Media Advisory -- 60th Plenary Session

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MONDAY, JUNE 2, 2014  

Megan Kindelan
Communications Director
202.480.2091
mkindelan@acus.gov

What:

The 60th Plenary Session of the Administrative Conference of the United States will be held this Thursday and Friday.  During the session, Conference Chairman Paul R. Verkuil and the Conference Assembly will consider and vote on four recommendations:

1. Resolving FOIA Disputes Through Targeted ADR Strategies:  The OPEN Government Act of 2007 created the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS), a part of the National Archives and Records Administration, to assist in the resolution of disputes arising under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).  This proposed recommendation suggests ways that OGIS can maximize the effectiveness of its resources to help requesters and agencies resolve FOIA disputes through the use of mediation and other alternatives to litigation.  The recommendation also suggests steps that agencies can take to prevent or resolve FOIA disputes, including making FOIA staff and requesters aware of OGIS services and engaging with OGIS and requesters to aid in the resolution of requests.  

2. Government in the Sunshine Act:  This proposed recommendation highlights a set of best practices designed to enhance transparency of decision making at multi-member boards and commissions subject to the Government in the Sunshine Act.  Among other things, it urges covered agencies to provide a description of the primary mechanisms for conducting business, describe substantive business disposed of outside of open meetings subject to the Act (with appropriate protections for information made exempt from disclosure), and exploit new technologies to disseminate relevant information more broadly.

3. Guidance in the Rulemaking Process:  This proposed recommendation identifies a set of best practices for agencies to follow when providing guidance in preambles to final rules.  It is aimed at addressing a number of issues regarding agencies’ current practices by suggesting ways to improve the drafting and presentation of preambles to final rules. The recommendation also suggests ways agencies can make it easier to identify the guidance provided in these preambles and urges agencies to ensure that small entity compliance guides posted on their websites can be easily located. 

4. “Ex Parte” Communications in Informal Rulemaking:  This proposed recommendation identifies procedures and best practices for managing written and oral communications that may occur between an agency and interested persons, often referred to as “ex parte” communications, regarding the substance of an anticipated or ongoing informal rulemaking proceeding, which are not placed in the docket at the time they occur.  The recommendation reaffirms, and builds on, the principles embodied in the Conference’s recommendation on the same subject adopted in 1977 (Recommendation 77-3).

Twice a year, the full membership of the Administrative Conference meets in plenary session and debates and votes on recommendations received from Conference committees.

When:

June 5-6, 2014

  • Thursday, June 5:  2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
  •  Friday, June 6:  9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

o   Agenda

Where:

Commodity Futures Trading Commission
Three Lafayette Centre
1155 21st Street, NW, Washington, DC 20581
Main Conference Room

Webcast:

There will be a live webcast of the Plenary Session, accessible here.

Please RSVP by 2 p.m. Wednesday, June 4, to Megan Kindelan at 202.480.2091 or mkindelan@acus.gov

About ACUS

The Administrative Conference of the United States is an independent federal agency dedicated to improving the administrative process through consensus-driven applied research, providing nonpartisan expert advice and recommendations for improvement of federal agency procedures.  Its membership is composed of innovative federal officials and experts with diverse views and backgrounds from both the private sector and academia.   

The Conference is committed to promoting effective public participation and efficiency in the rulemaking process by leveraging interactive technologies and encouraging open communication with the public as well as making improvements to the regulatory process by reducing unnecessary litigation, and improving the use of science and the effectiveness of applicable laws.  Learn more at www.acus.gov

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