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Proposed Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request

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Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), Department of Transportation (DOT).


Notice of information collection; request for comment.


Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), this notice announces that FRA is forwarding the Information Collection Request (ICR) abstracted below to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and comment. The ICR describes the information collection and its expected burden. On May 29, 2020, FRA published a notice providing a 60-day period for public comment on the ICR.


Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before October 2, 2020.


Written comments and recommendations for the proposed ICR should be sent within 30 days of publication of this notice to​public/​do/​PRAMain. Find this particular ICR by selecting “Currently under 30-day Review—Open for Public Comments” or by using the search function.

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Ms. Kim Toone, Information Collection Clearance Officer, Office of Administration, Office of Information Technology, Federal Railroad Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590 (telephone: (202) 493-6132).

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The PRA, 44 U.S.C. 3501-3520, and its implementing regulations, 5 CFR part 1320, require Federal agencies to issue two notices seeking public comment on information collection activities before OMB may approve paperwork packages. See 44 U.S.C. 3506, 3507; 5 CFR 1320.8 through 1320.12. On May 29, 2020, FRA published a 60-day notice in the Federal Register soliciting comment on the ICR for which it is now seeking OMB approval. See 85 FR 32440. FRA received one comment from Rio Metro Regional Transit Authority suggesting that the current grant application be improved to eliminate redundancies. It recommended that FRA capture from applicants additional information in the project narrative so that the Statement of Work (SOW) can be eliminated. After careful consideration, FRA determined that this recommendation could not be implemented as the documents serve distinct functions. The primary purpose of the project narrative is to address statutory grant evaluation and selection criteria and the primary purpose of the SOW is to determine project readiness for obligations. Therefore, FRA plans on continuing both the project narrative and SOW.

Before OMB decides whether to approve these proposed collections of information, it must provide 30 days for public comment. Federal law requires OMB to approve or disapprove paperwork packages between 30 and 60 days after the 30-day notice is published. 44 U.S.C. 3507(b)-(c); 5 CFR 1320.10(b); see also 60 FR 44978, 44983, Aug. 29, 1995. OMB believes the 30-day notice informs the regulated community to file relevant comments and affords the agency adequate time to digest public comments before it renders a decision. 60 FR 44983, Aug. 29, 1995. Therefore, respondents should submit their respective comments to OMB within 30 days of publication to best ensure having their full effect.

Comments are invited on the following ICR regarding: (1) Whether the information collection activities are necessary for FRA to properly execute its functions, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of FRA's estimates of the burden of the information collection activities, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used to determine the estimates; (3) ways for FRA to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information being collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of information collection activities on the public, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

The summaries below describe the ICR that FRA will submit for OMB clearance as the PRA requires:

Title: Grants Management Requirements for Federal Railroad Administration. Grant Awards and Cooperative Agreements.

OMB Control Number: 2130-0615.

Abstract: FRA solicits grant applications for projects including, but not limited to, preconstruction planning activities, safety improvements, congestion relief, improvements of grade crossings, and rail line relocation, as well as projects that encourage development, expansion, and upgrades to passenger and freight rail infrastructure and services. FRA funds projects that meet FRA and government-wide evaluation standards and align with the DOT Strategic Plan.

FRA administers award agreements for both construction and non-construction projects that will result in benefits or other tangible improvements in rail corridors, service, safety, and technology. These projects include completion of preliminary engineering environmental, research and development, final design, and construction.

FRA requires systematic and uniform collection and submission of information, as approved by OMB, to ensure accountability of Federal assistance provided by FRA. Through this information collection, FRA will measure Federal award recipients' performance and results, including expenditures in support of agreed-upon activities and allowable costs outlined in FRA Notice of Grant Award. This information collection includes OMB-required reports and documentation, as well a additional forms and submission to compile evidence relevant to addressing FRA's important policy challenges, promoting cost-effectiveness in FRA programs, and providing effective oversight of programmatic and financial performance. FRA issues and manages awards in compliance with 2 CFR part 200; Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards.

Form(s): All FRA forms are located at FRA's public website; all SF forms are located at FRA forms 30 (FRA Assurance and Certifications Regarding Lobbying; Debarment, Suspension and Other Responsibility Matters and Drug-Free Workplace Requirements), 31 (Grant Adjustment Require Form), 32 (Service Outcome Agreement Annual Reporting), 33 (Final Performance Report), 34 (Quarterly Progress Report), 35 (Application Form), 217 (Categorical Exclusion Worksheet), 229 (NIST Manufacturing Extension Partnership Supplier Scouting—FRA Item Opportunity Synopsis), 251 (Applicant Financial Capability Questionnaire), and 252 (Payment Summary Spreadsheet). SF forms 270 (Request for Advance or Reimbursement), 424 (Application for Federal Assistance), 424 A (Budget Information for Non-Construction Programs), 424B (Assurance for Non-Construction Programs), 424C (Budget Information for Construction Programs), 424D (Assurances for Construction Start Printed Page 54634Programs), 425 (Federal Financial Report), and LLL (Disclosure of Lobbying Activities).

Type of Request: Revision of a currently approved collection.

Affected Public: Generally includes States, d local governments and railroads.

Frequency of Submission: Varied.

Total Estimated Annual Responses: 6,551 responses.

Total Estimated Annual Burden: 88,293.50 hours.

Total Estimated Annual Burden Hour Dollar Cost Equivalent: $3,619,150.57.

Under 44 U.S.C. 3507(a) and 5 CFR 1320.5(b) and 1320.8(b)(3)(vi), FRA informs all interested parties that it may not conduct or sponsor, and a respondent is not required to respond to a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

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Authority: 44 U.S.C. 3501-3520.

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Brett A. Jortland,

Deputy Chief Counsel.

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[FR Doc. 2020-19330 Filed 9-1-20; 8:45 am]