Federal User Fees: Fee Design Characteristics and Trade-Offs Illustrated by USCIS's Immigration and Naturalization Fees

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Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "In light of increasing congressional interest in user fee financing, GAO developed a framework for examining user fee design characteristics that may influence the effectiveness of user fees. Specifically, we examined how the four key characteristics of user fees--how fees are set, collected, used, and reviewed--may affect the economic efficiency, equity, revenue adequacy, and administrative burden of cost-based fees. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is responsible for granting or denying the millions of immigration and naturalization applications each year and charges fees to recover all processing ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. March 23, 2010.

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Description

Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "In light of increasing congressional interest in user fee financing, GAO developed a framework for examining user fee design characteristics that may influence the effectiveness of user fees. Specifically, we examined how the four key characteristics of user fees--how fees are set, collected, used, and reviewed--may affect the economic efficiency, equity, revenue adequacy, and administrative burden of cost-based fees. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is responsible for granting or denying the millions of immigration and naturalization applications each year and charges fees to recover all processing costs. In 2007, USCIS completed a fee review to determine the level at which fees should be set to recover the full cost of its services and increased application fees by an average of 86 percent. USCIS is preparing its first fee review since the 2007 fee increase. It is critical that USCIS and the Congress have the best possible information when overseeing these fees and the operations they fund. This testimony focuses on (1) user fee design and implementation characteristics and criteria, (2) cost assignment and trade-offs identified in USCIS's 2007 fee review, and (3) additional considerations for fee-funded agencies. It is based on past GAO reports, which included recommendations to the Secretary of Homeland Security (DHS). DHS agreed to consider these recommendations in their next fee review."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • March 23, 2010

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  • June 11, 2014, 5:03 a.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Federal User Fees: Fee Design Characteristics and Trade-Offs Illustrated by USCIS's Immigration and Naturalization Fees, text, March 23, 2010; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc290513/: accessed August 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.