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Agency Information Collection Activities: Extension of an Approved Information Collection Request; Comment Request; Generic Clearance for the Collection of Qualitative Feedback on Agency Service Delivery

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Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT.


Notice and request for comments.


In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, FMCSA announces its plan to submit the Information Collection Request (ICR) described below to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for its review and approval and invites public comment. The FMCSA requests approval to revise an existing ICR titled, “Generic Clearance for the Collection of Qualitative Feedback on Agency Service Delivery,” due to an increase in the annual cost to respondents. This ICR will allow for ongoing, collaborative and Start Printed Page 5509actionable communication between FMCSA and its customers and stakeholders. It will also allow feedback to contribute directly to the improvement of program management. On August 10, 2017, FMCSA published a Federal Register notice allowing for a 60-day comment period on this ICR. The agency received no comments in response to that notice.


Please send your comments to this notice by March 9, 2018. OMB must receive your comments by this date to act quickly on the ICR.


All comments should reference Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) Docket Number FMCSA-2017-0138. Interested persons are invited to submit written comments on the proposed information collection to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget. Comments should be addressed to the attention of the Desk Officer, Department of Transportation/Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, and sent via electronic mail to, faxed to (202) 395-6974, or mailed to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, Docket Library, Room 10102, 725 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20503.

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Mr. Martin Walker, Division Chief, FMCSA, Office of Research. Telephone (202) 385-2364; or email Department of Transportation, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Mail Stop W63-432, Washington, DC 20590.

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Background: Executive Order 12862, “Setting Customer Service Standards,” directs Federal agencies to provide service to the public that matches or exceeds the best service available in the private sector (58 FR 48257, Sept. 11, 1993). In order to work continuously to ensure that our programs are effective and meet our customers' needs, FMCSA seeks to extend OMB approval of a generic clearance to collect qualitative feedback from our customers on our service delivery. The surveys covered in this generic clearance provide a way for FMCSA to collect this data directly from our customers.

The surveys covered by this collection provide 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, but are not statistical surveys that yield quantitative results that can be generalized to the population of study. This feedback will provide insights into 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. The information collected from our customers and stakeholders will help ensure that users have an effective, efficient, and satisfying experience with FMCSA's programs.

The solicitation of feedback targets areas such as: Timeliness, appropriateness, accuracy of information, courtesy, efficiency of service delivery, and resolution of issues with service delivery. Responses are 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 Agency's services will be unavailable.

The Agency only submits a collection for approval under this generic clearance if it meets the following conditions:

  • The collections are voluntary;
  • 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.

FMCSA estimates that the annual burden hour for this information collection has decreased by approximately 1,218 hours from the previously approved 3,450 hours. This is due in part to (1) discontinuing a previously OMB approved mail-based customer satisfaction survey, and (2) adding the annual Analysis, Research, and Technology sessions.

Additionally, because of discontinuing mail surveys, respondents will not incur any non-hour costs (e.g. stamps), which results in an estimated decrease of $440 annually. The expected annual cost to the Federal Government has decreased from $200,800 annually to $137,076 due in part to the cost difference in the discontinuation of the customer satisfaction survey using outreach materials previously approved and estimating the implementation of the ART Forum contracts.

Title: Generic Clearance for the Collection of Qualitative Feedback on Agency Service Delivery.

OMB Control Number: 2126-0049.

Type of Request: Extension of a currently-approved information collection.

Respondents: State and local agencies, the general public, stakeholders, Start Printed Page 5510original equipment manufacturers and suppliers to the commercial motor vehicle (CMV) industry, fleets, owner-operators, state CMV safety agencies, research organizations and contractors, news organizations, safety advocacy groups, and other Federal agencies.

Estimated Number of Respondents: 9,270.

Estimated Time per Response: Range from 5-30 minutes.

Expiration Date: March 31, 2018.

Frequency of Response: Generally, on an annual basis.

Estimated Total Annual Burden: 2,233.

Public Comments Invited: You are asked to comment on any aspect of this information collection, including: (1) Whether the proposed collection is necessary for the performance of FMCSA's functions; (2) the accuracy of the estimated burden; (3) ways for FMCSA to enhance the quality, usefulness, and clarity of the collected information; and (4) ways that the burden could be minimized without reducing the quality of the collected information. The agency will summarize or include your comments in the request for OMB's clearance of this information collection.

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Issued under the authority of 49 CFR 1.87 on: January 31, 2018.

G. Kelly Regal,

Associate Administrator, Office of Research and Information Technology.

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[FR Doc. 2018-02439 Filed 2-6-18; 8:45 am]