[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 13 (Tuesday, January 21, 2014)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 3302-3303]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-00960]



11 CFR Part 111

[Notice 2014-01]

Extension of Administrative Fines Program

AGENCY: Federal Election Commission.

ACTION: Final rule.


SUMMARY: Under the Federal Election Commission's Administrative Fines 
Program (``AFP''), the Commission may assess civil monetary penalties 
for certain violations of the reporting requirements of the Federal 
Election Campaign Act of 1971, as amended (``FECA''). Congress recently 
amended FECA to extend the end date of the statutory authorization for 
the AFP to December 31, 2018. Accordingly, the Commission is extending 
its AFP regulations through the new statutory expiration date. The 
Commission is also deleting one administrative provision from its AFP 
regulations. Further information is provided in the Supplementary 
Information that follows.

DATES: Effective Date: January 21, 2014.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Robert M. Knop, Assistant General 
Counsel, 999 E Street NW., Washington, DC 20463, (202) 694-1650 or 
(800) 424-9530.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Under 2 U.S.C. 437g(a)(4)(C), the Commission 
is authorized to assess civil monetary penalties for certain violations 
of FECA's reporting requirements. Congress initially enacted this 
authorization in 2000 with a sunset date of December 31, 2001.\1\ 
Congress has since extended the AFP's statutory authorization several 
times.\2\ Most recently, Congress extended the statute to encompass 
violations relating to reporting periods that end on or before December 
31, 2018. Act of Dec. 26, 2013, Public Law 113-72, sec. 1.\3\

    \1\ Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, 2000, 
Public Law 106-58, sec. 640, 113 Stat. 430, 476-77 (1999).
    \2\ Act of Oct. 16, 2008, Public Law 110-433, sec. 1(a), 122 
Stat. 4971 (extending authorization through Dec. 31, 2013); 
Transportation, Treasury, Housing and Urban Development, The 
Judiciary, The District of Columbia, and Independent Agencies 
Appropriations Act, 2006, Public Law 109-115, sec. 721, 119 Stat. 
2396, 2493-94 (2005) (extending through Dec, 31, 2008); Consolidated 
Appropriations Act, 2004, Public Law 108-199, sec. 639, 118 Stat. 3, 
359 (extending through Dec. 31, 2005); Treasury and General 
Government Appropriations Act, 2002, Public Law 107-67, sec. 642, 
115 Stat. 514, 555 (2001) (extending through Dec. 31, 2003).
    \3\ In addition to extending the end date of the AFP statute, 
the 2013 act also authorized the Commission to expand the scope of 
the AFP to encompass additional categories of reporting violations. 
The Commission intends to address that expansion of the AFP through 
a separate rulemaking.

    The Commission's regulations implementing the AFP can be found at 
11 CFR 111.30-111.46. Section 111.30 specifies the end date of the 
program; each time Congress has extended the statute that authorizes 
the AFP, the Commission has revised the end date in section 111.30 
accordingly.\4\ To implement Congress's most recent extension of the 
AFP's authorization -- and to obviate the need to revise section 111.30 
each time Congress extends the statute--this final rule revises section 
111.30 to provide that the AFP applies to reporting periods that ``end 
on or before the date specified in 2 U.S.C. 437g(a)(4)(C)(v).''

    \4\ Extension of Administrative Fines Program, 73 FR 72687 (Dec. 
1, 2008); Extension of Administrative Fines Program, 70 FR 75717 
(Dec. 21, 2005); Extension of Administrative Fines Program, 69 FR 
6525 (Feb. 11, 2004); Extension to Administrative Fines, 66 FR 59680 
(Nov. 30, 2001).

    The Commission's current AFP regulations apply ``to reporting 
periods that . . . end on or before December 31, 2013.'' 11 CFR 111.30. 
Because the statutory extension was not enacted until late December 
2013, there is a short gap between the end date of the Commission's 
current regulations and the effective date of this final rule on 
January 21, 2014. Reports covering reporting periods that end during 
this gap are not subject to the AFP; they are instead subject to the 
Commission's enforcement procedures set forth at 11 CFR part 111, 
subpart A.\5\ See 11 CFR 111.31(a).

    \5\ These reports are: (1) Post-general reports in relation to 
the December 17, 2013, special general election in Alabama's 1st 
congressional district; and (2) 48-hour contribution notices in 
relation to the January 14, 2014, special primary election in 
Florida's 13th congressional district.

    This final rule also deletes 11 CFR 111.41, which requires 
administrative fines to be paid by check or money order. Deleting this 
requirement will enable the Commission to provide filers with 
additional and convenient ways to pay administrative fines, such as by 
credit card.
    The Commission is promulgating this final rule without advance 
notice or an opportunity for comment because it falls under the ``good 
cause'' exemption of the Administrative Procedure Act. See 5 U.S.C. 
553(b)(B). That exemption allows agencies to dispense with notice and 
comment when ``impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public 
interest.'' Id. The Commission finds that notice and comment are 
unnecessary here because this final rule merely extends the 
applicability of the existing AFP and deletes one administrative 
provision; the final rule makes no substantive changes to the AFP. See 
Extension of Administrative Fines Program, 73 FR 72687 (Dec. 1, 2008) 
(extending AFP's effective date and making one non-substantive change 
without notice and comment, and observing that all substantive AFP 
regulations were subject to notice and comment in 2000, 2002, and 
2006). In addition, this final rule falls within the ``good cause'' 
exception to the delayed effective date provisions of the 
Administrative Procedure Act and the Congressional Review Act. 5 U.S.C. 
553(d), 808(2). Accordingly, this final rule is effective upon 
publication in the Federal Register. The Commission is not required to 
submit this rule for congressional review. See 2 U.S.C. 438(d)(1), (4).

Certification of No Effect Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 605(b) (Regulatory 
Flexibility Act)

    The provisions of the Regulatory Flexibility Act are not applicable 
to this

[[Page 3303]]

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

List of Subjects in 11 CFR Part 111

    Administrative practice and procedure, Elections, Law enforcement, 

    For the reasons set out in the preamble, the Federal Election 
Commission amends Subchapter A of Chapter I of Title 11 of the Code of 
Federal Regulations as follows:

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

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

    Authority:  2 U.S.C. 432(i), 437g, 437d(a), 438(a)(8); 28 U.S.C. 
2461 nt; 31 U.S.C. 3701, 3711, 3716-3719, and 3720A, as amended; 31 
CFR parts 285 and 900-904.

2. Revise Sec.  111.30 to read as follows:

Sec.  111.30  When will subpart B apply?

    Subpart B applies to violations of the reporting requirements of 2 
U.S.C. 434(a) committed by political committees and their treasurers 
that relate to the reporting periods that begin on or after July 14, 
2000, and that end on or before the date specified by 2 U.S.C. 
437g(a)(4)(C)(v). This subpart, however, does not apply to reports that 
relate to reporting periods that end between January 1, 2014, and 
January 21, 2014.

Sec.  111.41  [Removed and Reserved]

3. Remove and reserve Sec.  111.41.

    Dated: January 13, 2014.

    On behalf of the Commission.
Lee E. Goodman,
Chairman, Federal Election Commission.
[FR Doc. 2014-00960 Filed 1-17-14; 8:45 am]