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Notice

Proposed Collection of Information; Comment Request

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Published Document

This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

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AGENCY:

Employee Benefits Security Administration, Department of Labor.

ACTION:

Notice.

SUMMARY:

The Department of Labor (the Department), in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA 95) (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)), provides the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed and continuing collections of information. This helps the Department assess the impact of its information collection requirements and minimize the public's reporting burden. It also helps the public understand the Department's information collection requirements and provide the requested data in the desired format. The Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) is soliciting comments on the proposed information collection request (ICR) that is described below. A copy of the ICR may be obtained by contacting the office listed in the ADDRESSES section of this notice. ICRs also are available at reginfo.gov (http://www.reginfo.gov/​public/​do/​PRAMain).

DATES:

Written comments must be submitted to the office shown in the Addresses section on or before June 27, 2011.

ADDRESSES:

G. Christopher Cosby, Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration, 200 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20210, (202) 693-8410, FAX (202) 693-4745 (these are not toll-free numbers); E-mail: ebsa.opr@dol.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

The Department of Labor's Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) maintains a program designed to provide education and technical assistance to participants and beneficiaries as well as to employers, plan sponsors, and service providers related to their health and retirement benefit plans. EBSA assists participants in understanding their rights, responsibilities, and benefits under employee benefit law and intervenes informally on their behalf with the plan sponsor in order to assist them in obtaining the health and retirement benefits to which they may have been inappropriately denied, which can avert the necessity for a formal investigation or a civil action. EBSA maintains a toll-free telephone number through which inquirers can reach Benefits Advisors in ten Regional Offices.

EBSA also has made a request for assistance form available on its Web site for those wishing to contact EBSA on-line. Contact with EBSA is entirely voluntary. To date, the Web form has included only basic identifying information which is necessary for EBSA to contact the inquirer. The proposed collection of information would require the same identifying information—first name, last name, street address, city, zip code, and telephone number. In order to improve customer service and enhance its capacity to handle greater inquiry volume, EBSA is proposing to include additional information on the form such as the plan type, broad categories of problem type, contact information for responsible parties, and a mechanism for the inquirer to attach relevant documents.

This information will be used by EBSA to make informed and efficient decisions when contacting inquirers who have requested EBSA's informal assistance with understanding their rights and obtaining benefits they may have been denied inappropriately. EBSA also will use the information to evaluate its service to inquirers, support the development of a broader understanding of the nature of current issues in employee benefit plans, and to respond to requests for information regarding employee benefit plans from members of Congress and governmental oversight entities in accordance with ERISA section 513.

II. Focus of Comments

The Department is particularly interested in comments that:

  • Evaluate whether the collections of information are necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;
  • Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the collections of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;
  • Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and
  • 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, e.g., by permitting electronic submissions of responses.

A summary of the ICR and the current burden estimates follows:

Agency: Employee Benefits Security Administration, Department of Labor.

Title: Web Intake Form.

Type of Review: New collection of information.

OMB Number: 1210-NEW.Start Printed Page 23845

Affected Public: Individuals or households, businesses or other for-profits and not-for-profits.

Respondents: 30,000.

Responses: 30,000.

Estimated Total Burden Hours: 15,000.

Estimated Total Burden Cost (Operating and Maintenance): $3,100.

Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the ICRs for OMB approval of the information collection; they will also become a matter of public record.

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Dated: April 22, 2011.

Joseph S. Piacentini,

Director, Office of Policy and Research, Employee Benefits Security Administration.

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[FR Doc. 2011-10265 Filed 4-27-11; 8:45 am]

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