Information Collection Program and Budget

281 FW 4
FWM Number
Originating Office
Policy and Regulations Branch

4.1 What is the purpose of this chapter? This chapter describes organizational responsibilities and establishes guidelines concerning collections of information from the public.

4.2 To whom does this chapter apply? This chapter applies to all employees who propose to collect information from the public.

4.3 What are the authorities for this program?

A. 44 U.S.C. 3501.

B. 5 CFR 1320.

C. 381 DM 11-13.

4.4 What is the Service policy on information collection? You may not collect information or sponsor the collection of information from 10 or more persons unless an approval number and expiration date for the information collection have been obtained from Office of Management and Budget. If the collection of information is contained in a rule, you must obtain OMB approval regardless of the number of respondents.

4.5 Who is responsible for administering this program?

A. The Assistant Director - Budget, Planning and Human Resources is responsible for the overall management of the program.

B. The Service Information Collection Clearance Officer (ICCO), Division of Policy and Directives Management, will:

(1) Issue guidance on information collections and the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act.

(2) Review all information collection clearance packages originating in the Service for conformance to Department and OMB guidelines.

(3) Consolidate, review, and ensure the accuracy and completeness of the annual information collection budget submission.

(4) Monitor approval requests throughout the year to make sure that requests do not cause the Service to exceed the allowance established by OMB.

(5) Review all proposed and final rulemaking documents to ensure that any collections of information they contain have been submitted to OMB for approval.

C. All Management Officials proposing to collect information will:

(1) Make sure that the collection of information is included in the information collection budget for the year in which it will be made (see paragraph 4.9 ) or obtain OMB approval for an addition to the Department's allowance.

(2) Consult with the ICCO during the preliminary development of the collection of information and during all steps of the approval process.

(3) Obtain OMB approval if a renewal is required.

4.6 What is an information collection? According to 5 CFR 1320 , a collection of information means "obtaining, causing to be obtained, soliciting, or requiring the disclosure to an agency, third parties, or the public of information by or for an agency by means of identical questions posed to, or identical reporting, recordkeeping, or disclosure requirements imposed on, ten or more persons." "Persons" does not include employees of the requesting agency or current Government employees acting within the scope of their employment, or contractors engaged for purposes of complying with the collection of information.

4.7 What items are not considered information? The Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) defines certain purposes for which collections of information are exempt from requirements of the Act. In addition, 5 CFR 1320 defines 10 categories of inquiry that generally are not considered to be information. Information does not include affidavits, oaths, affirmations, certification, receipts, changes of address, consents, or acknowledgments provided that they entail no burden other than that necessary to identify the respondent, the date, the respondent's address, and the nature of the instrument.

4.8 When do I need OMB approval to collect information from the public? The PRA requires each Federal agency to seek and obtain OMB approval before undertaking a collection of information directed to 10 or more persons, or before continuing an information collection for which OMB approval is about to expire. Unless exempt, all collections of information require OMB review and approval regardless of whether the collection is:

A. Implemented through paper, telephone, voice, automation, electronics, or any other collection technique. An information collection may be in any form or format, such as application forms; questionnaires; surveys; contracts; agreements; reporting or recordkeeping requirements; policy statements; telegraphic or telephonic requests; automated electronic, mechanical, or other technological collections; or bulletins.

B. Mandatory, voluntary, or required to obtain or retain a benefit.

4.9 What is the Information Collection Budget (ICB)? Each year, we must develop and submit an information collection budget for all information to be collected from the public in the succeeding fiscal year. The ICCO will consolidate the Servicewide report for transmittal to the Department.

A. The ICB will consist of our total anticipated information collection burden for the next fiscal year. This includes collections of information contained in proposed legislation or anticipated rulemaking actions.

B. During the year, program officials may revise the ICB to allow for:

(1) A new collection of information not compensated for by offsetting reductions.

(2) An adjustment of burden hours.

(3) Any necessary program change.

4.10 How do I obtain approval of individual collections of information? 281 FW 5 contains procedures for obtaining OMB approval of information collections.