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Proposed Collection; Comment Request

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The Department of Labor, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, conducts a preclearance consultation program to provide the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing collections of information in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA95) (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)). This program helps to ensure that requested data can be provided in the desired format, reporting burden (time and financial resources) is minimized, collection instruments are clearly understood, and the impact of collection requirements on respondents can be properly assessed. Currently, the Employment Standards Administration is soliciting comments concerning the proposed collection: Application for Approval of a Representative's Fee in Black Lung Claim Proceedings Conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor (CM-972). A copy of the proposed information collection request can be obtained by contacting the office listed below in the addresses section of this Notice.


Written comments must be submitted to the office listed in the addresses section below on or before August 3, 2004.


Ms. Hazel M. Bell, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave., NW., Room S-3201, Washington, DC 20210, telephone (202) 693-0418, Start Printed Page 31645fax (202) 693-1451, E-mail Please use only one method of transmission for comments (mail, fax, or E-mail).

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I. Background

Individuals filing with the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Workers' Compensation Programs (OWCP), Division of Coal Mine Workers' Compensation (DCMWC) for benefits under the Black Lung Benefits Act (BLBA) may elect to be represented or assisted by an attorney or other representative. For those cases that are approved, 30 U.S.C. 901 of the Black Lung Benefits Act and 20 CFR 725.365-6 established standards for the information and documentation that must be submitted to the Program for review to approve a fee for services. The CM-972 is used to collect the pertinent data to determine if the representative's services and amounts charged can be paid under the Black Lung Act. This information collection is currently approved for use through November 30, 2004.

II. Review Focus

The Department of Labor is particularly interested in comments which:

  • Evaluate 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;
  • Evaluate 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;
  • Enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; and
  • 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, e.g., permitting electronic submissions of responses.

III. Current Actions

The Department of Labor seeks the approval of this information in order to evaluate applications to approve fees for services rendered.

Type of Review: Extension.

Agency: Employment Standards Administration.

Title: Application for Approval of a Representative's Fee in a Black Lung Claim Proceedings Conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor.

OMB Number: 1215-0171.

Agency Number: CM-972.

Affected Public: Business or other for-profit.

Total Respondents: 255.

Total Annual responses: 255.

Average Time per Response: 42 minutes.

Estimated Total Burden Hours: 179.

Frequency: On occasion.

Total Burden Cost (capital/startup): $0.

Total Burden Cost (operating/maintenance): $0.

Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for Office of Management and Budget approval of the information collection request; they will also become a matter of public record.

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Dated: May 28, 2004.

Bruce Bohanon,

Chief, Branch of Management Review and Internal Control, Division of Financial Management, Office of Management, Administration and Planning, Employment Standards Administration.

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[FR Doc. 04-12627 Filed 6-3-04; 8:45 am]