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Notice

Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications Commission

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Federal Communications Commission.

ACTION:

Notice and request for comments.

SUMMARY:

As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, and as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on the following information collections. Comments are requested concerning: Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information shall have practical utility; the accuracy of the Commission's burden estimate; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and ways to further reduce the information collection burden on small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees.

The FCC may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. No person shall be subject to any penalty for failing to comply with Start Printed Page 76587a collection of information subject to the PRA that does not display a valid OMB control number.

DATES:

Written PRA comments should be submitted on or before January 3, 2017. If you anticipate that you will be submitting comments, but find it difficult to do so within the period of time allowed by this notice, you should advise the contact listed below as soon as possible.

ADDRESSES:

Direct all PRA comments to Cathy Williams, FCC, via email to PRA@fcc.gov and to Cathy.Williams@fcc.gov.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

For additional information about the information collection, contact Cathy Williams at (202) 418-2918.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

OMB Control Number: 3060-0519.

Title: Rules and Regulations Implementing the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) of 1991, CG Docket No. 02-278. Form Number: N/A. Type of Review: Revision of a currently approved collection. Respondents: Business or other for-profit entities; Individuals or households; Not-for-profit institutions.

Number of Respondents and Responses: 36,548 respondents; 147,434,797 responses.

Estimated Time per Response: .004 hours (15 seconds) to 1 hour.

Frequency of Response: Recordkeeping requirement; Annual, on occasion and one-time reporting requirements; Third party disclosure requirement.

Obligation To Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefits. The statutory authority for the information collection requirements is found in the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA), Public Law 102-243, December 20, 1991, 105 Stat. 2394, which added Section 227 of the Communications Act of 1934, [47 U.S.C. 227] Restrictions on the Use of Telephone Equipment.

Total Annual Burden: 666,598 hours. Total Annual Cost: $2,745,000.

Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: Confidentiality is an issue to the extent that individuals and households provide personally identifiable information, which is covered under the FCC's system of records notice (SORN), FCC/CGB-1, “Informal Complaints and Inquiries.” As required by the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. 552a, the Commission also published a SORN, FCC/CGB-1 “Informal Complaints, Inquiries, and Requests for Dispute Assistance”, in the Federal Register on August 15, 2014 (79 FR 48152) which became effective on September 24, 2014. A system of records for the do-not-call registry was created by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) under the Privacy Act. The FTC originally published a notice in the Federal Register describing the system. See 68 FR 37494, June 24, 2003. The FTC updated its system of records for the do-not-call registry in 2009. See 74 FR 17863, April 17, 2009.

Privacy Impact Assessment: Yes.

Needs and Uses: The reporting requirements included under this OMB Control Number 3060-0519 enable the Commission to gather information regarding violations of Section 227 of the Communications Act, the Do-Not-Call Implementation Act (Do-Not-Call Act), and the Commission's implementing rules. If the information collection were not conducted, the Commission would be unable to track and enforce violations of Section 227 of the Communications Act, the Do-Not-Call Act, or the Commission's implementing rules. The Commission's implementing rules provide consumers with protections from many unwanted telephone solicitations and other commercial calls.

The National Do-Not-Call Registry supplements the company-specific do-not-call rules for those consumers who wish to continue requesting that particular companies not call them. Any company that is asked by a consumer, including an existing customer, not to call again must honor that request for five (5) years.

A provision of the Commission's rules, however, allows consumers to give specific companies permission to call them through an express written agreement. Nonprofit organizations are exempt from the Do-Not-Call Registry requirements.

On September 21, 2004, the Commission released the Safe Harbor Order establishing a limited safe harbor in which callers will not be liable for placing autodialed and prerecorded message calls to numbers ported from a wireline service to a wireless service within the previous 15 days. The Commission also amended its existing National Do-Not-Call Registry safe harbor to require telemarketers to scrub their lists against the Registry every 31 days.

On June 17, 2008, in accordance with the Do-Not-Call Improvement Act of 2007, the Commission revised its rules to minimize the inconvenience to consumers of having to re-register their preferences not to receive telemarketing calls and to further the underlying goal of the National Do-Not-Call Registry to protect consumer privacy rights. The Commission released a Report and Order in CG Docket No. 02-278, FCC 08-147, amending the Commission's rules under the TCPA to require sellers and/or telemarketers to honor registrations with the National Do-Not-Call Registry so that registrations would not automatically expire based on the then-current five year registration period. Specifically, the Commission modified § 64.1200(c)(2) of its rules to require sellers and/or telemarketers to honor numbers registered on the Registry indefinitely or until the number is removed by the database administrator or the registration is cancelled by the consumer.

On February 15, 2012, the Commission released a Report and Order in CG Docket No. 02-278, FCC 12-21, revising its rules to: (1) Require prior express written consent for all autodialed or prerecorded telemarketing calls to wireless numbers and for all prerecorded telemarketing calls to residential lines; (2) eliminate the established business relationship exception to the consent requirement for prerecorded telemarketing calls to residential lines; (3) require telemarketers to include an automated, interactive opt-out mechanism in all prerecorded telemarketing calls, to allow consumers more easily to opt out of future robocalls during a robocall itself; and (4) require telemarketers to comply with the 3% limit on abandoned calls during each calling campaign, in order to discourage intrusive calling campaigns. Finally, the Commission also exempted from the Telephone Consumer Protection Act requirements prerecorded calls to residential lines made by health care-related entities governed by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996.

On August 11, 2016, the Commission released a Report and Order in CG Docket No. 02-278, FCC 16-99, adopting rules to implement the TCPA amendments Congress enacted in Section 301 of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015. The Commission adopted rules implementing the law's exception from the prior express consent requirement for autodialed or prerecorded calls to wireless numbers “solely to collect a debt owed to or guaranteed by the United States,” and placing limits on the number and duration of autodialed or prerecorded calls to wireless numbers “to collect a debt owed or guaranteed by the United States.” Federal government callers and contractors making these calls on behalf of the federal government, without prior express consent of the called party, may call the person or persons responsible for paying the debt at one of three phone numbers specified in the rules, may call three times during a 30-day period, may call between 8:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. local Start Printed Page 76588time at the debtor's location, may not call once the debtor requests that the calls cease, and must transfer the stop-call request to the new servicer if the debt servicer changes. Callers must notify debtors of their right to request that no further autodialed or prerecorded calls be made to the debtor for the life of the debt. Prerecorded calls may not exceed 60 seconds, excluding required disclosures and stop-calling instructions. Text messages are limited to 160 characters, including required disclosures, which may be sent in a separate text message. Calls may be made (1) once the debt is delinquent and, (2) if the debt is not yet delinquent, then after one of the following events and in the 30 days before one of the following events: the end of a grace, deferment, or forbearance period; expiration of an alternative payment arrangement; or occurrence of a similar time-sensitive event or deadline affecting the amount or timing of payments due.

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Federal Communications Commission.

Marlene H. Dortch,

Secretary. Office of the Secretary.

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[FR Doc. 2016-26551 Filed 11-2-16; 8:45 am]

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