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Notice

Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications Commission

Action

Notice And Request For Comments.

Summary

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burden invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on the following information collection, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995. Comments are requested concerning: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the Commission's burden estimate; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and (e) ways to further reduce the information burden for small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees.

The FCC may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Control Number. No person shall be subject to any penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) that does not display a valid OMB Control Number.

 

Table of Contents Back to Top

DATES: Back to Top

Written Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) comments should be submitted on or before July 11, 2011. If you anticipate that you will be submitting comments, but find it difficult to do so within the period of time allowed by this notice, you should advise the FCC contact listed below as soon as possible.

ADDRESSES: Back to Top

Direct all PRA comments to Leslie F. Smith, Federal Communications Commission (FCC), via e-mail PRA@fcc.gov or to Leslie.Smith@fcc.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Back to Top

For additional information the information collection, contact Leslie F. Smith at (202) 418-0217.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Back to Top

The Commission has requested approval of this information collection under the emergency processing provisions of the PRA, 5 CFR Sections 1320.5, 1320.8(d), and 1320.13 by May 17, 2011.

OMB Control Number: 3060-0430.

Title: Section 1.1206, Permit-but-Disclose Proceedings.

Form Number(s): N/A.

Type of Review: Revision of a currently approved collection.

Respondents: Individuals or households; Business or other for-profit; Not-for-profit institutions; Federal Government; and State, local, or tribal governments.

Number of Respondents and Responses: 11,500 respondents; 11,500 responses.

Estimated Time per Response: 45 minutes (0.75 hours).

Frequency of Response: On occasion reporting requirements; third party disclosure.

Obligation to Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefits.

Total Annual Burden: 25,875 hours.

Total Annual Cost:$0.00.

Privacy Impact Assessment: No Impact(s).

Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: Consistent with the Commission's rules on confidential treatment of submissions, under 47 CFR Section 0.459, a presenter may request confidential treatment of ex parte presentations. In addition, the Commission will permit parties to remove metadata containing confidential or privileged information, and the Commission will also not require parties to file electronically ex parte notices that contain confidential information. The Commission will, however, require a redacted version to be filed electronically at the same time the paper filing is submitted, and that the redacted version must be machine-readable whenever technically possible.

Needs and Uses: The Commission's rules, under 47 CFR Section 1.1206, require that a public record be made of ex parte presentations (i.e., written presentations not served on all parties to the proceeding or oral presentations as to which all parties have not been given notice and an opportunity to be present) to decision-making personnel in “permit-but-disclose” proceedings, such as notice-and-comment rulemakings and declaratory ruling proceedings. Persons making such presentations must file two copies of written presentations and two copies of memoranda reflecting new data or arguments in oral presentations no later than the next business day after the presentation; alternatively, in proceedings in which electronic filing is permitted, a copy may be filed electronically.

On February 2, 2011, the FCC released a Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, CG Docket Number 10-43, FCC 11-11, which amends and reforms the Commission's rules on ex parte presentations (47 CFR Section 1.1206(b)(2)) made in the course of Commission rulemakings and other permit-but-disclose proceedings. The modifications to the existing rules adopted in this Report and Order address these problems by requiring that parties file more descriptive summaries of their ex parte contacts, by ensuring that other parties and the public have an adequate opportunity to review and respond to information submitted ex parte, and by improving the FCC's oversight and enforcement of the ex parte rules. The modified ex parte rules provide as follows: (1) Ex parte notices will be required for all oral ex parte presentations in permit-but-disclose proceedings, not just for those presentations that involve new information or arguments not already in the record; (2) If an oral ex parte presentation is limited to material already in the written record, the notice must contain either a succinct summary of the matters discussed or a citation to the page or paragraph number in the party's written submission(s) where the matters discussed can be found; (3) Notices for all ex parte presentations must include the name of the person(s) who made the ex parte presentation as well as a list of all persons attending or otherwise participating in the meeting at which the presentation was made; (4) Notices of ex parte presentations made outside the Sunshine period must be filed within two business days of the presentation; (5) The Sunshine period will begin on the day (including business days, weekends, and holidays) after issuance of the Sunshine notice, rather than when the Sunshine Agenda is issued (as the current rules provide); (6) If an ex parte presentation is made on the day the Sunshine notice is released, an ex parte notice must be submitted by the next business day, and any reply would be due by the following business day. If a permissible ex parte presentation is made during the Sunshine period (under an exception to the Sunshine period prohibition), the ex parte notice is due by the end of the same day on which the presentation was made, and any reply would need to be filed by the next business day. Any reply must be in writing and limited to the issues raised in the ex parte notice to which the reply is directed; (7) Commissioners and agency staff may continue to request ex parte presentations during the Sunshine period, but these presentations should be limited to the specific information required by the Commission; (8) Ex parte notices must be submitted electronically in machine-readable format. PDF images created by scanning a paper document may not be submitted, except in cases in which a word-processing version of the document is not available. Confidential information may continue to be submitted by paper filing, but a redacted version must be filed electronically at the same time the paper filing is submitted. An exception to the electronic filing requirement will be made in cases in which the filing party claims hardship. The basis for the hardship claim must be substantiated in the ex parte filing; (9) To facilitate stricter enforcement of the ex parte rules, the Enforcement Bureau is authorized to levy forfeitures for ex parte rule violations; (10) Copies of electronically filed ex parte notices must also be sent electronically to all staff and Commissioners present at the ex parte meeting so as to enable them to review the notices for accuracy and completeness. Filers may be asked to submit corrections or further information as necessary for compliance with the rules; and (11) Minor conforming and clarifying rule changes proposed in the Notice are adopted. The only changes entailing increased information collection are the requirement that parties making permissible ex parte presentations in restricted proceedings file an ex parte notice, and that ex parte notices contain either a summary of the presentation or a reference to where the information can be found in the written record, and that ex parte notices list all persons attending the presentation

The information is used by parties to permit-but-disclose proceedings, including interested members of the public, to respond to the arguments made and data offered in the presentations. The responses may then be used by the Commission in its decision-making. The availability of the ex parte materials ensures that the Commission's decisional processes are fair, impartial, and comport with the concept of due process in that all interested parties can know of and respond to the arguments made to the decision-making officials.

Federal Communications Commission.

Marlene H. Dortch,

Secretary, Office of the Secretary, Office of Managing Director.

[FR Doc. 2011-11346 Filed 5-9-11; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6712-01-P

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