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Notice

Proposed Information Collection Activity: Proposed Collection; Comment Request

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Veterans Benefits Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs.

ACTION:

Notice.

SUMMARY:

The Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) is announcing an opportunity for public comment on the proposed collection of certain information by the agency. Under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995, Federal agencies are required to publish notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including each proposed revision of a currently approved collection, and allow 60 days for public comment in response to the notice. This notice solicits comments on requirements relating to customer satisfaction surveys.

DATES:

Written comments and recommendations on the proposed collection of information should be received on or before November 2, 2003.

ADDRESSES:

Submit written comments on the collection of information to Lynne R. Heltman, Veterans Benefits Administration (245), Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20420 or e-mail lynne.heltman@mail.va.gov. Please refer to “OMB Control No. 2900-0569” in any correspondence.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Lynne R. Heltman at (202) 273-5440.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Under the PRA of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-13; 44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), Federal agencies must obtain approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for each collection of information they conduct or sponsor. This request for comment is being made pursuant to section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the PRA.

With respect to the following collection of information, VBA invites comments on: (1) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of VBA's functions, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of VBA's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use Start Printed Page 52271of automated collection techniques or the use of other forms of information technology.

Title: Generic Clearance for the Veterans Benefits Administration Customer Satisfaction Surveys.

OMB Control Number: 2900-0569.

Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection.

Abstract: VBA administers integrated programs of benefits and services, established by law for veterans and their survivors, and service personnel. Executive Order 12862, Setting Customer Service Standards, requires Federal agencies and departments to identify and survey its customers to determine the kind and quality of services they want and their level of satisfaction with existing service. VBA uses customer satisfaction surveys to gauge customer perceptions of VA services as well as customer expectations and desires. The results of these information collections lead to improvements in the quality of VBA service delivery by helping to shape the direction and focus of specific programs and services.

Affected Public: Individuals or households and, Businesses or other for-profits.

National Survey Activities

YearNumber of respondentsEstimated annual burden (hours)Frequency of response
Survey of Veterans' Satisfaction with the VA Compensation and Pension Claims Process
200424,0007,290One-time.
200524,0007,290One-time.
200624,0007,290One-time.
Survey of Veterans'/Dependents' and Servicemembers' Satisfaction with the VA Education Claims Process
20042,968979One-time.
20052,968979One-time.
20062,968979One-time.
Survey of Educational Institution Certifying Officials
20041,000330One-time.
20051,000330One-time.
Survey of Veterans' Satisfaction with the VA Home Loan Guaranty Process
20047,5601,262One-time.
20057,5601,262One-time.
20067,5601,262One-time.
VA Loan Guaranty Lender Satisfaction Survey
20041,992498One-time.
20051,992498One-time.
20061,992498One-time.
VA Survey of Veterans' Satisfaction with the Vocational Rehabilitation & Employment Program
20043,3001,089One-time.
20053,3001,089One-time.
20063,3001,089One-time.
Insurance Customer Surveys
20042,800280One-time.
20052,800280One-time.
20062,800280One-time.
Undetermined Focus Groups (Targeted population groups are to be decided)
20045001,000One-time.
20055001,000One-time.
20065001,000One-time.
Telephone Survey
20047,2001,224One-time.
20057,2001,224One-time.
20067,2001,224One-time.
VA Regional Office-Based Survey Activities—Customer Satisfaction Focus Groups
20046001,800One-time.
20056001,800One-time.
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20066001,800One-time.
VA Regional Office-Specific Service Improvement Initiatives (Comment Card)
200480,0006,640One-time.
200580,0006,640One-time.
200680,0006,640One-time.

Most customer satisfaction surveys will be recurring so that VBA can create ongoing measures of performance and to determine how well the agency meets customer service standards. Each collection of information will consist of the minimum amount of information necessary to determine customer needs and to evaluate VBA's performance. VBA expects to conduct an estimated 100 focus groups and receive up to 80,000 comment cards involving a total of 6,640 hours each year for 2004, 2005, and 2006. In addition, VBA expects to distribute written surveys with a total annual burden of approximately 16,052 hours in 2004, 16,382 hours in 2005, and 16,382 hours in 2005. The grand totals for both focus groups, comment cards, and written surveys are: 22,692 hours in 2004, 23,022 hours in 2005, and 23,022 hours in 2006.

Anyone may view the results of previously administered surveys on the internet by going to the following VBA surveys Web site: http://www.vba.va.gov/​surveys/​.

The areas of concern to VBA and its customers may change over time, and it is important to have the ability to evaluate customer concerns quickly. OMB will be requested to grant generic clearance approval for a 3-year period to conduct customer satisfaction surveys, focus groups and to send out comment cards. Participation in the surveys, focus groups, and comment cards will be voluntary and the generic clearance will not be used to collect information required to obtain or maintain eligibility for a VA program or benefit. In order to maximize the voluntary response rates, the information collection will be designed to make participation convenient, simple, and free of unnecessary barriers. Baseline data obtained through these information collections will be used to improve customer service standards. VBA will consult with OMB regarding each specific information collection during this approval period.

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Dated: August 15, 2003.

By direction of the Secretary.

Jacqueline Parks,

IT Specialist, Records Management Service.

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[FR Doc. 03-22198 Filed 8-29-03; 8:45 am]

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