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Notice

Notice of Request for Extension of a Currently Approved Information Collection

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AGENCY:

Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Notice and request for comments.

SUMMARY:

In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35), this notice announces the Agricultural Marketing Service's (AMS) intention to request an extension for a currently approved information collection for Olives Grown in California, Marketing Order 932.

DATES:

Comments on this notice must be received by April 7, 2000, to be assured of consideration.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION OR COMMENTS:

Contact Caroline Thorpe, Marketing Specialist, Marketing Order Administration Branch, Fruit and Vegetable Programs, AMS, USDA, P.O. Box 96456, Room 2525-S, Washington, DC 20090-6456, Telephone: (202) 720-2491, Fax: (202) 720-5698; or E-mail: moab.docketclerk@usda.gov.

Small businesses may request information on this notice by contacting Jay Guerber, Regulatory Fairness Representative, Marketing Order Administration Branch, Fruit and Vegetable Programs, AMS, USDA, room 2525-S, P.O. Box 96456, Washington, DC 20090-6456; telephone (202) 720-2491, Fax: (202) 720-5698, or E-mail: Jay.Gerber@usda.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Title: Olives Grown in California, Marketing Order 932.

OMB Number: 0581-0142.

Expiration Date of Approval: October 31, 2000.

Type of Request: Extension of a currently approved information collection.

Abstract: Marketing order programs provide an opportunity for producers of fresh fruits, vegetables, and specialty crops, in a specified production area, to work together to solve marketing problems that cannot be solved individually. Order regulations help ensure adequate supplies of good quality product and adequate returns to producers. Under the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937 (Act), as amended (7 U.S.C. 601-674), marketing order programs are established if favored by producers in referenda. The handling of the commodity is regulated. The Secretary of Agriculture is authorized to oversee order operations and issue regulations recommended by a committee of representatives from each commodity industry.

The information collection requirements in this request are essential to carry out the intent of the Act, to provide the respondents the type of service they request, and to administer the California olive marketing order program, which has been operating since 1965.

The California olive marketing order authorizes the issuance of quality, size, and inspection requirements. The order also has authority for research and development projects, including paid advertising. Pursuant to section 8e of the Act, import grade and size requirements are implemented on olives imported into the United States.

The order and its rules and regulations authorize the California Olive Committee (committee), the agency responsible for local administration of the order, to require handlers and producers to submit certain information. Much of this information is compiled in aggregate and provided to the industry to assist in marketing decisions.

The committee has developed forms as a means for persons to file required information with the committee relating to olive supplies, shipments, dispositions, and other information necessary to effectively carry out the purpose of the Act and the order. California olives are shipped year-round and these forms are used accordingly. A USDA form is used to allow growers to vote on amendments to or continuance of the order.

Formal rulemaking amendments to the order must be approved in referenda conducted by the Secretary. Also, the Secretary may conduct a continuance referendum to determine industry support for continuation of the order. Handlers are asked to sign an agreement to indicate their willingness to abide by the provisions of the order whenever the order is amended. These forms are included in this request.

All the forms under this program require the minimum information necessary to effectively carry out the requirements of the order, and their use is necessary to fulfill the intent of the Act as expressed in the order.

The information collected would be used only by authorized representatives of the USDA, including AMS, Fruit and Vegetable Programs' regional and headquarter's staff, and authorized employees of the committee. Authorized committee employees and the industry are the primary users of the information and AMS is the secondary user.

Estimate of Burden: Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average .28 hour per response.

Respondents: California olive handlers and growers.

Estimated Number of Respondents: 692.

Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: 20.

Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 3881 hours.

Comments are invited on: (1) Whether the proposed collection of the information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) ways to minimize the Start Printed Page 5853burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

Comments should reference OMB No. 0581-0142 and California Olive Marketing Order No. 932, and be sent to Docket Clerk, Fruit and Vegetable Programs, AMS, USDA, P.O. Box 96456, Room 2525-S, Washington, DC 20090-6456; Fax: (202) 720-5698; or E-mail: moab.docketclerk@usda.gov. All comments received will be available for public inspection during regular business hours at the same address and will become a matter of public record.

All responses to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for OMB approval. All comments will also become a matter of public record.

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Dated: January 31, 2000.

Robert C. Keeney,

Deputy Administrator, Fruit and Vegetable Programs.

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[FR Doc. 00-2691 Filed 2-4-00; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3410-02-P