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Notice

Information Collection Activity; Comment Request

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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 (RUS) invites comments on this information collection for which RUS intends to request approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

DATES:

Comments on this notice must be received by January 4, 2013.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Michele L. Brooks, Director, Program Development and Regulatory Analysis, USDA Rural Development, 1400 Independence Ave. SW., STOP 1522, Room 5162 South Building, Washington, DC 20250-1522. Telephone: (202)690-1078. FAX: (202) 720-8435.

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 RUS is submitting to OMB for extension.

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 L. Brooks, Director, Program Development and Regulatory Analysis, Rural Utilities Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1400 Independence Ave. SW., STOP 1522, Room 5162 South Building, Washington, DC 20250-1522. Telephone: (202) 690-1078, FAX: (202) 720-8435.

Abstract

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (the “Recovery Act”), Congress appropriated $2.5 billion of budget authority for establishing the Broadband Initiatives Program (BIP) which may extend loans, grants, and loan/grant combinations to facilitate broadband deployment in rural areas. In facilitating the expansion of advanced communications services and infrastructure, the program will advance the objectives of the Recovery Act to spur job creation and stimulate long-term economic growth and opportunity.

The collection of information for this program is vital to RUS to ensure compliance with the provisions of this Notice and to fulfill the requirements of the Recovery Act. In summary, the collection of information is necessary in order to implement this program.

1. Reporting and Registration Requirement Under Section 1512 of the Recovery Act

a. This award requires the recipient to complete projects or activities which are funded under the Recovery Act and to report on use of Recovery Act funds provided through this award. Information from these reports will be made available to the public.

b. The first report is due no later than ten calendar days after the initial calendar quarter in which the recipient receives the assistance award funded in whole or in part by the Recovery Act, or by October 10, 2009. Thereafter, reports shall be submitted no later than the tenth day after the end of each calendar quarter.

c. Recipients and their first-tier recipients must maintain current registrations in the CCR (http://www.ccr.gov.) at all times during which they have active federal awards funded with Recovery Act funds. A DUNS number is one of the requirements for registration in the CCR.

d. The recipient shall report the information described in section 1512(c) using the reporting instructions and data elements that will be provided online at http://www.FederalReporting.gov, unless the information is pre-populated.

2. Agencies' Additional Paperwork Reduction Act Analysis

Copies of all forms, regulations, and instructions referenced in this NOFA may be obtained from RUS. Data furnished by the applicants will be used to determine eligibility for program benefits. Furnishing the data is voluntary; however, the failure to provide data could result in program benefits being withheld or denied.

The following estimates are based on the average over the past three years the program has been in place.

Title: Broadband Initiatives Program (BIP).

OMB Control Number: 0572-0142.

Type of Request: Revision of a currently approved information collection.

Estimate of Burden: Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 3.5 hours per response.

Respondents: Business or other for profits; not-for-profit institutions; and State, local, and Tribal.

Estimated Number of Respondents: 282.

Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: 1.5.

Estimated Number of Responses: 1,995.

Estimated Total Annual Burden (hours) on Respondents: 6,905.

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.

Dated: October 26, 2012.

John Charles Padalino,

Acting Administrator, Rural Utilities Service.

[FR Doc. 2012-26889 Filed 11-2-12; 8:45 am]

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