Repeal of Regulations Concerning the Rural Telephone Bank, the Public Television Station Digital Transition Grant Program, and the Local Television Loan Guarantee Program

 
CONTENT
This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER
contains regulatory documents having general
applicability and legal effect, most of which
are keyed to and codified in the Code of
Federal Regulations, which is published under
50 titles pursuant to 44 U.S.C. 1510.
The Code of Federal Regulations is sold by
the Superintendent of Documents.
Rules and Regulations Federal Register
59919
Vol. 84, No. 216
Thursday, November 7, 2019
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Rural Utilities Service
7 CFR Parts 1600, 1610, 1700, 1735,
1737, 1740, 1744, 1751, 2003, 2200 and
2201
[Docket No. RUS–19–Telecom–0026]
RIN 0572–AC38
Repeal of Regulations Concerning the
Rural Telephone Bank, the Public
Television Station Digital Transition
Grant Program, and the Local
Television Loan Guarantee Program
AGENCY
: Rural Utilities Service, USDA.
ACTION
: Final rule.
SUMMARY
: This final rule informs the
public that the Rural Utilities Service
(RUS or Agency) is repealing the Rural
Telephone Bank, Public Television
Station Digital Transition Grant Program
and the Local Television Loan
Guarantee Program from the Code of
Federal Regulations (CFR). This action
removes expired and terminated
programs from the CFR as repealed by
the 2018 Agricultural Improvement Act
(2018 Farm Bill). The statutory changes
result from the 2018 Farm Bill.
Additionally, conforming changes are
being made to other regulations as a
result of the aforementioned statutory
changes.
DATES
: This final rule will be effective
January 6, 2020.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
:
Thomas P. Dickson, Rural Development
Innovation Center—Regulatory Team 2,
USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue SW,
STOP 1522, South Building,
Washington, DC 20250–1522.
Telephone: (202) 690–4492. Email to
thomas.dickson@usda.gov.
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION
:
Background
The purpose of the Rural Telephone
Bank (RTB) was to make loans for
telecommunications infrastructure
purposes. On October 1, 2005, the RTB
ceased all business operations and
began dissolution of equity to its
stockholders, and in November 2007,
the RTB was completely liquidated. For
over a decade, the RTB statute
remained, although the bank had ceased
to exist. The 2018 Farm Bill repealed
the provisions of the Rural
Electrification Act of 1936 that created
the RTB.
The purpose of the Rural Utilities
Service (RUS) Public Television Station
Digital Transition Grant Program (Grant
Program) was to enable public television
stations serving rural areas to transition
from broadcasting in analog to digital, as
required under the Federal
Communications Commission (FCC)
rules, by awarding grants through a
competitive process. While stations
were required to broadcast their main
transmitter signal in digital, many rural
stations had not completed the
transition of all their equipment,
especially translators. In 2011, the FCC
adopted a final deadline to convert all
translators by September 1, 2015. The
RUS program was expired in 2015.
The purpose of the Local Television
Loan Guarantee Program was to
facilitate access, on a technology neutral
basis by December 31, 2006, to signals
of local television stations for
households located in non-served areas
and underserved areas. Although
regulations and a notice were published,
this program did not receive viable
applications. As a result, the program
was never funded.
The 2018 Farm Bill repealed all
programs mentioned above and so RUS
is adjusting the CFR accordingly to
remove these programs. Along with the
removal of these programs, several rules
needed to be modified as well, since
they mention the repealed programs.
These include 7 CFR parts 1700, 1735,
1737, 1744, 1751, and 2003.
Accordingly, the corresponding
provisions in the above-referenced
regulations are being amended to
remove any reference to the programs
mentioned above.
Executive Order 12866 and 13563
Executive Orders 12866 and 13563
direct agencies to assess all costs and
benefits of available regulatory
alternatives and, if regulations are
necessary, to select regulatory
approaches that maximize net benefits
(including potential economic,
environmental, public health and safety
effects, distributive impacts, and
equity). Executive Order 13563
emphasizes the importance of
quantifying both costs and benefits,
reducing costs, harmonizing rules, and
promoting flexibility. This rule has been
determined not to be significant for
purposes of Executive Order 13563.
Accordingly, the Office of Management
and Budget (OMB) has waived the
review process.
Congressional Review Act
Pursuant to the Congressional Review
Act (5 U.S.C. 801 et seq.), the Office of
Information and Regulatory Affairs
designated this rule as not a major rule,
as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2).
Executive Order 12372
This final rule is excluded from the
scope of Executive Order 12372,
Intergovernmental Consultation, which
may require consultation with State and
local officials. See the final rule related
notice entitled, ‘‘Department Programs
and Activities Excluded from Executive
Order 12372’’ (50 FR 47034).
Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995
In accordance with the Paperwork
Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C.
chapter 35), it has been determined that
this rule will not change the information
collection and recordkeeping
requirements previously approved and
will not impose additional reporting or
recordkeeping burden on users.
The Agency will request the current
information collection and
recordkeeping requirements for 7 CFR
1740, approved by OMB under 47
U.S.C. 1101 and assigned OMB Control
Number 0572–0134 to be retired with
this final rule.
The information collection and
recordkeeping requirements of 7 CFR
parts 2200 and 2201 were approved by
OMB under 47 U.S.C. 1101 and was
assigned OMB Control Number 0572–
0135. This information collection was
retired by OMB on December 31, 2006.
Executive Order 12988
This rule has been reviewed under
Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice
Reform. This rule is not intended to
have retroactive effect. There are no
civil justice implications associated
with this direct final rule.
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Civil Rights Review
RUS has considered the potential civil
rights implications of this rule on
minorities, women, or persons with
disabilities to ensure that no person or
group shall be discriminated against on
the basis of race, color, national origin,
gender, religion, age, disability, sexual
orientation, marital or family status,
political beliefs, parental status, or
protected genetic information. This rule
does not require affected entities to
relocate or alter their operations in ways
that could adversely affect such persons
or groups. Further, this rule will not
deny any persons or groups the benefits
of a program or subject any persons or
groups to discrimination.
Executive Order 13132, Federalism
This rule has been reviewed under
Executive Order 13132, Federalism,
which directs agencies to construe, in
regulations and otherwise, a Federal
statue to preempt state law only when
the statue contains an express
preemption provision. There are no
federalism implications associated with
this rule.
List of Subjects
7 CFR Part 1600
Sunshine Act.
7 CFR Part 1610
Loan programs-communications,
Rural areas, Telephone.
7 CFR Part 1700
Administrative practice and
procedure, Authority delegations
(Government agencies), Electric power,
Grant programs-energy, Loan programs-
energy, Organization and functions
(Government agencies).
7 CFR Part 1735
Loan programs-communications,
Reporting and recordkeeping
requirements, Rural areas, Telephone.
7 CFR Part 1737
Loan programs-communications,
Reporting and recordkeeping
requirements, Rural areas, Telephone.
7 CFR Part 1740
Communications, Grant programs,
Rural areas, Television.
7 CFR Part 1744
Accounting, Loan programs-
communications, Reporting and
recordkeeping requirements, Rural
areas, Telephone.
7 CFR Part 1751
Communications equipment, Loan
programs-communications, Rural areas,
Telephone.
7 CFR Part 2003
Organization and functions
(Government agencies), Freedom of
information, Rural areas, Volunteers.
7 CFR Parts 2200 and 2201
Loan programs-communications,
Reporting and recordkeeping
requirements, Rural areas,
Telecommunications, Television.
Therefore, chapters XVI, XVII, XVIII,
and XX of title 7 of the Code of
Regulations are amended as follows:
Subtitle B—Regulations of the
Department of Agriculture
Chapter XVI [Removed and Reserved]
1. Under the authority of section 6602,
Public Law 115–334, 132 Stat. 4490
7 CFR chapter XVI, consisting of parts
1600 through 1699, is removed and
reserved.
Chapter XVII—Rural Utilities Service,
Department of Agriculture
PART 1700—GENERAL INFORMATION
2. The authority citation for part 1700
continues to read as follows:
Authority: 5 U.S.C. 301, 552; 7 U.S.C. 901
et seq., 1921 et seq., 6941 et seq.; 7 CFR 2.7.
Subpart A—General
3. Amend § 1700.1 by revising
paragraph (b) and removing paragraph
(c).
The revision reads as follows:
§ 1700.1 General.
* * * * *
(b) The Secretary of Agriculture
(Secretary) established the Rural
Utilities Service (RUS) on October 20,
1994, pursuant to the Department of
Agriculture Reorganization Act of 1994,
(7 U.S.C. 6941 et. seq.). RUS was
assigned responsibility for
administering electric and
telecommunications loan and loan
guarantee programs previously
administered by REA, including water
and waste loans and grants previously
administered by the Rural Development
Administration, along with other
functions as the Secretary determined
appropriate. The rights, interests,
obligations, duties, and contracts
previously vested in REA were
transferred to, and vested in RUS.
Subpart B—Agency Organization and
Functions
4. Amend § 1700.25 by revising the
first two sentences to read as follows:
§ 1700.25 Office of the Administrator.
The Administrator of the Rural
Utilities Service (RUS) is appointed by
the President. The Under Secretary,
Rural Development delegated to the
Administrator, in 7 CFR part 2,
responsibility for administering the
programs and activities of RUS. * * *
5. Amend § 1700.29 by revising the
introductory text to read as follows:
§ 1700.29 Telecommunications Program.
RUS, through the
Telecommunications Program, make
loans and loan guarantees to furnish and
improve telecommunications service in
rural areas.
* * * * *
PART 1735—GENERAL POLICIES,
TYPES OF LOANS, LOAN
REQUIREMENTS—
TELECOMMUNICATIONS PROGRAM
6. The authority citation for part 1735
continues to read as follows:
Authority: 7 U.S.C. 901 et seq., 1921 et
seq., and 6941 et seq.
Subpart A—General
7. Amend § 1 735.2 by revising the
definitions of ‘‘economic life’’ and ‘‘RUS
cost-of-money loan’’ and removing the
definition of ‘‘RTB loan’’.
The revisions read as follows:
§ 1735.2 Definitions
* * * * *
Economic life as applied to facilities
financed by loan funds, means the
number of years resulting from dividing
100 percent by the depreciation rate
(expressed as a percent) approved by the
regulatory body with jurisdiction over
the telephone service provided by the
borrower for the class of facility
involved or, if no approved rate exists,
by the median depreciation rate
expressed as a percent as published by
RUS in its Statistical Report, Rural
Telephone Borrowers for all RUS
borrowers for that class of facility.
* * * * *
RUS cost-of-money loan means a loan
made under section 305(d)(2) of the RE
Act bearing an interest rate as
determined under § 1735.31(c).
* * * * *
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Subpart B—Loan Purpose and Basic
Policy
8. Amend § 1735.10 by revising
paragraphs (b) and (e) to read as follows:
§ 1735.10 General.
* * * * *
(b) RUS will not make hardship loans
or RUS cost-of-money loans for any
wireline local exchange service or
similar fixed-station voice service that,
in RUS’ opinion, is inconsistent with
the borrower achieving the requirements
stated in the State’s telecommunication
modernization plan within the time
frame stated in the plan (see 7 CFR part
1751, subpart B), unless RUS has
determined that achieving the
requirements as stated in such plan is
not technically or economically feasible.
* * * * *
(e) No fees or charges are assessed for
any type of loan or guarantee provided
by RUS.
* * * * *
9. Amend § 1735.17 by revising
paragraph (b) to read as follows:
§ 1735.17 Facilities financed.
* * * * *
(b) RUS makes RUS cost-of-money to
finance the improvement, expansion,
construction, and acquisition of systems
or facilities (excluding station apparatus
owned by the borrower, headquarters
facilities, and vehicles not used
primarily in construction) to furnish
and improve telephone service in rural
areas, except as noted under paragraph
(c) of this section.
* * * * *
Subpart C—Types of Loans
10. Amend § 1735.30 by revising
paragraphs (b)(2), (f), and (g) to read as
follows:
§ 1735.30 Hardship loans.
* * * * *
(b) * * *
(2) Those facilities may, however, be
financed with a RUS cost-of-money
loans or a guaranteed loan if the
borrower is eligible for such financing.
* * * * *
(f) On request of any borrower who is
eligible for a hardship loan for which
funds are not available, the borrower
shall be considered to have applied for
a RUS cost-of-money loans under
sections 305 of the RE Act.
(g) Hardship loans may be made
simultaneously with a RUS cost-of-
money loans or guaranteed loans.
11. Amend § 1735.31 by revising the
section heading, paragraphs (a)
introductory text, (b), (c) introductory
text, and (d) through (f) to read as
follows:
§ 1735.31 RUS cost-of-money.
(a) RUS makes cost-of-money loans,
under section 305(d)(2) of the RE Act.
To qualify for cost-of-money loans, a
borrower must meet each of the
following requirements:
* * * * *
(b) To determine the RUS cost-of-
money, the total loan amount will be
multiplied by the ratio of RUS cost-of-
money funds appropriated for the fiscal
year to the sum of RUS cost-of-money
funds appropriated for the fiscal year in
which the loan is approved. If during
the fiscal year the amount of funds
appropriated changes, the ratio will be
adjusted accordingly and applied only
to those loans approved afterwards.
(c) The RUS cost-of-money loan shall
bear interest as described in paragraphs
(c)(1) and (2) of this section.
* * * * *
(d) Generally, no more than 10
percent of lending authority from
appropriations in any fiscal year for
RUS cost-of-money loans may be loaned
to a single borrower. RUS will publish
by notice in the Federal Register the
dollar limit that may be loaned to a
single borrower in that particular fiscal
year based on approved RUS lending
authority.
(e) On request of any borrower who is
eligible for RUS cost-of-money loans for
which funds are not available, the
borrower shall be considered to have
applied for a loan guarantee under
section 306 of the RE Act.
(f) RUS cost-of-money loans may be
made simultaneously with hardship
loans or guaranteed loans.
12. Amend § 1735.32 by revising
paragraph (a) to read as follows:
§ 1735.32 Guaranteed loans.
(a) General. Loan guarantees under
this section will be considered for only
those borrowers specifically requesting
a guarantee. Borrowers may also specify
that the loan to be guaranteed shall be
made by the Federal Financing Bank
(FFB). RUS provides loan guarantees
pursuant to section 306 of the RE Act.
Guaranteed loans may be made
simultaneously with hardship loans or
RUS cost-of-money loans. No fees or
charges are assessed for any guarantee of
a loan provided by RUS. In view of the
Government’s guarantee, RUS generally
obtains a first lien on all assets of the
borrower (see § 1735.46).
* * * * *
Subpart D—Terms of Loans
13. Amend § 1735.43 by revising
paragraphs (b) through (e) and removing
paragraph (f).
The revisions read as follows:
§ 1735.43 Payments on Loans.
* * * * *
(b) Borrowers that have demonstrated
to the satisfaction of the Administrator
an inability to maintain the funded
reserve or net plant to secured debt ratio
requirements, if any, contained in their
mortgage, may elect to replace notes
with an original maturity that exceeded
the composite economic life of the
facilities financed with notes bearing a
shorter maturity approximating the
expected composite economic life of the
facilities financed, if this will result in
a shorter maturity for the loan. The
principal balance of the notes
(hereinafter in this section called the
‘‘refunding notes’’) issued to refund and
substitute for the original notes would
be the unpaid principal balance of the
original notes. The refunding notes
would mature at a date no later than the
remaining economic life of the facilities
financed by the loan, plus three years,
as determined by the original feasibility
study prepared in connection with the
loan. Interest on the original note must
continue to be paid through the closing
date. All other payment terms,
including the rate of interest on the
refunding notes, would remain
unchanged. Disposition of funds in the
funded reserve will be determined by
RUS at the closing date. RUS will notify
the borrower in writing of the
amendment of loan payment
requirements and the terms and
conditions thereof.
(c) A borrower qualifying under
paragraph (b) of this section shall not be
required to pay a prepayment premium
on such portion of the payments under
its new notes as exceeds the payments
required under the notes being replaced.
(d) To apply for refunding notes,
borrowers must send to the Area Office
the following:
(1) A certified copy of a board
resolution requesting an amendment of
loan payment requirements and that
certain notes be replaced;
(2) If applicable, evidence of approval
by the regulatory body with jurisdiction
over the telecommunications service
provided by the borrower to issue
refunding notes; and
(3) Such other documents as may be
required by the RUS.
(e) Principal and interest will be
repaid in accordance with the terms of
the notes. Generally, interest is payable
each month as it accrues. Principal
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payments on each note generally are
scheduled to begin 2 years after the date
of the note. After this deferral period,
interest and principal payments on all
funds advanced during this 2-year
period are scheduled in equal monthly
installments. Principal payments on
funds advanced 2 years or more after the
date of the note will begin with the first
billing after the advance. The interest
and principal payments on each of these
advances will be scheduled in equal
monthly installments. This CFR part
supersedes those portions of RUS
Bulletin 320–12, ‘‘Loan Payments and
Statements’’ with which it is in conflict.
14. Revise § 1735.44 to read as
follows:
§ 1735.44 Prepayment premiums.
The loan documents normally provide
that RUS insured loans may be repaid
in full at any time without prepayment
premiums. Depending upon the lender,
there may be prepayment premiums on
loans guaranteed by RUS. See RUS
Bulletin 320–12 for additional
information. This CFR part supersedes
those portions of RUS Bulletin 320–12,
‘‘Loan Payments and Statements,’’ with
which it is in conflict.
15. Amend § 1735.46 by revising
paragraph (f) to read as follows:
§ 1735.46 Loan security documents.
* * * * *
(f) This section does not limit the
rights of any parties to the mortgage
other than RUS.
16. Amend § 1735.47 by revising
paragraph (a)(2) to read as follows:
§ 1735.47 Rescissions of loans.
(a) * * *
(2) Sufficient funds are available from
sources other than RUS or FFB to
complete the purposes of the loan being
rescinded; or
* * * * *
PART 1737—PRE-LOAN POLICIES
AND PROCEDURES COMMON TO
INSURED AND GUARANTEED
TELECOMMUNICATIONS LOANS
17. The authority citation for part
1737 continues to read as follows:
Authority: 7 U.S.C. 901 et seq., 1921 et
seq.; Pub. L. 103–354, 108 Stat. 3178 (7
U.S.C. 6941 et. seq.).
Subpart A—General
18. Amend § 1737.2 by revising the
definition of ‘‘RUS cost-of-money loan’’
and removing the definition of ‘‘RTB
loan’’.
The revision reads as follows:
§ 1737.2 Definitions.
* * * * *
RUS cost-of-money loan means a loan
made under section 305(d)(2) of the RE
Act bearing an interest rate as
determined under 7 CFR 1735.31(c).
* * * * *
Subpart B—Preapplication Stage
19. Amend § 1737.11 by revising
paragraph (i) to read as follows:
§ 1737.11 Preapplication determinations.
* * * * *
(i) Telecommunications
modernization plan. A borrower
applying for hardship or concurrent
RUS cost-of-money loans should refer to
7 CFR part 1751, subpart B.
Subpart G—Project Cost Estimation
Procedures
20. Amend § 1737.60 by revising the
last sentence in paragraph (a)
introductory text and paragraphs (a)(1)
and (2) to read as follows:
§ 1737.60 Telephone loan budget.
(a) * * * The amount of funds
included in any loan shall be limited for
certain items:
(1) Operating funds for working
capital or current operating deficiencies
shall be included only in cases of
financial hardship as determined by the
Administrator.
(2) Contingencies shall not exceed 3
percent of the total amount of loan
funds to be used for construction,
engineering, operating equipment and
operating funds.
* * * * *
Subpart H—Feasibility Determination
Procedures
21. Amend § 1737.71 by revising the
first sentence of paragraph (a) to read as
follows:
§ 1737.71 Interest rate to be considered for
the purpose of assessing feasibility for
loans
(a) For purposes of determining the
creditworthiness of a borrower for RUS
cost-of-money, the Administrator shall
assume that the loan, if made, would
bear interest at the Treasury rate on the
date of determination as described in
paragraph (b) of this section. * * *
* * * * *
PART 1740—[REMOVED AND
RESERVED]
22. Under the authority of section
6602, Pub. L. 115–334, 132 Stat. 4490,
part 1740 is removed and reserved.
PART 1744—POST-LOAN POLICIES
AND PROCEDURES COMMON TO
GUARANTEED AND INSURED
TELEPHONE LOANS
23. The authority citation for part
1744 continues to read as follows:
Authority: 7 U.S.C. 901 et seq., 1921 et
seq., and 6941 et seq.
Subpart B—Lien Accommodations and
Subordination Policy
24. Amend § 1744.21 by revising the
definitions of ‘‘Administrator’’,
‘‘Advance’’, ‘‘RE Act (Act)’’, and ‘‘RUS’’
to read as follows:
§ 1744.21 Definitions.
* * * * *
Administrator means the
Administrator of RUS.
Advance means transferring funds
from RUS or a lender guaranteed by
RUS to the borrower’s construction
fund.
* * * * *
RE Act (Act) means the Rural
Electrification Act of 1936 (7 U.S.C. 901
et. seq.).
RUS means the Rural Utilities
Service, and includes its predecessor,
the Rural Electrification Administration.
* * * * *
Subpart C—Advance and
Disbursement of Funds
25. Amend § 1744.67 by revising the
paragraph (a)(2) introductory text to
read as follows:
§ 1744.67 Temporary excess construction
funds.
* * * * *
(a) * * *
(2) With RUS cost-of-money or FFB
loan funds, the following apply:
* * * * *
26. Amend § 1744.68 by revising
paragraphs (a) introductory text and
(a)(1), and the first sentence of
paragraph (d) to read as follows:
§ 1744.68 Order and method of advances
of telephone loan funds.
(a) Borrowers may specify the
sequence of advances of funds under
any combination of approved telephone
loans from RUS or FFB, except that for
all loans approved on or after November
1, 1993, the borrower may use loan
funds:
(1) Only for purposes for which that
type of loan (i.e. Hardship, RUS cost-of-
money, or FFB) may be made; and
* * * * *
(d) Borrowers of RUS funds may
request advances by wire service only
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for amounts greater than $500,000 or for
advances to borrowers outside the
Continental United States. * * *
* * * * *
Subpart E—Borrower Investments
§ 1744.200 [Amended]
27. Amend § 1744.200 by removing
paragraph (b).
28. Amend § 1744.201 by revising the
definitions of ‘‘Administrator’’ and
‘‘Borrower’’ and removing the definition
of ‘‘RTB’’.
The revisions read as follows:
§ 1744.201 Definitions.
* * * * *
Administrator means the
Administrator of the Rural Utilities
Service (RUS).
* * * * *
Borrower means any organization
which has an outstanding loan made by
RUS or guaranteed by RUS, or which is
seeking such financing.
* * * * *
PART 1751—TELECOMMUNICATIONS
SYSTEM PLANNING AND DESIGN
CRITERIA, AND PROCEDURES
29. The authority citation for part
1751 continues to read as follows:
Authority: 7 U.S.C. 901 et seq., 1921 et
seq.; Pub. L. 103–354, 108 Stat. 3178 (7
U.S.C. 6941 et seq.).
30. Amend § 1751.100 by revising the
definitions of ‘‘Borrower’’ and ‘‘RUS
cost-of-money loan’’ and removing the
definition of ‘‘RTB loan’’.
The revisions read as follows:
§ 1751.100 Definitions.
* * * * *
Borrower. Any organization that has
received a RUS loan designation
number and which has an outstanding
telephone loan made by RUS or
guaranteed by RUS, or which has a
completed loan application with RUS.
* * * * *
RUS cost-of-money loan. A loan made
under section 305(d)(2) of the RE Act
bearing interest as determined under 7
CFR 1735.31(c).
* * * * *
31. Amend § 1751.103 by revising the
second sentence in paragraph (a)
introductory text to read as follows:
§ 1751.103 Loan and loan advance
requirements.
(a) * * *. In particular, beginning
February 13, 1996, RUS will make RUS
hardship and RUS cost-of-money loans
for facilities and other RE Act purposes
in a State only if:
* * * * *
Chapter XVIII—Rural Housing
Service, Rural Business-Cooperative
Service, Rural Utilities Service, and
Farm Service Agency, Department of
Agriculture
Subchapter I—Administrative Regulations
PART 2003—ORGANIZATION
32. The authority citation for part
2003 continues to read as follows:
Authority: 5 U.S.C. 301; 7 U.S.C. 6941;
and 7 CFR 2.17.
§ 2003.1 [Amended]
33. Amend § 2003.1 by removing the
definition of ‘‘RTB’’.
34. Amend § 2003.22 by revising
paragraphs (b) introductory text, (b)(3)
introductory text, and (b)(3)(iii) to read
as follows:
§ 2003.22 – Functional organization of
RUS.
* * * * *
(b) Office of the Administrator.
According to 7 CFR 2.47, the
Administrator has responsibility for
managing and administering the
programs and support functions of RUS
to provide financial and technical
support for rural infrastructure to
include electrification, clean drinking
water, telecommunications, and water
disposal systems, pursuant to the
Consolidated Farm and Rural
Development Act, as amended (7 U.S.C.
1921 et. seq.), and the Rural
Electrification Act of 1936, as amended
(7 U.S.C. 901 et. seq.). The office
develops and implements strategic
plans concerning the Rural
Electrification Act of 1936, as amended.
* * * * *
(3) Office of Assistant
AdministratorTelecommunications
Program. Headed by the Assistant
Administrator—Telecommunications
Program, this office is responsible to the
Administrator for directing and
coordinating the National Rural
Telecommunications, Distance
Learning, and Telemedicine programs of
RUS. The Assistant Administrator,
Telecommunications Program, is
responsible for developing, maintaining,
and implementing regulations and
program procedures on the processing
and approval of grants, loans, and loan-
related activities for all rural
telecommunications borrowers and
grant recipients. The office directs the
following three divisions:
* * * * *
(iii) Telecommunications Area
Offices. Headed by area directors, these
four offices are responsible for
administering the Telecommunications,
Distance Learning, and Telemedicine
programs for specific geographic areas,
and serving as the single point of
contact for all program applicants and
borrowers within their respective areas.
The offices provide guidance to
applicants and borrowers on RUS loan
policies and procedures and make
recommendations to the Administrator
on applications for loans, guarantees,
and grants. The offices assure that
borrower systems and facilities are
designed and constructed in accordance
with the terms of the loan, acceptable
engineering practices and specifications,
and acceptable loan security standards.
* * * * *
Chapter XX—[Removed and Reserved]
35. Under the authority of section
6602, Pub. L. 115–334, 132 Stat. 4490,
7 CFR chapter XX, consisting of parts
2200 through 2299, is removed and
reserved.
Chad Rupe,
Administrator, Rural Utilities Service.
[FR Doc. 2019–24310 Filed 11–6–19; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410–15–P
FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM
12 CFR Part 201
[Docket No. R–1685; RIN 7100–AF 65]
Regulation A: Extensions of Credit by
Federal Reserve Banks
AGENCY
: Board of Governors of the
Federal Reserve System.
ACTION
: Final rule.
SUMMARY
: The Board of Governors of the
Federal Reserve System (‘‘Board’’) has
adopted final amendments to its
Regulation A to reflect the Board’s
approval of a decrease in the rate for
primary credit at each Federal Reserve
Bank. The secondary credit rate at each
Reserve Bank automatically decreased
by formula as a result of the Board’s
primary credit rate action.
DATES
:
Effective date: This rule is effective
November 7, 2019.
Applicability date: The rate changes
for primary and secondary credit were
applicable on October 31, 2019.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
:
Sophia H. Allison, Senior Special
Counsel (202–452–3565), or Justyna
Bolter, Senior Attorney (202–452–2686),
Legal Division, or Lyle Kumasaka, Lead
Financial Institution & Policy Analyst
(202–452–2382), or Laura Lipscomb,
Assistant Director (202–912–7964),
Division of Monetary Affairs; for users
VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:54 Nov 06, 2019 Jkt 250001 PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 E:\FR\FM\07NOR1.SGM 07NOR1