Federal Bureau of Investigation; Records Management Division; National Name Check Program Section; Revised User Fee

 
CONTENT
Federal Register, Volume 84 Issue 249 (Monday, December 30, 2019)
[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 249 (Monday, December 30, 2019)]
[Notices]
[Pages 71978-71979]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-28165]
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DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
Federal Bureau of Investigation
[Docket No. FBI-155]
Federal Bureau of Investigation; Records Management Division;
National Name Check Program Section; Revised User Fee
AGENCY: Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Justice.
ACTION: Notice.
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SUMMARY: This notice establishes a revised user fee for federal
agencies requesting name-based, non-criminal justice background checks
of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) Central Records System
through the National Name Check Program (NNCP). The total resource
costs associated with providing these name check services have been
calculated to ensure full reimbursement to the FBI. The FBI is also
authorized to charge an additional amount to defray expenses required
to update and improve the NNCP's technological infrastructure, which
supports the automation of processes involving name-based background
checks. This notice explains the methodology used to calculate revised
fees and also provides the new fee schedule. The NNCP is replacing its
current multiple fee structure with a single user fee.
DATES: This fee schedule is effective February 1, 2020.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Antony A. Jung, Section Chief,
National Name Check Program Section, Records Management Division, FBI,
170 Marcel Drive, Winchester, Virginia 22602.
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:
I. Background
    On June 7, 2010, the FBI published the Final Rule (75 FR 24796)
setting forth the FBI Director's authority to establish and collect
fees for providing name-based background checks conducted by the NNCP
of the Records Management Division. The Final Rule explains the
methodology used to calculate the fees and provides that future fee
adjustments will be made by notice published in the Federal Register.
In accordance with the requirements of 28 CFR 20.31(e)(3), the FBI is
required to periodically review the amount it collects for the NNCP in
order to determine the current cost of processing name checks for non-
criminal justice purposes.
II. Revised Fee
    In October of 2018, the FBI retained a contractor to conduct an
independent user fee study for the NNCP. The NNCP currently charges
different fees, depending on whether the request is submitted manually
or electronically or if expedited processing is required. The fee
charged for electronic submissions also varies depending on the level
of analysis that the NNCP must perform. The current fee structure is as
follows:
                    NNCP's Current User Fee Schedule
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                Current
                           Service                                fee
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Electronic Submission:
  Batch Process Only.........................................      $2.50
  Batch + File Analysis......................................      42.00
Manual Submission............................................      66.50
Expedited Submission.........................................      66.50
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    As a result of the fee study, the contractor recommended that the
FBI combine the current fee categories, which have been in effect since
2010, into a single fee. This recommendation was based on three
factors:
     Improvement in information technology capabilities: The
NNCP's new web interface enables all customers to submit name checks
electronically with options to adjust their priority. The technology
advancements have resulted in the elimination of the Manual submission
type and have so drastically reduced the number of expedited
submissions that they no longer warrant their own fee categories.
     Lack of customer choice: Under the existing fee schedule,
NNCP customers do not choose between an Electronic or File Analysis
level of service and the associated fee. Rather, NNCP performs an
electronic name-based background check on all requests. If the
automated search algorithm identifies the presence of a record, then
NNCP's analysts conduct file analysis and the program charges an
additional fee. While every name check request begins with an
Electronic Batch level of service, approximately 40% also require an
additional File Analysis level of service, which comes with the
additional fee. Neither the customer nor NNCP know which level of
service will be required until after the customer has submitted the
name check request and NNCP has completed its services. This lack of
certainty has rendered it challenging for customers to budget for name
check services. The new, single fee will provide customers with more
certainty as to how much they will owe based on their estimated volume
of name check requests each year.
     Less administrative burden: A single fee reduces the
administrative burden associated with the billing and collections of
multiple fee categories and simplifies the budgeting process.
Information Used To Calculate the Revised Fee
    Using Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 cost information, the FBI conducted a
fee study to determine its cost for conducting name-based background
checks. Once that study was complete, the FBI conducted further
analysis to account for anticipated programmatic changes and staffing
levels moving forward in FY 2020, as well as forecasted production
volumes to determine future automation and enhancement costs. The FBI
used these inputs to project total costs for name-based, non-criminal
justice name checks for FY 2020. The single fee structure simplifies
this calculation by dividing
[[Page 71979]]
total costs by total volume to arrive at a single fee for each name
check request.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                          FY 2020 volume
                    Product/service                          forecast
------------------------------------------------------------------------
FBI Investigative Files Check..........................       3,313,844
------------------------------------------------------------------------
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                           Forecasted FY
                        Cost pool                            2020 cost
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Cost of Name-Based Checks...............................     $63,225,188
Automation and Enhancement..............................       6,414,111
                                                         ---------------
    Total...............................................     $69,639,299
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    Unit costs (cost pool divided by volume) and the corresponding fee
rate are rounded up to the nearest $0.25 increment.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                  Cost pool categories                       Unit rate
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Cost of Name-Based Checks...............................          $19.25
Automation and Enhancement..............................            2.00
FBI Investigative Files Check...........................           21.25
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    This revised fee, of $21.25 per check, will become effective on
February 1, 2020.
    Dated: December 19, 2019.
Christopher A. Wray,
Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation.
[FR Doc. 2019-28165 Filed 12-27-19; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4410-02-P