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Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request

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Start Preamble April 20, 2006.

The Department of Agriculture has submitted the following information collection requirement(s) to OMB for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13. Comments regarding (a) Whether the 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 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; (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 should be addressed to: Desk Officer for Agriculture, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget (OMB), or fax (202) 395-5806 and to Departmental Clearance Office, USDA, OCIO, Mail Stop 7602, Washington, DC 20250-7602. Comments regarding these information collections are best assured of having their full effect if received within 30 days of this notification. Copies of the submission(s) may be obtained by calling (202) 720-8681.

An agency may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless the collection of information displays a currently valid OMB control number and the agency informs potential persons who are to respond to the collection of information that such persons are not required to respond to the collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

Rural Utilities Service

Title: Operating Reports for Telecommunications and Broadband Borrowers.

OMB Control Number: 0572-0031.

Summary of Collection: The Rural Utilities Service's (RUS) is a credit agency of the Department of Agriculture. The Rural Electrification Act of 1936, as amended (RE Act) (7 U.S.C. 901 et seq. ) authorizes the Secretary to make mortgage loans and loan guarantees to finance electric, telecommunications, broadband, and water and waste facilities in rural areas. In addition to providing loans and loan guarantees, one of RUS' main objectives is to safeguard loan security until the loan is repaid. The RE Act also authorizes the Secretary to make studies, investigations, and reports concerning the progress of borrowers' furnishing of adequate telephone service and publish and disseminate this information.

Need and Use of the Information: Information from the Operating Report for both telecommunication and broadband borrowers provides RUS with vital financial information needed to ensure the maintenance of the Start Printed Page 20971security for the Government's loans and service data which enables RUS to ensure the provision of quality telecommunications and broadband service as mandated by the RE Act of 1936. Form 674, “Certificate of Authority to Submit or Grant Access to Data” will allow telecommunication and broadband borrowers to file electronic Operating Reports with the agency using the new USDA Data Collection System. Accompanied by a Board Resolution, it will identify the name and USDA eAuthentication ID for a certifier and security administrator that will have access to the system for purposes of filing electronic Operating Reports.

Description of Respondents: Business or other for-profit; Not-for-profit institutions.

Number of Respondents: 1,290.

Frequency of Responses: Reporting: On occasion; quarterly; annually.

Total Burden Hours: 3,643.

Start Signature

Charlene Parker,

Departmental Information Collection Clearance Officer.

End Signature End Preamble

[FR Doc. E6-6088 Filed 4-21-06; 8:45 am]