U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20240
August 29, 2011
In Reply Refer To:
3830 (320) P
EMS TRANSMISSION 08/31/2011
Instruction Memorandum No. 2011-176
To: All State Directors (Except AK)
Attn: Mining Law Adjudication and CBS Accounting Technicians
From: Assistant Director, Minerals and Realty Management
Subject: Procedures for Earning Nonrefundable Mining Law Processing Fees
Program Area: Mining Law Administration.
Purpose: This Instruction Memorandum (IM) outlines procedures for earning nonrefundable Mining Law processing fees when documents submitted with those processing fees cannot be processed or recorded and are returned to the remitter or mining claimant unrecorded.
Policy/Action: To ensure that nonrefundable processing fees are properly earned when a Mining Law supplemental document is unacceptable and returned unrecorded, three new Commodity, Subject, and Actions (CSA) in the Collections and Billings System (CBS) and a new action code in the Legacy Rehost 2000 (LR2000) system were created specifically to be used in the process to earn the fees.
In conjunction with the CBS personnel in their states, some Bureau of Land Management (BLM) State Office Mining Law Adjudication teams have established procedures to recognize supplemental documents that are not suitable for recording and return those documents and processing fees to the mining claimant or remitter without formal adjudication. This is an acceptable policy as long as no adjudication of the document has been completed. For instance, a document received on a closed case or without a BLM serial number can be returned directly by CBS personnel if those are the instituted office procedures within the state. However, once a document is distributed to Mining Law adjudication for processing, the nonrefundable processing fee will always be earned whether the document is actually acceptable for recordation or not.
Accordingly, the following procedures are to be followed when returning documents unrecorded to mining claimants or remitters:
1. Supplemental document and processing fee received, identified with a BLM serial number, on a closed case. When a supplemental document, identified with a BLM serial number, is received with the processing fee, and CBS personnel discover the claim is closed, CBS personnel will either:
2. Supplemental document and fee received without a BLM serial number: When a mining claim supplemental document is received with a nonrefundable processing fee and a BLM serial number has not been provided, CBS personnel will either:
3. Document unacceptable for recording. If the Mining Law Adjudication Team receives a supplemental document with a CBS receipt through normal operating procedures for an active mining claim or site, and during adjudication the document is determined to be unacceptable for recording with the BLM, the Mining Law adjudicator will return the document to the claimant unrecorded and earn the nonrefundable processing fee. However, instead of having to manually inform the CBS technician to earn the fee, the adjudicator will now earn the fee by updating LR2000 with Action Code (AC) 398 – DOC RETURN UNRECORDED. By adding AC 398 to LR2000, the processing fee will be earned to the proper Mining Law account during the nightly CBS/LR2000 interface. Additionally, the related entry in LR2000 that was generated through the CBS/LR2000 interface when the supplemental document and fee were received (AC 392 – MONIES RECEIVED) will programmatically delete when all the processing fees for that document are accounted for in CBS.
4. LR2000 data entry for documents returned unrecorded. To make certain the nonrefundable fees are all accounted for in CBS, the Mining Law adjudicator must pay strict attention to the data standards for AC 398. The action date will be the date the supplemental document is returned to the claimant. When entering AC 398, the adjudicator will also add the dollar amount of the fee in action remarks, followed by a semicolon and the associated LR2000 AC related to the type of document being returned. For example, if a quitclaim deed is received that transfers interest in one mining claim to four claimants, a processing fee of $40 should have been received ($10 per claimant per claim or site). If the quitclaim deed is returned unrecorded, the entry in LR2000 will be as follows:
Timeframe: This policy is effective immediately.
Budget Impact: None.
Background: The Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 and the BLM cost recovery regulations allow fees to be established for the processing of applications and documents related to the use of the public lands. In accordance with 43 CFR 3000.10(b) and 3000.12(a), these fixed fees are nonrefundable and will be earned as a service charge even if an application or document is not approved or it is withdrawn by the applicant. Previously, there has never been an actual procedure for earning processing fees when a document was not acceptable and was returned unrecorded. Some offices have created internal and informal methods of earning the fees; however, since there was never any specific action created in CBS for earning processing fees when the document is returned unrecorded, adjudicators and CBS personnel were never quite certain which account to use to earn the fees. Therefore, at times offices have either just returned  or even refunded  the fees.
Three new actions have been created in CBS and a new action code created in LR2000 which will make it more efficient to earn nonrefundable processing fees. The instructions in this IM will clarify the process and will help to make certain the nonrefundable processing fee is always earned when a mining law adjudicator processes a supplemental document, even when that document is returned to the claimant unrecorded.
Manual/Handbook Sections Affected: The policy contained in this IM will be incorporated into H-3830-1, Administration of Mining Claims.
Coordination: This IM was coordinated through the Division of Solid Minerals (WO-320) and the National Operations Center Collections and Billings Section (OC-621).
Contact: If you have any questions concerning this IM, please contact me at 202-208-4201, or your staff may contact Mitchell Leverette, Chief, Division of Solid Minerals, at 202-912-7113, email address Mitchell_Leverette@blm.gov, or Sonia Santillan at 202-912-7123, email address Sonia_Santillan@blm.gov.
Signed by: Authenticated by:
Michael Nedd Robert M. Williams
Assistant Director Division of IRM Governance,WO-560
Minerals and Realty Management
The Commodity, Subject, and Action (CSA) is: Commodity = Locatable Minerals; Subject = Locatable Minerals-Suspense; and Action = Pending Adjudication-One Week Only.
Commodity = Locatable Minerals; Subject = Mining Claims Earned & Adjud Transfers Only; and Action = Nonrefundable Processing Fee No Authno.
If the CBS technician does not immediately process the payment for deposit, the actual payment (e.g., personal check, money order, cashier’s check) can be returned with an explanation why it is not acceptable.
If the remittance is deposited, then the adjudicator authorizes a refund in CBS and informs the remitter why the refund has been authorized and when to expect the refund. Nonrefundable processing fees should never be refunded unless an overpayment is received.