[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 185 (Friday, September 23, 2016)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 65551-65552]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-22732]


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DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS

38 CFR Parts 36 and 42

RIN 2900-AP78


Federal Civil Penalties Adjustment Act Amendments

AGENCY: Department of Veterans Affairs.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: The Federal Civil Monetary Penalties Act of 1990, as amended 
by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements 
Act of 2015, sets forth a formula increasing the maximum statutory 
amounts for civil monetary penalties and requires federal agencies to 
give notice of the new maximum amounts by regulation. This final rule 
of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) adopts without change VA's 
interim final rule, which increased maximum civil monetary penalties 
from $10,000 to $21,563 for false loan guaranty certifications and from 
$5,500 to $10,781 for fraudulent claims or fraudulent statements in any 
VA program.

DATES: Effective Date: Effective September 23, 2016, the interim final 
rule published June 22, 2016 (81 FR 40523) is adopted as final.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jeffrey Martin, Program Manager, 
Office of Regulation and Policy Management, Department of Veterans 
Affairs, 810 Vermont Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20420, (202) 461-4918.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: On June 22, 2016, VA published in the 
Federal Register an interim final rule adjusting the amounts of civil 
monetary penalties that VA may assess against participants who make 
certain false certifications or who engage in fraudulent activity. See 
81 FR 40523. The interim final rule increased maximum civil monetary 
penalties from $10,000 to $21,563 for false loan guaranty 
certifications and from $5,500 to $10,781 for fraudulent claims or 
fraudulent statements in any VA program.
    VA published the interim final rule to implement the Federal Civil 
Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 (the 2015 
Act) (Sec. 701 of Pub. L. 114-74), which amended the Federal Civil 
Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990 (the Inflation Adjustment 
Act) (Pub. L. 101-410), to improve the effectiveness of civil monetary 
penalties and to maintain their deterrent effect. In calculating the 
adjusted amounts, VA relied on guidance from The Executive Office of 
the President Office of Management and Budget (OMB), published on 
February 24, 2016, advising the heads of federal agencies how to 
implement the 2015 Act. See https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/memoranda/2016/m-16-06.pdf.
    VA received one comment in response to the interim final rule. The 
comment was a photograph that was not relevant to the rulemaking. The 
photograph was not posted to www.regulations.gov. VA is adopting the 
interim final rule without change.

Executive Orders 12866 and 13563

    Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess the 
costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, when 
regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize 
net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public 
health and safety effects, and other advantages; distributive impacts; 
and equity). Executive Order 13563 (Improving Regulation and Regulatory 
Review) emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and 
benefits, reducing costs, harmonizing rules, and promoting flexibility. 
Executive Order 12866 (Regulatory Planning and Review) defines a 
``significant regulatory action,'' which requires review by OMB, as 
``any regulatory action that is likely to result in a rule that may: 
(1) Have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more or 
adversely affect in a material way the economy, a sector of the 
economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public 
health or safety, or State, local, or tribal governments or 
communities; (2) Create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere 
with an action taken or planned by another agency; (3) Materially alter 
the budgetary impact of entitlements, grants, user fees, or loan 
programs or the rights and obligations of recipients thereof; or (4) 
Raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the 
President's priorities, or the principles set forth in this Executive 
Order.''
    The economic, interagency, budgetary, legal, and policy 
implications of this regulatory action have been examined, and it has 
been determined that it is not a significant regulatory action under 
Executive Order 12866.

Unfunded Mandates

    The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 requires, at 2 U.S.C. 
1532, that agencies prepare an assessment of anticipated costs and 
benefits before issuing any rule that may result in expenditure by 
State, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the 
private sector, of $100 million or more (adjusted annually for 
inflation) in any one year. This interim final rule will have no such 
effect on State, local, and tribal governments, or on the private 
sector.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    This interim final rule contains no provisions constituting a 
collection of information under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 
U.S.C. 3501-3521).

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Secretary hereby certifies that this final rule will not have a 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities 
as they are defined in the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601-
612. Accordingly, no proposed rulemaking was required in connection 
with the adoption of this final rule. Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 605(b), this 
final rule is exempt from the initial and final regulatory flexibility 
analyses requirements of sections 603 and 604.

[[Page 65552]]

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance

    The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance number and title for the 
program affected by this document is 64.114, Veterans Housing--
Guaranteed and Insured Loans.

Signing Authority

    The Secretary of Veterans Affairs, or designee, approved this 
document and authorized the undersigned to sign and submit the document 
to the Office of the Federal Register for publication electronically as 
an official document of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Gina S. 
Farrisee, Deputy Chief of Staff, Department of Veterans Affairs, 
approved this document on September 16, 2016, for publication.

List of Subjects in 38 CFR Parts 36 and 42

    Condominiums, Housing, Individuals with disabilities, Loan 
programs-housing and community development, Loan programs-veterans, 
Manufactured homes, Mortgage insurance, Reporting and recordkeeping 
requirements, Veterans.

PART 36--LOAN GUARANTY

PART 42--STANDARDS IMPLEMENTING THE PROGRAM FRAUD CIVIL REMEDIES 
ACT

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Accordingly, the interim rule amending 38 CFR parts 36 and 42 which was 
published at 81 FR 40523 on June 22, 2016, is adopted as a final rule 
without change.

    Dated: September 16, 2016.
Michael Shores
Acting Director, Regulation Policy & Management Office of the Secretary 
Department of Veterans Affairs
[FR Doc. 2016-22732 Filed 9-22-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 8320-01-P