oversight

Nuclear Regulatory Commission: Revision of Fee Schedules and 100% Fee Recovery, FY 1997

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1997-06-05.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

      United States
GAO   General Accounting Office
      Washington, D.C. 20548

      Office of the General Counsel


      B-277100



      June 5, 1997

      The Honorable John H. Chafee
      Chairman
      The Honorable Max Baucus
      Ranking Minority Member
      Committee on Environment and Public Works
      United States Senate

      The Honorable Thomas J. Bliley, Jr.
      Chairman
      The Honorable John D. Dingell
      Ranking Minority Member
      Committee on Commerce
      House of Representatives

      Subject:   Nuclear Regulatory Commission: Revision of Fee Schedules; 100% Fee
                 Recovery, FY 1997

      Pursuant to section 801(a)(2)(A) of title 5, United States Code, this is our report on
      a major rule promulgated by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (Commission),
      entitled "Revision of Fee Schedules; 100% Fee Recovery, FY 1997" (RIN: 3150-AF55).
      We received the rule on May 23, 1997. It was published in the Federal Register as a
      final rule on May 29, 1997. 62 Fed. Reg. 29194.

      The final rule implements for fiscal year 1997 section 6101 of the Omnibus Budget
      Reconciliation Act of 1990, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 2214. It requires the
      Commission to recover from its applicants and licensees approximately 100 percent
      of its budget authority, less amounts appropriated from the Nuclear Waste Fund.
      For FY 1997, the Commission must collect approximately $462 million through these
      fees. Two types of fees are assessed: (1) applicants and licensees are charged for
      specific services, such as inspections and licensing reviews, that are provided by the
      Commission; and (2) the Commission assesses an annual fee to its licensees to
      recover generic costs that cannot be attributed to specific licensees.

      Enclosed is our assessment of the Commission's compliance with the procedural
      steps required by section 801(a)(1)(B)(i) through (iv) of title 5 with respect to the


                                                                           GAO/OGC-97-48
rule. Our review indicates that the Commission complied with the applicable
requirements.

If you have any questions about this report, please contact James Vickers, Assistant
General Counsel, at (202) 512-8210. The official responsible for GAO evaluation
work relating to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission is Victor Rezendes, Director
for Energy, Resources, and Science Issues. Mr. Rezendes can be reached at (202)
512-3841.




Robert P. Murphy
General Counsel

Enclosure

cc: The Honorable Shirley Ann Jackson
    Chairman
    Nuclear Regulatory Commission




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                                                                         ENCLOSURE

       ANALYSIS UNDER 5 U.S.C. § 801(a)(1)(B)(i)-(iv) OF A MAJOR RULE
                                ISSUED BY
                 THE NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION
                                ENTITLED
        "REVISION OF FEE SCHEDULES; 100% FEE RECOVERY, FY 1997"
                             (RIN: 3150-AF55)

(i) Cost-benefit analysis

The Commission was not required to, nor did it prepare, a cost-benefit analysis of
the final rule. However, the preamble to the final rule contains an explanation of
how the amount of the fees were computed to permit the Commission to recover
the necessary costs required by the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act.

(ii) Agency actions relevant to the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 603-605,
607 and 609

Because it had determined that the final rule would have a significant impact on a
substantial number of small entities, the Commission prepared an Initial Regulatory
Flexibility Analysis in connection with the proposed rule. It was printed in its
entirety in the preamble at 62 Fed. Reg. 8903.

The entire Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (FRFA) is contained in Appendix A
of the final rule. The analysis describes the reason for the final rule and the legal
basis for it; descriptions and estimates of the number of small entities affected by
the rule; a discussion of the recordkeeping, reporting, and other compliance
requirements; and the steps taken to minimize the burden on small entities.

The Commission states that the majority of the small entities are material licensees,
approximately 1,400 licensees, or 20 to 25 percent of the total material licensees.
To minimize the impact of the final rule on small entities, the Commission is
continuing its practice of imposing a maximum annual fee to which small entities
are subject.

In addition, in accordance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act, the Commission has
prepared a small-entity compliance guide which is published in its entirety as an
attachment to the FRFA.




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(iii) Agency actions relevant to sections 202-205 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform
Act of 1995, 2 U.S.C. §§ 1532-1535

The rule, promulgated by an independent regulatory agency, is not subject to title II
of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995.

(iv) Other relevant information or requirements under acts and executive orders

Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq.

The final rule was promulgated using the notice and comment procedures of
5 U.S.C. § 553. A notice of proposed rulemaking was published in the Federal
Register on February 27, 1997 (62 Fed. Reg. 8885). Nine comments were received
in response to the proposed rulemaking and the Commission responds to the
comments in the preamble to the final rule.

Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. §§ 3501-3520

The Commission states that the final rule contains no information collections
subject to review under the Paperwork Reduction Act.

Statutory authorization for the rule

The final rule was promulgated under the authority of section 6101 of the Omnibus
Budget and Reconciliation Act of 1990, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 2214.

Executive Order No. 12866

The rule, promulgated by an independent regulatory agency, is not subject to the
review requirements of Executive Order No. 12866.




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