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Hazardous Materials: Information Collection Activities

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Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), Department of Transportation.


Notice and request for comments.


As part of a Federal Government-wide effort to streamline the process to seek feedback from the public on service delivery, PHMSA seeks comment on the development of a Generic Information Collection Request for the collection of qualitative feedback on agency service delivery for approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act. This notice announces PHMSA's intent to submit this collection to the Office of Management and Budget for approval and allows for an additional 30 days of public comment.


Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before July 13, 2020.

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You may submit comments on this notice to the Office of Management and Budget, Attn: Desk Officer for PHMSA, via fax at 202-395-6974 or email at (Include reference to “PHMSA Fast Track Generic Clearance comment” in the subject line of the message.)

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Steven Andrews or Shelby Geller, Standards and Rulemaking Division, (202) 366-8553, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590-0001.

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

OMB Number: To be determined.

Needs and Uses: The proposed information collection provides a means to garner qualitative customer and stakeholder feedback in an efficient and timely manner, in accordance with the agency's commitment to improving service delivery. Qualitative feedback means information that provides useful insights on perceptions and opinions, but is not a statistical survey that yields 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. These collections will allow for ongoing, collaborative, and actionable communications between the agency and its customers and stakeholders. It will also allow feedback to contribute directly to the improvement of program management.

PHMSA expects to use various methods (e.g., customer satisfaction surveys, comment cards), to solicit feedback. Responses will be assessed to plan and inform efforts to improve or maintain the quality of service offered to the public and other agency stakeholders. If this information is not collected, vital feedback from customers and stakeholders on the agency's services will be unavailable.

The agency will only submit 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;
  • The collections are focused on the awareness, understanding, attitudes, preferences, or experiences of the public or other stakeholders in order to improve existing or future services, products, or communication materials;
  • Personally identifiable information (PII) is collected only to the extent necessary;
  • Information gathered will be used only internally for general service improvement and program management purposes and is not intended for release to the public;
  • 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 submitted under this generic clearance 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.

A Federal Register Notice with a 60-day comment period soliciting comments on this information collection was published on December 10, 2010 [75 FR 80542].

Current Action: New information collection request (generic).

Type of Review: New.

Affected Public: Individuals; Business or Other For-Profit Institutions; Not-For-Profit Institutions; State or Local Government.

Average Expected Annual Number of Activities: 75.

Average Number of Respondents per Activity: 50.

Estimated Annual Number of Respondents: 3,750.

Responses per Respondent: 1.

Annual Responses: 3,750.

Estimated Annual Burden Hours: 312.5.

Projected Average Burden Hour Estimates for the next three years: 937.5.

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Issued in Washington, DC, on June 9, 2020.

William A. Quade,

Deputy Associate Administrator for Programs and Policy, Hazardous Materials Safety, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.

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[FR Doc. 2020-12770 Filed 6-11-20; 8:45 am]