Plan for Generic Information Collection Activity: Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request, 57666-57668 [2013-22636]

Download as PDF 57666 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 182 / Thursday, September 19, 2013 / Notices periods, any individual interested in providing public comment will be asked to register their intent to provide comment in advance by sending an email to PublicComment@ncd.gov with the subject line ‘‘Public Comment, Topeka, KS’’ with your name, organization, state, and topic of comment included in the body of your email. Full-length written public comments may also be sent to that email address. All emails to register for public comment at the October quarterly meeting must be received by Friday, October 4, 2013. Priority will be given on both days to those individuals who are in-person to provide their comments. Those commenters on the phone will be called on according to the list of those registered via email. Due to time constraints, NCD asks all commenters to limit their comments to three minutes. CONTACT PERSON FOR MORE INFORMATION: Anne Sommers, NCD, 1331 F Street NW., Suite 850, Washington, DC 20004; 202–272–2004 (V), 202–272–2074 (TTY). ACCOMMODATIONS: A CART streamtext link has been arranged for each day of the board meeting. For Monday, beginning at 9:00 a.m., CMT, the web link to access CART is http:// www.streamtext.net/ text.aspx?event=100713NCD1000am. For Tuesday, beginning at 9:00 a.m., CMT, the web link to access CART is http://www.streamtext.net/ text.aspx?event=100813NCD1000am. Those who plan to attend the meeting in-person and require accommodations should notify NCD as soon as possible to allow time to make arrangements. Please note: To help reduce exposure to fragrances for those with multiple chemical sensitivities, NCD requests that all those attending the meeting in person please refrain from wearing scented personal care products such as perfumes, hairsprays, colognes, and deodorants. Dated: September 17, 2013. Rebecca Cokley, Executive Director. [FR Doc. 2013–22912 Filed 9–17–13; 4:15 pm] tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION SAFETY BOARD Plan for Generic Information Collection Activity: Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:27 Sep 18, 2013 Jkt 229001 Notice. The NTSB is announcing it is submitting a plan for an Information Collection Request (ICR) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for approval, in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act. This ICR Plan describes various questionnaires the NTSB plans to use to obtain feedback from witnesses who observe crashes, accidents, and/or incidents in all modes of transportation. Feedback from such witnesses, including those who are survivors of crashes and accidents, is important to the NTSB in fulfilling its obligation of determining the probable cause of transportation events, and in recommending changes to mitigate the effects of future transportation events. This Notice informs the public that it may submit to the NTSB comments concerning the agency’s proposed plan for information collection. DATES: Submit written comments regarding this proposed plan for the collection of information by November 18, 2013. ADDRESSES: Respondents may submit written comments on the collection of information to the National Transportation Safety Board, Office of General Counsel, 490 East L’Enfant Plaza SW., Washington, DC 20594. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: David Tochen, NTSB General Counsel, at (202) 314–6080. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In accordance with OMB regulations that require this Notice for proposed ICRs, as well as OMB guidance concerning generic approval of plans for information collections, the NTSB herein notifies the public that it may submit comments on this proposed ICR to the NTSB. 5 CFR 1320.10(a). Section 1320.10(a) requires this ‘‘notice directing requests for information, including copies of the proposed collection of information and supporting documentation, to the [NTSB].’’ Pursuant to § 1320.10(a), the NTSB will provide a copy of this notice to OMB. SUMMARY: A. NTSB Witness and Passenger Questionnaires Are Appropriate for Generic Approval BILLING CODE 6820–MA–P AGENCY: ACTION: On May 28, 2010, Administrator, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), OMB, issued a memorandum to the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies, and Independent Regulatory Agencies, providing instructions concerning how agencies can obtain generic OMB clearances for information collections in PO 00000 Frm 00050 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 certain circumstances. Paperwork Reduction Act—Generic Clearances, available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/ sites/default/files/omb/assets/inforeg/ PRA_Gen_ICRs_5-28-2010.pdf. The memorandum states as follows concerning the appropriateness of obtaining such clearances: A generic ICR is a request for OMB approval of a plan for conducting more than one information collection using very similar methods when (1) the need for and the overall practical utility of the data collection can be evaluated in advance, as part of the review of the proposed plan, but (2) the agency cannot determine the details of the specific individual collections until a later time. The NTSB’s need to obtain information immediately following a transportation event it is investigating under 49 U.S.C. 1131 is critical. When numerous witnesses observe a transportation crash, accident or incident, the most effective and timely manner in which the NTSB can obtain first-hand observations is via distributing questionnaires to all witnesses the NTSB can locate. This type of information collection is appropriate for generic approval under the applicable OMB guidance. Based on its investigation of previous transportation events, the NTSB can attest to the utility and value of collecting information via witness questionnaires. By distributing such questionnaires, the NTSB will gather information concerning where the witness was located at the time of the event, whether the witness needed medical attention, and what type of assistance the witness may have received during and immediately following the event. Responses to such questions may help the NTSB in determining the probable cause of the accident or incident, and will likely also assist the NTSB in issuing safety recommendations to mitigate the effects of future transportation mishaps and may help ensure the effectiveness of its family assistance activities. The NTSB tailors each questionnaire to ensure it requests information specific to the particular event the NTSB is investigating. Consistent with the OMB guidance concerning generic approvals, the NTSB will not be able to finalize draft questionnaires specific to each accident or incident until the event has occurred. Often, questionnaires include a diagram of the aircraft, rail car, bus, vessel, or other vehicle involved in the event, and requests the respondent pinpoint his or her location by drawing on the diagram. In addition, the questionnaire may include questions concerning life preservers or other E:\FR\FM\19SEN1.SGM 19SEN1 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 182 / Thursday, September 19, 2013 / Notices safety devices and equipment or other evacuation aspects specific to overwater events, if the accident or incident involved such a circumstance. These types of questions are obviously unique to the specific investigation, and impossible to know prior to the occurrence of the accident or incident. Overall, the types of information the NTSB will solicit in its witness questionnaires is appropriate for a generic approval for the information collection. tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES B. Supporting Statement The applicable OMB memorandum instructs agencies to provide specific information in the supporting statements describing the information collections. In particular, the supporting statements should include the following: • The method of collection and, if statistical methods will be used, a discussion of the statistical methodology; • The category (or categories) of respondents; • The estimated ‘‘burden cap,’’ i.e., the maximum number of burden hours (per year) for the specific information collections, and against which burden will be charged for each collection actually used; • The agency’s plans for how it will use the information collected; • The agency’s plans to obtain public input regarding the specific information collections (i.e., consultation); and • The agency’s internal procedures to ensure that the specific collections comply with the PRA, applicable regulations, and the terms of the generic clearance. Id. at 2. 1. Method of Collection The NTSB will collect the information by transmitting the questionnaire to witnesses of the event, including surviving passengers. Depending on the circumstances, such transmission may occur via hand delivery, electronic mail, postal mail, or express mail, or a combination of methods. Respondents will be provided instructions concerning how to return questionnaires to the NTSB investigator who distributed them. The NTSB may create an electronic system on its Web page that provides the agency with the ability to verify whether the respondent was a passenger or a witness to the event. If the NTSB is able to create such a system, the agency may elect to request respondents log in and complete an electronic, web-based questionnaire. While such a system is not available at present, the NTSB nevertheless notes VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:27 Sep 18, 2013 Jkt 229001 this idea, in case it creates and utilizes such a system in the future. The NTSB will not use statistical methodology in reaching any conclusions based on the questionnaires. Instead, the NTSB merely will note the total number of respondents in any factual reports for which it uses the questionnaires. Respondents’completion of the questionnaire is voluntary, and the NTSB generally will not contact them more than once to request completion of the questionnaire. 2. Category of Respondents In its questionnaires, the NTSB will generally seek information from two categories of respondents: eyewitnesses who were not passengers of the conveyance involved in the transportation accident or incident; and witnesses who were onboard as passengers of the conveyance involved. In most cases, the NTSB will distribute the questionnaires to passengers, as NTSB investigators often interview eyewitnesses verbally at the site of an accident or incident, rather than soliciting information from them on a written instrument. However, in some cases, the NTSB may become aware of the existence of many people who observed the transportation event, and therefore choose to solicit information from them on a questionnaire, rather than attempting to interview each eyewitness personally. Therefore, the majority of people to whom the NTSB will distribute the questionnaires will be passengers who survived the transportation event. 3. Maximum Burden Hours In its 2012 Annual Report to Congress, the NTSB stated it launched on eight major accidents and 252 regional or ‘‘field’’ accidents.1 The NTSB will most likely distribute the questionnaires to passengers involved in, and/or witnesses who observe, major accidents. Some NTSB regional investigations may require use of the questionnaires, but often, fewer passengers and/or witnesses will observe regional accidents and therefore be able to offer feedback on a questionnaire. As a result, in general, the NTSB estimates it may use a questionnaire for approximately half of its regional accident launches, which would total 130 accident investigations. Of these investigations, the NTSB may request information on the questionnaire from approximately 10 1 National Transportation Safety Board 2012 Annual Report to Congress, available at http:// www.ntsb.gov/doclib/agency_reports/ 2012Annual%20Report.pdf. PO 00000 Frm 00051 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 57667 passengers and/or witnesses, to reach a total of 1,300 individuals who may receive a questionnaire. The NTSB seeks to emphasize these estimations are approximate, as they are depend on the number of accidents or incidents that occur, and how many passengers and/or witnesses may be available to complete the questionnaire. For example, in 2012, the NTSB did not launch to investigate any major aviation accidents. However, in July 2013, the NTSB sent a team to investigate the crash landing of Asiana flight 214, and thereafter received emergency approval from OIRA to send a questionnaire to each of the 288 surviving passengers. Likewise, the NTSB conducts investigations into accidents and incidents involving other modes of transportation, and the frequency of such investigations is unpredictable. The unpredictable nature of transportation accidents and the impossibility of determining in advance how many witnesses and/or passengers might be available to provide the NTSB with information indicates the NTSB’s estimations concerning annual burden hours are approximate. 4. Use of the Information Collected Witnesses’ and passengers’ input concerning their recollections of the events preceding, during, and immediately following the transportation accident or incident are extremely important to the NTSB. The NTSB creates discipline-specific ‘‘groups’’ for each investigation, and such groups are tasked with investigating a specific aspect of the transportation event. Often, the NTSB creates a survival factors group, which investigates how the circumstances of an accident or incident affected the likelihood of passengers and crewmembers surviving the event. This group also examines what, if any, changes could occur to improve the likelihood of survival and/or mitigate the effects of the accident or incident. In practical terms, the NTSB uses the information it collects in completed questionnaires by identifying trends in responses to the questions on the questionnaires. For example, if a majority of respondents indicate they experienced hardship in evacuating an aircraft, rail car, bus, vessel, or other vehicle following an accident due to problems with the evacuation route or emergency door, the NTSB would note this data in its factual report summarizing the questionnaires. The NTSB may then utilize this identification of the trend to make a safety recommendation to improve evacuation methods and thereby E:\FR\FM\19SEN1.SGM 19SEN1 57668 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 182 / Thursday, September 19, 2013 / Notices improve transportation safety and likelihood of survival. Similarly, if a majority of respondents who are eyewitnesses to a transportation accident or incident report observing a specific unusual aspect immediately prior to the transportation event, this information may assist the NTSB with determining the probable cause of the accident or incident. For example, eyewitnesses who complete a questionnaire and state they observed smoke from a train’s engine or from a specific part of an aircraft before a crash can provide information to help the NTSB focus its investigation and determine the probable cause. Overall, the information the NTSB will receive from completed questionnaires is important to the NTSB. The NTSB will use the information to improve transportation by determining the probable cause of the accident or incident, mitigating the effects of the accident or incident, issuing safety recommendations, fulfilling its family assistance responsibilities, or all of these activities. tkelley on DSK3SPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 5. Public Input Regarding the Information Collected The NTSB does not generally obtain public input concerning the scope of, or specific questions on, the witness or passenger questionnaires it uses. However, the NTSB utilizes a party process for each accident investigation.2 Through this process, NTSB investigators who seek to use a witness and/or passenger questionnaire to obtain information from witnesses and/ or passengers may consult with party participants who are assisting with the investigation, and gather input to improve the questionnaire. If an NTSB investigator believes a party participant’s feedback would improve the questionnaire concerning a particular question, the investigator may change the questionnaire and recommend this change be retained for future investigations. Overall, the NTSB engages in consultation with party participants, in the interest of improving the questionnaire. 6. Internal Procedures Lastly, the OMB memorandum describing generic clearances recommends agencies describe the procedures it will undertake to ensure information collections to which the generic clearance applies will comply with the Paperwork Reduction Act, applicable regulations, and the terms 2 See 49 CFR 831.11; see also NTSB Aviation Investigation Manual, Major Team Investigations (Nov. 2002), available at http://www.ntsb.gov/ doclib/manuals/MajorInvestigationsManual.pdf. VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:27 Sep 18, 2013 Jkt 229001 provided in the generic clearance. The NTSB Office of General Counsel plans to provide internal guidance to agency personnel, consisting of this publication, as well as the OMB memorandum discussing generic clearances, once upon OMB approval of the clearance. The internal guidance will include specific instructions concerning use of witness and passenger questionnaires, and explain the applicable provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act and its implementing regulations. The NTSB will also ensure its modal office directors are aware of the generic clearance, and its terms, and direct investigators to contact the NTSB Office of General Counsel to coordinate the dissemination of witness and/or passenger questionnaires. Given the small size of the NTSB, the agency believes it will be able to communicate the terms of compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act to all investigators who may need to solicit feedback from witnesses and/or passengers via questionnaires. C. Description of Burden The NTSB has carefully reviewed previous questionnaires it has used to obtain information from witnesses and passengers. The NTSB assures the public that these questionnaires have used plain, coherent, and unambiguous terminology in its requests for information. In addition, the questionnaires are not duplicative of other agencies’ collections of information, because in most instances, the NTSB, by statute, maintains priority over other agencies during a transportation accident investigation; therefore, any information collection that another agency might undertake must be approved in advance by the NTSB investigator-in-charge (IIC). The IIC would not approve an information collection that is duplicative of the witness/passenger questionnaire when the NTSB has already sought feedback on the questionnaire. In general, the NTSB believes the questionnaires will impose a minimal burden on respondents: the NTSB estimates that each respondent will spend approximately 30 to 45 minutes in completing the questionnaire. The NTSB estimates that a maximum of 650 respondents per year would complete a questionnaire. Although the NTSB may distribute questionnaires to perhaps as many as 1,300 people, historic response rates indicate only 50 percent of the questionnaires will be returned completed. However, the NTSB again notes this number will vary, given the unpredictable nature of the frequency of transportation accidents. PO 00000 Frm 00052 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 D. Request for Comments In accordance with 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A), the NTSB seeks feedback from the public concerning this proposed plan for information collection. In particular, the NTSB asks the public to evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary; to assess the accuracy of the NTSB’s burden estimate; to comment on how to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and to comment on how the NTSB might minimize the burden of the collection of information. The NTSB will carefully consider all feedback it receives in response to this notice. As described above, obtaining the information the NTSB seeks on these questionnaires in a timely manner is important to NTSB investigations; therefore, obtaining approval from OIRA for these collections of information on a generic basis is a priority for the NTSB. Deborah A.P. Hersman, Acting Chairman. [FR Doc. 2013–22636 Filed 9–18–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7533–01–P NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [NRC–2013–0216] U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Planned for Monitoring Activities for the Saltstone Disposal Facility at the Savannah River Site, Revision 1 Nuclear Regulatory Commission. ACTION: Notice of issuance; availability. AGENCY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is announcing the availability of ‘‘U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Plan for Monitoring Disposal Actions Taken by the U.S. Department of Energy at the Savannah River Site Saltstone Disposal Facility in Accordance With the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2005, Revision 1,’’ (NDAA) dated September 2013. SUMMARY: Please refer to Docket ID NRC–2013–0216 when contacting the NRC about the availability of information regarding this document. You may access publicly-available information related to this action by the following methods: • Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC–2013–0216. Address questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301–287–3422; email: Carol.Gallagher@nrc.gov. For ADDRESSES: E:\FR\FM\19SEN1.SGM 19SEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 182 (Thursday, September 19, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 57666-57668]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-22636]


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NATIONAL TRANSPORTATION SAFETY BOARD


Plan for Generic Information Collection Activity: Submission for 
OMB Review; Comment Request

AGENCY: National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

ACTION: Notice.

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

SUMMARY: The NTSB is announcing it is submitting a plan for an 
Information Collection Request (ICR) to the Office of Management and 
Budget (OMB) for approval, in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction 
Act. This ICR Plan describes various questionnaires the NTSB plans to 
use to obtain feedback from witnesses who observe crashes, accidents, 
and/or incidents in all modes of transportation. Feedback from such 
witnesses, including those who are survivors of crashes and accidents, 
is important to the NTSB in fulfilling its obligation of determining 
the probable cause of transportation events, and in recommending 
changes to mitigate the effects of future transportation events. This 
Notice informs the public that it may submit to the NTSB comments 
concerning the agency's proposed plan for information collection.

DATES: Submit written comments regarding this proposed plan for the 
collection of information by November 18, 2013.

ADDRESSES: Respondents may submit written comments on the collection of 
information to the National Transportation Safety Board, Office of 
General Counsel, 490 East L'Enfant Plaza SW., Washington, DC 20594.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: David Tochen, NTSB General Counsel, at 
(202) 314-6080.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In accordance with OMB regulations that 
require this Notice for proposed ICRs, as well as OMB guidance 
concerning generic approval of plans for information collections, the 
NTSB herein notifies the public that it may submit comments on this 
proposed ICR to the NTSB. 5 CFR 1320.10(a). Section 1320.10(a) requires 
this ``notice directing requests for information, including copies of 
the proposed collection of information and supporting documentation, to 
the [NTSB].'' Pursuant to Sec.  1320.10(a), the NTSB will provide a 
copy of this notice to OMB.

A. NTSB Witness and Passenger Questionnaires Are Appropriate for 
Generic Approval

    On May 28, 2010, Administrator, Office of Information and 
Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), OMB, issued a memorandum to the Heads of 
Executive Departments and Agencies, and Independent Regulatory 
Agencies, providing instructions concerning how agencies can obtain 
generic OMB clearances for information collections in certain 
circumstances. Paperwork Reduction Act--Generic Clearances, available 
at http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/assets/inforeg/PRA_Gen_ICRs_5-28-2010.pdf. The memorandum states as follows 
concerning the appropriateness of obtaining such clearances:

    A generic ICR is a request for OMB approval of a plan for 
conducting more than one information collection using very similar 
methods when (1) the need for and the overall practical utility of 
the data collection can be evaluated in advance, as part of the 
review of the proposed plan, but (2) the agency cannot determine the 
details of the specific individual collections until a later time.

    The NTSB's need to obtain information immediately following a 
transportation event it is investigating under 49 U.S.C. 1131 is 
critical. When numerous witnesses observe a transportation crash, 
accident or incident, the most effective and timely manner in which the 
NTSB can obtain first-hand observations is via distributing 
questionnaires to all witnesses the NTSB can locate.
    This type of information collection is appropriate for generic 
approval under the applicable OMB guidance. Based on its investigation 
of previous transportation events, the NTSB can attest to the utility 
and value of collecting information via witness questionnaires. By 
distributing such questionnaires, the NTSB will gather information 
concerning where the witness was located at the time of the event, 
whether the witness needed medical attention, and what type of 
assistance the witness may have received during and immediately 
following the event. Responses to such questions may help the NTSB in 
determining the probable cause of the accident or incident, and will 
likely also assist the NTSB in issuing safety recommendations to 
mitigate the effects of future transportation mishaps and may help 
ensure the effectiveness of its family assistance activities.
    The NTSB tailors each questionnaire to ensure it requests 
information specific to the particular event the NTSB is investigating. 
Consistent with the OMB guidance concerning generic approvals, the NTSB 
will not be able to finalize draft questionnaires specific to each 
accident or incident until the event has occurred. Often, 
questionnaires include a diagram of the aircraft, rail car, bus, 
vessel, or other vehicle involved in the event, and requests the 
respondent pinpoint his or her location by drawing on the diagram. In 
addition, the questionnaire may include questions concerning life 
preservers or other

[[Page 57667]]

safety devices and equipment or other evacuation aspects specific to 
over-water events, if the accident or incident involved such a 
circumstance. These types of questions are obviously unique to the 
specific investigation, and impossible to know prior to the occurrence 
of the accident or incident. Overall, the types of information the NTSB 
will solicit in its witness questionnaires is appropriate for a generic 
approval for the information collection.

B. Supporting Statement

    The applicable OMB memorandum instructs agencies to provide 
specific information in the supporting statements describing the 
information collections. In particular, the supporting statements 
should include the following:
     The method of collection and, if statistical methods will 
be used, a discussion of the statistical methodology;
     The category (or categories) of respondents;
     The estimated ``burden cap,'' i.e., the maximum number of 
burden hours (per year) for the specific information collections, and 
against which burden will be charged for each collection actually used;
     The agency's plans for how it will use the information 
collected;
     The agency's plans to obtain public input regarding the 
specific information collections (i.e., consultation); and
     The agency's internal procedures to ensure that the 
specific collections comply with the PRA, applicable regulations, and 
the terms of the generic clearance.

Id. at 2.

1. Method of Collection

    The NTSB will collect the information by transmitting the 
questionnaire to witnesses of the event, including surviving 
passengers. Depending on the circumstances, such transmission may occur 
via hand delivery, electronic mail, postal mail, or express mail, or a 
combination of methods. Respondents will be provided instructions 
concerning how to return questionnaires to the NTSB investigator who 
distributed them. The NTSB may create an electronic system on its Web 
page that provides the agency with the ability to verify whether the 
respondent was a passenger or a witness to the event. If the NTSB is 
able to create such a system, the agency may elect to request 
respondents log in and complete an electronic, web-based questionnaire. 
While such a system is not available at present, the NTSB nevertheless 
notes this idea, in case it creates and utilizes such a system in the 
future.
    The NTSB will not use statistical methodology in reaching any 
conclusions based on the questionnaires. Instead, the NTSB merely will 
note the total number of respondents in any factual reports for which 
it uses the questionnaires.
    Respondents'completion of the questionnaire is voluntary, and the 
NTSB generally will not contact them more than once to request 
completion of the questionnaire.

2. Category of Respondents

    In its questionnaires, the NTSB will generally seek information 
from two categories of respondents: eyewitnesses who were not 
passengers of the conveyance involved in the transportation accident or 
incident; and witnesses who were onboard as passengers of the 
conveyance involved. In most cases, the NTSB will distribute the 
questionnaires to passengers, as NTSB investigators often interview 
eyewitnesses verbally at the site of an accident or incident, rather 
than soliciting information from them on a written instrument. However, 
in some cases, the NTSB may become aware of the existence of many 
people who observed the transportation event, and therefore choose to 
solicit information from them on a questionnaire, rather than 
attempting to interview each eyewitness personally. Therefore, the 
majority of people to whom the NTSB will distribute the questionnaires 
will be passengers who survived the transportation event.

3. Maximum Burden Hours

    In its 2012 Annual Report to Congress, the NTSB stated it launched 
on eight major accidents and 252 regional or ``field'' accidents.\1\ 
The NTSB will most likely distribute the questionnaires to passengers 
involved in, and/or witnesses who observe, major accidents. Some NTSB 
regional investigations may require use of the questionnaires, but 
often, fewer passengers and/or witnesses will observe regional 
accidents and therefore be able to offer feedback on a questionnaire. 
As a result, in general, the NTSB estimates it may use a questionnaire 
for approximately half of its regional accident launches, which would 
total 130 accident investigations. Of these investigations, the NTSB 
may request information on the questionnaire from approximately 10 
passengers and/or witnesses, to reach a total of 1,300 individuals who 
may receive a questionnaire.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ National Transportation Safety Board 2012 Annual Report to 
Congress, available at http://www.ntsb.gov/doclib/agency_reports/2012Annual%20Report.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The NTSB seeks to emphasize these estimations are approximate, as 
they are depend on the number of accidents or incidents that occur, and 
how many passengers and/or witnesses may be available to complete the 
questionnaire. For example, in 2012, the NTSB did not launch to 
investigate any major aviation accidents. However, in July 2013, the 
NTSB sent a team to investigate the crash landing of Asiana flight 214, 
and thereafter received emergency approval from OIRA to send a 
questionnaire to each of the 288 surviving passengers. Likewise, the 
NTSB conducts investigations into accidents and incidents involving 
other modes of transportation, and the frequency of such investigations 
is unpredictable. The unpredictable nature of transportation accidents 
and the impossibility of determining in advance how many witnesses and/
or passengers might be available to provide the NTSB with information 
indicates the NTSB's estimations concerning annual burden hours are 
approximate.

4. Use of the Information Collected

    Witnesses' and passengers' input concerning their recollections of 
the events preceding, during, and immediately following the 
transportation accident or incident are extremely important to the 
NTSB. The NTSB creates discipline-specific ``groups'' for each 
investigation, and such groups are tasked with investigating a specific 
aspect of the transportation event. Often, the NTSB creates a survival 
factors group, which investigates how the circumstances of an accident 
or incident affected the likelihood of passengers and crewmembers 
surviving the event. This group also examines what, if any, changes 
could occur to improve the likelihood of survival and/or mitigate the 
effects of the accident or incident.
    In practical terms, the NTSB uses the information it collects in 
completed questionnaires by identifying trends in responses to the 
questions on the questionnaires. For example, if a majority of 
respondents indicate they experienced hardship in evacuating an 
aircraft, rail car, bus, vessel, or other vehicle following an accident 
due to problems with the evacuation route or emergency door, the NTSB 
would note this data in its factual report summarizing the 
questionnaires. The NTSB may then utilize this identification of the 
trend to make a safety recommendation to improve evacuation methods and 
thereby

[[Page 57668]]

improve transportation safety and likelihood of survival. Similarly, if 
a majority of respondents who are eyewitnesses to a transportation 
accident or incident report observing a specific unusual aspect 
immediately prior to the transportation event, this information may 
assist the NTSB with determining the probable cause of the accident or 
incident. For example, eyewitnesses who complete a questionnaire and 
state they observed smoke from a train's engine or from a specific part 
of an aircraft before a crash can provide information to help the NTSB 
focus its investigation and determine the probable cause.
    Overall, the information the NTSB will receive from completed 
questionnaires is important to the NTSB. The NTSB will use the 
information to improve transportation by determining the probable cause 
of the accident or incident, mitigating the effects of the accident or 
incident, issuing safety recommendations, fulfilling its family 
assistance responsibilities, or all of these activities.

5. Public Input Regarding the Information Collected

    The NTSB does not generally obtain public input concerning the 
scope of, or specific questions on, the witness or passenger 
questionnaires it uses. However, the NTSB utilizes a party process for 
each accident investigation.\2\ Through this process, NTSB 
investigators who seek to use a witness and/or passenger questionnaire 
to obtain information from witnesses and/or passengers may consult with 
party participants who are assisting with the investigation, and gather 
input to improve the questionnaire. If an NTSB investigator believes a 
party participant's feedback would improve the questionnaire concerning 
a particular question, the investigator may change the questionnaire 
and recommend this change be retained for future investigations. 
Overall, the NTSB engages in consultation with party participants, in 
the interest of improving the questionnaire.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ See 49 CFR 831.11; see also NTSB Aviation Investigation 
Manual, Major Team Investigations (Nov. 2002), available at http://www.ntsb.gov/doclib/manuals/MajorInvestigationsManual.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

6. Internal Procedures

    Lastly, the OMB memorandum describing generic clearances recommends 
agencies describe the procedures it will undertake to ensure 
information collections to which the generic clearance applies will 
comply with the Paperwork Reduction Act, applicable regulations, and 
the terms provided in the generic clearance. The NTSB Office of General 
Counsel plans to provide internal guidance to agency personnel, 
consisting of this publication, as well as the OMB memorandum 
discussing generic clearances, once upon OMB approval of the clearance. 
The internal guidance will include specific instructions concerning use 
of witness and passenger questionnaires, and explain the applicable 
provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act and its implementing 
regulations. The NTSB will also ensure its modal office directors are 
aware of the generic clearance, and its terms, and direct investigators 
to contact the NTSB Office of General Counsel to coordinate the 
dissemination of witness and/or passenger questionnaires. Given the 
small size of the NTSB, the agency believes it will be able to 
communicate the terms of compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act to 
all investigators who may need to solicit feedback from witnesses and/
or passengers via questionnaires.

C. Description of Burden

    The NTSB has carefully reviewed previous questionnaires it has used 
to obtain information from witnesses and passengers. The NTSB assures 
the public that these questionnaires have used plain, coherent, and 
unambiguous terminology in its requests for information. In addition, 
the questionnaires are not duplicative of other agencies' collections 
of information, because in most instances, the NTSB, by statute, 
maintains priority over other agencies during a transportation accident 
investigation; therefore, any information collection that another 
agency might undertake must be approved in advance by the NTSB 
investigator-in-charge (IIC). The IIC would not approve an information 
collection that is duplicative of the witness/passenger questionnaire 
when the NTSB has already sought feedback on the questionnaire.
    In general, the NTSB believes the questionnaires will impose a 
minimal burden on respondents: the NTSB estimates that each respondent 
will spend approximately 30 to 45 minutes in completing the 
questionnaire. The NTSB estimates that a maximum of 650 respondents per 
year would complete a questionnaire. Although the NTSB may distribute 
questionnaires to perhaps as many as 1,300 people, historic response 
rates indicate only 50 percent of the questionnaires will be returned 
completed. However, the NTSB again notes this number will vary, given 
the unpredictable nature of the frequency of transportation accidents.

D. Request for Comments

    In accordance with 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A), the NTSB seeks feedback 
from the public concerning this proposed plan for information 
collection. In particular, the NTSB asks the public to evaluate whether 
the proposed collection of information is necessary; to assess the 
accuracy of the NTSB's burden estimate; to comment on how to enhance 
the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; 
and to comment on how the NTSB might minimize the burden of the 
collection of information.
    The NTSB will carefully consider all feedback it receives in 
response to this notice. As described above, obtaining the information 
the NTSB seeks on these questionnaires in a timely manner is important 
to NTSB investigations; therefore, obtaining approval from OIRA for 
these collections of information on a generic basis is a priority for 
the NTSB.

Deborah A.P. Hersman,
Acting Chairman.
[FR Doc. 2013-22636 Filed 9-18-13; 8:45 am]
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