Proposed Collection; Comment Request for Modified OGE Form 450 Executive Branch Confidential Financial Disclosure Report, 47204-47206 [05-15926]

Download as PDF 47204 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 155 / Friday, August 12, 2005 / Notices financial risk through the arrangement, such that the arrangement creates incentives for the physician participants jointly to control costs and improve quality by managing the provision of services. Second, any agreement concerning reimbursement or other terms or conditions of dealing must be reasonably necessary to obtain significant efficiencies through the joint arrangement. A ‘‘qualified clinically-integrated joint arrangement,’’ on the other hand, need not involve any sharing of financial risk. Instead, as defined in the proposed order, physician participants must participate in active and ongoing programs to evaluate and modify their clinical practice patterns in order to control costs and ensure the quality of services provided, and the arrangement must create a high degree of interdependence and cooperation among physicians. As with qualified risk-sharing arrangements, any agreement concerning price or other terms of dealing must be reasonably necessary to achieve the efficiency goals of the joint arrangement. Paragraph III, for three years, requires Partners Health to notify the Commission before entering into any arrangement to act as a messenger, or as an agent on behalf of any physicians, with payors regarding contracts. Paragraph III also sets out the information necessary to make the notification complete. Paragraph IV, for three years, requires Partners Health to notify the Commission before participating in contracting with health plans on behalf of a qualified risk-sharing joint arrangement, or a qualified clinicallyintegrated joint arrangement. The contracting discussions that trigger the notice provision may be either among physicians, or between Partners Health and health plans. Paragraph IV also sets out the information necessary to satisfy the notification requirement. Paragraph V requires Partners Health to distribute the complaint and order to all physicians who have participated in Partners Health, and to payors that negotiated contracts with Partners Health or indicated an interest in contracting with Partners Health. Paragraph V.D. requires Partners Health, at any payor’s request and without penalty, or, at the latest, within one year after the order is made final, to terminate its current contracts with respect to providing physician services. Paragraph V.D. also allows any contract currently in effect to be extended, upon mutual consent of Partners Health and the contracted payor, to any date no later than one year from when the order VerDate jul<14>2003 17:14 Aug 11, 2005 Jkt 205001 became final. This extension allows both parties to negotiate a termination date that would equitably enable them to prepare for the impending contract termination. Paragraph V.E requires Partners Health to distribute payor requests for contract termination to all physicians who participate in Partners Health. Paragraphs VI, VII, and VIII of the proposed order impose various obligations on Partners Health to report or provide access to information to the Commission to facilitate monitoring Partners Health’s compliance with the order. The proposed order will expire in 20 years. The First Meeting of the Small Business Advisory Committee will be held Thursday, September 1, 2005 at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort in Phoenix, Arizona. The meeting will begin at 1:00 pm and conclude no later than 4:30 p.m. Hotel information is available by calling (480) 293–3829. The Committee also will accept oral public comments at this meeting and has reserved a total of thirty minutes for this purpose. Members of the public wishing to reserve speaking time must contact Denis Peck in writing at: denis.peck@gsa.gov or by fax at (202) 208–5938, no later than one week prior to the meeting. By direction of the Commission, with Chairman Majoras recused. Donald S. Clark, Secretary. [FR Doc. 05–15984 Filed 8–11–05; 8:45 am] Dated: August 5, 2005 Felipe Mendoza Associate Administrator Office of Small Business Utilization General Services Administration. [FR Doc. 05–15981 Filed 8–11–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6750–01–P BILLING CODE 6820–34–S GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION OFFICE OF GOVERNMENT ETHICS Office of Small Business Utilization; Small BusinessAdvisory Committee Office of Small Business Utilization, GSA. ACTION: Notice. Proposed Collection; Comment Request for Modified OGE Form 450 Executive Branch Confidential Financial Disclosure Report AGENCY: AGENCY: The General Services Administration is announcing the creation of a Small Business Advisory Committee (the Committee). The Committee will offer advice and recommendations on a wide range of government procurement issues affecting small business. Specifically, the committee is to develop proposed solutions that will allow GSA to make it easier for small businesses to participate in federal contracting, identify problem areas currently restricting small business participation, and provide direct feedback on the impact of new legislation and regulations on small business as they are introduced by the government. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Denis Peck, Room 6021, GSA Building, 1800 F Street, NW., Washington, DC 20405 (202) 501–1021 or email at denis.peck@gsa.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This notice is published in accordance with the provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92–463), and advises of the establishment of the GSA Small Business Advisory Committee. The GSA Administrator has determined that the establishment of the Board is necessary and in the public interest. SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00037 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Office of Government Ethics (OGE). ACTION: Notice. SUMMARY: The Office of Government Ethics intends to modify the Executive Branch Confidential Financial Disclosure Report form (hereafter, OGE Form 450), to improve its clarity and design and change to some extent the information that it collects. After this first round notice and public comment period, OGE plans to submit a modified OGE Form 450 to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and three-year extension of approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act. The modified OGE Form 450 would be used for confidential financial disclosure reporting under OGE’s proposed amended executive branch regulations, once those regulatory revisions are finalized. DATES: Comments by the public and agencies on this proposal are invited and should be received by October 26, 2005. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments to OGE by any of the following methods: • E-Mail: usoge@oge.gov. For E-mail messages, the subject line should include the following reference: ‘‘OGE Form 450 Executive Branch Confidential Financial Disclosure Report Paperwork Comment.’’ E:\FR\FM\12AUN1.SGM 12AUN1 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 155 / Friday, August 12, 2005 / Notices • FAX: 202–482–9237. • Mail, Hand Delivery or Courier: Office of Government Ethics, Suite 500, 1201 New York Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20005–3917, Attention: Mary T. Donovan. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mary T. Donovan, Office of Government Ethics; telephone: 202–482–9232; TDD: 202–482–9293; FAX: 202–482–9237. A copy of the proposed modified OGE Form 450 may be obtained, without charge, by contacting Ms. Donovan. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The OGE Form 450 (OMB control number 3209– 0006) collects information from covered department and agency officials as required under OGE’s executive branchwide regulatory provisions in subpart I of 5 CFR part 2634. The OGE Form 450 serves as the uniform report form for collection, on a confidential basis, of financial information required by the OGE regulation from certain new entrant and incumbent employees of the Federal Government executive branch departments and agencies. Agency ethics officials then use the completed OGE Form 450 reports to conduct conflict of interest reviews and to resolve any actual or potential conflicts found. The basis for the OGE regulation and the report form is two-fold. First, section 201(d) of Executive Order 12674 of April 12, 1989 (as modified by Executive Order 12731, 55 FR 42547 (October 19, 1990)) makes OGE responsible for the establishment of a system of nonpublic (confidential) financial disclosure by executive branch employees to complement the system of public financial disclosure under the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 (the ‘‘Ethics Act’’), as amended, 5 U.S.C. appendix. Second, section 107(a) of the Ethics Act, 5 U.S.C. app., sec. 107(a), further provides authority for OGE as the supervising ethics office for the executive branch of the Federal Government to require that appropriate executive agency employees file confidential financial disclosure reports, ‘‘in such form as the supervising ethics office may prescribe.’’ The OGE Form 450, together with the underlying executive branchwide financial disclosure regulation (5 CFR part 2634), constitutes the basic report form OGE has prescribed for such confidential financial disclosure in the executive branch. Proposed Modifications OGE is proposing modifications to the OGE Form 450’s design and content. In March 2003, OGE distributed a survey to executive branch ethics officials VerDate jul<14>2003 17:14 Aug 11, 2005 Jkt 205001 which sought input on possible improvements to the financial disclosure system, the results of which proved beneficial in identifying what information needs to be reported in order for an agency ethics official to perform a thorough conflict of interest review. After reviewing the results of the survey and re-examining the current reporting requirements, OGE is proposing to simplify the confidential reporting and filing process. Modifications relating to form design are specifically intended to make the OGE Form 450 easier to complete on a computer. These modifications include changing the form layout from landscape to portrait. In addition, the form will be a PDF file that can be filled in electronically through the use of Adobe Reader Version 6.0. These modifications also are intended to make completion of the OGE Form 450 easier overall by simplifying the instructions and placing them on the same pages as the reporting schedules; adding space for reporting information; enlarging the font size; and separating reporting schedules for earned and investment income. Contacting filers with follow-up questions will be facilitated by the addition of space for the filer’s e-mail address. Modifications to the content of the OGE Form 450 parallel changes being proposed to 5 CFR part 2634. See the proposed rule being published concurrently in the Federal Register with this notice. Under both the current and proposed rule, the information required to be collected includes assets and sources of income, liabilities, outside positions, employment agreements and arrangements, and gifts and travel reimbursements, subject to certain thresholds and exclusions. The proposed modifications to the OGE Form 450 reflect the changes in the confidential financial disclosure regulation if adopted as final. Generally, these changes to the information that will have to reported on the OGE Form 450 include: Eliminating the reporting of diversified mutual funds, eliminating dates of honoraria, eliminating dates of agreements and arrangements (other than those for future employment), and eliminating the reporting of types of income that assets earned (i.e., dividends, capital gains, or interest), and revising reporting requirements relating to liabilities by eliminating the requirement to report student loans, mortgages on rental property, and credit card debt if the loans are granted on terms made available to the general public. Also, OGE is proposing to incorporate in the modified OGE Form 450 the new PO 00000 Frm 00038 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 47205 aggregation threshold of more than $305 for the reporting of gifts and travel reimbursements received from one source during the year by regular employee annual filers, with an exception for any items valued at $122 or less that are not counted toward the overall threshold. These new thresholds are based on the General Services Administration’s (GSA’s) increase in ‘‘minimal value’’ under the Foreign Gifts and Decorations Act to $305 or less for 2005–2007, to which the thresholds are linked by the Ethics Act and OGE regulation. See GSA’s redefinition at 70 FR 2317–2318 (January 12, 2005), section 102(a)(2)(A) and (B) of the Ethics Act, OGE’s regulatory adjustment of the gifts/reimbursements thresholds for both public and confidential reports at 70 FR 12111–12112 (March 11, 2005), and OGE DAEOgram DO–05–007 of March 17, 2005, all available on OGE’s Web site at http://www.usoge.gov. Finally, OGE is updating the Privacy Act Statement summary of the sixth listed routine use (see 68 FR 3097–3109, at 3102 (January 22, 2003)). Web Site Distribution of Blank Forms OGE will continue to make the OGE Form 450 available to departments and agencies and their reporting employees through the Forms, Publications & Other Ethics Documents section of OGE’s Web site (http://www.usoge.gov). This method allows employees to prepare and save their report on a computer, although a printout and manual signature of the form are still required unless specifically approved otherwise by OGE. Effect on Use of Alternative Reports and OGE Optional Form 450–A Since 1992, various departments and agencies have developed, with OGE review/approval, alternative reporting formats such as certificates of no conflict for certain classes of employees. Other agencies provide for additional disclosures pursuant to independent organic statutes and in certain other circumstances when authorized by OGE. In 1997, OGE itself developed the new OGE Optional Form 450–A (Confidential Certificate of No New Interests (Executive Branch)) for possible agency and employee use in certain years, if applicable. That optional form continues in use at various agencies. However, the OGE Form 450 remains the uniform executive branch report form for most of those executive branch employees required by their agencies to report confidentially on their financial interests. E:\FR\FM\12AUN1.SGM 12AUN1 47206 Federal Register / Vol. 70, No. 155 / Friday, August 12, 2005 / Notices Reporting Individuals The OGE Form 450 is to be filed by each reporting individual with the designated agency ethics official at the executive department or agency where he or she is or will be employed. Reporting individuals are regular employees whose positions have been designated by their agency under 5 CFR 2634.904 as requiring confidential financial disclosure in order to help avoid conflicts with their assigned responsibilities. Under that section, all special Government employees (SGE) are also generally required to file. Agencies may, if appropriate under the OGE regulation, exclude certain regular employees or SGEs as provided in 5 CFR 2634.905. (This citation appears as 5 CFR 2634.904(b) in the proposed rule issued concurrently with this notice.) Reports are normally required to be filed within 30 days of entering a covered position (or earlier if required by the agency concerned), and again annually if the employee serves for more than 60 days in the position. Most of the persons who file this report are current executive branch Government employees at the time they complete their report. However, some filers are private citizens who are asked by their prospective agency to file a new entrant report prior to entering Government service in order to permit advance checking for any potential conflicts of interest and resolution thereof by agreement to recuse or divest, obtaining of a waiver, etc. Reporting Burden Based on OGE’s annual agency ethics program questionnaire responses for 2002 through 2004, OGE estimates that an average of approximately 277,215 OGE Form 450 reports will be filed each year for the next three years throughout the executive branch. This estimate is based on the number of reports filed branchwide for 2002 through 2004 (272,755 in 2002, and 263,463 in 2003, and 295,426 in 2004) for a total of 831,644, with that number then divided by three and rounded, to give the projected annual average of 277,215 reports. Of these reports, OGE estimates that 7.6 percent, or some 21,068 per year, will be filed by private citizens. Private citizen filers are those potential (incoming) regular employees whose positions are designated for confidential disclosure filing as well as potential special Government employees whose agencies require that they file their new entrant reports prior to assuming Government responsibilities. No termination reports are required for the OGE Form 450. VerDate jul<14>2003 17:14 Aug 11, 2005 Jkt 205001 Each filing is estimated to take an average of one and one-half hours to complete. This yields an annual reporting burden of 31,602 hours, an increase of 31,587 hours compared to 15 hours (OGE’s current OMB inventory) for this information collection. The current burden hours account for private citizen filers whose reports were filed each year only with OGE itself. (In the past, the number of private citizens whose reports were filed each year with OGE itself was less than 10, but pursuant to 5 CFR 1320.3(c)(4)(i), the lower limit for this general regulatorybased requirement is set at 10 private persons. Thus, OGE reported the current annual burden of 15 hours.) The proposed estimate of burden hours includes private citizen reports filed with departments and agencies throughout the executive branch (including OGE). Consideration of Comments As noted, public comment is invited on the proposed modified OGE Form 450 as set forth in this notice. In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. chapter 35), public comments are invited specifically on the need for and practical utility of this proposed modified collection of information, the accuracy of OGE’s burden estimate, the enhancement of quality, utility and clarity of the information collected, and the minimization of burden (including the use of information technology). The Office of Government Ethics is planning to submit to OMB, after this notice and comment period, a modified OGE Form 450 for three-year extension of approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act. Comments received in response to this notice will be summarized for, and may be included with, OGE’s future request for OMB paperwork approval for the proposed modified OGE Form 450. Any comments received will also become a matter of public record. After reviewing any comments and deciding on the proposed modifications to the OGE Form 450, OGE will publish a second paperwork notice in the Federal Register to inform the agencies and the public at the time it submits the request for OMB paperwork approval. In addition, OGE invites comments on the changes to the OGE Form 450 that are intended to make it easier for filers to complete. Comments regarding the changes to the content of the form, i.e., the information to be reported, should be made in response to the proposed financial disclosure rule being published concurrently in the Federal Register with this notice. PO 00000 Frm 00039 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Approved: August 5, 2005. Marilyn L. Glynn, General Counsel, Office of Government Ethics. [FR Doc. 05–15926 Filed 8–11–05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6345–02–P DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Solicitation for Written Comments on the Proposed Changes to Healthy People 2010 Through the Midcourse Review Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Secretary, Office of Public Health and Science. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: Authority: 42 U.S.C. 200u. The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP), Office of Public Health and Science (OPHS), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), acting on behalf of HHS and its lead agencies, as part of the process of conducting the Midcourse Review of Healthy People 2010, is soliciting written comments for consideration on changes and revisions proposed to the Healthy People 2010 objectives. Healthy People 2010, a set of national health objectives, was published by HHS in 2000. The Midcourse Review (MCR), conducted at the midpoint of the decade, is the process through which the Healthy People 2010 objectives are reviewed by HHS, the lead agencies, and other experts, to assess the data trends during the first half of the decade, consider new science and available data, and make changes that ensure that Healthy People 2010 remains current, accurate, and relevant. The proposed revisions take the form of: establishing baselines and targets for formerly developmental objectives (i.e., objectives that had no baseline data or target when Healthy People 2010 was released in 2000); changes to the language of objectives and subobjectives; deletions of objectives and subobjectives; new subobjectives; and baseline and target revisions. DATES: Written comments must be submitted via the Internet Web site by the close of business Eastern Standard Time on September 15, 2005. ADDRESSES: The proposed revisions to Healthy People 2010 objectives can be viewed and commented on at http:// www.healthypeople.gov/data/ midcourse. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: E-mail the Office of Disease Prevention SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\12AUN1.SGM 12AUN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 70, Number 155 (Friday, August 12, 2005)]
[Notices]
[Pages 47204-47206]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 05-15926]


=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

OFFICE OF GOVERNMENT ETHICS


Proposed Collection; Comment Request for Modified OGE Form 450 
Executive Branch Confidential Financial Disclosure Report

AGENCY: Office of Government Ethics (OGE).

ACTION: Notice.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The Office of Government Ethics intends to modify the 
Executive Branch Confidential Financial Disclosure Report form 
(hereafter, OGE Form 450), to improve its clarity and design and change 
to some extent the information that it collects. After this first round 
notice and public comment period, OGE plans to submit a modified OGE 
Form 450 to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and 
three-year extension of approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act. The 
modified OGE Form 450 would be used for confidential financial 
disclosure reporting under OGE's proposed amended executive branch 
regulations, once those regulatory revisions are finalized.

DATES: Comments by the public and agencies on this proposal are invited 
and should be received by October 26, 2005.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments to OGE by any of the following 
methods:
     E-Mail: usoge@oge.gov. For E-mail messages, the subject 
line should include the following reference: ``OGE Form 450 Executive 
Branch Confidential Financial Disclosure Report Paperwork Comment.''

[[Page 47205]]

     FAX: 202-482-9237.
     Mail, Hand Delivery or Courier: Office of Government 
Ethics, Suite 500, 1201 New York Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20005-
3917, Attention: Mary T. Donovan.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mary T. Donovan, Office of Government 
Ethics; telephone: 202-482-9232; TDD: 202-482-9293; FAX: 202-482-9237. 
A copy of the proposed modified OGE Form 450 may be obtained, without 
charge, by contacting Ms. Donovan.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The OGE Form 450 (OMB control number 3209-
0006) collects information from covered department and agency officials 
as required under OGE's executive branchwide regulatory provisions in 
subpart I of 5 CFR part 2634. The OGE Form 450 serves as the uniform 
report form for collection, on a confidential basis, of financial 
information required by the OGE regulation from certain new entrant and 
incumbent employees of the Federal Government executive branch 
departments and agencies. Agency ethics officials then use the 
completed OGE Form 450 reports to conduct conflict of interest reviews 
and to resolve any actual or potential conflicts found.
    The basis for the OGE regulation and the report form is two-fold. 
First, section 201(d) of Executive Order 12674 of April 12, 1989 (as 
modified by Executive Order 12731, 55 FR 42547 (October 19, 1990)) 
makes OGE responsible for the establishment of a system of nonpublic 
(confidential) financial disclosure by executive branch employees to 
complement the system of public financial disclosure under the Ethics 
in Government Act of 1978 (the ``Ethics Act''), as amended, 5 U.S.C. 
appendix. Second, section 107(a) of the Ethics Act, 5 U.S.C. app., sec. 
107(a), further provides authority for OGE as the supervising ethics 
office for the executive branch of the Federal Government to require 
that appropriate executive agency employees file confidential financial 
disclosure reports, ``in such form as the supervising ethics office may 
prescribe.'' The OGE Form 450, together with the underlying executive 
branchwide financial disclosure regulation (5 CFR part 2634), 
constitutes the basic report form OGE has prescribed for such 
confidential financial disclosure in the executive branch.

Proposed Modifications

    OGE is proposing modifications to the OGE Form 450's design and 
content. In March 2003, OGE distributed a survey to executive branch 
ethics officials which sought input on possible improvements to the 
financial disclosure system, the results of which proved beneficial in 
identifying what information needs to be reported in order for an 
agency ethics official to perform a thorough conflict of interest 
review. After reviewing the results of the survey and re-examining the 
current reporting requirements, OGE is proposing to simplify the 
confidential reporting and filing process.
    Modifications relating to form design are specifically intended to 
make the OGE Form 450 easier to complete on a computer. These 
modifications include changing the form layout from landscape to 
portrait. In addition, the form will be a PDF file that can be filled 
in electronically through the use of Adobe Reader Version 6.0. These 
modifications also are intended to make completion of the OGE Form 450 
easier overall by simplifying the instructions and placing them on the 
same pages as the reporting schedules; adding space for reporting 
information; enlarging the font size; and separating reporting 
schedules for earned and investment income. Contacting filers with 
follow-up questions will be facilitated by the addition of space for 
the filer's e-mail address.
    Modifications to the content of the OGE Form 450 parallel changes 
being proposed to 5 CFR part 2634. See the proposed rule being 
published concurrently in the Federal Register with this notice. Under 
both the current and proposed rule, the information required to be 
collected includes assets and sources of income, liabilities, outside 
positions, employment agreements and arrangements, and gifts and travel 
reimbursements, subject to certain thresholds and exclusions.
    The proposed modifications to the OGE Form 450 reflect the changes 
in the confidential financial disclosure regulation if adopted as 
final. Generally, these changes to the information that will have to 
reported on the OGE Form 450 include: Eliminating the reporting of 
diversified mutual funds, eliminating dates of honoraria, eliminating 
dates of agreements and arrangements (other than those for future 
employment), and eliminating the reporting of types of income that 
assets earned (i.e., dividends, capital gains, or interest), and 
revising reporting requirements relating to liabilities by eliminating 
the requirement to report student loans, mortgages on rental property, 
and credit card debt if the loans are granted on terms made available 
to the general public.
    Also, OGE is proposing to incorporate in the modified OGE Form 450 
the new aggregation threshold of more than $305 for the reporting of 
gifts and travel reimbursements received from one source during the 
year by regular employee annual filers, with an exception for any items 
valued at $122 or less that are not counted toward the overall 
threshold. These new thresholds are based on the General Services 
Administration's (GSA's) increase in ``minimal value'' under the 
Foreign Gifts and Decorations Act to $305 or less for 2005-2007, to 
which the thresholds are linked by the Ethics Act and OGE regulation. 
See GSA's redefinition at 70 FR 2317-2318 (January 12, 2005), section 
102(a)(2)(A) and (B) of the Ethics Act, OGE's regulatory adjustment of 
the gifts/reimbursements thresholds for both public and confidential 
reports at 70 FR 12111-12112 (March 11, 2005), and OGE DAEOgram DO-05-
007 of March 17, 2005, all available on OGE's Web site at http://
www.usoge.gov.
    Finally, OGE is updating the Privacy Act Statement summary of the 
sixth listed routine use (see 68 FR 3097-3109, at 3102 (January 22, 
2003)).

Web Site Distribution of Blank Forms

    OGE will continue to make the OGE Form 450 available to departments 
and agencies and their reporting employees through the Forms, 
Publications & Other Ethics Documents section of OGE's Web site (http:/
/www.usoge.gov). This method allows employees to prepare and save their 
report on a computer, although a printout and manual signature of the 
form are still required unless specifically approved otherwise by OGE.

Effect on Use of Alternative Reports and OGE Optional Form 450-A

    Since 1992, various departments and agencies have developed, with 
OGE review/approval, alternative reporting formats such as certificates 
of no conflict for certain classes of employees. Other agencies provide 
for additional disclosures pursuant to independent organic statutes and 
in certain other circumstances when authorized by OGE. In 1997, OGE 
itself developed the new OGE Optional Form 450-A (Confidential 
Certificate of No New Interests (Executive Branch)) for possible agency 
and employee use in certain years, if applicable. That optional form 
continues in use at various agencies. However, the OGE Form 450 remains 
the uniform executive branch report form for most of those executive 
branch employees required by their agencies to report confidentially on 
their financial interests.

[[Page 47206]]

Reporting Individuals

    The OGE Form 450 is to be filed by each reporting individual with 
the designated agency ethics official at the executive department or 
agency where he or she is or will be employed. Reporting individuals 
are regular employees whose positions have been designated by their 
agency under 5 CFR 2634.904 as requiring confidential financial 
disclosure in order to help avoid conflicts with their assigned 
responsibilities. Under that section, all special Government employees 
(SGE) are also generally required to file. Agencies may, if appropriate 
under the OGE regulation, exclude certain regular employees or SGEs as 
provided in 5 CFR 2634.905. (This citation appears as 5 CFR 2634.904(b) 
in the proposed rule issued concurrently with this notice.) Reports are 
normally required to be filed within 30 days of entering a covered 
position (or earlier if required by the agency concerned), and again 
annually if the employee serves for more than 60 days in the position.
    Most of the persons who file this report are current executive 
branch Government employees at the time they complete their report. 
However, some filers are private citizens who are asked by their 
prospective agency to file a new entrant report prior to entering 
Government service in order to permit advance checking for any 
potential conflicts of interest and resolution thereof by agreement to 
recuse or divest, obtaining of a waiver, etc.

Reporting Burden

    Based on OGE's annual agency ethics program questionnaire responses 
for 2002 through 2004, OGE estimates that an average of approximately 
277,215 OGE Form 450 reports will be filed each year for the next three 
years throughout the executive branch. This estimate is based on the 
number of reports filed branchwide for 2002 through 2004 (272,755 in 
2002, and 263,463 in 2003, and 295,426 in 2004) for a total of 831,644, 
with that number then divided by three and rounded, to give the 
projected annual average of 277,215 reports. Of these reports, OGE 
estimates that 7.6 percent, or some 21,068 per year, will be filed by 
private citizens. Private citizen filers are those potential (incoming) 
regular employees whose positions are designated for confidential 
disclosure filing as well as potential special Government employees 
whose agencies require that they file their new entrant reports prior 
to assuming Government responsibilities. No termination reports are 
required for the OGE Form 450.
    Each filing is estimated to take an average of one and one-half 
hours to complete. This yields an annual reporting burden of 31,602 
hours, an increase of 31,587 hours compared to 15 hours (OGE's current 
OMB inventory) for this information collection. The current burden 
hours account for private citizen filers whose reports were filed each 
year only with OGE itself. (In the past, the number of private citizens 
whose reports were filed each year with OGE itself was less than 10, 
but pursuant to 5 CFR 1320.3(c)(4)(i), the lower limit for this general 
regulatory-based requirement is set at 10 private persons. Thus, OGE 
reported the current annual burden of 15 hours.) The proposed estimate 
of burden hours includes private citizen reports filed with departments 
and agencies throughout the executive branch (including OGE).

Consideration of Comments

    As noted, public comment is invited on the proposed modified OGE 
Form 450 as set forth in this notice. In accordance with the Paperwork 
Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. chapter 35), public comments are 
invited specifically on the need for and practical utility of this 
proposed modified collection of information, the accuracy of OGE's 
burden estimate, the enhancement of quality, utility and clarity of the 
information collected, and the minimization of burden (including the 
use of information technology).
    The Office of Government Ethics is planning to submit to OMB, after 
this notice and comment period, a modified OGE Form 450 for three-year 
extension of approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act. Comments 
received in response to this notice will be summarized for, and may be 
included with, OGE's future request for OMB paperwork approval for the 
proposed modified OGE Form 450. Any comments received will also become 
a matter of public record. After reviewing any comments and deciding on 
the proposed modifications to the OGE Form 450, OGE will publish a 
second paperwork notice in the Federal Register to inform the agencies 
and the public at the time it submits the request for OMB paperwork 
approval.
    In addition, OGE invites comments on the changes to the OGE Form 
450 that are intended to make it easier for filers to complete. 
Comments regarding the changes to the content of the form, i.e., the 
information to be reported, should be made in response to the proposed 
financial disclosure rule being published concurrently in the Federal 
Register with this notice.

    Approved: August 5, 2005.
Marilyn L. Glynn,
General Counsel, Office of Government Ethics.
[FR Doc. 05-15926 Filed 8-11-05; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6345-02-P