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Fees Transformation Accomplishments

In response to stakeholder comments and NRC staff input on the fee setting process, the Chief Financial Officer submitted a memorandum for Notation Vote (SECY–16–0097) to the Commission on August 15, 2016. This memorandum identified a number of process and policy improvements planned to be implemented over the next four years and requested Commission approval for further analysis. The Commission approved the process improvements along with the policy improvement to implement a voluntary pilot initiative to explore whether a flat-fee structure could be established for routine licensing matters in the area of uranium recovery. NRC staff has completed a number of improvements in this Fee Transformation project. The tables below list all the completed improvements.  The links on the tables transfer to NRC documents where the improvement was addressed.

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FY 2017 Process Improvements Implemented

FY 2017 SECY, Enclosure 3, # Task Scheduled Finish Date Completed Date
FY 2017 PROCESS IMPROVEMENTS IMPLEMENTED
[Encl 3 #1] Include additional content in Congressional Budget Justification to help licensees understand how the planned workload in the budget impacts fees. 10/01/2017 05/24/2017
[Encl 3 #2] Include information about planned rulemaking and the associated resources and its impact on fees. 10/01/2017 05/24/2017
[Encl 3 #3]

Create Web-based training slides for an annual review of how to charge time to billable projects that would be included in the project manager training materials.

  • Internal process implemented
10/01/2017 06/23/2017

[Encl 3 #4, 8]

Publically communicate data on the cost of various licensing actions to the licensees based on historical expenses for similar actions.

10/01/2017 09/28/2017
[Encl 3 #5]

Explain what international activities are subject to fee relief.

  • Explanation provided at the end of the Table, Mission Direct Budgeted Resources Allocated to International Activities Fee-Relief Category
10/01/2017 01/30/2017
[Encl 3 #6] Added additional plain language fee-related FAQs to the public Web site. 10/01/2017 05/24/2017
[Encl 3 #7]

Publish a social media post in response to stakeholder comments received as a result of the Request for Information published in the Federal Register on March 22, 2016.

  • Posted on Facebook and twitter on July 10, 2017
10/01/2017 07/10/2017
[Encl 3 #9]

Develop a process by which the OCFO would decide resource level earlier in the fee process to develop the proposed fee rule.

  • Internal process implemented
10/01/2017 08/30/2016
[Encl 3 #10]

Developing a 10 CFR Part 170 fee estimates report containing information about docket, region, and office to assist the lead point-of-contact for each Fee Class in program offices in asking the right people for their workload estimates. The report will include financial expenses that were charged to the Fee Class.

  • Internal process implemented
10/01/2017 02/28/2017
[Encl 3 #11] Post fee-related spreadsheets in electronic format on the public Web site. 10/01/2017 01/31/2017
[Encl 3 #12]

To facilitate publishing the FY 2017 proposed and final fee rule earlier, the staff will modify the calculation of 10 CFR Part 170 estimates. This will be accomplished by relying more on prior year billing data for calculating the estimates since the current year billing data would not be available early enough for this calculation.

  • Internal process implemented
10/01/2017 11/09/2016
[Encl 3 #13]

Include a section discussing the new fee class for small modular reactors.

  • See 82 FR 8703
10/01/2017 01/30/2017
[Encl 3 #14]

Enhance the notification process to staff to heighten awareness of the importance of validating their fee-billable charges in the time and labor system.

  • Internal process implemented
10/01/2017 12/05/2016

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FY 2018 Process Improvements Implemented

FY 2017 SECY,
Enclosure 3, #
Task Scheduled Finish Date Completed Date
FY 2018 PROCESS IMPROVEMENTS IMPLEMENTED
[FY 2018 and beyond Process Improvement  4]

Review the 2015 Fee Rule, which revised the method of charging overhead time for project managers and resident inspectors and clarify it.

  • See page 29633 of the Federal Register Notice.
10/01/2018 09/30/2018
[FY 2018 and beyond Process Improvement  5]
Add identification of each NRC staff member on the invoice. 10/01/2018 01/26/2018
[FY 2018 and beyond Process Improvement  6]

Identify budgeted activities being allocated to annual fees or user fees either in the CBJ or work papers.

  • See Pages 31-32- Fees Collected for Prior Year.
10/01/2018 06/25/2018
[FY 2018 and beyond Process Improvement  7] Providing clarity and transparency in work papers. Include easy to understand crosswalk to match information in the CBJ and the fee rule documents.
  • Also see Appendix C of CBJ.
10/01/2018 01/30/2017
[FY 2018 and beyond Process Improvement  8]

Any drivers that impact an NRC business line budget should be shown and how each driver impacts annual fees assessed for licensees within that business line should also be explained.

  • See Section 'Changes from FY 2018 annualized continuing resolution' for each business line for statement on which product line resources impact fees.
10/01/2018 02/12/2018
[FY 2018 and beyond Process Improvement  9]

The NRC should periodically validate the budgeting process by comparing "budgeted" with "as spent" amounts. This would enable stakeholders to determine whether the NRC is budgeting and expending funds appropriately and with maximum efficiency.

  • Additional data on the FY 2016 actual $ and FTE is included in the CBJ for comparison purposes.
10/01/2018 05/24/2017
[FY 2018 and beyond Process Improvement  10]

Revise interim allocation of budgeted training, travel, and support costs across business lines process.

  • Budgetary resource tables included in each chapter of the CBJ do not include the interim allocation of budgeted training, travel, and support costs.
10/01/2018 05/24/2017

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FY 2019 Process Improvements Implemented

FY 2017 SECY,
Enclosure 3, #
Task Scheduled Finish Date Completed Date
FY 2019 PROCESS IMPROVEMENTS IMPLEMENTED
[FY 2018 and beyond Process Improvement  1,2, and 3]

Direct change time to support functions including hose for Office of the General Counsel, Atomic Safety and Licensing Board Panel, Branch chiefs, licensing assistants, and administrative assistants when working on fee-billable activities to licensees.

  • Closed with no additional change based on cost/benefit analysis.
10/01/2019 06/05/2018
[FY 2018 and beyond Process Improvement  11]

Include data on fees collected for the previous FY.

  • See Pages 31-32- Fees Collected for Prior Year.
10/01/2019 06/25/2018
[FY 2018 and beyond Process Improvement  12]

Modify the inspection reports to include information on progress of work performed.

  • Closed due to implementation of other transparency enhancing actions.  Also see FY 2017 #s 4, and 8.
10/01/2019 06/05/2018
[FY 2018 and beyond Process Improvement  13, 14]

Streamline calculations of fees for small materials users, fuel facilities, and uranium recovery licensees.

  • Updated fee calculation methodology for small materials users, and uranium recovery licensees.
10/01/2019 08/30/2018
[FY 2018 and beyond Process Improvement  15] System re-design to better integrate systems e.g. HRMS, FAIMIS, WBL, RPS replacement system to reduce billing errors. 10/01/2019 10/01/2017
[FY 2018 and beyond Process Improvement  16]

Redesign system so that individual cost activity codes numbers include running cost totals until the code is closed.  Code descriptions should be clarified.

  • Closed due to implementation of other transparency enhancing actions.  Also see FY 2017 #s 4, and 8.
10/01/2019 06/05/2018
[FY 2018 and beyond Process Improvement  16]

Project Manager to provide details of contract costs listed on the invoice, on request.

  • Policy, guidance and procedures were developed and provided to the NRC staff regarding the disclosure of contractor costs on the 10 CFR Part 170 invoices.  Beginning in January, standard language was incorporated into invoice boilerplate to instruct licensees on requesting additional information related to contract charges on the invoice.
10/01/2020 01/15/2019
[FY 2018 and beyond Policy Change 7

Do not allow more than one site per license.

  • Closed with no additional change based on cost/benefit analysis.
10/01/2020 02/19/2019
[FY 2018 and beyond Policy Change 2]

Bill vendors for inspection hours.

  • Closed with no additional change based on cost/benefit analysis.
10/01/2019 06/05/2018
[FY 2018 and beyond Policy Change 3]

Define a new, more focused class of licensees that should be assessed the annual fee for new reactor costs.

  • Closed with no additional change but will revisit if new applications surge.
10/01/2019 06/05/2018
[FY 2018 and beyond Policy Change 4]

Develop a strategy for charging fees for white papers.

  • Internal process implemented.
10/01/2019 06/05/2018
[FY 2018 and beyond Policy Change 5]

Charge annual fees to entities that hold a combined license or construction permit, regardless of whether plants have actually been constructed and are operating. The annual fee for operating reactors should apply to holders of combined licenses.

  • Closed with no additional change but will revisit if new applications surge.
10/01/2019 06/05/2018
[FY 2018 and beyond Policy Change 6]

Institute two different hourly rates for flat application fees for applicants, to provide funds for infrastructure work.

  • Closed with no additional change but will revisit if new applications surge.
10/01/2020 06/05/2018

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Page Last Reviewed/Updated Thursday, July 25, 2019