Nuclear Regulatory Commission: Regulatory Fee-Seeing Calculations Need Greater Transparency, Report to Congressoinal Requesters [open pdf - 5MB]
"From 2005 to early 2010, NRC [Nuclear Regulatory Commission] expected an increase in workload due to a projected large number of applications for new nuclear power plants, among other things, and received increased budget authority and hired additional staff. NRC is required by law to collect about 90 percent of its annual appropriation by assessing fees to the commercial nuclear industry it regulates, and as NRC's budget authority increased, so did its regulatory fees. By 2011, however, it had become clear that the projected growth had not materialized. NRC's budget and its regulatory fees, however, have declined little since 2010, and many licensees are confused by the process by which NRC sets its regulatory user fees. GAO [Government Accountability Office] was asked to review NRC's fee-setting process. This report examines, among other things, the extent to which NRC explained its fee calculations in its fiscal year 2016 fee documentation, and challenges industry stakeholders have identified with NRC's fee-setting process. GAO reviewed NRC's fee rules and work papers, interviewed NRC staff and 13 industry stakeholders, and evaluated NRC's actions relative to criteria on issuing regulations and measuring performance. [...] GAO is recommending that NRC fully explain its fee calculations in its annual fee rule and set performance goals and measures for its project to increase the transparency and timeliness of its fee calculations. NRC generally agreed with these recommendations."
Government Accountability Office: http://www.gao.gov/