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Notice

Proposed Collection; 60-Day Comment Request; Generic Clearance for the Collection of Qualitative Feedback on Agency Service Delivery (NIH)

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Summary: The National Institutes of Health (NIH), Office of the Director (OD), as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public to take this opportunity to comment on the “Generic Clearance for the Collection of Qualitative Feedback on Agency Service Delivery ” for approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3501 et. seq.). This collection was developed as part of a Federal Government-wide effort to streamline the process for seeking feedback from the public on service delivery. This notice announces our intent to submit this collection to OMB for approval and solicits comments on specific aspects for the proposed information collection.

To Submit Comments and for Further Information: To obtain a copy of the data collection plans and instruments, submit comments in writing, or request more information on the proposed project, contact: Ms. Mikia P. Currie, Program Analyst, Office of Policy for Extramural Research Administration, 6705 Rockledge Drive, Suite 350, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, or call a non-toll-free number 301-435-0941 or Email your request, including your address to curriem@mail.nih.gov. Formal requests for additional plans and instruments must be requested in writing.

Comment Due Date: Comments regarding this information collection are best assured of having their full effect if received within 60 days of the date of this publication.

Proposed Collection: Generic Clearance for the Collection of Qualitative Feedback on Agency Service Delivery (NIH), 0925-0648, Expiration Date 1/31/2015, EXTENSION, National Institutes of Health (NIH), Office of the Director (OD).

Need and Use of Information Collection: We are not requesting changes for this submission. The proposed information collection activity provides a means to garner qualitative customer and stakeholder feedback in an efficient, timely manner, in accordance with the Administration's commitment to improving service delivery. By qualitative feedback we mean information that provides useful insights on perceptions and opinions. This information, however, is not statistical surveys that yield quantitative results, which can be generalized to the population of study. This feedback will provide information about the NIH's customer or stakeholder perceptions, experiences, and expectations, provide an early warning of issues with service, or focus attention on areas where communication, training, or changes in operations might improve delivery of products or services. These collections will allow for ongoing, collaborative, and actionable communications between the NIH and its customers and stakeholders. It will also allow feedback to contribute directly to the improvement of program management.

The solicitation of feedback will target areas such as: timeliness, appropriateness, accuracy of information, courtesy, efficiency of service delivery, and resolution of issues with service delivery. Responses will be assessed to plan and inform efforts to improve or maintain the quality of service offered to the public. If this information is not collected, vital feedback from customers and stakeholders on the NIH's services will be unavailable.

The NIH will only submit a collection for approval under this generic clearance if it meets the following conditions:

  • The collections are voluntary;Start Printed Page 69501
  • The collections are low-burden for respondents (based on considerations of total burden hours, total number of respondents, or burden-hours per respondent) and are low-cost for both the respondents and the Federal Government;
  • The collections are non-controversial and do not raise issues of concern to other Federal agencies;
  • Any collection is targeted to the solicitation of opinions from respondents who have experience with the program or may have experience with the program in the near future;
  • Personally identifiable information (PII) is collected only to the extent necessary and is not retained;
  • Information gathered will be used only internally for general service improvement and program management purposes and is not intended for release outside of the agency;
  • Information gathered will not be used for the purpose of substantially informing influential policy decisions; and
  • Information gathered will yield qualitative information; the collections will not be designed or expected to yield statistically reliable results or used as though the results are generalizable to the population of study.

Feedback collected under this generic clearance provides useful information, but it does not yield data that can be generalized to the overall population. This type of generic clearance for qualitative information will not be used for quantitative information collections that are designed to yield reliably actionable results, such as monitoring trends over time or documenting program performance. Such data uses require more rigorous designs that address: The target population to which generalizations will be made, the sampling frame, the sample design (including stratification and clustering), the precision requirements or power calculations that justify the proposed sample size, the expected response rate, methods for assessing potential non-response bias, the protocols for data collection, and any testing procedures that were or will be undertaken prior to fielding the study. Depending on the degree of influence the results are likely to have, such collections may still be eligible for submission for other generic mechanisms that are designed to yield quantitative results.

As a general matter, information collections will not result in any new system of records containing privacy information and will not ask questions of a sensitive nature, such as sexual behavior and attitudes, religious beliefs, and other matters that are commonly considered private.

Request for Comments: Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for OMB approval. Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the 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 of the collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; (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; and (e) estimates of capital or start-up costs and costs of operation, maintenance, and purchase of services to provide information. Burden means the total time, effort, or financial resources expended by persons to generate, maintain, retain, disclose or provide information to or for a Federal agency. This includes the time needed to review instructions; to develop, acquire, install and utilize technology and systems for the purpose of collecting, validating and verifying information, processing and maintaining information, and disclosing and providing information; to train personnel and to be able to respond to a collection of information, to search data sources, to complete and review the collection of information; and to transmit or otherwise disclose the information.

An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid Office of Management and Budget control number.

OMB approval is requested for 3 years. There are no costs to respondents other than their time. The total estimated annualized burden hours are 4,358.

Estimated Annualized Burden Hours

Estimated Annual Reporting Burden

Type of collectionNumber of respondentsAnnual frequency per responseHours per responseTotal hours
Customer Satisfaction Surveys1,000130/60500
In-Depth Interviews (IDIs) or Small Discussion Groups1,000190/601,500
Focus Groups1,000190/601,500
Usability and Pilot Testing150,00015/6012,525
Conference/Training—Pre and Post Surveys100,000210/6033,333
Total49,358
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Dated: November 13, 2014.

Lawrence A. Tabak,

Principal Deputy Director, National Institutes of Health.

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[FR Doc. 2014-27637 Filed 11-20-14; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4140-01-P