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Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request

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Start Preamble Start Printed Page 3921 January 16, 2008.

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), OIRA_Submission@OMB.EOP.GOV 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: 7 CFR Part 1744, Subpart B, Lien Accommodations and Subordination Policy.

OMB Control Number: 0572-0126.

Summary of Collection: The Rural Utilities Service (RUS) is a credit agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). It makes mortgage loans and loan guarantees to finance electric, telecommunications, and water and waste facilities in rural areas. The Telecommunications Act of 1996 mandates that universally available and affordable telecommunications services, including advanced services, be made available to all U.S. citizens—weather in rural areas or city centers, affluent, or poor communities. In support of this mandate, RUS is amending its regulation to ensure that, with the assistance of advanced telecommunications technology, rural citizens be provided the same economic, educational, and health care benefits available in the large metropolitan areas.

Need and Use of the Information: This regulation will help RUS facilitate funding from non-RUS sources in order to meet the growing capital needs of rural Local Exchange Carriers and enable the providers to compete in an expanding number of telecommunications services. RUS will use the information to provide “automatic” approval for borrowers requesting lien accommodations that meet the required financial tests. These tests are designed to ensure that the financial strength of the borrower is more than sufficient to protect the government's loan security interests; hence, the lien accommodations will not adversely affect the government's financial interests.

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

Number of Respondents: 30.

Frequency of Responses: Reporting: On occasion.

Total Burden Hours: 23.

Rural Utilities Service

Title: Electric System Emergency Restoration Plan.

OMB Control Number: 0572-0140.

Summary of Collection: Electric power systems have been identified in Presidential Decision Directive 63, May 1998, as one of the critical infrastructures of the United States. The term “critical infrastructure” is defined in section 1016(e) of the USA Patriot Act of 2001 (42 U.S.C. 5195c(e)). To ensure that the electric infrastructure in rural America is adequately protected, Rural Utilities Service requires that all current electric borrowers enhance an existing Emergency Restoration Plan (ERP) or, if none exists, develop and maintain an ERP.

Need and Use of the Information: Rural Development Utilities Programs (RDUP) requires that all current electric borrowers conduct a Vulnerability and Risk Assessment (VRA) of its respective systems and utilize the results of this assessment to enhance an existing ERP or create an ERP if none exists. The ERP provides written procedures detailing response and restoration efforts in the event of a major system outage resulting from a natural or man made disaster. RDUP requires each electric borrower to provide annually a self-certification, in writing, that an ERP exists and that an initial VRA has been performed. If this information were not collected, vulnerabilities may exist in the electric system infrastructure. The result would be increased risk to public safety and may affect the Government loan security.

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

Number of Respondents: 676.

Frequency of Responses: Reporting: Annually.

Total Burden Hours: 338.

Start Signature

Charlene Parker,

Departmental Information Collection Clearance Officer.

End Signature End Preamble

[FR Doc. E8-1043 Filed 1-22-08; 8:45 am]