Statement of Commissioner Vekich on Reform of FMC’s Internal Enforcement Procedures
Commissioner Max Vekich today issued the following statement:
“On Monday, April 17, 2023, the Federal Maritime Commission issued a direct final rule revising its internal enforcement procedures by delegating authority to the Bureau of Enforcement, Investigations and Compliance (BEIC) to issue Notice(s) of Violations and to compromise civil penalty claims subject to approval by the Commission.
“I support this change. Delegation of authority to the Bureau of Enforcement, Investigations, and Compliance, coupled with Commission review of compromise agreements, will provide enhanced efficiency and flexibility during the enforcement process while maintaining both Commission oversight and fairness.
“This reform of our internal enforcement process is another demonstration that the Commission is taking its increased enforcement responsibilities seriously. When parties seek to resolve alleged violations in a timely manner to reduce costs and potential exposure, there should be a process which allows them to do so.”
The modified procedure announced in the Direct Final Rule provides both parties and BEIC alternatives to resolve alleged violations. The Commission retains authority to review any compromise agreement prior to it becoming effective to ensure that it aligns with the requirements for compromise agreements. The process also affords parties the opportunity to respond to allegations prior to the initiation of a formal investigation and hearing, and such response will be considered by the Commission prior to issuance of an order of investigation.
Max Vekich is a Commissioner with the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission. The thoughts and comments expressed here are his own and do not necessarily represent the position of the Commission.