Civil Monetary Penalty Inflation Adjustment, 5583-5584 [2019-03018]

Download as PDF 5583 Rules and Regulations Federal Register Vol. 84, No. 36 Friday, February 22, 2019 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. MERIT SYSTEMS PROTECTION BOARD 5 CFR Part 1201 Civil Monetary Penalty Inflation Adjustment AGENCY: Merit Systems Protection Board. ACTION: Final rule. This final rule adjusts the level of civil monetary penalties (CMPs) in regulations maintained and enforced by the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) with an annual adjustment under the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 (the 2015 Act) and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) guidance. DATES: This final rule is effective on February 22, 2019. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jennifer Everling, Acting Clerk of the Board, Merit Systems Protection Board, 1615 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20419; Phone: (202) 653–7200; Fax: (202) 653–7130; or email: mspb@ mspb.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: SUMMARY: I. Background The Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990 (the 1990 Act), Public Law 101–410, provided for the regular evaluation of CMPs by Federal agencies. Periodic inflationary adjustments of CMPs ensure that the consequences of statutory violations adequately reflect the gravity of such offenses and that CMPs are properly accounted for and collected by the Federal Government. In April 1996, the 1990 Act was amended by the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996 (the 1996 Act), Public Law 104–134, requiring Federal agencies to adjust their CMPs at least once every four years. However, because inflationary adjustments to CMPs were statutorily capped at ten percent of the maximum VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:50 Feb 21, 2019 Jkt 247001 penalty amount, but only required to be calculated every four years, CMPs in many cases did not correspond with the true measure of inflation over the preceding four-year period, leading to a decline in the real value of the penalty. To remedy this decline, the 2015 Act (section 701 of Pub. L. 114–74) requires agencies to adjust CMP amounts with annual inflationary adjustments through a rulemaking using a methodology mandated by the legislation. The purpose of these adjustments is to maintain the deterrent effect of civil penalties. A civil monetary penalty is ‘‘any penalty, fine, or other sanction’’ that: (1) ‘‘is for a specific amount’’ or ‘‘has a maximum amount’’ under Federal law; and (2) a Federal agency assesses or enforces ‘‘pursuant to an administrative proceeding or a civil action in the Federal courts.’’ 28 U.S.C. 2461 note. The MSPB is authorized to assess CMPs pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 1215(a)(3) and 5 U.S.C. 7326 in disciplinary actions brought by the Special Counsel. The corresponding MSPB regulation for both CMPs is 5 CFR 1201.126(a). As required by the 2015 Act, and pursuant to guidance issued by the OMB, the MSPB is now making an annual adjustment for 2019, according to the prescribed formulas. II. Calculation of Adjustment The CMP listed in 5 U.S.C. 1215(a)(3) was established in 1978 with the enactment of the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 (CSRA), Public Law 95–454, section 202(a), 92 Stat. 1121–30 (Oct. 13, 1978), and originally codified at 5 U.S.C. 1207(b). That CMP was last amended by section 106 of the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2012, Public Law 112–199, 12 Stat. 1468 (Nov. 27, 2012), now codified at 5 U.S.C. 1215(a)(3), which provided for a CMP ‘‘not to exceed $1,000.’’ The CMP authorized in 5 U.S.C. 7326 was established in 2012 by section 4 of the Hatch Act Modernization Act of 2012 (Hatch Act), Public Law 112–230, 126 Stat. 1617 (Dec. 28, 2012), which provided for a CMP ‘‘not to exceed $1,000.’’ On January 10, 2018, the MSPB issued a final rule which increased the maximum CMP allowed under both 5 U.S.C. 1215(a)(3) and 5 U.S.C. 7326 to $1,066 for the year 2018. See 83 FR 1173 (Jan. 10, 2018). This increase reflected PO 00000 Frm 00001 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 the annual increase for the year 2018 mandated by the 2015 Act. On December 14, 2018, OMB issued guidance on calculating the annual inflationary adjustment for 2019. See Memorandum from Mick Mulvaney, Dir., OMB, to Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies re: Implementation of Penalty Inflation Adjustments for 2019, Pursuant to the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015, M–19–04 (Dec. 14, 2018). Therein, OMB notified agencies that the annual adjustment multiplier for 2019, based on the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI–U), is 1.02522 and that the 2019 annual adjustment amount is obtained by multiplying the 2018 penalty amount by the 2019 annual adjustment multiplier, and rounding to the nearest dollar. Therefore, the new maximum penalty under the CSRA and the Hatch Act is $1,066 × 1.02522 = $1,092.88, which rounds to $1,093. III. Effective Date of Penalties The revised CMP amounts will go into effect on February 22, 2019. All violations for which CMPs are assessed after the effective date of this rule will be assessed at the adjusted penalty level regardless of whether the violation occurred before the effective date. IV. Procedural Requirements A. Administrative Procedure Act Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b), the MSPB has determined that good cause exists for waiving the general notice of proposed rulemaking and public comment procedures as to these technical amendments. The notice and comment procedures are being waived because Congress has specifically exempted agencies from these requirements when implementing the 2015 Act. The 2015 Act explicitly requires the agency to make subsequent annual adjustments notwithstanding 5 U.S.C. 553, the section of the Administrative Procedure Act that normally requires agencies to engage in notice and comment. It is also in the public interest that the adjusted rates for CMPs under the CSRA and the Hatch Act become effective as soon as possible to maintain their effective deterrent effect. E:\FR\FM\22FER1.SGM 22FER1 5584 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 36 / Friday, February 22, 2019 / Rules and Regulations B. Regulatory Impact Analysis: E.O. 12866 DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION The MSPB has determined that this is not a significant regulatory action under E.O. 12866. Therefore, no regulatory impact analysis is required. 14 CFR Part 39 Federal Aviation Administration C. Regulatory Flexibility Act The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) requires an agency to prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis for rules unless the agency certifies that the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The RFA applies only to rules for which an agency is required to first publish a proposed rule. See 5 U.S.C. 603(a) and 604(a). As discussed above, the 2015 Act does not require agencies to first publish a proposed rule when adjusting CMPs within their jurisdiction. Thus, the RFA does not apply to this final rule. D. Paperwork Reduction Act This document does not contain information collection requirements subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104–13 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35). List of Subjects in 5 CFR Part 1201 Administrative practice and procedure, Civil rights, Government employees. For the reasons set forth above, 5 CFR part 1201 is amended as follows: PART 1201—PRACTICES AND PROCEDURES 1. The authority citation for part 1201 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 5 U.S.C. 1204, 1305, and 7701, and 38 U.S.C. 4331, unless otherwise noted. § 1201.126 [Amended] 2. Section 1201.126 is amended in paragraph (a) by removing ‘‘$1,066’’ and adding in its place ‘‘$1,093.’’ ■ Jennifer Everling, Acting Clerk of the Board. [Docket No. FAA–2018–0508; Product Identifier 2018–NM–012–AD; Amendment 39–19563; AD 2019–03–11] RIN 2120–AA64 Airworthiness Directives; Airbus SAS Airplanes Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: We are adopting a new airworthiness directive (AD) for certain Airbus SAS Model A350–941 and -1041 airplanes. This AD was prompted by a determination that more restrictive maintenance requirements and airworthiness limitations are necessary. This AD requires revising the existing maintenance or inspection program, as applicable, to incorporate new or more restrictive maintenance requirements and airworthiness limitations. We are issuing this AD to address the unsafe condition on these products. DATES: This AD is effective March 29, 2019. The Director of the Federal Register approved the incorporation by reference of a certain publication listed in this AD as of March 29, 2019. ADDRESSES: For service information identified in this final rule, contact Airbus SAS, Airworthiness Office— EAL, Rond-Point Emile Dewoitine No: 2, 31700 Blagnac Cedex, France; telephone +33 5 61 93 36 96; fax +33 5 61 93 45 80; email continuedairworthiness.a350@airbus.com; internet http://www.airbus.com. You may view this service information at the FAA, Transport Standards Branch, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA. For information on the availability of this material at the FAA, call 206–231–3195. It is also available on the internet at http://www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2018– 0508. SUMMARY: [FR Doc. 2019–03018 Filed 2–21–19; 8:45 am] Examining the AD Docket BILLING CODE 7400–01–P You may examine the AD docket on the internet at http:// www.regulations.gov by searching for and locating Docket No. FAA–2018– 0508; or in person at Docket Operations between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The AD docket contains this final rule, the regulatory evaluation, any comments received, and other VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:50 Feb 21, 2019 Jkt 247001 PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 information. The address for Docket Operations (phone: 800–647–5527) is U.S. Department of Transportation, Docket Operations, M–30, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12–140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kathleen Arrigotti, Aerospace Engineer, International Section, Transport Standards Branch, FAA, 2200 South 216th St., Des Moines, WA 98198; telephone and fax 206–231–3218. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Discussion We issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to certain Airbus SAS Model A350–941 airplanes. The NPRM published in the Federal Register on June 11, 2018 (83 FR 26884). The NPRM was prompted by a determination that more restrictive maintenance requirements and airworthiness limitations are necessary. The NPRM proposed to require revising the existing maintenance or inspection program, as applicable, to incorporate new or more restrictive maintenance requirements and airworthiness limitations. We issued a supplemental NPRM (SNPRM) to amend 14 CFR part 39 by adding an AD that would apply to certain Airbus SAS Model A350–941 and –1041 airplanes. The SNPRM published in the Federal Register on November 6, 2018 (83 FR 55496). We issued the SNPRM because the service information referenced in the NPRM had been further revised to include new or more restrictive maintenance requirements and airworthiness limitations. We also revised the applicability of the proposed AD by adding Airbus SAS Model A350–1041 airplanes. We are issuing this AD to address safety-significant latent failures that would, in combination with one or more other specific failures or events, result in a hazardous or catastrophic failure condition. The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which is the Technical Agent for the Member States of the European Union, has issued EASA AD 2018–0179, dated August 23, 2018, to correct an unsafe condition on all Airbus SAS Model A350–941 and –1041 airplanes. EASA AD 2018–0179 states: Certification Maintenance Requirements (CMR) for the Airbus A350, which are approved by EASA, are currently defined and published in the Airbus A350 ALS [Airworthiness Limitations Section] Part 3 document. These instructions have been E:\FR\FM\22FER1.SGM 22FER1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 36 (Friday, February 22, 2019)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 5583-5584]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-03018]



========================================================================
Rules and Regulations
                                                Federal Register
________________________________________________________________________

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. 

========================================================================


Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 36 / Friday, February 22, 2019 / 
Rules and Regulations

[[Page 5583]]



MERIT SYSTEMS PROTECTION BOARD

5 CFR Part 1201


Civil Monetary Penalty Inflation Adjustment

AGENCY: Merit Systems Protection Board.

ACTION: Final rule.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: This final rule adjusts the level of civil monetary penalties 
(CMPs) in regulations maintained and enforced by the Merit Systems 
Protection Board (MSPB) with an annual adjustment under the Federal 
Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 (the 
2015 Act) and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) guidance.

DATES: This final rule is effective on February 22, 2019.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jennifer Everling, Acting Clerk of the 
Board, Merit Systems Protection Board, 1615 M Street NW, Washington, DC 
20419; Phone: (202) 653-7200; Fax: (202) 653-7130; or email: 
mspb@mspb.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

    The Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990 (the 
1990 Act), Public Law 101-410, provided for the regular evaluation of 
CMPs by Federal agencies. Periodic inflationary adjustments of CMPs 
ensure that the consequences of statutory violations adequately reflect 
the gravity of such offenses and that CMPs are properly accounted for 
and collected by the Federal Government. In April 1996, the 1990 Act 
was amended by the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996 (the 1996 
Act), Public Law 104-134, requiring Federal agencies to adjust their 
CMPs at least once every four years. However, because inflationary 
adjustments to CMPs were statutorily capped at ten percent of the 
maximum penalty amount, but only required to be calculated every four 
years, CMPs in many cases did not correspond with the true measure of 
inflation over the preceding four-year period, leading to a decline in 
the real value of the penalty. To remedy this decline, the 2015 Act 
(section 701 of Pub. L. 114-74) requires agencies to adjust CMP amounts 
with annual inflationary adjustments through a rulemaking using a 
methodology mandated by the legislation. The purpose of these 
adjustments is to maintain the deterrent effect of civil penalties.
    A civil monetary penalty is ``any penalty, fine, or other 
sanction'' that: (1) ``is for a specific amount'' or ``has a maximum 
amount'' under Federal law; and (2) a Federal agency assesses or 
enforces ``pursuant to an administrative proceeding or a civil action 
in the Federal courts.'' 28 U.S.C. 2461 note.
    The MSPB is authorized to assess CMPs pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 
1215(a)(3) and 5 U.S.C. 7326 in disciplinary actions brought by the 
Special Counsel. The corresponding MSPB regulation for both CMPs is 5 
CFR 1201.126(a). As required by the 2015 Act, and pursuant to guidance 
issued by the OMB, the MSPB is now making an annual adjustment for 
2019, according to the prescribed formulas.

II. Calculation of Adjustment

    The CMP listed in 5 U.S.C. 1215(a)(3) was established in 1978 with 
the enactment of the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 (CSRA), Public 
Law 95-454, section 202(a), 92 Stat. 1121-30 (Oct. 13, 1978), and 
originally codified at 5 U.S.C. 1207(b). That CMP was last amended by 
section 106 of the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2012, 
Public Law 112-199, 12 Stat. 1468 (Nov. 27, 2012), now codified at 5 
U.S.C. 1215(a)(3), which provided for a CMP ``not to exceed $1,000.'' 
The CMP authorized in 5 U.S.C. 7326 was established in 2012 by section 
4 of the Hatch Act Modernization Act of 2012 (Hatch Act), Public Law 
112-230, 126 Stat. 1617 (Dec. 28, 2012), which provided for a CMP ``not 
to exceed $1,000.'' On January 10, 2018, the MSPB issued a final rule 
which increased the maximum CMP allowed under both 5 U.S.C. 1215(a)(3) 
and 5 U.S.C. 7326 to $1,066 for the year 2018. See 83 FR 1173 (Jan. 10, 
2018). This increase reflected the annual increase for the year 2018 
mandated by the 2015 Act.
    On December 14, 2018, OMB issued guidance on calculating the annual 
inflationary adjustment for 2019. See Memorandum from Mick Mulvaney, 
Dir., OMB, to Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies re: 
Implementation of Penalty Inflation Adjustments for 2019, Pursuant to 
the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act 
of 2015, M-19-04 (Dec. 14, 2018). Therein, OMB notified agencies that 
the annual adjustment multiplier for 2019, based on the Consumer Price 
Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), is 1.02522 and that the 2019 
annual adjustment amount is obtained by multiplying the 2018 penalty 
amount by the 2019 annual adjustment multiplier, and rounding to the 
nearest dollar. Therefore, the new maximum penalty under the CSRA and 
the Hatch Act is $1,066 x 1.02522 = $1,092.88, which rounds to $1,093.

III. Effective Date of Penalties

    The revised CMP amounts will go into effect on February 22, 2019. 
All violations for which CMPs are assessed after the effective date of 
this rule will be assessed at the adjusted penalty level regardless of 
whether the violation occurred before the effective date.

IV. Procedural Requirements

A. Administrative Procedure Act

    Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 553(b), the MSPB has determined that good 
cause exists for waiving the general notice of proposed rulemaking and 
public comment procedures as to these technical amendments. The notice 
and comment procedures are being waived because Congress has 
specifically exempted agencies from these requirements when 
implementing the 2015 Act. The 2015 Act explicitly requires the agency 
to make subsequent annual adjustments notwithstanding 5 U.S.C. 553, the 
section of the Administrative Procedure Act that normally requires 
agencies to engage in notice and comment. It is also in the public 
interest that the adjusted rates for CMPs under the CSRA and the Hatch 
Act become effective as soon as possible to maintain their effective 
deterrent effect.

[[Page 5584]]

B. Regulatory Impact Analysis: E.O. 12866

    The MSPB has determined that this is not a significant regulatory 
action under E.O. 12866. Therefore, no regulatory impact analysis is 
required.

C. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) requires an agency to prepare 
a regulatory flexibility analysis for rules unless the agency certifies 
that the rule will not have a significant economic impact on a 
substantial number of small entities. The RFA applies only to rules for 
which an agency is required to first publish a proposed rule. See 5 
U.S.C. 603(a) and 604(a). As discussed above, the 2015 Act does not 
require agencies to first publish a proposed rule when adjusting CMPs 
within their jurisdiction. Thus, the RFA does not apply to this final 
rule.

D. Paperwork Reduction Act

    This document does not contain information collection requirements 
subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13 (44 
U.S.C. Chapter 35).

List of Subjects in 5 CFR Part 1201

    Administrative practice and procedure, Civil rights, Government 
employees.

    For the reasons set forth above, 5 CFR part 1201 is amended as 
follows:

PART 1201--PRACTICES AND PROCEDURES

0
1. The authority citation for part 1201 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  5 U.S.C. 1204, 1305, and 7701, and 38 U.S.C. 4331, 
unless otherwise noted.


Sec.  1201.126  [Amended]

0
2. Section 1201.126 is amended in paragraph (a) by removing ``$1,066'' 
and adding in its place ``$1,093.''

Jennifer Everling,
Acting Clerk of the Board.
[FR Doc. 2019-03018 Filed 2-21-19; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 7400-01-P