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Notice

Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Waivers Under Section 6(o) of the Food Stamp Act

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Food and Nutrition Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Notice.

SUMMARY:

In accordance with Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice invites the general public and other public agencies to comment on proposed information collections. The proposed collection is a revision of a currently approved collection.

The purpose of Section 6(o) of the Food Stamp Act of 1977, as amended by Section 824 of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, is to establish a time limit for the receipt of food stamp benefits for certain able-bodied adults who are not working. The provision authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture, upon a State agency's request, to waive the provision for any group of individuals if the Secretary determines “that the area in which the individuals reside has an unemployment rate of over 10 percent, or does not have a sufficient number of jobs to provide employment for the individuals.” As required in the statute, in order to receive a waiver the State agency must submit sufficient supporting information so that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) can make the required determination as to the area's unemployment rate or sufficiency of available jobs. This collection of information is therefore necessary in order to obtain waivers of the food stamp time limit.

DATES:

Written comments must be received on or before August 18, 2008.

ADDRESSES:

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 of the proposed collection of information 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 respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Comments may be sent to Patrick Waldron, Chief, Certification Policy Branch, Program Development Division, Food and Nutrition Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 3101 Park Center Drive, Alexandria, VA 22302. Comments may also be faxed to the attention of Mr. Waldron at (703) 305-2486. The e-mail address is: Patrick.Waldron@FNS.USDA.GOV. All written comments will be open for public inspection at the office of the Food and Nutrition Service during regular business hours (8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday) at 3101 Park Center Drive, Alexandria, Virginia, 22302, Room 812.

All responses to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for OMB approval. All comments will be a matter of public record.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Requests for additional information should be directed to Mr. Waldron at (703) 305-2495.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Title: Waiver Guidance for Food Stamp Time Limits.

OMB Number: 0584-0479.

Expiration Date: August 31, 2008.

Type of Request: Revision of a currently approved collection.

Abstract: Section 824 of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA), Public Law 104-193, 110 Stat. 2323 amended Section 6(o) of the Food Stamp Act of 1977 (7 U.S.C. 2015(o)) to establish a time limit for the receipt of food stamp benefits for certain able-bodied adults who are not working. The provision authorizes the Secretary of Agriculture, upon a State agency's request, to waive the provision for any group of individuals if the Secretary determines “that the area in which the individuals reside has an unemployment rate of over 10 percent, or does not have a sufficient number of jobs to provide employment for the individuals.” As required in the statute, in order to receive a waiver the State agency must submit sufficient supporting information so that USDA can make the required determination as to the area's unemployment rate or sufficiency of available jobs. This collection of information is therefore necessary in order to obtain waivers of the food stamp time limit. During the last three years, the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has received on average 48 requests for waivers from an average of 48 State agencies. We wish to note that FNS has granted a limited number of 2-year waivers and that the estimated average of 48 submissions a year is based on multiple annual submissions from some State agencies and less biannual submissions from other State agencies. Each request submitted by a State agency to exempt individuals residing in specified areas is considered by FNS to be a separate request, since the requested exemptions may be based on different criteria, are submitted at different times, and require separate analysis. Although State agencies have submitted significantly fewer multiple requests since the last time that this reporting burden was extended, in order to ensure that all areas that potentially qualify for exemptions are included in their waiver requests, State agencies are employing a more sophisticated analysis covering multiple timeframes and multi-county geographical and labor market areas, requiring more time for the preparation and evaluation of each request.

Affected Public: State and Local governments.

Estimated Number of Respondents: 48.

Estimated Number of Responses: 48.

Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: 1. Start Printed Page 34702

Estimated Time per Response: 35 hours.

Estimated Total Burden: 1680 hours.

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Dated: June 12, 2008.

Roberto Salazar,

Administrator, Food and Nutrition Service.

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[FR Doc. E8-13739 Filed 6-17-08; 8:45 am]

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