USDA User Fees

RCED-95-229R: Published: Jun 23, 1995. Publicly Released: Jun 23, 1995.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the growth and administration of user fee programs at the Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), Federal Grain Inspection Service (FGIS), and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). GAO noted that: (1) the total amount of user fees that APHIS and AMS collected increased from $145.2 million in fiscal year (FY) 1988 to $295.6 million in FY 1993, while FGIS fees decreased from $34.2 million in FY 1988 to $33.3 million in FY 1993; (2) the agencies used at least 90 percent of the revenues collected through user fees to fund program services and pay support costs; (3) the cost of legal services has not affected USDA ability to deliver program services; and (4) rates charged by the three agencies for program services often differed from the rates charged by states, local governments, and private entities for similar services, due to differences in labor rates and the extent of government subsidies.

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