Department of the Navy, DoD.
Interim final rule.
This rule reflects administrative changes to the regulations concerning the administrative processing of non-appropriated funds. The revisions will ensure the proper administrative processing and consideration of claims on behalf of and against the United States. This rule is being published by the Department of the Navy (DoN) for guidance and interest of the public in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(1).
This rule is effective September 19, 2007. Comments must be received by November 19, 2007.
You may submit comments, identified by docket number and/or Regulatory Information Number (RIN) and title, by any of the following methods: Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. Start Printed Page 53425
Mail: Federal Docket Management System Office, 1160 Defense Pentagon, Washington, DC 20301-1160.
Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name and docket number or RIN for this Federal Register document. The general policy for comments and other submissions from members of the public is to make these submissions available for public viewing on the Internet at http://regulations.gov as they are received without change, including any personal identifiers or contact information.Start Further Info
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Mr. Dan Fields, Head, Tort Claims Branch, Claims and Tort Litigation Division (Code 15), Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1322 Patterson Avenue, SE., Washington Navy Yard, DC 20374, telephone 202-685-4600.End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information
Executive Order 12866, “Regulatory Planning and Review.” It has been determined that the changes to 32 CFR part 756 are not considered a “significant regulatory action.” The rule does not:
(1) Have an annual affect on the economy of $100 million or more or adversely affect in a material way the economy, a sector in the economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public health or safety, or State, local, or tribal governments or communities;
(2) Create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an action taken or planned by another agency;
(3) Materially alter the budgetary impact of entitlements, grants, user fees, or loan programs, or the rights and obligations of the recipients thereof; or
(4) Raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the President's priorities, or the principles set forth in this Executive Order.
Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (Sec. 202, Pub. L. 104-4). It has been certified that 32 CFR part 756 does not contain Federal Mandates that result in expenditures by State, local and tribal governments, in aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100 million or more in any one year.
Public Law 96-354, “Regulatory Flexibility Act” (5 U.S.C. 601). It has been determined that this rule is not subject to the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601) because it would not, if promulgated, have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. This rule implements the processing of the proper administrative processing and consideration of claims on behalf of and against the United States, and does not economically impact the Federal government's relations with the private sector.
Public Law 96-511, “Paperwork Reduction Act” (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35). This rule does not impose collection of information requirements for purposes of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35, 5 CFR part 1320).
Executive Order 13132, “Federalism”. It has been certified that 32 CFR part 756 does not have federalism implications as set forth in Executive Order 13132. This rule does not have substantial direct effects on:
(1) The States;
(2) The relationship between the National Government and the States; or
(3) The distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of Government.Start List of Subjects
List of Subjects in 32 CFR Part 756End List of Subjects Start Amendment Part
Accordingly,End Amendment Part Start Part
PART 756—PROCEDURES FOR PROCESSING CLAIMS INVOLVING NON-APPROPRIATED FUND ACTIVITIES AND THEIR EMPLOYEESEnd Part Start Amendment Part
1. The authority citation for part 756 is revised to read as follows:End Amendment Part Start Amendment Part
2. The heading for part 756 is revised to read as set forth above.End Amendment Part Start Amendment Part
3. Section 756.1 is revised to read as follows:End Amendment Part
This part explains how to settle claims for and against the United States for property damage, personal injury, or death arising out of the operation of non-appropriated fund activities (NAFI).
4. Section 756.2 is amended by revising paragraph (c) to read as follows:End Amendment Part
(c) Employees of NAFIs. Personnel employed by NAFIs whose salaries are paid from non-appropriated funds.
5. Revise § 756.4 to read as follows:End Amendment Part
(a) All claims resulting from NAFIs should be submitted to the command having cognizance over the NAFI involved. The claim will then be forwarded to the Tort Claims Unit (TCU) Norfolk located at the following address: Department of the Navy, Office of the Judge Advocate General, Tort Claims Unit Norfolk, 9620 Maryland Avenue, Suite 100, Norfolk, VA 23511-2989.
(b) The TCU Norfolk has cognizance over all DoN claims. Normally, the TCU Norfolk has primary responsibility for the negotiation and settlement of NAFI claims. This is because NAFIs are Federal agencies within the meaning of the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) if the NAFI is charged with an essential function of the DoN and if the degree of control and supervision by the Navy is more than casual or perfunctory. Compare United States v. Holcombe, 277 F.2d 143 (4th Cir. 1960) and Scott v. United States, 226 F. Supp. 846, (D. Ga. 1963). Consequently, to the extent sovereign immunity is waived by the FTCA, 28 U.S.C. 1346(b), 2671-2672, 2674-2680, the United States remains ultimately liable for payment of NAFI claims.
6. Section 756.5 is revised to read as follows:End Amendment Part
Claims arising out of the operation of NAFIs, in and outside the United States, shall be investigated in accordance with the procedures for investigating similar claims against appropriated fund activities. The Manual of the Judge Advocate General (JAGMAN), Chapter II  provides guidance in conducting an investigation of an incident or event likely to result in claims or civil litigation against or for DoN or the United States.
7. Section 756.6 is revised to read as follows:End Amendment Part
(a) General. Claims from NAFIs should be processed primarily through procedures, regulations, and statutes applicable to similar appropriated fund activity claims.
(b) When the NAFI is insured. When a NAFI is insured, the insurer or the contracted third-party claims administrator (TPA) will normally conduct negotiations with claimants. The TCU Norfolk shall monitor the negotiations conducted by the insurer or TPA. Monitoring is normally limited to ascertaining that someone has been assigned to negotiate, to obtain periodic status reports, and to close files on settled claims. Any dissatisfaction with the insurer's or TPA's handling of the negotiations should be referred directly to the Judge Advocate General (Claims and Tort Litigation) for appropriate action. If requested by the insurer or Start Printed Page 53426TPA, the TCU Norfolk may conduct negotiations. If TCU Norfolk negotiates a final settlement, however, request for payment will be forwarded to the insurer or TPA for payment. Concurrence by the insurer or TPA in the amount of the settlement is not necessary.
(c) When the NAFI is not insured. When there is no private commercial insurer and the NAFI has made no independent arrangements for negotiations, the TCU Norfolk is responsible for conducting negotiations. When an appropriate settlement is negotiated by the Navy, the recommended award will be forwarded to the NAFI for payment from non-appropriated funds.
8. Section 756.7 is revised to read as follows:End Amendment Part
(a) Claims that can be settled for less than 1,500.00. A claim not covered by insurance (or not paid by the insurer), that can be settled for $1,500.00 or less, may be adjudicated by the TCU Norfolk or single-service authority and forwarded to the commanding officer of the activity concerned or designee for payment out of funds available to the commanding officer. The TCU Norfolk or single-service authority will obtain the required release from the claimant.
(b) Claims that cannot be settled for less than $1,500.00. A claim negotiated by the Navy, not covered by insurance, that is for more than $1,500.00 will be forwarded to the appropriate non-appropriated fund headquarters command for payment from its non-appropriated funds.
(c) When payment is possible under another statute. In some cases, neither the NAFI nor its insurer may be legally responsible. In those instances when there is no negligence, and payment is authorized under some other statute, such as the Foreign Claims Act, 10 U.S.C. 2734-2736, the claim may be considered for payment from appropriated funds or may be referred to the TCU Norfolk for appropriate action.
(d) Other claims. A NAFI's private insurance policy is usually not available to cover losses that result from some act or omission of a mere participant in a non-appropriated fund activity. In the event the NAFI declines to pay the claim, the file shall be forwarded to the TCU Norfolk for determination.
9. Section 756.8 is revised to read as follows:End Amendment Part
Claims resulting from non-appropriated fund activities may be denied only by the TCU Norfolk. The denial will begin the six-month limitation on filing suit against the United States for claims filed under the FTCA. Denial of a claim shall be in writing and in accordance with subparts A and B of part 750 of this chapter, as appropriate. The TCU Norfolk should not deny claims that have initially been processed and negotiated by a non-appropriated fund activity, its insurer, or TPA, until the activity or its insurer has clearly stated in writing that it does not intend to pay the claim and has elected to defend the claim in court.
10. Section 756.9 is revised to read as follows:End Amendment Part
(a) Property. Claims by employees of NAFIs for loss, damage, or destruction of personal property incident to their employment shall be processed and adjudicated in accordance with subparts A or B of part 751 of this chapter, as appropriate. The claims will then be forwarded to the appropriate NAFI for payment from non-appropriated funds.
(b) Personal injury or death. (1) Personal injury or death of citizens or permanent residents of the United States employed anywhere, or foreign nationals employed within the United States. Compensation is provided by the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (33 U.S.C. 901-950) for employees of NAFIs who have suffered injury or death arising out of, and in the course of, their employment (5 U.S.C. 8171). That Act is the exclusive basis for Government liability for such injuries or deaths that are covered (5 U.S.C. 8173). A claim should first be made under that Act if there is a substantial possibility the injury or death is covered under the Act's provisions.
(2) Personal injury or death of foreign nationals employed outside of the continental United States. Employees who are not citizens or permanent residents, and who are employed outside the continental United States, may be protected by private insurance of the NAFI or by other arrangements. When a non-appropriated fund activity has elected not to obtain insurance coverage or to make other arrangements, compensation is separately provided by Federal statute, military regulations, and agreements with foreign countries. See 5 U.S.C. 8172, DoD 1401.1-M, Personnel Policy Manual for Non-appropriated Fund Instrumentalities and BUPERINST 5300.10A, NAF Personnel Manual.
Dated: September 10, 2007.
Lieutenant, Judge Advocate General's Corps, U.S. Navy, Federal Register Liaison Officer.
1. DoD Directive 5515.6 establishes policy governing the administrative processing of claims arising out of the operation of non-appropriated fund activities.Back to Citation
[FR Doc. E7-18205 Filed 9-18-07; 8:45 am]
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