[Federal Register Volume 61, Number 205 (Tuesday, October 22, 1996)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 54745-54746]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 96-24544]


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Proposed Rules
                                                Federal Register
________________________________________________________________________

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER contains notices to the public of 
the proposed issuance of rules and regulations. The purpose of these 
notices is to give interested persons an opportunity to participate in 
the rule making prior to the adoption of the final rules.

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Federal Register / Vol. 61, No. 205 / Tuesday, October 22, 1996 / 
Proposed Rules

[[Page 54745]]



RAILROAD RETIREMENT BOARD

20 CFR Parts 355, 356

RIN 3220-AB24


Adjustment of Civil Monetary Penalties

AGENCY: Railroad Retirement Board.

ACTION: Proposed rule.

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SUMMARY: As required by subsection(s) of the Debt Collection 
Improvement Act of 1996, the Railroad Retirement Board (Board) hereby 
proposes to amend its regulations to provide for adjustments in the 
amount of civil monetary penalties. The amendment will increase the 
amount of penalties under the jurisdiction of the Board to keep pace 
with inflation.

DATES: Comments shall be submitted on or before November 21, 1996.

ADDRESSES: Secretary to the Board, Railroad Retirement Board, 844 Rush 
Street, Chicago, Illinois 60611.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Michael C. Litt, General Attorney, 
Railroad Retirement Board, 844 Rush Street, Chicago, Illinois 60611, 
(312) 751-4929, TDD (312) 751-4701.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Subsection (s) of the Debt Collection 
Improvement Act of 1996, Public Law 104-134, amended the Federal Civil 
Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990 to require agencies to 
publish regulations within 180 days of enactment of the amendment, 
April 26, 1996, providing for the adjustment of civil monetary 
penalties provided by law within the jurisdiction of the agency.
    The penalties authorized in the Program Fraud Civil Remedies Act 
and under the false claims provisions at 31 U.S.C. 3729(a) are within 
the jurisdiction of the Railroad Retirement Board and, therefore, the 
Board is required to publish regulations providing for the adjustment 
of the monetary penalties.
    The Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act requires that 
civil monetary penalties be adjusted by the percentage by which the 
Consumer Price Index for the month of June of the calendar year 
preceding the adjustment exceeds the Consumer Price Index for the month 
of June of the calendar year in which the amount of such civil monetary 
penalty was last set or adjusted. That Act also mandates rounding of 
the adjustment, depending on the amount of the maximum penalty: any 
adjustment must be rounded to the nearest $1,000 for maximum penalties 
greater than $1,000 and less than or equal to $10,000. However, the 
amendment limits the initial increase to ten percent of the amount of 
the maximum penalty.
    In both instances the ratio of the Consumer Price Index for the 
month of June of the calendar year preceding the adjustment to the 
Consumer Price Index for the month of June of the calendar year in 
which the amount of such civil monetary penalty was last set or 
adjusted is 456.7/327.9, which would produce an increase considerably 
in excess of ten percent of the penalties. Under the Program Fraud 
Civil Remedies Act the maximum penalty is $5,000 (there is no minimum 
penalty); accordingly, the Board proposes to increase the maximum 
penalty by $500. The minimum and maximum penalties under 31 U.S.C. 
3729(a) are $5,000 and $10,000 respectively; accordingly, the Board 
proposes to increase the minimum penalty by $500 and the maximum 
penalty by $1,000.
    The amendment also restricts application of the adjustments to 
violations which occur after the date the increase takes effect. 
Therefore, the increases would not apply in the case of any violation 
occurring before the effective date of these regulations.
    The Board, with the concurrence of the Office of Management and 
Budget, has determined that this is not a significant regulatory action 
for purposes of Executive Order 12866. Therefore, no regulatory impact 
analysis is required. There are no information collections associated 
with this rule.

List of Subjects in 20 CFR Parts 355 and 356

    Railroad employees, Railroad retirement.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, title 20, chapter II, 
subchapter E, is proposed to be amended as follows:

PART 355--REGULATIONS UNDER THE PROGRAM FRAUD CIVIL REMEDIES ACT OF 
1986

    1. The authority citation for part 355 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 31 U.S.C. 3809.


Sec. 355.3  Basis for civil penalties and assessments.

    2. Section 355.3(a)(1)(iv) is amended by adding at the end thereof 
a new sentence to read as follows: This penalty is subject to 
adjustment in accord with part 356 of this chapter.
    3. Section 355.3(b)(1)(ii) is amended by adding at the end thereof 
a new sentence to read as follows: This penalty is subject to 
adjustment in accordance with part 356 of this chapter.
    4. A new part 356 is added to subchapter E to read as follows:

PART 356--CIVIL MONETARY PENALTY INFLATION ADJUSTMENT

Sec.
356.1  Introduction.
356.2  Program Fraud Civil Remedies Act of 1986.
356.3  False claims.

    Authority: 28 U.S.C. 2461; 31 U.S.C. 3729; 31 U.S.C. 3809.


Sec. 356.1   Introduction.

    (a) The Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act requires 
that civil monetary penalties be adjusted by the percentage by which 
the Consumer Price Index for the month of June of the calendar year 
preceding the adjustment exceeds the Consumer Price Index for the month 
of June of the calendar year in which the amount of such civil monetary 
penalty was last set or adjusted. That Act also mandates rounding of 
the adjustment, depending on the amount of the maximum penalty.
    (b) The ratio in of the Consumer Price Index for the month of June 
of the calendar year preceding this adjustment to the Consumer Price 
Index for the month of June of the calendar year in which the amount of 
civil monetary penalties provided for under the Program Fraud Civil 
Remedies Act (31 U.S.C. 3801-3812) and the false claims provisions at 
31 U.S.C. 3729(a) was last set or adjusted, 1986, is 456.7/327.9, which 
produces the following increases in the penalties after applicable 
rounding:
    (1) The maximum penalty under Program Fraud Civil Remedies Act for 
a

[[Page 54746]]

false claim or statement would be increased from $5,000 to $7,000.
    (2) The maximum and minimum penalties under the false claims 
provisions at 31 U.S.C. 3729(a) would be increased from $10,000 to 
$14,000 and $5,000 to $7,000, respectively.
    (c) Imposition of the increases are limited to actions occurring 
after the effective date of the increases.
    (d) No increase may exceed ten percent of the penalty or range of 
penalties, as applicable.


Sec. 356.2   Program Fraud Civil Remedies Act of 1986.

    In the case of penalties assessed under part 355 of this chapter, 
an additional penalty of $500 may be assessed for claims or statements 
made after October 23, 1996.


Sec. 356.3   False claims.

    In the case of penalties assessed under 31 U.S.C. 3729 based on 
actions occurring after October 23, 1996, the minimum penalty is $5,500 
and the maximum penalty is $11,000.

    Dated: September 19, 1996.

    By Authority of the Board.
Beatrice Ezerski,
Secretary to the Board.
[FR Doc. 96-24544 Filed 10-22-96; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 7905-01-P