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Notice

Information Collection Activity; Comment Request

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Rural Utilities Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Notice and request for comments.

SUMMARY:

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).

DATES:

Comments on this notice must be received by May 20, 2003.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

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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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) regulation (5 CFR 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 reinstatement.

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 on those who are to 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: 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 1744-C, Advance and Disbursement of Funds—Telecommunications.

OMB Control Number: 0572-0023.

Type of Request: Revision of a currently approved information collection package.

Abstract: The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) manages the Telecommunications loan program in accordance with the Rural Electrification Act (RE Act) of 1936, 7 U.S.C. 901 et seq., as amended, and as prescribed by OMB Circular A-129, Policies for Federal Credit Programs and Non-Tax Receivables.

In addition, the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (Pub. L. 101-171) amended the RE Act to add title VI, Rural Broadband Access, to provide loans and loan guarantees to fund the cost of construction, improvement, or acquisition of facilities and equipment for the provision of broadband service in eligible rural communities. RUS therefore requires Telecommunications and Broadband borrowers to submit RUS Form 481, Financial Requirement Statement. This form implements certain provisions of the standard RUS loan documents by setting forth requirements and procedures to be followed by borrowers in obtaining advances and making disbursements of loan funds.

Estimate of Burden: Public reporting for this collection of information is estimated to average 1 hour per response.

Respondents: Business or other for profit, not-for-profit institutions.

Estimated Number of Respondents: 815.

Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: 4.5.

Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 3,660 hours.

Copies of this information collection 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: March 7, 2003.

Hilda Gay Legg,

Administrator, Rural Utilities Service.

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[FR Doc. 03-6800 Filed 3-20-03; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3410-15-P