U.S. Code of Federal Regulations
Regulations most recently checked for updates: Nov 17, 2019
For purposes of implementing the Act and this Part, the following terms are defined as follows:
(a) Agency means any executive department, military department, Government corporation, Government controlled corporation, or other establishment in the executive branch of the government, or any independent regulatory agency, but does not include:
(1) The General Accounting Office;
(2) Federal Election Commission;
(3) The governments of the District of Columbia and the territories and possessions of the United States, and their various subdivisions; or
(4) Government-owned contractor-operated facilities, including laboratories engaged in national defense research and production activities.
(b)(1) Burden means the total time, effort, or financial resources expended by persons to generate, maintain, retain, or disclose or provide information to or for a Federal agency, including:
(i) Reviewing instructions;
(ii) Developing, acquiring, installing, and utilizing technology and systems for the purpose of collecting, validating, and verifying information;
(iii) Developing, acquiring, installing, and utilizing technology and systems for the purpose of processing and maintaining information;
(iv) Developing, acquiring, installing, and utilizing technology and systems for the purpose of disclosing and providing information;
(v) Adjusting the existing ways to comply with any previously applicable instructions and requirements;
(vi) Training personnel to be able to respond to a collection of information;
(vii) Searching data sources;
(viii) Completing and reviewing the collection of information; and
(ix) Transmitting, or otherwise disclosing the information.
(2) The time, effort, and financial resources necessary to comply with a collection of information that would be incurred by persons in the normal course of their activities (e.g., in compiling and maintaining business records) will be excluded from the “burden” if the agency demonstrates that the reporting, recordkeeping, or disclosure activities needed to comply are usual and customary.
(3) A collection of information conducted or sponsored by a Federal agency that is also conducted or sponsored by a unit of State, local, or tribal government is presumed to impose a Federal burden except to the extent that the agency shows that such State, local, or tribal requirement would be imposed even in the absence of a Federal requirement.
(c) Collection of information means, except as provided in § 1320.4, the obtaining, causing to be obtained, soliciting, or requiring the disclosure to an agency, third parties or the public of information by or for an agency by means of identical questions posed to, or identical reporting, recordkeeping, or disclosure requirements imposed on, ten or more persons, whether such collection of information is mandatory, voluntary, or required to obtain or retain a benefit. “Collection of information” includes any requirement or request for persons to obtain, maintain, retain, report, or publicly disclose information. As used in this Part, “collection of information” refers to the act of collecting or disclosing information, to the information to be collected or disclosed, to a plan and/or an instrument calling for the collection or disclosure of information, or any of these, as appropriate.
(1) A “collection of information” may be in any form or format, including the use of report forms; application forms; schedules; questionnaires; surveys; reporting or recordkeeping requirements; contracts; agreements; policy statements; plans; rules or regulations; planning requirements; circulars; directives; instructions; bulletins; requests for proposal or other procurement requirements; interview guides; oral communications; posting, notification, labeling, or similar disclosure requirements; telegraphic or telephonic requests; automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques; standard questionnaires used to monitor compliance with agency requirements; or any other techniques or technological methods used to monitor compliance with agency requirements. A “collection of information” may implicitly or explicitly include related collection of information requirements.
(2) Requirements by an agency for a person to obtain or compile information for the purpose of disclosure to members of the public or the public at large, through posting, notification, labeling or similar disclosure requirements constitute the “collection of information” whenever the same requirement to obtain or compile information would be a “collection of information” if the information were directly provided to the agency. The public disclosure of information originally supplied by the Federal government to the recipient for the purpose of disclosure to the public is not included within this definition.
(3) “Collection of information” includes questions posed to agencies, instrumentalities, or employees of the United States, if the results are to be used for general statistical purposes, that is, if the results are to be used for statistical compilations of general public interest, including compilations showing the status or implementation of Federal activities and programs.
(4) As used in paragraph (c) of this section, “ten or more persons” refers to the persons to whom a collection of information is addressed by the agency within any 12-month period, and to any independent entities to which the initial addressee may reasonably be expected to transmit the collection of information during that period, including independent State, territorial, tribal or local entities and separately incorporated subsidiaries or affiliates. For the purposes of this definition of “ten or more persons,” “persons” does not include employees of the respondent acting within the scope of their employment, contractors engaged by a respondent for the purpose of complying with the collection of information, or current employees of the Federal government (including military reservists and members of the National Guard while on active duty) when acting within the scope of their employment, but it does include retired and other former Federal employees.
(i) Any recordkeeping, reporting, or disclosure requirement contained in a rule of general applicability is deemed to involve ten or more persons.
(ii) Any collection of information addressed to all or a substantial majority of an industry is presumed to involve ten or more persons.
(d) Conduct or Sponsor. A Federal agency is considered to “conduct or sponsor” a collection of information if the agency collects the information, causes another agency to collect the information, contracts or enters into a cooperative agreement with a person to collect the information, or requires a person to provide information to another person, or in similar ways causes another agency, contractor, partner in a cooperative agreement, or person to obtain, solicit, or require the disclosure to third parties or the public of information by or for an agency. A collection of information undertaken by a recipient of a Federal grant is considered to be “conducted or sponsored” by an agency only if:
(1) The recipient of a grant is conducting the collection of information at the specific request of the agency; or
(2) The terms and conditions of the grant require specific approval by the agency of the collection of information or collection procedures.
(e) Director means the Director of OMB, or his or her designee.
(f) Display means:
(1) In the case of forms, questionnaires, instructions, and other written collections of information sent or made available to potential respondents (other than in an electronic format), to place the currently valid OMB control number on the front page of the collection of information;
(2) In the case of forms, questionnaires, instructions, and other written collections of information sent or made available to potential respondents in an electronic format, to place the currently valid OMB control number in the instructions, near the title of the electronic collection instrument, or, for on-line applications, on the first screen viewed by the respondent;
(3) In the case of collections of information published in regulations, guidelines, and other issuances in the
(4) In other cases, and where OMB determines in advance in writing that special circumstances exist, to use other means to inform potential respondents of the OMB control number.
(g) Independent regulatory agency means the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the Federal Communications Commission, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the Federal Housing Finance Board, the Federal Maritime Commission, the Federal Trade Commission, the Interstate Commerce Commission, the Mine Enforcement Safety and Health Review Commission, the National Labor Relations Board, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, the Postal Rate Commission, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and any other similar agency designated by statute as a Federal independent regulatory agency or commission.
(h) Information means any statement or estimate of fact or opinion, regardless of form or format, whether in numerical, graphic, or narrative form, and whether oral or maintained on paper, electronic or other media. “Information” does not generally include items in the following categories; however, OMB may determine that any specific item constitutes “information”:
(1) Affidavits, oaths, affirmations, certifications, receipts, changes of address, consents, or acknowledgments; provided that they entail no burden other than that necessary to identify the respondent, the date, the respondent's address, and the nature of the instrument (by contrast, a certification would likely involve the collection of “information” if an agency conducted or sponsored it as a substitute for a collection of information to collect evidence of, or to monitor, compliance with regulatory standards, because such a certification would generally entail burden in addition to that necessary to identify the respondent, the date, the respondent's address, and the nature of the instrument);
(2) Samples of products or of any other physical objects;
(3) Facts or opinions obtained through direct observation by an employee or agent of the sponsoring agency or through nonstandardized oral communication in connection with such direct observations;
(4) Facts or opinions submitted in response to general solicitations of comments from the public, published in the
(5) Facts or opinions obtained initially or in follow-on requests, from individuals (including individuals in control groups) under treatment or clinical examination in connection with research on or prophylaxis to prevent a clinical disorder, direct treatment of that disorder, or the interpretation of biological analyses of body fluids, tissues, or other specimens, or the identification or classification of such specimens;
(6) A request for facts or opinions addressed to a single person;
(7) Examinations designed to test the aptitude, abilities, or knowledge of the persons tested and the collection of information for identification or classification in connection with such examinations;
(8) Facts or opinions obtained or solicited at or in connection with public hearings or meetings;
(9) Facts or opinions obtained or solicited through nonstandardized follow-up questions designed to clarify responses to approved collections of information; and
(10) Like items so designated by OMB.
(i) OMB refers to the Office of Management and Budget.
(j) Penalty includes the imposition by an agency or court of a fine or other punishment; a judgment for monetary damages or equitable relief; or the revocation, suspension, reduction, or denial of a license, privilege, right, grant, or benefit.
(k) Person means an individual, partnership, association, corporation (including operations of government-owned contractor-operated facilities), business trust, or legal representative, an organized group of individuals, a State, territorial, tribal, or local government or branch thereof, or a political subdivision of a State, territory, tribal, or local government or a branch of a political subdivision;
(l) Practical utility means the actual, not merely the theoretical or potential, usefulness of information to or for an agency, taking into account its accuracy, validity, adequacy, and reliability, and the agency's ability to process the information it collects (or a person's ability to receive and process that which is disclosed, in the case of a third-party or public disclosure) in a useful and timely fashion. In determining whether information will have “practical utility,” OMB will take into account whether the agency demonstrates actual timely use for the information either to carry out its functions or make it available to third-parties or the public, either directly or by means of a third-party or public posting, notification, labeling, or similar disclosure requirement, for the use of persons who have an interest in entities or transactions over which the agency has jurisdiction. In the case of recordkeeping requirements or general purpose statistics (see § 1320.3(c)(3)), “practical utility” means that actual uses can be demonstrated.
(m) Recordkeeping requirement means a requirement imposed by or for an agency on persons to maintain specified records, including a requirement to:
(1) Retain such records;
(2) Notify third parties, the Federal government, or the public of the existence of such records;
(3) Disclose such records to third parties, the Federal government, or the public; or
(4) Report to third parties, the Federal government, or the public regarding such records.