Notice of Intent To Seek OMB Approval To Collect Information, Forms Pertaining to the Peer Review of ARS Research Projects, 30861-30862 [06-5004]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 104 / Wednesday, May 31, 2006 / Notices percent, by count, of the tomatoes in any container may vary more than 1⁄2 inch in diameter.’’ The damage section will be revised to include that all references to area, aggregate area, length, or aggregate length definitions are based on a 21⁄2 inch in diameter tomato. The damage by catfaces scoring guide will be changed to 1⁄2 inch aggregate area based on a tomato 21⁄2 inches in diameter. The serious damage section will also be revised to include references to area, aggregate area, length, or aggregate are based on a 21⁄2 inch in diameter tomato. The serious damage by catfaces scoring guide will be changed to 1 inch aggregate area based on a tomato 21⁄2 inches in diameter. Based upon input from industry, AMS is proposing to add a scoring guide for damage and serious damage by skin checks. Damage will be defined as, ‘‘when the appearance of the tomato is affected to a greater extent than that of a tomato 21⁄2 inches in diameter having skin checks which has an aggregate area equivalent to that of a circle threeeighths inch in diameter.’’ Serious damage will be defined as, ‘‘when the appearance of the tomato is affected to a greater extent than that of a tomato 21⁄2 inches in diameter having skin checks which has an aggregate area equivalent to that of a circle five-eighths inch in diameter.’’ In addition, AMS is also proposing to add moldy stems as a damage defect in the requirements for a U.S. No. 1. Finally, AMS is proposing to eliminate the ‘‘Unclassified’’ category. This section is being removed in all standards when they are revised. The category is not a grade and only serves to show that no grade has been applied to the lot. The official grade of a lot of greenhouse tomatoes covered by these standards is determined by the procedures set forth in the Regulations Governing Inspection, Certification, and Standards of Fresh Fruits, Vegetables and Other Products (Sec. 51.1 to 51.61). This notice provides a 60-day comment period for interested parties to comment on the proposed changes to the standard. jlentini on PROD1PC65 with NOTICES Authority: 7 U.S.C. 1621–1627. Dated: May 25, 2006. Lloyd C. Day, Administrator, Agricultural Marketing Service. [FR Doc. E6–8375 Filed 5–30–06; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–02–P VerDate Aug<31>2005 17:52 May 30, 2006 Jkt 208001 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Agricultural Research Service Notice of Intent To Seek OMB Approval To Collect Information, Forms Pertaining to the Peer Review of ARS Research Projects Agricultural Research Service (ARS), USDA. ACTION: Notice and request for comments. AGENCY: SUMMARY: The proposed information collection requirement described below will be submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 and OMB implementing regulations. The Department is soliciting public comments on the subject proposal. DATES: Written comments on this notice must be received by July 31, 2006. ADDRESSES: Address all comments concerning this notice to: Michael S. Strauss, Peer Review Program Coordinator, Office of Scientific Quality Review; Agricultural Research Agency, USDA; 5601 Sunnyside Avenue, Beltsville, Maryland 20705; Phone: 301– 504–3283; Fax: 301–504–1251. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Michael S. Strauss, 301–504–3282. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Office of Scientific Quality Review will seek approval from OMB to update six existing forms that will allow the ARS to efficiently manage data associated with the peer review of agricultural research. All forms are transferred and received in an electronic storage format that does not include on-line access. Abstract: The Office of Scientific Quality Review was established in September of 1999 as a result of the Agricultural Research, Extension, and Education Reform Act 1998 (‘‘The Act’’) (Pub. L. 105–185). The Act included mandates to perform scientific peer reviews of all research activities conducted by the USDA. The Office manages the ARS peer review system by centrally planning peer panel reviews for ARS research projects on a five-year cycle. Each set of reviews is assigned a chairperson to govern the review process. The majority of the peer reviewers are non-ARS scientists. Peer review panels are convened to provide in-depth discussion and review of the research project plans. Each panel reviewer receives information on between 1 and 20 ARS research projects. On average, 220 research projects are reviewed annually by an estimated 100 reviewers; whereby approximately 200 PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 30861 are reviewed by panel and approximately 20 are reviewed through an ad hoc process. The organization and management of this peer review system, particularly panel reviews, is highly dependent on the use of forms. The Office of Scientific Quality Review will seek OMB approval of the following forms: 1. Confidentiality Agreement Form— USDA uses this form to document that a selected reviewer is responsible for keeping confidential any information learned during the subject peer review process. The Confidentiality Agreement is signed prior to the reviewer’s involvement in the peer review process. This form requires an original signature. 2. Panelist Information Form—USDA uses this form to gather up-to-date background information about the reviewer. Reviewers often include sensitive information on this form. This form requires an original signature. 3. Peer Review of an ARS Research Project Form (Peer Review Form)— USDA uses this form to guide the reviewer’s comments on the subject project. The form contains the reviewing criteria and space for the reviewer’s narrative comments and evaluation. 4. Recommendations for ARS Research Project Form— (Recommendations Form, formerly known as ‘‘Critique Form’’). USDA uses this form to guide the panel’s evaluation and critique of the review process. The form contains recommendations for the subject research project. 5. Panel Expense Report Form (Expense Report)—USDA uses this form to document a panel reviewer’s expense incurred traveling to and attending a peer review meeting. The Expense Report includes lodging, meals, and transportation expenses. When completed, the form contains sensitive information. Panel Invoice Form (Invoice)—USDA uses this form to document the transfer of an honorarium to a peer reviewer. Reviewers receive honoraria as compensation for serving as peer review panelists. This form requires an original signature. (1) USDA’s collection of information on the Confidentiality Agreement Form is needed to document that a selected reviewer is responsible for keeping confidential any information learned during the subject peer review process. The Confidentiality Agreement would be signed prior to the reviewer’s involvement in the peer review process. (2) USDA’s collection of information on the Panelist Information Form is needed to gather up-to-date background information about the reviewer. It contains sensitive information. E:\FR\FM\31MYN1.SGM 31MYN1 30862 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 104 / Wednesday, May 31, 2006 / Notices (3) USDA’s collection of information on the Peer Review Form is needed to guide the reviewer’s comments on the subject project. It contains the reviewing criteria and space to insert comments. (4) USDA’s collection of information on the Recommendations Form is needed to guide the panel’s critique of the review process. It contains recommendations for the subject research project. (5) USDA’s collection of information on the Expense Report Form is needed to document a panel reviewer’s expenses incurred by attending a peer review meeting. The Expense Report includes lodging, meals, and transportation expenses. It includes sensitive information. (6) USDA’s collection of information on the Invoice is needed to document the transfer of a stipend to the peer reviewer. The stipend is given to reviewers as appreciation for their time spent on the panel review process. Estimate of Burden: The burden associated with this approval process is the minimum required to achieve program objectives. The information collection frequency is the minimum consistent with program objectives. The following estimates of time required to complete the forms are based on OSQR’s experience in working with reviewers and accepting their input into our procedures. 1. Confidentiality Agreement Form: This form takes 10–15 minutes to complete. It only requires a signature and date, but the reviewer must read the terms of the agreement. 2. Panelist Informational Form: This form takes 20–30 minutes to complete. It resembles a typical request for personal information; many reviewers provide the same data as grant reviewers in other peer review programs. 3. Peer Review of an ARS Research Project Form (Peer Review Form) This form takes 4–6 hours to complete. Because this is a review, the page length significantly varies. Reviewers are free to write as much as they wish. 4. Recommendations for ARS Research Project Form (Recommendations Form, formerly known as ‘‘Critique Form’’). This form takes 1 hour to complete. Because this is a review, the page length significantly varies. Reviewers are free to write as much as they wish. 5. Panel Expense Report Form (Expense Report) This form takes 10–15 minutes to complete. 6. Panel Invoice Form (Invoice): This form takes 5–10 minutes to complete. This form has the reviewer’s personal info pre-filled and the reviewer only verifies it’s accuracy and signs. Respondents and Estimated Number of Respondents: Scientific experts, currently working in the same discipline as the research projects under review, are selected to review research projects. These experts are notable peers within and external to the ARS. Annually, about 100 peer reviewers complete these forms. Ad hoc reviewers are not, typically, paid a stipend, and do not travel to meet with other reviewers; and thus they do not complete Expense Report and Invoice Forms. On occasion, ad hoc reviewers may participate in a Web-based panel and be paid a nominal honorarium, thus necessitating completion of and Invoice Form. Ad hoc reviewers, retained for special situations, will make up about a 25 percent of all the reviewers retained annually. Frequency of Response: Number of respondents Form Confidentiality Agreement ........................................................... Peer Review Forms (Required for all reviewers and they have 1–4 review assignments on average). Expense Report, Invoice, & Panelist Information Forms ........... Recommendations Form (Required on panel reviews, whereby comments from the peer review form are combined into one file). 100 100 75 75 Annual frequency 1 per respondent. ∼4 per respondent (Total of 400). 1 per respondent for each form (Total of 225). ∼2.5 per respondent (Total of 200). ESTIMATED TOTAL ANNUAL BURDEN ON RESPONDENTS Number completed annually Form (time required to complete) Confidentiality Agreement (12 min.) ........................................... Peer Review Forms (∼5 hrs.) ...................................................... Panelist Information Forms (25 min.) ......................................... Recommendations Form (1 hr.) .................................................. Invoice (7 min.) ........................................................................... Expense Report (12 min.) ........................................................... jlentini on PROD1PC65 with NOTICES Authority: The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. chapter 35. Comments: The Notice is soliciting comments from members of the public and affected agencies concerning the proposed collection of information to: (1) Evaluate whether the proposed collection is necessary for the proper performance of ARS functions, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) Evaluate the accuracy of the estimated burden from proposed collection of information; (3) VerDate Aug<31>2005 17:52 May 30, 2006 Jkt 208001 100 400 225 200 225 225 Total burden 1200 min. 2000 hrs. 5625 min. 200 hrs. 1575 min. 2700 min. Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including the use of appropriate automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses. All responses to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for OMB approval. All comments will become a matter of public record. PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Dated: April 24, 2006. Antoinette Betschart, Associate Administrator for Operations and Management, Agricultural Research Service, USDA. [FR Doc. 06–5004 Filed 5–26–06; 11:38 am] BILLING CODE 3410–03–P E:\FR\FM\31MYN1.SGM 31MYN1

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[Federal Register Volume 71, Number 104 (Wednesday, May 31, 2006)]
[Notices]
[Pages 30861-30862]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 06-5004]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Agricultural Research Service


Notice of Intent To Seek OMB Approval To Collect Information, 
Forms Pertaining to the Peer Review of ARS Research Projects

AGENCY: Agricultural Research Service (ARS), USDA.

ACTION: Notice and request for comments.

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

SUMMARY: The proposed information collection requirement described 
below will be submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) 
for review, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 and OMB 
implementing regulations. The Department is soliciting public comments 
on the subject proposal.

DATES: Written comments on this notice must be received by July 31, 
2006.

ADDRESSES: Address all comments concerning this notice to: Michael S. 
Strauss, Peer Review Program Coordinator, Office of Scientific Quality 
Review; Agricultural Research Agency, USDA; 5601 Sunnyside Avenue, 
Beltsville, Maryland 20705; Phone: 301-504-3283; Fax: 301-504-1251.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Michael S. Strauss, 301-504-3282.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Office of Scientific Quality Review will 
seek approval from OMB to update six existing forms that will allow the 
ARS to efficiently manage data associated with the peer review of 
agricultural research. All forms are transferred and received in an 
electronic storage format that does not include on-line access.
    Abstract: The Office of Scientific Quality Review was established 
in September of 1999 as a result of the Agricultural Research, 
Extension, and Education Reform Act 1998 (``The Act'') (Pub. L. 105-
185). The Act included mandates to perform scientific peer reviews of 
all research activities conducted by the USDA. The Office manages the 
ARS peer review system by centrally planning peer panel reviews for ARS 
research projects on a five-year cycle.
    Each set of reviews is assigned a chairperson to govern the review 
process. The majority of the peer reviewers are non-ARS scientists. 
Peer review panels are convened to provide in-depth discussion and 
review of the research project plans. Each panel reviewer receives 
information on between 1 and 20 ARS research projects.
    On average, 220 research projects are reviewed annually by an 
estimated 100 reviewers; whereby approximately 200 are reviewed by 
panel and approximately 20 are reviewed through an ad hoc process. The 
organization and management of this peer review system, particularly 
panel reviews, is highly dependent on the use of forms.
    The Office of Scientific Quality Review will seek OMB approval of 
the following forms:
    1. Confidentiality Agreement Form--USDA uses this form to document 
that a selected reviewer is responsible for keeping confidential any 
information learned during the subject peer review process. The 
Confidentiality Agreement is signed prior to the reviewer's involvement 
in the peer review process. This form requires an original signature.
    2. Panelist Information Form--USDA uses this form to gather up-to-
date background information about the reviewer. Reviewers often include 
sensitive information on this form. This form requires an original 
signature.
    3. Peer Review of an ARS Research Project Form (Peer Review Form)--
USDA uses this form to guide the reviewer's comments on the subject 
project. The form contains the reviewing criteria and space for the 
reviewer's narrative comments and evaluation.
    4. Recommendations for ARS Research Project Form--(Recommendations 
Form, formerly known as ``Critique Form''). USDA uses this form to 
guide the panel's evaluation and critique of the review process. The 
form contains recommendations for the subject research project.
    5. Panel Expense Report Form (Expense Report)--USDA uses this form 
to document a panel reviewer's expense incurred traveling to and 
attending a peer review meeting. The Expense Report includes lodging, 
meals, and transportation expenses. When completed, the form contains 
sensitive information.
    Panel Invoice Form (Invoice)--USDA uses this form to document the 
transfer of an honorarium to a peer reviewer. Reviewers receive 
honoraria as compensation for serving as peer review panelists. This 
form requires an original signature.
    (1) USDA's collection of information on the Confidentiality 
Agreement Form is needed to document that a selected reviewer is 
responsible for keeping confidential any information learned during the 
subject peer review process. The Confidentiality Agreement would be 
signed prior to the reviewer's involvement in the peer review process.
    (2) USDA's collection of information on the Panelist Information 
Form is needed to gather up-to-date background information about the 
reviewer. It contains sensitive information.

[[Page 30862]]

    (3) USDA's collection of information on the Peer Review Form is 
needed to guide the reviewer's comments on the subject project. It 
contains the reviewing criteria and space to insert comments.
    (4) USDA's collection of information on the Recommendations Form is 
needed to guide the panel's critique of the review process. It contains 
recommendations for the subject research project.
    (5) USDA's collection of information on the Expense Report Form is 
needed to document a panel reviewer's expenses incurred by attending a 
peer review meeting. The Expense Report includes lodging, meals, and 
transportation expenses. It includes sensitive information.
    (6) USDA's collection of information on the Invoice is needed to 
document the transfer of a stipend to the peer reviewer. The stipend is 
given to reviewers as appreciation for their time spent on the panel 
review process.
    Estimate of Burden: The burden associated with this approval 
process is the minimum required to achieve program objectives. The 
information collection frequency is the minimum consistent with program 
objectives. The following estimates of time required to complete the 
forms are based on OSQR's experience in working with reviewers and 
accepting their input into our procedures.
    1. Confidentiality Agreement Form: This form takes 10-15 minutes to 
complete. It only requires a signature and date, but the reviewer must 
read the terms of the agreement.
    2. Panelist Informational Form: This form takes 20-30 minutes to 
complete. It resembles a typical request for personal information; many 
reviewers provide the same data as grant reviewers in other peer review 
programs.
    3. Peer Review of an ARS Research Project Form (Peer Review Form) 
This form takes 4-6 hours to complete. Because this is a review, the 
page length significantly varies. Reviewers are free to write as much 
as they wish.
    4. Recommendations for ARS Research Project Form (Recommendations 
Form, formerly known as ``Critique Form'').
    This form takes 1 hour to complete. Because this is a review, the 
page length significantly varies. Reviewers are free to write as much 
as they wish.
    5. Panel Expense Report Form (Expense Report) This form takes 10-15 
minutes to complete.
    6. Panel Invoice Form (Invoice): This form takes 5-10 minutes to 
complete. This form has the reviewer's personal info pre-filled and the 
reviewer only verifies it's accuracy and signs.
    Respondents and Estimated Number of Respondents: Scientific 
experts, currently working in the same discipline as the research 
projects under review, are selected to review research projects. These 
experts are notable peers within and external to the ARS. Annually, 
about 100 peer reviewers complete these forms. Ad hoc reviewers are 
not, typically, paid a stipend, and do not travel to meet with other 
reviewers; and thus they do not complete Expense Report and Invoice 
Forms. On occasion, ad hoc reviewers may participate in a Web-based 
panel and be paid a nominal honorarium, thus necessitating completion 
of and Invoice Form. Ad hoc reviewers, retained for special situations, 
will make up about a 25 percent of all the reviewers retained annually.
    Frequency of Response:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                    Number of
              Form                 respondents       Annual frequency
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Confidentiality Agreement......             100  1 per respondent.
Peer Review Forms (Required for             100  ~4 per respondent
 all reviewers and they have 1-                   (Total of 400).
 4 review assignments on
 average).
Expense Report, Invoice, &                   75  1 per respondent for
 Panelist Information Forms.                      each form (Total of
                                                  225).
Recommendations Form (Required               75  ~2.5 per respondent
 on panel reviews, whereby                        (Total of 200).
 comments from the peer review
 form are combined into one
 file).
------------------------------------------------------------------------


              Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                     Number
    Form  (time required to         completed          Total burden
           complete)                annually
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Confidentiality Agreement (12               100  1200 min.
 min.).
Peer Review Forms (~5 hrs.)....             400  2000 hrs.
Panelist Information Forms (25              225  5625 min.
 min.).
Recommendations Form (1 hr.)...             200  200 hrs.
Invoice (7 min.)...............             225  1575 min.
Expense Report (12 min.).......             225  2700 min.
------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Authority: The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, 44 U.S.C. 
chapter 35.
    Comments: The Notice is soliciting comments from members of the 
public and affected agencies concerning the proposed collection of 
information to: (1) Evaluate whether the proposed collection is 
necessary for the proper performance of ARS functions, including 
whether the information will have practical utility; (2) Evaluate the 
accuracy of the estimated burden from proposed collection of 
information; (3) Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the 
information to be collected; and (4) Minimize the burden of the 
collection of information on those who are to respond, including the 
use of appropriate automated collection techniques or other forms of 
information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of 
responses. All responses to this notice will be summarized and included 
in the request for OMB approval. All comments will become a matter of 
public record.

    Dated: April 24, 2006.
Antoinette Betschart,
Associate Administrator for Operations and Management, Agricultural 
Research Service, USDA.
[FR Doc. 06-5004 Filed 5-26-06; 11:38 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-03-P