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Notice

Request for Extension and Revision of a Currently Approved Information Collection

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AGENCY:

Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration, USDA.

ACTION:

Notice and request for comments.

SUMMARY:

In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. chapter 35), this notice announces the Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) intention to request an extension for and revision to a currently approved information collection related to the delivery of services conducted under the official inspection, grading, and weighing programs authorized under the United States Grain Standards Act and the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946. This voluntary survey would give customers of the official inspection, grading, and weighing programs, who are primarily in the grain, oilseed, rice, lentil, dry pea, edible bean, and related agricultural commodity markets, an opportunity to provide feedback on the quality of services they receive and will provide information on new services that they would like to receive. This feedback would assist GIPSA's Federal Grain Inspection Service (FGIS) to improve services and service delivery provided by the official inspection, grading, and weighing system.

DATES:

Written comments must be submitted on or before January 30, 2006.

ADDRESSES:

We invite you to submit comments on this notice. You may submit comments by any of the following methods:

  • E-Mail: Send comments via electronic mail to comments.gipsa@usda.gov.
  • Mail: Send hardcopy written comments to Tess Butler, GIPSA, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., Room 1647-S, Washington, DC 20250-3604.
  • Fax: Send comments by facsimile transmission to: (202) 690-2755.
  • Hand Delivery or Courier: Deliver comments to: Tess Butler, GIPSA, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., Room 1647-S, Washington, DC 20250-3604.

Instructions: All comments should make reference to the date and page number of this issue of the Federal Register.

Background Documents: Information collection package and other documents relating to this action will be available for public inspection in the above office during regular business hours.

Read Comments: All comments will be available for public inspection in the above office during regular business hours (7 CFR 1.27(b)).

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

John Sharpe, Director, Compliance Division, e-mail address: John.R.Sharpe@usda.gov, telephone (202) 720-8262.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The United States Grain Standards Act, as amended (7 U.S.C. 71-87) (USGSA), and the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946, as amended (7 U.S.C. 1621-1627) (AMA), authorize the Secretary of the United States Department of Agriculture to establish official inspection, grading, and weighing programs for grains and other agricultural commodities. Under the USGSA and AMA, GIPSA's FGIS offers inspection, weighing, grading, quality assurance, and certification services for a user-fee, to facilitate the efficient marketing of grain, oilseeds, rice, lentils, dry peas, edible beans, and related agricultural commodities in the global marketplace. Under FGIS oversight, the official inspection, grading, and weighing programs are a public-private partnership including Federal, State, and private agencies and provides official inspection, grading, and weighing services to the domestic and export trade.

There are approximately 2,500 current users of the official inspection, grading, and weighing programs. These customers are located nationwide and represent a diverse mixture of small, medium, and large producers, merchandisers, processors, exporters, and other financially interested parties. These customers request official services from an FGIS Field Office; delegated, designated, or cooperating State office; or designated private agency office.

The goal of FGIS and the official inspection, grading, and weighing system is to provide timely, high quality, accurate, consistent, and professional service that facilitates the orderly marketing of grain and related commodities. To accomplish this goal and in accordance with Executive Order 12862, FGIS is seeking feedback from customers to evaluate the services provided by the official inspection, grading, and weighing programs.

Title: Survey of Customers of the Official Inspection, Grading, and Weighing Programs (Grain and Related Commodities).

OMB Number: 0580-0018.

Expiration Date of Approval: July 31, 2006.

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

Abstract: The collection of information using a voluntary customer service survey will provide all paying customers of FGIS and the official inspection, grading, and weighing programs an opportunity to evaluate, on a scale of one to five, the timeliness, cost-effectiveness, accuracy, consistency, and usefulness of services and results, and the professionalism of employees. Customers will also have an opportunity to indicate what new or existing services they would use if such services were offered or available.

FGIS needs to have a more formal means of determining customers' expectations or the quality of service that is delivered. To collect this information, FGIS proposes to distribute, over a 3-year period, a voluntary customer service survey. The initial survey instrument will consist of nine questions. Subsequent survey instruments will be tailored to earlier responses. The information collected from the survey will allow FGIS to ascertain customers' satisfaction with existing services, compare results from year to year, and determine what new services customers desire. The customer service survey consists of one document comprised of nine questions where customers assess the timeliness, cost effectiveness, accuracy, consistency, and usefulness of services and results, and the professionalism of employees. Some examples of survey questions include the following: “I receive results in a timely manner,” “Official results are accurate,” and “Inspection personnel are knowledgeable.” These survey questions will be assessed using a one to five rating scale with responses ranging from “strongly disagrees” to “strongly agrees” or “no opinion.” Customers are also asked for which product they primarily request service, and what percentage of their product is officially inspected. There is also space available on the survey for the customer to provide a response to the following statement: “I would use the following new/existing services if they were offered/available.”

By obtaining information from customers through a voluntary customer service survey, FGIS could continue to improve services and service delivery provided by the official inspection, grading, and weighing programs to meet or exceed customer expectations.

Estimate of Burden: Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 10 minutes (i.e., 0.167 hours) per response.Start Printed Page 72107

Respondents: The primary respondents will be the direct paying customers of FGIS and the official inspection, grading, and weighing programs.

FY 2006: Estimated Number of Respondents: 1,875 (i.e., 2,500 total customers times 75% response rate = 1,875).

Frequency of Responses: 1.

Estimated Annual Burden: 313 hours. (1,875 responses times 0.167 hours/ response = 313 hours).

FY 2007: Estimated Number of Respondents: 1,875.

Frequency of Responses: 1.

Estimated Annual Burden: 313 hours.

FY 2008: Estimated Number of Respondents: 1,875.

Frequency of Responses: 1.

Estimated Annual Burden: 313 hours.

Copies of this information collection can be obtained from Tess Butler, Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration, FGIS, at (202) 720-7486.

Comments: Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the collection of the information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of FGIS, including whether the information will have a practical utility; (b) the accuracy of FGIS' estimate of the burden, 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 should be addressed to Tess Butler, as referenced above. 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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David R. Shipman,

Acting Administrator, Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration.

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[FR Doc. E5-6703 Filed 11-30-05; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3410-EN-P