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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 01-446



[49 PA. CODE CH. 13]

Application Fees

[31 Pa.B. 1468]

   The State Board of Funeral Directors (Board) proposes to amend § 13.12 (relating to fees) by revising certain application fees to read as set forth in Annex A.

   A.  Effective date

   The amendment will be effective upon publication of the final-form regulation in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

   B.  Statutory Authority

   The amendment is authorized under section 18.1 of the Funeral Director Law (act) (63 P. S. § 479.18.1).

   C.  Background and Purpose

   The act requires the Board to set fees by regulation so that revenues meet or exceed expenditures over a biennial period. General operating expenses of the Board are funded through biennial license renewal fees. Expenses related to applications or services which are provided directly to individual licensees or applicants are excluded from general operating revenues and are funded through fees in which the cost of providing the service forms the basis for the fee.

   In a recent systems audit of the operations of the Board within the Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs (Bureau), the fees for services to licensees and applicants were analyzed to determine if the fees reflected the actual cost of providing the services. Actual cost calculations are based upon the following formula:

number of minutes to perform the function
pay rate for the classification of personnel performing the function
a proportionate share of administrative overhead.

   In computing overhead charges, the boards and the Bureau include expenses resulting from service of support staff operations, equipment, technology initiatives or upgrades, leased office space and other sources not directly attributable to a specific board. Once determined, the Bureau's total administrative charge is apportioned to each board based upon that board's share of the total active licensee population. In turn, the board's administrative charge is divided by the number of active licensees to calculate a ''per application'' charge which is added to direct personnel cost to establish the cost of processing. The administrative charge is consistently applied to every application regardless of how much time the staff spends processing the application.

   This method of calculating administrative overhead to be apportioned to fees for services was first included in the biennial reconciliation of fees and expenses conducted in 1988-89. In accordance with the regulatory review, the method was approved by the Senate and House Standing Committees and IRRC as reasonable and consistent with the legislative intent of statutory provisions which require the Board to establish fees which meet or exceed expenses.

   The systems audit determined that the fees for 16 services do not accurately reflect the actual cost of providing those services.

   The current fees have not been revised since 1986. In addition, no fees are currently in place for: license application for shared funeral establishment; application for registration as preceptor or change; reinspection after failure; and verification of license or registration.

   In this proposal, fees for these services would be adjusted to allocate costs to those who use the service or make application. The Board would continue to apportion enforcement and operating costs to the general licensing population by means of its license renewal fee through the biennial reconciliation of revenue and expenditures.

   D.  Description of Services

   Professional licensing boards other than the Board of Funeral Directors have also been proposing revisions to nonrenewal fees. Review of the proposed new fee regulations by the legislative committees indicated that certain explanations of the services for which fees are charged would be helpful for an understanding of the need to set appropriate fees.

   The certification of an examination score is made at the request of a licensee when the licensee is seeking to obtain licensure in another state based upon licensure in this Commonwealth which was issued on the basis of a uniform National or regional examination which was taken in this Commonwealth. Generally the state of original licensure is the only source of the score of the licensee, as testing agencies do not maintain this information. The licensure laws of many states include provisions that licensure by reciprocity or endorsement based on licensure in another state will be granted only if the board or agency determines that the agencies have interpreted this provision to require that licensees have attained a score equal to or exceeding the passing rate in that jurisdiction at the time of original licensure. For this reason, these states require that the Pennsylvania board and other boards certify the examination score the applicant achieved on the licensure examination.

   The difference between the verification and certification fees is the amount of time required to produce the document requested by the licensee. As noted, states request different information when making a determination to grant licensure based on reciprocity or endorsement from another state. The Bureau has been able to create two documents from its records that will meet all of the needs of the requesting state. The licensee, when applying to the other state, receives information as to what documentation and form is acceptable to the requesting state. The Bureau then advises the licensee of the type of document the Bureau can provide and the fee. In the case of a ''verification'' the staff produces the requested documentation by a letter, usually computer generated, which contains the license number, date of original issuance and current expiration date, and status of the license. The letters are printed from the Bureau's central computer records and sent to the Board staff responsible for handling the licensee's application. The letters are sealed, folded and mailed in accordance with the directions of the requestor. The Board estimates the average time to prepare this document to be 5 minutes. The Bureau uses the term ''certification fee'' to describe the fee for a request for a document, again generally to support reciprocity or endorsement applications to other states, territories or countries, or for employment or training in another state. A certification document contains information specific to the individual requestor. It may include dates or location where examinations were taken, or scores achieved or hours and location of training. The information is entered onto a document which is usually supplied by the requestor. The average time to prepare a certification is 45 minutes. This is because a number of resources, such as files, microfilm and rosters must be retrieved and consulted in order to provide the information requested. The Board staff then seals and issues the document.

   E.  Compliance with Executive Order 1996-1

   In accordance with Executive Order 1996-1 (February 6, 1996), in drafting and promulgating the proposed amendment the Board considered the least restrictive alternative to regulate costs for services requested by licensees and applicants.

   F.  Fiscal Impact and Paperwork Requirements

   The proposed amendment will have no adverse fiscal impact on the Commonwealth or its political subdivisions. The fees will have a modest fiscal impact on those members of the private sector who apply for services from the Board. The amendment will impose no additional paperwork requirements upon the Commonwealth, political subdivisions or the private sector.

   G.  Sunset Date

   The Board continuously monitors the cost effectiveness of its regulations. Therefore, no sunset date has been assigned.

   H.  Regulatory Review

   Under section 5(a) of the Regulatory Review Act (71 P. S. § 745.5(a)), on March 6, 2001, the Board submitted a copy of this proposed amendment to the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) and the Chairpersons of the House Professional Licensure Committee and the Senate Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee. In addition to submitting the proposed amendment, the Board has provided IRRC and the Committees with a copy of a detailed regulatory analysis form prepared by the Board in compliance with Executive Order 1996-1, ''Regulatory Review and Promulgation.'' A copy of this material is available to the public upon request.

   Under section 5(g) of the Regulatory Review Act, if IRRC has objections to any portion of the proposed amendment, it will notify the Board within 10 days of the close of the Committees' review period. The notification shall specify the regulatory review criteria which have not been met by that portion. The Regulatory Review Act specifies detailed procedures for review, prior to final publication of the regulation, by the Board, the General Assembly and the Governor, of objections raised.

   I.  Public Comment

   Interested persons are invited to submit written comments, suggestions or objections regarding the proposed amendment to Cheryl B. Lyne, Administrative Officer, State Board of Funeral Directors, P. O. Box 2649, Harrisburg, PA 17105-2649, within 30 days of publication of this proposed rulemaking. Please reference No.16A-482 (Application Fees), when submitting comments.


   Fiscal Note:  16A-482. No fiscal impact; (8) recommends adoption.

Annex A





§ 13.12.  Fees.

   Following is the schedule of fees charged by the Board:

Initial registration for student trainee$[15]25
*      *      *      *      *

Initial registration for resident intern$[15]25
[Licensing examination for funeral director (oral, written and practical or any combination thereof)$87]
Initial license for funeral director$[20]25
Initial license for restricted business corporation, professional corporation, [branch office or] partnership or shared funeral establishment$[60]150
Initial license for estate or widow, sole proprietorship or branch office$[100]125
Initial registration for supervisor$[35]25
[License examination for funeral directors based in other states$130]
Address change without inspection$[15]35
Address change with inspection$[60]125
Reinspection after failure$85
Verification of licensure or registration$15

*      *      *      *      *

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 01-446. Filed for public inspection March 16, 2001, 9:00 a.m.]

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