(a) Establishment

The Secretary shall establish a program of mandatory dairy product information reporting that will–

Terms Used In 7 USC 1637b

  • Appeal: A request made after a trial, asking another court (usually the court of appeals) to decide whether the trial was conducted properly. To make such a request is "to appeal" or "to take an appeal." One who appeals is called the appellant.
  • Contract: A legal written agreement that becomes binding when signed.
  • Evidence: Information presented in testimony or in documents that is used to persuade the fact finder (judge or jury) to decide the case for one side or the other.
  • officer: includes any person authorized by law to perform the duties of the office. See 1 USC 1

(1) provide timely, accurate, and reliable market information;

(2) facilitate more informed marketing decisions; and

(3) promote competition in the dairy product manufacturing industry.

(b) Requirements

(1) In general

In establishing the program, the Secretary shall only–

(A)(i) subject to the conditions described in paragraph (2), require each manufacturer to report to the Secretary information concerning the price, quantity, and moisture content of dairy products sold by the manufacturer; and

(ii) modify the format used to provide the information on the day before November 22, 2000, to ensure that the information can be readily understood by market participants; and

(B) require each manufacturer and other person storing dairy products to report to the Secretary, at a periodic interval determined by the Secretary, information on the quantity of dairy products stored.

(2) Conditions

The conditions referred to in paragraph (1)(A)(i) are that–

(A) the information referred to in paragraph (1)(A)(i) is required only with respect to those package sizes actually used to establish minimum prices for Class III or Class IV milk under a Federal milk marketing order;

(B) the information referred to in paragraph (1)(A)(i) is required only to the extent that the information is actually used to establish minimum prices for Class III or Class IV milk under a Federal milk marketing order;

(C) the frequency of the required reporting under paragraph (1)(A)(i) does not exceed the frequency used to establish minimum prices for Class III or Class IV milk under a Federal milk marketing order; and

(D) the Secretary may exempt from all reporting requirements any manufacturer that processes and markets less than 1,000,000 pounds of dairy products per year.

(c) Administration

(1) In general

The Secretary shall promulgate such regulations as are necessary to ensure compliance with, and otherwise carry out, this subchapter.

(2) Confidentiality

(A) In general

Except as otherwise directed by the Secretary or the Attorney General for enforcement purposes, no officer, employee, or agent of the United States shall make available to the public information, statistics, or documents obtained from or submitted by any person under this subchapter other than in a manner that ensures that confidentiality is preserved regarding the identity of persons, including parties to a contract, and proprietary business information.

(B) Relation to other requirements

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no facts or information obtained under this subchapter shall be disclosed in accordance with section 552 of title 5.

(3) Verification

(A) In general

The Secretary shall take such actions as the Secretary considers necessary to verify the accuracy of the information submitted or reported under this subchapter.

(B) Quarterly audits

The Secretary shall quarterly conduct an audit of information submitted or reported under this subchapter and compare such information with other related dairy market statistics.

(4) Enforcement

(A) Unlawful act

It shall be unlawful and a violation of this subchapter for any person subject to this subchapter to willfully fail or refuse to provide, or delay the timely reporting of, accurate information to the Secretary in accordance with this subchapter.

(B) Order

After providing notice and an opportunity for a hearing to affected persons, the Secretary may issue an order against any person to cease and desist from continuing any violation of this subchapter.

(C) Appeal

(i) In general

The order of the Secretary under subparagraph (B) shall be final and conclusive unless an affected person files an appeal of the order of the Secretary in United States district court not later than 30 days after the date of the issuance of the order.

(ii) Findings

A finding of the Secretary under this paragraph shall be set aside only if the finding is found to be unsupported by substantial evidence.

(D) Noncompliance with order

(i) In general

If a person subject to this subchapter fails to obey an order issued under this paragraph after the order has become final and unappealable, or after the appropriate United States district court has entered a final judgment in favor of the Secretary, the United States may apply to the appropriate United States district court for enforcement of the order.

(ii) Enforcement

If the court determines that the order was lawfully made and duly served and that the person violated the order, the court shall enforce the order.

(iii) Civil penalty

If the court finds that the person violated the order, the person shall be subject to a civil penalty of not more than $10,000 for each offense.

(5) Fees

The Secretary shall not charge or assess a user fee, transaction fee, service charge, assessment, reimbursement fee, or any other fee under this subchapter for–

(A) the submission or reporting of information;

(B) the receipt or availability of, or access to, published reports or information; or

(C) any other activity required under this subchapter.

(6) Recordkeeping

Each person required to report information to the Secretary under this subchapter shall maintain, and make available to the Secretary, on request, original contracts, agreements, receipts, and other records associated with the sale or storage of any dairy products during the 2-year period beginning on the date of the creation of the records.

(d) Electronic reporting

(1) Electronic reporting system required

The Secretary shall establish an electronic reporting system to carry out this section.

(2) Publication

Not later than 3:00 p.m. Eastern Time on the Wednesday of each week, the Secretary shall publish a report containing the information obtained under this section for the preceding week.

(e) Authorization of appropriations

There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as are necessary to carry out this section.