Rules of Practice and Procedure; Adjusting Civil Money Penalties for Inflation, 8807-8809 [2017-01065]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 19 / Tuesday, January 31, 2017 / Rules and Regulations Issued in Washington, DC, on January 24, 2017. John T. Lucas, Acting General Counsel. [FR Doc. 2017–01958 Filed 1–30–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450–01–P DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY 10 CFR Part 820 [Docket No. EA–RM–16–PRDNA] RIN 1992–AA52 Procedural Rules for DOE Nuclear Activities Office of Enterprise Assessments, Office of Enforcement, Office of Nuclear Safety Enforcement, Department of Energy. ACTION: Final rule; stay of regulations. AGENCY: This document stays DOE regulations for the assessment of civil penalties against certain contractors and subcontractors for violations of the prohibition against an employee who reports violations of law, mismanagement, waste, abuse or dangerous/unsafe workplace conditions, among other protected activities, concerning nuclear safety. DATES: Effective January 31, 2017, 10 CFR 820.2 (the definition for ‘‘DOE Nuclear Safety Requirements’’), 820.14, 820.20(a) and (b), and appendix A to part 820, section XIII, are stayed until March 21, 2017. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Steven Simonson, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Enterprise Assessments/Germantown Building, 1000 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20585–1290. Phone: (301) 903–2816. Email: Steven.Simonson@hq.doe.gov. K.C. Michaels, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of the General Counsel, 1000 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20585–0121. Phone: (202) 586–3430. Email: Kenneth.Michaels@hq.doe.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On January 20, 2017, the Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff (‘‘Chief of Staff’’) issued a memorandum, published in the Federal Register on January 24, 2017 (82 FR 8346), outlining the President’s plan for managing the Federal regulatory process at the outset of the new Administration. In implementation of one of the measures directed by that memorandum, the United States Department of Energy (‘‘DOE’’) hereby temporarily stays regulations in its final rule amending its procedural rules for DOE nuclear asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:52 Jan 30, 2017 Jkt 241001 activities published in the Federal Register on December 27, 2016. See 81 FR 94910. In the December 27 rule, DOE clarified that the Department may assess civil penalties against certain contractors and subcontractors for violations of the prohibition against retaliating against an employee who reports violations of law, mismanagement, waste, abuse, or dangerous/unsafe workplace conditions, among other protected activities, concerning nuclear safety (referred to as ‘‘whistleblowers’’). Specifically, DOE clarified the definition of ‘‘DOE Nuclear Safety Requirements’’ and clarified that the prohibition against whistleblower retaliation is a DOE Nuclear Safety Requirement to the extent that it concerns nuclear safety. Consistent with the memorandum, DOE is temporarily staying regulations in the final rule by an additional 60 days starting from January 20, 2017. The temporary 60-day stay is necessary to give DOE officials the opportunity for further review and consideration of new regulations, consistent with the Chief of Staff’s memorandum of January 20, 2017. To the extent that 5 U.S.C. 553 applies to this action, it is exempt from notice and comment because it constitutes a rule of procedure under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(A). Alternatively, DOE’s implementation of this action without opportunity for public comment, effective immediately upon publication in the Federal Register, is based on the good cause exceptions in 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) and 553(d)(3). Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), DOE has determined that good cause exists to forego the requirement to provide prior notice and an opportunity for public comment thereon for this rule as such procedures would be impracticable, unnecessary and contrary to the public interest. DOE is temporarily staying this regulation pursuant to the previously-noted memorandum of the Chief of Staff and is exercising no discretion in implementing this specific provision of the memorandum. As a result, seeking public comment on this stay is unnecessary and contrary to the public interest. It is also impracticable given that the memorandum was issued on January 20, 2017 and the previous effective date of the rule at issue was January 26, 2017. For these same reasons, DOE finds good cause to waive the 30-day delay in effective date provided for in 5 U.S.C. 553(d). PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 8807 Issued in Washington, DC, on January 24, 2017. John T. Lucas, Acting General Counsel. [FR Doc. 2017–01959 Filed 1–30–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450–01–P FARM CREDIT ADMINISTRATION 12 CFR Part 622 RIN 3052–AD21 Rules of Practice and Procedure; Adjusting Civil Money Penalties for Inflation Farm Credit Administration. Final rule. AGENCY: ACTION: This regulation implements inflation adjustments to civil money penalties (CMPs) that the Farm Credit Administration (FCA) may impose or enforce pursuant to the Farm Credit Act of 1971, as amended (Farm Credit Act), and pursuant to the Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973, as amended by the National Flood Insurance Reform Act of 1994 (Reform Act), and further amended by the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 (BiggertWaters Act). DATES: This regulation is effective on January 31, 2017. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Michael T. Wilson, Policy Analyst, Office of Regulatory Policy, Farm Credit Administration, McLean, VA 22102– 5090, (703) 883–4124, TTY (703) 883– 4056, or Autumn Agans, AttorneyAdvisor, Office of General Counsel, Farm Credit Administration, McLean, VA 22102–5090, (703) 883–4082, TTY (703) 883–4056. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: I. Objective The objective of this regulation is to adjust the maximum CMPs for inflation through a final rulemaking to retain the deterrent effect of such penalties. II. Background A. Introduction Section 3(2) of the 1990 Act, as amended, defines a civil monetary penalty 1 as any penalty, fine, or other sanction that: (1) Either is for a specific monetary amount as provided by 1 Note: While the 1990 Act, as amended by 1996 and 2015 Acts, uses the term ‘‘civil monetary penalties’’ for these penalties or other sanctions, the Farm Credit Act and the FCA Regulations use the term ‘‘civil money penalties.’’ Both terms have the same meaning. Accordingly, this rule uses the term civil money penalty, and both terms may be used interchangeably. E:\FR\FM\31JAR1.SGM 31JAR1 8808 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 19 / Tuesday, January 31, 2017 / Rules and Regulations Federal law or has a maximum amount provided for by Federal law; (2) is assessed or enforced by an agency pursuant to Federal law; and (3) is assessed or enforced pursuant to an administrative proceeding or a civil action in the Federal courts.2 The FCA imposes and enforces CMPs through the Farm Credit Act and the Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973, as amended. FCA’s regulations governing CMPs are found in parts 622 and 623. Part 622 establishes rules of practice and procedure applicable to formal and informal hearings held before the FCA, and to formal investigations conducted under the Farm Credit Act. Part 623 prescribes rules with regard to persons who may practice before the FCA and the circumstances under which such persons may be suspended or debarred from practice before the FCA. CMP maximum was set by the Agricultural Credit Act of 1987, which was enacted in 1988, and amends the Farm Credit Act. Current, inflationadjusted CMP maximums are set forth in existing § 622.61 of FCA regulations.5 The FCA also enforces the Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973,6 as amended by the National Flood Insurance Reform Act of 1994,7 which requires FCA to assess CMPs for a pattern or practice of committing certain specific actions in violation of the National Flood Insurance Program. The existing maximum CMP for a violation under the Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973 is $2,000.8 B. CMPs Issued Under the Farm Credit Act The Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990, as amended by the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996 (1996 Act) and the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 2015 (2015 Act) 9 (collectively, 1990 Act, as amended), requires all Federal agencies with the authority to enforce CMPs to evaluate and adjust, if necessary, those CMPs each year to ensure that they continue to maintain their deterrent value and promote compliance with the law. Furthermore, the 2015 Act requires all Federal agencies to adjust the CMPs yearly, starting January 15, 2017. Under Section 4(b) of the 1990 Act, as amended, annual adjustments are to be made yearly no later than January 15 of each year.10 Section 6 of the 1990 Act, as amended, states that any increase to a civil monetary penalty under this Act applies only to civil monetary penalties, including those whose associated violation predated such increase, which are assessed after the date the increase takes effect. Section 5(b) of the 1990 Act, as amended, defines the term ‘‘cost-ofliving adjustment’’ as the percentage (if any) for each civil monetary penalty by which (1) the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the month of October of the calendar year preceding the adjustment, exceeds (2) the CPI for the month of October 1 year before the month of October referred to in (1) of the calendar asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES The Farm Credit Act provides that any Farm Credit System (System) institution or any officer, director, employee, agent, or other person participating in the conduct of the affairs of a System institution who violates the terms of a cease-and-desist order that has become final pursuant to section 5.25 or 5.26 of the Farm Credit Act must pay up to a maximum daily amount of $1,000 3 during which such violation continues. This CMP maximum was set by the Farm Credit Amendments Act of 1985, which amended the Farm Credit Act. Orders issued by the FCA under section 5.25 or 5.26 of the Farm Credit Act include temporary and permanent cease-anddesist orders. In addition, section 5.32(h) of the Farm Credit Act provides that any directive issued under sections 4.3(b)(2), 4.3A(e), or 4.14A(i) of the Farm Credit Act ‘‘shall be treated’’ as a final order issued under section 5.25 of the Farm Credit Act for purposes of assessing a CMP. Section 5.32(a) of the Farm Credit Act also states that ‘‘[a]ny such institution or person who violates any provision of the [Farm Credit] Act or any regulation issued under this Act shall forfeit and pay a civil penalty of not more than $500 4 per day for each day during which such violation continues.’’ This 2 See 28 U.S.C. 2461 note. inflation-adjusted CMP in effect on August 1, 2016, for a violation of a final order is $2,188 per day, as set forth in § 622.61(a)(1) of FCA regulations. 4 The inflation-adjusted CMP in effect on August 1, 2016, for a violation of the Farm Credit Act or a regulation issued under the Farm Credit Act is $989 per day, as set forth in § 622.61(a)(2) of FCA regulations. 3 The VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:52 Jan 30, 2017 Jkt 241001 C. Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 1. In General 5 Prior adjustments were made under the 1990 Act. 6 42 U.S.C. 4012a. 7 Public Law 103–325, title V, 108 Stat. 2160, 2255–87 (September 23, 1994). 8 Public Law 112–141, 126 Stat. 405 (July 6, 2012). 9 Public Law 114–74, sec. 701. 10 Public Law 114–74, sec. 701(b)(1). PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 year in which the amount of such civil monetary penalty was last set or adjusted pursuant to law.11 As of August 1, 2016, a ‘‘catch-up’’ adjustment under the 2015 Act amendments was made by the FCA using the cost-of-living adjustment calculated by determining the percentage change (if any) for each civil monetary penalty by which the CPI for the month of October 2015 exceeded the CPI for the month of October during the calendar year in which the CMP was created or last adjusted for any reason other than pursuant to the 1996 Act. The increase for each CMP adjusted for inflation must be rounded using a method prescribed by section 5(a) of the 1990 Act, as amended, by the 2015 Act.12 2. Other Adjustments If a civil monetary penalty is subject to a cost-of-living adjustment under the 1990 Act, as amended, but is adjusted to an amount greater than the amount of the adjustment required under the Act within the 12 months preceding a required cost-of-living adjustment, the agency is not required to make the costof-living adjustment to that CMP in that calendar year.13 III. Yearly Adjustments A. Mathematical Calculations of 2017 Adjustments The adjustment requirement affects two provisions of section 5.32(a) of the Farm Credit Act. For the 2017 yearly adjustments to the CMPs set forth by the Farm Credit Act, the calculation required by the 2016 White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) guidance 14 is based on the percentage by which the CPI for October 2016 exceeds the CPIs for October 2015. The OMB set forth guidance, as required by the 2015 Act,15 with a grid of multipliers for calculating the new CMP values.16 The OMB multiplier for the 2017 CMPs is 1.01636. The adjustment also affects the CMPs set by the Flood Disaster Protection Act 11 The CPI is published by the Department of Labor, Bureau of Statistics, and is available at its Web site: ftp://ftp.bls.gov/pub/special.requests/cpi/ cpiai.txt. 12 Pursuant to section 5(a)(3) of the 2015 Act, any increase determined under the subsection shall be rounded to the nearest $1. 13 Pursuant to section 4(d) of the 1990 Act, as amended. 14 OMB Circular M–17–11, Implementation of the 2017 annual adjustment pursuant to the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015. 15 28 U.S.C. 2461 note, section 7(a). 16 OMB Circular M–17–11, Implementation of the 2017 annual adjustment pursuant to the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015. E:\FR\FM\31JAR1.SGM 31JAR1 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 19 / Tuesday, January 31, 2017 / Rules and Regulations of 1973, as amended. The adjustment multiplier is the same for all FCA enforced CMPs, set at 1.01636. The maximum CMPs for violations were created in 2012 by the Biggert-Waters Act, which amended the Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973. 1. New Penalty Amount in § 622.61(a)(1) The inflation-adjusted CMP currently in effect for violations of a final order occurring on or after November 2, 2015, is a maximum daily amount of $2,188.17 Multiplying the $2,188 CMP by the 2016 OMB multiplier, 1.01636, yields a total of $2,223.80. When that number is rounded as required by section 5(a) of the 1990 Act, as amended, the inflationadjusted maximum increases to $2,224. Thus, the new CMP maximum is $2,224. 2. New Penalty Amount in § 622.61(a)(2) The inflation-adjusted CMP currently in effect for violations of the Farm Credit Act or regulations issued under the Farm Credit Act occurring on or after November 2, 2015, is a maximum daily amount of $989.18 Multiplying the $989 CMP maximum by the 2016 OMB multiplier, 1.01636, yields a total of $1,005.18. When that number is rounded as required by section 5(a) of the 1990 Act, as amended the inflationadjusted maximum increases to $1,005. Thus, the new CMP maximum is $1,005. asabaliauskas on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with RULES 3. New Penalty Amounts for Flood Insurance Violations Under § 622.61(b) The existing maximum CMP for a pattern or practice of flood insurance violations pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 4012a(f)(5) is $2,056. Multiplying $2,056 by the 2016 OMB multiplier, 1.01636, yields a total of $2,089.64. When that number is rounded as required by section 5(a) of the 1990 Act, as amended, the new maximum assessment of the CMP for violating 42 U.S.C. 4012a(f)(5) is $2,090. Thus, the new CMP maximum is $2,090. IV. Notice and Comment Not Required by Administrative Procedure Act The 1990 Act, as amended, gives Federal agencies no discretion in the adjustment of CMPs for the rate of inflation. Further, these revisions are ministerial, technical, and noncontroversial. For these reasons, the FCA finds good cause to determine that public notice and an opportunity to comment are impracticable, unnecessary, and contrary to the public interest pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B), and adopts this rule in final form. 17 12 18 12 CFR 622.61(a)(1). CFR 622.61(a)(2). VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:52 Jan 30, 2017 Jkt 241001 V. Regulatory Flexibility Act Pursuant to section 605(b) of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.), the FCA hereby certifies that this final rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Each of the banks in the System, considered together with its affiliated associations, has assets and annual income in excess of the amounts that would qualify them as small entities. Therefore, System institutions are not ‘‘small entities’’ as defined in the Regulatory Flexibility Act. List of Subjects in 12 CFR Part 622 Administrative practice and procedure, Crime, Investigations, Penalties. For the reasons stated in the preamble, part 622 of chapter VI, title 12 of the Code of Federal Regulations is amended as follows: PART 622—RULES OF PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE 1. The authority citation for part 622 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: Secs. 5.9, 5.10, 5.17, 5.25–5.37 of the Farm Credit Act (12 U.S.C. 2243, 2244, 2252, 2261–2273); 28 U.S.C. 2461 note; and 42 U.S.C. 4012a(f). ■ 2. Revise § 622.61 to read as follows: § 622.61 Adjustment of civil money penalties by the rate of inflation under the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990, as amended. (a) The maximum amount of each civil money penalty within FCA’s jurisdiction is adjusted in accordance with the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990, as amended (28 U.S.C. 2461 note), as follows: (1) Amount of civil money penalty imposed under section 5.32 of the Act for violation of a final order issued under section 5.25 or 5.26 of the Act: The maximum daily amount is $2,224 for violations that occur on or after January 15, 2017. (2) Amount of civil money penalty for violation of the Act or regulations: the maximum daily amount is $1,005 for each violation that occurs on or after January 15, 2017. (b) The maximum civil money penalty amount assessed under 42 U.S.C. 4012a(f) is: $385 for each violation that occurs on or after January 16, 2009, but before July 1, 2013, with total penalties under such statute not to exceed $120,000 for any single institution during any calendar year; $2,000 for each violation that occurs on or after July 1, 2013, but before August 1, 2016, PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 8809 with no cap on the total amount of penalties that can be assessed against any single institution during any calendar year; and $2,090 for each violation that occurs on or after January 15, 2017, with no cap on the total amount of penalties that can be assessed against any single institution during any calendar year. Dated: January 12, 2017. Dale L. Aultman, Secretary, Farm Credit Administration Board. [FR Doc. 2017–01065 Filed 1–30–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6705–01–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Economic Development Administration 13 CFR Part 312 [Docket No.: 160615526–7122–03] RIN 0610–AA68 Regional Innovation Program Economic Development Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce. ACTION: Final rule; delay of effective date. AGENCY: In accordance with the memorandum of January 20, 2017, from the Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff, entitled ‘‘Regulatory Freeze Pending Review,’’ published in the Federal Register on January 24, 2017 (the Memorandum), this action temporarily delays the effective date of the Final Rule entitled ‘‘Regional Innovation Program’’ (Final Rule or Rule) published in the Federal Register on January 11, 2017. The Final Rule implements the Regional Innovation Program of the Economic Development Administration (EDA or the Agency), U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) and specifically focuses on outlining the regulatory structure of its centerpiece grant program, the Regional Innovation Strategies (RIS) Program. DATES: The effective date of the Final Rule published in the Federal Register on January 11, 2017 (82 FR 3131), is delayed until March 21, 2017. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mara Quintero Campbell, Regional Counsel, Office of the Chief Counsel, Economic Development Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Suite 72023, Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482–9055. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\31JAR1.SGM 31JAR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 19 (Tuesday, January 31, 2017)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 8807-8809]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-01065]


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FARM CREDIT ADMINISTRATION

12 CFR Part 622

RIN 3052-AD21


Rules of Practice and Procedure; Adjusting Civil Money Penalties 
for Inflation

AGENCY: Farm Credit Administration.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: This regulation implements inflation adjustments to civil 
money penalties (CMPs) that the Farm Credit Administration (FCA) may 
impose or enforce pursuant to the Farm Credit Act of 1971, as amended 
(Farm Credit Act), and pursuant to the Flood Disaster Protection Act of 
1973, as amended by the National Flood Insurance Reform Act of 1994 
(Reform Act), and further amended by the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance 
Reform Act of 2012 (Biggert-Waters Act).

DATES: This regulation is effective on January 31, 2017.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Michael T. Wilson, Policy Analyst, 
Office of Regulatory Policy, Farm Credit Administration, McLean, VA 
22102-5090, (703) 883-4124, TTY (703) 883-4056, or Autumn Agans, 
Attorney-Advisor, Office of General Counsel, Farm Credit 
Administration, McLean, VA 22102-5090, (703) 883-4082, TTY (703) 883-
4056.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

I. Objective

    The objective of this regulation is to adjust the maximum CMPs for 
inflation through a final rulemaking to retain the deterrent effect of 
such penalties.

II. Background

A. Introduction

    Section 3(2) of the 1990 Act, as amended, defines a civil monetary 
penalty \1\ as any penalty, fine, or other sanction that: (1) Either is 
for a specific monetary amount as provided by

[[Page 8808]]

Federal law or has a maximum amount provided for by Federal law; (2) is 
assessed or enforced by an agency pursuant to Federal law; and (3) is 
assessed or enforced pursuant to an administrative proceeding or a 
civil action in the Federal courts.\2\
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    \1\ Note: While the 1990 Act, as amended by 1996 and 2015 Acts, 
uses the term ``civil monetary penalties'' for these penalties or 
other sanctions, the Farm Credit Act and the FCA Regulations use the 
term ``civil money penalties.'' Both terms have the same meaning. 
Accordingly, this rule uses the term civil money penalty, and both 
terms may be used interchangeably.
    \2\ See 28 U.S.C. 2461 note.
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    The FCA imposes and enforces CMPs through the Farm Credit Act and 
the Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973, as amended. FCA's 
regulations governing CMPs are found in parts 622 and 623. Part 622 
establishes rules of practice and procedure applicable to formal and 
informal hearings held before the FCA, and to formal investigations 
conducted under the Farm Credit Act. Part 623 prescribes rules with 
regard to persons who may practice before the FCA and the circumstances 
under which such persons may be suspended or debarred from practice 
before the FCA.

B. CMPs Issued Under the Farm Credit Act

    The Farm Credit Act provides that any Farm Credit System (System) 
institution or any officer, director, employee, agent, or other person 
participating in the conduct of the affairs of a System institution who 
violates the terms of a cease-and-desist order that has become final 
pursuant to section 5.25 or 5.26 of the Farm Credit Act must pay up to 
a maximum daily amount of $1,000 \3\ during which such violation 
continues. This CMP maximum was set by the Farm Credit Amendments Act 
of 1985, which amended the Farm Credit Act. Orders issued by the FCA 
under section 5.25 or 5.26 of the Farm Credit Act include temporary and 
permanent cease-and-desist orders. In addition, section 5.32(h) of the 
Farm Credit Act provides that any directive issued under sections 
4.3(b)(2), 4.3A(e), or 4.14A(i) of the Farm Credit Act ``shall be 
treated'' as a final order issued under section 5.25 of the Farm Credit 
Act for purposes of assessing a CMP.
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    \3\ The inflation-adjusted CMP in effect on August 1, 2016, for 
a violation of a final order is $2,188 per day, as set forth in 
Sec.  622.61(a)(1) of FCA regulations.
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    Section 5.32(a) of the Farm Credit Act also states that ``[a]ny 
such institution or person who violates any provision of the [Farm 
Credit] Act or any regulation issued under this Act shall forfeit and 
pay a civil penalty of not more than $500 \4\ per day for each day 
during which such violation continues.'' This CMP maximum was set by 
the Agricultural Credit Act of 1987, which was enacted in 1988, and 
amends the Farm Credit Act. Current, inflation-adjusted CMP maximums 
are set forth in existing Sec.  622.61 of FCA regulations.\5\
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    \4\ The inflation-adjusted CMP in effect on August 1, 2016, for 
a violation of the Farm Credit Act or a regulation issued under the 
Farm Credit Act is $989 per day, as set forth in Sec.  622.61(a)(2) 
of FCA regulations.
    \5\ Prior adjustments were made under the 1990 Act.
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    The FCA also enforces the Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973,\6\ 
as amended by the National Flood Insurance Reform Act of 1994,\7\ which 
requires FCA to assess CMPs for a pattern or practice of committing 
certain specific actions in violation of the National Flood Insurance 
Program. The existing maximum CMP for a violation under the Flood 
Disaster Protection Act of 1973 is $2,000.\8\
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    \6\ 42 U.S.C. 4012a.
    \7\ Public Law 103-325, title V, 108 Stat. 2160, 2255-87 
(September 23, 1994).
    \8\ Public Law 112-141, 126 Stat. 405 (July 6, 2012).
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C. Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 
2015

1. In General
    The Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990, as 
amended by the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996 (1996 Act) and 
the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 2015 (2015 Act) 
\9\ (collectively, 1990 Act, as amended), requires all Federal agencies 
with the authority to enforce CMPs to evaluate and adjust, if 
necessary, those CMPs each year to ensure that they continue to 
maintain their deterrent value and promote compliance with the law. 
Furthermore, the 2015 Act requires all Federal agencies to adjust the 
CMPs yearly, starting January 15, 2017.
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    \9\ Public Law 114-74, sec. 701.
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    Under Section 4(b) of the 1990 Act, as amended, annual adjustments 
are to be made yearly no later than January 15 of each year.\10\ 
Section 6 of the 1990 Act, as amended, states that any increase to a 
civil monetary penalty under this Act applies only to civil monetary 
penalties, including those whose associated violation predated such 
increase, which are assessed after the date the increase takes effect.
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    \10\ Public Law 114-74, sec. 701(b)(1).
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    Section 5(b) of the 1990 Act, as amended, defines the term ``cost-
of-living adjustment'' as the percentage (if any) for each civil 
monetary penalty by which (1) the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the 
month of October of the calendar year preceding the adjustment, exceeds 
(2) the CPI for the month of October 1 year before the month of October 
referred to in (1) of the calendar year in which the amount of such 
civil monetary penalty was last set or adjusted pursuant to law.\11\
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    \11\ The CPI is published by the Department of Labor, Bureau of 
Statistics, and is available at its Web site: ftp://ftp.bls.gov/pub/special.requests/cpi/cpiai.txt.
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    As of August 1, 2016, a ``catch-up'' adjustment under the 2015 Act 
amendments was made by the FCA using the cost-of-living adjustment 
calculated by determining the percentage change (if any) for each civil 
monetary penalty by which the CPI for the month of October 2015 
exceeded the CPI for the month of October during the calendar year in 
which the CMP was created or last adjusted for any reason other than 
pursuant to the 1996 Act.
    The increase for each CMP adjusted for inflation must be rounded 
using a method prescribed by section 5(a) of the 1990 Act, as amended, 
by the 2015 Act.\12\
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    \12\ Pursuant to section 5(a)(3) of the 2015 Act, any increase 
determined under the subsection shall be rounded to the nearest $1.
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2. Other Adjustments
    If a civil monetary penalty is subject to a cost-of-living 
adjustment under the 1990 Act, as amended, but is adjusted to an amount 
greater than the amount of the adjustment required under the Act within 
the 12 months preceding a required cost-of-living adjustment, the 
agency is not required to make the cost-of-living adjustment to that 
CMP in that calendar year.\13\
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    \13\ Pursuant to section 4(d) of the 1990 Act, as amended.
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III. Yearly Adjustments

A. Mathematical Calculations of 2017 Adjustments

    The adjustment requirement affects two provisions of section 
5.32(a) of the Farm Credit Act. For the 2017 yearly adjustments to the 
CMPs set forth by the Farm Credit Act, the calculation required by the 
2016 White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) guidance \14\ is 
based on the percentage by which the CPI for October 2016 exceeds the 
CPIs for October 2015. The OMB set forth guidance, as required by the 
2015 Act,\15\ with a grid of multipliers for calculating the new CMP 
values.\16\ The OMB multiplier for the 2017 CMPs is 1.01636.
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    \14\ OMB Circular M-17-11, Implementation of the 2017 annual 
adjustment pursuant to the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation 
Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015.
    \15\ 28 U.S.C. 2461 note, section 7(a).
    \16\ OMB Circular M-17-11, Implementation of the 2017 annual 
adjustment pursuant to the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation 
Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015.
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    The adjustment also affects the CMPs set by the Flood Disaster 
Protection Act

[[Page 8809]]

of 1973, as amended. The adjustment multiplier is the same for all FCA 
enforced CMPs, set at 1.01636. The maximum CMPs for violations were 
created in 2012 by the Biggert-Waters Act, which amended the Flood 
Disaster Protection Act of 1973.
1. New Penalty Amount in Sec.  622.61(a)(1)
    The inflation-adjusted CMP currently in effect for violations of a 
final order occurring on or after November 2, 2015, is a maximum daily 
amount of $2,188.\17\ Multiplying the $2,188 CMP by the 2016 OMB 
multiplier, 1.01636, yields a total of $2,223.80. When that number is 
rounded as required by section 5(a) of the 1990 Act, as amended, the 
inflation-adjusted maximum increases to $2,224. Thus, the new CMP 
maximum is $2,224.
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    \17\ 12 CFR 622.61(a)(1).
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2. New Penalty Amount in Sec.  622.61(a)(2)
    The inflation-adjusted CMP currently in effect for violations of 
the Farm Credit Act or regulations issued under the Farm Credit Act 
occurring on or after November 2, 2015, is a maximum daily amount of 
$989.\18\ Multiplying the $989 CMP maximum by the 2016 OMB multiplier, 
1.01636, yields a total of $1,005.18. When that number is rounded as 
required by section 5(a) of the 1990 Act, as amended the inflation-
adjusted maximum increases to $1,005. Thus, the new CMP maximum is 
$1,005.
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    \18\ 12 CFR 622.61(a)(2).
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3. New Penalty Amounts for Flood Insurance Violations Under Sec.  
622.61(b)
    The existing maximum CMP for a pattern or practice of flood 
insurance violations pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 4012a(f)(5) is $2,056. 
Multiplying $2,056 by the 2016 OMB multiplier, 1.01636, yields a total 
of $2,089.64. When that number is rounded as required by section 5(a) 
of the 1990 Act, as amended, the new maximum assessment of the CMP for 
violating 42 U.S.C. 4012a(f)(5) is $2,090. Thus, the new CMP maximum is 
$2,090.

IV. Notice and Comment Not Required by Administrative Procedure Act

    The 1990 Act, as amended, gives Federal agencies no discretion in 
the adjustment of CMPs for the rate of inflation. Further, these 
revisions are ministerial, technical, and noncontroversial. For these 
reasons, the FCA finds good cause to determine that public notice and 
an opportunity to comment are impracticable, unnecessary, and contrary 
to the public interest pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 
U.S.C. 553(b)(B), and adopts this rule in final form.

V. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    Pursuant to section 605(b) of the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 
U.S.C. 601 et seq.), the FCA hereby certifies that this final rule will 
not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities. Each of the banks in the System, considered together with its 
affiliated associations, has assets and annual income in excess of the 
amounts that would qualify them as small entities. Therefore, System 
institutions are not ``small entities'' as defined in the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act.

List of Subjects in 12 CFR Part 622

    Administrative practice and procedure, Crime, Investigations, 
Penalties.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, part 622 of chapter VI, 
title 12 of the Code of Federal Regulations is amended as follows:

PART 622--RULES OF PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE

0
1. The authority citation for part 622 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  Secs. 5.9, 5.10, 5.17, 5.25-5.37 of the Farm Credit 
Act (12 U.S.C. 2243, 2244, 2252, 2261-2273); 28 U.S.C. 2461 note; 
and 42 U.S.C. 4012a(f).


0
2. Revise Sec.  622.61 to read as follows:


Sec.  622.61   Adjustment of civil money penalties by the rate of 
inflation under the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 
1990, as amended.

    (a) The maximum amount of each civil money penalty within FCA's 
jurisdiction is adjusted in accordance with the Federal Civil Penalties 
Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990, as amended (28 U.S.C. 2461 note), as 
follows:
    (1) Amount of civil money penalty imposed under section 5.32 of the 
Act for violation of a final order issued under section 5.25 or 5.26 of 
the Act: The maximum daily amount is $2,224 for violations that occur 
on or after January 15, 2017.
    (2) Amount of civil money penalty for violation of the Act or 
regulations: the maximum daily amount is $1,005 for each violation that 
occurs on or after January 15, 2017.
    (b) The maximum civil money penalty amount assessed under 42 U.S.C. 
4012a(f) is: $385 for each violation that occurs on or after January 
16, 2009, but before July 1, 2013, with total penalties under such 
statute not to exceed $120,000 for any single institution during any 
calendar year; $2,000 for each violation that occurs on or after July 
1, 2013, but before August 1, 2016, with no cap on the total amount of 
penalties that can be assessed against any single institution during 
any calendar year; and $2,090 for each violation that occurs on or 
after January 15, 2017, with no cap on the total amount of penalties 
that can be assessed against any single institution during any calendar 
year.

    Dated: January 12, 2017.
Dale L. Aultman,
Secretary, Farm Credit Administration Board.
[FR Doc. 2017-01065 Filed 1-30-17; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 6705-01-P