(a) Definitions

In this section–

Terms Used In 15 USC 6617

  • Defendant: In a civil suit, the person complained against; in a criminal case, the person accused of the crime.

(1) the term “agency” means any executive agency, as defined in section 105 of title 5, that has the authority to impose civil penalties on small business concerns;

(2) the term “first-time violation” means a violation by a small business concern of a federally enforceable rule or regulation (other than a Federal rule or regulation that relates to the safety and soundness of the banking or monetary system or for the integrity of the National Securities markets, including protection of depositors and investors) caused by a Y2K failure if that Federal rule or regulation had not been violated by that small business concern within the preceding 3 years; and

(3) the term “small business concern” has the same meaning as a defendant described in section 6604(b)(2)(B) of this title.

(b) Establishment of liaisons

Not later than 30 days after July 20, 1999, each agency shall–

(1) establish a point of contact within the agency to act as a liaison between the agency and small business concerns with respect to problems arising out of Y2K failures and compliance with Federal rules or regulations; and

(2) publish the name and phone number of the point of contact for the agency in the Federal Register.

(c) General rule

Subject to subsections (d) and (e), no agency shall impose any civil money penalty on a small business concern for a first-time violation.

(d) Standards for waiver

An agency shall provide a waiver of civil money penalties for a first-time violation, provided that a small business concern demonstrates, and the agency determines, that–

(1) the small business concern previously made a reasonable good faith effort to anticipate, prevent, and effectively remediate a potential Y2K failure;

(2) a first-time violation occurred as a result of the Y2K failure of the small business concern or other entity, which significantly affected the small business concern’s ability to comply with a Federal rule or regulation;

(3) the first-time violation was unavoidable in the face of a Y2K failure or occurred as a result of efforts to prevent the disruption of critical functions or services that could result in harm to life or property;

(4) upon identification of a first-time violation, the small business concern initiated reasonable and prompt measures to correct the violation; and

(5) the small business concern submitted notice to the appropriate agency of the first-time violation within a reasonable time not to exceed 5 business days from the time that the small business concern became aware that the first-time violation had occurred.

(e) Exceptions

An agency may impose civil money penalties authorized under Federal law on a small business concern for a first-time violation if–

(1) the small business concern’s failure to comply with Federal rules or regulations resulted in actual harm, or constitutes or creates an imminent threat to public health, safety, or the environment; or

(2) the small business concern fails to correct the violation not later than 1 month after initial notification to the agency.

(f) Expiration

This section shall not apply to first-time violations caused by a Y2K failure occurring after December 31, 2000.