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OMB BULLETIN NO. 98-03

OMB Letterhead

November 18, 1997

TO THE HEADS OF EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES
 

SUBJECT: Fiscal Year 1997 Information Collection Budget

I. Purpose. Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the OMB Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) is responsible for oversight of Federal agencies' use of information resources to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of governmental operations to serve agency missions, including burden reduction and service delivery to the public. As part of this oversight, and as required by statute, OIRA publishes an annual report describing the information collection burden imposed by the Federal government on the public, progress of the agencies towards the burden reduction goals set forth in the statute, and agency activities to improve the public's access to Federal information resources. This bulletin instructs agencies how to submit information to OIRA that will be the basis for this annual report and will demonstrate the agencies' fulfillment of their responsibilities under the Paperwork Reduction Act, including their continuing contribution to the statutory goal for paperwork burden reduction and the Administration's goal of a 25% paperwork burden reduction from FY 1995 to FY 1998.

II. Summary. This Bulletin and appendices instructs Executive departments and agencies:

A. to prepare an Information Collection Budget (ICB) for FY 1997 and FY 1998, including descriptions of significant burden reduction accomplishments and planned initiatives for these years;

B. to document agency violations of the information collection provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 and implementing regulations (5 CFR 1320); and

C. to demonstrate compliance with OMB Circular A-130, specifically section 8(a)(6) "Information Dissemination Management System" and section 9(a)(10).

These efforts will be led by the agency's Chief Information Officer (CIO) and carried out by senior-level agency officials. Note that this bulletin requires reporting which differs from that which was required in the past. The Appendices highlight these differences.

III. Authority. This Bulletin is issued pursuant to the Budget and Accounting Act of 1921, as amended; the Budget and Accounting Procedures Act of 1950, as amended; and the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

IV. Required Submissions. Executive department and agency reporting should be consistent with OMB fiscal and policy guidance. Agencies are to submit the following information in accordance with the instructions and formats provided:

A. One copy of the agency's Information Collection Budget, prepared in accordance with instructions in Appendix A.

B. One copy of data regarding agency compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act and implementing regulations, prepared in accordance with instructions in Appendix B.

C. One copy of data regarding compliance with OMB Circular No. A-130, "Management of Federal Information Resources," in accordance with the instructions in Appendix C.

You may submit any portion of this information electronically. Please use WordPerfect, version 6.1, file format on a 3.5" diskette. Please label the disk with the agency name and the filename of the submission.

V. Submission Date. Not later than February 15, 1998, each agency listed in Part VII (Coverage) shall provide the reports required by this Bulletin. The reports should be delivered to:

David Rostker
The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs
The Office of Management and Budget
New Executive Office Building, Room 10202
725 17th Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20503

VI. OMB Hearings on Submissions. During the last year, OMB has held hearings with many agencies on their progress toward burden reductions goals and agency compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act. OMB intends to continue this practice and will schedule hearings covering material submitted under this bulletin.

VII. Coverage. The following agencies are subject to the requirements of this Bulletin:

Department of Agriculture
Department of Commerce
Department of Defense
Department of Education
Department of Energy
Department of Health and Human Services
Department of Housing and Urban Development
Department of the Interior
Department of Justice
Department of Labor
Department of State
Department of Transportation
Department of the Treasury
Department of Veterans Affairs
Environmental Protection Agency
Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR Secretariat)
Federal Communications Commission
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
Federal Emergency Management Agency
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
Federal Trade Commission
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
National Science Foundation
Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Office of Personnel Management
Securities and Exchange Commission
Small Business Administration
Social Security Administration

VIII. Information Contacts. Questions about specific agency matters should be directed to the agency's Desk Officer in OMB's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.

Questions about this Bulletin should be directed to David Rostker, tel. (202) 395-3897, E-mail: rostker_d@a1.eop.gov.

IX. Expiration Date. This Bulletin expires September 30, 1998.

Franklin D. Raines
Director


Attachments
Bulletin No. 98-03
Appendix A

INFORMATION COLLECTION BUDGET (ICB)

I. Summary. This appendix explains what an Information Collection Budget (ICB) must include and what you must submit to OMB. You should note that the requirements for this year differ from previous years.

In preparation for the ICB, you need:

  1. to verify OMB's computer records of your agency's information collection activity;
  2. to present an accounting of your agency's total information collection burden as of the end of the previous and current fiscal years and to verify a breakdown by function of the burden imposed by your agency;
  3. to describe information collections with significant changes in burden (including new collections) during the previous fiscal year; and
  4. to describe information collections with significant changes in burden (including new collections) planned for the current fiscal year.

You should note three significant changes to the ICB preparation from last year. First, you are requested to verify the categorization by purpose of your agency's burden, based on the information provided on the Form 83-I, question 15, and compiled from our records. Second, instead of documenting only significant decreases as in past years, you will need to document significant increases and decreases. Third, you should provide information about any new initiatives, including statutory mandates, that have affected or will affect your paperwork burden.

While you prepare your ICB and estimate your agency's total information collection burden for FY 1998, you should take into consideration statutory goal for paperwork burden reduction, the Administration's goal of a 25% reduction in paperwork burden by the end of FY 1998 from the FY 1995 baseline, and your agency's Information Streamlining Plan, submitted under OMB Bulletin 97-03, dated January 13, 1997.

II. Verify FY 1997 Individual Information Collections. Enclosed with this Bulletin is a list from OMB's official records of all active information collections and their associated burden figures as of the end of FY 1997 (September 30, 1997). Check the "annual reporting hours" for each collection presented in this inventory list against your own records. You should not submit corrections for 83-I and 83-C submissions approved after September 30, 1997.

If there are no errors in the OMB printout, include in your cover letter to the ICB a statement to that effect.

If there are errors, provide OMB with the revised annual reporting hours. You do not need re-submit the entire inventory list, but rather only those pages containing annual reporting hours revisions and any appropriate documentation.

III. Statement of Agency's Total Information Collection Burden. Summarize, in the format in Exhibit 1, your agency's total information collection burden (in hours and in number of ongoing collections) for FY 1997 as corrected in Section II and as estimated for FY 1998. If there are expired information collections for which reinstatement was pending as of September 30, 1997, include these burden hours in your total FY 1997 burden and provide a list of these collections and hour burdens.

Follow this listing with a breakdown of your agency's FY 1997 total hour burden by purpose. Use the following consolidated categories from question 15 of the 83-I:

  1. Application for benefits;
  2. Program management (includes "Program evaluation" and "Program planning or management");
  3. General purpose statistics;
  4. Research; and
  5. Regulatory (includes "Audit" and "Regulatory or compliance").

In addition, we request that you report on the number of burden hours imposed by your agency through "third-party disclosure" requirements. Definitions of these terms are in section VI of this appendix.

You may base your submission on the information we have provided you or you may do your own analysis. If you use our data, please assign each of the OMB numbers listed as "Unassigned Primary Purpose" to one of these seven categories and report the new totals.

Follow these listings with a description, in narrative form, of primary goals and timetables towards reducing burden on the public; these goals should be consistent with improving agency management of the information collection review process. Also describe any circumstances, including new statutes and initiatives, which may prevent or reverse burden reduction efforts.

IV. Significant Burden Changes for FY 1997. Using the format in Exhibit 2, detail your agency's most significant FY 1997 actions that changed the information collection burdens on the public, both increases and decreases. Do not report every program change, just the most noteworthy. For each action, list the OMB numbers affected, describe the specific changes (e.g., more frequent reporting, consolidation of several forms, cross-cutting activities), the causes for action (e.g., new statutes, initiatives, policy changes), a breakdown of the hours affected by each change, and whether each change was due to program changes or adjustments to the reported burden (See Section VII. Definitions). Use the comments section to explain any additional details, including specific statutory changes which led directly to changes in paperwork burden. Please be specific, but brief. Attach additional sheets as necessary.

V. Significant Burden Changes for FY 1998. Using the format in Exhibit 3, detail your agency's most significant planned actions for FY 1998 that will change the information collection burdens on the public, both increases and decreases. Do not report every change, just the most noteworthy. Be sure to include significant actions which will be required by changes in statute. For each action, list the OMB numbers affected, describe the specific changes (e.g., more frequent reporting, consolidation of several forms, cross-cutting activities), the causes for action (e.g., new statutes, initiatives, policy changes), a breakdown of the hours affected by each change, and whether each change was due to program changes or adjustments to your reported burden (See Section VII. Definitions). Use the comments section to explain any additional details. Please be specific, but brief. Attach additional sheets as necessary.

VI. Burden Categories. You are requested to categorize your agency's burden into seven categories and report on the burden of "third-party disclosures". These categories are described below.

  1. Application for benefits covers the collection of information which is required in order to receive a benefit of any form from the agency, including entitlements, grants, permits, loans, and contracts.
  2. Program management covers any collection of information designed to obtain information necessary to conduct program oversight, make decisions about program operations, develop new program strategies, or assess the efficiency or effectiveness of an existing program. This category includes "Program evaluation" and "Program planning or management" categories in number 15 on the 83-I.
  3. General purpose statistics includes those surveys which are performed to generate statistical compilations of general public interest and not for any specific programmatic purpose.
  4. Research covers any collection of information designed to test an hypothesis, permit conclusions to be drawn, and thereby to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge.
  5. Regulatory covers any collection of information required of a regulated population as part of their obligations under statute or regulation. This category include "Regulatory or compliance" and "Audit" categories in number 15 on the 83-I

Third-party Disclosures are situations where a person is required, by a Federal agency, to provide information to a person or entity other than the Federal government. These include required reporting from companies to citizens through labels, posters, or advertisements.

VII. Definitions. Program changes should not be confused with adjustments.

A "Program increase" is an additional burden resulting from an action or directive of the Executive branch of the Federal government (e.g., an increase in sample size or coverage, amount of information, reporting frequency, or expanded use of an existing form). This also includes previously in-use and unapproved information collections discovered during the ICB process, or during the fiscal year, which will be in use during the next fiscal year.

A "Program decrease" is a reduction in burden because of: (1) the discontinuation of an information collection; or (2) a change in an existing information collection as by a Federal agency (e.g., the use of sampling (or smaller samples), a decrease in the amount of information requested (fewer questions), or a decrease in reporting frequency).

An "Adjustment" denotes a change in burden hours due to factors over which the government has no control, such as population growth, or in factors which do not affect what information the government collects or how (e.g., changes in the methods used to estimate burden or correction of errors in burden estimates).

Note: For sections III. and IV., only expired collections that are no longer in use (and will not be put back in use) can be counted as program decreases (e.g., surveys that have been completed). For an expired collection which is still in use and for which reinstatement is pending or expected, agencies should write "REINSTATEMENT PENDING" in the margin next to the collection.

INFORMATION COLLECTION BUDGET

EXHIBIT 1

Information Collection Burden Reduction Achievements and Goals

INFORMATION COLLECTION BUDGET  EXHIBIT 1  Information Collection Burden Reduction Achievements and Goals

INFORMATION COLLECTION BUDGET  EXHIBIT 1  Information Collection Burden Reduction Achievements and Goals

 

  1. (1) Describe, in narrative form, primary goals and timetables towards reducing burden on the public; these goals should be consistent with improving agency management of the information collection review process. Also describe any circumstances, include new statutes and initiatives, which may prevent or reverse burden reduction efforts.

 

INFORMATION COLLECTION BUDGET

EXHIBIT 2

FY 1997 Significant Changes in Burden

Title(s): U.S. Survey OMB Number(s): 0000-0000

Total Burden Hours, end of FY 1996: 12,000,000

Total Burden Hours, end of FY 1997: 14,000,000

INFORMATION COLLECTION BUDGET  EXHIBIT 2


Comments: [Use this section to provide additional information about the actions described on this sheet. Please include specific language or cites, if appropriate.]

[You may use this format to describe changes in a single collection, changes in a series of related collections, or changes through a coordinated agency initiative.]

INFORMATION COLLECTION BUDGET

EXHIBIT 3

FY 1998 Significant Planned Changes in Burden

Title(s): U.S. Survey OMB Number(s): 0000-0000

Total Burden Hours, end of FY 1997: 12,000,000 [sum for all collections listed above]

Expected Total Burden Hours, end of FY 1998: 14,000,000

INFORMATION COLLECTION BUDGET  EXHIBIT 3

Comments: [Use this section to provide additional information about the actions described on this sheet. Please include specific language or cites, if appropriate.]

[You may use this format to describe changes in a single collection, changes in a series of related collections, or changes through a coordinated agency initiative.]


Bulletin No. 98-03
Appendix B

Compliance
Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 and 5 C.F.R. 1320

I. Summary. This appendix explains what you must submit to OMB to report violations of the information collection provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995 and OMB's implementing regulations, 5 C.F.R. 1320, over the last fiscal year. OMB is required to report PRA violations to Congress, but this is the first time agencies are asked to self-report violations as required by 44 U.S.C. 3514.

II. Instructions. For each violation that occurred during FY 1997, provide the following information:

  1. Title of the collection and OMB control number if ever assigned;
  2. Nature of the violation, (for example:
  3. Unapproved collection;
  4. Expiration of ongoing collection;
  5. Modification of an approved collection without prior OMB approval; or
  6. Failure to display OMB control number.);
  7. How the violation was discovered; and
  8. How the violation was remedied.

If you discover any violations during the preparation of this report, please contact your OIRA desk officer and remedy the violation immediately.

III. Attachments. To assist you in reviewing your agency's actions over FY 1997 for PRA violations, OMB has included in this bulletin two lists, generated from the official computer records.

The first list details collections that expired during the last fiscal year and had not been reinstated as of September 30, 1997. The second list details collections that were reinstated during the fiscal year.


Bulletin No. 98-03
Appendix C

Compliance with the Information Dissemination Provisions of the
Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 and OMB Circular No. A-130

I. Summary. This appendix explains what you must submit to OMB to demonstrate compliance by your agency with two specific sections of OMB Circular No. A-130 "Management of Federal Information Resources," as revised on February 8, 1996 (61 Federal Register 6434, February 20, 1996):

  1. Section 8(b)(6), which requires the agency to maintain and implement a management system for all information dissemination products; and
  2. Section 9(a)(10), which requires you to report to OMB all alleged failures to comply with this Circular.

II. Information Dissemination Management System. Describe your agency's information dissemination management system, as required by Section 8(b)(6), including an assessment of the agency's progress in developing and implementing its portion of the Government Information Locator System, as mandated by 44 U.S.C. 3511, and explain how this system functions with regards to your agency's most important information dissemination programs. This management system need not be an elaborate formal system, so long as you can ensure that your agency is performing the appropriate information dissemination activities on a routine basis. For a more in depth description of this system and what it must cover, see Appendix IV of the Circular.

III. Alleged Failures to Comply with OMB Circular No. A-130. Section 9(a)(10) of the Circular provides that the head of each agency shall:

(10) Direct the senior official [CIO] appointed pursuant to 44 U.S.C. 3506(b) to monitor agency compliance with the policies, procedures, and guidance in this Circular. Acting as an ombudsman, the senior official shall consider alleged instances of agency failure to comply with this Circular and recommend or take corrective action as appropriate. The senior official shall report annually, not later than February 1st of each year, to the Director [of OMB] those instances of alleged failure to comply with this Circular and their resolution.

Include this report in your submission to OMB under this bulletin. If you have received no complaints for FY 1997, state that fact at the end of your submission.

IV. Additional information. Copies of OMB Circular A-130 are available via the Internet on OMB's homepage at /OMB.

  1. Sum of burden hours for all collections for FY 1997.
  2. Sum of expected burden hours for all collections for FY 1998.
  3. Total number (count) of all collections for FY 1997.
  4. Total number (count) of all collections for FY 1998.