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Notice

Notice of Request for Extension of a Currently Approved Information Collection

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Rural Business-Cooperative Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Proposed collection; comments requested.

SUMMARY:

In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces the Rural Business-Cooperative Service's intention to request an extension for a currently approved information collection in support of the program for 7 CFR part 4284, subpart G.

DATES:

Comments on this notice must be received by February 17, 2004 to be assured of consideration.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Diane M. Berger, Loan Specialist, Rural Business-Cooperative Service, USDA, STOP 3225, 1400 Independence Ave., SW., Washington, DC 20250-3225, Telephone: (202) 720-2383.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Title: Rural Business Opportunity Grants.

OMB Number: 0570-0024.

Expiration Date of Approval: June 30, 2004.

Type of Request: Extension of a currently approved information collection.

Abstract: The objective of the Rural Business Opportunity Grant (RBOG) program is to promote sustainable economic development in rural areas. This purpose is achieved through grants made by the Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBS) to public and private non-profit organizations and cooperatives to pay costs of economic development planning and technical assistance for rural businesses. The regulations contain various requirements for information from the grant applicants and recipients. The information requested is necessary for RBS to be able to process applications in a responsible manner, make prudent program decisions, and effectively monitor the grantees' activities to ensure that funds obtained from the Government are used appropriately. Objectives include gathering information to identify the applicant, describe the applicant's Start Printed Page 70760experience and expertise, describe the project and how the applicant will operate it, and other material necessary for prudent Agency decisions and reasonable program monitoring.

Estimate of Burden: Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 5.97 hours per response.

Respondents: Non-profit corporations, public agencies, and cooperatives.

Estimated Number of Respondents: 210.

Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: 13.8.

Estimated Number of Responses: 2895.

Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 17,290.

Copies of this information collection can be obtained from Cheryl Thompson, Regulations and Paperwork Management Branch, Support Services Division at (202) 692-0043.

Comments

Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of Rural Business-Cooperative Service, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of Rural Business-Cooperative Service'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 Cheryl Thompson, Regulations and Paperwork Management Branch, Support Services Division, U.S. Department of Agriculture, STOP 0742, 1400 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20250-0742. 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 10, 2003.

John Rosso,

Administrator, Rural Business-Cooperative Service.

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[FR Doc. 03-31341 Filed 12-18-03; 8:45 am]

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