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Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for OMB Review; Request for Comments; Consumer Expenditure Surveys: Quarterly Interview and Diary

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Notice of availability; request for comments.


The Department of Labor (DOL) is submitting the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) sponsored information collection request (ICR) revision titled, “Consumer Expenditure Surveys: Quarterly Interview and Diary,” to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval for use in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). Public comments on the ICR are invited.


The OMB will consider all written comments that agency receives on or before January 2, 2018.


A copy of this ICR with applicable supporting documentation; including a description of the likely respondents, proposed frequency of response, and estimated total burden may be obtained free of charge from the Web site at​public/​do/​PRAViewICR?​ref_​nbr=​201607-1220-002 (this link will only become active on the day following publication of this notice) or by contacting Michel Smyth by telephone at 202-693-4129, TTY 202-693-8064, (these are not toll-free numbers) or sending an email to

Submit comments about this request by mail or courier to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Attn: OMB Desk Officer for DOL-BLS, Office of Management and Budget, Room 10235, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20503; by Fax: 202-395-5806 (this is not a toll-free number); or by email: Commenters are encouraged, but not required, to send a courtesy copy of any comments by mail or courier to the U.S. Department of Labor-OASAM, Office of the Chief Information Officer, Attn: Departmental Information Compliance Management Program, Room N1301, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210; or by email:

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Michel Smyth by telephone at 202-693-4129, TTY 202-693-8064, (these are not toll-free numbers) or sending an email to

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This ICR seeks approval under the PRA for revisions to the Consumer Expenditure Surveys: Quarterly Interview and Diary. The BLS uses the Consumer Expenditure Surveys to gather information on expenditures, income, and other related subjects. The data is updated periodically in the national Consumer Price Index. In addition, the data is used by a variety of researchers in academia, government agencies, and the private sector. The data is collected from a national probability sample of households designed to represent the total civilian non-institutional population. The purpose of this revision request is to make changes to the two Consumer Expenditure (CE) Surveys: The Quarterly Interview Survey (CEQ) and the Diary Survey (CED) as part of an ongoing effort to improve data quality, maintain or increase response rates, and reduce data collection costs. The Census Authorizing Statute and BLS Authorizing Statute authorize this information collection. See 13 U.S.C. 8b and 29 U.S.C. 2.

The ICR has been characterized as a revision for several reasons. More specifically, three major changes are proposed for the CED. (1) In an effort to alleviate burden and improve response rates, an alternative version of the paper CED has been developed. The new version consolidates the four main diary categories into two, facing, diary pages so that all expenses for a single day can be entered without flipping pages. An effort was also made to reduce the amount of instructions and examples so that respondents are not confused or intimidated. (2) The earliest placement date and last placement date restrictions for the Diary will be removed allowing Start Printed Page 56997Field Representatives to place the diary on any day within the collection month. (3) In order to simplify procedures and reduce costs, all Diaries will be double placed. As a result, the second Field Representative interview to pick up the Week 1 Diary and place the Week 2 Diary will be eliminated. Additionally, the CE will delete several tax questions that were deleted from CEQ in 2015 as data received from the IRS have enabled CE to calculate this data rather than collect it. Several changes will also be implemented in CEQ in order to keep the CEQ questionnaire current. These changes include changes to question wording, deletions, additions, and section restructurings.

This information collection is subject to the PRA. A Federal agency generally cannot conduct or sponsor a collection of information, and the public is generally not required to respond to an information collection, unless it is approved by the OMB under the PRA and displays a currently valid OMB Control Number. In addition, notwithstanding any other provisions of law, no person shall generally be subject to penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information that does not display a valid Control Number. See 5 CFR 1320.5(a) and 1320.6. The DOL obtains OMB approval for this information collection under Control Number 1220-0050. The current approval is scheduled to expire on June 30, 2019; however, the DOL notes that existing information collection requirements submitted to the OMB receive a month-to-month extension while they undergo review. New requirements would only take effect upon OMB approval. For additional substantive information about this ICR, see the related notice published in the Federal Register on June 30, 2016 (81 FR 42731).

Interested parties are encouraged to send comments to the OMB, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at the address shown in the ADDRESSES section within thirty (30) days of publication of this notice in the Federal Register. In order to help ensure appropriate consideration, comments should mention OMB Control Number 1220-0050. The OMB is particularly interested in comments that:

  • Evaluate 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;
  • Evaluate 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;
  • Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and
  • 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, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

Agency: DOL-BLS.

Title of Collection: Consumer Expenditure Surveys: Quarterly Interview and Diary.

OMB Control Number: 1220-0050.

Affected Public: Individuals or Households.

Total Estimated Number of Respondents: 13,927.

Total Estimated Number of Responses: 57,732.

Total Estimated Annual Time Burden: 56,718 hours.

Total Estimated Annual Other Costs Burden: $0.

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Authority: 44 U.S.C. 3507(a)(1)(D).

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Dated: November 28, 2017.

Michel Smyth,

Departmental Clearance Officer.

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[FR Doc. 2017-25925 Filed 11-30-17; 8:45 am]