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Rule

Administrative Claims Under the Federal Tort Claims Act; Delegation of Authority

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AGENCY:

Department of Justice.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This Directive delegates authority to the Secretary of Health and Start Printed Page 62517Human Services to settle administrative tort claims presented pursuant to the Federal Tort Claims Act where the amount of the settlement does not exceed $200,000. This Directive implements the Administrative Dispute Resolution Act. This Directive will alert the general public to the new authority and is being published in the CFR to provide a permanent record of this delegation.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

November 5, 2003

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Phyllis J. Pyles, Director, Torts Branch, Civil Division, U.S. Department of Justice, P.O. Box 888, Washington, DC 20044, (202) 616-4252.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

This Directive has been issued to delegate settlement authority and is a matter solely related to the division of responsibility between the Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services. It does not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. 5 U.S.C. 605(b). It is not a significant regulatory action within the meaning of Executive Order No. 12866.

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List of Subjects in 28 CFR Part 14

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By virtue of the authority vested in me by part 0 of title 28 of the Code of Federal Regulations, including §§ 0.45, 0.160, 0.162, 0.164, and 0.168,

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PART 14—ADMINISTRATIVE CLAIMS UNDER THE FEDERAL TORT CLAIMS ACT

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1. The authority citation for part 14 continues to read as follows:

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Authority: 5 U.S.C. 301; 28 U.S.C. 509, 510, 2672; 38 U.S.C. 224(a).

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2. The Appendix to Part 14 is amended by adding a new provision at the end of the Appendix to read as follows:

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Appendix to Part 14—Delegations of Settlement Authority

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Delegation of Authority to the Secretary of Health and Human Services

Section 1. Authority to Compromise Tort Claims.

(a) The Secretary of Health and Human Services shall have the authority to adjust, determine, compromise, and settle a claim involving the Department of Health and Human Services under section 2672 of title 28, United States Code, relating to the administrative settlement of federal tort claims, if the amount of the proposed adjustment, compromise, or award does not exceed $200,000. When the Secretary of Health and Human Services believes a claim pending before him presents a novel question of law or policy, he shall obtain the advice of the Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Civil Division.

(b) The Secretary of Health and Human Services may redelegate, in writing, the settlement authority delegated to him under this section.

Section 2. Memorandum.

Whenever the Secretary of Health and Human Services settles any administrative claim pursuant to the authority granted by section 1 for an amount in excess of $100,000 and within the amount delegated to him under section 1, a memorandum fully explaining the basis for the action taken shall be executed. A copy of this memorandum shall be sent to the Director, FTCA Staff, Torts Branch of the Civil Division.

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Peter D. Keisler,

Assistant Attorney General, Civil Division.

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[FR Doc. 03-27826 Filed 11-4-03; 8:45 am]

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