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§ 944. Special fund

(a) Establishment; administration; custody, trust. There is hereby established in the Treasury of the United States a special fund. Such fund shall be administered by the Secretary. The Treasurer of the United States shall be the custodian of such fund, and all moneys and securities in such fund shall be held in trust by such Treasurer and shall not be money or property of the United States.

(b) Disbursements; bond of custodian. The Treasurer is authorized to disburse moneys from such fund only upon order of the Secretary. He shall be required to give bond in an amount to be fixed and with securities to be approved by the Secretary of the Treasury and the Comptroller General of the United States conditioned upon the faithful performance of his duty as custodian of such fund.

(c) Payments into fund. Payments into such fund shall be made as follows:

(1) Whenever the Secretary determines that there is no person entitled under this Act to compensation for the death of an employee which would otherwise be compensable under this Act, the appropriate employer shall pay $ 5,000 as compensation for the death of such an employee.

(2) At the beginning of each calendar year the Secretary shall estimate the probable expenses of the fund during that calendar year and the amount of payments required (and the schedule therefor) to maintain adequate reserves in the fund. Each carrier and self-insurer shall make payments into the fund on a prorated assessment by the Secretary determined by -

(A) computing the ratio (expressed as a percent) of (i) the carrier's or self-insured's workers' compensation payments under this Act during the preceding calendar year, to (ii) the total of such payments by all carriers and self-insureds under this Act during such year;

(B) computing the ratio (expressed as a percent) of (i) the payments under section 8(f) of this Act [33 USC § 908(f)] during the preceding calendar year which are attributable to the carrier or self-insured, to (ii) the total of such payments during such year attributable to all carriers and self-insureds;

(C) dividing the sum of the percentages computed under subparagraphs (A) and (B) for the carrier or self-insured by two; and

(D) multiplying the percent computed under subparagraph (C) by such probable expenses of the fund (as determined under the first sentence of this paragraph).

(3) All amounts collected as finds and penalties under the provisions of this Act shall be paid into such fund.

(d) Investigations; records, availability; recordkeeping; provisions of sections 49 and 50 of title 15 applicable to Secretary.

(1) For the purpose of making rules, regulations, and determinations under this section under and for providing enforcement thereof, the Secretary may investigate and gather appropriate data from each carrier and self-insurer. For that purpose, the Secretary may enter and inspect such places and records (and make such transcriptions thereof), question such employees, and investigate such facts, conditions, practices, or matters as he may deem necessary or appropriate.

(2) Each carrier and self-insurer shall make, keep, and preserve such records, and make such reports and provide such additional information, as prescribed by regulation or order of the Secretary, as the Secretary deems necessary or appropriate to carry out his responsibilities under this section.

(3) For the purpose of any hearing or investigation related to determinations or the enforcement of the provisions of this section, the provisions of sections 9 and 10 (relating to the attendance of witnesses and the production of books, papers, and documents) of the Federal Trade Commission Act of September 16, 1914, as amended (U.S.C., title 15, secs. 49 and 50) [15 USC § 49, 50], are hereby made applicable to the jurisdiction, powers, and duties of the Secretary of Labor.

(e) Depositories; investments. The Treasurer of the United States shall deposit any moneys paid into such fund into such depository banks as the Secretary may designate and may invest any portion of the funds which, in the opinion of the Secretary, is not needed for current requirements, in bonds or notes of the United States or of any Federal land bank.

(f) Limitation of liability. Neither the United States nor the Secretary shall be liable in respect of payments authorized under section 8 [33 USC § 908] in an amount greater than the money or property deposited in or belonging to such fund.

(g) Audit by Comptroller General; finality of payment determinations; credits of disbursing officers. The Comptroller General of the United States shall audit the account for such fund, but the action of the Secretary in making payments from such fund shall be final and not subject to review, and the Comptroller General is authorized and directed to allow credit in the accounts of any disbursing officer of the Secretary for payments made from such fund authorized by the Secretary.

(h) Civil actions for civil penalties. All civil penalties and unpaid assessments provided for in this Act shall be collected by civil suit brought by the Secretary.

(i) Proceeds available for certain payments. The proceeds of this fund shall be available for payments:

(1) Pursuant to section 10 [33 USC § 910] with respect to certain initial and subsequent annual adjustments in compensation for total permanent disability or death.

(2) Under section 8(f) and (g), under section 18(b), and under section 39(c) [33 USC § 908(f) and (g), 918(b), and 939(c)].

(3) To repay the sums deposited in the fund pursuant to subsection (d).

(4) To defray the expense of making examinations as provided in section 7(e) [33 USC § 907(e)].

(j) Audit to be included in report. The fund shall be audited annually and the results of such audit shall be included in the annual report required by section 42 [33 USC § 942].

(k) [Redesignated]

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