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Notice

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

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Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Forest Service, USDA.

ACTION:

Notice; request for comment.

SUMMARY:

In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Forest Service is seeking comments from all interested individuals and organizations on the renewal of a currently approved information collection, Generic Clearance for the Collection of Qualitative Feedback on Agency Service Delivery.

DATES:

Comments must be received in writing on or before July 9, 2021 to be assured of consideration. Comments received after that date will be considered to the extent practicable.

ADDRESSES:

Commenters are encouraged to submit comments by email, if possible. You may submit comments by any of the following methods:

  • Email: ann.goode@usda.gov and/or d anne t te.jones@usda.gov.
  • Mail: Ann E. Goode, Branch Chief, Directives and Regulations Branch, Strategic Planning, Budget and Accountability, Forest Service, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20250.
  • Hand Delivery/Courier: Forest Service, USDA, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20250.

Comments received in response to this notice may be made available to the public through relevant websites and upon request. For this reason, please do not include in your comments information of a confidential nature, such as sensitive personal information or proprietary information. If you send an email comment, your email address will be automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on the internet. Please note that responses to this public comment request containing any routine notice about the confidentiality of the communication will be treated as public comments that may be made available to the public notwithstanding the inclusion of the routine notice.

The public may request an electronic copy of the draft supporting statement and/or any comments received. Requests should be emailed to dannette.jones@usda.gov.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Dannette Jones, Information Collections Officer, Directives and Regulations, Strategic Planning, Budget and Accountability, via email at dannette.jones@usda.gov or (202) 205-1295. Individuals who use telecommunication devices for the hearing-impaired (TDD) may call the Federal Relay Service (FRS) at 1-800-877-8339 twenty-four hours a day, every day of the year, including holidays.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

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

OMB Number: 0596-0226.

Expiration Date of Approval: July 31, 2021.

Type of Request: Extension with no Revision.

Abstract: This information collection activity provides a means to garner qualitative customer and stakeholder feedback in an efficient, timely manner, in accordance with the Agency's commitment to improve 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. 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. The solicitation of feedback will target areas such as: Timeliness, appropriateness, accuracy of information, courtesy, efficiency of service delivery, and resolution of issues with service delivery. Responses will be 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 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 noncontroversial 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 is intended to be used only internally for general service improvement and program management purposes and is not intended for release outside of the agency (if released, the agency must indicate the qualitative nature of the information);
  • 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 Start Printed Page 24841for 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 nonresponse 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.

Type of Respondents: Individuals and Households, Business and Organizations, State, Local or Tribal Government.

Estimate of Burden per Response: 1 to 60 Minutes.

Estimated Annual Number of Respondents: 3,500,000.

Estimated Annual Number of Responses per Respondent: 1.

Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: 875,000 hours.

Comment is Invited: Comment is invited on: (1) Whether this collection of information is necessary for the stated purposes and the proper performance of the functions of the Agency, including whether the information will have practical or scientific utility; (2) the accuracy of the Agency's estimate of the burden of the collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including the use of automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

All comments received in response to this notice, including names and addresses when provided, will be a matter of public record. Comments will be summarized and included in the submission to the Office of Management and Budget for approval.

Start Signature

Amelia Steed,

Acting Assistant Director, Formulations Branch, Strategic Planning, Budget and Accountability.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2021-09806 Filed 5-7-21; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 3411-15-P