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Bulletin No. 98-09 -- Fiscal Year 1999 Information Collection Budget

OMB Letterhead

September 17, 1998

OMB BULLETIN NO. 98-09

TO THE HEADS OF EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES

SUBJECT:  Fiscal Year 1999 Information Collection Budget

 

  1. 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 (a governmentwide burden reduction of 5% in FY 1998, FY 1999, and FY 2000), 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 the annual report and the agency targets to be set by OMB to achieve the "maximum practicable" burden reduction consistent with the agency's statutory and program responsibilities.

     

  2. Summary. This Bulletin sets, in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act, the governmentwide goal for the reduction of information collection burdens for Fiscal Year 1999, and instructs Executive departments and agencies:

     

    1. to prepare an Information Collection Budget (ICB) for FY 1999, including: a narrative description of the agency's need to collection information; a description of the agency's management of information collections within its information resource management infrastructure; descriptions of significant burden reduction accomplishments; and planned initiatives for these and future years;

       

    2. to describe how the agency calculates the information collection burden estimates reported to OMB as part of the information collection request; and

       

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

    These efforts will be led by the agencies' Chief Information Officers (CIOs) and carried out by senior-level agency officials. Note that this bulletin requires different reporting than was required in the past. The Appendices highlight these differences.

     

  3. 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.

     

  4. Governmentwide Paperwork Reduction Goal for FY 1999. The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 requires OMB to "set an annual Government-wide goal for the reduction of information collection burdens by at least . . . 5 percent during each of the fiscal years 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2001." 44 U.S.C. 3505(a)(1). In accordance with the Act, and in light of the agencies' statutory and programmatic requirements as reflected in prior ICBs, OMB hereby sets a "Government-wide goal for the reduction of information collection burdens" for FY 1999 of 5%.

     

  5. 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:

     

    1. The agency's Information Collection Budget and supporting material, prepared in accordance with the instructions in Appendix A.

       

    2. Data regarding agency compliance with the information collection provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act, prepared in accordance with the instructions in Appendix B.

       

    3. A description of how the agency prepares estimates of information collection burden for submission to OMB, prepared in accordance with instructions in Appendix C

       

    4. Data regarding agency compliance with Section 9(a)(10) of OMB Circular No. A-130 "Management of Federal Information Resources," prepared in accordance with the instructions in Appendix D.

    For the first time, agencies are asked to submit this information electronically together with one paper copy. Please use file format WordPerfect, versions 6.1 or 7.0, or Microsoft Word, version 5.0, on a 3.5" diskette. Please label the disk with the agency name and the filename(s) of the submission.

     

  6. Submission Date. Not later than December 15, 1998, each agency listed in Part VIII (Coverage) shall provide the reports required by this Bulletin.

    The reports should be delivered to:

     

    David Rostker

     

    Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs

    Office of Management and Budget

    725 17th Street, NW - Room 10202

    Washington, D.C. 20503

     

     

  7. OMB Hearings on Submissions. In previous years, OMB 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, as needed, hearings covering material submitted under this bulletin.

     

  8. 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
    Securities and Exchange Commission
    Small Business Administration
    Social Security Administration

     

  9. 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: David_Rostker@omb.eop.gov.

     

  10. Expiration Date. This Bulletin expires September 30, 1999.


Jacob J. Lew
Director

 

Attachments

 


Bulletin No. 98-09
Appendix A

 

INFORMATION COLLECTION BUDGET (ICB)

 

  1. 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.

    The first document you will need to prepare, described in section III, is a description of your agency's strategic plan to improve the management of information collection activities and your accomplishments to minimize burden on the public. This information will help OMB prepare the Information Collection Budget and set targets for burden reduction in FY 1999.

    The second document of your submission, described in section IV, will serve as a starting point for OMB's preparation of your agency's section in the Information Collection Budget. This narrative should be written in a format and manner similar to chapter 4 of the Information Collection Budget of the United States, Fiscal Year 1998, published by OMB in July 1998. Other information you submit in response to sections V, VI, and VII, will support this narrative.

    Many agencies now report paperwork burden in terms of dollar costs, as well as burden hours. For example, the burden of a regulatory recordkeeping requirement is more readily estimated in terms of the dollar cost (e.g., for the space and equipment needed for storage) than time. Similarly, the burden of a third-party disclosure (e.g., the table describing the nutritional content of packages foods on food containers) is also more readily estimated in terms of cost. (These dollar costs are separate from hour burdens and are not hour burdens that are converted into dollars.) Starting with this ICB, OMB intends to begin reporting both the hour and financial burdens of information collections as reported by the agencies in their information collection requests. Thus, in submitting information concerning paperwork burden, you should include, as appropriate, both burden hours and dollar costs. The following instructions for agency submissions reflect this change.

     

  2. Preparation. In preparation for developing your agency's ICB, you will need to:

     

    1. review the program changes and adjustments your agency made during FY 1998;

       

    2. review and update your agency's burden reduction efforts and plans to achieve the "maximum practicable" burden reduction during FY 1999, given your agency's statutory and program responsibilities; and

       

    3. plan for program changes and adjustments to your agency's inventory during FY 1999 and estimate your FY 1999 total information collection burden.

    OMB has already requested that errors in the paperwork inventory be corrected based upon the July 31, 1998, and August 31, 1998, monthly inventories already sent to your agency. As OMB stated:

     

    "We'd also like to request your assistance in eliminating errors in the inventory early. In past years, in preparing for the Information Collection Budget, we sent a hard copy of the inventory to you to review and submit corrections. This is no longer necessary because of the monthly electronic transmittal of the inventory. Please review the monthly inventories for errors as soon as you receive them, so that we do not need to adjust the September 30 numbers for publication. We would also like to ensure that, wherever appropriate, actual cost information is reported."

    OMB did this in order to allow you to begin reviewing the correcting errors in the paperwork inventory early, thus permitting you to develop the submissions for the 1999 ICB based on a corrected September 30, 1998, inventory.

     

  3. Agency's Strategic Plans for Information Collection Management. In a separate document, provide a description, in narrative form, of primary goals, objectives, and strategies for minimizing burden on the public; these goals should be consistent with improving agency management of the information collection review process and agency statutory and program missions. The goals should also contribute to the "maximum extent practicable," given your agencies' statutory and program responsibilities, towards OMB's goal of a government-wide 5% reduction for FY 1999 and FY 2000. The description will be used by OMB to prepare the Information Collection Budget, including your agency's burden reduction targets, and to evaluate your agency's management of information collection resources.

    This document should be a strategic plan for reducing burden and improving information resources management. The narrative should be centered on the big picture, looking at ways the CIO is working to improve information collection activities and reduce information collection burden. This would include efforts such as electronic reporting and recordkeeping, intra- and inter-agency coordination, and public participation.

    Support this strategic plan with descriptions of specific actions your agency will take to find opportunities for burden reduction, including which target programs, your timetables for performing such actions, and the CIO's role in these actions. Describe any circumstances beyond your control, including new statutes and government-wide initiatives, which may prevent or reverse burden reduction efforts. If your strategy requires interagency or OMB assistance, this document should highlight that need and explain exactly how OMB can assist the process. If your agency desires changes in statute to accomplish reduction, provide specific citations and recommendations for OMB's consideration.

    Finally, this document should document your agency's work on this strategic plan by summarizing your burden reduction efforts in FY 1998. Include specific examples of reduction which have come about through agency initiatives to improve information resources management, even if burden reduction was not the primary goal.

     

  4. Agency's Information Collection Budget. Following the format of your agency's entry in Chapter 4 of the Information Collection Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal Year 1998, write your agency's proposed contribution to the Information Collection Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal Year 1999. This entry should be written in plain language and should be appropriate for a general audience in both style and content. Please do not assume familiarity with your programs or missions.

     

    1. Information Collection Burden for FY 1999: State the estimated total information collection burden for FY 1999, including both the hour and cost estimates.

       

    2. Need for Information: Why does your agency collect information and how does it use the information it collects to further its mission? Relate the collection of information to the goals and objectives your agency has developed in compliance with GPRA. If you wish, you may include a small number of illustrative examples. This description should be no longer than 3 paragraphs.

       

    3. Internal Management of Information Collection: What process does your agency use to fulfill its requirements under the PRA for the management of information collection activities? Explain the role of the Chief Information Officer and staff in your agency's processes. Describe how many people review information collection submissions on behalf of the CIO. Describe any coordination activities the CIO performs with regard to information collections.

       

    4. Internal Management of Information Dissemination: How does your agency manage the dissemination of information, as required by OMB Circular A-130? Describe your agency's progress in implementing the Government Information Locator System. Provide examples of your more important dissemination initiatives and how the information provided benefits the public.

       

    5. Burden Reduction Efforts and Goals: What has your agency been doing to reduce burden on the public? Summarize your agency's response to section III of this appendix for a general audience. Give specific examples of reductions that occurred in FY 1998 or are planned for FY 1999 and FY 2000 as part of these initiatives. You may also describe reasons the agency has not achieved burden reduction, but if you do, you should describe any efforts the CIO has made to ensure any new burdens are minimized.

       

    6. Significant Changes in Information Collection Burden During FY 1998: Explain your agency's change in total information collection burden between FY 1997 and FY 1998 by explaining specific changes to information collections. Make these descriptions relevant for a general audience by focusing on the effects of the collections and changes on individual respondents before you discuss their effects on the agency.

      Provide an entry (one or two paragraphs) for each significant program change or adjustment giving the title of the collection, OMB control number, a brief description of the collection, a brief description of the change and its reasons, and the change in burden (hours and costs). You may combine several changes of a like nature into a single entry, but be sure to give the title and OMB control number of each collection changed. All of these entries together should account for the vast majority of the total change between FY 1997 and FY 1998.
       

       

    7. Significant Changes in Information Collection Burden Planned For FY 1999: Explain your agency's planned change in total information collection burden between FY 1998 and FY 1999 by explaining specific changes to information collections. Make these descriptions relevant for a general audience by focusing on the effects of the collections and changes on individual respondents before you discuss their effects on the agency.

      Provide an entry (one or two paragraphs) for each significant program change or adjustment giving the title of the collection, OMB control number, a brief description of the collection, a brief description of the change and its reasons, and the change in burden (hours and costs). You may combine several changes of a like nature into a single entry, but be sure to give the title and OMB control number of each collection changed. All of these entries together should account for the vast majority of the total change between FY 1998 and FY 1999.

       

    8. Recent Statutes that Affect Information Collection Activities: Describe any statutes which the agency is currently implementing which require changes to your information collections. Include a Public Law citation and give the OMB number (if available) and title for the specific collections that are affected. Do not include statutes for which recent action is a result of the agency's reinterpretation or subject to agency discretion.

     

  5. Significant Burden Changes for FY 1998. Using the format in Exhibit 1, document your agency's significant changes in information collection burden. This should include those changes that were described for section IV.f.

    For each action, list the OMB numbers affected and the dates of OMB action, 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, change in the number of respondents), a breakdown of the hours affected by each change, and whether each change was due to program changes or adjustments to the reported burden. Use the comments section to explain any additional details, including specific statutory changes which led directly to changes in paperwork burden, and link these reductions to the strategic plan described for section III of this appendix. Please be specific. Attach additional sheets as necessary.

     

  6. Significant Burden Changes for FY 1999. Using the format in Exhibit 2, document your agency's significant changes in information collection burden. These should include those that were described for section IV.g.

    For each action, list the OMB numbers to be 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, change in the number of respondents), a breakdown of the hours affected by each change, and whether each change was due to program changes or adjustments to your reported burden. Use the comments section to explain any additional details and link these reductions to the strategic plan described for section III of this appendix. Please be specific. Attach additional sheets as necessary.

     

  7. Burden Changes due to Statute. In a separate document, describe in detail the changes to information collections due to the statutes you describe in section IV.h.

    Summarize the statute's major effects. Describe each information collection affected (including OMB number if the collection already exists) and the specific changes required, including changes in burden. Quote and cite the specific statutory language which requires changes. Describe the actions the CIO is taking to minimize the burden imposed by statutory changes.

     

  8. Supplementary Materials. To assist you in reviewing your agency's actions over FY 1998 for PRA violations, OMB will send at the end of FY 1998 a series of reports generated from the official computer records. The first report will summarize the total burdens for your agency by purpose (as reported on the OMB Form 83-I). The second report will be a summary of all transactions for your agency during FY 1998 that changed burden, sorted by OMB number and date. The third and fourth lists will be similar to the second, except they will be sorted by the size of the program change and size of adjustment, respectively. This will help you identify large increases and decreases which should be described in the ICB and in your submissions to OMB.

INFORMATION COLLECTION BUDGET
EXHIBIT 1
FY 1998 Significant Changes in Burden

INFORMATION COLLECTION BUDGET  EXHIBIT 1 FY 1998 Significant Changes in Burden