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Notice

Information Collection Activity; Comment Request

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AGENCY:

Rural Utilities Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Notice and request for comments.

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SUMMARY:

In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. chapter 35, as amended), the Rural Utilities Service (RUS) invites comments on the following information collections for which RUS intends to request approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

DATES:

Comments on this notice must be received by April 17, 2006.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Richard C. Annan, Director, Program Development and Regulatory Analysis, Rural Utilities Service, 1400 Independence Ave., SW., STOP 1522, Room 5181, South Building, Washington, DC 20250-1522. Telephone: (202) 720-0784. Fax: (202) 720-8435.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) regulation (5 CFR part 1320) implementing provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-13) requires that interested members of the public and affected agencies have an opportunity to comment on information collection and recordkeeping activities [see 5 CFR 1320.8(d)]. This notice identifies information collections that RUS is submitting to OMB for extension.

Comments are invited on: (a) Whether this collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the 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 respondents, 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 Richard C. Annan., Director, Program Development and Regulatory Analysis, Rural Utilities Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, STOP 1522, 1400 Independence Ave., SW., Washington, DC 20250-1522. Fax: (202) 720-8435.

Title: Mergers and Consolidations of Electric Borrowers, 7 CFR 1717, subpart D.

OMB Control Number: 0572-0114.

Type of Request: Extension of a currently approved collection.

Abstract: The RE Act of 1936, as amended (7 U.S.C. 901 et seq.), authorizes the RUS to make and guarantee loans for rural electrification. Due to deregulation and restructuring activities in the electric industry, RUS borrowers find it advantageous to merge or consolidate to meet the challenges of industry change. This information collection addresses the requirements of RUS policies and procedures for mergers and consolidations of electric program borrowers.

Estimate of Burden: Public reporting burden for this collection is estimated to average 1.3 hours per response.

Respondents: Not-for-profit institution; business or other for-profit.

Estimated Number of Respondents: 18.

Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: 7.9.

Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 184 hours.

Copies of these information collections can be obtained from MaryPat Daskal, Program Development and Regulatory Analysis, at (202) 720-7853. Fax: (202) 720-8435.

All responses to this notice will be summarized and included in the requests for OMB approval. All comments will also become a matter of public record.

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Dated: February 6, 2006.

James M. Andrew,

Administrator, Rural Utilities Service.

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[FR Doc. E6-2202 Filed 2-15-06; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3410-15-P