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Notice

Proposed Collection; Comment Request

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Upon Written Request, Copies Available From: Securities and Exchange Commission, Office of Filings and Information Services, Washington, DC 20549.

Extension

Rule 45; SEC File No. 270-164; OMB Control No. 3235-0154

Rule 52; SEC File No. 270-326; OMB Control No. 3235-0369

Rule 53; SEC File No. 270-376; OMB Control No. 3235-0426

Rule 54; SEC File No. 270-376; OMB Control No. 3235-0427

Rule 57(b) and Form U-33-S; SEC File No. 270-376; OMB Control No. 3235-0429

Rule 58 and Form U-9C-3; SEC File No. 270-400; OMB Control No. 3235-0457

Rule 71, Form U-12(I)-A, and Form U-12(I)-B; SEC File No. 270-161; OMB Control No. 3235-0173

Part 257; SEC File No. 270-252; OMB Control No. 3235-0306

Notice is hereby given that, pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), the Securities and Exchange Commission (Commission) is soliciting comments on the collections of information under the Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1935 (Act) summarized below. The Commission plans to submit these existing collections of information to the Office of Management and Budget for extension and approval.

Rule 45 imposes a filing requirement on registered holding companies and their subsidiaries under Section 12(b) the Act. Under the requirement, the companies must file a declaration seeking authority to make loans or otherwise extend credit to other companies in the same holding company system. Among others, the rule exempts from the filing requirement the performance of payment obligations under consolidated tax agreements. The 15 recordkeepers together incur about 46 annual burden hours to comply with these requirements.

Rule 52 permits public utility subsidiary companies of registered holding companies to issue and sell certain securities without filing a declaration if certain conditions are met. The purpose of collecting the information is to determine the existence of detriment to interests the Act was designed to protect. The Commission estimates that the total annual reporting and recordkeeping burden of collections under Rule 52 is 33 hours (33 responses × one hour = 33 burden hours).

Section 32 and 33 of the Act and Rules 53, 54, and 57(b) under the Act, permit, among other things utility holding companies registered under the Act to make direct or indirect investments in exempt wholesale generators (“EWGs”) and foreign utility companies (“FUCOs”), as defined in Sections 32 and 33 of the Act, respectively, without the prior approval of the Commission, if certain conditions are met. Rules 53 and 54 do not create a reporting burden for respondents. Rule 53 does, however, contain recordkeeping and retention requirements. As required by Congress, the Commission mandates the maintenance of certain books and records identifying investments in and earnings from all subsidiary EWGs or FUCOs in order to measure their financial effect on the registered systems.

The Commission estimates that the total annual recordkeeping and record retention burden under Rule 53 will be a total of 160 hours (10 hours per respondent × 16 respondents = 160 burden hours). It is estimated that there will be no burden hours associated with Rule 54.

Under Rule 57(b) there is an annual requirement for any public utility company that owns one or more FUCOs to file Form U-33-S. The information contained in Form U-33-S allows the Commission to monitor overseas investments by public utility companies.

The Commission estimates that the total annual reporting burden under Rule 57(b) will be 30 hours (3 hours per respondent × filings = 30 hours).

Rules 53, 54, 57(b) each impose a mandatory recordkeeping requirement of this information collection. It is mandatory that qualifying companies provide the information required by Rules 53, 54 and 57(b). There is no requirement to keep the information confidential because it is public information.

Rule 58 allows registered holding companies and their subsidiaries to acquire energy-related and gas-related companies. Acquisitions are made, within certain limits, without prior Commission approval under Section 10 of the Act. However, within sixty days after the end of the first calendar quarter in which any exempt acquisition is made, and each calendar quarter thereafter, the registered holding company is required to file with the Commission a Certificate of Notification on Form U-9C-3 containing the information prescribed by that form. The Commission uses this information to determine the existence of financial detriment, regarding the acquisition of certain energy-related companies, to the interests the Act is designed to protect. The Commission estimates that the total annual reporting burden is 1,008 hours to comply with these requirements (63 respondents × 16 = 1,008 burden hours).

Rule 71 requires that certain information be filed by employees of registered holding companies who represent the companies' interests before Congress, the Commission or the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on either Form U-12(I)-A or Form U-12(I)-B. The filings must provide, among other things, the identity of the representative, the person's position and compensation and a quarterly statement of those expenses not incurred in the ordinary course of business. Employees appearing for the first time must file this information on form U-12(I)-A within ten days of an appearance. Employees appearing on a regular basis may file the information in advance on Form U-12(I)-B, which will remain valid for the remainder of the year in which it was first filed and for the following two calendar years. Thereafter, it may be renewed for additional three-year periods within thirty days of the expiration of the prior filing.

The information collection prescribed by Form U-12(I)-A and Form U-12(I)-B is required by Rule 71 under the Act. Rule 71 implements Section 12(i) of the Act, which expressly requires the filing of the prescribed disclosure information with the Commission in the interest of investors and consumers. The Commission estimates that the total annual reporting burden of collections under Rule 71 is 167 hours (250 responses × forty minutes = 167 burden hours).Start Printed Page 43923

Part 257 generally mandates the preservation, and provides for the destruction, of books and records of registered public utility holding companies subject to Rule 26 under the Act and service companies subject to Rule 93. Part 257 prescribes which records must be maintained for regulatory purposes and which media methods may be used to maintain them. Further, it sets a schedule for destroying particular documents or classes of documents.

The Commission estimates that there is an associated recordkeeping burden of 25 hours in connection with the record preservation programs administered by registered holding companies under part 257 (25 recordkeepers × 1 hour = 25 burden hours).

The estimates of average burden hours are made for the purposes of the Paperwork Reduction Act and are not derived from a comprehensive or even a representative survey or study of the costs of Commission rules and forms.

Written comments are invited on: (1) Whether the proposed collection of 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 collection of information; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Consideration will be given to comments and suggestions submitted in writing within 60 days of this publication.

Please direct your written comments to Michael E. Bartell, Associate Executive Directory, Office of Information Technology, Securities and Exchange Commission, 450 5th Street, NW., Washington, DC 20549.

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Dated: August 7, 2001.

Jonathan G. Katz,

Secretary.

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[FR Doc. 01-20973 Filed 8-20-01; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 8010-01-M