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SELECTED PROVISIONS FROM THE UNITED
TITLE 5-GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATION AND EMPLOYEES
PART I-THE AGENCIES GENERALLY
CHAPTER 5-ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURE
SUBCHAPTER II-ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURE 1
552. Public information; agency rules, opinions, orders, records, and proceedings. 552a. Records maintained on individuals.
552b. Open Meetings.
553. Rule making.
555. Ancillary matters.
556. Hearings; presiding employees; powers and duties; burden of proof; evidence; record as basis of decision.
557. Initial decisions; conclusiveness; review by agency; submissions by parties; contents of decisions; record.
558. Imposition of sanctions; determination of applications for licenses; suspension, revocation, and expiration of licenses.
559. Effect on other laws; effect of subsequent statute.
SUBCHAPTER II-ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURE
§ 551. Definitions
For the purpose of this subchapter
(1) "agency" means each authority of the Government of the United States, whether or not it is within or subject to review by another agency, but does not include
(A) the Congress;
(B) the courts of the United States;
(C) the governments of the territories or possessions of the United States;
(D) the government of the District of Columbia;
or except as to the requirements of section 552 of this title;
1 Public Laws 89-554 and 90-23, 80 Stat. 381-388, 392-393, 81 Stat. 54-56. These statutes, in part, revise, codify and re-enact the Administrative Procedure Act, Public Law 404, 79th Cong., 2d Sess., approved June 11, 1946, 60 Stat. 237, 5 U.S.C. §§ 1001-1011, and Public Law 89-487, 89th Cong., 2d Sess., approved July 4, 1966, 80 Stat. 250, 5 U.S.C. § 1002, which have been repealed. Subsequent amendments to the Administrative Procedure Act are indicated in the footnotes.
(E) agencies composed of representatives of the parties or of the representatives of organizations of the parties to the disputes determined by them;
(F) courts martial and military commissions;
(G) military authority exercised in the field in time of war or in occupied territory; or
(H) functions conferred by sections 1738, 1739, 1743, and 1744 of title 12; chapter 2 of title 41; or sections 1622, 1884, 1891-1902, and former section 1641(b)(2), of title 50, appendix;
(2) "person" includes an individual, partnership, corporation, association, or public or private organization other than an agency;
(3) "party" includes a person or agency named or admitted as a party, or properly seeking and entitled as of right to be admitted as a party, in an agency proceeding, and a person or agency admitted by an agency as a party for limited purposes; (4) "rule" means the whole or a part of an agency statement of general or particular applicability and future effect designed to implement, interpret, or prescribe law or policy or describing the organization, procedure, or practice requirements of an agency and includes the approval or prescription for the future of rates, wages, corporate or financial structures or reorganizations thereof, prices, facilities, appliances, services or allowances therefor or of valuations, costs, or accounting, or practices bearing on any of the foregoing;
(5) "rule making" means agency process for formulating, amending, or repealing a rule;
(6) "order" means the whole or a part of a final disposition, whether affirmative, negative, injunctive, or declaratory in form, of an agency in a matter other than rule making but including licensing;
(7) "adjudication" means agency process for the formulation of an order;
(8) "license" includes the whole or part of an agency permit, certificate, approval, registration, charter, membership, statutory exemption or other form of permission;
(9) "licensing" includes agency process respecting the grant, renewal, denial, revocation, suspension, annulment, withdrawal, limitation, amendment, modification, or conditioning of a license;
(10) "sanction" includes the whole or a part of an agency(A) prohibition, requirement, limitation, or other condition affecting the freedom of a person;
(B) withholding of relief;
(C) imposition of penalty or fine;
(D) destruction, taking, seizure, or withholding of property;
(E) assessment of damages, reimbursement, restitution, compensation, costs, charges, or fees;
(F) requirement, revocation, or suspension of a license;
(G) taking other compulsory or restrictive action;
(11) "relief" includes the whole or a part of an agency
(A) grant of money, assistance, license, authority, exemption, exception, privilege, or remedy;
(B) recognition of a claim, right, immunity, privilege, exemption, or exception; or
(C) taking of other action on the application or petition of, and beneficial to, a person;
(12) "agency proceeding" means an agency process as defined by paragraphs (5), (7), and (9) of this section;
(13) "agency action" includes the whole or a part of an agency rule, order, license, sanction, relief, or the equivalent or denial thereof, or failure to act; and
(14) "ex parte communication" means an oral or written communication not on the public record with respect to which reasonable prior notice to all parties is not given, but it shall not include requests for status reports on any matter or proceeding covered by this subchapter.2
§ 552. Public information; agency rules, opinions, orders, records, and proceedings
(a) Each agency shall make available to the public information as follows:
(1) Each agency shall separately state and currently publish in the Federal Register for the guidance of the public
(A) descriptions of its central and field organization and the established places at which, the employees (and in the case of a uniformed service, the members) from whom, and the methods whereby, the public may obtain information, make submittals or requests, 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 instructions 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 interpreta
2 Paragraph (14) was added by Public Law 94-409, approved September 13, 1976, 90 Stat. 1247. 3 Subsection 552(a) was revised by the Freedom of Information Act, Public Law 90-23, approved June 5, 1967, 81 Stat. 54. The former subsection excepted from disclosure matters relating to secrecy, and internal management of an agency, which are now covered in paragraphs 552(b)(1) and (2).
Paragraph 552(a)(1) was revised by Public Law 90-23, approved June 5, 1967, 81 Stat. 54, which incorporated provisions of the following: former subsection (bX1) in clause (A) inserting requirement of publication of names of officers as sources of information and provision for public to obtain decisions, and deleting publication requirement for delegations by the agency of final authority; former subsection (b)(2), introductory part, in clause (B); former subsection (b)(2), concluding part, in clause (C), inserting publication requirement for rules of procedure and descriptions of forms available or the places at which forms may be obtained; former subsection (b)3), introductory part, in clause (D), inserting requirement of general applicability of substantive rules and interpretations; added clause (E), substituted exemption of any person from failure to resort to any matter or from being adversely affected by any matter required to be published in the Federal Register but not so published for former subsection (b)(3), concluding part, excepting from publication rules addressed to and served upon named persons in accordance with laws final sentence reading, A person may not be required to resort to organization or procedure not so published" and added provision deeming matter, which is reasonably available, as published in the Federal Register with the approval of its Director.
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