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Notice

Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Waivers Under Section 6(o) of the Food Stamp Act

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Food and Nutrition Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Notice.

SUMMARY:

In accordance with Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice invites the general public and other public agencies to comment on proposed information collections. Section 6(o) of the Food Stamp Act of 1977, as amended by Section 824 of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, establishes a time limit for the receipt of food stamp benefits for certain able-bodied adults who are not working. The provision authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture, upon a State agency's request, to waive the provision for any group of individuals if the Secretary determines “that the area in which the individuals reside has an unemployment rate of over 10 percent, or does not have a sufficient number of jobs to provide employment for the individuals.” As required in the statute, in order to receive a waiver the State agency must submit sufficient supporting information so that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) can make the required determination as to the area's unemployment rate or sufficiency of available jobs. This collection of information is therefore necessary in order to obtain waivers of the food stamp time limit.

DATES:

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

ADDRESSES:

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 of the proposed collection of information including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Comments may be sent to Patrick Waldron, Chief, Certification Policy Branch, Program Development Division, Food and Nutrition Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 3101 Park Center Drive, Alexandria, VA 22302. Comments may also be faxed to the attention of Mr. Waldron at (703) 305-2486. The Internet address is: Patrick.Waldron@FNS.USDA.GOV. All written comments will be open for public inspection at the office of the Food and Nutrition Service during regular business hours (8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday) at 3101 Park Center Drive, Alexandria, Virginia, 22302, Room 812.

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

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Requests for additional information should be directed to Mr. Waldron at (703) 305-2495.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Title: Waiver Guidance for Food Stamp Time Limits.

OMB Number: 0584-0479.

Form Number: Not a form.

Expiration Date: 2/28/02.

Type of Request: Reinstatement with a change of a previously approved collection for which approval has expired.

Abstract: Section 824 of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA), Pub. L.104-193, 110 Stat. 2323 amended Section 6(o) of the Food Stamp Act of 1977 (7 U.S.C. 2015(o)) to establish a time limit for the receipt of food stamp benefits for certain able-bodied adults who are not working. The provision authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture, upon a State agency's request, to waive the provision for any group of individuals if the Secretary determines “that the area in which the individuals reside has an unemployment rate of over 10 percent; or (ii) does not have a sufficient number of jobs to provide employment for the individuals.” As Start Printed Page 12513required in the statute, in order to receive a waiver the State agency must submit sufficient supporting information so that USDA can make the required determination as to the area's unemployment rate or sufficiency of available jobs. This collection of information is therefore necessary in order to obtain waivers of the food stamp time limit. During the last three years, the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has received on average 74 requests for waivers from an average of 40 State agencies. Each request submitted by a State agency to exempt individuals residing in specified areas is considered by FNS to be a separate request, since the requested exemptions may be based on different criteria, are submitted at different times, and require separate analysis. For the above reasons a significant number of State agencies may submit multiple requests. Since these waivers must be renewed on an annual basis and new ones may be submitted to reflect changing labor market conditions, FNS anticipates receipt of approximately the same number of waiver requests every year.

Affected Public: State and Local governments.

Estimated Number of Respondents: 40.

Estimated Number of Responses: 74.

Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: 1.85.

Estimated Time per Response: 20 hours.

Estimated Total Burden: 1480 hours.

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Dated: March 4, 2002.

George Braley,

Acting Administrator, Food and Nutrition Service.

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[FR Doc. 02-6590 Filed 3-18-02; 8:45 am]

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