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Agency Forms Undergoing Paperwork Reduction Act Review

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) publishes a list of information collection requests under review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35). To request a copy of these requests, call the CDC Reports Clearance Officer at (404) 639-5960 or send an e-mail to Send written comments to CDC Desk Officer, Office of Management and Budget, Washington, DC or by fax to (202) 395-5806. Written comments should be received within 30 days of this notice.

Proposed Project

Laboratory Response Network (LRN)—Existing Data Collection in use without an OMB Control Number—National Center for Preparedness, Detection, and Control of Infectious Diseases (NCPDCID), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).Start Printed Page 372

Background and Brief Description

The Laboratory Response Network (LRN) was established by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in accordance with Presidential Decision Directive 39, which outlined national anti-terrorism policies and assigned specific missions to Federal departments and agencies. The LRN's mission is to maintain an integrated national and international network of laboratories that can respond to suspected acts of biological, chemical, or radiological terrorism and other public health emergencies.

When Federal, State and local public health laboratories voluntarily join the LRN, they assume specific responsibilities and are required to provide information to the LRN Program Office at CDC. Each laboratory must submit and maintain complete information regarding the testing capabilities of the laboratory. Biannually, laboratories are required to review, verify and update their testing capability information. Complete testing capability information is required in order for the LRN Program Office to determine the ability of the Network to respond to a biological or chemical terrorism event. The sensitivity of all information associated with the LRN requires the LRN Program Office to obtain personal information about all individuals accessing the LRN Website. In addition, the LRN Program Office must be able to contact all laboratory personnel during an event so each laboratory staff member that obtains access to the restricted LRN Web site must provide his or her contact information to the LRN Program Office.

As a requirement of membership, LRN Laboratories must report all biological and chemical testing results to the LRN Program at CDC using a CDC developed software tool called the LRN Results Messenger. This information is essential for surveillance of anomalies, to support response to an event that may involve multiple agencies and to manage limited resources. LRN Laboratories must also participate in and report results for Proficiency Testing Challenges or Validation Studies. LRN Laboratories participate in multiple Proficiency Testing Challenges, Exercises and/or Validation Studies every year consisting of five to 500 simulated samples provided by the LRN Program Office. It is necessary to conduct such challenges in order to verify the testing capability of the LRN Laboratories. The rarity of biological or chemical agents perceived to be of bioterrorism concern prevents some LRN Laboratories from maintaining proficiency as a result of day-to-day testing. Simulated samples are therefore distributed to ensure proficiency across the LRN. The results obtained from testing these simulated samples must also be entered into Results Messenger for evaluation by the LRN Program Office.

During a surge event resulting from a bioterrorism or chemical terrorism attack, LRN Laboratories are also required to submit all testing results using LRN Results Messenger. The LRN Program Office requires these results in order to track the progression of a bioterrorism event and respond in the most efficient and effective way possible and for data sharing with other Federal partners involved in the response. The number of samples tested during a response to a possible event could range from 10,000 to more than 500,000 samples depending on the length and breadth of the event. Since there is potentially a large range in the number of samples for a surge event, CDC estimates the annualized burden for this event will be 3,000,000 hours or 625 responses per respondent.

Semiannually the LRN Program Office may conduct a Special Data Call to obtain additional information from LRN Member Laboratories in regards to biological or chemical terrorism preparedness. Special Data Calls are conducted using the LRN Web site.

Respondents are public health laboratorians. There are no costs to respondents other than their time. The total estimated annualized burden for this information collection is 3,176,400 hours.

Estimate of Annualized Burden Hours

FormsRespondentsNumber of respondentsAverage number of responses per respondentAverage burden per response (in hours)
Biennial RequalificationPublic Health Laboratorians10012
General Surveillance Testing ResultsPublic Health Laboratorians2002524
Proficiency Testing/Validation Testing ResultsPublic Health Laboratorians200556
Surge Event Testing ResultsPublic Health Laboratorians20062524
Special Data CallPublic Health Laboratorians200230/60
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Dated: December 30, 2009.

Maryam I. Daneshvar,

Acting Reports Clearance Officer, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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[FR Doc. E9-31368 Filed 1-4-10; 8:45 am]