Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's Compliance With Requirement to Adjust Civil Monetary Penalties for Inflation

GAO-02-888R: Published: Jul 15, 2002. Publicly Released: Jul 15, 2002.

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The Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990 required each federal agency to issue a regulation adjusting its covered maximum civil monetary penalties for inflation by October 23, 1996. The act also required agencies to make necessary adjustments at least once every 4 years thereafter. During a review of the act's implementation, GAO found that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (FERC) Office of the General Counsel indicated that four of the agency's civil penalties are covered by the act but that the agency had not adjusted them for inflation. FERC's Office of the General Counsel stated that the agency has several other statutory penalties that appear not to be covered by the Inflation Adjustment Act. GAO's review did not reveal any FERC regulations that increased the agency's civil penalties for inflation.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: On July 8, 2002, the Chairman of FERC agreed with GAO's recommendation. The agency published a final rule on August 12, 2002 (67 FR 52410) that made the required inflation adjustments to the agency's civil penalties.

    Recommendation: The Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission should initiate a regulatory action to adjust for inflation all of the agency's civil penalties that are covered by the Inflation Adjustment Act.

    Agency Affected: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission


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