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1625-0109 Stat/Authority

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§ 553

TITLE 5—GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATION AND EMPLOYEES

(l) This section does not constitute authority
to withhold any information from Congress, and
does not authorize the closing of any agency
meeting or portion thereof required by any
other provision of law to be open.
(m) Nothing in this section authorizes any
agency to withhold from any individual any
record, including transcripts, recordings, or
minutes required by this section, which is otherwise accessible to such individual under section
552a of this title.
(Added Pub. L. 94–409, § 3(a), Sept. 13, 1976, 90
Stat. 1241; amended Pub. L. 104–66, title III,
§ 3002, Dec. 21, 1995, 109 Stat. 734.)
REFERENCES IN TEXT
Section 552(e) of this title, referred to in subsec.
(a)(1), was redesignated section 552(f) of this title by
section 1802(b) of Pub. L. 99–570.
180 days after the date of enactment of this section,
referred to in subsec. (g), means 180 days after the date
of enactment of Pub. L. 94–409, which was approved
Sept. 13, 1976.
AMENDMENTS
1995—Subsec. (j). Pub. L. 104–66 amended subsec. (j)
generally. Prior to amendment, subsec. (j) read as follows: ‘‘Each agency subject to the requirements of this
section shall annually report to Congress regarding its
compliance with such requirements, including a tabulation of the total number of agency meetings open to
the public, the total number of meetings closed to the
public, the reasons for closing such meetings, and a description of any litigation brought against the agency
under this section, including any costs assessed against
the agency in such litigation (whether or not paid by
the agency).’’
EFFECTIVE DATE
Section 6 of Pub. L. 94–409 provided that:
‘‘(a) Except as provided in subsection (b) of this section, the provisions of this Act [see Short Title note set
out below] shall take effect 180 days after the date of
its enactment [Sept. 13, 1976].
‘‘(b) Subsection (g) of section 552b of title 5, United
States Code, as added by section 3(a) of this Act, shall
take effect upon enactment [Sept. 13, 1976].’’
SHORT TITLE OF 1976 AMENDMENT
Section 1 of Pub. L. 94–409 provided: ‘‘That this Act
[enacting this section, amending sections 551, 552, 556,
and 557 of this title, section 10 of Pub. L. 92–463, set out
in the Appendix to this title, and section 410 of Title 39,
and enacting provisions set out as notes under this section] may be cited as the ‘Government in the Sunshine
Act’.’’
TERMINATION OF REPORTING REQUIREMENTS
For termination, effective May 15, 2000, of provisions
of law requiring submittal to Congress of any annual,
semiannual, or other regular periodic report listed in
House Document No. 103–7 (in which the report required
by subsec. (j) of this section is listed on page 151), see
section 3003 of Pub. L. 104–66, as amended, set out as a
note under section 1113 of Title 31, Money and Finance.
TERMINATION OF ADMINISTRATIVE CONFERENCE OF
UNITED STATES
For termination of Administrative Conference of
United States, see provision of title IV of Pub. L.
104–52, set out as a note preceding section 591 of this
title.
DECLARATION OF POLICY AND STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
Section 2 of Pub. L. 94–409 provided that: ‘‘It is hereby
declared to be the policy of the United States that the

Page 58

public is entitled to the fullest practicable information
regarding the decisionmaking processes of the Federal
Government. It is the purpose of this Act [see Short
Title note set out above] to provide the public with
such information while protecting the rights of individuals and the ability of the Government to carry out its
responsibilities.’’

§ 553. Rule making
(a) This section applies, according to the provisions thereof, except to the extent that there
is involved—
(1) a military or foreign affairs function of
the United States; or
(2) a matter relating to agency management
or personnel or to public property, loans,
grants, benefits, or contracts.
(b) General notice of proposed rule making
shall be published in the Federal Register, unless persons subject thereto are named and either personally served or otherwise have actual
notice thereof in accordance with law. The notice shall include—
(1) a statement of the time, place, and nature of public rule making proceedings;
(2) reference to the legal authority under
which the rule is proposed; and
(3) either the terms or substance of the proposed rule or a description of the subjects and
issues involved.
Except when notice or hearing is required by
statute, this subsection does not apply—
(A) to interpretative rules, general statements of policy, or rules of agency organization, procedure, or practice; or
(B) when the agency for good cause finds
(and incorporates the finding and a brief statement of reasons therefor in the rules issued)
that notice and public procedure thereon are
impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the
public interest.
(c) After notice required by this section, the
agency shall give interested persons an opportunity to participate in the rule making through
submission of written data, views, or arguments
with or without opportunity for oral presentation. After consideration of the relevant matter presented, the agency shall incorporate in
the rules adopted a concise general statement of
their basis and purpose. When rules are required
by statute to be made on the record after opportunity for an agency hearing, sections 556 and
557 of this title apply instead of this subsection.
(d) The required publication or service of a
substantive rule shall be made not less than 30
days before its effective date, except—
(1) a substantive rule which grants or recognizes an exemption or relieves a restriction;
(2) interpretative rules and statements of
policy; or
(3) as otherwise provided by the agency for
good cause found and published with the rule.
(e) Each agency shall give an interested person
the right to petition for the issuance, amendment, or repeal of a rule.
(Pub. L. 89–554, Sept. 6, 1966, 80 Stat. 383.)

Page 59

TITLE 5—GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATION AND EMPLOYEES
HISTORICAL AND REVISION NOTES

Derivation
..................

Revised Statutes and
Statutes at Large

U.S. Code
5 U.S.C. 1003.

June 11, 1946, ch. 324, § 4, 60
Stat. 238.

In subsection (a)(1), the words ‘‘or naval’’ are omitted
as included in ‘‘military’’.
In subsection (b), the word ‘‘when’’ is substituted for
‘‘in any situation in which’’.
In subsection (c), the words ‘‘for oral presentation’’
are substituted for ‘‘to present the same orally in any
manner’’. The words ‘‘sections 556 and 557 of this title
apply instead of this subsection’’ are substituted for
‘‘the requirements of sections 1006 and 1007 of this title
shall apply in place of the provisions of this subsection’’.
Standard changes are made to conform with the definitions applicable and the style of this title as outlined
in the preface to the report.
CODIFICATION
Section 553 of former Title 5, Executive Departments
and Government Officers and Employees, was transferred to section 2245 of Title 7, Agriculture.
EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 12044
Ex. Ord. No. 12044, Mar. 23, 1978, 43 F.R. 12661, as
amended by Ex. Ord. No. 12221, June 27, 1980, 45 F.R.
44249, which related to the improvement of Federal regulations, was revoked by Ex. Ord. No. 12291, Feb. 17,
1981, 46 F.R. 13193, formerly set out as a note under section 601 of this title.

§ 554. Adjudications
(a) This section applies, according to the provisions thereof, in every case of adjudication required by statute to be determined on the record
after opportunity for an agency hearing, except
to the extent that there is involved—
(1) a matter subject to a subsequent trial of
the law and the facts de novo in a court;
(2) the selection or tenure of an employee,
except a 1 administrative law judge appointed
under section 3105 of this title;
(3) proceedings in which decisions rest solely
on inspections, tests, or elections;
(4) the conduct of military or foreign affairs
functions;
(5) cases in which an agency is acting as an
agent for a court; or
(6) the certification of worker representatives.
(b) Persons entitled to notice of an agency
hearing shall be timely informed of—
(1) the time, place, and nature of the hearing;
(2) the legal authority and jurisdiction under
which the hearing is to be held; and
(3) the matters of fact and law asserted.
When private persons are the moving parties,
other parties to the proceeding shall give
prompt notice of issues controverted in fact or
law; and in other instances agencies may by rule
require responsive pleading. In fixing the time
and place for hearings, due regard shall be had
for the convenience and necessity of the parties
or their representatives.
(c) The agency shall give all interested parties
opportunity for—
1 So

in original.

§ 554

(1) the submission and consideration of
facts, arguments, offers of settlement, or proposals of adjustment when time, the nature of
the proceeding, and the public interest permit;
and
(2) to the extent that the parties are unable
so to determine a controversy by consent,
hearing and decision on notice and in accordance with sections 556 and 557 of this title.
(d) The employee who presides at the reception of evidence pursuant to section 556 of this
title shall make the recommended decision or
initial decision required by section 557 of this
title, unless he becomes unavailable to the agency. Except to the extent required for the disposition of ex parte matters as authorized by law,
such an employee may not—
(1) consult a person or party on a fact in
issue, unless on notice and opportunity for all
parties to participate; or
(2) be responsible to or subject to the supervision or direction of an employee or agent engaged in the performance of investigative or
prosecuting functions for an agency.
An employee or agent engaged in the performance of investigative or prosecuting functions
for an agency in a case may not, in that or a factually related case, participate or advise in the
decision, recommended decision, or agency review pursuant to section 557 of this title, except
as witness or counsel in public proceedings. This
subsection does not apply—
(A) in determining applications for initial licenses;
(B) to proceedings involving the validity or
application of rates, facilities, or practices of
public utilities or carriers; or
(C) to the agency or a member or members
of the body comprising the agency.
(e) The agency, with like effect as in the case
of other orders, and in its sound discretion, may
issue a declaratory order to terminate a controversy or remove uncertainty.
(Pub. L. 89–554, Sept. 6, 1966, 80 Stat. 384; Pub. L.
95–251, § 2(a)(1), Mar. 27, 1978, 92 Stat. 183.)
HISTORICAL AND REVISION NOTES
Derivation
..................

U.S. Code
5 U.S.C. 1004.

Revised Statutes and
Statutes at Large
June 11, 1946, ch. 324, § 5, 60
Stat. 239.

In subsection (a)(2), the word ‘‘employee’’ is substituted for ‘‘officer or employee of the United States’’
in view of the definition of ‘‘employee’’ in section 2105.
In subsection (a)(4), the word ‘‘naval’’ is omitted as
included in ‘‘military’’.
In subsection (a)(5), the word ‘‘or’’ is substituted for
‘‘and’’ since the exception is applicable if any one of
the factors are involved.
In subsection (a)(6), the word ‘‘worker’’ is substituted
for ‘‘employee’’, since the latter is defined in section
2105 as meaning Federal employees.
In subsection (b), the word ‘‘When’’ is substituted for
‘‘In instances in which’’.
In subsection (c)(2), the comma after the word ‘‘hearing’’ is omitted to correct an editorial error.
In subsection (d), the words ‘‘The employee’’ and
‘‘such an employee’’ are substituted in the first two
sentences for ‘‘The same officers’’ and ‘‘such officers’’
in view of the definition of ‘‘employee’’ in section 2105.


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