oversight

Billion Dollar Congress

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1977-03-24.

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

                         DOCUMENT RESUME
00434 - [A1051794]

[Billion Dollar Congress]. PAD-77-38; B-39772. March 24, 1977. 4
pp. + 4 enclosures (15 pp.).
Report to Sen. Walter D. Huddleston, Chairman, Senate Committee
on Appropriations: Legislative Subccamittee; by Elmer B. Staats,
Comptrcller General.
Issue Area: Facilities and Material Management (700).
Contact: Program Analysis Div.
Budge' Function: General Govr&nment: Other General Government
     (806) .
Organization Concerned: Government Printing Office; Library of
    Congress.
Congressional Relevan'e: Senate Committee on Appropriations:
    Legislative Subccomittee.
Authority: P.L. 94-553. 44 U.S.C. 1509. 44 U.S.C. 309(.:-c   44
    U.S.C. 1,i8. 2 U.S.C. 150. 17 U.S.C. 708(c). 17 U
    410(b).

          The activities of the Library of Congress and the
Government Printing Office, which are of a public service and
general governmental function unrelated to the Congress as an
inst&''-i  n, are included in Congress' budget, which is
misreadiLg to tne public. Findings/Conclusions: The GPO prints
and binds the Federal Register and the Code of Federal
Regulations at the fiscal year 1978 cost of $17 million, as well
as sells Government publications to the general public, ior
which receipts do not offset the encire cost. The Library of
Congress distributes bibliographic data to other libraries and
the general public, at an unreimbursed cost of scue $3 million
for fiscal year 1978, and records copyright and supplies
copyright information to the public ($6 million). If financing
of all four of these public service activities were changed to
shift the costs to the executive programs and receipts were
offset against costs now being absorbed by Congress, Congress'
1978 budget would be reduced by $55.7 Million. Even so, some
$300 million public servize or general Government costs would
still be financed by Ccngress. (DJB)
                               ;#,MPTROLLER    GENERAL OF TIt      UNITED STATES
     (~                                       WA,,gHNlitON. D.C. 208




O:        BB-397724                                                                        19
                                                ~0   ~et atve     vtRle.bL'e to ;publ.1c   mT'idtn

          The Honoirable Walter D. Huddleston
          Chairman, Subcommittee on Legislative
          Committee on Appropriations
          Uniteo States Senate
          Dear Mr. Chairman:
               In our February 11, 1977, testimony before your Subcommittee, we
          suggested that recent media reports on the "5ilion dollar Congress"
          were misleading in that they did not distinguish the Congress--and the
          cost of operating it--from other activiIties in the legislative branch
          which perform public service and general governmental functions not
          related to the Congress as an institution. Our February 25, 1977
          letter to you suggested that, of the $1.05 billion legislative branch
          appropriation for FY 1978, some $300 millirn involved public service
          and general governmental functions of this nature.
               As you requested, we have considered the impact of certain public
          service or general governmental activities on the legislative branch
          appropriation. In so doing we considered alternative financing arrange-
          ments that might better relate costs to the programs that they benefit.
          The activities that we considered in this way are:
               --Government Printing Office Activities
                 o   Printing and binding of the Federal Register and the Code of
                     Federal Regulations.
                 o   Sale of Government documents to the public.
               --Library of Congress Activities
                 o Distrib,:tion of bibliographic cataloging data to other libraries
                   and the general public.
                 o Recording copyrights and supplying copyright information to
                     the public.
               The following briefly describes each of these activities and highlights
          various alternative financing arrangements. For each, a separate enclosure
          includes a more complete discussion. The specific financing arrangements

                                                                                       PAD-77-38
B-39772


discussed in the 2nclosuires would require amendment of existing le islation.
In each case, if the amendments were contained in an appropriation bill,
they would become effective upon enactment, but they would, of course, be
subject to a point of order.
GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE ACTJVITIES

     --Printing ,nd Binding of the Federal Register and the Code of
       Federal Regulations. Executive departments and agencies are
       required to publish their proposed regulations, notices of meet-
       ings, and other announcements in the Federal Register. When
       Federal regulations become effective, they are Dublished in the
       Code of Federal Regulations. Executive departments and agenrcies
       do not have to pay for the associated printing and binding
       services out of their program funds. All prir 'ng and binding
       costs--involving some $16.9 million for FY 1978--are financed by
       the legislative branch appropriation. Federal agencies could be
       required to pay the costs of the service out of their program
       funds through a variety of financing arrangements. Enclosure I
       discusses various alternatives, including use of a revolving
       fund, together with legislative language that would be needed
       to implement them.
     --Sale of Government Documents to the Public. The Government
       Printing Office prints and sells a wide variety of Government
       documents to the public through mail orders and Government book-
       stores throughout the United States. Some, but not all, of the
       receipts from these sales are offset against GPO's costs. The
       remainder are deposited as miscellaneous receipts of the Treasury.
       As a consequence, the legislative branch appropriation bears a
       significant part of the cost of this public service--i.e., $21.2
       million in FY 1976 and $25.0 million estimated for FY 1977 and
       $25.7 million for FY 1978.
          The legislative branch appropriation could be relieved of the
          cost of this "noncongressional" function if all revenues were
          offset against program costs. Enclosure II describes this more
          fully and includes the legislative language that could be
          needed to implement such a change.
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS ACTIVITIES
     --Distribution of Bibliographic Cataloginq Data to Other Libraries
       and the General Public. The Library of Congress sells copies of
       its printed cataloq cards, cataloging data in machine readable
       form, book catalogs and technical publications to other libraries
       and to the general public. The legislative branch appropriation

                                      -2-
B-39772


          request includes $10.2 million to finance this function 'n FY 1978.
          While purchasers of cataloging services will pay $7.9 million in
          that year, the funds received will not be used to offset the cost
          of providing them. Instead, those amounts will go to the
          Treasury as miscellaneous receipts. O+her financing arrangements
          are possible that could permit the receipts to be offset against
          the costs of the operation in the legislative branch appropriation.
          These are discussed in Fnclosure III.
     --Recording Copyright and Supplying Copyright Information to the
       Public. In FY 1978 the legislative branch appropriation will
        fir~Fctly finance the total $11 million cost of administering
       Federal copyright laws. Some $5.2 million in fees will be collected
       but they will be deposited in the miscellaneous receipts of the
       Tredsury and will not serve to offset legislati', branch appropria-
       tion costs. Alternative financing arrangements--discussed in
       Enclosure IV--ccu'd be established that would cause the receipts to
       be offset and thereby reduce the legislative branch appropriation.
     It is apparent from the foregoing that legislative branch agencies,
and legislative branch appropriations, finance? functions thal could be
financed by the recipients of the services. [t., of course, is not
uncommon for one agency of Government to provide services to another.
In such cases we would advocate that the appropriation of the receiving
agency should bear the cost of the service. 'rhe underlying principle is
that an agency's appropriation should bear the full cost of carrying out
its programs, including any costs incurred by a second agency in support
of those programs.
      It is clear that the above activities do not contribute to the
Congress as an institution. Rather, they are services provided to other
agencies of Government or to the public at large. As we have pointed
out, alternative financing arrangements could be devised to better relate
the cost of the activity to the program or function that benefits from
it.
      If the financing of all four of these activities were changed to
shift the costs to the executive programs and receipts were offset against
the costs now being absorbed by the legislative branch agencies, the
fiscal year 1978 legislative branch appropriation would be reduced by
$55.7 million. It would change from a total of $1,051.4 million to
$995.7 million. The amount of change and the actions that would
accomplish it are:

                     /



                                        -3-
B-39772


     Change in Financing                                           Millions
     - Charging executive agencies for publishing
          their regulations and notices in the Federal
          Register and the Code of Federal Regulations             $16.9
     - Offsetting all receipts from the sales of
          Government documents against costs incurred
          by the Government Printing Office.                        25.7
     - Offsetting the receipts from the Library of
       Congress cataloging services against their
       costs.                                                        7.9
     - Offsetting fees collected by the Copyright
          Office against its operating costs.                        5.2
               Total                                               $55.7
     While these changes would reduce the legislative branch appropriation
by $55.7 million, $38.8 million would be recovered by offsetting amounts
presently being received for services against the cost of providing them.
These amounts are now being deposited as miscellaneous receipts of the
Treasury. The remaining $16.9 million would be recovered by additional
charges for services that are provided. To the extent that executive
agency appropriations are not increased to cover these additional charges,
the Federal budget, as a whole, will be reduced.
     Apart from any action that might be taken with respect to the four
activities discussed above, the legislative branch appropriation will
continue to significantly finance activities that do not directly support
the operations of the Congress. Even if all of these actions were taken,
legislative branch appropriations would continue to finance about three
hundred million dollars of costs which are either public service or of a
general governmental nature.
     We share your interest in improving the structure of legislative
branch financing and in correcting misinformation concerning the true
nature of the legislative branch appropriation. We would be pleased to
provide additional information or otherwise assist you to accomplish
these objectives.

                                            Sincerely yours,

                                    (i'__.t~) t)
                                              ~L~'sR B..s.i~1'6
                                            Comptroller General
                                            of the United States
Enclosures - 4
                                      ,4-
bc:   Mr. Staats (CG)
      Mr. Keller (DCG)
      Mr. Dembling (OGC)
      Mr. Pin (MS)
      Mr. Havens (PAD)
      Mr. Hunter (PAD)
      Mr. Jenney (PAD)
      OCR
      Index & Files
RJenney:sc: 3/17/77




                           -5-
                                                                ENCLOSURE'I



                        ALTERNATIVE ARRANGEMENTS FOR
                       FINANCING THE FEDERAL REGISTER
                     AND THE CODE CF FEDERAL REGULATIONS

Descr ption of the Activity and
Present Financing Arrangements

     Executive departments and agencies are required to publish their
proposed regulations, notices of meetings, and other announcements in
the Federal Register.   They supply material to the Office of Federal
Register, National Archives and Records Service.   This office is a part
of the General Services Administration (GSA).   It compiles the informa-
tiun provided by Federa' agencies and arranges it in proper format for
publication in the Federal Register.   When the regulations becomes effec-
tive they are published ir,the Code of Federal Regulations.
     The Governimient Printirg Office (GPO) prints, wraps, binds and
distributes the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations
throughout the Federal Government and to public subscribers.     These costs
are borne by legislative branch Appropriations provided to GPO for print-
ing and binding.
     Funds requested for FY 1978 as a part of the legislative Uranch
appropriation for GPO's printing and binding activities total $104.7
million.   Costs related to GPO's Federal Register and Code of Federal
Regulations responsibilities involve $16.9 million of that amount.
     Sales of the Feaeral Register and the Code of Federal Regulations
to the public are made by the Superintendent of Documents.     Those sales
are accounted for along with GPO sales of the Congressional Records,
Presidential Documents, and other special publications in a special
sales account within tthe GP3 Revolving Fund.   The "surplus" from these
sales is returned to the Treasury as is done for the general sales to
the public.
     GPO's .:ork with respect to the Federal Register and the Code cf
Federal Regulations itself is part of a slightly larger Federal Register
Program which also includes the U.S. Government Manual, the Public Papers
of the Presidents of the United States, and the Weekly Compilation of
Presidential Documents.   The fiscal year 1978 estimated cost of the
total Federal Register Program is $18.i million, of which $16.9 million
is required for the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations.
Following are alternative financing arrangements for the Federal Register
and the Code of Federal Reguldtions.
Alternative Financing Arrangements
     Clearly the present financing arrangement for the Federal Register
and the Code of Federal Regulations results in legislative branch appro-
priations bearing $16.9 million of costs that benefit Federal executive
agency programs and the general public.   The following alternatives
each of which is separately discussed below, would shift the burden of
these costs to those who benefit most directly from their occurrence:
     1. Finance costs of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal
Regulations through the existing GPO revolving fund and require agencies
to pay GPO for these services as they now do for other printing and
binding.
     2. Establish a new Intragovernmental revolving fund for the Federal
Register and the Code of Federal Regulations.
      3. Finance the costs of printing, binding, and distributing the
 Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations in GSA appropria-
 cions along with other costs of the Federal Register Program.
 Alternative No. 1--Financing Federal Register
 and Code of Federal Regulations Costs Through
 the Existing GPO Revolving Fund
      The present GPO Revolving Fund is used to finance printing, binding
 and blankbock work and to furnish on order blank paper, inks and similar
 supplies for the Congress and the various agencies of the Federal Govern-
 ment. The fund is reimbursed by congressional and executive branch
,customers and its net operating income is retained for reJse h; the fund.
 Revolving fund operating costs for FY 1978 are estimated to he $521 million.
      This fund could be made available to finance Federal Register and
 Code of Federal Regulations costs through amendment of GPO's authorizing
 legislation, 44 U.S.C. Section 1509.     The following revision would accom-
 plish that result.   Bracketed portions would need to be deleted and under-
 scored material added to Section 1509 as it is presently written.
           [Payments made for the Federal Register shall be covered
      into the Treasury as miscellaneous receipts.]    The cost of
     printing, reprinting, wrapping, binding, and distributing the
     Federal Register   and the Code of Federal Pegulations, and
     other expenses incurred by the Government Printing Office in
     carrying out the duties placed upon it by this chapter shall
     be charged to the Government Printing Office revolving fund.
     Reimbursements for such costs shall be made by the Federal

                                   - 3-
     aqencies, and credited, together with all receipts, as
     provided in section 309(b) of title 44 of the United States
     Code.

             The cost of printing, reprinting, wrapping, binding,
     distributing, and other costs incurred by the Government
     Printing Office in connection with all other publications of
     the Federal Register program shall be borne by the appropria-
     tions to the Government Printing Office and the appropriations
     are made available, and are authorized to be increased by
     additional sums necessary for the purposes, the increases to
     be based upon estimates submitted by the Public Printer.

             [Copies of the Federal Register mailed by the Government
     are entitled to the free use of the United States mails in
     the same manner as the official mail of the executive depart-
     ments of the Government.    The cost of mailing the Federal
     Register to officers and employees of Federal agencies in
     foreign countries shall be borne by the respective agencies.]

     The foregoing language would permit GPO's initial setup, production,
and basic distribution costs to be reimbursed from the agencies whose
material is to be published :, the Federal Register and the Code of Federal
Regulations.    GPO would alsr    il agencies and others requesting additional
copies of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations directly,

                                    - 4-
with the receipts being used to offset the corts of pi'inting and
distributing them.
Alternative No. 2--Establishmont of a
New Intragovernmental Revolving Fund
     A new Intragovernmental revolving fund could be established to
account for Federal Register and Code of Federal Regulations costs and
receipts.    As with the former alternative, legislative amendrments would
be Iecessary.    Language such as the following could be used to amend
GPO's authorizing legislation, 44 U.S.C. Section 1509:
            (a)There is hereby established in the Treasury a special
     fund which shall be known   as   the Federal Register Publication
     Fund, to which                   is appropriated.   The Fund shall
     be available without fiscal year 'imitation for the full costs
     incurred by the Government Printing Office for publication of
    the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations, includ-
     ing but not limited to, the costs of printing, reprinting, wrap-
    pina, binding, and dstr,buton, thereof, as well as charges for
    overhead and related expenses, depreciation of plant and build-
    ing appurtenances, except building structures and land, and
    equipment, and accrued leave.
            (b) The fund shall be:
                 (1) reimbursed for such costs by the Federal agencies
            at rates established by the Public Printer;
                 (2)credited with all receipts received in connec+;on
            with the sale or any other disposition of copies of the
            Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations; and
                                       -5-
                 (3)charged with payment into miscellaneous receipts of
            the Treasury of any surplus found therein, all assets, lia-
            bilities, and prior losses considered, above the amounts trans-
            ferired or appropriated to establish or maintain the Fund.
            (c) An adequate system of accounts for the Fund shall be
    maintained on the accrual method, and financial reports prepared
    on the basis of the accounts.      The Public Printer shall prepare
     and submit an annual business-type budget program for the opera-
     tions under the Fund.    The General Accounting Office shall audit
     the Fund as part of its audit of the Government Printing Office
     pursuant to section 309(c) of this title.
            (d)The cost of printing, reprinting, wrapping, binding,
     distributing, and other costs incurred by the Government Print-
     ing Office in connection with all other publications of the
     Federal Register program shall be borne by the appropriations to
     the Government Printing Office and the appropriations are made
     available, and are authorized to be increased by additional
     sums necessary for the purposes, the inr-eases to he based upon
     estimates submitted by the Public Printer.
     GPO estimates that about $5 million of initial funding would be
required.    Thus, there would not be a full reduction in the
legislative branch appropriations for their first year of operation
under the new financing arrangement.



                                     -6-
Alternative No. 3--The Total Federal Register
Program Could be Transferred to the General
Services Administration
     In its February 1976 hearings before the Legislative Appropriations
*Subconmnittee of the House Committee on Appropriations, the Government
Printing Office proposed an amendment to Section 1509 of 44 U.S.C. which
would fund the total Federal Register Program in the General Services
Administration appropriation.   This would bring that total program within
GSA in that GSA would pay GPO for its irinting, binding, and related
costs.   This proposal was not enacted.
Congressional Budget Control Consideratio s
     Financing the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Rzgulations
through a revolving fund would change the nature of congressional control
over the activity.
     The cost of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations
would be borne by (1) the agencies that place their proposed regulations
and notices in the Federal Register and have their regulations maintained
in the Code of Federal Regulations and (2) the organizations that order
additional copies of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regula-
tions.   Therefore, the congressional corunittees that approve the appropria-
tions of those agencies would share in the oversight of Federal Register
and Federal Regulations activities.
     It may be that this arrangement would help to reduce the length
and complexity of Federal regulations.    Whether or not this happens,
this financing approach could help to reduce the total budget of the
                                   -7-
U.S. Government.   fo the extent that the various appropriations committees
do not provide additional funds to cover Federal Register and Code of
Federal Regulations costs, Federal agencies will need to absorb those
costs within their budgets.   Thus, a real reduction of as much as $16.9
million could be made in the fiscal year 1978 budget.
     Control exercised by the legislative branch appropriations subcommittee
could be retained by requiring GPO to continue to fully report on its
operating results and budget and to testify on its activities and plans
for each year.
     Oversight would continue to be exercised over the larger GPO revolving
fund and any other Intragovernmental revolving fund by the Joint Committee
on Printing.
                                                                 ENCLOSURE II




                       ALTERNATIVE ARRANGEMENTS FOR
                     FINANCING THE SALE OF GOVERNMENT
                          DOCUMENTS TO THE PUBLIC
Description of the Program and
Present Financing Arrangements
     GPO prints and sells Government documents to the public through
mail orders and Government bookstores throughout the United States.
     They are sold to the public in accordance with 44 U.S.C. 1708
which states in pertinent part:
          "The price at which additional copies of Government
     publications are offered for sale to the public by the
     Superintendent of Documents shall be based on the cost as
     determined by the Public Printer plus 50 percent.     * *   *
     Surplus receipts from sales shall be deposited in the
     Treasury of the United States to the credit of miscella-
     neous receipts."
     Against the revenue received from the sale of governmental
documents, GPO deducts the cost of printing them and postage reouired
for their distribution.     The net amount is deposited as miscellaneous
receipts of the Treasury.
     Other overhead type expenses of the sales programs, which are
financed by GPO's Salaries and Expenses appropriation, are not offset
against the programs' receipts in determining the amount that should be
deposited in the Treasury to the credit of miscellaneous receipts.
The following table illustrates this:
                                               Actual   Estimate   Estimate
                                              FY 1976    FY 1977    FY 1978
                                                  (dollars in millions)
Revenue from general sales
  of publications                             $ 38.9     $ 43.5    $ 46.0
Expenses offset against revenue                 21.8       18.3       20.u
Profit before deduction of Salaries
  and Expenses appropriation
 expenditures - Deposited to the
 Treasury                                       17.1       25.2       26.0
Expenses paid from legislative
  branch appropriations                         21.1       25.0       25.7
Net earnings                                    -4.0         .2           .3

      Thus, legislative branch appropriations bear a large portion of
the costs associated with this program--e.g., $25.7 million in FY 1978.
To require GPO to offset all of its expenses against the revenue from
its general sales of publications, the first paragraph of section 1708 of
title 44, United States Code, could be amended to read as follows
(bracketed matter deleted; underscored matter added):
            The price at which additional copies of Government publications
      are offered for sale to the public by the Superintendent of Docu-
      ments shall be based on the cost as determined by the Public
      Printer plus 50 percent.    A discount of not to eyceed 25 percent
      may be allowed to book dealers and quantity purchasers, but the
      printing may iiot interfere with prompt execution of work for the
      Government.   All revenues received by the Superintendent of
      Documents from its general sales of publications shall be

                                      - 2 -
      retained to offset all costs incurred in connection with the
      publication thereof by the Public Printe': Provided, That any
      surplus thereafter remaining [Surplus receipts from sales]
      shall be deposited in the Treasury of the United States to the
      credit of miscellaneous receipts.
      GPO's Salaries and Expenses appropriation could be correspondingly
reduced.
      This change, matching revenue and costs, would not in itself require
any change in the prices at which the publications are sold by GPO to
the public.
      GPO could be required to fully report its sales activities as it
is now doing.




                                    -3-
                                                                 ENCLOSURE III




                         ALTERNATIVE ARRANGEMENTS FOR
                         FINANCING THE DISTRIBUTION OF
                         BIBLIOGRAPHIC CATALOGING DATA
                   TO OTHER LIBRARIES AND THE GENERAL PUBLIC
     The Library of Congress sells copies of the Library's printed
catalog cards, cataloging data in machine readable form, book catalogs
and technical publications to other libraries and to the general public.
This is done under the provisions of 2 U.S.C. 150.
     Costs, estimated at $10.2 million for FY 1978, which are associated
with the sale of these cataloging services are borne--without offset--by
the Library of Congress' Salaries and Expenses Appropriation.       Receipts
for those services, projected to be $7.9 million in FY 1978 will,
pursuant to 2 U.S.C. 150, be deposited as miscellaneous receipts of the
Treasury.
     Thus, legislative branch appropriations will in FY 1978 as they
n w do, bear costs which directly benefit the public and other govern-
mental activities.    The Library could be required to offset the
receipts against program costs--rather than returning it as miscellaneous
receipts of the Treasury.    This could ,'Lduce the legislative branch
appropriation by an estimated $7.9 million for fiscal year 1978.       The
following amendment to 2 U.S.C. 150 would accomplish this purpose
(bracketed matter deleted; underscored matter added):
            The Librarian of Congress is authorized to furnish to such
     institutions or individuals as may desire to buy them, such
    copies of the card indexes and other publications of the Library
as may not be required for its ordinary transactions, and charge
for the same a price which will cover their cost and ten per
centum added, and all moneys received by him shall be [deposited
in the Treasury.] credited to the appropriations charged in
connection with the above activities.




                              - 2 -
                                                                 ENCLOSURE IV




                       ALTERNATIVE ARRANGEMENTS FOR
                FINANCING THE RECORDING OF COPYRIGHTS AND
              SUPPLYING COPYRIGHT INFORMATION TO THE PUBLIC

     The Copyright Office of the Library of Congress administers the

Copyright law of the United States.     In so doing, it records copyright
claims, assignments and renewals and supplies copyright information to
thepublic as required by Title 17 of the U.S. Code.
     Costs associated with the activities of this Office are financed
through a legislative branch appropriation estimated at $11 million for
fiscal year 1978.     The Office charges fees for some of its services and
deposits them in the miscellaneous receipts of the Treasury.     Such fees
are estimated to be about $5.2 million in fiscal year 1978.
     Thus, the legislative branch appropriation bears the burden of
costs which are general governmental or public service in nature.
Receipts could be offset against the appropriation to better match
costs and receipts.
     A change in the financing for this activity requiring that receipts
be so offset could be made by an amendment to the substantive legislation
(Title 17 of the U.S. Code).     That title was substantively amended last
year (Public Law 94-553).     At that time the manner in which this activity
should be financed was considered by the Congress, and section 708(c)
of Title 17 was enacted to provide that all fees received by the
Register of Copyrights be deposited in the Treasury of the United States.
     A change in the funding mechanism would require amendment of
section 708(c) as follows (bracketed matter deleted; underscored matter
added):


                                       ┬Ět   I
     (c) The Register of Copyrights shall [deposit] credit all
fees [in the Treasury of the United States in such manner as
the Secretary of the Treasury directs.] to the appropriation
charged in connection with the above activities.   The Rpqister
may, in accordance with regulations that he or she shall pre-
scribe, refund any sum paid by mistake or in excess of the fee
required by this section; however, before making a refund in
any case involving a refusal to register a claim under section
410(b), the Register may deduct all or any part of the prescribed
registration fee to cover the reasonable administrative costs of
processing the claim.