FAA Compliance/Enforcement Bulletin # 98-1

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The complete text of the bulletin, courtesy of AVweb.

NewsWire2/10/98 2150.3A CHG 25

Appendix 1

COMPLIANCE/ENFORCEMENT BULLETIN NO. 98-1
SUBJECT: Streamlined process for administrative action

1. DISCUSSION. In August 1996, the Administrator directed that a 90-day aviation safety review be conducted within the FAA. A number of initiatives resulted from the 90-day review including a recommendation that the FAA develop a strategic enforcement plan that will utilize inspector and attorney resources in a manner that is most likely to achieve the greatest improvements in safety, and efficiency of the enforcement program. FAA inspectors and special agents have expressed concern that the current process for administrative action is burdensome and should be streamlined. Based on these concerns, it was determined that a necessary element of this plan is simplification of the process, where appropriate, for taking administrative action.

a. This bulletin provides guidance for an expeditious means of taking administrative action through issuance of an administrative action form. Several program offices expressed interest in developing a process to enable inspectors and special agents to issue "on-the-spot" administrative actions to promote field activity and visibility, and facilitate the reporting of apparent violations. In 1996, a Flight Standards District Office successfully tested such a process.
b. This bulletin will enable inspectors and special agents to take administrative action more expeditiously in appropriate cases, oftentimes immediately after an alleged violation is discovered. This process will reduce for those cases the time and paperwork involved in taking administrative action. Additionally, it is consistent with a recommendation of the Vice President's National Performance Review that the FAA streamline its enforcement program by developing pilot programs designed to offer more flexibility in the enforcement process. This bulletin supplements but does not replace the current guidance for administrative action that is found in chapter 11 of this order.

2. GUIDANCE.

a. Effective immediately inspectors and special agents may use the process outlined in this bulletin to address alleged violations that do not warrant legal enforcement action.
b. FAA Form 2150-7, Administrative Enforcement Action, provides another means of processing routine administrative enforcement actions. Figure 98-1, Sample FAA Form 2150-7, Administrative Enforcement Action, contains a sample of the form. It does not replace Figure 11-6, Form Letter of Correction Airport Certification, or the more formal process of using letters to take administrative action, as described in chapter 11 of this order.
c. FAA Form 2150-7 may be used when the alleged violation does not require extensive investigation. For example, when an inspector or special agent personally observes an alleged violation or when evidence of an alleged violation is readily available, FAA Form 2150-7 may be used to take administrative action. The form is usually issued in person to the alleged violator or designated representative at the time the alleged violation is discovered. If the alleged violator is a corporation, airport, or other entity, then an inspector or special agent must ensure that a copy of the completed form is provided to the person within the corporation, airport, or other entity to whom a warning notice or letter of correction would be addressed under the procedures in chapter 11 of this order. If administrative action is determined to be appropriate under paragraph 205 of this order and inspectors or special agents determine that the alleged violation requires more than minimal investigation, then the procedures in chapter 11 should be used. Inspectors and special agents should use the procedures in chapter 11 when they determine that a letter of investigation should be sent to the alleged violator.
d. Before using FAA Form 2150-7 and the guidance in this bulletin, inspectors and special agents must determine that administrative action is appropriate under paragraph 205 of this order. For example, under paragraph 205 of this order, an element for taking administrative action is that an alleged violator has a constructive attitude toward complying with the regulations. Prior to issuing FAA Form 2150-7, inspectors and special agents must assess the compliance attitude of the alleged violator to determine whether this element is satisfied. If inspectors and special agents determine that the alleged violator lacks a constructive attitude, or that issuance of FAA Form 2150-7 will not achieve the desired effect or serve as an adequate deterrent, inspectors and special agents should further investigate, if necessary, and consider other, more appropriate action that should be taken.
e. When issuing FAA Form 2150-7 in person, inspectors and special agents should request that an alleged violator or designated representative sign the completed form. If an alleged violator or designated representative does not sign or accept the form, this should be recorded on the front of the form.
f. Following issuance of FAA Form 2150-7, inspectors and special agents should ensure that the administrative action is entered into the Enforcement Information System (EIS). An Enforcement Investigative Report (EIR) number must be entered on FAA Form 2150-7.  Inspectors and special agents shall query the EIS to determine whether previous enforcement action has been taken against the alleged violator. If a review of EIS subsequent to the issuance of FAA Form 2150-7 to an alleged violator reveals that enforcement action has been taken against the alleged violator for previous similar violations or alleged violations, then inspectors and special agents should determine whether the administrative action should be withdrawn and legal enforcement action initiated.
g. A letter of investigation will not be issued when use of the form is appropriate. It is anticipated when FAA Form 2150-7 is used, solicitation of additional correspondence from the alleged violator in response to the administrative action will not be necessary. In accordance with the guidance in chapter 2 of this order there must be evidence to substantiate the violation.  Such evidence, however, does not have to be gathered. Unless unusual circumstances are present, the EIR for these cases will consist only of a completed FAA Form 2150-7.
h. When corrective action is not completed at the time FAA Form 2150-7 is issued for an alleged violation, inspectors and special agents shall ensure that a timely follow-up inspection is conducted. If inspectors or special agents discover that the alleged violator failed to complete the corrective action in a manner acceptable to the FAA, then they should determine whether legal enforcement action against the alleged violator is appropriate for the alleged violation.
i. In the event an administrative action is withdrawn and no action is determined to be appropriate, the alleged violator should be notified of such in writing. Appropriate field office and regional office entries will be made in the EIS to close the case.
j. The guidance in paragraphs 2e. and 2f. of this bulletin supersede the guidance inparagraph 901a of this order when FAA Form 2150-7 is used to take administrative action.