Enclosure (2) to COMDTINST 5420.37A
section 10(b) is to provide for the contemporaneous availability of advisory
committee records that, when taken in conjunction with the ability to attend
committee meetings, provide a meaningful opportunity to fully comprehend
the work of the committee. Records covered by the exemptions set forth in
section 552(b) of Title 5 of the United States Code, Freedom of Information
Act (FOIA), may generally be withheld. However, 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(5) cannot
be used to withhold documents reflecting an advisory committee's internal
deliberations unless the meeting is closed in accordance with the procedures
set forth in 9.c. of this Instruction.
Therefore, all committee documents--working papers, drafts, studies, etc.--
must be available for public inspection and copying before or on the date of
the advisory committee meeting to which they apply. The public shall not be
required to submit a request for materials under FOIA unless the Coast Guard
can reasonably claim those materials as exempt from disclosure under FOIA
Privacy. FOIA exemption 6 (5 U.S.C. 552(b)(6)) allows an agency to withhold
any information that, if released, would warrant a clear invasion of privacy.
Releasing a committee member's home address, telephone number, private e-mail
address, or similar private information would be an invasion of the member's
privacy. Therefore, the Coast Guard shall only release the business name and
telephone number of advisory committee members. In those situations where the
member's home address and telephone number is also their place of business, such
information may be released only if the member permits the release of such
information in writing. "Release" shall mean any means of providing the
information, including but not limited to: verbally, in newsletters, correspondence,
e-mail, or web pages. Member information in the Annual Report of the President
on Federal Advisory Committees shall comply with this section.
Prohibited Data. Unless prior concurrence is given by the Associate General
Counsel (General Law), advisory committees shall not receive, compile, or discuss
data or reports concerning matters which would be exempt from disclosure under 5
U.S.C. 552(b)(4) and (6) which deal, respectively, with records that are trade
secrets and commercial or financial information and records, the release of which
would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy. Further, no
personal information shall be received, compiled, or discussed unless done so in
compliance with the Privacy Act.
Antitrust Laws. The activities of advisory committees are subject to the antitrust
laws, and committee members are subject to those laws. Industry representatives
and Government personnel officially connected with advisory committees should
be made aware of the application of the antitrust laws by the Sponsor. Should any
specific question arise concerning a particular plan or course of action, the question
should be referred to the General Counsel.