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Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Survey of Residential Building or Zoning Permit Systems

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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.


To ensure consideration, written comments must be submitted on or before February 20, 2018.


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

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Requests for additional information or copies of the information collection instrument(s) and instructions should be directed to Erica M. Filipek, U.S. Census Bureau, MCD, CENHQ Room 7K057, 4600 Silver Hill Road, Washington, DC 20233, telephone (301) 763-5161 (or via the internet at

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I. Abstract

The Census Bureau plans to request a three-year extension of a currently approved collection of the Form C-411, Survey of Residential Building or Zoning Permit Systems. The Census Bureau produces statistics used to monitor activity in the large and dynamic construction industry. These statistics help state and local governments and the Federal government, as well as private industry, to analyze this important sector of the economy.

The Census Bureau uses the Form C-411 to obtain information needed to update the universe of permit-issuing places from state and local building and zoning officials. Questions on the form pertain to the legal requirements for issuing building or zoning permits in the local jurisdictions. Information is obtained on such items as geographic coverage and types of construction for which permits are issued.

The universe of permit-issuing places is the sampling frame for the Building Permits Survey (BPS) and the Survey of Construction (SOC). These two sample surveys provide widely used measures of construction activity, including the monthly Principal Federal Economic Indicators Housing Units Authorized by Building Permits and Housing Starts.

II. Method of Collection

One of three variants of the Form C-411 is sent to a jurisdiction when the Census Bureau has reason to believe that a new permit system has been established or an existing one has changed, based on information the Census Bureau obtains from a variety of sources including survey respondents and regional planning councils. Staff in the Census Bureau's Geography Division also monitor changes in corporate status, which indicates if a place is incorporated. Responses rates for the Form C-411 typically approach 85 percent. There are three versions of the form:

  • C-411(V) for verification of coverage for jurisdictions with existing permit systems
  • C-411(M) for municipalities where a new permit system may have been established
  • C-411(C) for counties where new permit systems may have been established.

III. Data

OMB Number: 0607-0350.

Form Number: C-411(V), C-411(M), and C-411(C).

Type of Review: Regular submission.

Affected Public: State and Local Governments.

Estimated Number of Respondents: 2,000 per year.

Estimated Time per Response: 15 minutes.

Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 500 hours.

Estimated Total Annual Cost to Public: $0. (Per OMB requirements, this cost does not measure respondents' time, but the indirect costs respondents may incur for such things as purchases of specialized software or hardware needed to report, or expenditures for accounting or records maintenance services required specifically by the collection.)

Respondent's Obligation: Voluntary.

Legal Authority: Title 13, United States Code, Sections 131 and 182.

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.

Start Signature

Sheleen Dumas,

Departmental PRA Lead, Office of the Chief Information Officer.

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[FR Doc. 2017-27377 Filed 12-19-17; 8:45 am]