User Fee Schedule for Trade Promotion Services, 35355-35357 [2012-14472]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 114 / Wednesday, June 13, 2012 / Notices • In the case of a trade association or trade organization, the applicant must certify that for each company to be represented by the association or trade organizations, the products and/or services the represented company seeks to export are either produced in the United States or, if not, marketed under the name of a U.S. firm and have at least fifty-one percent U.S. content. Selection Criteria for Participation Contacts U.S. Commercial Service Domestic Contact Aileen Nandi, Senior Commercial Officer, San Jose U.S. Export Assistance Center, 408–535–2757, ext. 102, Aileen.Nandi@trade.gov. Gabriela Zelaya, International Trade Specialist, San Jose U.S. Export Assistance Center, 408–535–2757, ext. 107, Gabriela.Zelaya@trade.gov. Elnora Moye, Trade Program Assistant. Timeframe for Recruitment and Applications erowe on DSK2VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Selection will be based on the following criteria: • Suitability of a company’s (or in the case of a trade association or trade organization, represented companies’) products or services to the mission’s goals • Company’s (or in the case of a trade association or trade organization, represented companies’) potential for business in Australia, including likelihood of exports resulting from the trade mission • Consistency of the applicant’s (or in the case of a trade association or trade organization, represented companies’) goals and objectives with the stated scope of the trade mission Referrals from political organizations and any documents containing references to partisan political activities (including political contributions) will be removed from an applicant’s submission and not considered during the selection process. AGENCY: Mission recruitment will be conducted in an open and public manner, including publication in the Federal Register, posting on the Commerce Department trade mission calendar (http://export.gov/ trademissions/) and other Internet web sites, press releases to general and trade media, direct mail, notices by industry trade associations and other multiplier groups, and publicity at industry meetings, symposia, conferences, and trade shows. Recruitment for the mission will begin immediately and close on July 15, 2012. Selection decisions will be made on a rolling basis until 10–12 participants are selected. Although applications will be accepted through July 15, 2012, interested U.S. firms and trade associations are encouraged to submit their applications as soon as possible. We will inform applicants of selection decisions as the decisions are made. Applications received after July 15, 2012 will be considered only if space and scheduling constraints permit. VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:45 Jun 12, 2012 Jkt 226001 U.S. Commercial Service Australia Contacts Joe Kaesshaefer, Senior Commercial Officer, American Consulate General—Sydney, Tel: +61–2–9373– 9201, Joe.Kaesshaefer@trade.gov. Monique Roos, Commercial Specialist, American Consulate General— Sydney, Tel: +61–2–9373–9210, Monique.Roos@trade.gov. [FR Doc. 2012–14452 Filed 6–12–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–FP–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [Docket No. 120216141–2141–01] RIN 0625–XA17 User Fee Schedule for Trade Promotion Services U.S. & Foreign Commercial Service, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce. ACTION: Notice and request for comment. The U.S. & Foreign Commercial Service (US&FCS) within the International Trade Administration (ITA) publishes this notice to announce its intent to adjust user fees in light of an independent cost of service study finding, which concluded that the US&FCS is not fully covering its costs for providing trade promotion services under the current fee structure. ITA provides a wide range of trade promotion information and services to U.S. businesses that are exporting or seeking to export. The services considered here are a subset of ITA activities that involve relatively more intensive time engagements with particular client firms; ITA will continue to provide its core information and services without charge. The primary objective of the adjustment to the User Fee Schedule is to ensure that the fees for the more intensive services reflect, to the extent possible, the actual SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 35355 costs incurred by the United States for providing these more intensive trade promotion services. The fee revenue is expected to continue to contribute to ITA’s capabilities for assisting U.S. businesses in accessing export markets. In addition, in revising the user fees, the US&FCS proposes to revise the small & medium-sized enterprises (SME) hourly rate discount as well as the SME incentive program piloted in 2008. The US&FCS has historically offered a discount to SME’s, defined as those which employ 500 or less persons. Under the User Fee Schedule proposed in this notice, US&FCS will offer a discount of 50 percent per hour to SMEs. The purpose of this notice is to align user fees and authorized activities with actual program costs; and improve our ability to properly recover direct and indirect costs associated with service delivery. DATES: We will consider all comments that we receive on or before 60 days after publication in the Federal Register. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by either of the following methods: Federal eRulemaking Portal: www.Regulations.gov. Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Docket No. ITA–2012–0001 U.S. & Foreign Commercial Service, Office of Strategic Planning & Resource Management, 1400 Constitution Avenue NW., Rm. C125, Washington, DC 20235. Supporting documents and any comments we receive on this docket may be viewed at http:// www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail; D ITA–2012–0001. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background The statutory mission of US&FCS is to ‘‘place primary emphasis on the promotion of exports of goods and services from the United States, particularly by small businesses and medium-sized businesses, and on the protection of United States business interests abroad * * * through activities that include assisting United States exporters.’’ 15 U.S.C. 4721(b). The statute further defines the term ‘‘United States exporter’’ at 15 U.S.C. 4721(j) as a U.S. citizen, U.S. corporation, or foreign corporation that is more than 95% U.S.-owned that ‘‘exports or seeks to export, goods or services produced in the United States.’’ User fees may be collected from U.S. exporters that meet the Service Eligibility Policy issued in FY 2011. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A–25 encourages the E:\FR\FM\13JNN1.SGM 13JNN1 35356 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 114 / Wednesday, June 13, 2012 / Notices full recovery of costs through user fees for an appropriate share of goods and services provided to recipients of benefits beyond those accruing to the general public. Specifically, section 6 of Circular A–25 states that ‘‘when a service (or privilege) provides special benefits to an identifiable recipient beyond those that accrue to the general public, a charge will be imposed (to recover the full cost to the Federal Government for providing the special benefit, or the market price).’’ A ‘‘user fee’’ is the amount paid by a recipient of a special benefit beyond those benefits accruing to the general public. A ‘‘special benefit’’ may accrue and a user fee be imposed when a government service: (a) Enables the beneficiary to obtain more immediate or substantial gains or values than those that accrue to the general public; (b) is performed at the request or for the convenience of the recipient, and is beyond the services regularly received by members of the same industry or group or by the general public; or (c) provides business stability or contributes to public confidence in the business activity of the beneficiary. The direct or indirect cost of a service provided by the Federal Government includes, but is not limited to, the following: • Direct and indirect personnel costs, including salaries and fringe benefits such as medical insurance and retirement. Retirement costs should include all (funded or unfunded) accrued costs not covered by employee contributions as specified in Circular A– 11. • Physical overhead, consulting, or other indirect costs including material and supply costs, utilities, insurance travel, and rents or imputed rents on land, buildings, and equipment. • The management and supervisory costs. • The costs of enforcement, collection, research, establishment of standards, and regulation, including any environmental impact statements. erowe on DSK2VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES User Fee Schedule The US&FCS offers Trade Promotion Services to U.S. businesses that consist of Standard Services and Customized Services. For each of these services, the US&FCS collects fees according to the User Fee Schedule that is made available on its Web site and agency publications. The ‘‘Standard Services’’ VerDate Mar<15>2010 14:45 Jun 12, 2012 Jkt 226001 listed in the User Fee Schedule are services that are performed in the same manner by all US&FCS field units. Other ‘‘Customized Services,’’ not shown in the chart below, entail substantive variation of the scope of work. The US&FCS proposes to modify the user fees for both Standard Services and Customized Services. The Standard Services described below will no longer be assigned a standard global price. The proposed new User Fee Schedule provided below lists each standard service and the estimated number of hours for completion of service delivery. To determine the fee for any service, a flat hourly rate of $55.33 is multiplied by the estimated workload hours. Direct costs, such as transportation or an interpreter, will be discussed with the client and assessed in addition to the user fee. For Customized Services, the estimated workload hours will vary but the user fee will be calculated based on the flat rate of $55.33 per hour. The Standard Services that will be assessed under the new fees are described below. 1. Business Service Provider is a program where the US&FCS offers both U.S. and non-U.S. professional service providers the opportunity to introduce their services to U.S. exporters via the web. This service helps U.S. or foreign firms promote services which facilitate export transactions, such as market assessments, financing, accounting or legal services. The duration of the web promotional message is one year. 2. Featured U.S. Exporter is a service where the US&FCS provides a virtual directory of U.S. products featured on USFCS Web sites around the world. It enables U.S. exporters an opportunity to target specific markets in the local language of business. The duration of the advertisement is one year. 3. Gold Key Service is a service where the US&FCS arranges meetings in foreign markets to match U.S. exporters with prospective sales agents or distributors, manufacturers, licensees, franchisees or strategic partners. The U.S. exporter identifies the type of firm it desires US&FCS to identify, screen, and evaluate according to criteria established by the U.S. exporter. The number of firms to be identified is determined by the client. A market briefing is provided. PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 4. International Company Profile is a service where the US&FCS provides a research report on a prospective business partner’s commercial viability and financial circumstances, which includes topics such as business registration, credit rating, profit and loss data, pending litigation, reputation, and US&FCS opinion about the firm and export prospects. 5. International Partner Service is a service where the US&FCS provides a report concerning prospective sales agents or distributors, manufacturers, licensees, franchisees or strategic partners. The U.S. exporter identifies the type of firm it desires US&FCS to identify, screen, and evaluate according to criteria established by the U.S. exporter. The number of firms to be identified is determined by the client. 6. Quicktake is a service where the US&FCS assists U.S. exporters to quickly determine which among more than 30 European markets offer the best export opportunities for a specific product or service and provides direction on how to enter those markets. Pricing Discounts The US&FCS currently offers various discounts to SMEs. For all SMEs, the hourly rate is discounted 65 percent. In addition, the SME Incentive Program offers new-to-exporting firms a 50 percent discount from the full rate on the first Gold Key service, International Company Profile service or International Partner Search service, provided the firm meets the following criteria: (1) The firm’s products are eligible for US&FCS fee-based assistance; (2) the firm has not exported in the prior 24 months; and (3) the firm has not previously received assistance from US&FCS. Other discounts involving bundling or bulk service orders were also offered in the past. Under this notice, US&FCS proposes to eliminate the SME incentive program. A SME discount of 50 percent per hour will be offered as an exception to the OMB full cost recovery guidance, resulting in a hourly rate of $27.66 for all SMEs. Full cost rates and SME discount rates are provided on the next page so that the public can comment upon the implications of full and SME rates. E:\FR\FM\13JNN1.SGM 13JNN1 35357 Federal Register / Vol. 77, No. 114 / Wednesday, June 13, 2012 / Notices PROPOSED USER FEE SCHEDULE Standard service Average service delivery hours erowe on DSK2VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Business Service Provider ........................ Featured U.S. Exporter ...................... Gold Key Service ....... International Company Profile ...................... International Partner Search .................... Quicktake ................... Proposed fee for average workload Full 14:45 Jun 12, 2012 Full Dollar change in pricing SME Full Percentage change in pricing SME Full SME 12 664 332 600 300 64 32 11 11 6 64 332 3,541 166 1,771 300 2,300 150 700 32 1,241 16 1,071 11 54 11 153 23 1,273 636 900 600 373 36 41 6 49 15 2,711 830 1,356 830 1,400 750 500 750 1,311 80 856 80 94 11 171 11 Determining the Cost of Performing Each Service The cost of service methodology developed by US&FCS was designed to bring the organization closer to full cost recovery guidance set forth in OMB Circular A–25. To set prices that are ‘‘self sustaining,’’ the US&FCS had to determine the true cost of providing various trade promotion services. Federal Accounting Standards permit US&FCS to use an activity-based costing model to determine the true cost of services listed in the proposed User Fee Schedule. The activities were defined in accordance with the US&FCS list of eleven (11) services offered by US&FCS, including both standard (6) and customized (5) services. As part of the cost of service study, the US&FCS conducted a workload survey to obtain a more accurate estimate of the true cost for delivery of specific services. The workload survey was designed and distributed to all US&FCS international and domestic field units. An operational audit technique was used for this workload survey. The operational data is based on level of effort exerted by a cross-section of staff members who are subject matter experts and practitioners. The independent contractor commissioned for the cost of service study reviewed the workflow process for delivery of standard and customized services, breaking out the discrete steps of each activity to obtain the estimated time to complete each step, then combined the step workload to determine the total workload estimate per service. The data submitted by various US&FCS field units was then aggregated to determine the global average of workload for each standard or customized service. The proposed global average hourly rate of $55.33 was based on actual staffing data and payroll for staff specifically engaged in the delivery of trade promotion services, rather than data aggregated from US&FCS staff as a VerDate Mar<15>2010 SME Current fee schedule Jkt 226001 whole. This resulted in a weighted average hourly rate that did not include overhead, benefits and other burdening factors. (These burdening factors were later added to produce the burdened hourly rate of $55.33.) Using FY2010 ITA budget data, fringe benefits and non-labor related costs (e.g. materials, supplies, rent, utilities, equipment) were prorated to determine the burdening rate that was to be added to the hourly rate. This resulted in an hourly rate that accounts for all applicable labor and non-labor costs specifically related to the delivery of services, which is consistent with federal accounting standards. Conclusion Based on the information provided above, the US&FCS believes its proposed fees are consistent with the objective of OMB Circular A–25 to ‘‘promote efficient allocation of the nation’s resources by establishing charges for special benefits provided to the recipient that are at least as great as the cost to the U.S. Government of providing the special benefits * * * ’’ OMB Circular A–25(5)(b). Ms. Erin Sullivan, U.S. & Foreign Commercial Service, Office of Strategic Planning & Resource Management, 1400 Constitution Avenue NW., Rm. C125, Washington, DC 20235, Phone: (202) 482–1539. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Elnora Moye, Trade Program Assistant. [FR Doc. 2012–14472 Filed 6–12–12; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–FP–P PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648–XC051 Atlantic Highly Migratory Species; Commercial Atlantic Region NonSandbar Large Coastal Shark Fishery Opening Date National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce. ACTION: Notice; fishery opening date. AGENCY: NMFS is announcing the opening date of the commercial Atlantic region non-sandbar large coastal shark fishery. This action is necessary to inform fishermen and dealers about the fishery opening date. DATES: The commercial Atlantic region non-sandbar large coastal shark fishery will open on July 15, 2012. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Karyl Brewster-Geisz or Guy DuBeck, 301–427–8503; fax 301–713–1917. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Atlantic shark fisheries are managed under the 2006 Consolidated Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Fishery Management Plan (FMP), its amendments, and its implementing regulations found at 50 CFR part 635 issued under authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.). On January 24, 2012 (77 FR 3393), the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) published a final rule that established quota levels and opening dates for the 2012 Atlantic commercial shark fisheries. In the final rule, we stated that the 2012 Atlantic nonsandbar large coastal shark (LCS) fishery would open on either the effective date of the final rule implementing the Atlantic HMS electronic dealer SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\13JNN1.SGM 13JNN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 114 (Wednesday, June 13, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 35355-35357]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-14472]


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

International Trade Administration

[Docket No. 120216141-2141-01]
RIN 0625-XA17


User Fee Schedule for Trade Promotion Services

AGENCY: U.S. & Foreign Commercial Service, International Trade 
Administration, Department of Commerce.

ACTION: Notice and request for comment.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The U.S. & Foreign Commercial Service (US&FCS) within the 
International Trade Administration (ITA) publishes this notice to 
announce its intent to adjust user fees in light of an independent cost 
of service study finding, which concluded that the US&FCS is not fully 
covering its costs for providing trade promotion services under the 
current fee structure. ITA provides a wide range of trade promotion 
information and services to U.S. businesses that are exporting or 
seeking to export. The services considered here are a subset of ITA 
activities that involve relatively more intensive time engagements with 
particular client firms; ITA will continue to provide its core 
information and services without charge. The primary objective of the 
adjustment to the User Fee Schedule is to ensure that the fees for the 
more intensive services reflect, to the extent possible, the actual 
costs incurred by the United States for providing these more intensive 
trade promotion services. The fee revenue is expected to continue to 
contribute to ITA's capabilities for assisting U.S. businesses in 
accessing export markets.
    In addition, in revising the user fees, the US&FCS proposes to 
revise the small & medium-sized enterprises (SME) hourly rate discount 
as well as the SME incentive program piloted in 2008. The US&FCS has 
historically offered a discount to SME's, defined as those which employ 
500 or less persons. Under the User Fee Schedule proposed in this 
notice, US&FCS will offer a discount of 50 percent per hour to SMEs.
    The purpose of this notice is to align user fees and authorized 
activities with actual program costs; and improve our ability to 
properly recover direct and indirect costs associated with service 
delivery.

DATES: We will consider all comments that we receive on or before 60 
days after publication in the Federal Register.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by either of the following methods:
    Federal eRulemaking Portal: www.Regulations.gov.
    Postal Mail/Commercial Delivery: Docket No. ITA-2012-0001 U.S. & 
Foreign Commercial Service, Office of Strategic Planning & Resource 
Management, 1400 Constitution Avenue NW., Rm. C125, Washington, DC 
20235.
    Supporting documents and any comments we receive on this docket may 
be viewed at http://www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail; D ITA-2012-
0001.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background

    The statutory mission of US&FCS is to ``place primary emphasis on 
the promotion of exports of goods and services from the United States, 
particularly by small businesses and medium-sized businesses, and on 
the protection of United States business interests abroad * * * through 
activities that include assisting United States exporters.'' 15 U.S.C. 
4721(b). The statute further defines the term ``United States 
exporter'' at 15 U.S.C. 4721(j) as a U.S. citizen, U.S. corporation, or 
foreign corporation that is more than 95% U.S.-owned that ``exports or 
seeks to export, goods or services produced in the United States.'' 
User fees may be collected from U.S. exporters that meet the Service 
Eligibility Policy issued in FY 2011.
    The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-25 encourages 
the

[[Page 35356]]

full recovery of costs through user fees for an appropriate share of 
goods and services provided to recipients of benefits beyond those 
accruing to the general public. Specifically, section 6 of Circular A-
25 states that ``when a service (or privilege) provides special 
benefits to an identifiable recipient beyond those that accrue to the 
general public, a charge will be imposed (to recover the full cost to 
the Federal Government for providing the special benefit, or the market 
price).'' A ``user fee'' is the amount paid by a recipient of a special 
benefit beyond those benefits accruing to the general public. A 
``special benefit'' may accrue and a user fee be imposed when a 
government service: (a) Enables the beneficiary to obtain more 
immediate or substantial gains or values than those that accrue to the 
general public; (b) is performed at the request or for the convenience 
of the recipient, and is beyond the services regularly received by 
members of the same industry or group or by the general public; or (c) 
provides business stability or contributes to public confidence in the 
business activity of the beneficiary.
    The direct or indirect cost of a service provided by the Federal 
Government includes, but is not limited to, the following:
     Direct and indirect personnel costs, including salaries 
and fringe benefits such as medical insurance and retirement. 
Retirement costs should include all (funded or unfunded) accrued costs 
not covered by employee contributions as specified in Circular A-11.
     Physical overhead, consulting, or other indirect costs 
including material and supply costs, utilities, insurance travel, and 
rents or imputed rents on land, buildings, and equipment.
     The management and supervisory costs.
     The costs of enforcement, collection, research, 
establishment of standards, and regulation, including any environmental 
impact statements.

User Fee Schedule

    The US&FCS offers Trade Promotion Services to U.S. businesses that 
consist of Standard Services and Customized Services. For each of these 
services, the US&FCS collects fees according to the User Fee Schedule 
that is made available on its Web site and agency publications. The 
``Standard Services'' listed in the User Fee Schedule are services that 
are performed in the same manner by all US&FCS field units. Other 
``Customized Services,'' not shown in the chart below, entail 
substantive variation of the scope of work.
    The US&FCS proposes to modify the user fees for both Standard 
Services and Customized Services. The Standard Services described below 
will no longer be assigned a standard global price. The proposed new 
User Fee Schedule provided below lists each standard service and the 
estimated number of hours for completion of service delivery. To 
determine the fee for any service, a flat hourly rate of $55.33 is 
multiplied by the estimated workload hours. Direct costs, such as 
transportation or an interpreter, will be discussed with the client and 
assessed in addition to the user fee. For Customized Services, the 
estimated workload hours will vary but the user fee will be calculated 
based on the flat rate of $55.33 per hour.
    The Standard Services that will be assessed under the new fees are 
described below.
    1. Business Service Provider is a program where the US&FCS offers 
both U.S. and non-U.S. professional service providers the opportunity 
to introduce their services to U.S. exporters via the web. This service 
helps U.S. or foreign firms promote services which facilitate export 
transactions, such as market assessments, financing, accounting or 
legal services. The duration of the web promotional message is one 
year.
    2. Featured U.S. Exporter is a service where the US&FCS provides a 
virtual directory of U.S. products featured on USFCS Web sites around 
the world. It enables U.S. exporters an opportunity to target specific 
markets in the local language of business. The duration of the 
advertisement is one year.
    3. Gold Key Service is a service where the US&FCS arranges meetings 
in foreign markets to match U.S. exporters with prospective sales 
agents or distributors, manufacturers, licensees, franchisees or 
strategic partners. The U.S. exporter identifies the type of firm it 
desires US&FCS to identify, screen, and evaluate according to criteria 
established by the U.S. exporter. The number of firms to be identified 
is determined by the client. A market briefing is provided.
    4. International Company Profile is a service where the US&FCS 
provides a research report on a prospective business partner's 
commercial viability and financial circumstances, which includes topics 
such as business registration, credit rating, profit and loss data, 
pending litigation, reputation, and US&FCS opinion about the firm and 
export prospects.
    5. International Partner Service is a service where the US&FCS 
provides a report concerning prospective sales agents or distributors, 
manufacturers, licensees, franchisees or strategic partners. The U.S. 
exporter identifies the type of firm it desires US&FCS to identify, 
screen, and evaluate according to criteria established by the U.S. 
exporter. The number of firms to be identified is determined by the 
client.
    6. Quicktake is a service where the US&FCS assists U.S. exporters 
to quickly determine which among more than 30 European markets offer 
the best export opportunities for a specific product or service and 
provides direction on how to enter those markets.

Pricing Discounts

    The US&FCS currently offers various discounts to SMEs. For all 
SMEs, the hourly rate is discounted 65 percent. In addition, the SME 
Incentive Program offers new-to-exporting firms a 50 percent discount 
from the full rate on the first Gold Key service, International Company 
Profile service or International Partner Search service, provided the 
firm meets the following criteria: (1) The firm's products are eligible 
for US&FCS fee-based assistance; (2) the firm has not exported in the 
prior 24 months; and (3) the firm has not previously received 
assistance from US&FCS. Other discounts involving bundling or bulk 
service orders were also offered in the past.
    Under this notice, US&FCS proposes to eliminate the SME incentive 
program. A SME discount of 50 percent per hour will be offered as an 
exception to the OMB full cost recovery guidance, resulting in a hourly 
rate of $27.66 for all SMEs.
    Full cost rates and SME discount rates are provided on the next 
page so that the public can comment upon the implications of full and 
SME rates.

[[Page 35357]]



                                                               Proposed User Fee Schedule
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                Average      Proposed fee for      Current fee  schedule     Dollar change in      Percentage change in
                                                service      average workload    ------------------------         pricing                 pricing
              Standard service                 delivery  ------------------------                        -----------------------------------------------
                                                 hours       Full         SME        Full         SME        Full         SME        Full         SME
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Business Service Provider...................          12         664         332         600         300          64          32          11          11
Featured U.S. Exporter......................           6         332         166         300         150          32          16          11          11
Gold Key Service............................          64       3,541       1,771       2,300         700       1,241       1,071          54         153
International Company Profile...............          23       1,273         636         900         600         373          36          41           6
International Partner Search................          49       2,711       1,356       1,400         500       1,311         856          94         171
Quicktake...................................          15         830         830         750         750          80          80          11          11
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Determining the Cost of Performing Each Service

    The cost of service methodology developed by US&FCS was designed to 
bring the organization closer to full cost recovery guidance set forth 
in OMB Circular A-25. To set prices that are ``self sustaining,'' the 
US&FCS had to determine the true cost of providing various trade 
promotion services.
    Federal Accounting Standards permit US&FCS to use an activity-based 
costing model to determine the true cost of services listed in the 
proposed User Fee Schedule. The activities were defined in accordance 
with the US&FCS list of eleven (11) services offered by US&FCS, 
including both standard (6) and customized (5) services.
    As part of the cost of service study, the US&FCS conducted a 
workload survey to obtain a more accurate estimate of the true cost for 
delivery of specific services. The workload survey was designed and 
distributed to all US&FCS international and domestic field units. An 
operational audit technique was used for this workload survey. The 
operational data is based on level of effort exerted by a cross-section 
of staff members who are subject matter experts and practitioners. The 
independent contractor commissioned for the cost of service study 
reviewed the workflow process for delivery of standard and customized 
services, breaking out the discrete steps of each activity to obtain 
the estimated time to complete each step, then combined the step 
workload to determine the total workload estimate per service. The data 
submitted by various US&FCS field units was then aggregated to 
determine the global average of workload for each standard or 
customized service.
    The proposed global average hourly rate of $55.33 was based on 
actual staffing data and payroll for staff specifically engaged in the 
delivery of trade promotion services, rather than data aggregated from 
US&FCS staff as a whole. This resulted in a weighted average hourly 
rate that did not include overhead, benefits and other burdening 
factors. (These burdening factors were later added to produce the 
burdened hourly rate of $55.33.) Using FY2010 ITA budget data, fringe 
benefits and non-labor related costs (e.g. materials, supplies, rent, 
utilities, equipment) were prorated to determine the burdening rate 
that was to be added to the hourly rate. This resulted in an hourly 
rate that accounts for all applicable labor and non-labor costs 
specifically related to the delivery of services, which is consistent 
with federal accounting standards.

Conclusion

    Based on the information provided above, the US&FCS believes its 
proposed fees are consistent with the objective of OMB Circular A-25 to 
``promote efficient allocation of the nation's resources by 
establishing charges for special benefits provided to the recipient 
that are at least as great as the cost to the U.S. Government of 
providing the special benefits * * * '' OMB Circular A-25(5)(b).

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Erin Sullivan, U.S. & Foreign 
Commercial Service, Office of Strategic Planning & Resource Management, 
1400 Constitution Avenue NW., Rm. C125, Washington, DC 20235, Phone: 
(202) 482-1539.

Elnora Moye,
Trade Program Assistant.
[FR Doc. 2012-14472 Filed 6-12-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-FP-P