U.S. Census Bureau, Commerce.
The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13 (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)).
To ensure consideration, written comments must be submitted on or before October 18, 2013.
Direct all written comments to Jennifer Jessup, Departmental Paperwork Clearance Officer, Department of Commerce, Room 6616, 14th and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230 (or via the Internet at firstname.lastname@example.org).
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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:
Requests for additional information or copies of the information collection instrument(s) and instructions should be directed to Valerie Mastalski, U.S. Census Bureau, Room HQ-6K171, Washington, DC 20233; (301) 763-3317 (or via the Internet at Valerie.Cherry.Mastalski@census.gov).
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The U.S. Census Bureau plans to conduct the 2013 through 2015 Annual Capital Expenditures Survey (ACES). The annual survey collects data on fixed assets and depreciation, sales and receipts, capitalized computer software, and capital expenditures for new and used structures and equipment. The ACES is the sole source of detailed comprehensive statistics on actual business spending for non-farm companies, non-governmental companies, organizations, and associations operating in the United States. Both employer and nonemployer companies are included in the survey.
The Bureau of Economic Analysis, the primary Federal user of the ACES data, Start Printed Page 50374uses these data in refining and evaluating annual estimates of investment in structures and equipment in the national income and product accounts, compiling annual input-output tables, and computing gross domestic product by industry. The Federal Reserve Board uses these data to improve estimates of investment indicators for monetary policy. The Bureau of Labor Statistics uses these data to improve estimates of capital stocks for productivity analysis. Industry analysts use these data for market analysis, economic forecasting, identifying business opportunities, product development, and business planning.
Changes from the previous ACES are the elimination of detailed capital expenditures by type of structure and type of equipment. These data, collected once every five years, were collected in the 2012 ACES and will not be collected again until the 2017 ACES, which is not included in the scope of the present request for comments.
II. Method of Collection
For the 2012 and prior ACES data collection; the Census Bureau used mail out/mail back survey forms to collect data. Companies were able to respond via Centurion (The Bureau's online reporting system), by mail, or by using our toll-free number to reply via secure facsimile machine. Companies were asked to respond to the survey within 30 days of the initial mailing. Letters and/or telephone calls encouraging participation were directed to companies that had not responded by the designated time.
Employer companies were mailed one of three forms based on their diversity of operations and number of industries with payroll. Companies that operated in only one industry received an ACE-1(S) form. Companies that operated in more than one, but less than nine industries received an ACE-1(M) form. And, companies that operated in nine or more industries received an ACE-1(L). All nonemployer companies received an ACE-2 form.
The Census Bureau is considering collecting the 2013 ACES data from employer companies primarily through electronic reporting. Employer companies would receive a notification letter containing their User ID and password, and would be directed to report online through the Census Bureau's Business Help Site. The online reporting instrument would be an electronic version of the paper data collection instrument and would be based on their diversity of operations and number of industries with payroll. Companies operating in only one industry would access an ACE-1(S) form or electronic instrument. Companies operating in more than one, but less than nine industries would access an ACE-1(M) form or electronic instrument. And, companies that operate in nine or more industries would access an ACE-1(L) form or electronic instrument. Companies would be able to print the form through online services or request a paper form by mail.
The Census Bureau would continue to use mail out/mail back survey forms to collect data from nonemployer companies. All nonemployer companies would receive an ACE-2 form. Nonemployer companies would have the option to respond by mail or online through the Census Bureau's Business Help Site using the User ID and password provided to them on their form.
The Census Bureau would continue to ask both companies with employees and nonemployer companies to respond to the survey within 30 days. Reminder letters and/or telephone calls encouraging participation would continue to be directed to all companies that had not responded by the designated time.
OMB Control Number: 0607-0782.
Form Number: ACE-1(S), ACE-1(M), ACE-1(L) and ACE-2.
Type of Review: Regular submission.
Affected Public: Businesses or other for-profit organizations, non-profit institutions, small businesses or organizations, and self-employed individuals.
Estimated Number of Respondents: Approximately 75,000 (45,000 employer companies, and 30,000 nonemployer businesses).
Estimated Time per Response: The average for all respondents is 1.96 hours. For employer companies completing form ACE-1, the range is 2 to 16 hours, averaging 2.59 hours. For companies completing form ACE-2, the range is less than 1 hour to 2 hours, averaging 1 hour.
Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 147,000.
Estimated Total Annual Cost: The total cost to all respondents is estimated to be $4.5 million.
Respondents' Obligation: Mandatory.
Legal Authority: Title 13 United States Code, Sections 182, 224, and 225.
IV. Request for 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 shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden (including hours and cost) of the proposed collection of information; (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 respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.
Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for OMB approval of this information collection; they also will become a matter of public record.
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Dated: August 13, 2013.
Management Analyst, Office of the Chief Information Officer.
[FR Doc. 2013-20038 Filed 8-16-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-07-P