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Proposed Information Collection Activity; Comment Request

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Proposed Projects

Title: The Office of Community Services (OCS) Evaluation Initiative.

OMB No.: New Collection.

Description: This questionnaire is part of a contract that addresses evaluation strategies for three programs administered by OCS: Community Economic Development (CED), Rural Community Facilities (RF), and Job Opportunities for Low-Income Individuals (JOLI). The Legislative requirement for two of these programs, i.e., the RF and CED programs, is in Title IV of the Community Opportunities, Accountability, and Training and Educational Services Act (COATS Human Services Reauthorization Act) of Oct. 27, 1998, Pub. L. 105-285, section 680(b) as amended. This legislative directive states that “The Secretary shall require all activities receiving assistance under this section to be evaluated for their effectiveness. Funding for such evaluations shall be provided as a stated percentage of the assistance or through a separate grant awarded by the Secretary specifically for the purpose of evaluation of a particular activity or group of activities.”

Under Title V, section 505, of the Family Support Act of 1998, Pub. L. 100-485, section 505(f), JOLI was initially a demonstration program that required local evaluations of each project. When JOLI was reauthorized in 1996 (Pub. L. 104-193—Aug. 22, 1996), it no longer had demonstration status and evaluation requirements. As a result, a formal evaluation for the JOLI programs has not been conducted since the 1996 Pub. L. reauthorization. At this time, OCS is interested in a formal evaluation to assess the JOLI program.

OCS has chosen to evaluate all three of these programs through a separate contract awarded by the Secretary using the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) Performance Assessment Rating Tool (PART) in order to critically review the overall design and effectiveness of each program in its totality. The evaluation initiative contract provides the central office with the mechanism to ensure that all programs evaluated will have consistent data that is in agreement with the direction of OMB and provides the Secretary with information on program efficiency and effectiveness.

The evaluation survey's primary purpose is to document and systematically evaluate the program performance of three OCS discretionary grant programs in qualitative and quantitative terms. Each of the three OCS discretionary grant programs—CED, RF, and JOLI—will be assessed using qualitative and quantitative evaluation methods that capture key information about program and grantee-level performance in four general areas: (1) Program purpose and design; (2) strategic planning; (3) program management; and (4) program results. The evaluation activities will build on the initial year's findings and methods, with the goal of expanding data collection and analysis to improve the validity and generalizability of findings.

The questionnaire will be administered online.

Respondents: Active CED and JOLI grantees with grants awarded from 2001 through 2004.Start Printed Page 349

Annual Burden Estimates

InstrumentNumber of respondentsNumber of responses per respondentAverage burden hours per responseTotal burden hours
Questionnaire for OCS—CED and JOLI Grantees in the U.S.17211.5258

Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 258.

In compliance with the requirements of section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Administration for Children and Families is soliciting public comment on the specific aspects of the information collection described above. Copies of the proposed collection of information can be obtained and comments may be forwarded by writing to the Administration for Children and Families, Office of Administration, Office of Information Services, 370 L'Enfant Promenade, SW., Washington, DC 20447, Attn: ACF Reports Clearance Officer. E-mail address: infocollection@acf.hhs.gov. All requests should be identified by the title of the information collection.

The Department specifically requests comments 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) 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. Consideration will be given to comments and suggestions submitted within 60 days of this publication.

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Dated: December 27, 2005.

Robert Sargis,

Reports Clearance Officer.

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[FR Doc. 06-18 Filed 1-3-06; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4184-01-M