[Federal Register Volume 65, Number 212 (Wednesday, November 1, 2000)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 65699-65704]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 00-27920]



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Part XII





Department of the Treasury





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Fiscal Service



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31 CFR Parts 355 and 358



Fiscal Agency Checks and Book-Entry Conversion of Detached Bearer 
Coupons and Bearer Corpora; Final Rule

Federal Register / Vol. 65, No. 212 / Wednesday, November 1, 2000 / 
Rules and Regulations

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DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY

Fiscal Service

31 CFR Parts 355 and 358


Fiscal Agency Checks and Book-Entry Conversion of Detached Bearer 
Coupons and Bearer Corpora

AGENCY: Bureau of the Public Debt, Fiscal Service, Treasury.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: We rewrote Regulations Governing Fiscal Agency Checks and 
Regulations Governing Book-Entry Conversion of Detached Bearer Coupons 
and Bearer Corpora, in plain language. We also made two changes in the 
regulations. We removed references to the Federal Reserve Bank of New 
York as the processor for bearer corpora and coupons, and we eliminated 
the fees requirement for conversions.

DATES: Effective November 1, 2000.

ADDRESSES: You can download this final rule at the following World Wide 
Web address: http://www.publicdebt.treas.gov>.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

 Maureen Parker, Director, Division of Securities Systems, 
Office of Securities and Accounting Services, Bureau of the Public 
Debt, at (304) 480-7761 or mparker@bpd.treas.gov>.
 Susan Klimas, Attorney-Adviser, Office of the Chief Counsel, 
Bureau of the Public Debt, at (304) 480-3688 or sklimas@bpd.treas.gov>.
 Edward Gronseth, Deputy Chief Counsel, Bureau of the Public 
Debt, at (304) 480-3692 or egronset@bpd.treas.gov>.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Executive Order 12866 and the President's 
memorandum of June 1, 1998 (63 FR 31885) require each agency to write 
all rules in plain language. We have rewritten 31 CFR part 355, 
Regulations Governing Fiscal Agency Checks, and 31 CFR part 358, 
Regulations Governing Book-Entry Conversion of Detached Bearer Coupons 
and Bearer Corpora, in plain language.
    No substantive changes were made to part 355 which was originally 
published as an interim regulation in 1985. This final rule will adopt 
part 355 in a final form.
    Part 358 has been changed to remove references to the Federal 
Reserve Bank of New York as the agent for the conversion to book-entry 
of bearer corpora and detached bearer coupons because the Bureau of the 
Public Debt will process the conversions at its Parkersburg, WV 
location.
    Fees for conversions of corpora and coupons have been eliminated. 
The collection of fees is not cost-effective and is counter-productive 
to our goal of eliminating paper securities.

Procedural Requirements

    This final rule does not meet the criteria for a ``significant 
regulatory action,'' as defined in Executive Order 12866. Therefore, 
the regulatory review procedures contained therein do not apply.
    This final rule relates to matters of public contract and 
procedures for United States securities. The notice and public 
procedures requirements and delayed effective date requirements of the 
Administrative Procedure Act are inapplicable, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 
553(a)(2).
    As no notice of proposed rulemaking is required, the Regulatory 
Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601, et seq.) does not apply.
    We ask for no new collections of information in this final rule. 
Therefore, the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3507) does not apply.

List of Subjects in 31 CFR Parts 355 and 358

    Federal Reserve System, Government securities.

    Accordingly, for the reasons set out in the preamble, 31 CFR 
Chapter II is amended as follows:
    1. Revise 31 CFR part 355 to read as follows:

PART 355--REGULATIONS GOVERNING FISCAL AGENCY CHECKS

Sec.
355.0  What does this part cover?
355.1  Do any other regulations cover fiscal agency checks?
355.2  What special terms do I need to know to understand this part?
355.3  Where can I cash my fiscal agency check?
355.4  Is there a time limit on cashing a fiscal agency check?
355.5  What warranties does a presenting bank make?
355.6  What happens if the presenting bank breaches its warranty?
355.7  What notice should I give if I do not receive my check or if 
a check is lost, stolen, or destroyed?
355.8  How can I get a replacement fiscal agency check?
355.9  What should I do if I recover a check reported as lost, 
stolen, destroyed, or not received?
355.10  What happens if I present my check to the payor Reserve Bank 
more than six months after the issue date of the check?
355.11  What should I do if the endorsement on my check is forged or 
unauthorized?
355.12  What requirements apply if the check is payable to two or 
more persons?
355.13  Are there any additional requirements related to fiscal 
agency checks?
355.14  Can these regulations be waived?
355.15  Can these regulations be amended?

    Authority: 12 U.S.C. 391; 31 U.S.C. Ch. 31.


Sec. 355.0  What does this part cover?

    This part governs checks issued for payments in connection with 
United States securities. These checks, referred to as ``fiscal agency 
checks,'' are issued by a designated Federal Reserve Bank in its 
capacity as fiscal agent of the United States. The checks are drawn on 
the payor Federal Reserve Bank in its banking capacity. The drawer of a 
fiscal agency check is the United States, and the drawee is a Federal 
Reserve Bank. The rights and liabilities of the United States, the 
Federal Reserve Banks, and others are set out in this part.


Sec. 355.1  Do any other regulations cover fiscal agency checks?

    The regulations governing checks drawn on the United States and on 
designated depositories of the United States do not apply to fiscal 
agency checks, unless a statute specifically provides differently, or 
unless we state differently in this part. If a definition or matter 
pertaining to fiscal agency checks is not specifically covered in this 
part, we will apply the provisions of Regulations J of the Board of 
Governors of the Federal Reserve System, at 12 CFR part 210. To the 
extent not otherwise covered by this part or by Regulation J, we will 
apply the provisions of the Uniform Commercial Code (U.C.C.)


Sec. 355.2  What special terms do I need to know to understand this 
part?

    Depository institution means:
    (1) Any insured bank, mutual savings bank or savings bank as 
defined in 12 U.S.C. 1813, or any institution eligible to become an 
insured bank under 12 U.S.C. 1815;
    (2) Any insured credit union as defined in 12 U.S.C. 1752, or any 
credit union eligible to become an insured credit union under 12 U.S.C. 
1781;
    (3) Any member as defined in 12 U.S.C. 1422; and
    (4) Any savings association as defined in 12 U.S.C. that is an 
insured depository institution as defined in the Federal Deposit 
Insurance Act, 12 U.S.C. 1811 et seq., or is eligible to become an 
insured depository institution under that Act.
    Fiscal agency check means a check for a payment in connection with 
a United States security drawn upon a Reserve Bank and issued on our 
behalf by the Reserve Bank in its capacity as fiscal agent of the 
United States.

[[Page 65701]]

    Payee (or ``you'') means the person or persons to whom a fiscal 
agency check is made payable.
    Payor Reserve Bank means the Reserve Bank on which a fiscal agency 
check is drawn.
    Presenting bank means a depository institution that sends a fiscal 
agency check directly to a Reserve Bank for payment or collection.
    Reserve Bank or Federal Reserve Bank means any Federal Reserve Bank 
or any branch of a Federal Reserve Bank.
    Security, for the purpose of this part, means a direct obligation 
of the United States, including a Treasury bill, note, bond or savings 
bond/note.
    We (or ``us'') refers to the Secretary of the Treasury and the 
Secretary's delegates at the Treasury Department and the Bureau of the 
Public Debt. The term also extends to any fiscal or financial agency 
acting on behalf of the United States when designated to act by the 
Secretary or the Secretary's delegates. The term does not refer to a 
United States Savings Bond issuing or paying agent.


Sec. 355.3  Where can I cash my fiscal agency check?

    Presentment of a fiscal agency check must be made to the payor 
Reserve Bank. The payor Reserve Bank will only cash a fiscal agency 
check presented by the payee who can be identified to the satisfaction 
of the Reserve Bank. Otherwise, a fiscal agency check must be presented 
through banking channels. A refusal to accept or to pay fiscal agency 
check presented by a person other than the payee, or by a payee who is 
not reasonably identified, does not constitute dishonor.


Sec. 355.4  Is there a time limit on cashing a fiscal agency check?

    A payor Reserve Bank may refuse to pay a fiscal agency check 
presented more than six (6) months after the issue date of the check. 
If the check is not presented within this time, you must follow the 
procedures in Sec. 355.10.


Sec. 355.5  What warranties does a presenting bank make?

    (a) A presenting bank makes the warranties required of a sender 
under Subpart A of Regulation J (12 CFR part 210). This paragraph does 
not limit any warranty by a presenter or other party arising under 
State law.
    (b) We are not barred from recovering on a breach of warranty 
solely because:
    (1) Our negligence contributed to a fraudulent endorsement or 
material alteration;
    (2) We did not promptly discover an unauthorized signature or 
alteration;
    (3) An impostor fraudulently caused the issuance of a fiscal agency 
check in the name of any existing payee; or
    (4) Our employee fraudulently caused the issuance of a fiscal 
agency check in the name of any existing payee.


Sec. 355.6  What happens if the presenting bank breaches its warranty?

    If the presenting bank breaches its warranty, the payor Reserve 
Bank may either return the check to the presenting bank or send notice 
of the breach to the presenting bank. If the presenting bank does not 
make prompt restitution when it receives the returned check or notice 
of breach, we may begin appropriate collection procedures.


Sec. 355.7  What notice should I give if I do not receive my check or 
if a check is lost, stolen, or destroyed?

    If a fiscal agency check is not received within a reasonable time 
after a payment is due, or if a check is lost, stolen, or destroyed, 
you must provide prompt written notification. Your written notice may 
be sent to us or to the payor Reserve Bank. You may give notice by 
telephone, but we will not issue a replacement check until you confirm 
the notice in writing. The written notice must provide enough 
information for us to identify the account and the security to which 
the payment relates. We will stop payment on the fiscal agency check if 
we have a reasonable time to act before final payment.


Sec. 355.8  How can I get a replacement fiscal agency check?

    The payor Federal Reserve Bank will issue a replacement fiscal 
agency check if:
    (a) You submit written notice:
    (b) The check is unpaid;
    (c) We determine that recovery of the original check is unlikely; 
and
    (d) The payee and endorsee, if any, of the check execute the 
required indemnification agreement.


Sec. 355.9   What should I do if I recover a check reported as lost, 
stolen, destroyed, or not received?

    If you recover the original check you must notify us in writing. If 
we have not yet issued a replacement check, we will remove the stop 
payment order against the original check. If we have already issued a 
replacement check, you must return the original check to us.


Sec. 355.10   What happens if I present my check to the payor Reserve 
Bank more than six months after the issue date of the check?

    If the payor Reserve Bank refuses payment on a fiscal agency check 
solely because it is presented more than six (6) months after the issue 
date of the check, a replacement check will be issued if you:
    (a) Surrender the original check; and
    (b) Executive the required indemnification agreement.


Sec. 355.11   What should I do if the endorsement on my check is forged 
or unauthorized?

    If we verify the existence or a forged or unauthorized endorsement 
on a paid fiscal agency check, the payor Reserve Bank will issue a 
replacement check to the person entitled. The payee or endorsee must 
execute an affidavit that there has been a forged or unauthorized 
endorsement. We may also require an indemnification agreement.


Sec. 355.12   What requirements apply if the check is payable to two or 
more persons?

    If the fiscal agency check is payable to two or more persons, the 
requirements of this part apply to all designated payees.


Sec. 355.13   Are there any additional requirements related to fiscal 
agency checks?

    We may require an indemnification agreement, with or without 
surety. You must provide any additional evidence we consider necessary. 
We will require any information necessary for the protection of the 
interests of the United States.


Sec. 355.14   Can these regulations be waived?

    We reserve the right, in our discretion, to waive any provision of 
the regulations in this part in any case or class of cases for the 
convenience of the United States, or to relieve any person of 
unnecessary hardship, if the waiver is not inconsistent with law and 
will not subject the United States to substantial expense or liability.


Sec. 355.15   Can these regulations be amended?

    We may, at any time, supplement, amend, or revise the regulations 
in this part.

    1. Revise 31 CFR part 358 to read as follows:

PART 358-REGULATIONS GOVERNING BOOK--ENTRY CONVERSION OF BEARER 
CORPORA AND DETACHED BEARER COUPONS

Sec.
358.0  What does this part cover?
358.1  What special terms apply to this part?
358.2  What regulations cover these securities?
358.3  Are there any bearer corpora or detached bearer coupons that 
are not eligible for conversion?
358.4  Which bearer corpora or detached bearer coupons are eligible 
for

[[Page 65702]]

conversion to transferable BECCS or CUBES securities?
358.5  Which bearer corpora or detached bearer coupons are eligible 
for conversion to non-transferable BECCS or CUBES securities?
358.6  What is the procedure for converting bearer corpora and 
detached bearer coupons to book-entry?
358.7  Where do I send my bearer corpora and detached bearer coupons 
to be converted?
358.8  Are there fees for the conversion of bearer corpora or 
detached bearer coupons?
358.9  Who is responsible for the cost and risks associated with the 
shipment of securities?
358.10  How are amounts of less than one dollar credited?
358.11  What is required to establish the authroity of a depository 
institution to request conversion?
358.12  What is Treasury's liability if the depository institution 
does not have authority to convert securities?
358.13  What is Treasury's liability if the depository institution 
incurs a loss because it does not follow required procedures?
358.14  What happens when securities are accepted for conversion?
358.15  What happens if securities are adjusted?
358.16  Are BECCS and CUBES accounts maintained separately from the 
STRIPS program?
358.17  Can BECCS and CUBES securities be reconstituted to physical 
form?
358.18  What limitations exist on liability?
358.19  Who is responsible for any loss resulting from the 
conversion of a bearer corpus missing callable coupons?
358.20  Can these regulations be waived?
358.21  Can these regulations be amended?

    Authority: 12 U.S.C. 391, 31 U.S.C. Ch. 31.


Sec. 358.0  What does this part cover?

    (a) This part applies to the conversion to book-entry of United 
States Treasury bearer corpora and detached bearer coupons.
    (b) These instruments are accepted from depository institutions for 
conversion under the Bearer Corpora Conversion System (BECCS) and 
Coupons Under Book Entry Safekeeping (CUBES) programs.
    (1) For coupons converted after November 1, 2000, these regulations 
supersede the terms and conditions governing CUBES set forth in the 
written ``Agreements to the Terms and Conditions Governing CUBES'' 
signed by depository institutions that previously participated in the 
CUBES program.
    (2) Depository institutions that submit bearer corpora and detached 
bearer coupons are deemed to agree to the terms and conditions in this 
part and any other requirements we may prescribe.


Sec. 358.1  What special terms apply to this part?

    Bearer security means a definitive security payable to the bearer 
on its face at maturity or when called for redemption before maturity 
in accordance with its terms. Ownership of a bearer security is not 
recorded. Title to the security may pass by delivery without 
endorsement or notice. The only remaining unmatured bearer securities 
are bearer bonds.
    BECCS means the Treasury's Bearer Corpora Conversion System.
    BECCS security means a United States Treasury bearer security 
converted to book-entry form and held in BECCS.
    Callable means a United States Treasury security subject to call 
before maturity.
    Callable Coupons means the coupons associated with a callable 
security that are due after the date the security is subject to call.
    Conversion, as used in this part, means a change in the form of a 
security from definitive form to book-entry form.
    Corpus (plural corpora) means the principal portion of a United 
States Treasury bearer security.
    Coupon means a definitive bearer interest instrument associated 
with a United States Treasury bearer security.
    CUBES means the Treasury's Coupon Under Book-Entry Safekeeping 
program.
    CUBES security means a definitive coupon detached from a United 
States Treasury security and held in CUBES.
    Definitive security means a security held in paper form.
    Depository institution means:
    (1) Any insured bank, mutual savings bank, or savings bank as 
defined in 12 U.S.C. 1813, or any institution eligible to become an 
insured bank under 12 U.S.C. 1815;
    (2) Any insured credit union as defined in 12 U.S.C. 1752, or any 
credit union eligible to become an insured credit union under 12 U.S.C. 
1781;
    (3) Any member as defined in 12 U.S.C. 1422; and
    (4) Any savings association as defined in 12 U.S.C. that is an 
insured depository institution as defined in the Federal Deposit 
Insurance Act, 12 U.S.C. 1811 et seq., or is eligible to become an 
insured depository institution under that Act.
    Non-callable means a United States Treasury bearer security not 
subject to call before maturity.
    Non-callable coupons means coupons associated with a non-callable 
bearer security or coupons associated with a callable bearer security 
that are due on or before the date on which the callable bearer 
security is subject to call.
    Non-transferable means the ownership of a security held in BECCS or 
CUBES may not be transferred. See Sec. 358.5.
    Transferable means the ownership of a security held in BECCS or 
CUBES may be transferred. See Sec. 358.4 of this part.
    We (or ``us'') refers to the Secretary of the Treasury and the 
Secretary's delegates at the Treasury Department and the Bureau of the 
Public Debt. The term also extends to any fiscal or financial agent we 
designate to act on behalf of the United States.


Sec. 358.2  What regulations cover these securities?

    BECCS and CUBES securities are deemed to be securities for the 
purposes of 31 CFR part 357, subparts A, B, and D, and are governed by 
that part. Notwithstanding the provisions of 31 CFR part 357, certain 
BECCS and CUBES securities are non-transferable. See Sec. 358.5.


Sec. 358.3  Are there any bearer corpora or detached bearer coupons 
that are not eligible for conversion?

    Bearer corpora and detached bearer coupons will not be accepted if 
they are submitted:
    (a) Within 30 days of their maturity date; or
    (b) If the call provision has been invoked, within 30 days of their 
call date.


Sec. 358.4  Which bearer corpora or detached bearer coupons are 
eligible for conversion to transferable BECCS or CUBES securities?

    (a) For a callable corpus to be eligible for conversion to a 
transferable BECCS security, all associated callable coupons must be 
submitted with the corpus. These callable coupons will be linked with 
the corpus within BECCS when converted. Once the coupons are linked to 
the corpus, they may not be transferred separately.
    (b) A corpus that is not subject to call will be converted to a 
transferable BECCS security.
    (c) Non-callable coupons will be converted to transferable CUBES 
securities.


Sec. 358.5  Which bearer corpora or detached bearer coupons are 
eligible for conversion to non-transferable BECCS or CUBES securities?

    If all of the callable coupons associated with the corpus are not 
submitted with the corpus, the corpus will be converted to a non-
transferable BECCS security. Any remaining callable coupons submitted 
with the corpus will be converted to individual non-transferable CUBES 
securities.

[[Page 65703]]

Sec. 358.6  What is the procedure for converting bearer corpora and 
detached bearer coupons to book-entry?

    Bearer corpora and detached bearer coupons must be submitted in 
accordance with our procedures. They must be accompanied by an approved 
form executed by an authorized officer of the submitting depository 
institution. Until we verify the submission, the bearer corpora and 
detached bearer coupons are subject to rejection or adjustment.


Sec. 358.7  Where do I send my bearer corpora and detached bearer 
coupons to be converted?

    Send bearer corpora and detached bearer coupons to be converted to: 
Bureau of the Public Debt, Division of Customer Service, P. O. Box 426, 
Parkersburg, WV 26106-0426.


Sec. 358.8  Are there fees for the conversion of bearer corpora or 
detached bearer coupons?

    We do not charge fees for the conversion of bearer corpora or 
detached bearer coupons to BECCS or CUBES securities.


Sec. 358.9  Who is responsible for the cost and risks associated with 
the shipment of securities?

    The following guidelines apply to the transportation of bearer 
corpora and detached bearer coupons:
    (a) Shipment from the depository institution is at the risk and 
expense of the depository institution;
    (b) Shipment between our designated agent and the Department, if 
required, is at our risk and expense; and
    (c) Shipment of securities that are returned to the depository 
institution is at the risk and expense of the depository institution.


Sec. 358.10  How are amounts of less than one dollar credited?

    Only full dollar amounts can be held in CUBES; principal amounts 
that include cents cannot be held in CUBES. Upon the conversion of 
coupons to CUBES, amounts of less than one dollar in aggregate per 
CUBES CUSIP will not be credited to the account of the depository 
institution.

    Example: A depository institution submits five coupons with face 
amount of $346.88 each, and a total dollar amount of $1,734.40. Upon 
conversion of these coupons to CUBES, only $1,734.00 will be 
credited to the depository institution's account.


Sec. 358.11  What is required to established the authority of a 
depository institution to request conversion?

    By submitting bearer corpora and detached bearer coupons for 
conversion to BECCS and CUBES securities, a depository institution 
represents that it has the authority to request the conversion.


Sec. 358.12  What is Treasury's liability if the depository institution 
does not have authority to convert securities?

    We are not liable if the depository institution has no authority to 
convert the bearer corpora and detached bearer coupons to book-entry 
form or to take other actions in respect to book-entry accounts in 
BECCS and CUBES.


Sec. 358.13  What is Treasury's liability if the depository institution 
incurs a loss because it does not follow required procedures?

    We are not liable for any loss incurred by the depository 
institution as a result of its failure to properly follow our 
procedures.


Sec. 358.14  What happens when securities are accepted for conversion?

    (a) After processing and initial verification, we will transfer the 
securities accepted to the depository institution's book-entry account, 
establishing a securities entitlement in TRADES according to 31 CFR 
part 357 subpart B.
    (b) We will do the final verification within twenty (20) business 
days of initial receipt of the bearer corpora and detached bearer 
coupons.
    (c) If at any time after this twenty (20) day period we determine 
that the security was improperly credited to the BECCS or CUBES account 
of the depository institution, such as in the case of a previously 
undetected, counterfeit security, we reserve the right to adjust the 
BECCS or CUBES account.


Sec. 358.15  What happens if securities are adjusted?

    (a) If we make an adjustment to all or part of the submitted 
securities, we will instruct the depository institution to transfer 
BECCS or CUBES securities of the same payment date and face amount from 
the depository institution's account to an account that we designate.
    (b) If no such BECCS or CUBES securities exist in the depository 
institution's account, we will instruct the depository institution as 
to how the adjustment will be made.
    (c) If the depository institution fails to comply with our 
instructions within five (5) business days of receipt of the 
instructions, we reserve the right to debit the master account of the 
depository institution for the face value of the adjusted bearer 
corpora and detached bearer coupons. By the submission of the bearer 
corpora and detached bearer coupons, the depository institution is 
deemed to agree to this debit.


Sec. 358.16  Are BECCS and CUBES accounts maintained separately from 
the STRIPS program?

    BECCS and CUBES accounts are maintained separately from accounts 
maintained in Treasury's STRIPS (Separate Trading of Registered 
Interest and Principal of Securities) program.


Sec. 358.17  Can BECCS and CUBES securities be reconstituted to 
physical form?

    After bearer corpora and detached bearer coupons have been 
converted to book-entry form, reconversion to physical form is 
prohibited. The reconstitution of a BECCS security with CUBES 
securities or any combination of Treasury obligations is prohibited.


Sec. 358.18  What limitations exist on liability?

    (a) Except as otherwise provided by regulation, circular, or 
written agreement, any fiscal agent designated to act on our behalf is 
liable for its action or omission only if it failed to exercise 
ordinary care.
    (b) We do not assume any responsibility to any party except the 
sending and receiving depository institutions involved in a BECCS or 
CUBES transaction.
    (c) We do not assume any responsibility in connection with a BECCS 
or CUBES transaction for the insolvency, neglect, misconduct, mistake, 
or default of another bank or person, including the immediate 
participants.

[[Page 65704]]

Sec. 358.19  Who is responsible for any loss resulting from the 
conversion of a bearer corpus missing callable coupons?

    The submitting depository institution shall indemnify the United 
States against any loss resulting from the conversion of a bearer 
corpus that is missing one or more associated callable coupons.


Sec. 358.20  Can these regulations be waived?

    We reserve the right to waive or modify any provision of the 
regulations in this part for the convenience of the United States or to 
relieve any person of unnecessary hardship, if such action is not 
inconsistent with law, does not impair existing rights, and does not 
subject the United States to any substantial expense or liability.


Sec. 358.21  Can these regulations be amended?

    We may at any time supplement, amend, or revise the regulations in 
this part.

    Dated: October 24, 2000.
Donald V. Hammond,
Fiscal Assistant Secretary.
[FR Doc. 00-27920 Filed 10-31-00; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4810-39-M