Inflation Adjustment Act

Recommendation 2012-8 – Inflation Adjustment Act addresses agency adjustments to civil monetary penalties under the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act (28 U.S.C. 2461 note). The recommendation urges Congress to change the current statutory framework by which agencies periodically adjust their penalties to address three provisions that result in penalty adjustments that may not track the actual rate of inflation. It also advises agencies to adjust their penalties for inflation as required by law.

Citation: Admin. Conf. of the U.S., Recommendation 2012-8, Inflation Adjustment Act78 Fed. Reg. 2943 (Jan. 15, 2013).


Implementation Contact

Final Recommendation

Civil monetary penalties are used by the Congress and federal agencies to enforce and promote compliance with federal laws and regulations by deterring violations. These laws and regulations serve vital public purposes such as ensuring workplace or transportation safety, preserving the environment, and protecting consumers from dangerous products. As the then Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget testified to...


Section 701 of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 implemented this Recommendation by allowing substantial increases in existing penalties to close the Act’s “inflation gap,” eliminating the “Consumer Price Index Lag” created by the Inflation Adjustment Act’s requirement that agencies use out-of-date inflation data, and eliminating the Act’s complex and counterintuitive rounding rules. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that Section 701 would increase government revenue by more than $1.3 billion over ten years.