Announced Action for December 16, 2003

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Commission approval Federal Register notices: The Commission, in conjunction with the Federal Reserve Board, has approved the publication of two Federal Register notices issuing Interim Rules and a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to set effective dates for provisions of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003 (FACTA) that do not contain effective dates. FACTA, which was signed into law by the President on December 4, 2003, makes sweeping changes and additions to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). The primary features of FACTA include making the existing preemption provisions permanent and adding several provisions to combat identity theft, and to enhance accuracy and consumer access to credit information. FACTA requires the Commission, among other things, to engage in a number of rulemakings and other proceedings, with the Federal Reserve Board and other bank regulators.

The Federal Register notices, which are available on the FTC’s Web site as a link to this press release, will be issued shortly. The notices announce two related actions the Commission and the Federal Reserve Board are taking to comply with FACTA’s requirement to establish effective dates for provisions in FACTA that do not contain effective dates.

First, the Interim Final Rules establish December 31, 2003, as the effective date for provisions of the Act that determine the relationship between the FCRA and state laws and provisions that authorize rulemaking authority for the agencies. Second, the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking proposes an effective date of March 31, 2004, for provisions that do not require changes to business procedures. For all other provisions, the proposed effective date would be December 1, 2004.

The FTC and Federal Reserve Board are accepting public comments on the notices until January 12, 2004. Information regarding how to file comments, including agency staff contacts, is provided in the Federal Register notices. The Commission vote to approve publication of the Federal Register notices was 5-0. (FTC File No. P044804; staff contact is Christopher W. Keller, Bureau of Consumer Protection, 202-326-3224.)

Copies of the documents mentioned in this release are available from the FTC’s Web site at and also from the FTC’s Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20580. Call toll-free: 1-877-FTC-HELP.

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