Department of the Navy, DOD.
This rule sets forth regulations pertaining to the Department of the Navy's Freedom of Information Act Program. This rule adds regulations regarding indexing, public inspection, and publication of documents affecting the public.
Effective April 27, 2000.
Office of the Judge Advocate General (Code 13), 1322 Patterson Avenue, Suite 3000, Washington Navy Yard, DC 20374-5066.Start Further Info
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Lieutenant Commander James L. Roth, JAGC, USN, Head, Regulations & Legislation, FOIA/PA Branch, Administrative Law Division, Office of the Judge Advocate General (Code 13), 1322 Patterson Avenue SE, Suite 3000, Washington Navy Yard, DC 20374-5066, Telephone: (703) 604-8200.End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information
Due to incorrect amendatory instructions, subpart E was inadvertently deleted from Part 701 when subparts A through D were revised on September 14, 1999 (64 FR 49850). Subpart E is being added back to Part 701 in its entirety. This rule is being published by the Department of the Navy for guidance and interest of the public in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(1). It has been determined that invitation of public comment on this amendment would be impracticable and unnecessary, and it is therefore not required under the public rulemaking provisions of 32 CFR part 336 or Secretary of the Navy Instruction 5720.45, on which subpart E is derived. Interested persons, however, are invited to comment in writing on this amendment. All written comments received will be considered in making subsequent amendments or revisions to 32 CFR Part 701, subpart E, or the instruction on which it is based. Changes may be initiated on the basis of comments received. Written comments should be addressed to Lieutenant Commander James L. Roth, JAGC, USN, Head, Regulations and Legislation, FOIA/PA Branch, Administrative Law Division, Office of the Judge Advocate General (Code 13), 1322 Patterson Avenue SE, Suite 3000, Washington Navy Yard, DC 20374-5066. It has been determined that this final rule is not a “significant regulatory action” as defined in Executive Order 12866.Start List of Subjects
List of Subjects in 32 CFR Part 701
- Administrative practice and procedure
- Freedom of Information
Accordingly, 32 CFR Part 701 is amended as follows:End Amendment Part Start Part
PART 701—AVAILABILITY OF DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY RECORDS AND PUBLICATION OF DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY DOCUMENTS AFFECTING THE PUBLICEnd Part Start Amendment Part
1. The authority citation for Part 701 continues to read as follows:End Amendment Part Start Amendment Part
2. Part 701 is amended by adding subpart E as follows:End Amendment Part
Subpart E—Indexing, Public inspection, and Federal Register Publication of Department of the Navy Directives and Other Documents Affecting the Public.
- Scope and applicability.
- Publication of adopted regulatory documents for the guidance of the public.
- Availability, public inspection, and indexing of other documents affecting the public.
- Publication of proposed regulations for public comment.
- Petitions for issuance, revision, or cancellation of regulations affecting the public.
This subpart implements 5 U.S.C. 552(a) (1) and (2) and provisions of Department of Defense Directive 5400.7 May 13, 1988 (32 CFR part 286, 55 FR 53104); Department of Defense Directive 5400.9, December 23, 1974 (32 CFR part 336, 40 FR 49111); and the Regulations of the Administrative Committee of the Federal Register (1 CFR chaps. I and II) by delineating responsibilities and prescribing requirements, policies, criteria, and procedures applicable to:
(a) Publishing the following Department of the Navy documents in the Federal Register:
(1) Certain classes of regulatory, organizational policy, substantive, and procedural documents required to be published for the guidance of the public;
(2) Certain classes of proposed regulatory documents required to be published for public comment prior to issuance; and
(3) Certain public notices required by law or regulation to be published;
(b) Making available, for public inspection and copying, certain classes of documents having precedential effect on decisions concerning members of the public;
(c) Maintaining current indexes of documents having precedential effect on decisions concerning members of the public, and publishing such indexes or making them available by other means;
(d) Receiving and considering petitions of members of the public for the issuance, revision, or cancellation of regulatory documents of some classes; and
(e) Distributing the Federal Register for official use within the Department of the Navy.
This subpart prescribes actions to be executed by, or at the direction of, Navy Department (as defined in § 700.104c of this chapter) components and specified headquarters activities for apprising members of the public of Department of the Navy regulations, policies, substantive and procedural rules, and decisions which may affect them, and for enabling members of the public to participate in Department of the Navy rulemaking processes in matters of substantial and direct concern to the public. This subpart complements subpart A, which implements Navy-wide requirements for furnishing documents to members of the the public upon request. That a document may be published or indexed and made available for public inspection and copying under this instruction does not affect the possible requirement under subpart A for producing it for examination, or furnishing a copy, in response to a request made under that subpart.
In accordance with the spirit and intent of 5 U.S.C. 552, the public has the right to maximum information concerning the organization and functions of the Department of the Navy. This includes information on the policies and the substantive and procedural rules used by the Department of the Navy in its dealings with the public. In accordance with Department of Defense policy described in 32 CFR part 336, 40 FR 4911, moreover, the public is encouraged to participate in Department of the Navy rulemaking when the proposed rule would substantially and directly affect the public.
(a) Classes of documents to be published. Subject to the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552(b) which exempt specified matters from requirements for release to the public [see subpart B of this part], the classes of Department of the Navy documents required to be published on a current basis in the Federal Register are listed below.
(1) Naval organization and points of contact—description of the central and field organization of the Department of the Navy and the locations at which, the members or employees from whom, and the methods whereby, the public may obtain information, make submittals or requests, or obtain decisions;
(2) Methods and procedures for business with public—statements of the general course and methods by which Department of the Navy functions affecting members of the public are channeled and determined, including the nature and requirements of all formal and informal procedures available;
(3) Procedural rules and forms—rules of procedure for functions affecting members of the public, 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 required to be submitted under such rules of procedures; and
(4) Substantive rules and policies—substantive rules of general applicability adopted as authorized by law, and statements of general policy or interpretations of general applicability formulated and adopted by the Department of the Navy. Such rules are commonly contained in directives, manuals, and memorandums.
(i) “General applicability” defined. The definition prescribed in 1 CFR 1.1 pertains to the classes of documents contemplated in § 701.64(b) (4).
(ii) Internal personnel rules and internal practices. In addition to other exemptions listed in 5 U.S.C. 552(b) and subpart B of this part, particular attention is directed to the exemption pertaining to internal personnel rules and internal practices.
(iii) Local regulations. It is unnecessary to publish in the Federal Register a regulation which is essentially local in scope or application, such as a directive issued by a base commander in the implementation of his responsibility and authority under subpart G of part 700 of this title for guarding the security of the installation or controlling the access and conduct of visitors or tradesmen. However, such publication may be authorized under extraordinary circumstances, as determined by the Chief of Naval Operations or the Commandant of the Marine Corps, as appropriate, with the concurrence of the Judge Advocate General.
(iv) Incorporation by reference. with the approval of the Director of the Federal Register given in the limited instances authorized in 1 CFR Part 51 and 32 CFR 336.5(c), the requirement for publication in the Federal Register may be satisfied by reference in the Federal Register to other publications containing the information which must otherwise be published in the Federal Register. In general, matters eligible for incorporation by reference are restricted to materials in the nature of published data, criteria, standards, specifications, techniques, illustrations, or other published information which are reasonably available to members of the class affected.
(b) Public inspection. when feasible, Department of the Navy and Department of Defense documents published in the Federal Register should be made available for inspection and copying, along with available indexes of such documents, in the same locations used for copying of the documents contemplated in § 701.65.
(a) Discussion. Section 552(a) of title 5, United States Code, requires the Department of the Navy to make available for public inspection and copying documents which have precedential significance on those Department of the Navy decisions which affect the public. These documents must be kept readily available for public inspection and copying at designated locations, unless they are promptly published and copies are offered for sale. Additionally, documents issued after July 4, 1967, are required to be indexed on a current basis. These indexes, or supplements thereto, must be published at least quarterly in accordance with the provisions of this paragraph. In determining whether a particular document is subject to the requirements of this paragraph, consideration should be given to the statutory purposes and legal effect of the provisions.
(1) Statutory purposes. In general, the purpose of the requirement to provide members of the public with essential information is to enable them to deal effectively and knowledgeably with Federal agencies; to apprise members of the public of the existence and contents of documents which have potential legal consequences as precedents in administrative determinations which may affect them; and to permit public examination of the basis for administrative actions which affect the public.
(2) Legal effect. If a document is required to be indexed and made available under this paragraph, it may not be used or asserted as a precedent against a member of the public unless it was indexed and made available, or unless the person against whom it is asserted had actual and timely notice of its contents.
(b) Classes of documents affected. (1) Subject to the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552(b) which exempt specified matters from the requirements of public disclosure, the following classes of Department of the Navy documents are included in the requirements of this paragraph:
(i) Final adjudicative opinions and orders—opinions (including concurring and dissenting opinions) which are issued as part of the final disposition of adjudication proceedings (as defined in 5 U.S.C. 551) and which may have precedential effect in the disposition of other cases affecting members of the public;
(ii) Policy statements and interpretations—statements of policy and interpretations of less than general applicability (i.e., applicable only to specific cases; organizations, or persons), which are not required to be published in the Federal Register, but which may have precedential effect in the disposition of other cases affecting members of the public;
(iii) Manuals and instructions—administrative staff manuals, directives, and instructions to staff, or portions thereof, which establish Department of the Navy policy or interpretations of policy that serve as a basis for determining the rights of members of the public with regard to Department of Start Printed Page 24637the Navy functions. In general, manuals and instructions relating only to Internal management aspects of property or fiscal accounting, personnel administration, and most other “proprietary” functions of the department are not within the scope of this provision. This provision also does not apply to instructions for employees on methods, techniques, and tactics to be used in performing their duties; for example:
(A) Instructions or manuals issued for audit, investigation, and inspection purposes;
(B) Those which prescribe operational tactics; standards of performance; criteria for defense, prosecution, or settlement of cases; or negotiating or bargaining techniques, limitations, or positions; and
(C) Operations and maintenance manuals and technical information concerning munitions, equipment, and systems, and foreign intelligence operations.
(2) In determining whether a document has precedential effect, the primary test is whether it is intended as guidance to be followed either in decisions or evaluations by the issuing authority's subordinates, or by the issuing authority itself in the adjudication or determination of future cases involving similar facts or issues. The kinds of orders or opinions which clearly have precedential effect are those that are intended to operate both as final dispositions of the questions involved in the individual cases presented, and as rules of decision to be followed by the issuing authority or its subordinates in future cases involving similar questions. By contrast, many adjudicative orders and opinions issued within the Department of the Navy operate only as case-by-case applications of policies or interpretations established in provisions of manuals or directives and are not themselves used, cited, or relied on as rules of decision in future cases. In these instances, the underlying manual or directive provisions obviously would have precedential effect, but the orders and opinions themselves would not have. A recommendation by an official who is not authorized to adjudicate, or to issue a binding statement of policy or interpretation in a particular matter would not have precedential effect though an order, opinion, statement of policy, or interpretation issued by an authorized official pursuant to such recommendation might have that effect.
(c) Deletion of identifying details. (1) Although the exemptions from public disclosure described in 5 U.S.C. 552 and subpart B of this part are applicable to documents which are required to be indexed and made available for public inspection and copying under this paragraph, there is no general requirement that any segregable portions of partially exempt documents be so indexed and made available for public inspection and copying. As a general rule, a record may therefore be held exempt in its entirety from the requirements of this paragraph if it is determined that it contains exempt matter and that it is reasonably foreseeable that disclosure would be harmful to an interest protected by that exemption. An exception to this general rule does exist with regard to a record which would be exempt only because it contains information which, if disclosed, would result in a clearly unwarranted invasion of privacy.
(2) Where necessary to prevent a clearly unwarranted invasion of a person's privacy, identifying details should be deleted from a record which is required to be indexed and made available for public inspection and copying under this paragraph. In every such case, the justification for the deletion must be fully stated in writing in a manner which avoids creating inferences that could be injurious to the person whose privacy is involved. Usual reasons for deletion of identifying details include the protection of privacy in a person's business affairs, medical matters, or private family matters; humanitarian considerations; and avoidance of embarrassment to a person.
(d) Publication of indexes.—(1) Form of indexes. Each index should be arranged topically or by descriptive words, so that members of the public may be able to locate the pertinent documents by subject, rather than by case name or by a numbering system.
(2) Time of publication. Each component having cognizance of records required under this paragraph to be indexed shall compile and maintain an index of such records on a continually current basis. Each such index was required to initially be published by July 1, 1975. An updated version of each such index, or a current supplement thereto, shall be published by an authorized method at least annually thereafter.
(3) Methods of publication. The methods authorized for publication of the indexes contemplated in this paragraph are:
(i) Publication in the Federal Register;
(ii) Commercial publication, provided that such commercial publication is readily available to members of the public, or will be made available upon request, and payment of costs (if this method is utilized, information on the cost of copies and the address from which they may be obtained shall be published in the Federal Register); or
(iii) Furnishing internally reproduced copies upon request, at cost not to exceed the direct cost of duplication in accordance with subpart D of this part, provided that it is determined by an order published in the Federal Register, that the publication of the index by methods § 701.65(d) (3) (i) or (ii) would be unnecessary or impracticable. Such order shall state the cost of copies and the address from which they may be obtained. The Chief of Naval Operations (N09B30) is authorized to issue such an order in a proper case.
(4) Public inspection of indexes. In addition to publication by one of the foregoing methods, each index will be made available for public inspection and copying in accordance with § 701.65(e) at the locations where Department of the Navy records are available for public inspection.
(e) Where records may be inspected. Locations and times at which Department of the Navy records, and indexes thereof, are available for public inspection and copying are shown in § 701.32.
(f) Cost. Fees for copying services, if any, furnished at locations shown in § 701.32 shall be determined in accordance with subpart D of this part.
(g) Records of the United States Navy-Marine Corps Court of Military Review. The United States Navy-Marine Corps Court of Military Review is deemed to be “a court of the United States” within the meaning of 5 U.S.C. 551 and is therefore excluded from the requirements of 5 U.S.C. 552. Nevertheless, unpublished decisions of the United States Navy-Marine Corps Court of Military Review, although not indexed, are available for public inspection at the location shown in § 701.32(c).
(a) Discussion. The requirements of this section are not imposed by statute, but are the implementation of policies and procedures created administratively in 32 CFR part 336. In effect, the pertinent provisions of 32 CFR part 336 establish, within the Department of Defense and its components, procedures that are analogous to the public rulemaking procedures applicable to some functions of other Federal agencies under 5 U.S.C. 553. While the administrative policy of encouraging the maximum practicable public participation in the Department of the Navy rulemaking shall be diligently followed, determinations by the Start Printed Page 24638Department of the Navy as to whether a proposed regulatory requirement originated by it comes within the purview of this paragraph and the corresponding provisions of 32 CFR part 336, and as to whether inviting public comment is warranted, shall be conclusive and final.
(b) Classes of documents affected. Each proposed regulation or other document of a class described in § 701.64(a) (or a proposed revision of an adopted document of any of those classes) which would “originate” within the Department of the Navy a requirement of general applicability and future effect for implementing, interpreting, or prescribing law or policy, or practice and procedure requirements constituting authority for prospective actions having substantial and direct impact on the public, or a significant portion of the public, must be evaluated to determine whether inviting public comment prior to issuance is warranted. Documents that merely implement regulations previously issued by higher naval authorities or by the Department of Defense will not be deemed to “originate” requirements within the purview of this section. If a proposed document is within the purview of this section, publication to invite public comment will be warranted unless, upon evaluation, it is affirmatively determined both that a significant and legitimate interest of the Department of the Navy or the public will be served by omitting such publication for public comment, and that the document is subject to one or more of the following exceptions:
(1) It pertains to a military or foreign affairs function of the United States which has been determined under the criteria of an Executive Order or statute to require a security classification in the interests of national defense or foreign policy;
(2) It relates to naval management, naval military or civilian personnel, or public contracts (e.g. Navy Procurement Directives), including nonappropriated fund contracts;
(3) It involves interpretative rules, general statements of policy, or rules of agency organization, procedure, or practice; or
(4) It is determined with regard to the document, for good cause, that inviting the pubic comment is impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.
(c) Procedures—(1) Normal case. Unless the official having cognizance of a proposed regulatory document determines under the criteria of § 701.66(b) that inviting public comment is not warranted, he or she shall cause it to be published in the Federal Register with an invitation for the public to submit comments in the form of written data, views, or arguments during a specified period of not less than 30 days following the date of publication. An opportunity for oral presentation normally will not be provided, but may be provided at the sole discretion of the official having cognizance of the proposed directive if he or she deems it to be in the best interest of the Department of the Navy or the public to do so. After careful consideration of all relevant matters presented within the period specified for public comment, the proposed document may be issued in final form. After issuance, the adopted document, and a preamble explaining the relationship of the adopted document to the proposed and the nature and effect of public comments, shall be published in the Federal Register for guidance of the public.
(2) Where public comment is not warranted. The official having cognizance of a proposed document within the purview of this paragraph shall, if he or she determines that inviting public comment concerning the document is not warranted under the criteria of § 701.66(b), incorporate that determination, and the basis therefor, in the document when it is issued or submitted to a higher authority for issuance. After issuance, such document shall be published in the Federal Register for the guidance of the public, if required under § 701.64(b).
In accordance with the provisions of 32 CFR part 336, the Department of the Navy shall accord any interested person the right to petition in writing, for the issuance, revision, or cancellation of regulatory document that originates, or would originate, for the Department of the Navy, a policy, requirement, or procedure which is, or would be, within the purview of § 701.66. The official having cognizance of the particular regulatory document involved, or having cognizance of the subject matter of a proposed document, shall give full and prompt consideration to any such petition. Such official may, at his or her absolute discretion, grant the petitioner an opportunity to appear, at his or her own expense, for the purpose of supporting the petition, if this is deemed to be compatible with orderly conduct of public business. The petitioner shall be advised in writing of the disposition, and the reasons for the disposition, of any petition within the purview of this section.
Dated: April 12, 2000.
Lieutenant Commander, Judge Advocate General's Corps, U.S. Navy, Federal Register Liaison Officer.
[FR Doc. 00-10476 Filed 4-26-00; 8:45 am]
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