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Notice

Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection, Comment Request

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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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 of 1995 (PRA), we are notifying the public that we have submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) an information collection request (ICR) to renew approval of the paperwork requirements under the Chief Financial Officers Act of 1990 (CFO). This notice also provides the public a second opportunity to comment on the paperwork burden of the regulatory requirements. This ICR is titled “Accounts Receivable Confirmations.”

DATES:

Submit written comments on or before February 13, 2009.

ADDRESSES:

Submit written comments by either FAX (202) 395-6566 or e-mail (OIRA_Docket@omb.eop.gov) directly to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, OMB, Attention: Desk Officer for the Department of the Interior (OMB Control Number 1010-0162).

Please submit copies of your comments to MMS by one of 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 St., 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 is required by various laws to manage mineral resource production on Federal and Indian lands and the OCS, collect the royalties and other mineral revenues due, and distribute the funds in accordance with those laws. Applicable laws pertaining to mineral leases on Federal and Indian lands are posted on our Web site at http://www.mrm.mms.gov/​Laws_​R_​D/​PublicLawsAMR.htm.

The Secretary also 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.

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 the 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 respond to the agent, confirming 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. Failure to collect 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: 100 Federal and Indian oil and gas and solid mineral royalty payors.

Estimated Annual Reporting and Recordkeeping “Hour” Burden: 25 hours.

We estimate that each response will take 15 minutes for payors to complete. There are no additional recordkeeping costs associated with this information collection. We have not included in our estimates certain requirements performed in the normal course of Start Printed Page 2092business and considered usual and customary.

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: Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the PRA requires each agency to “* * * publish a 60-day notice in the Federal Register * * * and otherwise consult with members of the public and affected agencies concerning each proposed collection of information * * *.” Agencies must specifically solicit comments 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.

To comply with the public consultation process, we published a notice in the Federal Register on April 29, 2008 (73 FR 23269), announcing that we would submit this ICR to OMB for approval. The notice provided the required 60-day comment period. We received no comments in response to the notice.

If you wish to comment in response to this notice, you may send your comments to the offices listed under the ADDRESSES section of this notice. The OMB has up to 60 days to approve or disapprove the information collection but may respond after 30 days. Therefore, to ensure maximum consideration, OMB should receive public comments by February 13, 2009.

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 post all comments, including names and addresses of respondents, at http://www.regulations.gov. 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: December 4, 2008.

Greg Gould,

Associate Director for Minerals Revenue Management.

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[FR Doc. E9-575 Filed 1-13-09; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4310-MR-P