Ex Parte Communication Requirements

Ex parte communications raise due process and fair hearing concerns because Commission decisions must be based on information that has been provided to all parties and the public, and also must be based on material contained only in the administrative record. The memorandum on ex parte communications (PDF) explains the prohibition on ex parte communications, and Commissioners’ duties to disclose and report such communications if they occur to preserve the integrity of the Commission’s decision-making process. The Commission’s regulations prohibit ex parte communications in adjudicatory actions (permit, consistency and enforcement actions) before the Commission. (Cal Code Regs., tit. 14, § 10283(a).) If a prohibited ex parte communication nevertheless occurs, the regulations require Commissioners to disclose the content of the communication on the record, and to submit to the Executive Director a copy of any written communication, including any response, or a memorandum that includes the substance of any oral communication, including any response, and identifies the party or parties involved. (Id. § 10283(c), (d), (e)).

If an ex parte communication occurs for any permit application, enforcement action or consistency review determination, Commissioners should complete an Ex Parte Communication Disclosure Form (PDF). Commissioners or members of the public may also contact the Commission legal staff via E-mail at exparte@bcdc.ca.gov.