Federal Communications Commission: Assessment and Collection of Regulatory Fees for Fiscal Year 1999

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1999-07-13.

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

United States General Accounting Office                                Office of the General Counsel
Washington, DC 20548


          July 13, 1999

          The Honorable John McCain
          The Honorable Ernest F. Hollings
          Ranking Minority Member
          Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation
          United States Senate

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

          Subject: Federal Communications Commission: Assessment and Collection of
                   Regulatory Fees for Fiscal Year 1999

          Pursuant to section 801(a)(2)(A) of title 5, United States Code, this is our report on a
          major rule promulgated by Federal Communications Commission (FCC), entitled
          “Assessment and Collection of Regulatory Fees for Fiscal Year 1999” (MD Docket
          No. 98-200; FCC 99-146). We received the rule on July 8, 1999. It was published in
          the Federal Register as a final rule on July 1, 1999. 64 Fed. Reg. 35832.

          The rule revises the regulatory fee schedule to bring it into compliance with the
          amount of such fees Congress has required the FCC to collect for fiscal year 1999.
          For FY 1999, the amount to be recovered is $172,523,000 or almost 6 percent more
          than was required for FY 98. The purpose of the fees is to recover the costs of
          regulation in the areas of enforcement, policy and rulemaking, international and user
          information activities.

          Enclosed is our assessment of the FCC’s compliance with the procedural steps
          required by section 801(a)(1)(B)(i) through (iv) of title 5 with respect to the rule.
          Our review indicates that the FCC complied with the applicable requirements.

          If you have any questions about this report, please contact James W. Vickers,
          Assistant General Counsel, at (202) 512-8210. The official responsible for GAO

evaluation work relating to the subject matter of the rule is Judy England-Joseph,
Director, Housing and Community Development Issues. Ms. England-Joseph can be
reached at (202) 512-7631.

Sincerely yours,

Robert P. Murphy
General Counsel


cc: Terry Johnson
    Management Analyst
    AMD-Performance Management and
     Records Management
    Federal Communications Commission

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        ANALYSIS UNDER 5 U.S.C. § 801(a)(1)(B)(i)-(iv) OF A MAJOR RULE
                              ISSUED BY THE
                 REGULATORY FEES FOR FISCAL YEAR 1999"
                     (MD Docket No. 98-200; FCC 99-146)

(i) Cost-benefit analysis

The FCC’s submission to us stated that it was not required to prepare and did not
prepare a cost-benefit analysis of the rule.

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

Section 603:

The initial regulatory flexibility analysis (IRFA) was incorporated in the notice of
proposed rulemaking, 64 Fed. Reg. 16661, April 6, 1999. The FCC sought comments
on the proposed rulemaking, including comments on the initial regulatory flexibility

The IRFA provides the information required by paragraphs 603(b)(1), (b)(2), (b)(3),
and (b)(4). It describes the reasons for the proposed agency action; its objectives;
the legal basis; an estimate of the classes of small entities subject to the rule; and the
reporting, recordkeeping, and other compliance requirements of the proposed rule.
In accordance with 603(b)(5), the FCC notes that there are no federal rules that may
duplicate, overlap, or conflict with the proposed rules.

Section 604:

Attachment A to the final rule is the full text of the FCC's final regulatory flexibility
analysis. 64 Fed. Reg. 35843. The FCC satisfies the requirements of § 604(a). It
describes the need for and objective of the final rule. It notes that no significant
issues were raised by public comments in response to the IRFA.

Finally, the FCC describes the steps taken to minimize the economic impact on small

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

As an independent regulatory agency, the FCC 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 FCC promulgated this rule under the notice and comment procedures of
5 U.S.C. § 553. A notice of proposed rulemaking was published on April 6, 1999,
64 Fed. Reg. 16661. The FCC received comments in response to the notice and
indicates that it gave full consideration to the comments filed by the interested

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

The FCC requires the submission of FCC Form 159 with the payment of the annual
fee. The FCC had previously received OMB clearance for the form (OMB #3060-

Statutory authorization for the rule

The authority for this final rule is contained in sections 4(i) and (j), 9, and 303(r) of
the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. §§ 154(i) and (j), 9, and

Executive Order No. 12866

As the rule is promulgated by an independent regulatory agency, it is not subject to
the review requirements of E.O. 12866.

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