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Notice

Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Statement of Financial Interests, Regional Fishery Management Councils

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Department of Commerce.

ACTION:

Notice.

SUMMARY:

The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

DATES:

Written comments must be submitted on or before July 6, 2007.

ADDRESSES:

Direct all written comments to Diana Hynek, Departmental Paperwork Clearance Officer, Department of Commerce, Room 6625, 14th and Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20230 (or via the Internet at dHynek@doc.gov).

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Requests for additional information or copies of the information collection instrument and instructions should be directed to William Chappell, (301) 713-2337 or william.chappell@noaa.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:Start Printed Page 25747

I. Abstract

The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (Act) authorizes the establishment of Regional Fishery Management Councils to exercise sound judgment in the stewardship of fishery resources through the preparation, monitoring, and revision of such fishery management plans under circumstances, (a) which will enable the States, the fishing industry, consumers, environmental organizations, and other interested persons to participate in the development of such plans, and (b) which take into account the social and economic needs of fishermen and dependent communities.

Section 302(j) of the Act requires that Council members appointed by the Secretary, Scientific and Statistical Committee (SSC) members appointed by a Council under Section 302(g)(1), or individuals nominated by the Governor of a State for possible appointment as a Council member disclose their financial interest in any Council fishery. These interests include harvesting, processing, lobbying, advocacy, or marketing activity that is being, or will be, undertaken within any fishery over which the Council concerned has jurisdiction, or with respect to an individual or organization with a financial interest in such activity. In 2008, the Secretary is required to submit an annual report to Congress for 2007 on action taken by the Secretary and the Councils to implement the disclosure of financial interest and recusal requirements, including identification of any conflict of interest problems with respect to the Councils and SSCs and recommendations for addressing any such problems.

Seated Council members appointed by the Secretary, including the Tribal Government appointee and SSC members, must file a financial interest form within 45 days of taking office and must provide an update of their statements at any time any such financial interest is acquired, or substantially changed.

The Act further provides that a member shall not vote on a Council decision that would have a significant and predictable effect on a financial interest if there is a close causal link between the Council decision and an expected and substantially disproportionate benefit to the financial interest of the affected individual relative to the financial interest of other participants in the same gear type or sector of the fishery. However, an affected individual who is declared ineligible to vote on a Council action may participate in Council deliberations relating to the decision after notifying the Council of his/her recusal and identifying the financial interest that would be affected.

II. Method of Collection

Respondents submit paper forms.

III. Data

OMB Number: 0648-0192.

Form Number: NOAA Form 88-195.

Type of Review: Regular submission.

Affected Public: Individuals or households.

Estimated Number of Respondents: 306.

Estimated Time Per Response: 35 minutes.

Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 179.

Estimated Total Annual Cost to Public: $54.

IV. Request for Comments

Comments are invited 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 (including hours and cost) of the proposed collection of information; (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 automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

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

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Dated: May 1, 2007.

Gwellnar Banks,

Management Analyst, Office of the Chief Information Officer.

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[FR Doc. E7-8634 Filed 5-4-07; 8:45 am]

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