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Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) Wave 6 of the 2001 Panel

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The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13 (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)).


Written comments must be submitted on or before May 20, 2002.


Direct all written comments to Madeleine Clayton, Departmental Paperwork Clearance Officer, Department of Commerce, Room 6608, 14th and Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20230 (or via the Internet at

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Requests for additional information or copies of the information collection instrument(s) and instructions should be directed to Judith H. Eargle, Census Bureau, FOB 3, Room 3387, Washington, DC 20233-0001, (301) 457-3819.

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I. Abstract

The Census Bureau conducts the SIPP which is a household-based survey designed as a continuous series of national panels. New panels are introduced every few years with each panel usually having durations of one to four years. Respondents are interviewed at 4-month intervals or “waves” over the life of the panel. The survey is molded around a central “core” of labor force and income questions that remain fixed throughout the life of the panel. The core is supplemented with questions designed to address specific needs, such as obtaining information about assets and liabilities, as well as expenses related to work, health care, and child support. These supplemental questions are included with the core and are referred to as “topical modules.”

The SIPP represents a source of information for a wide variety of topics and allows information for separate topics to be integrated to form a single, unified database so that the interaction between tax, transfer, and other government and private policies can be examined. Government domestic-policy formulators depend heavily upon the SIPP information concerning the distribution of income received directly as money or indirectly as in-kind benefits and the effect of tax and transfer programs on this distribution. They also need improved and expanded data on the income and general economic and financial situation of the U.S. population. The SIPP has provided this type of data on a continuing basis since 1983 permitting levels of economic well-being and changes in these levels to be measured over time.

The 2001 Panel is currently scheduled for three years and will include nine waves of interviewing beginning February 2001. Approximately 50,000 households will be selected for the 2001 Panel, of which 37,500 are expected to be interviewed. We estimate that each household will contain 2.1 people, yielding 78,750 interviews in Wave 1 and subsequent waves. Interviews take 30 minutes on average. Three waves of interviewing will occur in the 2001 SIPP Panel during FY 2003. The total annual burden for the 2001 Panel SIPP interviews would be 118,125 hours in FY 2003.

The topical modules for the 2001 Panel Wave 6 collect information about:

  • Medical Expenses and Utilization of Health Care (Adults and Children)
  • Work Related Expenses and Child Support Paid
  • Assets, Liabilities, and Eligibility

Wave 6 interviews will be conducted from October 2002 through January 2003. A 10-minute re-interview of 2,500 people is conducted at each wave to ensure accuracy of responses. Re-interviews would require an additional 1,253 burden hours in FY 2003.

An additional 1,050 burden hours is requested in order to continue the SIPP Methods Panel testing. The test targets SIPP items and sections that require thorough and rigorous testing in order to improve the quality of core data.

II. Method of Collection

The SIPP is designed as a continuing series of national panels of interviewed households that are introduced every few years with each panel having durations of one to four years. All household members 15 years old or over are interviewed using regular proxy-respondent rules. During the 2001 Panel, respondents are interviewed a total of nine times (nine waves) at 4-month intervals making the SIPP a longitudinal survey. Sample people (all household members present at the time of the first interview) who move within the country and reasonably close to a SIPP primary sampling unit will be followed and interviewed at their new address. Individuals 15 years old or over who enter the household after Wave 1 will be interviewed; however, if these individuals move, they are not followed unless they happen to move along with a Wave 1 sample individual.

III. Data

OMB Number: 0607-0875.

Form Number: SIPP/CAPI Automated Instrument.

Type of Review: Regular submission.

Affected Public: Individuals or households.

Estimated Number of Respondents: 78,750 people per wave.

Estimated Time Per Response: 30 minutes.

Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 120,428.

Estimated Total Annual Cost to the Public: $0.

Respondent's Obligation: Voluntary.

Legal Authority: Title 13, United States Code, Section 182.

IV. Request for Comments

Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden (including hours and cost) of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques Start Printed Page 12518or other forms of information technology.

Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for the Office of Management and Budget approval of this information collection. They also will become a matter of public record.

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Dated: March 13, 2002.

Gwellnar Banks,

Management Analyst, Office of the Chief Information Officer.

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[FR Doc. 02-6517 Filed 3-18-02; 8:45 am]