Agency Information Collection; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Joint Standards for Assessing the Diversity Policies and Practices of Entities Regulated by the Agencies, 76585-76587 [2015-30932]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 236 / Wednesday, December 9, 2015 / Notices information. NCUA received no comments. An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. NCUA requests that you send your comments on this collection for part 708a to the location listed in the ADDRESSES section. Your comments should address: (a) The necessity of the information collection for the proper performance of NCUA, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of our estimate of the burden of the information collection, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways we could enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways we could minimize the burden of the information collection on respondents, such as through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. It is NCUA’s policy to make all comments available to the public for review. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES II. Data Title: Bank Conversions and Mergers, 12 CFR part 708a. OMB Number: 3133–0182. Form Number: None. Type of Review: Reinstatement, with change. Description: Part 708a requires an insured credit union that proposes to convert to an MSB or to merge into a bank to provide notice and disclosure of the proposal to members and NCUA and to conduct a membership vote. Submission of this information is designed to ensure NCUA has sufficient information to administer the member vote in an MSB conversion and to approve or disapprove a proposed merger into a bank. The information collection allows NCUA to ensure compliance with statutory and regulatory requirements for conversions and mergers. It also ensures that members of credit unions have sufficient and accurate information to exercise an informed vote concerning a proposed conversion or merger. Respondents: Federally insured credit unions. Estimated Number of Respondents: 2. Estimated Number of Responses: 2. Frequency of Response: One-time; on occasion. Estimated Time per Response: Ranges from 300 to 410 hours. Estimated Total Annual Hour Burden: 710 hours. VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:21 Dec 08, 2015 Jkt 238001 Estimated Total Annual Cost: $28,400.00. By the National Credit Union Administration Board on November 18, 2015. Gerard Poliquin, Secretary of the Board. [FR Doc. 2015–30933 Filed 12–8–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7535–01–P NATIONAL CREDIT UNION ADMINISTRATION Agency Information Collection; Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Joint Standards for Assessing the Diversity Policies and Practices of Entities Regulated by the Agencies National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). ACTION: Notice, request for comment, and notice of information collection to be submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA). AGENCY: The NCUA has submitted to OMB a request for approval under the PRA of the collection of information discussed below. An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a respondent is not required to respond to, an information collection unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. DATES: Comments must be submitted on or before January 8, 2016. ADDRESSES: Interested persons are invited to submit written comments on the information collection to Tracy Crews, National Credit Union Administration, 1775 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA 22314–3428; by fax to 703–837–2861; or by email to OCIOPRA@ncua.gov. Additionally, commenters may send a copy of their comments to the OMB desk officer for the Agencies by mail to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, U.S. Office of Management and Budget, New Executive Office Building Room 10235, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20503: by fax to (202) 395–6974; or by email to oira_ submission@omb.eop.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For further information about the information collection discussed in this notice, please contact Tracy Crews, National Credit Union Administration, 1775 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA 22314–3428; by fax to 703–837–2861; or by email to OCIOPRA@ncua.gov. In addition, background documentation for this information collection may be viewed at www.reginfo.gov. SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00143 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 76585 Section 342 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (Dodd-Frank Act) required each Agency, including NCUA, to establish an Office of Minority and Women Inclusion (OMWI) to be responsible for all matters of the Agency relating to diversity in management, employment, and business activities. The Dodd-Frank Act also instructed the OMWI Directors to develop standards for assessing the diversity policies and practices of entities regulated by their Agencies. The Agencies worked together to develop joint standards and, on June 10, 2015, they published a Federal Register notice (80 FR 33016) entitled ‘‘Final Interagency Policy Statement Establishing Joint Standards for Assessing the Diversity Policies and Practices of Entities Regulated by the Agencies’’ (Policy Statement). The NCUA joined the Agencies in issuing the Policy Statement. The NCUA is issuing a separate Federal Register notice for PRA clearance using this notice. The Policy Statement contains a collection of information within the meaning of the PRA (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: A. Overview of the Collection of Information 1. Description of the Collection of Information and Proposed Use The title for this proposed collection of information is: • Joint Standards for Assessing Diversity Policies and Practices The Policy Statement includes Joint Standards that cover ‘‘Practices to Promote Transparency of Organizational Diversity and Inclusion.’’ These standards contemplate that a regulated entity is transparent about its diversity and inclusion activities by making certain information available to the public annually on its Web site or in other appropriate communications, in a manner reflective of the entity’s size and other characteristics. The information noted in these standards is the entity’s diversity and inclusion strategic plan; its policy on its commitment to diversity and inclusion; progress toward achieving diversity and inclusion in its workforce and procurement activities (which may include the entity’s current workforce and supplier demographic profiles); and employment and procurement opportunities available at the entity that promote diversity. In addition, the Policy Statement includes standards that address ‘‘Entities’ Self-Assessment.’’ These standards envision that the regulated entity conducts a voluntary self- E:\FR\FM\09DEN1.SGM 09DEN1 76586 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 236 / Wednesday, December 9, 2015 / Notices assessment of its diversity policies and practices at least annually, provides information pertaining to this selfassessment to its primary federal financial regulator, and publishes information pertaining to its efforts with respect to the Joint Standards. The information provided to the Agencies will be used to monitor progress and trends among regulated entities with regard to diversity and inclusion in employment and contracting activities, as well as to identify and publicize leading diversity policies and practices. NCUA designed a proposed, draft ‘‘Voluntary, Sample Credit Union SelfAssessment Checklist,’’ which federally insured credit unions would be able to use to as tool to perform their assessment and to submit this information to NCUA. mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 2. Description of Likely Respondents and Estimate of Annual Burden The collections of information contemplated by the Joint Standards will impose no new recordkeeping burdens as regulated entities will only publish or provide information pertaining to diversity policies and practices that they maintain during the normal course of business. The NCUA estimates that, on average, it will take a federally insured credit union approximately 12 burden hours annually to assess diversity and inclusion practices and publish information pertaining to its diversity policies and practices on its Web site or in other appropriate communications and to retrieve and submit information pertaining to its self-assessment to NCUA. NCUA estimates the total burden for federally insured credit unions as follows: Information Collection: Joint Standards for Assessing Diversity Policies and Practices. Estimated Number of Respondents: 367. Frequency of Collection: Annual. Average Response Time per Respondent: 12 hours. Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 4,404. Obligation to respond: Voluntary. B. Solicitation of Public Comments The Policy Statement included a 60day notice requesting public comments on the collection of information. 80 FR 33016, 33021 (June 10, 2015). In addition, NCUA designed a draft proposed ‘‘Voluntary, Sample Credit Union Self-Assessment Checklist,’’ which federally insured credit unions would be able to use to perform their assessment and to submit information to VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:21 Dec 08, 2015 Jkt 238001 NCUA. NCUA released the draft checklist with the Joint Standards, and the NCUA Letter to Credit Unions, No. 15–CU–05. During the comment period, the Agencies collectively received four comment letters: Two from industry trade associations, one from an advocacy organization, and one from an individual. Separately, the NCUA received a comment letter from an industry trade association. The Agencies considered this comment and have included it in the discussion of comments below. The comments addressed the collection of information under the ‘‘Entities Self-Assessment’’ Joint Standards. (As noted above, these Joint Standards envision that a regulated entity provides self-assessment information to the OMWI Director of the entity’s primary federal financial regulator.) The commenters also commented on aspects of the Policy Statement unrelated to the collection of information; these views are not relevant to this notice or the paperwork burden analysis and, accordingly, they are not addressed below. After reviewing and considering the comments related to the collection of information, the Agencies have decided not to make any changes to the collection of information described in the 60-day notice. 1. Practical Utility of Information Collection Two commenters addressed whether the collection of information pertaining to self-assessments will have practical utility. One commenter asserted that it is premature to gauge how useful information will be without knowing precisely what information the Agencies will request. The other commenter maintained that the information collection request in the Policy Statement will yield large variations in the information submitted and predicted that the information received will have little practical utility. This commenter argued that the Agencies should standardize the information they request so they are able to assess accurately the state of diversity and inclusion across the industry. The commenter’s view is that standardization of the data request would enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the collected information. Although the Agencies have not specified the content or format for the information collection described in the Policy Statement, they anticipate that the information submitted to them will be similar in content, if not in form. They contemplate that regulated entities will organize their information PO 00000 Frm 00144 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 collection around the categories in the Joint Standards. The Agencies also expect that the information they receive will help achieve the purpose of the collection, which is to allow the Agencies to identify trends in the financial services industry regarding diversity and inclusion in employment and contracting and to identify leading diversity policies and practices. 2. Specific Collection Instrument As mentioned above, NCUA developed a draft, proposed voluntary checklist as an option for a collection tool for federally insured credit unions. Three commenters requested that the Agencies be more specific about the information collection. One commenter asked the Agencies to send questions that ‘‘comport with how its member firms operate’’ and that the information collection request allow entities to submit qualitative information to add context to quantitative submissions. Another commenter asked the Agencies to provide a ‘‘robust’’ example or template of the information the entities should submit. This commenter also recommended that the Agencies provide a non-exhaustive list of materials that respondents can use to compare against what they are planning to submit. The third commenter recommended that the Agencies develop a standardized collection instrument. This commenter noted that it had recommended standardized survey questions when it commented on the proposed Policy Statement. The commenter urged the Agencies to adopt a thorough framework for collecting specific and consistent data. The Agencies appreciate the collection instrument recommendations and the offers to assist in developing an instrument. At this time, however, the Agencies have not developed a joint information collection instrument. The Agencies believe that the Policy Statement encourages regulated entities to provide information regarding their self-assessments in a manner reflective of the Joint Standards and that any such information received will be useful. 3. Assurance of Confidentiality The Joint Standards addressing SelfAssessments provide that the entities submitting information may designate such information as confidential commercial information, where appropriate. Three commenters expressed concerns about whether the information submitted would remain confidential. One commenter indicated that its members are concerned that information submitted to their primary federal financial regulator might be E:\FR\FM\09DEN1.SGM 09DEN1 mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 236 / Wednesday, December 9, 2015 / Notices provided, without context, to other regulators or to the U.S. Congress, leading to confusion or to the disclosure of competitive information. This commenter asked the Agencies to provide a clearer confidentiality policy and clarify that submissions will remain confidential unless the submitting entity expressly waives confidentiality. Similarly, another commenter stated that its members are concerned that third parties may have access to the information submitted and could use this information to the submitter’s disadvantage. This commenter requested additional clarification regarding how the Agencies will use and protect submitted information, as well as a written statement providing assurance that the Agencies will not share the information with third parties. The remaining commenter expressed concern that designating information as confidential will not guarantee protection from disclosure. The commenter observed that, if the public requests information under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the regulated entity will be notified of the request and provided an opportunity to argue against disclosure. In the event that the regulated entity’s argument does not prevail, the voluntarily submitted information could be released to the public. Two of these commenters recommended that regulated entities be allowed to submit information anonymously. One commenter said its members might support the use of a third-party vendor that could capture and potentially anonymize submissions as a way to minimize information collection burden. The other commenter asserted that giving respondents the option to submit information anonymously would enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information, minimize burden, and address confidentiality concerns. This commenter also recommended that the Agencies allow submitters to classify themselves into general categories, such as by approximate asset size, number of employees, and geographic location. The Agencies understand that regulated entities want assurances that the Agencies will treat the submitted information as confidential and will not disclose the information unless the submitter expressly waives confidentiality. To the extent that a submission includes confidential information, the Agencies will keep such information confidential to the extent allowed by law. The Agencies advise regulated entities submitting private information to follow their primary federal financial regulator’s VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:21 Dec 08, 2015 Jkt 238001 FOIA regulations with respect to designating information as confidential or seeking confidential treatment. Finally, with respect to anonymity, the Agencies are concerned that anonymous submissions would be less useful than submissions in which the submitting entity is identified. As indicated in the Policy Statement, the OMWI Directors plan to reach out to regulated entities to discuss diversity and inclusion practices and methods of assessment, and these contacts will be more informative for both the Agencies and the entities if the Agencies know which submission came from which entity. However, the Agencies will reassess this matter over time. 4. Accuracy of Burden Estimate The Agencies estimated that, annually, it would take an entity 12 burden hours, on average, to publish information pertaining to its diversity policies and practices on its Web site and to retrieve and submit selfassessment information to its primary federal financial regulator. One commenter stated that the Agencies grossly underestimated the time it would take to collect, categorize, and submit this information. The commenter asserted that retrieving diversity data is a time-consuming and labor-intensive task, particularly for entities with hundreds or thousands of employees located throughout U.S. and the world. In addition, the commenter maintained that an entity’s submission would have to undergo a time-consuming review by legal counsel and others to assure accuracy and clarity before the entity could submit the information. The Agencies note that the commenter did not provide an alternative estimate or formula for calculating this burden and that 12 hours is an estimated average. In the absence of more specific information, the Agencies do not have a basis for changing their burden estimate at this time. If, however, future feedback indicates that the current estimate needs further refinement, the Agencies will consider adjusting their estimates accordingly. 5. Estimate of Start-Up Costs One commenter asserted that it would take substantial IT, legal, and operational resources to put diversity data into a format appropriate for submission to a regulator. The commenter said that it could not provide an exact estimate of capital or start-up costs for submitting this information until an actual information request was available. In response, the Agencies note that there are no start-up PO 00000 Frm 00145 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 76587 costs associated with the collection of information contained in the Joint Standards. Furthermore, any costs incurred by a regulated entity, aside from the 12 burden hours discussed above to publish information pertaining to its diversity policies and practices on its Web site and to retrieve and submit self-assessment information to its primary federal financial regulator, will be incurred in the normal course of its business activities. Written comments continue to be invited on: (a) The necessity of the collection of information for the proper performance of the Agencies’ functions, including whether the information will have practical utility; (b) The accuracy of the Agencies’ estimate of the information collection burden, including the validity of the methods and the assumptions used; (c) Ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information proposed to be collected; (d) Ways to minimize the information collection burden on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and (e) Estimates of capital or start-up costs and costs of operation, maintenance, and purchase of services to provide information. The Agencies encourage interested parties to submit comments in response to these questions. Comments submitted in response to this notice will be shared among the Agencies. All comments will become a matter of public record. By National Credit Union Administration. Dated: November 18, 2015. Gerard Poliquin, Secretary of the Board. [FR Doc. 2015–30932 Filed 12–8–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P NATIONAL FOUNDATION ON THE ARTS AND THE HUMANITIES National Endowment for the Humanities Meetings of Humanities Panel National Endowment for the Humanities. ACTION: Notice of Meetings. AGENCY: The National Endowment for the Humanities will hold three meetings of the Humanities Panel, a federal advisory committee, during January, 2016. The purpose of the meetings is for panel review, discussion, evaluation, and recommendation of applications for financial assistance under the National SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\09DEN1.SGM 09DEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 236 (Wednesday, December 9, 2015)]
[Notices]
[Pages 76585-76587]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-30932]


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

NATIONAL CREDIT UNION ADMINISTRATION


Agency Information Collection; Submission for OMB Review; Comment 
Request; Joint Standards for Assessing the Diversity Policies and 
Practices of Entities Regulated by the Agencies

AGENCY: National Credit Union Administration (NCUA).

ACTION: Notice, request for comment, and notice of information 
collection to be submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) 
for review and approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 
(PRA).

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

SUMMARY: The NCUA has submitted to OMB a request for approval under the 
PRA of the collection of information discussed below. An agency may not 
conduct or sponsor, and a respondent is not required to respond to, an 
information collection unless it displays a currently valid OMB control 
number.

DATES: Comments must be submitted on or before January 8, 2016.

ADDRESSES: Interested persons are invited to submit written comments on 
the information collection to Tracy Crews, National Credit Union 
Administration, 1775 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA 22314-3428; by fax to 
703-837-2861; or by email to OCIOPRA@ncua.gov.
    Additionally, commenters may send a copy of their comments to the 
OMB desk officer for the Agencies by mail to the Office of Information 
and Regulatory Affairs, U.S. Office of Management and Budget, New 
Executive Office Building Room 10235, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, 
DC 20503: by fax to (202) 395-6974; or by email to 
oira_submission@omb.eop.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For further information about the 
information collection discussed in this notice, please contact Tracy 
Crews, National Credit Union Administration, 1775 Duke Street, 
Alexandria, VA 22314-3428; by fax to 703-837-2861; or by email to 
OCIOPRA@ncua.gov. In addition, background documentation for this 
information collection may be viewed at www.reginfo.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Section 342 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street 
Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (Dodd-Frank Act) required 
each Agency, including NCUA, to establish an Office of Minority and 
Women Inclusion (OMWI) to be responsible for all matters of the Agency 
relating to diversity in management, employment, and business 
activities. The Dodd-Frank Act also instructed the OMWI Directors to 
develop standards for assessing the diversity policies and practices of 
entities regulated by their Agencies. The Agencies worked together to 
develop joint standards and, on June 10, 2015, they published a Federal 
Register notice (80 FR 33016) entitled ``Final Interagency Policy 
Statement Establishing Joint Standards for Assessing the Diversity 
Policies and Practices of Entities Regulated by the Agencies'' (Policy 
Statement). The NCUA joined the Agencies in issuing the Policy 
Statement. The NCUA is issuing a separate Federal Register notice for 
PRA clearance using this notice. The Policy Statement contains a 
collection of information within the meaning of the PRA (44 U.S.C. 3501 
et seq.).

A. Overview of the Collection of Information

1. Description of the Collection of Information and Proposed Use

    The title for this proposed collection of information is:

 Joint Standards for Assessing Diversity Policies and Practices

    The Policy Statement includes Joint Standards that cover 
``Practices to Promote Transparency of Organizational Diversity and 
Inclusion.'' These standards contemplate that a regulated entity is 
transparent about its diversity and inclusion activities by making 
certain information available to the public annually on its Web site or 
in other appropriate communications, in a manner reflective of the 
entity's size and other characteristics. The information noted in these 
standards is the entity's diversity and inclusion strategic plan; its 
policy on its commitment to diversity and inclusion; progress toward 
achieving diversity and inclusion in its workforce and procurement 
activities (which may include the entity's current workforce and 
supplier demographic profiles); and employment and procurement 
opportunities available at the entity that promote diversity.
    In addition, the Policy Statement includes standards that address 
``Entities' Self-Assessment.'' These standards envision that the 
regulated entity conducts a voluntary self-

[[Page 76586]]

assessment of its diversity policies and practices at least annually, 
provides information pertaining to this self-assessment to its primary 
federal financial regulator, and publishes information pertaining to 
its efforts with respect to the Joint Standards. The information 
provided to the Agencies will be used to monitor progress and trends 
among regulated entities with regard to diversity and inclusion in 
employment and contracting activities, as well as to identify and 
publicize leading diversity policies and practices. NCUA designed a 
proposed, draft ``Voluntary, Sample Credit Union Self-Assessment 
Checklist,'' which federally insured credit unions would be able to use 
to as tool to perform their assessment and to submit this information 
to NCUA.

2. Description of Likely Respondents and Estimate of Annual Burden

    The collections of information contemplated by the Joint Standards 
will impose no new recordkeeping burdens as regulated entities will 
only publish or provide information pertaining to diversity policies 
and practices that they maintain during the normal course of business. 
The NCUA estimates that, on average, it will take a federally insured 
credit union approximately 12 burden hours annually to assess diversity 
and inclusion practices and publish information pertaining to its 
diversity policies and practices on its Web site or in other 
appropriate communications and to retrieve and submit information 
pertaining to its self-assessment to NCUA.
    NCUA estimates the total burden for federally insured credit unions 
as follows:
    Information Collection: Joint Standards for Assessing Diversity 
Policies and Practices.
    Estimated Number of Respondents: 367.
    Frequency of Collection: Annual.
    Average Response Time per Respondent: 12 hours.
    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 4,404.
    Obligation to respond: Voluntary.

B. Solicitation of Public Comments

    The Policy Statement included a 60-day notice requesting public 
comments on the collection of information. 80 FR 33016, 33021 (June 10, 
2015). In addition, NCUA designed a draft proposed ``Voluntary, Sample 
Credit Union Self-Assessment Checklist,'' which federally insured 
credit unions would be able to use to perform their assessment and to 
submit information to NCUA. NCUA released the draft checklist with the 
Joint Standards, and the NCUA Letter to Credit Unions, No. 15-CU-05.
    During the comment period, the Agencies collectively received four 
comment letters: Two from industry trade associations, one from an 
advocacy organization, and one from an individual. Separately, the NCUA 
received a comment letter from an industry trade association. The 
Agencies considered this comment and have included it in the discussion 
of comments below. The comments addressed the collection of information 
under the ``Entities Self-Assessment'' Joint Standards. (As noted 
above, these Joint Standards envision that a regulated entity provides 
self-assessment information to the OMWI Director of the entity's 
primary federal financial regulator.) The commenters also commented on 
aspects of the Policy Statement unrelated to the collection of 
information; these views are not relevant to this notice or the 
paperwork burden analysis and, accordingly, they are not addressed 
below.
    After reviewing and considering the comments related to the 
collection of information, the Agencies have decided not to make any 
changes to the collection of information described in the 60-day 
notice.

1. Practical Utility of Information Collection

    Two commenters addressed whether the collection of information 
pertaining to self-assessments will have practical utility. One 
commenter asserted that it is premature to gauge how useful information 
will be without knowing precisely what information the Agencies will 
request. The other commenter maintained that the information collection 
request in the Policy Statement will yield large variations in the 
information submitted and predicted that the information received will 
have little practical utility. This commenter argued that the Agencies 
should standardize the information they request so they are able to 
assess accurately the state of diversity and inclusion across the 
industry. The commenter's view is that standardization of the data 
request would enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the 
collected information.
    Although the Agencies have not specified the content or format for 
the information collection described in the Policy Statement, they 
anticipate that the information submitted to them will be similar in 
content, if not in form. They contemplate that regulated entities will 
organize their information collection around the categories in the 
Joint Standards. The Agencies also expect that the information they 
receive will help achieve the purpose of the collection, which is to 
allow the Agencies to identify trends in the financial services 
industry regarding diversity and inclusion in employment and 
contracting and to identify leading diversity policies and practices.

2. Specific Collection Instrument

    As mentioned above, NCUA developed a draft, proposed voluntary 
checklist as an option for a collection tool for federally insured 
credit unions.
    Three commenters requested that the Agencies be more specific about 
the information collection. One commenter asked the Agencies to send 
questions that ``comport with how its member firms operate'' and that 
the information collection request allow entities to submit qualitative 
information to add context to quantitative submissions. Another 
commenter asked the Agencies to provide a ``robust'' example or 
template of the information the entities should submit. This commenter 
also recommended that the Agencies provide a non-exhaustive list of 
materials that respondents can use to compare against what they are 
planning to submit. The third commenter recommended that the Agencies 
develop a standardized collection instrument. This commenter noted that 
it had recommended standardized survey questions when it commented on 
the proposed Policy Statement. The commenter urged the Agencies to 
adopt a thorough framework for collecting specific and consistent data.
    The Agencies appreciate the collection instrument recommendations 
and the offers to assist in developing an instrument. At this time, 
however, the Agencies have not developed a joint information collection 
instrument. The Agencies believe that the Policy Statement encourages 
regulated entities to provide information regarding their self-
assessments in a manner reflective of the Joint Standards and that any 
such information received will be useful.

3. Assurance of Confidentiality

    The Joint Standards addressing Self-Assessments provide that the 
entities submitting information may designate such information as 
confidential commercial information, where appropriate. Three 
commenters expressed concerns about whether the information submitted 
would remain confidential. One commenter indicated that its members are 
concerned that information submitted to their primary federal financial 
regulator might be

[[Page 76587]]

provided, without context, to other regulators or to the U.S. Congress, 
leading to confusion or to the disclosure of competitive information. 
This commenter asked the Agencies to provide a clearer confidentiality 
policy and clarify that submissions will remain confidential unless the 
submitting entity expressly waives confidentiality. Similarly, another 
commenter stated that its members are concerned that third parties may 
have access to the information submitted and could use this information 
to the submitter's disadvantage. This commenter requested additional 
clarification regarding how the Agencies will use and protect submitted 
information, as well as a written statement providing assurance that 
the Agencies will not share the information with third parties.
    The remaining commenter expressed concern that designating 
information as confidential will not guarantee protection from 
disclosure. The commenter observed that, if the public requests 
information under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the regulated 
entity will be notified of the request and provided an opportunity to 
argue against disclosure. In the event that the regulated entity's 
argument does not prevail, the voluntarily submitted information could 
be released to the public.
    Two of these commenters recommended that regulated entities be 
allowed to submit information anonymously. One commenter said its 
members might support the use of a third-party vendor that could 
capture and potentially anonymize submissions as a way to minimize 
information collection burden. The other commenter asserted that giving 
respondents the option to submit information anonymously would enhance 
the quality, utility, and clarity of the information, minimize burden, 
and address confidentiality concerns. This commenter also recommended 
that the Agencies allow submitters to classify themselves into general 
categories, such as by approximate asset size, number of employees, and 
geographic location.
    The Agencies understand that regulated entities want assurances 
that the Agencies will treat the submitted information as confidential 
and will not disclose the information unless the submitter expressly 
waives confidentiality. To the extent that a submission includes 
confidential information, the Agencies will keep such information 
confidential to the extent allowed by law. The Agencies advise 
regulated entities submitting private information to follow their 
primary federal financial regulator's FOIA regulations with respect to 
designating information as confidential or seeking confidential 
treatment.
    Finally, with respect to anonymity, the Agencies are concerned that 
anonymous submissions would be less useful than submissions in which 
the submitting entity is identified. As indicated in the Policy 
Statement, the OMWI Directors plan to reach out to regulated entities 
to discuss diversity and inclusion practices and methods of assessment, 
and these contacts will be more informative for both the Agencies and 
the entities if the Agencies know which submission came from which 
entity. However, the Agencies will reassess this matter over time.

4. Accuracy of Burden Estimate

    The Agencies estimated that, annually, it would take an entity 12 
burden hours, on average, to publish information pertaining to its 
diversity policies and practices on its Web site and to retrieve and 
submit self-assessment information to its primary federal financial 
regulator. One commenter stated that the Agencies grossly 
underestimated the time it would take to collect, categorize, and 
submit this information. The commenter asserted that retrieving 
diversity data is a time-consuming and labor-intensive task, 
particularly for entities with hundreds or thousands of employees 
located throughout U.S. and the world. In addition, the commenter 
maintained that an entity's submission would have to undergo a time-
consuming review by legal counsel and others to assure accuracy and 
clarity before the entity could submit the information.
    The Agencies note that the commenter did not provide an alternative 
estimate or formula for calculating this burden and that 12 hours is an 
estimated average. In the absence of more specific information, the 
Agencies do not have a basis for changing their burden estimate at this 
time. If, however, future feedback indicates that the current estimate 
needs further refinement, the Agencies will consider adjusting their 
estimates accordingly.

5. Estimate of Start-Up Costs

    One commenter asserted that it would take substantial IT, legal, 
and operational resources to put diversity data into a format 
appropriate for submission to a regulator. The commenter said that it 
could not provide an exact estimate of capital or start-up costs for 
submitting this information until an actual information request was 
available. In response, the Agencies note that there are no start-up 
costs associated with the collection of information contained in the 
Joint Standards. Furthermore, any costs incurred by a regulated entity, 
aside from the 12 burden hours discussed above to publish information 
pertaining to its diversity policies and practices on its Web site and 
to retrieve and submit self-assessment information to its primary 
federal financial regulator, will be incurred in the normal course of 
its business activities.
    Written comments continue to be invited on:
    (a) The necessity of the collection of information for the proper 
performance of the Agencies' functions, including whether the 
information will have practical utility;
    (b) The accuracy of the Agencies' estimate of the information 
collection burden, including the validity of the methods and the 
assumptions used;
    (c) Ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the 
information proposed to be collected;
    (d) Ways to minimize the information collection burden on 
respondents, including through the use of automated collection 
techniques or other forms of information technology; and
    (e) Estimates of capital or start-up costs and costs of operation, 
maintenance, and purchase of services to provide information.
    The Agencies encourage interested parties to submit comments in 
response to these questions. Comments submitted in response to this 
notice will be shared among the Agencies. All comments will become a 
matter of public record.

    By National Credit Union Administration.

    Dated: November 18, 2015.
Gerard Poliquin,
Secretary of the Board.
[FR Doc. 2015-30932 Filed 12-8-15; 8:45 am]
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