Federal statute provides that each service or thing of value provided by an administrative agency to an individual shall be charged for in such a way as to make the agency service provided self-sustaining to the fullest extent[i]. Per statute an agency cannot be comprised of a mixed-ownership government corporation. Similarly, a person who can be charged does not include a person on official business of the U.S. Government.
Statute provides that in order to become self-sufficient the head of each agency should prescribe regulations establishing the charge or fees for a service or thing of value provided by the agency[ii]. However, regulations prescribed by the heads of executive agencies are subject to policies prescribed by the President and shall be as uniform as practicable[iii].
The charge for a service fixed by an administrative agency should be fair and based on[iv];
- the costs to the Government,
- the value of the service or thing to the recipient,
- public policy or interest served,
- other relevant facts
The power of administrative heads to prescribe regulations does not affect a law of the U.S. prohibiting the determination, collection and disposition of charges. Also, the power does not affect a law prescribing bases for determining charges[v]. The power to charge fees does not include the power to levy taxes[vi]. In Department of Ecology v. Theodoratus, 135 Wn.2d 582 (Wash. 1998) court held that an administrative agency which has discretionary authority to grant or renew a permit, may impose conditions on any such grant or renewal.
[i] 31 USCS § 9701(a)
[ii] 31 USCS § 9701(b)
[v] 31 USCS § 9701(c)
[vi] Vanceburg v. Federal Energy Regulatory Com., 571 F.2d 630 (D.C. Cir. 1977)