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Notice

Proposed Extension of Information Collection; Comment Request; Petition for Finding Under Section 3(40) of ERISA

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Employee Benefits Security Administration, Department of Labor.

ACTION:

Notice.

SUMMARY:

The Department of Labor (the Department), in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)), provides the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed and continuing collections of information. This program helps the Department assess the impact of its information collection requirements and minimize the reporting burden on the public. It also helps the public understand the Department's information collection requirements and provide the requested data in the desired format. Currently, the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) is soliciting comments on the proposed extension of the information collections contained in regulations pertaining to the Department's procedures to making a finding under section 3(40) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) as to whether an employee benefit plan is established and maintained pursuant to one or more collective bargaining agreements. A copy of the information collection request (ICR) can be obtained by contacting the office shown in the ADDRESSES section of this notice.

DATES:

Written comments must be submitted to the office shown in the ADDRESSES section on or before February 5, 2007.

ADDRESSES:

Direct all written comments to Susan G. Lahne, Office of Policy and Research, Employee Benefits Security Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Room N-5647, Washington, DC 20210. Telephone: (202) 693-8410; Fax: (202) 219-4745. These are not toll-free numbers. Comments may also be submitted electronically to the following Internet e-mail address: ebsa.opr@dol.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

Rules codified beginning at 29 CFR 2570.150 set forth an administrative procedure (“procedural rules”) for obtaining a determination by the Start Printed Page 70546Department as to whether a particular employee benefit plan is established or maintained under or pursuant to one or more collective bargaining agreements for purposes of section 3(40) of ERISA. These procedural rules concern specific criteria set forth in 29 CFR 2510.3-40 (“criteria rules”), which, if met, constitute a finding by the Department that a plan is collectively bargained. Plans that meet the requirements of the criteria rules are not subject to state law. Among other requirements, the procedural rules require submission of a petition and affidavits by parties seeking a finding. The Department has obtained approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), under OMB Control No. 1210-0119, for the information collections contained in its rules for a finding under section 3(40). This approval is currently scheduled to expire on March 30, 2007.

II. Current Actions

This notice requests comments on an extension of OMB's approval of the information collections included in 29 CFR 2510.3-40. After considering comments received in response to this notice, the Department intends to submit an ICR to OMB for continuing approval of the information collection contained in 29 CFR 2510.3-40. No change to the existing ICR is proposed or made at this time. An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, an information collection unless it displays a valid OMB control number. A summary of the ICR and the current burden estimates follows:

Agency: Employee Benefits Security Administration, Department of Labor.

Title: Petition for Finding under Section 3(40) of ERISA.

Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection of information.

OMB Number: 1210-0119.

Affected Public: Business or other for-profit; not-for-profit institutions.

Respondents: 45.

Responses: 45.

Estimated Total Burden Hours: 1.

Estimated Total Burden Cost (Operating and Maintenance): $120,420.

III. Desired Focus of Comments

The Department is particularly interested in comments that:

  • 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., by permitting electronic submissions of responses.

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

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Joseph S. Piacentini,

Director, Office of Policy and Research, Employee Benefits Security Administration.

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[FR Doc. E6-20521 Filed 12-4-06; 8:45 am]

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