WSR 05-01-231

PROPOSED RULES

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE


[ Filed December 22, 2004, 11:17 a.m. ]

Original Notice.

Preproposal statement of inquiry was filed as WSR 04-22-095.

Title of Rule and Other Identifying Information: The department is proposing amendments to WAC 16-237-195 Fees for warehouse audit and related services, that: (1) Establish a fee for services performed by the department when conducting special year-end inventories requested by licensed warehouse operators; and (2) increase, beyond the Office of Financial Management fiscal growth rate factor, the fees charged by the department for all services (except conducting special year-end inventories) performed by the WSDA warehouse audit program. These services include, but are not limited to special technical assisted audits of records and inventories, observation of sampling of commodities, collection of samples for Karnal Bunt, and remeasurement of commodities and storage bins.

Hearing Location(s): Spokane County Agricultural Center, 222 North Havana, Spokane, WA, on January 25, 2005, at 2:00 p.m.

Date of Intended Adoption: March 15, 2005.

Submit Written Comments to: George Huffman, Department of Agriculture, 1111 Washington Street S.E., P.O. Box 42560, Olympia, WA 98504-2560, e-mail ghuffman@agr.wa.gov, fax (360) 902-1802 by 5:00 p.m. on January 25, 2005.

Assistance for Persons with Disabilities: Contact Virginia Walsh by January 18, 2005, TTY (360) 902-1976.

Purpose of the Proposal and Its Anticipated Effects, Including Any Changes in Existing Rules: The proposed amendments to WAC 16-237-195 will enable the warehouse audit program to recover costs for services performed by: (1) Establishing a fee for year-end inventories requested by licensed warehouse operators; and (2) increasing the fees for program service performed (other than year-end inventories) at the request of warehouse operators, grain dealers, and government agencies. These services include, but are not limited to, providing special technical assisted audits of records and inventories, observing commodity sampling, collecting samples for Karnal Bunt, and remeasurement of commodity and storage bins.

Reasons Supporting Proposal: In section 309(2), chapter 25, Laws of 2003, 2003 1st sp.s. (ESSB 5404) the department is allowed to increase its fees, for the 2003-2005 biennium, beyond the fiscal growth rate factor. The warehouse audit program has been performing special year-end inventory services at no charge to the industry since 1998. Current cost data shows that the cost of performing these special inventories is more than $33,000.00. Establishing a fee for this service enables the program to recover the costs of performing the service. This special inventory helps warehouse company CPA's establish the quality and quantity of commodities in a warehouse. Such information is needed by the CPA when preparing the companies year-end financial statement. Increasing the fee for other services performed from the current $23.00 to the proposed $33.00 per hour also enables the warehouse audit program to recover the costs for performing those services.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: Chapter 25, Laws of 2003 1st sp.s., chapters 22.09 and 34.05 RCW.

Statute Being Implemented: RCW 22.09.020(13).

Rule is not necessitated by federal law, federal or state court decision.

Name of Proponent: Washington State Department of Agriculture, governmental.

Name of Agency Personnel Responsible for Drafting, Implementation and Enforcement: Don Michelbook, 617 North Fancher Road, Spokane, WA, (509) 533-2488.

No small business economic impact statement has been prepared under chapter 19.85 RCW. The warehouse audit program surveyed the seventy-four business entities affected by the proposed amendments. The response rate to the survey was 68%. Of those responding, 86% supported the new fee for year-end audit services and 72% supported the increase in fees for other services. Based upon these results, the department has concluded that there is industry support for the proposed amendments and that the new fee for service and the increase in current fees does not constitute a "more than minor" impact on business. Therefore, a formal small business economic impact statement is not required.

A cost-benefit analysis is not required under RCW 34.05.328. The Washington State Department of Agriculture is not a listed agency under RCW 34.05.328 (5)(a)(i) and, therefore, a cost-benefit analysis is not required.

December 22, 2004

Robert W. Gore

Assistant Director

OTS-7686.1


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending WSR 00-21-043, filed 10/13/00, effective 11/13/00)

WAC 16-237-195   Fees for warehouse audit and related services.   ((These)) The following fees ((shall be applied)) apply to the following services:

(1) ((Measurement of new or additional storage including outside grain storage that requires a second and/or additional inspection or measurement, per hour . . . . . . . . . . . . $ 23.00

(2) Special year end audits that require remeasurement at the request of the warehouse operator, per hour . . . . . . . . . . . . $ 23.00

(3) Commodity Credit Corporation samples may be drawn by department personnel at the rate established by the grain inspection program.

(4) Appropriate overtime charges, mileage, and travel charges incurred by department personnel shall be assessed.)) For year-end inventories requested by a warehouse operator, the department charges the following:


A fee of: If requested:
(a) 10% of the warehouse license fee By July 30th of each year
(b) 15% of the warehouse license fee After July 30 of each year

(2)(a) The hourly rate for all other services performed by the warehouse audit program at the request of warehouse operators, grain dealers and/or other government agencies is $33.00 per hour.

(b) These services include, but are not limited to, technical assisted audits of records and inventory, observation of sampling of commodities, collection of samples for the Karnal Bunt Survey, and remeasurement of commodities and storage bins.

(3) In addition to the hourly rate established in subsection (2)(a) of this section, the department assesses appropriate charges for overtime, mileage, meals, and lodging expenses incurred by department personnel when providing the types of services identified in subsection (2)(b) of this section.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 22.09.020(13). 00-21-043, 16-237-195, filed 10/13/00, effective 11/13/00.]

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