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Notice

Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection, Comment Request

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AGENCY:

Minerals Management Service (MMS), Interior.

ACTION:

Notice of an extension of a currently approved information collection (OMB Control Number 1010-0162).

SUMMARY:

To comply with the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995, we are inviting comments on information collection request (ICR) that we will submit to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval. This ICR concerns the paperwork requirements in the regulations under the Chief Financial Officers Act of 1990 (CFO). This ICR is titled “Accounts Receivable Confirmations.”

DATES:

Submit written comments on or before June 30, 2008.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments by the following methods:

  • Electronically go to http://www.regulations.gov. In the “Comment or Submission” column, enter “MMS-2008-MRM-0019” to view supporting and related materials for this ICR. Click on “Send a comment or submission” link to submit public comments. Information on using Regulations.gov, including instructions for accessing documents, submitting comments, and viewing the docket after the close of the comment period, is available through the site's “User Tips” link. All comments submitted will be posted to the docket.
  • Mail comments to Hyla Hurst, Regulatory Specialist, Minerals Management Service, Minerals Revenue Management, P.O. Box 25165, MS 302B2, Denver, Colorado 80225. Please reference ICR 1010-0162 in your comments.
  • Hand-carry comments or use an overnight courier service. Our courier address is Building 85, Room A-614, Denver Federal Center, West 6th Ave. and Kipling Blvd., Denver, Colorado 80225. Please reference ICR 1010-0162 in your comments.
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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Hyla Hurst, telephone (303) 231-3495, or e-mail hyla.hurst@mms.gov. You may also contact Hyla Hurst to obtain copies, at no cost, of (1) the ICR, (2) any associated forms, and (3) the regulations that require the subject collection of information.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Title: Accounts Receivable Confirmations.

OMB Control Number: 1010-0162.

Bureau Form Number: None.

Abstract: The Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior is responsible for mineral resource development on Federal and Indian lands and the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). The Secretary, under the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920 (30 U.S.C. 1923), the Indian Mineral Development of 1982 (Pub. L. 97-382—Dec. 22, 1982), and the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (43 U.S.C. 1353), is responsible for managing the production of minerals from Federal and Indian lands and the OCS, collecting royalties and other mineral revenues from lessees who produce minerals, and distributing the funds collected in accordance with applicable laws. The Secretary has a trust responsibility to manage Indian lands and seek advice and information from Indian beneficiaries. The MMS performs the minerals revenue management functions and assists the Secretary in carrying out the Department's trust responsibility for Indian lands. Public laws pertaining to mineral revenues are on our Web site at http://www.mrm.mms.gov/​Laws_​R_​D/​PublicLawsAMR.htm.

When a company or an individual enters into a lease to explore, develop, produce, and dispose of minerals from Federal or Indian lands, that company or individual agrees to pay the lessor a share in an amount or value of production from the leased lands. The lessee is required to report various kinds of information to the lessor relative to the disposition of the leased minerals. Such information is generally available within the records of the lessee or others involved in developing, transporting, processing, purchasing, or selling of such minerals. The information collected includes data necessary to ensure that the royalties are accurately valued and appropriately paid.

Every year, under CFO, the Department's Office of Inspector General, or its agent (agent), audits the Department's financial statements. The Department's goal is to receive an unqualified opinion. Accounts receivable confirmations are a common practice in the audit business. Due to continuously increasing scrutiny on financial audits, third-party confirmation on the validity of MMS financial records is necessary. Companies submit financial information on Form MMS-2014, Report of Sales and Royalty Remittance (OMB Control Number 1010-0140, expires November 30, 2009) and on Form MMS-4430, Solid Minerals Production and Royalty Report (OMB Control Number 1010-0120, expires December 31, 2010).

As part of CFO audits, the agent requests, by a specified date, third-party confirmation responses confirming that MMS accounts receivable records agree with royalty payor records, for the following items: customer identification; royalty/invoice number; payor-assigned document number; date received; original amount reported; and remaining balance due MMS as of a specified date. In order to meet this requirement, MMS must mail letters on MMS letterhead, signed by the Deputy Associate Director for Minerals Revenue Management, to royalty payors selected by the agent at random, asking them to confirm back to the agent the accuracy and/or validity of selected royalty receivable items and amounts. Verifying the amounts reported and the balances due requires time for research and analysis by payors.

This collection does not require proprietary, trade secret, or other confidential information not protected by agency procedures. No items of a sensitive nature are collected. The requirement to respond is voluntary.

The MMS is requesting OMB's approval to continue to collect this information. Not collecting this information would limit the Secretary's ability to discharge the duties of the office. Failure to collect this information could be considered a scope limitation for CFO audits.

Frequency: Annually.

Estimated Number and Description of Respondents: 125 Federal and Indian oil and gas and solid mineral royalty payors.

Estimated Annual Reporting and Recordkeeping “Hour” Burden: 32 hours. We estimate that each response will take 15 minutes for payors to complete.

Estimated Annual Reporting and Recordkeeping “Non-hour Cost” Burden: We have identified no “non-hour cost” burden associated with the collection of information.

Public Disclosure Statement: The PRA (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.) provides that an agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

Comments: Before submitting an ICR to OMB, PRA Section 3506(c)(2)(A) requires each agency “* * * to provide notice * * * and otherwise consult with members of the public and affected agencies concerning each proposed collection of information * * *.” Agencies must specifically solicit Start Printed Page 23270comments to: (a) Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the agency to perform its duties, including whether the information is useful; (b) evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information; (c) enhance the quality, usefulness, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) minimize the burden on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

The PRA also requires agencies to estimate the total annual reporting “non-hour cost” burden to respondents or recordkeepers resulting from the collection of information. If you have costs to generate, maintain, and disclose this information, you should comment and provide your total capital and startup cost components or annual operation, maintenance, and purchase of service components. You should describe the methods you use to estimate major cost factors, including system and technology acquisition, expected useful life of capital equipment, discount rate(s), and the period over which you incur costs. Capital and startup costs include, among other items, computers and software you purchase to prepare for collecting information; monitoring, sampling, and testing equipment; and record storage facilities. Generally, your estimates should not include equipment or services purchased: (i) Before October 1, 1995; (ii) to comply with requirements not associated with the information collection; (iii) for reasons other than to provide information or keep records for the Government; or (iv) as part of customary and usual business or private practices.

We will summarize written responses to this notice and address them in our ICR submission for OMB approval, including appropriate adjustments to the estimated burden. We will provide a copy of the ICR to you without charge upon request. The ICR also will be posted at http://www.mrm.mms.gov/​Laws_​R_​D/​FRNotices/​FRInfColl.htm.

Public Comment Policy: We will post all comments in response to this notice at http://www.mrm.mms.gov/​Laws_​R_​D/​FRNotices/​FRInfColl.htm. We also will make copies of the comments available for public review, including names and addresses of respondents, during regular business hours at our offices in Lakewood, Colorado. Before including your address, phone number, e-mail address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, be advised that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask us in your comment to withhold from public review your personal identifying information, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

MMS Information Collection Clearance Officer: Arlene Bajusz (202) 208-7744.

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Dated: April 23, 2008.

Richard J. Adamski,

Acting Associate Director for Minerals Revenue Management.

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[FR Doc. E8-9331 Filed 4-28-08; 8:45 am]

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