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Proposed Data Collections Submitted for Public Comment and Recommendations

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In compliance with the requirement of section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 for opportunity for public comment on proposed data collection projects, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will publish periodic summaries of proposed projects. To request more information on the proposed projects or to obtain a copy of the data collection plans and instruments, call the CDC Reports Clearance Officer on (404) 498-1210.

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; (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 or other forms of information technology. Send comments to Anne O'Connor, CDC Assistant Reports Clearance Officer, 1600 Clifton Road, MS-D24, Atlanta, GA 30333. Written comments should be received within 60 days of this notice.

Proposed Project: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Performance Evaluation Program for Mycobacterium Tuberculosis and Non-Tuberculosis Mycobacterium (NTM) Drug Susceptibility Testing—New—Public Health Practice Program Office (PHPPO), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

As part of the continuing effort to support both domestic and global public health objectives for treatment of tuberculosis (TB), prevention of multi-drug resistance and surveillance programs, the Division of Laboratory Systems seeks to collect information from domestic private clinical and public health laboratories twice per year. Participation and information collections from international laboratories will be limited to those Start Printed Page 14244which have public health responsibilities for tuberculosis drug susceptibility testing and approval by their national tuberculosis program. While the overall number of cases of TB in the U.S. has decreased, rates still remain high among foreign-born persons, prisoners, homeless populations, and individuals infected with HIV in major metropolitan areas. The rate of TB cases detected in foreign-born persons has been reported to be almost nine times higher than the rate among the U.S. born population. CDC's goal to eliminate TB will be virtually impossible without considerable effort in assisting heavy disease burden countries in the reduction of tuberculosis. The M. tuberculosis/NTM program supports this role by monitoring the level of performance and practices among laboratories performing M. tuberculosis susceptibility within the U.S. as well as internationally to ensure high-quality laboratory testing, resulting in accurate and reliable results.

Information collected in this program will include the susceptibility test results of primary and secondary drugs, concentrations, and test methods performed by laboratories on a set of challenge isolates sent twice yearly.

A portion of the response instrument will collect demographic data such as laboratory type and the number of tests performed annually. By providing an evaluation program to assess the ability of the laboratories to test for drug resistant M. tuberculosis and selected strains of NTM, laboratories will also have a self-assessment tool to aid in maximizing their skills in susceptibility testing. Information obtained from laboratories on susceptibility testing practices and procedures will assist with determining variables related to good performance, with assessing areas for training and with developing practice standards. There is no cost to respondents.

RespondentsNumber of respondentsNumber of responses per respondenstAverage Burden per response (in hours)Total burden (in hours)
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Dated: March 12, 2003.

Thomas Bartenfeld,

Acting Associate Director for Policy, Planning and Evaluation, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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[FR Doc. 03-6872 Filed 3-21-03; 8:45 am]