United States General Accounting Office Office of the General Counsel Washington, DC 20548 B-283173 July 13, 1999 The Honorable John McCain Chairman The Honorable Ernest F. Hollings Ranking Minority Member Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation 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: 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 GAO/OGC-99-54 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 Enclosure cc: Terry Johnson Management Analyst AMD-Performance Management and Records Management Federal Communications Commission Page 2 GAO/OGC-99-54 ENCLOSURE ANALYSIS UNDER 5 U.S.C. § 801(a)(1)(B)(i)-(iv) OF A MAJOR RULE ISSUED BY THE FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION ENTITLED "ASSESSMENT AND COLLECTION OF 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 analysis. 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 entities. GAO/OGC-99-54 (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 parties. 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- 0589). 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 303(r). 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. Page 2 GAO/OGC-99-54
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)