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Notice

Information Collection Activity; Comment Request

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AGENCY:

Rural Utilities Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Notice and request for comments.

SUMMARY:

In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35, as amended), the Rural Utilities Service, an agency delivering the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Rural Development Utilities Programs, hereinafter referred to as Rural Development or the Agency, invites comments on this information collection for which approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) will be requested.

DATES:

Comments on this notice must be received by February 3, 2009.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Michele Brooks, Director, Program Development and Regulatory Analysis, USDA Rural Development, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., STOP 1522, Room 5162 South Building, Washington, DC 20250-1522. Telephone: (202) 690-1078. Fax: (202) 720-8435. E-mail: michele.brooks@wdc.usda.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) regulation (5 CFR part 1320) implementing provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-13) requires that interested members of the public and affected agencies have an opportunity to comment on information collection and recordkeeping activities (see 5 CFR 1320.8{d}). This notice identifies an information collection that will be submitted to OMB for approval.

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 will 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; and (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. Comments may be sent to: Michele Brooks, Director, Program Development and Regulatory Analysis, Rural Utilities Service, U. S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW., STOP 1522, Room 5162 South Building, Washington, DC 20250-1522. Telephone: (202) 690-1078. Fax: (202) 720-8435. E-mail: michele.brooks@wdc.usda.gov.

Title: Operating Reports for Telecommunications and Broadband Borrowers.

OMB Control Number: 0572-0031.

Type of Request: Revision of an existing information collection package.

Abstract: Rural Utilities Service, an agency delivering the U. S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Utilities Programs is a credit agency. It makes mortgage loans and loan guarantees to finance electric, broadband, telecommunications, and water and waste facilities in rural areas. In addition to providing loans and loan guarantees, one of the Agency's main objectives is to safeguard loan security until the loan is repaid.

This collection of information covers the Telecommunications operating Report, the Broadband Operating Report, and RUS Form 674, “Certificate of Authority to Submit or Grant Access to Data.” The data collected via the Telecommunications Operating Report is collected through the USDA Data Collection System. The data collected via the Broadband Operating Report is collected through the USDA Broadband Collection and Analysis System.

The data collected via the Telecommunications and Broadband Operating reports is required by the loan contract and provides Rural Development with vital financial information needed to ensure the maintenance of the security for the Government's loans; and statistical data which enables the Agency to ensure the provision of quality telecommunications and broadband service as mandated by the Rural Electrification act (RE Act) of 1936. The data collected via the operating reports provides financial information to ensure loan security consistent with due diligence. These functions are essential to protect loan security and to achieve objectives of the RE Act.

The data collected via RUS Form 674 provides information to the Agency which allows Rural Development Electric, Telecommunications, and Broadband program borrowers to file their electronic Operating Reports with the agency using the USDA Data Collection System. RUS Form 674, accompanies by a Board Resolution, will identify the name and USDA eAuthentication ID for a certifier and security administrator that will have access to the USDA Data Collection System for purposes of filing electronic Operating Reports.

Estimate of Burden: This collection of information is estimated to average 3.45 hours per response.

Respondents: Businesses or other for-profit and not-for-profit institutions.

Estimated Number of Respondents: 600.

Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: 1.36.

Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 2,806.Start Printed Page 74138

Copies of this information collection can be obtained from Gale Richardson, Program Development and Regulatory Analysis, at (202) 720-0992. FAX: (202) 720-8435. E-mail: gale.richardson@wdc.usda.gov.

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

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Dated: December 1, 2008.

James M. Andrew,

Administrator, Rural Utilities Service.

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[FR Doc. E8-28790 Filed 12-4-08; 8:45 am]

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