Annual Civil Monetary Penalties Inflation Adjustment

 
CONTENT
Federal Register, Volume 84 Issue 247 (Thursday, December 26, 2019)
[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 247 (Thursday, December 26, 2019)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 70902-70903]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-27669]
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CORPORATION FOR NATIONAL AND COMMUNITY SERVICE
45 CFR Parts 1230 and 2554
RIN 3045-AA73
Annual Civil Monetary Penalties Inflation Adjustment
AGENCY: Corporation for National and Community Service.
ACTION: Interim final rule.
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SUMMARY: The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) is
updating its regulations to reflect required annual inflation-related
increases to the civil monetary penalties in its regulations, pursuant
to the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements
Act of 2015.
DATES:
    Effective date: This rule is effective January 15, 2020.
    Comment due date: Technical comments may be submitted until January
27, 2020.
ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by the title of the
information collection activity, by any of the following methods:
    (1) By mail sent to: Corporation for National and Community
Service; Attention Stephanie Soper; Office of General Counsel; 250 E
Street SW, Washington, DC 20525.
    (2) By hand delivery or by courier to the CNCS mailroom at the
address above between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday
through Friday, except federal holidays.
    (3) Electronically through www.regulations.gov.
    Comments submitted in response to this Notice will be made
available to the public through www.regulations.gov. For this reason,
please do not include in your comments information of a confidential
nature, such as sensitive personal information or proprietary
information. If you send an email comment, your email address will be
automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is
placed in the public docket and made available on the internet. Please
note that responses to this public comment request containing any
routine notice about the confidentiality of the communication will be
treated as public comments that may be made available to the public
notwithstanding the inclusion of the routine notice.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Stephanie Soper, Law Office Manager,
Office of General Counsel, at 202-606-6747 or email to [email protected].
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:
I. Background
    The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) is a
federal agency that engages millions of Americans in service through
its AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, and Volunteer Generation Fund programs to
further its mission to improve lives, strengthen communities, and
foster
[[Page 70903]]
civic engagement through service and volunteering. For more
information, visit NationalService.gov.
    The Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements
Act of 2015 (Sec. 701 of Pub. L. 114-74) (the ``Act''), which is
intended to improve the effectiveness of civil monetary penalties and
to maintain the deterrent effect of such penalties, requires agencies
to adjust the civil monetary penalties for inflation annually.
II. Method of Calculation
    CNCS has two civil monetary penalties in its regulations. A civil
monetary penalty under the Act is a penalty, fine, or other sanction
that is for a specific monetary amount as provided by Federal law or
has a maximum amount provided for by federal law and is assessed or
enforced by an agency pursuant to federal law and is assessed or
enforced pursuant to an administrative proceeding or a civil action in
the federal courts. (See 28 U.S.C. 2461 note).
    The inflation adjustment for each applicable civil monetary penalty
is determined using the percent increase in the Consumer Price Index
for all Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for the month of October of the year in
which the amount of each civil money penalty was most recently
established or modified. In the December 16, 2019, OMB Memo for the
Heads of Executive Agencies and Departments, M-20-05, Implementation of
Penalty Inflation Adjustments for 2020, Pursuant to the Federal Civil
Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015, OMB
published the multiplier for the required annual adjustment. The cost-
of-living adjustment multiplier for 2020, based on the CPI-U for the
month of October 2019, not seasonally adjusted, is 1.01764.
    CNCS identified two civil penalties in its regulations: (1) The
penalty associated with Restrictions on Lobbying (45 CFR 1230.400) and
(2) the penalty associated with the Program Fraud Civil Remedies Act
(45 CFR 2554.1).
    The civil monetary penalties related to Restrictions on Lobbying
(Section 319, Pub. L. 101-121; 31 U.S.C. 1352) range from $20,134 to
$201,340. Using the 2020 multiplier, the new range of possible civil
monetary penalties is from $20,489 to $204,892.
    The Program Fraud Civil Remedies Act of 1986 (Pub. L. 99-509) civil
monetary penalty has an upper limit of $11,463. Using the 2020
multiplier, the new upper limit of the civil monetary penalty is
$11,665.
III. Summary of Final Rule
    This final rule adjusts the civil monetary penalty amounts related
to Restrictions on Lobbying (45 CFR 1230.400) and the Program Fraud
Civil Remedies Act of 1986 (45 CFR 2554.1). The range of civil monetary
penalties related to Restrictions on Lobbying increase from ``$20,134
to $201,340'' to ``$20,489 to $204,892.'' The civil monetary penalties
for the Program Fraud Civil Remedies Act of 1986 increase from ``up to
$11,463'' to ``up to $11,665.''
IV. Regulatory Procedures
A. Determination of Good Cause for Publication Without Notice and
Comment
    CNCS finds, under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(B), that there is good cause
to except this rule from the public notice and comment provisions of
the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. 553(b). Because CNCS is
implementing a final rule pursuant to the Federal Civil Penalties
Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015, which requires CNCS
to update its regulations based on a prescribed formula, CNCS has no
discretion in the nature or amount of the change to the civil monetary
penalties. Therefore, notice and comment for these proscribed updates
is impracticable and unnecessary. As an interim final rule, no further
regulatory action is required for the issuance of this legally binding
rule. If you would like to provide technical comments, however, they
may be submitted until January 27, 2020.
B. Review Under Procedural Statutes and Executive Orders
    CNCS has determined that making technical changes to the amount of
civil monetary penalties in its regulations does not trigger any
requirements under procedural statutes and Executive Orders that govern
rulemaking procedures.
V. Effective Date
    This rule is effective January 15, 2020. The adjusted civil penalty
amounts apply to civil penalties assessed on or after January 15, 2020,
when the violation occurred after November 2, 2015. If the violation
occurred prior to November 2, 2015, or a penalty was assessed prior to
August 1, 2016, the pre-adjustment civil penalty amounts in effect
prior to August 1, 2106, will apply.
List of Subjects
45 CFR Part 1230
    Government contracts, Grant programs, Loan programs, Lobbying,
Penalties, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.
45 CFR Part 2554
    Claims, Fraud, Organization and functions (Government agencies),
Penalties.
    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, under the authority of
42 U.S.C. 12651c(c), the Corporation for National and Community Service
amends chapters XII and XXV, title 45 of the Code of Federal
Regulations as follows:
PART 1230--NEW RESTRICTIONS ON LOBBYING
0
1. The authority citation for part 1230 continues to read as follows:
    Authority:  Section 319, Pub. L. 101-121 (31 U.S.C. 1352); Pub.
L. 93-113; 42 U.S.C. 4951, et seq.; 42 U.S.C. 5060.
Sec.  1230.400  [Amended]
0
2. Amend Sec.  1230.400 by:
0
a. In paragraphs (a), (b), and (e), removing ``$20,134'' and adding, in
its place, ``$20,489'' each place it appears.
0
b. In paragraphs (a), (b), and (e), removing ``$201,340'' and adding,
in its place, ``$204,892'' each place it appears.
Appendix A to Part 1230 [Amended]
0
3. Amend appendix A to part 1230 by:
0
a. Removing ``$20,134'' and adding, in its place, ``$20,489'' each
place it appears.
0
b. Removing ``$201,340'' and adding, in its place, ``$204,892'' each
place it appears.
PART 2554--PROGRAM FRAUD CIVIL REMEDIES ACT REGULATIONS
0
4. The authority citation for part 2554 continues to read as follows:
    Authority:  Pub. L. 99-509, Secs. 6101-6104, 100 Stat. 1874 (31
U.S.C. 3801-3812); 42 U.S.C. 12651c-12651d.
Sec.  2554.1  [Amended]
0
5. Amend Sec.  2554.1 by removing ``$11,463'' in paragraph (b) and
adding, in its place, ``$11,665.''
    Dated: December 18, 2019.
Timothy Noelker,
General Counsel.
[FR Doc. 2019-27669 Filed 12-23-19; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6050-28-P