(a) General rule. The amount of the fee in each schedule for compliance determination inspections is based on the average hourly rate (which includes the costs to perform the required activities and necessary administration costs) multiplied by the average number of hours required or, if activities are performed by more than one of the entities listed in paragraph (b) of this section, the sum of the products of the applicable hourly rates multiplied by the average number of hours required by the entity to perform the activity. The fee for issuance of the registration certificate or certificate of compliance is based on the laboratory's scope and volume of testing.
(b) Determining average hourly rates used in fee schedules. Three different entities perform activities related to the issuance or reissuance of any certificate. HHS determines the average hourly rates for the activities of each of these entities.
(1) State survey agencies. The following costs are included in determining an average hourly rate for the activities performed by State survey agencies:
(i) The costs incurred by the State survey agencies in evaluating personnel qualifications and monitoring each laboratory's participation in an approved proficiency testing program. The cost of onsite inspections and monitoring activities is the hourly rate derived as a result of an annual budget negotiation process with each State. The hourly rate encompasses salary costs (as determined by each State's civil service pay scale) and fringe benefit costs to support the required number of State inspectors, management and direct support staff.
(ii) Travel costs necessary to comply with each State's administrative requirements and other direct costs such as equipment, printing, and supplies. These costs are established based on historical State requirements.
(iii) Indirect costs as negotiated by HHS.
(2) Federal agencies. The hourly rate for activities performed by Federal agencies is the most recent average hourly cost to HHS to staff and support a full time equivalent employee. Included in this cost are salary and fringe benefit costs, necessary administrative costs, such as printing, training, postage, express mail, supplies, equipment, computer system and building service charges associated with support services provided by organizational components such as a computer center, and any other oversight activities necessary to support the program.
(3) HHS contractors. The hourly rate for activities performed by HHS contractors is the average hourly rate established for contractor assistance based on an independent government cost estimate for the required workload. This rate includes the cost of contractor support to provide proficiency testing programs to laboratories that do not participate in an approved proficiency testing program, provide specialized assistance in the evaluation of laboratory performance in an approved proficiency testing program, perform assessments of cytology testing laboratories, conduct special studies, bill and collect fees, issue certificates, establish accounting, monitoring and reporting systems, and assist with necessary surveyor training.
(c) Determining number of hours. The average number of hours used to determine the overall fee in each schedule is HHS's estimate, based on historical experience, of the average time needed by each entity to perform the activities for which it is responsible.