC may return a defective request, specifying the deficiency. The requester may submit a corrected request, which will be treated as a new request.
(c) Processing requests. (1) Receipt of requests. Upon receipt of any request that satisfies paragraph (a) of this section, the Executive Director shall assign the request to the appropriate processing track pursuant to this section. The date of receipt for any request, including one that is addressed incorrectly or that is referred by another agency, is the date the Executive Director actually receives the request.
(2) Expedited processing. (i) Where a person requesting expedited access to records has demonstrated a compelling need for the records, or where the ASC has determined to expedite the response, the ASC shall process the request as soon as practicable. To show a compelling need for expedited processing, the requester shall provide a statement demonstrating that:
(A) The failure to obtain the records on an expedited basis could reasonably be expected to pose an imminent threat to the life or physical safety of an individual; or
(B) The requester can establish that it is primarily engaged in information dissemination as its main professional occupation or activity, and there is urgency to inform the public of the government activity involved in the re request; and
(C) The requester's statement must be certified to be true and correct to the best of the person's knowledge and belief and explain in detail the basis for requesting expedited processing.
(ii) The formality of the certification required to obtain expedited treatment may be waived by the Executive Director as a matter of administrative discretion.
(3) A requester seeking expedited processing will be notified whether expedited processing has been granted within ten (10) working days of the receipt of the request. If the request for expedited processing is denied, the requester may file an appeal pursuant to the procedures set forth in paragraph (g) of this section, and the ASC shall respond to the appeal within ten (10) working days after receipt of the appeal.
(4) Priority of responses. Consistent with sound administrative process, the ASC processes requests in the order they are received. However, in the ASC's discretion, or upon a court order in a matter to which the ASC is a party, a particular request may be processed out of turn.
(5) Notification. (i) The time for response to requests will be twenty (20) working days except:
(A) In the case of expedited treatment under paragraph (c)(2) of this section;
(B) Where the running of such time is suspended for the calculation of a cost estimate for the requester if the ASC determines that the processing of the request may exceed the requester's maximum fee provision or if the charges are likely to exceed $250 as provided for in paragraph (e)(1)(iv) of this section;
(C) Where the running of such time is suspended for the payment of fees pursuant to the paragraph (c)(5)(i)(B) and (e)(1) of this section; or
(ii) In unusual circumstances as referred to in paragraph (c)(5)(i)(D) of this section, the time may be extended for a period of:
(A) Ten (10) working days as provided by written notice to the requester, setting forth the reasons for the extension and the date on which a determination is expected to be dispatched; or
(B) Such alternative time period as agreed to by the requester or as reasonably determined by the ASC when the ASC notifies the requester that the request cannot be processed in the specified time limit.
(iii) Unusual circumstances may arise when:
(A) The records are in facilities that are not located at the ASC's Washington office;
(B) The records requested are voluminous or are not in close proximity to one another; or
(C) There is a need to consult with another agency or among two or more components of the ASC having a substantial interest in the determination.
(6) Response to request. In response to a request that satisfies the requirements of paragraph (a) of this section, a search shall be conducted of records maintained by the ASC in existence on the date of receipt of the request, and a review made of any responsive information located. To the extent permitted by law, the ASC may redact identifying details when it makes available or publishes any records. If redaction is appropriate, the ASC will, to the extent technically feasible, indicate the amount of material deleted at the place in the record where such deletion is made unless that indication in and of itself will jeopardize the purpose for the redaction. The ASC shall notify the requester of:
(i) The ASC's determination of the request;
(ii) The reasons for the determination;
(iii) If the response is a denial of an initial request or if any information is withheld, the ASC will advise the requester in writing:
(A) If the denial is in part or in whole;
(B) The name and title of each person responsible for the denial (when other than the person signing the notification);
(C) The exemptions relied on for the denial; and
(D) The right of the requester to appeal the denial to the Chairman of the ASC within 30 business days following receipt of the notification, as specified in paragraph (h) of this section.
(d) Providing responsive records. (1) Copies of requested records shall be sent to the requester by regular U.S. mail to the address indicated in the request, unless the requester elects to take delivery of the documents at the ASC or makes other acceptable arrangements, or the ASC deems it appropriate to send the documents by another means.
(2) The ASC shall provide a copy of the record in any form or format requested if the record is readily reproducible by the ASC in that form or format, but the ASC need not provide more than one copy of any record to a requester.
(3) By arrangement with the requester, the ASC may elect to send the responsive records electronically if a substantial portion of the request is in electronic format. If the information requested is made pursuant to the Privacy Act of 1964, 5 U.S.C. 552a, it will not be sent by electronic means unless reasonable security measures can be provided.
(e) Fees--(1) General rules. (i) Persons requesting records of the ASC shall be charged for the direct costs of search, duplication, and review as set forth in paragraphs (e)(2) and (e)(3) of this section, unless such costs are less than the ASC's cost of processing the requester's remittance.
(ii) Requesters will be charged for search and review costs even if responsive records are not located or, if located, are determined to be exempt from disclosure.
(iii) Multiple requests seeking similar or related records from the same requester or group of requesters will be aggregated for the purposes of this section.
(iv) If the ASC determines that the estimated costs of search, duplication, or review of requested records will exceed the dollar amount specified in the request, or if no dollar amount is specified, the ASC will advise the requester of the estimated costs. The requester must agree in writing to pay the costs of search, duplication, and review prior to the ASC initiating any records search.
(v) If the ASC estimates that its search, duplication, and review costs will exceed $250, the requester must pay an amount equal to 20 percent of the estimated costs prior to the ASC initiating any records search.
(vi) The ASC ordinarily will collect all applicable fees under the final invoice before releasing copies of requested records to the requester.
(vii) The ASC may require any requester who has previously failed to pay charges under this section within 30 calendar days of mailing of the invoice to pay in advance the total estimated costs of search, duplication, and review. The ASC also may require a requester who has any charges outstanding in excess of 30 calendar days following mailing of the invoice to pay the full amount due, or demonstrate that the fee has been paid in full, prior to the ASC initiating any additional records search.
(viii) The ASC may begin assessing interest charges on unpaid bills on the 31st day following the day on which the invoice was sent. Interest will be at the rate prescribed in § 3717 of title 31 of the United States Code and will accrue from the date of the invoice.
(ix) The time limit for the ASC to respond to a request will not begin to run until the ASC has received the requester's written agreement under paragraph (e)(1)(iv) of this section, and advance payment under paragraph (e)(1)(v) or (vii) of this section, or payment of outstanding charges under paragraph (e)(1)(vii) or (viii) of this section.
(x) As part of the initial request, a requester may ask that the ASC waive or reduce fees if disclosure of the records is in the public interest because it is likely to contribute significantly to public understanding of the operations or activities of the government and is not primarily in the commercial interest of the requester. Determinations as to a waiver or reduction of fees will be made by the Executive Director (or designee), and the requester will be notified in writing of his or her determination. A determination not to grant a request for a waiver or reduction of fees under this paragraph may be appealed to the ASC's Chairman pursuant to the procedure set forth in paragraph (g) of this section.
(2) Chargeable fees by category of requester. (i) Commercial use requesters shall be charged search, duplication, and review costs.
(ii) Educational institutions, noncommercial scientific institutions, and news media representatives shall be charged duplication costs, except for the first 100 pages.
(iii) Requesters not described in paragraph (e)(2)(i) or (ii) of this section shall be charged the full reasonable direct cost of search and duplication, except for the first two hours of search time and first 100 pages of duplication.
(3) Fee schedule. The dollar amount of fees which the ASC may charge to records requesters will be established by the Executive Director. The ASC may charge fees that recoup the full allowable direct costs it incurs. Fees are subject to change as costs change. The fee schedule will be published periodically on the ASC's Internet World Wide Web site (http://www.asc.gov) and will be effective on the date of publication. Copies of the fee schedule may be obtained by request at no charge by contacting the Executive Director by letter, Internet email or facsimile.
(i) Manual searches for records. The ASC will charge for manual searches for records at the basic rate of pay of the employee making the search plus 16 percent to cover employee benefit costs.
(ii) Computer searches for records. The fee for searches of computerized records is the actual direct cost of the search, including computer time, computer runs, and the operator's time apportioned to the search multiplied by the operator's basic rate of pay plus 16 percent to cover employee benefit costs.
(B) For other methods of reproduction or duplication, the ASC will charge the actual direct costs of reproducing or duplicating the documents, including each involved employee's basic rate of pay plus 16 percent to cover employee benefit costs.
(iv) Review of records. The ASC will charge commercial use requesters for the review of records at the time of processing the initial request to determine whether they are exempt from mandatory disclosure at the basic rate of pay of the employee making the search plus 16 percent to cover employee benefit costs. The ASC will not charge at the administrative appeal level for review of an exemption already applied. When records or portions of records are withheld in full under an exemption which is subsequently determined not to apply, the ASC may charge for a subsequent review to determine the applicability of other exemptions not previously considered.
(v) Other services. Complying with requests for special services, other than a readily produced electronic form or format, is at the ASC's discretion. The ASC may recover the full costs of providing such services to the requester.
(4) Use of contractors. The ASC may contact with independent contractors to locate, reproduce, and/or disseminate records; provided, however, that the ASC has determined that the ultimate cost to the requester will be no greater than it would be if the ASC performed these tasks itself. In no case will the ASC contract our responsibilities which FOIA provides that the ASC alone may discharge, such as determining the applicability of an exemption or whether to waive or reduce fees.
(f) Exempt information. A request for records may be denied if the requested record contains information that falls into one or more of the following categories.1 If the requested record contains both exempt and nonexempt information, the nonexempt portions, which may reasonable be segregated from the exempt portions, will be released to the requester. If redaction is necessary, the ASC will, to the extent technically feasible, indicate the amount of material deleted at the place in the record where such deletion is made unless that indication in and of itself will jeopardize the purpose for the redaction. The categories of exempt records are as follows:
(1) Records that are specifically authorized under criteria established by an Executive Order to be kept secret in the interest of national defense or foreign policy and are in fact properly classified pursuant to such Executive Order;
(2) Records related solely to the internal personnel rules and practices of the ASC;
(3) Records specifically exempted from disclosure by statute, 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 criteria for withholding or refers to particular types of matters to be withheld;
(4) Trade secrets and commercial or financial information obtained from a person that is privileged or confidential;
(5) Interagency or intra-agency memoranda or letters that would not be available by law to a private party in litigation with the ASC;
(6) Personnel, medical, and similar files (including financial files) the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy;
(7) Records compiled for law enforcement purposes, but only to the extent that the production of such law enforcement records:
(i) Could reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement proceedings;
(ii) Would deprive a person of a right to a fair trial or an impartial adjudication;
(iv) Could reasonably be expected to disclose the identity of a confidential source, including a State, local, or foreign agency or authority or any private institution which furnished records on a confidential basis;
(v) Would disclose techniques and procedures for law enforcement investigations or prosecutions, or would disclose guidelines for law enforcement investigations or prosecutions if such disclosure could reasonably be expected to risk circumvention of the law; or
(vi) Could reasonably be expected to endanger the life or physical safety of any individual;
(8) Records that are contained in or related to examination, operating, or condition reports prepared by, on behalf of, or for the use of the ASC or any agency responsible for the regulation or supervision of financial institutions; or
(9) Geological and geophysical information and date, including maps, concerning wells.
(g) Appeals. (1) Appeals should be addressed to the Executive Director; ASC; 2000 K Street, NW., Suite 310, Washington, DC 20006.
(2) A person whose initial request for records under this section, or whose request for a waiver of fees under paragraph (e)(1)(x) of this section, has been denied, either in part or in whole, has the right to appeal the denial to the ASC's Chairman (or designee) within 30 business days after receipt of notification of the denial. Appeals of denials of initial requests or for a waiver of fees must be in writing and include any additional information relevant to consideration of the appeal.
(3) Except in the case of an appeal for expedited treatment under paragraph (c)(3) of this section, the ASC will notify the appellant in writing within 20 business days after receipt of the appeal and will state:
(i) Whether it is granted or denied in whole or in part;
(ii) the name and title of each person responsible for the denial (if other than the person signing the notification);
(iii) The exemptions relied upon for the denial in the case of initial requests for records; and
(iv) The right to judicial review of the denial under the FOIA.
(4) If a requester is appealing for denial of expedited treatment, the ASC will notify the appellant within ten business days after receipt of the appeal of the ASC's disposition.
(5) Complete payment of any outstanding fee invoice will be required before an appeal is processed.
(h) Records of another agency. If a requested record is the property of another Federal agency or department, and that agency or department, either in writing or by regulation, expressly retains ownership of such record, upon receipt of a request for the record the ASC will promptly inform the requester of this ownership and immediately shall forward the request to the proprietary agency or department either for processing in accordance with the latter's regulations or for guidance with respect to disposition.
[Codified to 12 C.F.R. § 1102.306]
§ 1102.307 Disclosure of exempt records.
(a) Disclosure prohibited. Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section or by 12 CFR part 1102, subpart C, no person shall disclose or permit the disclosure of any exempt records, or information contained therein, to any persons other than those officers, directors, employees, or agents of the ASC or a State appraiser regulatory agency who has a need for such records in the performance of their official duties. In any instance in which any person has possession, custody or control of ASC exempt records or information contained therein, all copies of such records shall remain the property of the ASC and under no circumstances shall any person, entity or agency disclose or make public in any manner the exempt records or information without written authorization from the Executive Director, after consultation with the ASC General Counsel.
(b) Disclosure authorized. Exempt records or information of the ASC may be disclosed only in accordance with the conditions and requirements set forth in this paragraph (b). Requests for discretionary disclosure of exempt records of information pursuant to this paragraph (b) may be submitted directly to the Executive Director. Such administrative request must clearly state that it seeks discretionary disclosure of exempt records, clearly identify the records sought, provide sufficient information for the ASC to evaluate whether there is good cause for disclosure, and meet all other conditions set forth in paragraph (b)(1) through (3) of this section. Authority to disclose or authorize disclosure of exempt records of the ASC is delegated to the Executive Director, after consultation with the ASC General Counsel.
(1) Disclosure by Executive Director. (i) The Executive Director, or designee, may disclose or authorize the disclosure of any exempt record in response to a valid judicial subpoena, court order, or other legal process, and authorize any current or former member, officer, employee, agent of the ASC, or third party, to appear and testify regarding an exempt record or any information obtained in the performance of such person's official duties, at any administrative or judicial hearing or proceeding where such person has been served with a valid subpoena, court order, or other legal process requiring him or her to testify. The Executive Director shall consider the relevancy of such exempt records or testimony to the ligation, and the interests of justice, in determining whether to disclose such records or testimony. Third parties seeking disclosure of exempt records or testimony in litigation to which the ASC is not a party shall submit a request for discretionary disclosure directly to the Executive Director. Such requests shall specify the information sought with reasonable particularity and shall be accompanied by a statement with supporting documentation showing in detail the relevance of such exempt information to the litigation, justifying good cause for disclosure, and a commitment to be bound by a protective order. Failure to exhaust such administration request prior to service of a subpoena or other legal process may, in the Executive Director's discretion, serve as a basis for objection to such subpoena or legal process.
(ii) The Executive Director, or designee, may in his or her discretion and for good cause, disclose or authorize disclosure of any exempt record or testimony by a current or former member, officer, employee, agent of the ASC, or third party, sought in connection with any civil or criminal hearing, proceeding or investigation without the service of a judicial subpoena, or other legal process requiring such disclosure or testimony. If he or she determines that the records or testimony are relevant to the hearing, proceeding or investigation and that disclosure is in the best interests of justice and not otherwise prohibited by Federal statute. Where the Executive Director or designee authorizes a current or former member, officer, director, employee or agent of the ASC to testify or disclose exempt records pursuant to this paragraph (b)(1), he or she may, in his or her discretion, limit the authorization to so much of the record or testimony as is relevant to the issues at such hearing, proceeding or investigation, and he or she shall give authorization only upon fulfillment of such conditions as he or she deems necessary and practicable to protect the confidential nature of such records or testimony.
(2) Authorization for disclosure by the Chairman of the ASC. Except where expressly prohibited by law, the Chairman of the ASC may, in his or her discretion, authorize the disclosure of any ASC records. Except where disclosure is required by law, the Chairman may direct any current or former member, officer, director, employee or agent of the ASC to refuse to disclose any record or to give testimony if the Chairman determines, in his or her discretion, that refusal to permit such disclosure is in the public interest.
(3) Limitations on disclosure. All steps practicable shall be taken to protect the confidentiality of exempt records and information. Any disclosure permitted by paragraph (b) of this section is discretionary and nothing in paragraph (b) of this section shall be construed as requiring the disclosure of information. Further, nothing in paragraph (b) of this section shall be construed as restricting, in any manner, the authority of the ASC, the Chairman of the ASC, the Executive Director, the ASC General Counsel, or their designees, in their discretion and in light of the facts and circumstances attendant in any given case, to require conditions upon, and to limit, the form, manner, and extent of any disclosure permitted by this section. Wherever practicable, disclosure of exempt records shall be made pursuant to a protective order and redacted to exclude all irrelevant or non-responsive exempt information.
[Codified to 12 C.F.R. § 1102.307]
§ 1102.308 Right to petition for issuance, amendment and repeal of rules of general application.
Any person desiring the issuance, amendment or repeal of a rule of general application may file a petition for those purposes with the Executive Director of the ASC. The petition shall include a statement setting forth the text or substance of any proposed rule or amendment desired or shall specify the rule for which repeal is desired. The petitioner also shall state the nature of his or her interest and the reasons for seeking ASC action. The Executive Director shall acknowledge receipt of the petition within ten business days of receipt. As soon as reasonably practicable, the ASC shall consider the petition and related staff recommendations and shall take such action as it deems appropriate. The Executive Director shall notify the petitioner in writing of the ASC action within ten business days of the action.
[Codified to 12 C.F.R. § 1102.308]
§ 1102.309 Confidential treatment procedures.
(a) In general. Any submitter of written information to the ASC who desires that some or all of his or her submission be afforded confidential treatment under 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(4) (i.e., trade secrets and commercial or financial information obtained from a person and privileged or confidential) shall file a request for confidential treatment with the Executive Director of the ASC at the time the written information is submitted to the ASC or within ten business days thereafter. Nothing in this section limits the authority of the ASC and its staff to make determinations regarding access to documents under this subpart.
(b) Form of request. A request for confidential treatment shall be submitted in a separate letter or memorandum conspicuously entitled, "Request for Confidential Treatment." Each request shall state in reasonable detail the facts and arguments supporting the request and its legal justification. If the submitter had been required by the ASC to provide the particular information, conclusory statements that the information would be useful to competitors or would impair sales or similar statements generally will not be considered sufficient to justify confidential treatment. When the submitter had voluntarily provided the particular information to the ASC, the submitter must specifically identify the documents or information which are of a kind the submitter would not customarily make available to the public.
(c) Designation and separation of confidential material. Submitters shall clearly designate all information considered confidential and shall clearly separate such information from other non-confidenital information, whenever possible.
(d) ASC action on request. A request for confidential treatment of information will be considered only in connection with a request for access to the information under FOIA as implemented by this subpart. Upon the receipt of a request for access, the Executive Director or his or her designee ("ASC Officer") as soon as possible shall provide the submitter with a written notice describing the request and shall provide the submitter with a reasonable opportunity, no longer than ten business days, to submit written objections to disclosure of the information. Notice may be given orally, and such notice shall be promptly confirmed in writing. The ASC Officer may provide a submitter with a notice if the submitter did not request confidential treatment of the requested information. If the ASC required the submitter to provide the requested information, the ASC Officer would need substantial reason to believe that disclosure of the requested information would result in substantial competitive harm to the submitter. If the submitter provided the information voluntarily to the ASC, the ASC officer would need to believe that the information is of a kind the submitter would not customarily make available to the public. The ASC Officer similarly shall notify the person seeking disclosure of the information under FOIA of the existence of a request for confidential treatment. These notice requirements need not be followed if the ASC Officer determines under this subpart that the information should not be disclosed; the information has been published or has been officially made available to the public; disclosure of the information is required by law (other than FOIA); or the submitter's request for confidential treatment appears obviously frivolous, in such instance the submitter shall be given written notice of the determination to disclose the information at least five business days prior to release. The ASC Officer shall carefully consider the issues involved, and if disclosure of the requested information is warranted, a written notice, containing a brief description of why the submitter's objections were not sustained, must be forwarded to the submitter within ten business days. The time for response may be extended up to ten additional business days, as provided in 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(6)(B), or for other periods by agreement between the requester and the ASC Officer. This notice shall be provided to the submitter at least five business days prior to release of the requested information.
(e) Notice of lawsuit. The ASC Officer shall notify a submitter of any filing of any suit against the ASC pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 552 to compel disclosure of documents or information covered by the submitter's request for confidential treatment within ten business days of service of the suit. The ASC Officer also shall notify the requester of the documents or information of any suit filed by the submitter against the ASC to enjoin their disclosure within ten business days of service of the suit.
[Codified to 12 C.F.R. § 1102.309]
§ 1102.310 Service of process.
(a) Service. Any subpoena or other legal process to obtain information maintained by the ASC shall be duly issued by a court having jurisdiction over the ASC, and served upon the Chairman ASC; 2000 K Street, NW., Suite 310, Washington, DC 20006. Where the ASC is named as a party, service of process shall be made pursuant to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure upon the Chairman at the above address. The Chairman shall immediately forward any subpoena, court order or legal process to the General Counsel. If consistent with the terms of the subpoena, court order or legal process, the ASC may require the payment of fees, in accordance with the fee schedule referred to in § 1102.306(e) prior to the release of any records requested pursuant to any subpoena or other legal process.
(b) Notification of person served. If any current or former member, officer, employee or agent of the ASC, or any other person who has custody of records belonging to the ASC is served with a subpoena, court order, or other process requiring that person's attendance as a witness concerning any matter related to official duties, or the production of any exempt record of the ASC, such person shall promptly advise the Executive Director of such service, the testimony and records described in the subpoena, and all relevant facts that may assist the Executive Director, in consultation with the ASC General Counsel, in determining whether the individual in question should be authorized to testify or the records should be produced. Such person also should inform the court or tribunal that issued the process and the attorney for the party upon whose application the process was issued, if known, of the substance of this section.
(c) Appearance by person served. Absent the written authorization of the Executive Director or designee to disclose the requested information, any current or former member, officer, employee, or agent of the ASC, and any other person having custody of records of the ASC, who is required to respond to a subpoena or other legal process, shall attend at the time and place therein specified and respectfully decline to produce any such record or give any testimony with respect thereto, basing such refusal on this section.
[Codified to 12 C.F.R. § 1102.310]
[Section 1102.310 added at 64 Fed. Reg. 72501, December 28, 1999, effective January 12, 2000]
1Classification of a record as exempt from disclosure under the provisions of this paragraph (f) shall not be construed as authority to withhold the record if it is otherwise subject to disclosure under the Privacy Act of 1974 (5 U.S.C. 552a) or other Federal statute, any applicable regulation of ASC or any other Federal agency having jurisdiction thereof, or any directive or order of any court of competent jurisdiction. Go back to Text