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Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request-FRA F 6180.71, U.S. DOT AAR Crossing Inventory Form

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AGENCY:

Federal Railroad Administration, DOT.

ACTION:

Notice.

SUMMARY:

In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 and its implementing regulations, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) hereby announces that it is seeking renewal of the following currently approved information collection activities. Before submitting these information collection requirements (ICRs) for clearance by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), FRA is soliciting public comment on specific aspects of the activities identified below.

DATES:

Comments must be received no later than March 17, 2003.

ADDRESSES:

Submit written comments on the following proposed activities by mail to either: Mr. Robert Brogan, Office of Safety, Planning and Evaluation Division, RRS-21, Federal Railroad Administration, 1120 Vermont Ave., NW., Mail Stop 17, Washington, DC 20590, or Ms. Debra Steward, Office of Information Technology and Productivity Improvement, RAD-20, Federal Railroad Administration, 1120 Vermont Ave., NW., Mail Stop 35, Washington, DC 20590. Commenters requesting FRA to acknowledge receipt of their respective comments must include a self-addressed stamped postcard stating, “Comments on OMB control number 2130-0017.” Alternatively, comments may be transmitted via facsimile to (202) 493-6265 or (202) 493-6170, or e-mail to Mr. Brogan at robert.brogan@fra.dot.gov, or to Ms. Debra Steward at debra.steward@fra.dot.gov. Please refer to the assigned OMB control number in any correspondence submitted. FRA will summarize comments received in response to this notice in a subsequent notice and include them in its information collection submission to OMB for approval.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Mr. Robert Brogan, Office of Planning and Evaluation Division, RRS-21, Federal Railroad Administration, 1120 Vermont Ave., NW., Mail Stop 17, Washington, DC 20590 (telephone: (202) 493-6292) or Debra Steward, Office of Information Technology and Productivity Improvement, RAD-20, Federal Railroad Administration, 1120 Vermont Ave., NW., Mail Stop 35, Washington, DC 20590 (telephone: (202) 493-6139). (These telephone numbers are not toll-free.)

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), Public Law 104-13, sec. 2, 109 Stat. 163 (1995) (codified as revised at 44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), and its implementing regulations, 5 CFR part 1320, require Federal agencies to provide 60-days notice to the public for comment on information collection activities before seeking approval for reinstatement or renewal by OMB. 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A); 5 CFR 1320.8(d)(1), 1320.10(e)(1), 1320.12(a). Specifically, Start Printed Page 1885FRA invites interested respondents to comment on the following summary of proposed information collection activities regarding (i) whether the information collection activities are necessary for FRA to properly execute its functions, including whether the activities will have practical utility; (ii) the accuracy of FRA's estimates of the burden of the information collection activities, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used to determine the estimates; (iii) ways for FRA to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information being collected; and (iv) ways for FRA to minimize the burden of information collection activities on the public by automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology (e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses). See 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)(I)-(iv); 5 CFR 1320.8(d)(1)(I)-(iv). FRA believes that soliciting public comment will promote its efforts to reduce the administrative and paperwork burdens associated with the collection of information mandated by Federal regulations. In summary, FRA reasons that comments received will advance three objectives: (i) Reduce reporting burdens; (ii) ensure that it organizes information collection requirements in a “user friendly” format to improve the use of such information; and (iii) accurately assess the resources expended to retrieve and produce information requested. See 44 U.S.C. 3501.

Below is a brief summary of the currently approved information collection activity that FRA will submit for clearance by OMB as required under the PRA:

Title: U.S. DOT-AAR Crossing Inventory Form.

OMB Control Number: 2130-0017.

Form Number: FRA F 6180.71.

Expiration: March 31, 2003.

Type of Request: Revision of a currently approved collection.

Abstract: Form FRA 6180.71 is a voluntary form and is used by States and railroads to periodically update certain cite specific highway-rail crossing information which is then transmitted to FRA for input into the National Inventory File. This information has been collected on the U.S. DOT-AAR Crossing Inventory Form since 1974 and maintained in the National Inventory File database since 1975. The primary purpose of the National Inventory is to provide for the existence of a uniform database which can be merged with accident data and used to analyze information for planning and implementation of crossing safety improvement programs by public, private, and governmental agencies responsible for highway-rail crossing safety. Following the official establishment of the National Inventory in 1975, the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) assumed the principal responsibility as custodian for the maintenance and continued development of the U.S. DOT/AAR National Highway-Rail Crossing Inventory Program. The major goal of the Program is to provide federal, state, and local governments, as well as the railroad industry, information for the improvement of safety at highway-rail crossings. Good management practices necessitate maintaining the database with current information. The data will continue to be useful only if maintained and updated as inventory changes occur. FRA previously cleared the reporting and recordkeeping burden for this form under Office of Management and Budget (OMB) clearance number 2130-0017. OMB approved the burden for this form through March 31, 2003. Based on the most recent information available, FRA estimates approximately 96,000 updates per year. Although this represents a substantial increase in the number of updates from the previous estimate of responses, the total recordkeeping and reporting burden for this information collection will actually decline by 1,716 hours. The reduction in burden is due to a large increase in the estimated number of electronic records which will be kept over the next three years. FRA is requesting a new three-year approval from OMB for this information collection.

Affected Public: Railroads and State governments.

Estimated Total Number of Responses Per Year: 95,969 updates.

Estimated Response Time per Form: .25 hr. (2,056 form updates); .50 hr. per mass update list (300 mass update lists containing 5,433 updates); .50 hr. per electronic foreign file (700 electronic foreign files containing 77,158 updates); and .03333 hr. per GX computer update (11,322 updates on 36 GX computer disks).

Total Annual Burden: 1,388 hours.

Pursuant to 44 U.S.C. 3507(a) and 5 CFR 1320.5(b), 1320.8(b)(3)(vi), FRA informs all interested parties that it may not conduct or sponsor, and a respondent is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

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Authority: 44 U.S.C. 3501-3520.

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Issued in Washington, DC on January 9, 2003.

Kathy A. Weiner,

Director, Office of Information Technology and Support Systems, Federal Railroad Administration.

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[FR Doc. 03-686 Filed 1-13-03; 8:45 am]

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