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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 · Sec. 551. Definitions. 552. Public information; agency rules, opinions, orders, records, and proceedings. 552a. Records maintained on individuals. 552b. Open Meetings. 553. Rule making. 554. Adjudications. 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
8 551. Definitions
(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;
(C) the governments of the territories or possessions of the United States;
(D) the government of the District of Columbia;
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., 20 Seos., approved June 11, 1946, 60 Stat. 237, 5 U.S.C. 89 1001-1011, and Public Law 89–487, 89th Cong., 20 Sess., approved July 4, 1966, 80 Stat. 250, 5 U.S.C. 8 1002, which have been re pealed. 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, appen
dix; (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;
(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 pro
ceeding covered by this subchapter.2 8 552. 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.
s Subsection 552(a) was revised by the Freedom of Information Act, Public Law 90-23, ap proved 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(bX1) and (2).
Paragraph 552aX1) 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 (bX2), introductory part, in clause (B); former subsection (bX2), concluding part, in clause (C), inserting publication requirement for rules of procedure and de scriptions of forms available or the places at which forms may be obtained; former subsection (bX3), 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 pub lished in the Federal Register but not so published for former subsection (bX3), 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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tions of general applicability formulated and adopted by the
(E) each amendment, revision, or repeal of the foregoing. Except to the extent that a person has actual and timely notice of the terms thereof, a person may not in any manner be required to resort to, or be adversely affected by, a matter required to be pub lished in the Federal Register and not so published. For the purpose of this paragraph, matter reasonably available to the class of persons affected thereby is deemed published in the Federal Register when incorporated by reference therein with the approval of the Director of the Federal Register.
(2) Each agency, in accordance with published rules, shall make available for public inspection and copying
(A) final opinions, including concurring and dissenting opinions, as well as orders, made in the adjudication of cases;
(B) those statements of policy and interpretations which have been adopted by the agency and are not published in the Federal Register; and
(C) administrative staff manuals and instructions to staff
that affect a member of the public; unless the materials are promptly published and copies offered for sale. To the extent required to prevent a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy, an agency may delete identifying details when it makes available or publishes an opinion, statement of policy, interpretation, or staff manual or instruction. However, in each case the justification for the deletion shall be explained fully in writing. Each agency shall also maintain and make available for public inspection and copying current indexes providing identifying information for the public as to any matter issued, adopted, or pro mulgated after July 4, 1967, and required by this paragraph to be made available or published. Each agency shall promptly publish, quarterly or more frequently, and distribute (by sale or otherwise) copies of each index or supplements thereto unless it determines by order published in the Federal Register that the publication would be unnecessary and impracticable, in which case the agency shall nonetheless provide copies of such index on request at a cost not to exceed the direct cost of duplication. A final order, opinion, state ment of policy, interpretation, or staff manual or instruction that affects a member of the public may be relied on, used, or cited as precedent by an agency against a party other than an agency only if
(i) it has been indexed and either made available or published as provided by this paragraph; or
Paragraph 552(aX2) was revised by Public Law 90-23, approved June 5, 1967, 81 Stat. 54, which incorporated provisions of former subsection (c), provided for public copying of records, eliminated requirement of agency publication of final opinions or orders and authority for secre cy and withholding of opinions and orders required for good cause to be held confidential and not cited as precedents, latter provision now superseded by subsection (b) of this section; designated former subsection (c) as clause (A), including therein provision for availability of concurring and dissenting opinions; added provisions for availability of policy statements and interpre tations in clause (B) and staff manuals and instructions in clause (C), provision for deletion of personal identifications from records to protect personal privacy with written justification there for, and provision for indexing and prohibition of use of records not indexed against any private party without actual and timely notice of the terms thereof.
• The third full sentence of the paragraph was revised to change "index" to "indexes," and to insert the fourth full sentence by Public Law 93-502, approved November 21, 1974, 88 Stat. 1561.