[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 133 (Monday, July 13, 2015)]
[Notices]
[Pages 40050-40051]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-17052]


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DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

[Docket No. AD15-2-000]


Billing Procedures for Annual Charges For the Costs of Other 
Federal Agencies for Administering Part I of the Federal Power Act; 
Notice Reporting Costs for Other Federal Agencies' Administrative 
Annual Charges for Fiscal Year 2014

    1. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission) is 
required to determine the reasonableness of costs incurred by other 
Federal agencies (OFAs) \1\ in connection with their participation in 
the Commission's proceedings under the Federal Power Act (FPA) Part I 
\2\ when those agencies seek to include such costs in the 
administrative charges licensees must pay to reimburse the United 
States for the cost of administering Part I.\3\ The Commission's Order 
on Remand and Acting on Appeals of Annual Charge Bills \4\ determined 
which costs are eligible to be included in the administrative annual 
charges and it established a process for Commission review of future 
OFA cost submittals. This order established a process whereby the 
Commission would annually request each OFA to submit cost data, using a 
form \5\ specifically designed for this purpose. In addition, the order 
established requirements for detailed cost accounting reports and other 
documented analyses, which explain the cost assumptions contained in 
the OFAs' submissions.
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    \1\ The OFAs include: The U.S. Department of the Interior 
(Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of 
Reclamation, National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 
Office of the Solicitor, Office of Environmental Policy & 
Compliance, Office of Hearings and Appeals and Office of Policy 
Analysis); the U.S. Department of Agriculture (U.S. Forest Service); 
the U.S. Department of Commerce (National Marine Fisheries Service); 
and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
    \2\ 16 U.S.C. 794-823d (2006).
    \3\ See id. Sec.  803(e)(1) and 42 U.S.C. 7178.
    \4\ 107 FERC ] 61,277, order on reh'g, 109 FERC ] 61,040 (2004).
    \5\ Other Federal Agency Cost Submission Form, available at 
https://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/forms.asp#ofa.
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    2. The Commission has completed its review of the forms and 
supporting documentation submitted by the U.S. Department of the 
Interior (Interior), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (Agriculture), 
and the U.S. Department of Commerce (Commerce) for fiscal year 2014. 
This notice reports the costs the Commission included in its 
administrative annual charges for fiscal year 2015.

Scope of Eligible Costs

    3. The basis for eligible costs that should be included in the 
OFAs' administrative annual charges is prescribed by the Office of 
Management and Budget's (OMB) Circular A-25--User Charges and the 
Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board's Statement of Federal 
Financial Accounting Standards (SFFAS) Number 4--Managerial Cost 
Accounting Concepts and Standards for the Federal Government. Circular 
A-25 establishes Federal policy regarding fees assessed for government 
services and provides specific information on the scope and type of 
activities subject to user charges. SSFAS Number 4 provides a 
conceptual framework for federal agencies to determine the full costs 
of government goods and services.
    4. Circular A-25 provides for user charges to be assessed against 
recipients of special benefits derived from federal activities beyond 
those received by the general public.\6\ With regard to licensees, the 
special benefit derived from federal activities is the license to 
operate a hydropower project. The guidance provides for the assessment 
of sufficient user charges to recover the full costs of services 
associated with these special benefits.\7\ SFFAS Number 4 defines full 
costs as the costs of resources consumed by a specific governmental 
unit that contribute directly or indirectly to a provided service.\8\ 
Thus, pursuant to OMB requirements and authoritative accounting 
guidance, the Commission must base its OFA administrative annual charge 
on all direct and indirect costs incurred by agencies in administering 
Part I of the FPA. The special form the Commission designed for this 
purpose, the ``Other Federal Agency Cost Submission Form,'' captures 
the full range of costs recoverable under the FPA and the referenced 
accounting guidance.\9\
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    \6\ OMB Circular A-25 Sec.  6.
    \7\ OMB Circular A-25 Sec.  6. a. 2.
    \8\ SFFAS Number 4 ] 7.
    \9\ To avoid the possibility of confusion that has occurred in 
prior years as to whether costs were being entered twice as ``Other 
Direct Costs'' and ``Overhead,'' the form excluded ``Other Direct 
Costs.''
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Commission Review of OFA Cost Submittals

    5. The Commission received cost forms and other supporting 
documentation from the Departments of the Interior, Agriculture, and 
Commerce (OFAs). The Commission completed a review of each OFA's cost 
submission forms and supporting reports. In its examination of the 
OFAs' cost data, the Commission considered each agency's ability to 
demonstrate a system or process which effectively captured, isolated, 
and reported Part I costs as required by the ``Other Federal Agency 
Cost Submission Form.''
    6. The Commission held a Technical Conference on March 26, 2015 to 
report its initial findings to licensees and OFAs. No OFA 
representatives attended the conference. Following the technical 
conference, licensees had the opportunity to submit comments \10\ to 
the Commission regarding its initial review.
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    \10\ See Letter from Charles R. Sensiba, Van Ness Feldman, to 
the Honorable Kimberly D. Bose, FERC, Docket No. AD15-2-000 (filed 
May 11, 2015).
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    7. Written comments were filed by Idaho Falls Group (Idaho Falls). 
Idaho Falls generally supported the Commission's analysis but raised 
questions regarding certain various individual cost submissions. The 
Commission will address the issues in the Appendix to this notice.
    8. After additional reviews, full consideration of the comments 
presented, and in accordance with the previously cited guidance, the 
Commission accepted as reasonable any costs reported via the cost 
submission forms that were clearly documented in the OFAs' accompanying 
reports and/or analyses. These documented costs will be included in the 
administrative annual charges for fiscal year 2015.

Summary of Reported & Accepted Costs for Fiscal Year 2014

[[Page 40051]]



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                                                                     Municipal                     Non-Municipal                       Total
                                                         -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                             Reported        Accepted        Reported        Accepted        Reported        Accepted
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                                                                 Department of Interior
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Bureau of Indian Affairs................................         143,046         143,046         216,666         216,666         359,713         359,713
Bureau of Land Management...............................          98,020          96,140           1,494           2,212          99,514          98,352
Bureau of Reclamation...................................             141             141          39,044          39,044          39,185          39,185
National Park Service...................................         280,357         280,357         278,416         278,416         558,773         558,773
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service..........................         881,471         880,657       1,036,499       1,035,447       1,917,972       1,916,104
U.S. Geological Survey..................................  ..............  ..............  ..............  ..............              --              --
Office of the Solicitor.................................          13,599          13,599         111,186         108,414         124,785         122,013
Office of Environmental Policy & Compliance.............          55,825          55,825         132,834         132,834         188,658         188,658
Office of Hearings and Appeals..........................             489             489           1,840           1,840           2,329           2,329
Office of Policy Analysis...............................  ..............  ..............           9,646           9,646           9,646           9,646
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                                                                Department of Agriculture
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U.S. Forest Service.....................................         493,060         378,925       1,550,580       1,594,016       2,043,640       1,572,941
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                                                                 Department of Commerce
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National Marine Fisheries Service.......................       1,563,763       1,132,389         551,280         400,071       2,115,043       1,532,460
    Total...............................................       3,529,771       2,981,588       3,929,485       3,418,606       7,459,258       6,400,174
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Figure 1

    9. Figure 1 summarizes the total reported costs incurred by 
Interior, Agriculture, and Commerce with respect to each OFA's 
participation in administering Part I of the FPA. Additionally, Figure 
1 summarizes the reported costs that the Commission determined were 
clearly documented and accepted for inclusion in its FY 2015 
administrative annual charges.

Summary Findings of Commission's Costs Review

    10. As presented in the preceding table, the Commission determined 
that $6,400,174 of the $7,459,258 in total reported costs were 
determined to be reasonable and clearly documented in the OFAs' 
accompanying reports and/or analyses. Based on these findings, 14% of 
the total reported cost was determined to be unreasonable. The 
Commission noted the most significant issues with regard to the 
insufficiency of documentation provided by the OFAs was the lack of 
supporting documentation to substantiate costs reported on the ``Other 
Federal Agency Cost Submission Form'' as well as the inability to 
segregate Municipal and Non-Municipal costs.
    11. The cost reports that the Commission determined were clearly 
documented and supported could be traced to detailed cost-accounting 
reports, which reconciled to data provided from agency financial 
systems or other pertinent source documentation. A further breakdown of 
these costs is included in the Appendix to this notice, along with an 
explanation of how the Commission determined their reasonableness.

Points of Contact

    12. If you have any questions regarding this notice, please contact 
Norman Richardson at (202) 502-6219 or Raven Rodriquez at (202) 502-
6276.

    Dated: July 7, 2015.
Kimberly D. Bose,
 Secretary.
[FR Doc. 2015-17052 Filed 7-10-15; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6717-01-P