Civil Monetary Penalties Annual Inflation Adjustments, 47891-47894 [2020-16032]

Download as PDF 47891 Rules and Regulations Federal Register Vol. 85, No. 153 Friday, August 7, 2020 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 ELECTION COMMISSION 11 CFR Part 111 [NOTICE 2020–06] Civil Monetary Penalties Annual Inflation Adjustments Federal Election Commission. Final rule. AGENCY: ACTION: As required by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990, the Federal Election Commission is adjusting for inflation the civil monetary penalties established under the Federal Election Campaign Act, the Presidential Election Campaign Fund Act, and the Presidential Primary Matching Payment Account Act. The civil monetary penalties being adjusted are those negotiated by the Commission or imposed by a court for certain statutory violations, and those imposed by the Commission for late filing of or failure to file certain reports required by the Federal Election Campaign Act. The adjusted civil monetary penalties are calculated according to a statutory formula and the adjusted amounts will apply to penalties assessed after the effective date of these rules. DATES: The final rules are effective on August 7, 2020. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Robert M. Knop, Assistant General Counsel, or Mr. Joseph P. Wenzinger, Attorney, Office of General Counsel, (202) 694–1650 or (800) 424–9530. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990 (the ‘‘Inflation Adjustment Act’’),1 as amended by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 (the ‘‘2015 Act’’),2 requires federal jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with RULES SUMMARY: 1 Public Law 101–410, 104 Stat. 890 (codified at 28 U.S.C. 2461 note), amended by Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996, Public Law 104–134, 31001(s)(1), 110 Stat. 1321, 1321–373; Federal Reports Elimination Act of 1998, Public Law 105– 362, 1301, 112 Stat. 3280. 2 Public Law 114–74, 701, 129 Stat. 584, 599. VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:54 Aug 06, 2020 Jkt 250001 agencies, including the Commission, to adjust for inflation the civil monetary penalties within their jurisdiction according to prescribed formulas. A civil monetary penalty is ‘‘any penalty, fine, or other sanction’’ that (1) ‘‘is for a specific monetary amount’’ or ‘‘has a maximum amount’’ under federal law; and (2) that a federal agency assesses or enforces ‘‘pursuant to an administrative proceeding or a civil action’’ in federal court.3 Under the Federal Election Campaign Act, 52 U.S.C. 30101–45 (‘‘FECA’’), the Commission may seek and assess civil monetary penalties for violations of FECA, the Presidential Election Campaign Fund Act, 26 U.S.C. 9001–13, and the Presidential Primary Matching Payment Account Act, 26 U.S.C. 9031–42. The Inflation Adjustment Act requires federal agencies to adjust their civil penalties annually, and the adjustments must take effect no later than January 15 of every year.4 Pursuant to guidance issued by the Office of Management and Budget,5 the Commission is now adjusting its civil monetary penalties for 2020.6 The Commission must adjust for inflation its civil monetary penalties ‘‘notwithstanding Section 553’’ of the Administrative Procedures Act (‘‘APA’’).7 Thus, the APA’s notice-andcomment and delayed effective date requirements in 5 U.S.C. 553(b)–(d) do not apply because Congress has specifically exempted agencies from these requirements.8 Furthermore, because the inflation adjustments made through these final rules are required by Congress and involve no Commission discretion or policy judgments, these rules do not need to be submitted to the Speaker of the United States House of 3 Inflation Adjustment Act § 3(2). Adjustment Act § 4(a). 5 See Inflation Adjustment Act § 7(a) (requiring OMB to ‘‘issue guidance to agencies on implementing the inflation adjustments required under this Act’’); see also Memorandum from Russell T. Vought, Acting Director, Office of Management and Budget, to Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies, M–20–05, Dec. 16, 2019, https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/ uploads/2019/12/M-20-05.pdf (‘‘OMB Memorandum’’). 6 Inflation Adjustment Act § 5. 7 Inflation Adjustment Act § 4(b)(2). 8 See, e.g., Asiana Airlines v. FAA, 134 F.3d 393, 396–99 (D.C. Cir. 1998) (finding APA ‘‘notice and comment’’ requirement not applicable where Congress clearly expressed intent to depart from normal APA procedures). 4 Inflation PO 00000 Frm 00001 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 Representatives or the President of the United States Senate under the Congressional Review Act, 5 U.S.C. 801 et seq. Moreover, because the APA’s notice-and-comment procedures do not apply to these final rules, the Commission is not required to conduct a regulatory flexibility analysis under 5 U.S.C. 603 or 604. See 5 U.S.C. 601(2), 604(a). Nor is the Commission required to submit these revisions for congressional review under FECA. See 5 U.S.C. 30111(d)(1), (4) (providing for congressional review when Commission ‘‘prescribe[s]’’ a ‘‘rule of law’’). The new penalty amounts will apply to civil monetary penalties that are assessed after the date the increase takes effect, even if the associated violation predated the increase.9 Explanation and Justification The Inflation Adjustment Act requires the Commission to annually adjust its civil monetary penalties for inflation by applying a cost-of-living-adjustment (‘‘COLA’’) ratio.10 The COLA ratio is the percentage that the Consumer Price Index (‘‘CPI’’) 11 ‘‘for the month of October preceding the date of the adjustment’’ exceeds the CPI for October of the previous year.12 To calculate the adjusted penalty, the Commission must increase the most recent civil monetary penalty amount by the COLA ratio.13 According to the Office of Management and Budget, the COLA ratio for 2020 is 0.01764, or 1.764%; thus, to calculate the new penalties, the Commission must multiply the most recent civil monetary penalties in force by 1.01764.14 The Commission assesses two types of civil monetary penalties that must be adjusted for inflation. First are penalties that are either negotiated by the Commission or imposed by a court for violations of FECA, the Presidential Election Campaign Fund Act, or the Presidential Primary Matching Payment Account Act. These civil monetary penalties are set forth at 11 CFR 111.24. Second are the civil monetary penalties 9 Inflation Adjustment Act § 6. COLA ratio must be applied to the most recent civil monetary penalties. Inflation Adjustment Act, § 4(a); see also OMB Memorandum at 2. 11 The Inflation Adjustment Act, § 3, uses the CPI ‘‘for all-urban consumers published by the Department of Labor.’’ 12 Inflation Adjustment Act, § 5(b)(1). 13 Inflation Adjustment Act, § 5(a), (b)(1). 14 OMB Memorandum at 1. 10 The E:\FR\FM\07AUR1.SGM 07AUR1 47892 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 153 / Friday, August 7, 2020 / Rules and Regulations assessed through the Commission’s Administrative Fines Program for late filing or non-filing of certain reports required by FECA. See 52 U.S.C. 30109(a)(4)(C) (authorizing Administrative Fines Program), 30104(a) (requiring political committee treasurers to report receipts and disbursements within certain time periods). The penalty schedules for these civil monetary penalties are set out at 11 CFR 111.43 and 111.44. 1. 11 CFR 111.24—Civil Penalties FECA establishes the civil monetary penalties for violations of FECA and the other statutes within the Commission’s jurisdiction. See 52 U.S.C. 30109(a)(5), (6), (12). Commission regulations in 11 CFR 111.24 provide the current Most recent civil penalty Section 11 11 11 11 11 CFR CFR CFR CFR CFR inflation-adjusted amount for each such civil monetary penalty. To calculate the adjusted civil monetary penalty, the Commission multiplies the most recent penalty amount by the COLA ratio and rounds that figure to the nearest dollar. The actual adjustment to each civil monetary penalty is shown in the chart below. 111.24(a)(1) ................................................................................................................... 111.24(a)(2)(i) ................................................................................................................ 111.24(a)(2)(ii) ............................................................................................................... 111.24(b) ........................................................................................................................ 111.24(b) ........................................................................................................................ 2. 11 CFR 111.43, 111.44— Administrative Fines FECA authorizes the Commission to assess civil monetary penalties for violations of the reporting requirements of 52 U.S.C. 30104(a) according to the penalty schedules ‘‘established and published by the Commission.’’ 52 U.S.C. 30109(a)(4)(C)(i). The Commission has established two penalty schedules: The penalty schedule in 11 CFR 111.43(a) applies to reports that are not election sensitive, and the penalty schedule in 11 CFR 111.43(b) applies to reports that are election sensitive.15 Each penalty schedule contains two columns of penalties, one for late-filed reports and one for non-filed reports, with penalties based on the level of financial activity in the report and, if late-filed, its lateness.16 In addition, 11 CFR 111.43(c) establishes a civil monetary penalty for situations in which a committee fails to file a report and the Commission cannot calculate the relevant level of activity. Finally, 11 CFR 111.44 establishes a civil monetary penalty for failure to file timely reports of contributions received less than 20 days, but more than 48 hours, before an election. See 52 U.S.C. 30104(a)(6). To determine the adjusted civil monetary penalty amount for each level of activity, the Commission multiplies the most recent penalty amount by the COLA ratio and rounds that figure to the nearest dollar. The new civil monetary penalties are shown in the schedules in the rule text, below. List of Subjects in 11 CFR Part 111 Administrative practice and procedures, Elections, Law enforcement, Penalties. For the reasons set out in the preamble, the Federal Election COLA $19,936 42,530 69,743 5,964 14,910 1. The authority citation for part 111 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 52 U.S.C. 30102(i), 30109, 30107(a), 30111(a)(8); 28 U.S.C. 2461 nt. § 111.24 [Amended] 2. 2. Section 111.24 is amended as follows: In the table below, for each section indicated in the left column, remove the number indicated in the middle column, and add in its place the number indicated in the right column. ■ Remove 3. Section 111.43 is amended by revising paragraphs (a), (b), and (c) to read as follows: § 111.43 What are the schedules of penalties? 15 Election sensitive reports are certain reports due shortly before an election. See 11 CFR 111.43(d)(1). 16 A report is considered to be ‘‘not filed’’ if it is never filed or is filed more than a certain number of days after its due date. See 11 CFR 111.43(e). jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with RULES 15:54 Aug 06, 2020 Jkt 250001 (a) The civil money penalty for all reports that are filed late or not filed, except election sensitive reports and PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 20,288 43,280 70,973 6,069 15,173 PART 111—COMPLIANCE PROCEDURE (52 U.S.C. 30109, 30107(a)) 111.24(a)(1) ............................................................................................................................................................. 111.24(a)(2)(i) .......................................................................................................................................................... 111.24(a)(2)(ii) ......................................................................................................................................................... 111.24(b) .................................................................................................................................................................. 111.24(b) .................................................................................................................................................................. VerDate Sep<11>2014 1.01764 1.01764 1.01764 1.01764 1.01764 Commission amends subchapter A of chapter I of title 11 of the Code of Federal Regulations as follows: Section ■ New civil penalty $19,936 42,530 69,743 5,964 14,910 Add $20,288 43,280 70,973 6,069 15,173 pre-election reports under 11 CFR 104.5, shall be calculated in accordance with the following schedule of penalties: E:\FR\FM\07AUR1.SGM 07AUR1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 153 / Friday, August 7, 2020 / Rules and Regulations 47893 TABLE 1 TO PARAGRAPH (a) If the level of activity in the report was: And the report was filed late, the civil money penalty is: Or the report was not filed, the civil money penalty is: $1–4,999.99 a ....................... [$36 + ($6 × Number of days late)] × [1 + (.25 × Number of previous violations)]. [$69 + ($6 × Number of days late)] × [1 + (.25 × Number of previous violations)]. [$149 + ($6 × Number of days late)] × [1 + (.25 × Number of previous violations)]. [$295 + ($28 × Number of days late)] × [1 + (.25 × Number of previous violations)]. [$445 + ($112 × Number of days late)] × [1 + (.25 × Number of previous violations)]. [$591 + ($149 × Number of days late)] × [1 + (.25 × Number of previous violations)]. [$886 + ($185 × Number of days late)] × [1 + (.25 × Number of previous violations)]. [$1,185 + ($221 × Number of days late)] × [1 + (.25 × Number of previous violations)]. [$1,479 + ($258 × Number of days late)] × [1 + (.25 × Number of previous violations)]. [$2,219 + ($295 × Number of days late)] × [1 + (.25 × Number of previous violations)]. [$2,959 + ($295 × Number of days late)] × [1 + (.25 × Number of previous violations)]. [$3,697 + ($295 × Number of days late)] × [1 + (.25 × Number of previous violations)]. [$4,437 + ($295 × Number of days late)] × [1 + (.25 × Number of previous violations)]. [$5,176 + ($295 × Number of days late)] × [1 + (.25 × Number of previous violations)]. [$5,916 + ($295 × Number of days late)] × [1 + (.25 × Number of previous violations)]. [$6,656 + ($295 × Number of days late)] × [1 + (.25 × Number of previous violations)]. [$7,395 + ($295 × Number of days late)] × [1 + (.25 × Number of previous violations)]. $347 × [1 + (.25 × Number of previous violations)]. $5,000–9,999.99 .................. $10,000–24,999.99 .............. $25,000–49,999.99 .............. $50,000–74,999.99 .............. $75,000–99,999.99 .............. $100,000–149,999.99 .......... $150,000–199,999.99 .......... $200,000–249,999.99 .......... $250,000–349,999.99 .......... $350,000–449,999.99 .......... $450,000–549,999.99 .......... $550,000–649,999.99 .......... $650,000–749,999.99 .......... $750,000–849,999.99 .......... $850,000–949,999.99 .......... $950,000 or over .................. a The $417 × [1 + (.25 × Number of previous violations)]. $696 × [1 + (.25 × Number of previous violations)]. $1,252 × [1 + (.25 × Number of previous violations)]. $3,994 × [1 + (.25 × Number of previous violations)]. $5,176 × [1 + (.25 × Number of previous violations)]. $6,656 × [1 + (.25 × Number of previous violations)]. $8,135 × [1 + (.25 × Number of previous violations)]. $9,613 × [1 + (.25 × Number of previous violations)]. $11,832 × [1 + (.25 × Number of previous violations)]. $13,311 × [1 + (.25 × Number of previous violations)]. $14,050 × [1 + (.25 × Number of previous violations)]. $14,791 × [1 + (.25 × Number of previous violations)]. $15,529 × [1 + (.25 × Number of previous violations)]. $16,269 × [1 + (.25 × Number of previous violations)]. $17,008 × [1 + (.25 × Number of previous violations)]. $17,748 × [1 + (.25 × Number of previous violations)]. civil money penalty for a respondent who does not have any previous violations will not exceed the level of activity in the report. (b) The civil money penalty for election sensitive reports that are filed late or not filed shall be calculated in accordance with the following schedule of penalties: TABLE 2 TO PARAGRAPH (b) If the level of activity in the report was: And the report was filed late, the civil money penalty is: Or the report was not filed, the civil money penalty is: $1–$4,999.99 a ..................... [$69 + ($13 × Number of days late)] × [1 + (.25 × Number of previous violations)]. [$139 + ($13 × Number of days late)] × [1 + (.25 × Number of previous violations)]. [$209 + ($13 × Number of days late)] × [1 + (.25 × Number of previous violations)]. [$445 + ($36 × Number of days late)] × [1 + (.25 × Number of previous violations)]. [$666 + ($112 × Number of days late)] × [1 + (.25 × Number of previous violations)]. [$886 + ($149 × Number of days late)] × [1 + (.25 × Number of previous violations)]. [$1,331 + ($185 × Number of days late)] × [1 + (.25 × Number of previous violations)]. [$1,775 + ($221 × Number of days late)] × [1 + (.25 × Number of previous violations)]. [$2,219 + ($258 × Number of days late)] × [1 + (.25 × Number of previous violations)]. [$3,328 + ($295 × Number of days late)] × [1 + (.25 × Number of previous violations)]. [$4,437 + ($295 × Number of days late)] × [1 + (.25 × Number of previous violations)]. [$5,546 + ($295 × Number of days late)] × [1 + (.25 × Number of previous violations)]. $696 × [1 + (.25 × Number of previous violations)]. $5,000–$9,999.99 ................ $10,000–24,999.99 .............. $25,000–49,999.99 .............. $50,000–74,999.99 .............. $75,000–99,999.99 .............. $100,000–149,999.99 .......... $150,000–199,999.99 .......... jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with RULES $200,000–249,999.99 .......... $250,000–349,999.99 .......... $350,000–449,999.99 .......... $450,000–549,999.99 .......... VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:54 Aug 06, 2020 Jkt 250001 PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 $834 × [1 + (.25 × Number of previous violations)]. $1,252 × [1 + (.25 × Number of previous violations)]. $1,947 × [1 + (.25 × Number of previous violations)]. $4,437 × [1 + (.25 × Number of previous violations)]. $5,916 × [1 + (.25 × Number of previous violations)]. $7,395 × [1 + (.25 × Number of previous violations)]. $8,873 × [1 + (.25 × Number of previous violations)]. $11,093 × [1 + (.25 × Number of previous violations)]. $13,311 × [1 + (.25 × Number of previous violations)]. $14,791 × [1 + (.25 × Number of previous violations)]. $16,269 × [1 + (.25 × Number of previous violations)]. E:\FR\FM\07AUR1.SGM 07AUR1 47894 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 153 / Friday, August 7, 2020 / Rules and Regulations TABLE 2 TO PARAGRAPH (b)—Continued If the level of activity in the report was: And the report was filed late, the civil money penalty is: Or the report was not filed, the civil money penalty is: $550,000–649,999.99 .......... [$6,656 + ($295 × Number of days late)] × [1 + Number of previous violations)]. [$7,765 + ($295 × Number of days late)] × [1 + Number of previous violations)]. [$8,873 + ($295 × Number of days late)] × [1 + Number of previous violations)]. [$9,983 + ($295 × Number of days late)] × [1 + Number of previous violations)]. [$11,093 + ($295 × Number of days late)] × [1 + Number of previous violations)]. (.25 × $17,748 × [1 + (.25 × Number of previous violations)]. (.25 × $19,228 × [1 + (.25 × Number of previous violations)]. (.25 × $20,706 × [1 + (.25 × Number of previous violations)]. (.25 × $22,184 × [1 + (.25 × Number of previous violations)]. (.25 × $23,664 × [1 + (.25 × Number of previous violations)]. $650,000–749,999.99 .......... $750,000–849,999.99 .......... $850,000–949,999.99 .......... $950,000 or over .................. a The civil money penalty for a respondent who does not have any previous violations will not exceed the level of activity in the report. (c) If the respondent fails to file a required report and the Commission cannot calculate the level of activity under paragraph (d) of this section, then the civil money penalty shall be $8,135. * * * * * § 111.44 [Amended] 4. In § 111.44 amend paragraph (a)(1) by removing ‘‘$146’’ and adding, in its place, ‘‘$149’’. ■ Dated: July 20, 2020. On behalf of the Commission. Ellen L. Weintraub, Commissioner, Federal Election Commission. [FR Doc. 2020–16032 Filed 8–6–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6715–01–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration 14 CFR Part 71 [Docket No. FAA–2020–0242; Airspace Docket No. 20–AEA–4] RIN 2120–AA66 Amendment of Class E Airspace; Ithaca, NY Authority for This Rulemaking Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT. ACTION: Final rule. AGENCY: This action amends Class E surface airspace, and Class E airspace designated as an extension to a Class D surface area at Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport, Ithaca, NY due to the decommissioning of the Ithaca VOR/ DME, and cancellation of associated approaches. Controlled airspace is necessary for the safety and management of instrument flight rules (IFR) operations in the area. DATES: Effective 0901 UTC, November 5, 2020. The Director of the Federal Register approves this incorporation by reference action under Title 1 Code of jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with RULES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 15:54 Aug 06, 2020 Jkt 250001 Federal Regulations part 51, subject to the annual revision of FAA Order 7400.11 and publication of conforming amendments. ADDRESSES: FAA Order 7400.11D, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, and subsequent amendments can be viewed online at https:// www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/. For further information, you can contact the Airspace Policy Group, Federal Aviation Administration, 800 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20591; telephone: (202) 267–8783. The Order is also available for inspection at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of FAA Order 7400.11D at NARA, email fedreg.legal@nara.gov or go to https:// www.archives.gov/federal-register/cfr/ ibr-locations.html. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: John Fornito, Operations Support Group, Eastern Service Center, Federal Aviation Administration, 1701 Columbia Ave, College Park, GA 30337; telephone (404) 305–6364. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The FAA’s authority to issue rule regarding aviation safety is found in Title 49 of the United States Code. Subtitle I, Section 106 describes the authority of the FAA Administrator. Subtitle VII, Aviation Programs, describes in more detail the scope of the Agency’s authority. This rulemaking is promulgated under the authority described in Subtitle VII, Part A, Subpart I, Section 40103. Under that section, the FAA is charged with prescribing regulations to assign the use of airspace necessary to ensure the safety of aircraft and the efficient use of airspace. This regulation is within the scope of that authority as it amends Class E airspace at Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport, Ithaca, NY to support IFR operations in the area. PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4700 Sfmt 4700 History The FAA published a notice of prosed rulemaking in the Federal Register (85 FR 33589, June 2, 2020) for Docket No. FAA–2020–0242 to amend Class E surface airspace and Class E airspace designated as an extension to a Class D surface area at Ithaca Tompkins Regional Airport, Ithaca, NY, due to the decommissioning of the Ithaca VOR/ DME, and cancellation of the associated approaches. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) also proposed to update the airport name in the descriptor by removing the city in the airport’s header. Also, subsequent to publication of the NPRM, the FAA found the geographic coordinates of Ithaca Airport were transposed. This action corrects that error. Interested parties were invited to participate in this rulemaking effort by submitting written comments on the proposal to the FAA. No comments were received. Class E airspace designations are published in Paragraphs 6002, and 6004, respectively of FAA Order 7400.11D, dated August 8, 2019, and effective September 15, 2019, which is incorporated by reference in 14 CFR 71.1. The Class E airspace designations listed in this document will be published subsequently in the Order. Availability and Summary of Documents for Incorporation by Reference This document amends FAA Order 7400.11D, Airspace Designations and Reporting Points, dated August 8, 2019, and effective September 15, 2019. FAA Order 7400.11D is publicly available as listed in the ADDRESSES section of this document. FAA Order 7400.11D lists Class A, B, C, D, and E airspace areas, air traffic routes, and reporting points. E:\FR\FM\07AUR1.SGM 07AUR1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 153 (Friday, August 7, 2020)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 47891-47894]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-16032]



========================================================================
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. 85, No. 153 / Friday, August 7, 2020 / Rules 
and Regulations

[[Page 47891]]



FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION

11 CFR Part 111

[NOTICE 2020-06]


Civil Monetary Penalties Annual Inflation Adjustments

AGENCY: Federal Election Commission.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: As required by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation 
Adjustment Act of 1990, the Federal Election Commission is adjusting 
for inflation the civil monetary penalties established under the 
Federal Election Campaign Act, the Presidential Election Campaign Fund 
Act, and the Presidential Primary Matching Payment Account Act. The 
civil monetary penalties being adjusted are those negotiated by the 
Commission or imposed by a court for certain statutory violations, and 
those imposed by the Commission for late filing of or failure to file 
certain reports required by the Federal Election Campaign Act. The 
adjusted civil monetary penalties are calculated according to a 
statutory formula and the adjusted amounts will apply to penalties 
assessed after the effective date of these rules.

DATES: The final rules are effective on August 7, 2020.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Robert M. Knop, Assistant General 
Counsel, or Mr. Joseph P. Wenzinger, Attorney, Office of General 
Counsel, (202) 694-1650 or (800) 424-9530.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Federal Civil Penalties Inflation 
Adjustment Act of 1990 (the ``Inflation Adjustment Act''),\1\ as 
amended by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act 
Improvements Act of 2015 (the ``2015 Act''),\2\ requires federal 
agencies, including the Commission, to adjust for inflation the civil 
monetary penalties within their jurisdiction according to prescribed 
formulas. A civil monetary penalty is ``any penalty, fine, or other 
sanction'' that (1) ``is for a specific monetary amount'' or ``has a 
maximum amount'' under federal law; and (2) that a federal agency 
assesses or enforces ``pursuant to an administrative proceeding or a 
civil action'' in federal court.\3\ Under the Federal Election Campaign 
Act, 52 U.S.C. 30101-45 (``FECA''), the Commission may seek and assess 
civil monetary penalties for violations of FECA, the Presidential 
Election Campaign Fund Act, 26 U.S.C. 9001-13, and the Presidential 
Primary Matching Payment Account Act, 26 U.S.C. 9031-42.
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    \1\ Public Law 101-410, 104 Stat. 890 (codified at 28 U.S.C. 
2461 note), amended by Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996, 
Public Law 104-134, 31001(s)(1), 110 Stat. 1321, 1321-373; Federal 
Reports Elimination Act of 1998, Public Law 105-362, 1301, 112 Stat. 
3280.
    \2\ Public Law 114-74, 701, 129 Stat. 584, 599.
    \3\ Inflation Adjustment Act Sec.  3(2).
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    The Inflation Adjustment Act requires federal agencies to adjust 
their civil penalties annually, and the adjustments must take effect no 
later than January 15 of every year.\4\ Pursuant to guidance issued by 
the Office of Management and Budget,\5\ the Commission is now adjusting 
its civil monetary penalties for 2020.\6\
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    \4\ Inflation Adjustment Act Sec.  4(a).
    \5\ See Inflation Adjustment Act Sec.  7(a) (requiring OMB to 
``issue guidance to agencies on implementing the inflation 
adjustments required under this Act''); see also Memorandum from 
Russell T. Vought, Acting Director, Office of Management and Budget, 
to Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies, M-20-05, Dec. 16, 
2019, https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/M-20-05.pdf (``OMB Memorandum'').
    \6\ Inflation Adjustment Act Sec.  5.
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    The Commission must adjust for inflation its civil monetary 
penalties ``notwithstanding Section 553'' of the Administrative 
Procedures Act (``APA'').\7\ Thus, the APA's notice-and-comment and 
delayed effective date requirements in 5 U.S.C. 553(b)-(d) do not apply 
because Congress has specifically exempted agencies from these 
requirements.\8\
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    \7\ Inflation Adjustment Act Sec.  4(b)(2).
    \8\ See, e.g., Asiana Airlines v. FAA, 134 F.3d 393, 396-99 
(D.C. Cir. 1998) (finding APA ``notice and comment'' requirement not 
applicable where Congress clearly expressed intent to depart from 
normal APA procedures).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Furthermore, because the inflation adjustments made through these 
final rules are required by Congress and involve no Commission 
discretion or policy judgments, these rules do not need to be submitted 
to the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives or the 
President of the United States Senate under the Congressional Review 
Act, 5 U.S.C. 801 et seq. Moreover, because the APA's notice-and-
comment procedures do not apply to these final rules, the Commission is 
not required to conduct a regulatory flexibility analysis under 5 
U.S.C. 603 or 604. See 5 U.S.C. 601(2), 604(a). Nor is the Commission 
required to submit these revisions for congressional review under FECA. 
See 5 U.S.C. 30111(d)(1), (4) (providing for congressional review when 
Commission ``prescribe[s]'' a ``rule of law'').
    The new penalty amounts will apply to civil monetary penalties that 
are assessed after the date the increase takes effect, even if the 
associated violation predated the increase.\9\
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    \9\ Inflation Adjustment Act Sec.  6.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Explanation and Justification

    The Inflation Adjustment Act requires the Commission to annually 
adjust its civil monetary penalties for inflation by applying a cost-
of-living-adjustment (``COLA'') ratio.\10\ The COLA ratio is the 
percentage that the Consumer Price Index (``CPI'') \11\ ``for the month 
of October preceding the date of the adjustment'' exceeds the CPI for 
October of the previous year.\12\ To calculate the adjusted penalty, 
the Commission must increase the most recent civil monetary penalty 
amount by the COLA ratio.\13\ According to the Office of Management and 
Budget, the COLA ratio for 2020 is 0.01764, or 1.764%; thus, to 
calculate the new penalties, the Commission must multiply the most 
recent civil monetary penalties in force by 1.01764.\14\
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    \10\ The COLA ratio must be applied to the most recent civil 
monetary penalties. Inflation Adjustment Act, Sec.  4(a); see also 
OMB Memorandum at 2.
    \11\ The Inflation Adjustment Act, Sec.  3, uses the CPI ``for 
all-urban consumers published by the Department of Labor.''
    \12\ Inflation Adjustment Act, Sec.  5(b)(1).
    \13\ Inflation Adjustment Act, Sec.  5(a), (b)(1).
    \14\ OMB Memorandum at 1.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Commission assesses two types of civil monetary penalties that 
must be adjusted for inflation. First are penalties that are either 
negotiated by the Commission or imposed by a court for violations of 
FECA, the Presidential Election Campaign Fund Act, or the Presidential 
Primary Matching Payment Account Act. These civil monetary penalties 
are set forth at 11 CFR 111.24. Second are the civil monetary penalties

[[Page 47892]]

assessed through the Commission's Administrative Fines Program for late 
filing or non-filing of certain reports required by FECA. See 52 U.S.C. 
30109(a)(4)(C) (authorizing Administrative Fines Program), 30104(a) 
(requiring political committee treasurers to report receipts and 
disbursements within certain time periods). The penalty schedules for 
these civil monetary penalties are set out at 11 CFR 111.43 and 111.44.

1. 11 CFR 111.24--Civil Penalties

    FECA establishes the civil monetary penalties for violations of 
FECA and the other statutes within the Commission's jurisdiction. See 
52 U.S.C. 30109(a)(5), (6), (12). Commission regulations in 11 CFR 
111.24 provide the current inflation-adjusted amount for each such 
civil monetary penalty. To calculate the adjusted civil monetary 
penalty, the Commission multiplies the most recent penalty amount by 
the COLA ratio and rounds that figure to the nearest dollar.
    The actual adjustment to each civil monetary penalty is shown in 
the chart below.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                    Most recent                      New civil
                             Section                               civil penalty       COLA           penalty
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
11 CFR 111.24(a)(1).............................................         $19,936         1.01764          20,288
11 CFR 111.24(a)(2)(i)..........................................          42,530         1.01764          43,280
11 CFR 111.24(a)(2)(ii).........................................          69,743         1.01764          70,973
11 CFR 111.24(b)................................................           5,964         1.01764           6,069
11 CFR 111.24(b)................................................          14,910         1.01764          15,173
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2. 11 CFR 111.43, 111.44--Administrative Fines

    FECA authorizes the Commission to assess civil monetary penalties 
for violations of the reporting requirements of 52 U.S.C. 30104(a) 
according to the penalty schedules ``established and published by the 
Commission.'' 52 U.S.C. 30109(a)(4)(C)(i). The Commission has 
established two penalty schedules: The penalty schedule in 11 CFR 
111.43(a) applies to reports that are not election sensitive, and the 
penalty schedule in 11 CFR 111.43(b) applies to reports that are 
election sensitive.\15\ Each penalty schedule contains two columns of 
penalties, one for late-filed reports and one for non-filed reports, 
with penalties based on the level of financial activity in the report 
and, if late-filed, its lateness.\16\ In addition, 11 CFR 111.43(c) 
establishes a civil monetary penalty for situations in which a 
committee fails to file a report and the Commission cannot calculate 
the relevant level of activity. Finally, 11 CFR 111.44 establishes a 
civil monetary penalty for failure to file timely reports of 
contributions received less than 20 days, but more than 48 hours, 
before an election. See 52 U.S.C. 30104(a)(6).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \15\ Election sensitive reports are certain reports due shortly 
before an election. See 11 CFR 111.43(d)(1).
    \16\ A report is considered to be ``not filed'' if it is never 
filed or is filed more than a certain number of days after its due 
date. See 11 CFR 111.43(e).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    To determine the adjusted civil monetary penalty amount for each 
level of activity, the Commission multiplies the most recent penalty 
amount by the COLA ratio and rounds that figure to the nearest dollar. 
The new civil monetary penalties are shown in the schedules in the rule 
text, below.

List of Subjects in 11 CFR Part 111

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

    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 (52 U.S.C. 30109, 30107(a))

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

    Authority:  52 U.S.C. 30102(i), 30109, 30107(a), 30111(a)(8); 28 
U.S.C. 2461 nt.


Sec.  111.24  [Amended]

    2.

0
2. Section 111.24 is amended as follows:
    In the table below, for each section indicated in the left column, 
remove the number indicated in the middle column, and add in its place 
the number indicated in the right column.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 Section                      Remove            Add
------------------------------------------------------------------------
111.24(a)(1)............................         $19,936         $20,288
111.24(a)(2)(i).........................          42,530          43,280
111.24(a)(2)(ii)........................          69,743          70,973
111.24(b)...............................           5,964           6,069
111.24(b)...............................          14,910          15,173
------------------------------------------------------------------------


0
3. Section 111.43 is amended by revising paragraphs (a), (b), and (c) 
to read as follows:


Sec.  111.43  What are the schedules of penalties?

    (a) The civil money penalty for all reports that are filed late or 
not filed, except election sensitive reports and pre-election reports 
under 11 CFR 104.5, shall be calculated in accordance with the 
following schedule of penalties:

[[Page 47893]]



                        Table 1 to Paragraph (a)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                               And the report was
 If the level of activity in     filed late, the      Or the report was
       the report was:         civil money penalty  not filed, the civil
                                       is:            money penalty is:
------------------------------------------------------------------------
$1-4,999.99 \a\.............  [$36 + ($6 x Number   $347 x [1 + (.25 x
                               of days late)] x [1   Number of previous
                               + (.25 x Number of    violations)].
                               previous
                               violations)].
$5,000-9,999.99.............  [$69 + ($6 x Number   $417 x [1 + (.25 x
                               of days late)] x [1   Number of previous
                               + (.25 x Number of    violations)].
                               previous
                               violations)].
$10,000-24,999.99...........  [$149 + ($6 x Number  $696 x [1 + (.25 x
                               of days late)] x [1   Number of previous
                               + (.25 x Number of    violations)].
                               previous
                               violations)].
$25,000-49,999.99...........  [$295 + ($28 x        $1,252 x [1 + (.25 x
                               Number of days        Number of previous
                               late)] x [1 + (.25    violations)].
                               x Number of
                               previous
                               violations)].
$50,000-74,999.99...........  [$445 + ($112 x       $3,994 x [1 + (.25 x
                               Number of days        Number of previous
                               late)] x [1 + (.25    violations)].
                               x Number of
                               previous
                               violations)].
$75,000-99,999.99...........  [$591 + ($149 x       $5,176 x [1 + (.25 x
                               Number of days        Number of previous
                               late)] x [1 + (.25    violations)].
                               x Number of
                               previous
                               violations)].
$100,000-149,999.99.........  [$886 + ($185 x       $6,656 x [1 + (.25 x
                               Number of days        Number of previous
                               late)] x [1 + (.25    violations)].
                               x Number of
                               previous
                               violations)].
$150,000-199,999.99.........  [$1,185 + ($221 x     $8,135 x [1 + (.25 x
                               Number of days        Number of previous
                               late)] x [1 + (.25    violations)].
                               x Number of
                               previous
                               violations)].
$200,000-249,999.99.........  [$1,479 + ($258 x     $9,613 x [1 + (.25 x
                               Number of days        Number of previous
                               late)] x [1 + (.25    violations)].
                               x Number of
                               previous
                               violations)].
$250,000-349,999.99.........  [$2,219 + ($295 x     $11,832 x [1 + (.25
                               Number of days        x Number of
                               late)] x [1 + (.25    previous
                               x Number of           violations)].
                               previous
                               violations)].
$350,000-449,999.99.........  [$2,959 + ($295 x     $13,311 x [1 + (.25
                               Number of days        x Number of
                               late)] x [1 + (.25    previous
                               x Number of           violations)].
                               previous
                               violations)].
$450,000-549,999.99.........  [$3,697 + ($295 x     $14,050 x [1 + (.25
                               Number of days        x Number of
                               late)] x [1 + (.25    previous
                               x Number of           violations)].
                               previous
                               violations)].
$550,000-649,999.99.........  [$4,437 + ($295 x     $14,791 x [1 + (.25
                               Number of days        x Number of
                               late)] x [1 + (.25    previous
                               x Number of           violations)].
                               previous
                               violations)].
$650,000-749,999.99.........  [$5,176 + ($295 x     $15,529 x [1 + (.25
                               Number of days        x Number of
                               late)] x [1 + (.25    previous
                               x Number of           violations)].
                               previous
                               violations)].
$750,000-849,999.99.........  [$5,916 + ($295 x     $16,269 x [1 + (.25
                               Number of days        x Number of
                               late)] x [1 + (.25    previous
                               x Number of           violations)].
                               previous
                               violations)].
$850,000-949,999.99.........  [$6,656 + ($295 x     $17,008 x [1 + (.25
                               Number of days        x Number of
                               late)] x [1 + (.25    previous
                               x Number of           violations)].
                               previous
                               violations)].
$950,000 or over............  [$7,395 + ($295 x     $17,748 x [1 + (.25
                               Number of days        x Number of
                               late)] x [1 + (.25    previous
                               x Number of           violations)].
                               previous
                               violations)].
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\a\ The civil money penalty for a respondent who does not have any
  previous violations will not exceed the level of activity in the
  report.

    (b) The civil money penalty for election sensitive reports that are 
filed late or not filed shall be calculated in accordance with the 
following schedule of penalties:

                        Table 2 to Paragraph (b)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                               And the report was
 If the level of activity in     filed late, the      Or the report was
       the report was:         civil money penalty  not filed, the civil
                                       is:            money penalty is:
------------------------------------------------------------------------
$1-$4,999.99 \a\............  [$69 + ($13 x Number  $696 x [1 + (.25 x
                               of days late)] x [1   Number of previous
                               + (.25 x Number of    violations)].
                               previous
                               violations)].
$5,000-$9,999.99............  [$139 + ($13 x        $834 x [1 + (.25 x
                               Number of days        Number of previous
                               late)] x [1 + (.25    violations)].
                               x Number of
                               previous
                               violations)].
$10,000-24,999.99...........  [$209 + ($13 x        $1,252 x [1 + (.25 x
                               Number of days        Number of previous
                               late)] x [1 + (.25    violations)].
                               x Number of
                               previous
                               violations)].
$25,000-49,999.99...........  [$445 + ($36 x        $1,947 x [1 + (.25 x
                               Number of days        Number of previous
                               late)] x [1 + (.25    violations)].
                               x Number of
                               previous
                               violations)].
$50,000-74,999.99...........  [$666 + ($112 x       $4,437 x [1 + (.25 x
                               Number of days        Number of previous
                               late)] x [1 + (.25    violations)].
                               x Number of
                               previous
                               violations)].
$75,000-99,999.99...........  [$886 + ($149 x       $5,916 x [1 + (.25 x
                               Number of days        Number of previous
                               late)] x [1 + (.25    violations)].
                               x Number of
                               previous
                               violations)].
$100,000-149,999.99.........  [$1,331 + ($185 x     $7,395 x [1 + (.25 x
                               Number of days        Number of previous
                               late)] x [1 + (.25    violations)].
                               x Number of
                               previous
                               violations)].
$150,000-199,999.99.........  [$1,775 + ($221 x     $8,873 x [1 + (.25 x
                               Number of days        Number of previous
                               late)] x [1 + (.25    violations)].
                               x Number of
                               previous
                               violations)].
$200,000-249,999.99.........  [$2,219 + ($258 x     $11,093 x [1 + (.25
                               Number of days        x Number of
                               late)] x [1 + (.25    previous
                               x Number of           violations)].
                               previous
                               violations)].
$250,000-349,999.99.........  [$3,328 + ($295 x     $13,311 x [1 + (.25
                               Number of days        x Number of
                               late)] x [1 + (.25    previous
                               x Number of           violations)].
                               previous
                               violations)].
$350,000-449,999.99.........  [$4,437 + ($295 x     $14,791 x [1 + (.25
                               Number of days        x Number of
                               late)] x [1 + (.25    previous
                               x Number of           violations)].
                               previous
                               violations)].
$450,000-549,999.99.........  [$5,546 + ($295 x     $16,269 x [1 + (.25
                               Number of days        x Number of
                               late)] x [1 + (.25    previous
                               x Number of           violations)].
                               previous
                               violations)].

[[Page 47894]]

 
$550,000-649,999.99.........  [$6,656 + ($295 x     $17,748 x [1 + (.25
                               Number of days        x Number of
                               late)] x [1 + (.25    previous
                               x Number of           violations)].
                               previous
                               violations)].
$650,000-749,999.99.........  [$7,765 + ($295 x     $19,228 x [1 + (.25
                               Number of days        x Number of
                               late)] x [1 + (.25    previous
                               x Number of           violations)].
                               previous
                               violations)].
$750,000-849,999.99.........  [$8,873 + ($295 x     $20,706 x [1 + (.25
                               Number of days        x Number of
                               late)] x [1 + (.25    previous
                               x Number of           violations)].
                               previous
                               violations)].
$850,000-949,999.99.........  [$9,983 + ($295 x     $22,184 x [1 + (.25
                               Number of days        x Number of
                               late)] x [1 + (.25    previous
                               x Number of           violations)].
                               previous
                               violations)].
$950,000 or over............  [$11,093 + ($295 x    $23,664 x [1 + (.25
                               Number of days        x Number of
                               late)] x [1 + (.25    previous
                               x Number of           violations)].
                               previous
                               violations)].
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\a\ The civil money penalty for a respondent who does not have any
  previous violations will not exceed the level of activity in the
  report.

    (c) If the respondent fails to file a required report and the 
Commission cannot calculate the level of activity under paragraph (d) 
of this section, then the civil money penalty shall be $8,135.
* * * * *


Sec.  111.44  [Amended]

0
4. In Sec.  111.44 amend paragraph (a)(1) by removing ``$146'' and 
adding, in its place, ``$149''.

    Dated: July 20, 2020.

    On behalf of the Commission.
Ellen L. Weintraub,
Commissioner, Federal Election Commission.
[FR Doc. 2020-16032 Filed 8-6-20; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6715-01-P