Inflation Adjustments for Civil Monetary Penalties, 34633-34636 [05-11790]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 114 / Wednesday, June 15, 2005 / Rules and Regulations Public Participation This action is being finalized without prior notice or public comment under authority of 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(3)(A) and (B). This rule implements through amendments to current program regulations a nondiscretionary provision mandated by the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004 (Public Law 108–265). Thus, the Department has determined in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553(b) that Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Opportunity for Public Comments is unnecessary and contrary to the public interest and, in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 553(d), finds that good cause exists for making this action effective. List of Subjects in 7 CFR Part 226 Accounting, Aged, Day care, Food assistance programs, Grant programs, Grant programs—health, Indians, Individuals with disabilities, Infants and children, Intergovernmental relations, Loan programs, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Surplus agricultural commodities. suspend or terminate the permanent agreement in accordance with § 226.16(l). * * * * * * * * Dated: May 25, 2005. Roberto Salazar, Administrator. [FR Doc. 05–11806 Filed 6–14–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–30–P FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION 11 CFR Part 111 [Notice 2005 –16] Inflation Adjustments for Civil Monetary Penalties Federal Election Commission. Final rules. AGENCY: ACTION: SUMMARY: The Federal Election Commission (‘‘Commission’’) is adopting final rules to apply inflation adjustments to certain civil monetary penalties under the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, as amended (‘‘FECA’’), the Presidential Election I Accordingly, 7 CFR part 226 is Campaign Fund Act and the amended as follows: Presidential Primary Matching Payment Account Act. The civil penalties being PART 226—CHILD AND ADULT CARE adjusted are for (1) certain violations of FOOD PROGRAM these statutes that are not knowing and I 1. The authority citation for part 226 willful, involving contributions and continues to read as follows: expenditures; (2) knowing and willful violations of the prohibition against the Authority: Secs. 9, 11, 14, 16, and 17, Richard B. Russell National School Lunch making of a contribution in the name of Act, as amended (42 U.S.C. 1758, 1759a, another; (3) knowing and willful 1762a, 1765, and 1766). violations of the confidentiality provisions of FECA; and (4) failure to I 2. In § 226.6, amend paragraph (p) by file timely 48-hour notices. No other adding the words ‘‘written permanent’’ before the word ‘‘agreement’’ in the first civil penalties are being adjusted. These adjustments are required by the Federal sentence and by adding a new sentence after the first sentence, to read as follows: Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990, as amended by the Debt § 226.6 State agency administrative Collection Improvement Act of 1996. responsibilities. Further information is provided in the * * * * * supplementary information that follows. (p) * * * Nothing in the preceding DATES: These penalty adjustments are sentence shall be construed to limit the effective on June 15, 2005. ability of the sponsoring organization to FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. suspend or terminate the permanent Mai T. Dinh, Assistant General Counsel, agreement in accordance with or Mr. Albert J. Kiss, Attorney, 999 E § 226.16(l). * * * Street, NW., Washington, DC 20463, * * * * * (202) 694–1650 or (800) 424–9530. I 3. In § 226.18, amend paragraph (b) SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The introductory text by adding the word Federal Civil Penalties Inflation ‘‘permanent’’ before the word Adjustment Act of 1990,1 as amended ‘‘agreement’’ in the second sentence and by the Debt Collection Improvement Act by adding a new sentence after the of 1996,2 (‘‘Inflation Adjustment Act’’) second sentence, to read as follows: requires Federal agencies to adopt regulations at least once every four years § 226.18 Day care home provisions. adjusting for inflation the civil monetary * * * * * (b) * * * Nothing in the preceding 1 28 U.S.C. 2461 note (2005). sentence shall be construed to limit the 2 Public Law 104–134, 110 Stat. 1321–358, 1321– ability of the sponsoring organization to 373, section 31001(s) (1996). VerDate jul<14>2003 16:54 Jun 14, 2005 Jkt 205001 PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 34633 penalties within the jurisdiction of the agency. A civil monetary penalty (‘‘civil penalty’’) is defined in the Inflation Adjustment Act as any penalty, fine, or other sanction that is for a specific amount, or has a maximum amount, as provided by Federal law, and is assessed or enforced by an agency in an administrative proceeding or by a Federal court pursuant to Federal law.3 This definition covers the civil penalties provided for in the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (‘‘FECA’’), as amended, 2 U.S.C. 431 et seq., for respondents who violate FECA, or violate the Presidential Election Campaign Fund Act, 26 U.S.C. 9001 et seq., or the Presidential Primary Matching Payment Account Act, 26 U.S.C. 9031 et seq. (collectively ‘‘chapters 95 and 96 of Title 26’’). Under the Inflation Adjustment Act, a civil penalty is adjusted by a cost-of-living adjustment (‘‘COLA’’), determined by multiplying the amount of the civil penalty by the percentage (if any) by which the U.S. Department of Labor’s Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers (‘‘CPI’’) for the month of June for the year preceding the year of adjustment exceeds the CPI for the month of June for the year in which the amount of the civil penalty was last set or adjusted.4 The amount of the inflation adjustment is subject to rounding rules.5 In March 1997, the Commission promulgated new rules to adjust FECA’s then-current civil penalties pursuant to the Inflation Adjustment Act. Final Rules and Explanation and Justification for Adjustments to Civil Monetary Penalty Amounts, 62 FR 11316 (Mar. 12, 1997) (‘‘1997 Civil Penalty Adjustment E&J’’). In January 2002, the Commission again examined its civil penalty rules under the Inflation Adjustment Act, but did not adjust any civil penalty rules because the operation of the Inflation Adjustment Act’s rounding rules did not result in increases in any of the civil penalties. Agenda Doc. 02–06 (Jan. 17, 2002). As explained in more detail below, the Commission has determined that certain civil penalties in 11 CFR 111.24 and 111.44 must be increased again in 2005 due to the increases in the CPI and the application of the Inflation Adjustment Act’s rounding rules to these civil penalties. However, other civil penalties in 11 CFR 111.24 and 111.43 are not being changed because the rounding rules negate any increases 3 28 U.S.C. 2461 note (3)(2). U.S.C. 2461 note (3)(3) and (5)(b). 5 28 U.S.C. 2461 note (5)(a). 4 28 E:\FR\FM\15JNR1.SGM 15JNR1 34634 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 114 / Wednesday, June 15, 2005 / Rules and Regulations in the civil penalties that would have resulted from the increases in the CPI. The Commission is required by statute to adjust the civil penalties under its jurisdiction by a COLA formula. This application of the COLA does not involve Commission discretion or any policy judgments. Thus, the Commission finds that the ‘‘good cause’’ exception to the notice and comment requirement in section 553 of the Administrative Procedure Act applies to these rules because notice and comment are unnecessary. 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) and (d)(3). For the same reasons, these rules do not need to be submitted to the Speaker of the House of Representatives or the President of the Senate under the Congressional Review Act, 5 U.S.C. 801 et seq., and these rules are effective upon publication. 5 U.S.C. 808(2). Accordingly, these amendments are effective on June 15, 2005. The new civil penalty amounts are applicable only to violations that occur after this effective date. Explanation and Justification 11 CFR 111.24—Civil Penalties (2 U.S.C. 437g(a)(5), (6), (12), 28 U.S.C. 2461 nt.) FECA provides for civil penalties for any person who violates any portion of FECA or chapters 95 and 96 of Title 26. FECA’s civil penalties, found at 2 U.S.C. 437g(a)(5), (6), and (12), are organized into two tiers; one tier of civil penalties for violations of FECA or chapters 95 and 96 of Title 26, and a higher tier of civil penalties for ‘‘knowing and willful’’ violations of FECA or chapters 95 and 96 of Title 26. Commission regulations in section 111.24 set forth each civil penalty established by section 437g(a)(5), (6) and (12), as adjusted pursuant to the Inflation Adjustment Act. 1. 11 CFR 111.24(a)(1) Violations That Are Not Knowing and Willful Under the core statutory provisions, the Commission may negotiate a civil penalty, or may institute an action for a civil penalty, or a court may impose a civil penalty, for a violation of FECA or of chapters 95 or 96 of Title 26 that does not exceed the greater of $5,000 or an amount equal to any contribution or expenditure involved in the violation. 2 U.S.C. 437g(a)(5)(A), (6)(A) and (6)(B). The $5,000 civil penalty amount was increased to $5,500 when section 111.24(a) was promulgated in 1997.6 6 The Inflation Adjustment Act provides that the first adjustment to a civil penalty may not exceed ten percent of the penalty. Thus, the 1997 increase to the $5,000 civil penalty was limited to ten percent of $5,000, or $500, and this penalty was increased to $5,500. VerDate jul<14>2003 16:54 Jun 14, 2005 Jkt 205001 1997 Civil Penalty Adjustment E&J at 11316. At this time, to determine the appropriate COLA to apply to the $5,500 amount, the Commission uses the CPI for June of 2004, which is 189.7, and the CPI for June of 1997, which is 160.3.7 The COLA is determined by dividing the CPI for June of 2004 (189.7) by the CPI for June of 1997 (160.3), which equals 1.183 (189.7/160.3 = 1.183). To obtain the inflation-adjusted civil penalty amount, the $5,500 amount is multiplied by the COLA of 1.183, which equals $6,507 ($5,500 × 1.183 = $6,507). Thus, the increase is $1,007 ($6,507¥$5,500 = $1,007). The amount of the increase is subject to the Inflation Adjustment Act rounding rules. Under the rounding rules, where the existing civil penalty is greater than $1,000 but less than or equal to $10,000, the increase is rounded to the nearest multiple of $1,000. Therefore, the amount of the civil penalty increase is rounded to $1,000. Consequently, section 111.24(a)(1) is amended by adding $1,000 to the $5,500 civil penalty to obtain the new inflationadjusted civil penalty of $6,500. 2. 11 CFR 111.24(a)(2)(i)—Knowing and Willful Violations The Commission may seek, or a court may impose, a civil penalty for a ‘‘knowing and willful’’ violation of FECA or of chapters 95 or 96 of Title 26 that does not exceed the greater of $10,000 or an amount equal to 200% of any contribution or expenditure involved in the violation. 2 U.S.C. 437g(a)(5)(B) and (6)(C). The $10,000 civil penalty amount was increased to $11,000 when section 111.24(a) was promulgated in 1997.8 1997 Civil Penalty Adjustment E&J at 11316. At this time, to obtain the inflationadjusted civil penalty, $11,000 is multiplied by the same COLA calculated above, i.e., 1.183. The resulting amount equals $13,013 ($11,000 × 1.183 = $13,103). Thus, the increase is $2,013 ($13,013 ¥ $11,000 = $2,013). Under the rounding rules, where the existing civil penalty is greater than $10,000 but less than or equal to $100,000, the increase is rounded to the nearest multiple of $5,000. Therefore, the amount of the civil penalty increase is rounded to 7 The base period for the CPI figures is 1982 to 1984. Thus, the price of a basket of goods and services that would have cost $100 in 1982–1984, rose to $160.30 in June 1997, and to $189.70 in June 2004. 8 As discussed above, the first adjustment to a civil penalty may not exceed ten percent of the penalty. Thus, the 1997 increase to the $10,000 civil penalty was limited to ten percent of $10,000, or $1,000, and this penalty was increased to $11,000. PO 00000 Frm 00008 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 zero, and the $11,000 civil penalty is not changed. Because no changes are being made at this time, the next adjustment will reflect inflationary changes since 1997 rather than 2005. 3. 11 CFR 111.24(a)(2)(ii)—Knowing and Willful Contributions Made in the Name of Another The Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002, Public Law 107–155, 116 Stat. 81,108, section 315 (2002) (‘‘BCRA’’), increased minimum and maximum civil penalties for knowing and willful violations of the prohibition on contributions made in the name of another in 2 U.S.C. 441f. As revised by BCRA, the civil penalty for such a violation is not less than 300 percent of the amount involved in the violation, and is not more than the greater of $50,000 or 1,000 percent of the amount involved in the violation. 2 U.S.C. 437g(a)(5)(B) and (6)(C); 11 CFR 111.24(a)(2)(ii). To determine the appropriate COLA to apply to the $50,000 amount, the Commission uses the CPI for June of 2004, which is 189.7, and the CPI for June of 2002, which is 179.9. The COLA is determined by dividing the CPI for June of 2004 (189.7) by the CPI for June of 2002 (179.9), which equals 1.054 (189.7/179.9 = 1.054). To obtain the inflation-adjusted civil penalty, $50,000 is multiplied by the COLA of 1.054, which equals $52,700 ($50,000 × 1.054 = $52,700). Thus, the increase is $2,700 ($52,700¥$50,000 = $2,700). Under the rounding rules described above, $2,700 is rounded to $5,000. Consequently, section 111.24(a)(2)(ii) is amended by adding $5,000 to the $50,000 civil penalty to obtain the new inflationadjusted civil penalty of $55,000. 4. 11 CFR 111.24(b)—Violations of Confidentiality Any Commission member or employee, or any other person, who makes public any notification or investigation under 2 U.S.C. 437g without receiving the written consent of the person receiving such notification, or the person with respect to whom such investigation is made, shall be fined not more than $2,000, except that any such member, employee, or other person who knowingly and willfully violates this provision shall be fined not more than $5,000. 2 U.S.C. 437g(a)(12)(B). In 1997, the Commission promulgated 11 CFR 111.24(b) to increase the $2,000 civil penalty to $2,200, and to increase the $5,000 civil E:\FR\FM\15JNR1.SGM 15JNR1 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 114 / Wednesday, June 15, 2005 / Rules and Regulations penalty to $5,500.9 1997 Civil Penalty Adjustment E&J at 11317. For these civil penalties, the appropriate COLA is 1.183. See COLA calculation for civil penalties under 11 CFR 111.24(a)(1), above. To obtain the inflation-adjusted civil penalty for the $2,200 amount, $2,200 is multiplied by the COLA of 1.183, which equals $2,603 ($2,200 × 1.183 = $2,603). Thus, the increase is $403 ($2,603¥$2,200 = $403). Under the rounding rules described above, $403 is rounded to zero. Thus, the $2,200 civil penalty remains unchanged. Because no changes are being made at this time, the next adjustment will reflect inflationary changes since 1997 rather than 2005. To obtain the inflation-adjusted civil penalty for the $5,500 amount, $5,500 is multiplied by the COLA of 1.183, equaling $6,507 ($5,500 × 1.183 = $6,507). Thus, the increase is $1,007 ($6,507¥$5,500 = $1,007). Under the rounding rules, the $1,007 amount is rounded to $1,000. Consequently, section 111.24(b) is amended by adding $1,000 to the $5,500 amount to obtain the new inflation-adjusted civil penalty of $6,500 for knowing and willful violations of confidentiality. formulas in the schedules of penalties in 11 CFR 111.43 are not changed. However, the Commission is correcting a typographical error in the schedule at section 111.43(a)(2)(iii). Under the column entitled ‘‘[I]f the level of activity in the report was,’’ the level of activity of $450,000–$549,999.99 is missing the first instance of the number ‘‘4.’’ Thus, this level of activity is erroneously listed as ‘‘$50,000– 549,999.99.’’ The Commission is correcting this to read ‘‘$450,000— $549,999.99.’’ 11 CFR 111.44—Schedule of Penalties for 48-Hour Notices Principal campaign committees are required to report, within 48 hours of receipt, any contributions of $1,000 or more that are received after the 20th day, but more than 48 hours before any election. 2 U.S.C. 434(a)(6). FECA permits the Commission to assess civil penalties for violations of this reporting requirement. 2 U.S.C. 437g(a)(4)(C). In 2000, the Commission adopted rules setting forth the civil penalties for failure to file timely notices of these last-minute contributions. Final Rules 11 CFR 111.43—Schedules of Penalties and Explanation and Justification for FECA permits the Commission to Administrative Fines, 65 FR 31787, assess civil penalties for violations of 31793 (May 19, 2000). The amount of the reporting requirements of 2 U.S.C. the civil penalty for each notice not 434(a) in accordance with schedules of filed timely is $100 plus ten percent of penalties established and published by the amount of the contribution(s) not the Commission. 2 U.S.C. 437g(a)(4)(C). timely reported, and is increased for The schedules of penalties for political prior violations. 11 CFR 111.44. To committees that file their reports late or determine the appropriate COLA to that fail to file reports are set out in 11 apply to the $100 amount, the CFR 111.43, and were last amended in Commission uses the CPI for June of 2003. Final Rules and Explanation and 2004, which is 189.7, and the CPI for Justification for Administrative Fines, 68 June of 2000, which is 172.4. The COLA FR 12572, 12573–12575 (Mar. 17, 2003). is obtained by dividing the CPI for June To determine the appropriate COLA to of 2004 (189.7) by the CPI for June of apply to the schedules of penalties for 2000 (172.4), which equals 1.100 (189.7/ violations of these reporting 172.4 = 1.100). To obtain the inflationrequirements, the Commission uses the adjusted civil penalty amount, $100 is CPI for June of 2004, which is 189.7, multiplied by the COLA of 1.100, which and the CPI for June of 2003, which is equals $110 ($100 × 1.100 = $110). 183.7. Although applying the COLA of Thus, the increase is $10 ($110¥$100 = 1.033 (189.7/183.7 = 1.033) to all $10). The Inflation Adjustment Act possible civil penalties under the schedules of penalties would result in a rounding rules do not change the amount of this increase.10 slight increase in the civil penalty Consequently, section 111.44 is amounts, the Inflation Adjustment Act rounding rules would round down the amended by adding $10 to the $100 increased civil penalty amounts to the civil penalty to obtain the new inflationcurrent amounts. Consequently, the adjusted civil penalty of $110. 9 As discussed above, the first adjustment to a civil penalty may not exceed ten percent of the penalty. Thus, the 1997 increase to the $2,000 civil penalty was limited to ten percent of $2,000, or $200, and this penalty was increased to $2,200. Similarly, the 1997 increase to the $5,000 civil penalty was limited to ten percent of $5,000, or $500, and this penalty was increased to $5,500. VerDate jul<14>2003 16:54 Jun 14, 2005 Jkt 205001 10 Under the rounding rules, where the existing penalty is less than or equal to $100, the increase is rounded to the nearest multiple of $10. Therefore, the amount of the penalty increase is rounded to $10, the same amount as it was prior to application of the rounding rules. PO 00000 Frm 00009 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 34635 Certification of No Effect Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 605(b) (Regulatory Flexibility Act) The provisions of the Regulatory Flexibility Act are not applicable to this final rule because the Commission was not required to publish a notice of proposed rulemaking or to seek public comment under 5 U.S.C. 553 or any other laws. 5 U.S.C. 603(a) and 604(a). Therefore, no regulatory flexibility analysis is required. List of Subjects in 11 CFR Part 111 Administrative practice and procedure, Elections, Law enforcement, and Penalties. I For the reasons set out in the preamble, the Federal Election Commission amends subchapter A of chapter I of title 11 of the Code of Federal Regulations as follows: PART 111—COMPLIANCE PROCEDURE (2 U.S.C. 437g, 437d(a)) 1. The authority citation for part 111 continues to read as follows: I Authority: 2 U.S.C. 437g, 437d(a), 438(a)(8); 28 U.S.C. 2461 nt. 2. In § 111.24, paragraphs (a)(1), (a)(2)(ii) and (b) are revised to read as follows: I § 111.24 Civil Penalties (2 U.S.C. 437g(a)(5), (6), (12), 28 U.S.C. 2461 nt.). (a) * * * (1) Except as provided in paragraph (a)(2) of this section, in the case of a violation of the Act or chapters 95 or 96 of title 26 (26 U.S.C.), the civil penalty shall not exceed the greater of $6,500 or an amount equal to any contribution or expenditure involved in the violation. (2) * * * (ii) Notwithstanding paragraph (a)(2)(i) of this section, in the case of a knowing and willful violation of 2 U.S.C. 441f, the civil penalty shall not be less than 300% of the amount of any contribution involved in the violation and shall not exceed the greater of $55,000 or 1,000% of the amount of any contribution involved in the violation. (b) Any Commission member or employee, or any other person, who in violation of 2 U.S.C. 437g(a)(12)(A) makes public any notification or investigation under 2 U.S.C. 437g without receiving the written consent of the person receiving such notification, or the person with respect to whom such investigation is made, shall be fined not more than $2,200. Any such member, employee, or other person who knowingly and willfully violates this provision shall be fined not more than $6,500. E:\FR\FM\15JNR1.SGM 15JNR1 34636 § 111.43 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 114 / Wednesday, June 15, 2005 / Rules and Regulations [Amended] 3. In § 111.43, paragraph (a)(2)(iii) is amended by removing ‘‘$50,000¥$549,999.99’’ and adding in its place ‘‘$450,000–549,999.99.’’ I 4. In § 111.44, paragraph (a)(1) is revised to read as follows: I § 111.44 What is the schedule of penalties for 48-hour notices that are not filed or are filed late? (a) * * * (1) Civil money penalty = $110 + (.10 × amount of the contribution(s) not timely reported). * * * * * Dated: June 9, 2005. Scott E. Thomas, Chairman, Federal Election Commission. [FR Doc. 05–11790 Filed 6–14–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6715–01–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 39 [Docket No. FAA–2005–21433; Directorate Identifier 2005–NM–079–AD; Amendment 39–14123; AD 2005–12–07] RIN 2120–AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus Model A319, A320, and A321 Series Airplanes Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Final rule; request for comments. AGENCY: SUMMARY: The FAA is adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Airbus Model A319, A320, and A321 series airplanes. This AD requires a onetime ultrasonic inspection for certain airplanes, and repetitive detailed inspections for all airplanes, for cracking in the forward lug of the support rib 5 fitting of both main landing gear (MLG), and repair if necessary. This AD also provides for optional terminating actions. This AD is prompted by a report of a crack found in the forward lug of the right-hand MLG rib 5 fitting during greasing of both MLG pintle bearings. We are issuing this AD to find and fix cracking in the forward lug of the MLG, which could result in failure of the lug and consequent collapse of the MLG during landing. DATES: Effective June 30, 2005. The incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in the AD is approved by the Director of the Federal Register as of June 30, 2005. VerDate jul<14>2003 16:54 Jun 14, 2005 Jkt 205001 We must receive comments on this AD by August 15, 2005. ADDRESSES: Use one of the following addresses to submit comments on this AD. • DOT Docket Web site: Go to http://dms.dot.gov and follow the instructions for sending your comments electronically. • Government-wide rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and follow the instructions for sending your comments electronically. • Mail: Docket Management Facility; U.S. Department of Transportation, 400 Seventh Street SW., Nassif Building, room PL–401, Washington, DC 20590. • Fax: (202) 493–2251. • Hand Delivery: Room PL–401 on the plaza level of the Nassif Building, 400 Seventh Street SW., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. For service information identified in this AD, contact Airbus, 1 Rond Point Maurice Bellonte, 31707 Blagnac Cedex, France. You can examine the contents of this AD docket on the Internet at http:// dms.dot.gov, or in person at the Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, 400 Seventh Street SW., room PL–401, on the plaza level of the Nassif Building, Washington, DC. This docket number is FAA–2005– 21433; the directorate identifier for this docket is 2005-NM–079–AD. Examining the Docket You can examine the AD docket on the Internet at http://dms.dot.gov, or in person at the Docket Management Facility office between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The Docket Management Facility office (telephone (800) 647–5227) is located on the plaza level of the Nassif Building at the DOT street address stated in the ADDRESSES section. Comments will be available in the AD docket shortly after the Docket Management System (DMS) receives them. Tim Dulin, Aerospace Engineer, International Branch, ANM–116, FAA, Transport Airplane Directorate, 1601 Lind Avenue, SW., Renton, Washington 98055–4056; telephone (425) 227–2141; fax (425) 227–1149. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The ´ ´ Direction Generale de l’Aviation Civile (DGAC), which is the airworthiness authority for France, notified the FAA that an unsafe condition may exist on certain Airbus Model A319, A320, and A321 series airplanes. The DGAC advises that, during greasing of the main FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: PO 00000 Frm 00010 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 landing gear (MLG) pintle bearings on a Model A320 series airplane, a crack was found in the forward lug of the righthand MLG rib 5 fitting. The airplane had accumulated 12,634 total flight cycles and 19,710 total flight hours at the time of the findings. Laboratory analysis of the damaged lug revealed that it was fitted with a bushing that had insufficient cadmium plating. Further investigation revealed that certain Airbus Model A319 and A320 series airplanes may have been equipped with bushings from a batch found to have insufficient cadmium plating. The forward lug of the left- and right-hand MLG rib 5 fitting of Airbus Model A319, A320, and A321 series airplanes that do not have Airbus Modification 32025 incorporated could also be susceptible to cracking. These conditions, if not corrected, could result in failure of the lug and consequent collapse of the MLG during landing. Relevant Service Information Airbus has issued Service Bulletin A320–57A1136, dated January 26, 2005 (for Model A319 and A320 series airplanes). The service bulletin describes procedures for a one-time ultrasonic inspection for cracking in the forward lug of the support rib 5 fitting of both MLG. The service bulletin recommends contacting the manufacturer for repair instructions if any cracking is found. The DGAC mandated Service Bulletin A320–57A1136, and a detailed visual inspection as defined in the visual procedures of Airbus A318/A319/A320/ A321 Nondestructive Testing Manual (NTM), Chapter 51–90–00, revision dated February 2003; and issued French airworthiness directive F–2005–035, dated March 2, 2005, to ensure the continued airworthiness of these airplanes in France. Airbus has also issued Service Bulletin A320–57–1118, dated September 5, 2002, and Revision 01, dated August 28, 2003 (for Model A319, A320, and A321 series airplanes). The service bulletins describe procedures for modification of the lugs of the support rib 5 fitting of the left- and right-hand MLG and related investigative and corrective actions if necessary. The modification includes installing new bushings on the lugs of the support rib 5 fitting of the MLG, and applying protective sealant to the bores and spotfaces of the lug. The related investigative and corrective actions include performing a visual inspection for corrosion/damage of the bores and spotfaces of the lug for the pintle pin bushings, and repair if corrosion/ damage is found. Accomplishing this E:\FR\FM\15JNR1.SGM 15JNR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 70, Number 114 (Wednesday, June 15, 2005)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 34633-34636]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 05-11790]


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FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION

11 CFR Part 111

[Notice 2005 -16]


Inflation Adjustments for Civil Monetary Penalties

AGENCY: Federal Election Commission.

ACTION: Final rules.

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SUMMARY: The Federal Election Commission (``Commission'') is adopting 
final rules to apply inflation adjustments to certain civil monetary 
penalties under the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971, as amended 
(``FECA''), the Presidential Election Campaign Fund Act and the 
Presidential Primary Matching Payment Account Act. The civil penalties 
being adjusted are for (1) certain violations of these statutes that 
are not knowing and willful, involving contributions and expenditures; 
(2) knowing and willful violations of the prohibition against the 
making of a contribution in the name of another; (3) knowing and 
willful violations of the confidentiality provisions of FECA; and (4) 
failure to file timely 48-hour notices. No other civil penalties are 
being adjusted. These adjustments are required by the Federal Civil 
Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990, as amended by the Debt 
Collection Improvement Act of 1996. Further information is provided in 
the supplementary information that follows.

DATES: These penalty adjustments are effective on June 15, 2005.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Mai T. Dinh, Assistant General 
Counsel, or Mr. Albert J. Kiss, Attorney, 999 E Street, NW., 
Washington, DC 20463, (202) 694-1650 or (800) 424-9530.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Federal Civil Penalties Inflation 
Adjustment Act of 1990,\1\ as amended by the Debt Collection 
Improvement Act of 1996,\2\ (``Inflation Adjustment Act'') requires 
Federal agencies to adopt regulations at least once every four years 
adjusting for inflation the civil monetary penalties within the 
jurisdiction of the agency.
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    \1\ 28 U.S.C. 2461 note (2005).
    \2\ Public Law 104-134, 110 Stat. 1321-358, 1321-373, section 
31001(s) (1996).
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    A civil monetary penalty (``civil penalty'') is defined in the 
Inflation Adjustment Act as any penalty, fine, or other sanction that 
is for a specific amount, or has a maximum amount, as provided by 
Federal law, and is assessed or enforced by an agency in an 
administrative proceeding or by a Federal court pursuant to Federal 
law.\3\ This definition covers the civil penalties provided for in the 
Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (``FECA''), as amended, 2 U.S.C. 
431 et seq., for respondents who violate FECA, or violate the 
Presidential Election Campaign Fund Act, 26 U.S.C. 9001 et seq., or the 
Presidential Primary Matching Payment Account Act, 26 U.S.C. 9031 et 
seq. (collectively ``chapters 95 and 96 of Title 26''). Under the 
Inflation Adjustment Act, a civil penalty is adjusted by a cost-of-
living adjustment (``COLA''), determined by multiplying the amount of 
the civil penalty by the percentage (if any) by which the U.S. 
Department of Labor's Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers 
(``CPI'') for the month of June for the year preceding the year of 
adjustment exceeds the CPI for the month of June for the year in which 
the amount of the civil penalty was last set or adjusted.\4\ The amount 
of the inflation adjustment is subject to rounding rules.\5\
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    \3\ 28 U.S.C. 2461 note (3)(2).
    \4\ 28 U.S.C. 2461 note (3)(3) and (5)(b).
    \5\ 28 U.S.C. 2461 note (5)(a).
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    In March 1997, the Commission promulgated new rules to adjust 
FECA's then-current civil penalties pursuant to the Inflation 
Adjustment Act. Final Rules and Explanation and Justification for 
Adjustments to Civil Monetary Penalty Amounts, 62 FR 11316 (Mar. 12, 
1997) (``1997 Civil Penalty Adjustment E&J''). In January 2002, the 
Commission again examined its civil penalty rules under the Inflation 
Adjustment Act, but did not adjust any civil penalty rules because the 
operation of the Inflation Adjustment Act's rounding rules did not 
result in increases in any of the civil penalties. Agenda Doc. 02-06 
(Jan. 17, 2002). As explained in more detail below, the Commission has 
determined that certain civil penalties in 11 CFR 111.24 and 111.44 
must be increased again in 2005 due to the increases in the CPI and the 
application of the Inflation Adjustment Act's rounding rules to these 
civil penalties. However, other civil penalties in 11 CFR 111.24 and 
111.43 are not being changed because the rounding rules negate any 
increases

[[Page 34634]]

in the civil penalties that would have resulted from the increases in 
the CPI.
    The Commission is required by statute to adjust the civil penalties 
under its jurisdiction by a COLA formula. This application of the COLA 
does not involve Commission discretion or any policy judgments. Thus, 
the Commission finds that the ``good cause'' exception to the notice 
and comment requirement in section 553 of the Administrative Procedure 
Act applies to these rules because notice and comment are unnecessary. 
5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) and (d)(3). For the same reasons, these rules do not 
need to be submitted to the Speaker of the House of Representatives or 
the President of the Senate under the Congressional Review Act, 5 
U.S.C. 801 et seq., and these rules are effective upon publication. 5 
U.S.C. 808(2). Accordingly, these amendments are effective on June 15, 
2005. The new civil penalty amounts are applicable only to violations 
that occur after this effective date.

Explanation and Justification

11 CFR 111.24--Civil Penalties (2 U.S.C. 437g(a)(5), (6), (12), 28 
U.S.C. 2461 nt.)

    FECA provides for civil penalties for any person who violates any 
portion of FECA or chapters 95 and 96 of Title 26. FECA's civil 
penalties, found at 2 U.S.C. 437g(a)(5), (6), and (12), are organized 
into two tiers; one tier of civil penalties for violations of FECA or 
chapters 95 and 96 of Title 26, and a higher tier of civil penalties 
for ``knowing and willful'' violations of FECA or chapters 95 and 96 of 
Title 26. Commission regulations in section 111.24 set forth each civil 
penalty established by section 437g(a)(5), (6) and (12), as adjusted 
pursuant to the Inflation Adjustment Act.
1. 11 CFR 111.24(a)(1) Violations That Are Not Knowing and Willful
    Under the core statutory provisions, the Commission may negotiate a 
civil penalty, or may institute an action for a civil penalty, or a 
court may impose a civil penalty, for a violation of FECA or of 
chapters 95 or 96 of Title 26 that does not exceed the greater of 
$5,000 or an amount equal to any contribution or expenditure involved 
in the violation. 2 U.S.C. 437g(a)(5)(A), (6)(A) and (6)(B). The $5,000 
civil penalty amount was increased to $5,500 when section 111.24(a) was 
promulgated in 1997.\6\ 1997 Civil Penalty Adjustment E&J at 11316.
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    \6\ The Inflation Adjustment Act provides that the first 
adjustment to a civil penalty may not exceed ten percent of the 
penalty. Thus, the 1997 increase to the $5,000 civil penalty was 
limited to ten percent of $5,000, or $500, and this penalty was 
increased to $5,500.
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    At this time, to determine the appropriate COLA to apply to the 
$5,500 amount, the Commission uses the CPI for June of 2004, which is 
189.7, and the CPI for June of 1997, which is 160.3.\7\ The COLA is 
determined by dividing the CPI for June of 2004 (189.7) by the CPI for 
June of 1997 (160.3), which equals 1.183 (189.7/160.3 = 1.183). To 
obtain the inflation-adjusted civil penalty amount, the $5,500 amount 
is multiplied by the COLA of 1.183, which equals $6,507 ($5,500 x 1.183 
= $6,507). Thus, the increase is $1,007 ($6,507-$5,500 = $1,007). The 
amount of the increase is subject to the Inflation Adjustment Act 
rounding rules. Under the rounding rules, where the existing civil 
penalty is greater than $1,000 but less than or equal to $10,000, the 
increase is rounded to the nearest multiple of $1,000. Therefore, the 
amount of the civil penalty increase is rounded to $1,000. 
Consequently, section 111.24(a)(1) is amended by adding $1,000 to the 
$5,500 civil penalty to obtain the new inflation-adjusted civil penalty 
of $6,500.
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    \7\ The base period for the CPI figures is 1982 to 1984. Thus, 
the price of a basket of goods and services that would have cost 
$100 in 1982-1984, rose to $160.30 in June 1997, and to $189.70 in 
June 2004.
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2. 11 CFR 111.24(a)(2)(i)--Knowing and Willful Violations
    The Commission may seek, or a court may impose, a civil penalty for 
a ``knowing and willful'' violation of FECA or of chapters 95 or 96 of 
Title 26 that does not exceed the greater of $10,000 or an amount equal 
to 200% of any contribution or expenditure involved in the violation. 2 
U.S.C. 437g(a)(5)(B) and (6)(C). The $10,000 civil penalty amount was 
increased to $11,000 when section 111.24(a) was promulgated in 1997.\8\ 
1997 Civil Penalty Adjustment E&J at 11316.
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    \8\ As discussed above, the first adjustment to a civil penalty 
may not exceed ten percent of the penalty. Thus, the 1997 increase 
to the $10,000 civil penalty was limited to ten percent of $10,000, 
or $1,000, and this penalty was increased to $11,000.
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    At this time, to obtain the inflation-adjusted civil penalty, 
$11,000 is multiplied by the same COLA calculated above, i.e., 1.183. 
The resulting amount equals $13,013 ($11,000 x 1.183 = $13,103). Thus, 
the increase is $2,013 ($13,013 - $11,000 = $2,013). Under the rounding 
rules, where the existing civil penalty is greater than $10,000 but 
less than or equal to $100,000, the increase is rounded to the nearest 
multiple of $5,000. Therefore, the amount of the civil penalty increase 
is rounded to zero, and the $11,000 civil penalty is not changed. 
Because no changes are being made at this time, the next adjustment 
will reflect inflationary changes since 1997 rather than 2005.
3. 11 CFR 111.24(a)(2)(ii)--Knowing and Willful Contributions Made in 
the Name of Another
    The Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002, Public Law 107-155, 116 
Stat. 81,108, section 315 (2002) (``BCRA''), increased minimum and 
maximum civil penalties for knowing and willful violations of the 
prohibition on contributions made in the name of another in 2 U.S.C. 
441f. As revised by BCRA, the civil penalty for such a violation is not 
less than 300 percent of the amount involved in the violation, and is 
not more than the greater of $50,000 or 1,000 percent of the amount 
involved in the violation. 2 U.S.C. 437g(a)(5)(B) and (6)(C); 11 CFR 
111.24(a)(2)(ii). To determine the appropriate COLA to apply to the 
$50,000 amount, the Commission uses the CPI for June of 2004, which is 
189.7, and the CPI for June of 2002, which is 179.9. The COLA is 
determined by dividing the CPI for June of 2004 (189.7) by the CPI for 
June of 2002 (179.9), which equals 1.054 (189.7/179.9 = 1.054). To 
obtain the inflation-adjusted civil penalty, $50,000 is multiplied by 
the COLA of 1.054, which equals $52,700 ($50,000 x 1.054 = $52,700). 
Thus, the increase is $2,700 ($52,700-$50,000 = $2,700). Under the 
rounding rules described above, $2,700 is rounded to $5,000. 
Consequently, section 111.24(a)(2)(ii) is amended by adding $5,000 to 
the $50,000 civil penalty to obtain the new inflation-adjusted civil 
penalty of $55,000.
4. 11 CFR 111.24(b)--Violations of Confidentiality
    Any Commission member or employee, or any other person, who makes 
public any notification or investigation under 2 U.S.C. 437g without 
receiving the written consent of the person receiving such 
notification, or the person with respect to whom such investigation is 
made, shall be fined not more than $2,000, except that any such member, 
employee, or other person who knowingly and willfully violates this 
provision shall be fined not more than $5,000. 2 U.S.C. 437g(a)(12)(B). 
In 1997, the Commission promulgated 11 CFR 111.24(b) to increase the 
$2,000 civil penalty to $2,200, and to increase the $5,000 civil

[[Page 34635]]

penalty to $5,500.\9\ 1997 Civil Penalty Adjustment E&J at 11317.
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    \9\ As discussed above, the first adjustment to a civil penalty 
may not exceed ten percent of the penalty. Thus, the 1997 increase 
to the $2,000 civil penalty was limited to ten percent of $2,000, or 
$200, and this penalty was increased to $2,200. Similarly, the 1997 
increase to the $5,000 civil penalty was limited to ten percent of 
$5,000, or $500, and this penalty was increased to $5,500.
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    For these civil penalties, the appropriate COLA is 1.183. See COLA 
calculation for civil penalties under 11 CFR 111.24(a)(1), above. To 
obtain the inflation-adjusted civil penalty for the $2,200 amount, 
$2,200 is multiplied by the COLA of 1.183, which equals $2,603 ($2,200 
x 1.183 = $2,603). Thus, the increase is $403 ($2,603-$2,200 = $403). 
Under the rounding rules described above, $403 is rounded to zero. 
Thus, the $2,200 civil penalty remains unchanged. Because no changes 
are being made at this time, the next adjustment will reflect 
inflationary changes since 1997 rather than 2005.
    To obtain the inflation-adjusted civil penalty for the $5,500 
amount, $5,500 is multiplied by the COLA of 1.183, equaling $6,507 
($5,500 x 1.183 = $6,507). Thus, the increase is $1,007 ($6,507-$5,500 
= $1,007). Under the rounding rules, the $1,007 amount is rounded to 
$1,000. Consequently, section 111.24(b) is amended by adding $1,000 to 
the $5,500 amount to obtain the new inflation-adjusted civil penalty of 
$6,500 for knowing and willful violations of confidentiality.

11 CFR 111.43--Schedules of Penalties

    FECA permits the Commission to assess civil penalties for 
violations of the reporting requirements of 2 U.S.C. 434(a) in 
accordance with schedules of penalties established and published by the 
Commission. 2 U.S.C. 437g(a)(4)(C). The schedules of penalties for 
political committees that file their reports late or that fail to file 
reports are set out in 11 CFR 111.43, and were last amended in 2003. 
Final Rules and Explanation and Justification for Administrative Fines, 
68 FR 12572, 12573-12575 (Mar. 17, 2003). To determine the appropriate 
COLA to apply to the schedules of penalties for violations of these 
reporting requirements, the Commission uses the CPI for June of 2004, 
which is 189.7, and the CPI for June of 2003, which is 183.7. Although 
applying the COLA of 1.033 (189.7/183.7 = 1.033) to all possible civil 
penalties under the schedules of penalties would result in a slight 
increase in the civil penalty amounts, the Inflation Adjustment Act 
rounding rules would round down the increased civil penalty amounts to 
the current amounts. Consequently, the formulas in the schedules of 
penalties in 11 CFR 111.43 are not changed.
    However, the Commission is correcting a typographical error in the 
schedule at section 111.43(a)(2)(iii). Under the column entitled ``[I]f 
the level of activity in the report was,'' the level of activity of 
$450,000-$549,999.99 is missing the first instance of the number ``4.'' 
Thus, this level of activity is erroneously listed as ``$50,000-
549,999.99.'' The Commission is correcting this to read ``$450,000--
$549,999.99.''

11 CFR 111.44--Schedule of Penalties for 48-Hour Notices

    Principal campaign committees are required to report, within 48 
hours of receipt, any contributions of $1,000 or more that are received 
after the 20th day, but more than 48 hours before any election. 2 
U.S.C. 434(a)(6). FECA permits the Commission to assess civil penalties 
for violations of this reporting requirement. 2 U.S.C. 437g(a)(4)(C). 
In 2000, the Commission adopted rules setting forth the civil penalties 
for failure to file timely notices of these last-minute contributions. 
Final Rules and Explanation and Justification for Administrative Fines, 
65 FR 31787, 31793 (May 19, 2000). The amount of the civil penalty for 
each notice not filed timely is $100 plus ten percent of the amount of 
the contribution(s) not timely reported, and is increased for prior 
violations. 11 CFR 111.44. To determine the appropriate COLA to apply 
to the $100 amount, the Commission uses the CPI for June of 2004, which 
is 189.7, and the CPI for June of 2000, which is 172.4. The COLA is 
obtained by dividing the CPI for June of 2004 (189.7) by the CPI for 
June of 2000 (172.4), which equals 1.100 (189.7/172.4 = 1.100). To 
obtain the inflation-adjusted civil penalty amount, $100 is multiplied 
by the COLA of 1.100, which equals $110 ($100 x 1.100 = $110). Thus, 
the increase is $10 ($110-$100 = $10). The Inflation Adjustment Act 
rounding rules do not change the amount of this increase.\10\ 
Consequently, section 111.44 is amended by adding $10 to the $100 civil 
penalty to obtain the new inflation-adjusted civil penalty of $110.
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    \10\ Under the rounding rules, where the existing penalty is 
less than or equal to $100, the increase is rounded to the nearest 
multiple of $10. Therefore, the amount of the penalty increase is 
rounded to $10, the same amount as it was prior to application of 
the rounding rules.
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Certification of No Effect Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 605(b) (Regulatory 
Flexibility Act)

    The provisions of the Regulatory Flexibility Act are not applicable 
to this final rule because the Commission was not required to publish a 
notice of proposed rulemaking or to seek public comment under 5 U.S.C. 
553 or any other laws. 5 U.S.C. 603(a) and 604(a). Therefore, no 
regulatory flexibility analysis is required.

List of Subjects in 11 CFR Part 111

    Administrative practice and procedure, Elections, Law enforcement, 
and Penalties.

0
For the reasons set out in the preamble, the Federal Election 
Commission amends subchapter A of chapter I of title 11 of the Code of 
Federal Regulations as follows:

PART 111--COMPLIANCE PROCEDURE (2 U.S.C. 437g, 437d(a))

0
1. The authority citation for part 111 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 2 U.S.C. 437g, 437d(a), 438(a)(8); 28 U.S.C. 2461 nt.


0
2. In Sec.  111.24, paragraphs (a)(1), (a)(2)(ii) and (b) are revised 
to read as follows:


Sec.  111.24  Civil Penalties (2 U.S.C. 437g(a)(5), (6), (12), 28 
U.S.C. 2461 nt.).

    (a) * * *
    (1) Except as provided in paragraph (a)(2) of this section, in the 
case of a violation of the Act or chapters 95 or 96 of title 26 (26 
U.S.C.), the civil penalty shall not exceed the greater of $6,500 or an 
amount equal to any contribution or expenditure involved in the 
violation.
    (2) * * *
    (ii) Notwithstanding paragraph (a)(2)(i) of this section, in the 
case of a knowing and willful violation of 2 U.S.C. 441f, the civil 
penalty shall not be less than 300% of the amount of any contribution 
involved in the violation and shall not exceed the greater of $55,000 
or 1,000% of the amount of any contribution involved in the violation.
    (b) Any Commission member or employee, or any other person, who in 
violation of 2 U.S.C. 437g(a)(12)(A) makes public any notification or 
investigation under 2 U.S.C. 437g without receiving the written consent 
of the person receiving such notification, or the person with respect 
to whom such investigation is made, shall be fined not more than 
$2,200. Any such member, employee, or other person who knowingly and 
willfully violates this provision shall be fined not more than $6,500.

[[Page 34636]]

Sec.  111.43  [Amended]

0
3. In Sec.  111.43, paragraph (a)(2)(iii) is amended by removing 
``$50,000-$549,999.99'' and adding in its place ``$450,000-
549,999.99.''

0
4. In Sec.  111.44, paragraph (a)(1) is revised to read as follows:


Sec.  111.44  What is the schedule of penalties for 48-hour notices 
that are not filed or are filed late?

    (a) * * *
    (1) Civil money penalty = $110 + (.10 x amount of the 
contribution(s) not timely reported).
* * * * *

    Dated: June 9, 2005.
Scott E. Thomas,
Chairman, Federal Election Commission.
[FR Doc. 05-11790 Filed 6-14-05; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6715-01-P