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Notice

Notice of Intent To Request an Extension of a Currently Approved Information Collection

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AGENCY:

Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Notice and request for comments.

SUMMARY:

In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) regulations (5 CFR part 1320) which implement the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35), this notice announces the Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service's (CSREES) intention to request an extension for a currently approved information collection (OMB No. 0524-0026) for Form CSREES-665, “Assurance of Compliance with the Department of Agriculture Regulations Assuring Civil Rights Compliance,” and Form CSREES-666, “Organizational Information.” Upon OMB approval of this collection, the burden for the Form CSREES-665 will be transferred to OMB control number 0524-0039, “Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Application Kit for Research and Extension Programs.”

DATES:

Submit comments on or before December 14, 2009.

ADDRESSES:

Written comments concerning this notice and requests for copies of the information collection may be submitted by any of the following methods to Jason Hitchcock, Director, Information Policy, Planning and Training; Mail: CSREES/USDA; Mail Stop 2216; 1400 Independence Avenue, SW.; Washington, DC 20250-2299; Hand Delivery/Courier: 800 9th Street, SW., Waterfront Centre, Room 4217, Washington, DC 20024; or E-mail: jhitchcock@csrees.usda.gov.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Jason Hitchcock, Director of Information Policy, Planning, and Training; Information Systems and Technology Management; CSREES/USDA, E-mail: jhitchcock@csrees.usda.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Title: Assurance of Compliance with the Department of Agriculture Regulations Assuring Civil Rights Compliance and Organizational Information.

OMB Number: 0524-0026.

Expiration Date of Current Approval: February 28, 2010.

Type of Request: Intent to extend a currently approved information collection for three years.

Abstract: CSREES has primary responsibility for providing linkages between the Federal and State components of a broad-based, national agricultural research, extension, and education system. Focused on national issues, its purpose is to represent the Secretary of Agriculture and carry out the intent of Congress by administering formula and grant funds appropriated for agricultural research, extension, and education. Before awards can be made, certain information is required from applicants to assure compliance with the applicable civil rights laws and to effectively assess the potential recipient's capacity to manage Federal funds.

Need for the Information: Form CSREES-665 “Assurance of Compliance with the Department of Agriculture Regulations Assuring Civil Rights Compliance”: By signing this form, the organization certifies that it complies with the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended. The applicant agrees that it will offer its programs to all eligible persons without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, disability, age, political beliefs, religion, marital status, or familial status and that people will not be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be otherwise subjected to discrimination under any program or activity for which the applicant receives the Federal financial assistance from the Department of Agriculture. This information is submitted to CSREES on a one-time basis.

Form CSREES-666 “Organizational Information”: This form enables CSREES to determine that applicants recommended for awards will be responsible recipients of Federal funds. The information pertains to organizational management and financial matters of the potential grantee. This form and the documents which the applicant attaches to it provide CSREES with information such as the legal name of grantee, certification that the organization has the legal authority to accept Federal funding, identification and signatures of the key officials of the organization, the organization's practices in regard to compensation rates and benefits of employees, insurance for equipment, subcontracting with other organizations, etc., as well as the financial condition of the organization and certification that the organization is not delinquent on Federal taxes. All of this information is considered by CSREES prior to award to determine if the grantee is both managerially and fiscally responsible. This information is submitted to CSREES on a one-time basis. If sufficient changes occur within the organization, the grantee submits revised information.

Estimate of the Burden: CSREES estimates the number of responses for the Form CSREES-665 will be 4350 with an estimated response time of 5 minutes per form, representing a total annual burden of 363 hours for this form. CSREES estimates the number of responses for the Form CSREES-666 will be 150 with an estimated response time of 6.3 hours per form, representing a total annual burden of 945 hours for this form. These estimates are based on a survey of grantees that were approved for grant awards. They were asked to give an estimate of time it took them to complete each form. This estimate was to include such things as: (1) Reviewing the instructions; (2) searching existing data sources; (3) gathering and maintaining the data needed; and (4) actual completion of the forms. The average time it took each respondent was calculated from their responses.

Comments: 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 a practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the Agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the Start Printed Page 52736validity 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 information collection 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.

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Done at Washington, DC, this 6th day of October 2009.

Rajiv J. Shah,

Chief Scientist, USDA, Under Secretary for REE.

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[FR Doc. E9-24677 Filed 10-13-09; 8:45 am]

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