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e-CFR data is current as of October 23, 2020

Title 47Chapter ISubchapter APart 1Subpart O → Subject Group

Title 47: Telecommunication
Subpart O—Collection of Claims Owed the United States

General Provisions

§1.1901   Definitions and construction.

For purposes of this subpart:

(a) The term administrative offset means withholding money payable by the United States Government to, or held by the Government for, a person, organization, or entity to satisfy a debt the person, organization, or entity owes the Government.

(b) The term agency or Commission means the Federal Communications Commission (including the Universal Service Fund, the Telecommunications Relay Service Fund, and any other reporting components of the Commission) or any other agency of the U.S. Government as defined by section 105 of title 5 U.S.C., the U.S. Postal Service, the U.S. Postal Rate Commission, a military department as defined by section 102 of title 5 U.S.C., an agency or court of the judicial branch, or an agency of the legislative branch, including the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives.

(c) The term agency head means the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission.

(d) The term application includes in addition to petitions and applications elsewhere defined in the Commission's rules, any request, as for assistance, relief, declaratory ruling, or decision, by the Commission or on delegated authority.

(e) The terms claim and debt are deemed synonymous and interchangeable. They refer to an amount of money, funds, or property that has been determined by an agency official to be due to the United States from any person, organization, or entity, except another Federal agency. For purposes of administrative offset under 31 U.S.C. 3716, the terms “claim” and “debt” include an amount of money, funds, or property owed by a person to a State, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, the United States Virgin Islands, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. “Claim” and “debt” include amounts owed to the United States on account of extension of credit or loans made by, insured or guaranteed by the United States and all other amounts due the United States from fees, leases, rents, royalties, services, sales of real or personal property, overpayments, penalties, damages, interest, taxes, and forfeitures issued after a notice of apparent liability that have been partially paid or for which a court of competent jurisdiction has ordered payment and such order is final (except those arising under the Uniform Code of Military Justice), and other similar sources.

(f) The term creditor agency means the agency to which the debt is owed.

(g) The term debt collection center means an agency of a unit or subagency within an agency that has been designated by the Secretary of the Treasury to collect debt owed to the United States. The Financial Management Service (FMS), Fiscal Service, United States Treasury, is a debt collection center.

(h) The term demand letter includes written letters, orders, judgments, and memoranda from the Commission or on delegated authority.

(i) The term “delinquent” means a claim or debt which has not been paid by the date specified by the agency unless other satisfactory payment arrangements have been made by that date, or, at any time thereafter, the debtor has failed to satisfy an obligation under a payment agreement or instrument with the agency, or pursuant to a Commission rule. For purposes of this subpart only, an installment payment under 47 CFR 1.2110(g) will not be considered deliquent until the expiration of all applicable grace periods and any other applicable periods under Commission rules to make the payment due. The rules set forth in this subpart in no way affect the Commission's rules, as may be amended, regarding payment for licenses (including installment, down, or final payments) or automatic cancellation of Commission licenses (see 47 CFR 1.1902(f)).

(j) The term disposable pay means that part of current basic pay, special pay, incentive pay, retired pay, retainer pay, or in the case of an employee not entitled to basic pay, other authorized pay remaining after the deduction of any amount required by law to be withheld. Agencies must exclude deductions described in 5 CFR 581.105(b) through (f) to determine disposable pay subject to salary offset.

(k) The term employee means a current employee of the Commission or of another agency, including a current member of the Armed Forces or a Reserve of the Armed Forces (Reserve).

(l) The term entity includes natural persons, legal associations, applicants, licensees, and regulatees.

(m) The term FCCS means the Federal Claims Collection Standards jointly issued by the Secretary of the Treasury and the Attorney General of the United States at 31 CFR parts 900-904.

(n) The term paying agency means the agency employing the individual and authorizing the payment of his or her current pay.

(o) The term referral for litigation means referral to the Department of Justice for appropriate legal proceedings except where the Commission has the statutory authority to handle the litigation itself.

(p) The term reporting component means any program, account, or entity required to be included in the Agency's Financial Statements by generally accepted accounting principles for Federal Agencies.

(q) The term salary offset means an administrative offset to collect a debt under 5 U.S.C. 5514 by deduction(s) at one or more officially established pay intervals from the current pay account of an employee without his or her consent.

(r) The term waiver means the cancellation, remission, forgiveness, or non-recovery of a debt or fee, including, but not limited to, a debt due to the United States, by an entity or an employee to an agency and as the waiver is permitted or required by 5 U.S.C. 5584, 10 U.S.C. 2774, 31 U.S.C. 3711, or any other law.

(s) Words in the plural form shall include the singular, and vice-versa, and words signifying the masculine gender shall include the feminine, and vice-versa. The terms includes and including do not exclude matters not listed but do include matters of the same general class.

[69 FR 27848, May 17, 2004, as amended at 76 FR 70909, Nov. 16, 2011]

§1.1902   Exceptions.

(a) Claims arising from the audit of transportation accounts pursuant to 31 U.S.C. 3726 shall be determined, collected, compromised, terminated or settled in accordance with regulations published under the authority of 31 U.S.C. 3726 (see 41 CFR part 102-118).

(b) Claims arising out of acquisition contracts subject to the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) shall be determined, collected, compromised, terminated, or settled in accordance with those regulations. (See 48 CFR part 32). If not otherwise provided for in the FAR, contract claims that have been the subject of a contracting officer's final decision in accordance with section 6(a) of the Contract Disputes Act of 1978 (41 U.S.C. 7103), may be determined, collected, compromised, terminated or settled under the provisions of this regulation, except that no additional review of the debt shall be granted beyond that provided by the contracting officer in accordance with the provisions of section 6 of the Contract Disputes Act of 1978 (41 U.S.C. 7103), and the amount of any interest, administrative charge, or penalty charge shall be subject to the limitations, if any, contained in the contract out of which the claim arose.

(c) Claims based in whole or in part on conduct in violation of the antitrust laws, or in regard to which there is an indication of fraud, the presentation of a false claim, or a misrepresentation on the part of the debtor or any other party having an interest in the claim, shall be referred to the Department of Justice (DOJ) as only the DOJ has authority to compromise, suspend, or terminate collection action on such claims. The standards in the FCCS relating to the administrative collection of claims do apply, but only to the extent authorized by the DOJ in a particular case. Upon identification of a claim based in whole or in part on conduct in violation of the antitrust laws or any claim involving fraud, the presentation of a false claim, or misrepresentation on the part of the debtor or any party having an interest in the claim, the Commission shall promptly refer the case to the Department of Justice for action. At its discretion, the DOJ may return the claim to the forwarding agency for further handling in accordance with the standards in the FCCS.

(d) Tax claims are excluded from the coverage of this regulation.

(e) The Commission will attempt to resolve interagency claims by negotiation in accordance with Executive Order 12146 (3 CFR 1980 Comp., pp. 409-412).

(f) Nothing in this subpart shall supercede or invalidate other Commission rules, such as the part 1 general competitive bidding rules (47 CFR part 1, subpart Q) or the service specific competitive bidding rules, as may be amended, regarding the Commission's rights, including but not limited to the Commission's right to cancel a license or authorization, obtain judgment, or collect interest, penalties, and administrative costs.

[69 FR 27848, May 17, 2004, as amended at 76 FR 70909, Nov. 16, 2011]

§1.1903   Use of procedures.

Procedures authorized by this regulation (including, but not limited to, disclosure to a consumer reporting agency, contracting for collection services, administrative offset and salary offset) may be used singly or in combination, so long as the requirements of applicable law and regulation are satisfied.

§1.1904   Conformance to law and regulations.

The requirements of applicable law (31 U.S.C. 3701-3719, as amended by Public Law 97-365, 96 Stat. 1749 and Public Law 104-134, 110 Stat. 1321, 1358) have been implemented in government-wide standards which include the Regulations of the Office of Personnel Management (5 CFR part 550) and the Federal Claims Collection Standards issued jointly by the Secretary of the Treasury and the Attorney General of the United States (31 CFR parts 900-904). Not every item in the previous sentence described standards has been incorporated or referenced in this regulation. To the extent, however, that circumstances arise which are not covered by the terms stated in these regulations, the Commission will proceed in any actions taken in accordance with applicable requirements found in the standards referred to in this section.

§1.1905   Other procedures; collection of forfeiture penalties.

Nothing contained in these regulations is intended to require the Commission to duplicate administrative or other proceedings required by contract or other laws or regulations, nor do these regulations supercede procedures permitted or required by other statutes or regulations. In particular, the assessment and collection of monetary forfeitures imposed by the Commission will be governed initially by the procedures prescribed by 47 U.S.C. 503, 504 and 47 CFR 1.80. After compliance with those procedures, the Commission may determine that the collection of a monetary forfeiture under the collection alternatives prescribed by this subpart is appropriate but need not duplicate administrative or other proceedings. Fees and penalties prescribed by law, e.g., 47 U.S.C. 158 and 159, and promulgated under the authority of 47 U.S.C. 309(j) (e.g., 47 CFR part 1, subpart Q) may be collected as permitted by applicable law. Nothing contained herein is intended to restrict the Commission from exercising any other right to recover or collect amounts owed to it.

§1.1906   Informal action.

Nothing contained in these regulations is intended to preclude utilization of informal administrative actions or remedies which may be available (including, e.g., Alternative Dispute Resolution), and/or for the Commission to exercise rights as agreed to among the parties in written agreements, including notes and security agreements.

§1.1907   Return of property or collateral.

Nothing contained in this regulation is intended to deter the Commission from exercising any other right under law or regulation or by agreement it may have or possess, or to exercise its authority and right as a regulator under the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, and the Commission's rules, and demanding the return of specific property or from demanding, as a non-exclusive alternative, either the return of property or the payment of its value or the amount due the United States under any agreement or Commission rule.

§1.1908   Omissions not a defense.

The failure or omission of the Commission to comply with any provision in this regulation shall not serve as a defense to any debtor.

§1.1909   [Reserved]

§1.1910   Effect of insufficient fee payments, delinquent debts, or debarment.

(a)(1) An application (including a petition for reconsideration or any application for review of a fee determination) or request for authorization subject to the FCC Registration Number (FRN) requirement set forth in subpart W of this chapter will be examined to determine if the applicant has paid the appropriate application fee, appropriate regulatory fees, is delinquent in its debts owed the Commission, or is debarred from receiving Federal benefits (see, e.g., 31 CFR 285.13; 47 CFR part 1, subpart P).

(2) Fee payments, delinquent debt, and debarment will be examined based on the entity's taxpayer identifying number (TIN), supplied when the entity acquired or was assigned an FRN. See 47 CFR 1.8002(b)(1).

(b)(1) Applications by any entity found not to have paid the proper application or regulatory fee will be handled pursuant to the rules set forth in 47 CFR part 1, subpart G.

(2) Action will be withheld on applications, including on a petition for reconsideration or any application for review of a fee determination, or requests for authorization by any entity found to be delinquent in its debt to the Commission (see §1.1901(i)), unless otherwise provided for in this regulation, e.g., 47 CFR 1.1928 (employee petition for a hearing). The entity will be informed that action will be withheld on the application until full payment or arrangement to pay any non-tax delinquent debt owed to the Commission is made and/or that the application may be dismissed. See the provisions of §§1.1108, 1.1109, 1.1116, and 1.1118. Any Commission action taken prior to the payment of delinquent non-tax debt owed to the Commission is contingent and subject to rescission. Failure to make payment on any delinquent debt is subject to collection of the debt, including interest thereon, any associated penalties, and the full cost of collection to the Federal government pursuant to the provisions of the Debt Collection Improvement Act, 31 U.S.C. 3717.

(3) If a delinquency has not been paid or the debtor has not made other satisfactory arrangements within 30 days of the date of the notice provided pursuant to paragraph (b)(2) of this section, the application or request for authorization will be dismissed.

(i) The provisions of paragraphs (b)(2) and (b)(3) of this section will not apply if the applicant has timely filed a challenge through an administrative appeal or a contested judicial proceeding either to the existence or amount of the non-tax delinquent debt owed the Commission.

(ii) The provisions of paragraphs (b)(2) and (b)(3) of this section will not apply where more restrictive rules govern treatment of delinquent debtors, such as 47 CFR 1.2105(a)(2)(xi) and (xii).

(c)(1) Applications for emergency or special temporary authority involving safety of life or property (including national security emergencies) or involving a brief transition period facilitating continuity of service to a substantial number of customers or end users, will not be subject to the provisions of paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section. However, paragraphs (a) and (b) will be applied to permanent authorizations for these services.

(2) The provisions of paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section will not apply to applications or requests for authorization to which 11 U.S.C. 525(a) is applicable.

[69 FR 57230, Sept. 24, 2004, as amended at 76 FR 70910, Nov. 16, 2011; 80 FR 56809, Sept. 18, 2015]

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