What is a briefing book?
Council members, Council staff, and chairs of advisory bodies and committees receive a copy of an advance Briefing Book. The advance Briefing Book contains situation summaries (brief summaries that provide background for each agenda item), reports and materials for each agenda item, written public comment, and miscellaneous materials to facilitate Council meetings (varying from hotel floor plans to special informational reports on fishing issues not on the agenda). Because of the size of the advance Briefing Book and the effort required to create it, Briefing Books are not mailed to the general public. However, advance Briefing Book materials are available on the Council website (see current briefing book), usually as PDF files, two weeks prior to Council meetings. Briefing Book materials are also available at every Council meeting on public document tables.
There are two Briefing Book deadlines. The first (and main) deadline is two and a half weeks before the Council meeting. Public comments and reports that are supplied before this deadline are included in the advance Briefing Book. The second deadline, known as the supplemental deadline, is four days prior to the start of the Council meeting. Public comments and reports provided by this deadline are given to Council members on the first day of the Council meeting. Comments can be emailed, mailed, or faxed to the Council.
All materials included in the advance Briefing Book, the supplemental material provided to Council members, and all reports, handouts, and statements generated at Council meetings are available on a table usually located in the back of the Council meeting room.
After the Council meeting is over, the advance Briefing Book is combined with all the materials generated or received at the Council meeting and posted on the Council website under Briefing Book Archives. Full Council meeting Briefing Books were first archived beginning with the March 2006 Council meeting.
Briefing book deadlines
Council Briefing Books are mailed to Council members and their designees ten days prior to the start of each Council meeting. Essential components (Council Meeting Agenda, Agenda Item Overviews, and Available Attachments) of the Briefing Book will be posted on the Council website at the tentative scheduled mailing. The mailing date for the March 2010 briefing books is tentatively scheduled during the week of February 22, 2010.
For the March 2010 Briefing Book, the deadlines are as follows:
Comments or materials received by 11:59 pm, February 17, 2009 will be mailed to Council members prior to the meeting.
Comments or materials received at the Council office after February 17 but by 11:59 pm, February 25 will be included in the supplemental materials distributed to the Council on the first day of the meeting.
Written comments and materials on matters before the Council are accepted by the Council at any time. However, the public is encouraged to submit comments and materials as far in advance of the meeting as possible to maximize their exposure to the Council process. Comments in electronic format are most welcome, as they expedite posting to the Council's website. Send your electronic comments to the Council office by email <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
Current meeting briefing book
The March 2010 Briefing Book will be posted to the Council website during the week of February 22, 2010. A link will be posted at this location for your convenience.