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Information Collection Activity; Comment Request

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Rural Utilities Service, USDA.


Notice and request for comments.


In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35, as amended), the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) invites comments on this information collection for which RUS intends to request approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).


Comments on this notice must be received by February 24, 2003.

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F. Lamont Heppe, Jr., Director, Program Development and Regulatory Analysis, Rural Utilities Service, 1400 Independence Ave., SW., STOP 1522, Room 4036 South Building, Washington, DC 20250-1522. Telephone: (202) 720-9550. FAX: (202) 720-4120.

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The Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) regulation (5 CFR part 1320) implementing provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-13) requires that interested members of the public and affected agencies have an opportunity to comment on information collection and recordkeeping activities (see 5 CFR 1320.8(d)). This notice identifies an information collection that RUS is submitting to OMB for approval.

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 will 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; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information Start Printed Page 78772on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technical collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Comments may be sent to: F. Lamont Heppe, Jr., Director, Program Development and Regulatory Analysis, Rural Utilities Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, STOP 1522, 1400 Independence Ave., SW., Washington, DC 20250-1522. FAX: (202) 720-4120.

Title: 7 CFR part 1728, Electric Standards and Specifications for Materials and Construction.

Type of Request: New collection.

Abstract: The Rural Utilities Service makes loans and loan guarantees in accordance with the Rural Electrification Act of 1936, 7 U.S.C. 901 et seq., (RE Act). Section 4 of the RE Act requires that RUS make or guarantee a loan only if there is reasonable assurance that the loan, together with all outstanding loans and obligations of the borrower, will be repaid in full within the time agreed. In order to facilitate the programmatic interests of the RE Act, and, in order to assure that loans made or guaranteed by RUS are adequately secure, RUS, as a secured lender, has established certain standards and specifications for materials, equipment, and the construction of electric systems. The use of standards and specifications for materials, equipment and construction units helps assure RUS that: (1) Appropriate standards and specifications are maintained; (2) RUS loan security is not adversely affected; and (3) loan and loan guaranter funds are used effectively and for the intended purposes. 7 CFR 1728 establishes Agency policy that materials and equipment purchased by RUS electric borrowers or accepted as contractor-furnished material must conform to RUS standards and specifications where they have been established and, if included in RUS IP 202-1, “List of Materials Acceptable for Use on Systems of RUS Electrification Borrowers” (List of Materials), must be selected from that list or must have received technical acceptance from RUS.

Estimate of Burden: This collection of information is estimated to average 20 hours per response.

Respondents: Businesses or other for profits.

Estimated Number of Respondents: 38.

Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: 2.30.

Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 1,760 hours.

Copies of this information can be obtained from Michele Brooks, Program Development and Regulatory Analysis, at (202) 690-1078. FAX: (202) 720-4120.

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: December 18, 2002.

Blaine D. Stockton,

Acting Administrator, Rural Utilities Service.

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[FR Doc. 02-32462 Filed 12-24-02; 8:45 am]