PUBLIC COMMENTS ON DRAFT ADVISORY OPINIONS
Members of the public may submit written comments on draft advisory opinions according to the following procedures:
1) Comments must be in writing, and they must be both legible and complete.
2) Comments should reference the advisory opinion name or number (e.g., AO 2011-11 (Colbert)) and include the name of the commenter and, if submitted on behalf of another person (such as a committee or organization), the name of the other person.
3) Comments should be submitted by email to AO@fec.gov. Alternatively, persons may submit comments by hand delivery or fax to the Commission Secretary ((202) 208-3333) and Office of General Counsel ((202) 219-3923). Hand delivered comments should be addressed to Shawn Woodhead Werth, Office of the Commission Secretary, Federal Election Commission, 999 E Street, NW, Washington, DC 20463.
4) The Commission will generally not accept comments received after the deadline noted in the cover memo for the draft advisory opinion. An extension request will be considered only if received before the comment deadline and then only on a case-by-case basis in special circumstances.
5) All timely received comments will be made available to the public at the Commission’s Public Records Office and will be posted on the Commission’s website.
CONSIDERATION OF DRAFT ADVISORY OPINIONS AT OPEN MEETINGS
Draft advisory opinions are usually considered at Commission meetings, which are open to the public. Meetings usually begin at 10:00 a.m. and are held in the 9th Floor Meeting Room at the Federal Election Commission, 999 E Street, NW, Washington, DC.
Individuals who plan to attend a Commission meeting and who require special assistance, such as sign language interpretation or other reasonable accommodations, should contact the Commission Secretary, at (202) 694-1040, at least 72 hours prior to the meeting date.
REQUESTOR APPEARANCES BEFORE THE COMMISSION
The Commission has implemented a pilot program to allow advisory opinion requestors, or their counsel, to appear before the Commission to answer questions at the open meeting at which the Commission considers the draft advisory opinion. Requestors or their counsel who appear before the Commission may do so only for the limited purpose of addressing questions raised by the Commission at the public meeting. Their appearance does not guarantee that any questions will be asked.
Requestors or their counsel unable to appear physically at a public meeting may participate by telephone, subject to the Commission's technical capabilities.
Under the program:
1) A requestor has an automatic right to appear before the Commission if any public draft of the advisory opinion is made available to the requestor or requestor’s counsel less than one week before the public meeting at which the advisory opinion request will be considered. This one-week period is shortened to three days for advisory opinions under the expedited twenty-day procedure in 2 U.S.C. 437f(a)(2).
2) A requestor must provide written notice of intent to appear before the Commission if all public drafts of the advisory opinion are made available to requestor or requestor's counsel at least one week before the public meeting at which the Commission will consider the advisory opinion request. This one-week period is shortened to three days for advisory opinions under the expedited twenty-day procedure in 2 U.S.C. 437f(a)(2). The notice of intent to appear must be received by the Office of the Commission Secretary no later than 48 hours before the scheduled public meeting. Please send the notice of intent to appear by email to AO@fec.gov. Alternatively, requestors may submit the notice by hand delivery or fax to the Commission Secretary ((202) 208-3333).
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
Press inquiries: Judith Ingram
Commission Secretary: Shawn Woodhead Werth
Comment Submission Procedure: Robert M. Knop
Assistant General Counsel
To obtain copies of documents related to an advisory opinion, contact the Public Records Office at (202) 694-1120 or (800) 424-9530, or visit the Commission’s website.