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Notice

Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection, Comment Request

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Minerals Management Service (MMS), Interior.

ACTION:

Notice of a revision of a currently approved information collection (OMB Control Number 1010-0107).

SUMMARY:

To comply with the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995, we are inviting comments on a collection of information that we will submit to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval. The information collection request (ICR) is titled “Designation of Royalty Payment Responsibility.”

DATES:

Submit written comments on or before March 18, 2002.

ADDRESSES:

Submit written comments to Carol P. Shelby, Regulatory Specialist, Minerals Management Service, Minerals Revenue Management, P.O. Box 25165, MS 320B2, Denver, Colorado 80225. If you use an overnight courier service, our courier address is Building 85, Room A-614, Denver Federal Center, Denver, Colorado 80225.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Carol P. Shelby, telephone (303) 231-3151, FAX (303) 231-3385, email Carol.Shelby@mms.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Title: Designation of Royalty Payment Responsibility.

OMB Control Number: 1010-0107.

Bureau Form Number: MMS-4425.

Abstract: The Department of the Interior (DOI) is responsible for matters relevant to mineral resource development on Federal and Indian lands and the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). The Secretary of the Interior (Secretary) is responsible for managing the production of minerals from Federal and Indian lands and the OCS, collecting royalties from lessees who produce minerals, and distributing the funds collected in accordance with applicable laws. The Secretary also has an Indian trust responsibility to manage Indian lands and seek advice and information from Indian beneficiaries. MMS performs the royalty management functions and assists the Secretary in carrying out DOI's Indian trust responsibility.

The Federal Oil and Gas Royalty Simplification and Fairness Act of 1996 (RSFA), Public Law 104-185, as corrected by Public Law 104-200, established that owners of operating rights or lease record title (referred to as “lessees”) are responsible for making royalty and related payments on Federal oil and gas leases. It is common, however, for a payor rather than a lessee to make these payments. When a payor makes payments on behalf of a lessee, RSFA requires that the lessee designate the payor as its designee and notify MMS of this arrangement in writing. These RSFA requirements are codifed in 30 CFR 218.52.

MMS designed Form MMS-4425, Designation Form, to contain all the information necessary for lessees to comply with these RSFA requirements. We are proposing a minor revision to Form MMS-4425 to remove the field for revenue source code. This revision is necessary to make Form MMS-4425 compatible with other recently revised Start Printed Page 2236forms such as the Form MMS-2014, Report of Sales and Royalty Remittance. These revisions are the result of a major reengineering of MMS's financial and compliance processes and the procurement of a new computer system.

Submission of the information in this collection is necessary to comply with RSFA requirements to notify MMS in writing when a lessee wishes to designate a designee. Proprietary information that is submitted is protected, and there are no questions of a sensitive nature included in this information collection.

Frequency: On occasion.

Estimated Number and Description of Respondents: 1,600 oil and gas lessees.

Estimated Annual Reporting and Recordkeeping “Hour” Burden: 1,200 hours.

Estimated Annual Reporting and Recordkeeping “Non-hour Cost” Burden: We have identified no “non-hour cost” burdens.

Comments: The PRA (44 U.S.C. 3501, et seq.) provides that an agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. Before submitting an ICR to OMB, PRA section 3506(c)(2)(A) requires each agency “* * * to provide notice * * * and otherwise consult with members of the public and affected agencies concerning each proposed collection of information * * *.” Agencies must specifically solicit comments to: (a) Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the agency to perform its duties, including whether the information is useful; (b) evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information; (c) enhance the quality, usefulness, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) minimize the burden on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

The PRA also requires agencies to estimate the total annual reporting “non-hour cost” burden to respondents or recordkeepers resulting from the collection of information. We have not identified non-hour cost burdens for this information collection. If you have costs to generate, maintain, and disclose this information, you should comment and provide your total capital and startup cost components or annual operation, maintenance, and purchase of service components. You should describe the methods you use to estimate major cost factors, including system and technology acquisition, expected useful life of capital equipment, discount rate(s), and the period over which you incur costs. Capital and startup costs include, among other items, computers and software you purchase to prepare for collecting information; monitoring, sampling, testing equipment; and record storage facilities. Generally, your estimates should not include equipment or services purchased: (i) Before October 1, 1995; (ii) to comply with requirements not associated with the information collection; (iii) for reasons other than to provide information or keep records for the Government; or (iv) as part of customary and usual business or private practices.

We will summarize written responses to this notice and address them in our ICR submission for OMB approval, including appropriate adjustments to the estimated burden. We will provide a copy of the ICR to you without charge upon request.

Public Comment Policy. We will also make copies of the comments available for public review, including names and addresses of respondents, during regular business hours at our offices in Lakewood, Colorado. Individual respondents may request that we withhold their home address from the public record, which we will honor to the extent allowable by law. There also may be circumstances in which we would withhold from the rulemaking record a respondent's identity, as allowable by law. If you request that we withhold your name and/or address, state this prominently at the beginning of your comment. However, we will not consider anonymous comments. We will make all submissions from organizations or businesses, and from individuals identifying themselves as representatives or officials of organizations or businesses, available for public inspection in their entirety.

MMS Information Collection Clearance Officer: Jo Ann Lauterbach, (202) 208-7744.

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Dated: November 16, 2001.

Lucy Querques Denett,

Associate Director for Minerals Revenue Management.

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[FR Doc. 02-1060 Filed 1-15-02; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4310-MR-W