This part implements the Federal Claims Collection Act of 1966, 31 U.S.C. 3701-3720 A, as amended primarily by the Debt Collection Act of 1982 (Pub. L. 97-365, 96 Stat. 1749) and the Debt Collection Amendments of 1986 (Pub. L. 99-578, 100 Stat. 3305). It supplements the Federal Claims Collection Standards (FCCS), 4 CFR parts 101-105, issued jointly by the Comptroller General of the United States and the Attorney General of the United States under 31 U.S.C. 3711(e)(2). Pursuant to the Federal Claims Collection Act, as amended, and the FCCS, this part sets forth procedures by which the Department of Transportation (DOT) and its operating elements (see 49 CFR 1.3) through designated officials:
(a) Collect claims owed to the United States arising from activities under its jurisdiction;
(b) Determine and collect interest and other charges on those claims;
(c) Compromise claims; and
(d) Refer unpaid claims for litigation.
(a) The part applies to collection of all claims due the United States under the Federal Claims Collection Act of 1966 as amended by the Debt Collection Act of 1982 and the Debt Collection Amendments of 1986 (Pub. L. 99-578), arising from activities under the jurisdiction of DOT including amounts due the United States from fees, overpayments, fines, civil penalties, loans, damages, interest, and other sources.
(b) This part does not apply to collection, settlement or compromise of debts owed the United States pursuant to authority other than Title 31, Chapter 37, Subchapter II: for example, application of this part to the enforcement of contracts under 46 U.S.C. 1117, delegated to the DOT Maritime Administration, is not required.
(c) Section 89.23 (interest, late payment penalties, and collection charges) and § 89.25 (collection by administrative offset) of this part do not apply to debts which other United States government agencies or state governments or units of general local government owe the Department (see 31 U.S.C. 3701(c)); however, other statutory or common law may provide legal authority. Neither does the proposed rule apply to recovery of debts owed by current or former employees of the United States governed by 5 U.S.C. 5514.
(d) Claims arising out of contracts that contain specific provisions relating to claims are governed by those specific provisions to the extent that those provisions comply with existing law and with 4 CFR chapter II.
(e) As used in this part, the terms debt and claims are interchangeable and have the meaning defined in 4 CFR 101.2(a). A debtor's liability arising out of a particular incident or adjudication exclusive of interest, administrative costs, and late payment penalties, is a single claim.
(f) Except as provided in paragraphs (b), (c) and (d) of this section the provisions of this part shall apply to the collection of all debts and claims owed to any DOT operating element. A claim arising from the assessment of civil penalty or fine is not subject to the procedures of this subpart until the claim has been reduced to a liquidated debt by a signed settlement agreement, a court order or judgment, or a final administrative determination.
The functions, powers, and duties of the Secretary of Transportation to attempt collection of claims, to compromise claims of the United States not exceeding $100,000 (excluding interest) and to suspend and terminate action to collect such claims are delegated to:
(a) The Assistant Secretary for Administration with respect to collection, compromise, suspension and termination of claims arising out of the activities of, or referred to, the Working Capital Fund;
(b) The Assistant Secretary for Budget and Programs with respect to collection, compromise, suspension and termination of collection of claims under 31 U.S.C. 3711 arising out of the activities of, or referred to, the Office of the Secretary (excluding claims pertaining to the Working Capital Fund); and
(c) The heads of other DOT operating elements with respect to claims arising out of the activities of, or referred to, their organizations.
The authority delegated under § 89.5 does not apply to any claim:
(a) As to which there is an indication of
(2) the presentation of a false claim; or
(3) misrepresentation on the part of the debtor or any other party having an interest in the claim;
(b) Based on tax statutes; or
(c) Arising from an exception made by the General Accounting Office in the account of an accountable officer.
Each officer to whom authority is delegated under § 89.5 may redelegate and authorize successive redelegations of the authority within the organization under his or her jurisdiction.
The authority delegated under § 89.5 shall be exercised in accordance with the standards for the collection and compromise of claims and for the suspension and termination of action to collect claims promulgated by the United States General Accounting Office and the United States Department of Justice, and published at 4 CFR chapter II, as those standards may be amended.
A compromise of any claim is not final or binding on the United States unless it is in writing, signed by an officer or employee authorized to compromise that claim.
(a) Each officer to whom authority is delegated under § 89.5 may promulgate regulations for the exercise of that authority within his or her organization. These regulations shall be revised, as necessary, to conform to any amendments to this part.
(b) Each officer to whom authority is delegated under 89.5 shall furnish the following information to the Assistant Secretary for Administration and the Assistant Secretary for Budget and Programs:
(1) A copy of each redelegation of that authority.
(2) A copy of any implementing regulations governing the exercise of the authority delegated under § 89.5, and any amendments to those regulations.
(c) Each officer or employee to whom the Secretary's authority has been delegated or redelegated, before exercising such authority, shall acquire sufficient documentation to demonstrate that the action taken is in the best interests of the United States. This documentation will be retained with and treated as part of the file concerning the debt.
(d) The failure of any officer or employee to comply with this section does not limit or impair his or her exercise of authority.