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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

CFR - Code of Federal Regulations Title 21

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The information on this page is current as of Jun 07, 2023.

For the most up-to-date version of CFR Title 21, go to the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations (eCFR).

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[Code of Federal Regulations]
[Title 21, Volume 1]
[CITE: 21CFR10.70]



Subpart B - General Administrative Procedures

Sec. 10.70 Documentation of significant decisions in administrative file.

(a) This section applies to every significant FDA decision on any matter under the laws administered by the Commissioner, whether it is raised formally, for example, by a petition or informally, for example, by correspondence.

(b) FDA employees responsible for handling a matter are responsible for insuring the completeness of the administrative file relating to it. The file must contain:

(1) Appropriate documentation of the basis for the decision, including relevant evaluations, reviews, memoranda, letters, opinions of consultants, minutes of meetings, and other pertinent written documents; and

(2) The recommendations and decisions of individual employees, including supervisory personnel, responsible for handling the matter.

(i) The recommendations and decisions are to reveal significant controversies or differences of opinion and their resolution.

(ii) An agency employee working on a matter and, consistent with the prompt completion of other assignments, an agency employee who has worked on a matter may record individual views on that matter in a written memorandum, which is to be placed in the file.

(c) A written document placed in an administrative file must:

(1) Relate to the factual, scientific, legal or related issues under consideration;

(2) Be dated and signed by the author;

(3) Be directed to the file, to appropriate supervisory personnel, and to other appropriate employees, and show all persons to whom copies were sent;

(4) Avoid defamatory language, intemperate remarks, undocumented charges, or irrelevant matters (e.g., personnel complaints);

(5) If it records the views, analyses, recommendations, or decisions of an agency employee in addition to the author, be given to the other employees; and

(6) Once completed (i.e., typed in final form, dated, and signed) not be altered or removed. Later additions to or revisions of the document must be made in a new document.

(d) Memoranda or other documents that are prepared by agency employees and are not in the administrative file have no status or effect.

(e) FDA employees working on a matter have access to the administrative file on that matter, as appropriate for the conduct of their work. FDA employees who have worked on a matter have access to the administrative file on that matter so long as attention to their assignments is not impeded. Reasonable restrictions may be placed upon access to assure proper cataloging and storage of documents, the availability of the file to others, and the completeness of the file for review.