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Proposed Rule

Use of the Seal of the Railroad Retirement Board

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Railroad Retirement Board.

ACTION:

Proposed rule.

SUMMARY:

The Railroad Retirement Board (Board) proposes to amend its regulations to add a part explaining when use of the Board's seal is permitted. Federal law prohibits the use of an agency seal except as authorized by regulation. The Board currently has no such regulation.

DATE:

Comments should be submitted on or before March 5, 2001.

ADDRESSES:

Any comments should be submitted to the Secretary to the Board, Railroad Retirement Board, 844 North Rush Street, Chicago, IL 60611.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Marguerite P. Dabado, Assistant General Counsel, Railroad Retirement Board, (312) 751-4945, TDD (312) 751-4701.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The Railroad Retirement Board is an independent agency in the executive branch of the United States Government which is charged with the administration of the Railroad Retirement Act (45 U.S.C. 231 et seq.) and the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act (45 U.S.C. 351 et seq.). Use of agency seals is governed by 18 U.S.C. 701 which prohibits the use of agency seals except as authorized under regulations made pursuant to law. This proscription is intended to protect the public against the use of a recognizable assertion of authority with intent to deceive (U.S. v. Goeltz, 513 F.2d 193 (C.A. Utah 1975), cert. den. 423 U.S. 830). The regulations of the Railroad Retirement Board do not include provisions for the authorization of use of the Agency's seal. The Board proposes to add Part 369 to its regulations to explain when use of the Board's seal is permitted.

In order to comply with the President's June 1, 1998, memorandum directing the use of plain language for all proposed and final rulemaking, the regulatory paragraphs introduced by the above rule changes have been written in plain language.

This rule concerns agency management and is not a regulation as defined in Executive Order 12866. Therefore, no regulatory impact analysis is required. There are no information collections associated with this rule.

Start List of Subjects

List of Subjects in 20 CFR Part 369

End List of Subjects

For the reasons set out in the preamble, the Railroad Retirement Board proposes to add part 369 to title 20, chapter II of the Code of the Federal Regulations to read as follows:

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PART 369—USE OF THE SEAL OF THE RAILROAD RETIREMENT BOARD

369.1
Unofficial use of the seal of the Railroad Retirement Board.
369.2
Authority to grant written permission for use of the seal.
369.3
Procedures for obtaining permission to use the seal.
369.4
Inappropriate use of the seal.
369.5
Penalty for misuse of the seal.
Start Authority

Authority: 18 U.S.C. 701; 45 U.S.C. 231f.

End Authority
Unofficial use of the seal of the Railroad Retirement Board.

Use of the seal of the Railroad Retirement Board for non-agency business is prohibited unless permission for use of the seal has been obtained in accordance with this part.

Authority to grant written permission for use of the seal.

The Board hereby delegates authority to grant written permission for the use of the seal of the Railroad Retirement Board to the Director of Administration.

Procedures for obtaining permission to use the seal.

Requests for written permission to use the seal of the Railroad Retirement Board shall be in writing and shall be directed to the Director of Administration of the Railroad Retirement Board. The request should, at a minimum, contain the following information:

(a) Name and address of the requester.

(b) A description of the type of activity in which the requester is engaged or proposes to engage.

(c) A statement of whether the requester considers the proposed use or imitation to be commercial or non-commercial, and why.

(d) A brief description and illustration or sample of the proposed use, as well as a description of the product or service in connection with which it will be used. This description will provide sufficient detail to enable the Director of Administration to determine whether the intended use of the seal is consistent with the interests of the government.

(e) In the case of a non-commercial use, a description of the requesting organization's function and purpose shall be provided.

Start Printed Page 315
Inappropriate Use of the Seal.

The Railroad Retirement Board shall not grant permission for use of the seal in those instances where use of the seal will give the unintended appearance of Agency endorsement or authentication. Situations where use of the seal of the Railroad Retirement Board would be inappropriate include, but are not limited to, the following examples:

(a) A consulting firm makes arrangements with a railroad to conduct a retirement planning seminar for its employees. Included in the material distributed to the seminar attendees is a booklet, prepared by the consulting firm, which displays the seal of the Railroad Retirement Board on the cover and contains information regarding benefits payable under the Railroad Retirement Act.

(b) A former employee of the Railroad Retirement Board owns a coffee and donut shop, frequented by present and past railroad workers. Many of the shop's customers know of the owner's prior employment with the Board and frequently ask him questions related to benefits payable under the Railroad Unemployment Insurance and Railroad Retirement Acts. The shop owner prepares and distributes to his customers a monthly flyer listing benefit questions presented to him during the month, as well as his answers to the questions. The flyer displays the seal of the Board.

(c) A retired railroad employee works part-time in a train hobby shop. The shop owner, at the former railroad worker's suggestion, develops and sells items such as coffee mugs and computer mouse pads with text relevant to benefits paid by the Railroad Retirement Board. The text is taken from publications issued by the Railroad Retirement Board. The merchandise also bears the seal of the Railroad Retirement Board.

Penalty for misuse of the seal of the Railroad Retirement Board.

Unauthorized use of the seal of the Railroad Retirement Board may result in criminal prosecution under applicable law.

Start Signature

Dated: December 14, 2000.

By Authority of the Board.

For the Board.

Beatrice Ezerski,

Secretary to the Board.

End Signature End Part End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 01-137 Filed 1-2-01; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 7905-01-P