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Title 11 Part 201

Title 11 → Chapter I → Subchapter B → Part 201

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations e-CFR

Title 11 Part 201

e-CFR data is current as of July 12, 2018

Title 11Chapter ISubchapter B → Part 201


Title 11: Federal Elections


PART 201—EX PARTE COMMUNICATIONS


Contents
§201.1   Purpose and scope.
§201.2   Definitions.
§201.3   Public funding, audits and litigation: Ex parte contacts prohibited.
§201.4   Rulemaking proceedings and advisory opinions: Ex parte contacts reported.
§201.5   Sanctions.

Authority: 52 U.S.C. 30107(a)(8), 30108, 30111(a)(8), and 30111(b); 26 U.S.C. 9007, 9008, 9009(b), 9038, and 9039(b).

Source: 58 FR 59645, Nov. 10, 1993, unless otherwise noted.

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§201.1   Purpose and scope.

This part prescribes procedures for handling ex parte communications made in connection with public funding, Commission audits, litigation, rulemaking proceedings and the advisory opinion process. Rules governing such communications made in connection with Commission enforcement actions are found at 11 CFR 111.22, while provisions setting forth employee responsibilities under the Commission's Standards of Conduct rules are found at 11 CFR 7.8.

[58 FR 59645, Nov. 10, 1993, as amended at 76 FR 70331, Nov. 14, 2011]

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§201.2   Definitions.

As used in this part:

(a) Ex parte communication means any written or oral communication by any person outside the agency to any Commissioner or any member of a Commissioner's staff which imparts information or argument regarding prospective Commission action or potential action concerning:

(1) Any candidate or committee applying for or participating in the public funding process, or

(2) Any ongoing audit, or

(3) Any pending litigation matter, or

(4) Any pending rulemaking, or

(5) Any pending advisory opinion request.

(b) Ex parte communications does not include the following communications.

(1) Statements by any person publicly made in a public forum; or

(2) Statements or inquiries by any person limited to the procedural status of an open proceeding involving an application for public funding, a rulemaking, an advisory opinion request, an audit being conducted pursuant to 26 U.S.C. 9007 (a) and (b), 9008 (g) and (h), or 9038 (a) and (b), or a litigation matter.

(c) Commissioner means an individual appointed to the Federal Election Commission pursuant to 52 U.S.C. 30106(a).

(d) Commissioner's staff means all individuals working under the personal supervision of a Commissioner including executive assistants and executive secretaries.

[58 FR 59645, Nov. 10, 1993, as amended at 75 FR 32, Jan. 4, 2010; 79 FR 77849, Dec. 29, 2014]

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§201.3   Public funding, audits and litigation: Ex parte contacts prohibited.

(a) In order to avoid the possibility of prejudice, real or apparent, to the public interest in Commission decisionmaking during the public funding process, in audits undertaken by the Commission, and in any litigation to which the Commission is a party, no person outside the agency shall make or cause to be made to any Commissioner or any member of any Commissioner's staff any ex parte communication regarding any candidate or committee's eligibility for or entitlement to public funding; any audit; or any pending or prospective Commission decision regarding litigation, including whether to initiate, settle, appeal, or seek certiorari, or any other decision concerning a litigation matter; nor shall any Commissioner or member of any Commissioner's staff entertain any such ex parte communications.

(b) The requirements of this section apply:

(1) In the case of public funding, from the time a primary election candidate submits to the Commission the letter required by 11 CFR 9033.1(a), Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates submit to the Commission the letter required by 11 CFR 9003.1, or a committee seeking convention funding registers with the Commission as required by 11 CFR 9008.12(a)(1) or 9008.12(b)(1), until the start of the audit process.

(2)(i) In the case of an audit undertaken pursuant to 26 U.S.C. 9007 (a) and (b), 9008 (g) and (h), or 9038 (a) and (b), from the date of the Commission's letter to a presidential campaign committee, a convention committee, or a host committee asking that it make a pre-inventory check of its records, prior to the commencement of audit fieldwork by the Commission, through the end of the audit process; and

(ii) In the case of an audit undertaken pursuant to 52 U.S.C. 30111(b), from the date the Commission's staff circulates a document for Commission approval containing a proposed referral to undertake an audit, until the Commission publicly issues the final audit report.

(c)(1) A Commissioner or member of a Commissioner's staff who receives an oral ex parte communication concerning any matters addressed in paragraph (a) or (b) of this section shall attempt to prevent the communication. If unsuccessful in preventing the communication, the Commissioner or staff member shall advise the person making the communication that he or she will not consider the communication and shall, as soon after the communication as is reasonably possible but no later than three business days after the communication, unless special circumstances make this impracticable; or prior to the next Commission discussion of the matter, whichever is earlier, prepare a statement setting forth the substance and circumstances of the communication, and deliver the statement to the Designated Agency Ethics Official for placement in the file of the matching fund request, audit or litigation case.

(2) A Commissioner or member of a Commissioner's staff who receives a written ex parte communication concerning any Commission action or potential action concerning any candidate or committee's eligibility for or entitlement to public funding, or any audit, or any prospective Commission decision or action concerning any pending litigation case, during the period described in paragraph (b) of this section shall, as soon after the communication as is reasonably possible but no later than three business days after the communication, unless special circumstances make this impracticable; or prior to the next Commission discussion of the matter, whichever is earlier, deliver a copy of the communication to the Designated Agency Ethics Official for placement in the file of the audit or litigation case.

[58 FR 59645, Nov. 10, 1993, as amended at 79 FR 77850, Dec. 29, 2014]

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§201.4   Rulemaking proceedings and advisory opinions: Ex parte contacts reported.

(a) A Commissioner or member of a Commissioner's staff who receives an ex parte communication concerning any rulemaking or advisory opinion during the period described in paragraph (b) of this section shall, as soon after the communication as is reasonably possible but no later than three business days after the communication unless special circumstances make this impracticable, or prior to the next Commission discussion of the matter, whichever is earlier, provide a copy of a written communication or a written summary of an oral communication to the Commission Secretary for placement in the public file of the rulemaking or advisory opinion. The Commissioner or staff member shall advise any person making an oral communication that a written summary of the conversation will be made part of the public record.

(b) The requirements of paragraph (a) of this section apply:

(1) In the case of a rulemaking proceeding, from the date a petition for rulemaking is circulated to Commissioners' offices, or the date on which a proposed rulemaking document is first circulated to the Commission or placed on an agenda of a Commission public meeting, through final Commission action on that rulemaking.

(2) In the case of an advisory opinion, from the date a request for an advisory opinion is circulated to Commissioner's offices through the date on which the advisory opinion is issued, and during any period of reconsideration pursuant to 11 CFR 112.6.

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§201.5   Sanctions.

Any person who becomes aware of a possible violation of this part shall notify the Designated Agency Ethics Official in writing of the facts and circumstances of the alleged violation. The Designated Agency Ethics Official shall recommend to the Commission the appropriate action to be taken. The Commission shall determine the appropriate action by at least four votes.

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