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Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Annual Capital Expenditures Survey

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

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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, Public Law 104-13 (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)).


To ensure consideration written comments must be submitted on or before September 7, 2007.


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

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Requests for additional information or copies of the information collection instrument(s) and instructions should be directed to Valerie Strang, U.S. Census Bureau, Room HQ-6K171, Washington, DC 20233; (301) 763-3317.

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I. Abstract

The U.S. Census Bureau plans to conduct the 2007 through 2009 Annual Capital Expenditures Survey (ACES). The annual survey collects data on fixed assets and depreciation, sales and receipts, capitalized computer software, and capital expenditures for new and used structures and equipment. The ACES is the sole source of detailed comprehensive statistics on actual business spending for non-farm, non-governmental companies, organizations, and associations operating in the United States. Both employer and non-employer companies are included in the survey.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis, the primary Federal user of our annual program statistics, uses these data in refining and evaluating annual estimates of investment in structures and equipment in the national income and product accounts, compiling annual input-output tables, and computing gross domestic product by industry. The Federal Reserve Board uses these data to improve estimates of investment indicators for monetary policy. The Bureau of Labor Statistics uses these data to improve estimates of capital stocks for productivity analysis. Industry analysts use these data for market analysis, economic forecasting, identifying business opportunities, product development, and business planning.

Changes from the previous ACES are the collection of capital expenditures by type of structure and type of equipment in the 2008 ACES, and the incorporation of the 2007 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) in the 2009 ACES.

Capital expenditures by type of structure and type of equipment were last collected from employer companies in the 2003 ACES. These data, collected together once every five years, will again be collected in the 2008 ACES. These data are critical to evaluating the comprehensiveness of capital expenditures statistics in years detailed data on types of structures and equipment are not collected. The detailed structures data will provide a 5-year benchmark for estimates of new construction put in place. The detailed equipment data will provide a periodic measure of expenditures by type of equipment and assist in evaluating estimates of the private equipment and software components of nonresidential fixed investment.

Through the 2008 ACES, data will be based on the 2002 NAICS. Beginning with the 2009 ACES, we will collect and publish data based on the 2007 NAICS. Industries in the survey will comprise 3-digit and 4-digit 2007 NAICS codes.

II. Method of Collection

The Census Bureau will primarily use mail out/mail back survey forms to collect data. Companies will be asked to respond to the survey within 30 days of the initial mailing. Companies can respond via a secure facsimile machine by using our toll-free number. Letters and/or telephone calls encouraging participation will be directed to respondents that have not responded by the designated time.

Beginning with the 2006 ACES, we introduced an encrypted Internet Data Collection System (Census Taker) for optional use as a substitute for the paper form mailed to all companies. Census Taker is an electronic version of the paper data collection instrument. It provides improved quality with automatic data checks and is context-sensitive to assist the data provider in identifying potential reporting problems before submission, thus reducing the need for follow-up. Census Taker is completed via the internet eliminating the need for downloading software and increasing the integrity and confidentiality of these data.

The employer companies will be mailed one of three forms based on their diversity of operations and number of industries with payroll. Companies operating in only one industry will receive an ACE-1(S) form. Companies operating in more than one, but less than nine industries will receive an ACE-1(M) form. And, companies that operate in nine or more industries will receive an ACE-1(L). All non-employer companies will receive an ACE-2 form.

III. Data

OMB Number: 0607-0782.

Form Numbers: ACE-1(S), ACE-1(M), ACE-1(L) and ACE-2.

Type of Review: Regular submission.

Affected Public: Businesses or other for-profit organizations, not-for-profit institutions, self-employed individuals.

Estimated Number of Respondents: Approximately 61,000 (46,000 employer companies, and 15,000 non-employer businesses).

Estimated Time per Response: The average for all respondents is 2.18 hours. For employer companies completing form ACE-1, the range is 2 to 16 hours, averaging 2.56 hours. For companies completing form ACE-2, the range is less than 1 hour to 2 hours, averaging 1 hour.

Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 132,980.

Estimated Total Annual Cost: $3.3 million.

Respondents' Obligation: Mandatory.

Legal Authority: Title 13 United States Code, Sections 182, 224, and 225.

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: July 2, 2007.

Gwellnar Banks,

Management Analyst, Office of the Chief Information Officer.

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[FR Doc. E7-13245 Filed 7-6-07; 8:45 am]