ARRB meeting notices

This is the second of several posts I plan to put up discussing the ARRB notices published in the Federal Register. This post covers ARRB meeting notices, of which there were a lot. Federal agencies such as ARRB are required to announce their meetings in advance, regardless of whether they are open to the public or closed. Meeting notices make up the majority of ARRB notices in the Federal Register, and it was a (relatively) simple task to compile a list of all these.

My meeting list is here.

In compiling my list, I checked both the index to the new on-line version of the Federal Register, and Appendix E of the ARRB’s Final Report, which consists of a meeting list. The two are not completely consistent, so I added notes to my list to indicate where they differ. I believe that the Federal Register notices are all accurate; the Appendix is in error when it differs from the Register.

The one exception is the last two meetings listed in the Appendix, on September 28-29, 1998. I have found no notice for either of these in the Register. There was certainly a meeting on September 28, because notices were later published of record determinations made at this meeting. If there really were no notices for these meetings, this would be the only instance that the ARRB omitted these.

The list also includes the six public hearings that the ARRB held, but not the two experts’ conferences, since these were by invitation and therefore not announced in the Federal Register. I’ve attempted a count of the meetings in the list, but this was a bit tricky. There are cases where the ARRB briefly conducted Board business just before or after a hearing. Legally, I suppose these must be counted as meetings to be valid board decisions, but they were not always announced as such. Where the notice stated there would be a meeting and hearing, I counted this; where the notice did not state there would be a meeting in conjunction with the hearing, I did not count this.

Part of the reason for the count was to get some idea of what percentage of the meetings were open to the public and what percentage were closed. Adding in the two unnoticed meetings mentioned above, I count 71 separate meetings: 48 closed meetings, 23 open meetings. Since the Board’s main activity was deciding which of the ARC records should be released immediately and which should be postponed, this ratio is about what I would expect.

In addition to the Federal Register notices, I’ve also added links to materials from Board hearings and meetings which are available on Mary Ferrell. The most complete set of ARRB hearing materials, however, is on Professor John McAdams’ website.

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