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Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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The Department of Commerce will submit to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for clearance the following proposal for collection of information under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35).

Agency: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Title: Conflict of Interest Disclosure for Nonfederal Government Individuals who are Candidates To Conduct Peer Reviews.

OMB Control Number: 0648-0567.

Form Number(s): None.

Type of Request: Regular

Number of Respondents: 321.

Average Hours per Response: 30 minutes.

Burden Hours: 161.

Needs and Uses: This request is for revision and extension of a currently approved collection.

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued government-wide guidance to enhance the practice of peer review of government science documents. OMB's Final Information Quality Bulletin for Peer Review (“Peer Review Bulletin” or PRB) (available at​omb/​memoranda/​fy2005/​m05-03.pdf) establishes minimum peer review standards for influential scientific information that Federal agencies intend to disseminate.

The Peer Review Bulletin also directs Federal agencies to adopt or adapt the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) policy for evaluating conflicts of interest when selecting peer reviewers who are not Federal government employees (federal employees are subject to Federal ethics requirements). For peer review purposes, the term “conflicts of interest” means any financial or other interest which conflicts with the service of the individual because it could: (1) Significantly impair the individual's objectivity; or (2) create an unfair competitive advantage for any person or organization. NOAA has adapted the NAS policy and developed two confidential conflict disclosure forms which the agency will use to examine prospective reviewers' potential financial conflicts and other interests that could impair objectivity or create an unfair advantage. One form is for peer reviewers of studies related to government regulation and the other form is for all other influential scientific information subject to the Peer Review Bulletin. In addition, the latter form has been adapted by NOAA's Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research for potential reviewers of scientific laboratories.

The forms include questions about employment as well as investment and property interests and research funding. Both forms also require the submission of curriculum vitae. NOAA is seeking to collect this information from potential peer reviewers who are not government employees when conducting a peer review pursuant to the PRB. The information collected in the conflict of interest disclosure is essential to NOAA's compliance with the OMB PRB, and helps to ensure that government studies are reviewed by independent, impartial peer reviewers.

Revision: A custom OAR form is no longer in use.

Affected Public: Individuals or households.

Frequency: On occasion.

Respondent's Obligation: Voluntary.

This information collection request may be viewed at Follow the instructions to view Department of Commerce collections currently under review by OMB.

Written comments and recommendations for the proposed information collection should be sent within 30 days of publication of this notice to or fax to (202) 395-5806.

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Dated: March 1, 2017.

Sarah Brabson,

NOAA PRA Clearance Officer.

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[FR Doc. 2017-04299 Filed 3-3-17; 8:45 am]