Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comments Request-Third Access Participation Eligibility and Certification Study Series (APEC III), 52814-52819 [2016-18983]

Download as PDF 52814 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 154 / Wednesday, August 10, 2016 / Notices 3 years. The recordkeeping burden has not changed. Affected Public: State agencies that administer SNAP. Estimated Number of Respondents: 53. Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: 13.58. Estimated Total Annual Responses: 719.74 rounded up to 720. Estimated Hours per Response: .024. Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: This revised annual Number of recordkeepers Frequency of response recordkeeping burden for OMB No. 0584–0081, is 17.28 hours. The current burden inventory for this collection is 5,187 hours. This decrease is a result merging the reporting burden to OMB# 0584–0594 collection. See the table below for estimated total annual burden. Total annual records Time per response (hours) Annual recordkeeping hours Affected public Forms State Agencies .................... FNS–388 ............................ FNS–388A .......................... 53 53 11.32 2.26 600 120 .024 .024 14.4 2.88 Record-keeping Burden ...... ............................................. 53 13.58 720 0.024 17.28 Dated: July 12, 2016. Audrey Rowe, Administrator, Food and Nutrition Service. [FR Doc. 2016–18972 Filed 8–9–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410–30–P DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Food and Nutrition Service Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comments Request—Third Access Participation Eligibility and Certification Study Series (APEC III) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), USDA. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice invites the general public and other public agencies to comment on this proposed information collection. This is a reinstatement, with change, of a previously approved collection for which approval has expired (OMB Number 0584–0530, Expiration Date: 08/31/2015); for the Third Access Participation Eligibility and Certification Study Series (APEC III). DATES: Written comments must be received on or before October 11, 2016. ADDRESSES: Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency’s estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions that were used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including use of appropriate automated, electronic, mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:34 Aug 09, 2016 Jkt 238001 mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Comments may be sent to: Devin Wallace-Williams, Ph.D., Food and Nutrition Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 3101 Park Center Drive, Alexandria, VA 22302. Comments may also be submitted via fax to the attention of Devin Wallace-Williams, Ph.D. at 703–305–2576 or via email to Devin.Wallace-Williams@fns.usda.gov. Comments will also be accepted through the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Go to http://www.regulations.gov, and follow the online instructions for submitting comments electronically. All written comments will be open for public inspection at the office of the Food and Nutrition Service during regular business hours (8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time Monday through Friday) at 3101 Park Center Drive, Alexandria, Virginia 22302. All responses to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for Office of Management and Budget approval. All comments will be a matter of public record. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Requests for additional information or copies of this information collection should be directed to Devin WallaceWilliams, Ph.D. at 703–457–6791. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Title: Third Access, Participation, Eligibility, and Certification Study Series (APEC III). Form Number: Not applicable. OMB Number: 0584–0530. Expiration Date: Not Yet Determined. Type of Request: Reinstatement, with change, of a previously approved collection for which approval has expired. Abstract: The purpose of this third study on Access, Participation, Eligibility, and Certification (APEC III) is to provide the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) with key information on the annual error rates and erroneous PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 payments for the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP) in school year (SY) 2017–2018. In addition, APEC III will identify School Food Authority (SFA), school, and student/household characteristics that may be related to error rates, and identify strategies and actionable guidance for reducing errors. Specifically, the four study objectives are: • Objective 1: Generate a national estimate of the annual amount of erroneous payments based on School Year 2017–2018 by replicating the APEC methodology. • Objective 2: Provide a robust examination of the relationship of student (household), school, and SFA characteristics to error rates. • Objective 3: Conduct a sub-study on the differences in error rates among SFAs using different implementation strategies in their school meals programs. • Objective 4: Perform qualitative analyses examining the reasons for erroneous payments. Consistent with APEC methodology, APEC III will collect data to address the study objectives using a multistage– clustered sample design, which will include: • A nationally representative sample of SFAs in the contiguous 48 states and the District of Columbia; • A stratified sample of schools within each SFA (i.e. sampling from SFAs with Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) schools and from SFAs without CEP schools independently to ensure proportional representation in the final sample); and • A random sample of students (households) within each sampled school that applied for free and reduced-price meals (including denied applicants), were categorically eligible for free meals, or were directly certified for free meals. APEC III will collect data via inperson visits to SFAs, schools, and E:\FR\FM\10AUN1.SGM 10AUN1 mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 154 / Wednesday, August 10, 2016 / Notices households to measure certification, aggregation, and meal claiming errors. Data collection will include (a) abstraction from income eligibility applications, categorical eligibility records and CEP records for determining the identified student percentage (ISP); (b) abstraction of meal count and claiming records from SFAs, schools and FNS administrative data; (c) an SFA director survey; (d) school meal observations; and (e) household surveys. Abstraction of income eligibility data and household surveys will take place three times during the study year to ensure coverage of applicants from different times during the year. APEC III data collection will also include qualitative data collection to help better understand the factors that contribute to errors, including an SFA director interview, a cafeteria manager interview and in-depth interviews with select households. Finally, administrative meal participation data (data on the number of meals served and claimed for sampled students) will be collected as well. To measure certification error in nonCEP schools due to administrative errors, APEC III will independently determine certification status based on abstracted application data to assess errors in the SFA determination of certification status. To measure certification error in non-CEP schools due to household reporting errors, APEC III will independently determine certification status based on household survey data. This independent determination will be compared to certification status based on data reported on the application. To measure meal claiming errors, APEC III will conduct observations of a sample of meals served to students to confirm that meals claimed for reimbursement meet the meal pattern requirements. To measure aggregation error APEC III will abstract meal count and claiming records from different sources (school, SFA, State) for a target month, and identify discrepancies in data reported at each stage of the meal counting and claiming process. The following describes the types of error: 1. Certification errors • Certification errors occur when students are certified for levels of benefits for which they are not eligible. Specifically, the student is certified for the wrong meal eligibility category. • Because each meal eligibility category is reimbursed at different rates, an error in certification results in an incorrect level of benefit being paid to the SFA—either an overpayment or underpayment. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:34 Aug 09, 2016 Jkt 238001 • Certification error may result from administrative error on the part of the SFA during application review or it can result from a household reporting error. • Certification errors contribute the largest share to the total erroneous payments. 2. Meal claiming errors • Meal claiming errors occur when there is an improper classification of meal reimbursement status based on meal components served. • In schools operating with offer versus serve, including all high schools, the student may select fewer meal components/food items and still have a reimbursable meal (provided all components are offered to the student). • In schools that are not operating under ‘‘offer versus serve,’’ a complete meal must contain all meal components required under the breakfast or lunch meal patterns. 3. Aggregation errors • Aggregation errors occur in the process of counting, consolidating, and claiming the number of meals served in a given month (by claiming category— free, reduced priced, or paid) • This occurs in the transmission of meal count and claim data between school, SFA, State and USDA for reimbursement. The sample will include schools participating in the CEP and non-CEP schools. In summary, CEP allows school districts, individual schools, or groups of schools to offer breakfasts and lunches at no charge to all students if at least 40 percent of their students are ‘‘Identified Students’’—that is, approved for free meals without an application based on participation in programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). In CEP, all meals are free to students. However, the percentage of meals claimed at the free and paid reimbursement level is determined by the Identified Student Percentage (ISP). Thus, the procedures for measuring certification errors in CEP will be focused on independently verifying the ISP and the claiming percentages for free and paid meals. The analysis plan includes four components: Calculating error and erroneous payment estimates, comparisons to APEC I and APEC II estimates, quantitative and qualitative analyses to identify factors associated with errors, and developing an error forecasting model. The calculation of estimates from APEC III will include the incidence of error, the total dollar amount of error and the dollar based error rate. The comparisons to prior PO 00000 Frm 00006 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 52815 APEC studies will include tests for significant changes over time. The quantitative and qualitative analyses will examine the sources and causes of errors with a focus on identifying potential policy options for reducing errors. Finally, the estimation modeling will provide both State and National models for estimating errors using econometric forecasting and Bayesian approaches, and small area estimation models (for State level estimates). Affected Public: Individuals/ Households, State, Local, or Tribal Government, and Businesses and Other for Profit and Not for Profit Organizations. Respondent groups identified include: (1) Child Nutrition (CN) State agencies, (2) School Food Authorities (SFAs), (3) Schools (both CEP schools and non-CEP schools), and (4) parents/guardians of sampled students that are either certified to receive a free or reduced price meal or who applied for but were denied benefits in School Year (SY) 2017–18. Estimated Number of Respondents: The total estimated number of respondents is 9,456. This includes 7,606 responding program participants, (b) 1,824 non-responding program participants, and (c) 26 program nonparticipants. The responding program participants include: 44 State CN agency administrators; 44 State CN data managers; 275 directors at SFAs; 275 staff at SFAs; 275 data managers at SFAs; 625 school principals; 625 school staff; 625 school cafeteria managers; and 4,818 parents or guardians of sampled students. The number of SFA Directors, Cafeteria Managers and parents or guardians that will also complete the qualitative in-depth interviews are included in the counts. Non-responding program participants include: 62 directors at SFAs, 156 school principals, and 1,606 parents or guardians of sampled students. Program nonparticipants, as part of cognitive pretesting, include: 9 SFA Director Survey Pre-test participants; 3 SFA Director In-Depth Interview Pre-test participants; 2 Cafeteria Manager InDepth Interview Pre-test participants; 9 Household Survey Pre-test participants; and 3 Household In-Depth Interview Pre-test participants. Estimated Frequency of Responses per Respondent: The estimated frequency of response across the entire collection is 6.25. For the respondents, the estimated frequency of response is estimated at 7.01 annually, while the frequency for non-respondents is estimated at 3.09 annually. Administrators at State CN agencies will be contacted up to two times: (1) Initial study contact and (2) a one-time data request for meal count E:\FR\FM\10AUN1.SGM 10AUN1 52816 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 154 / Wednesday, August 10, 2016 / Notices mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with NOTICES and claiming data submitted by the sampled SFAs for the SY 2017–2018. Data managers at the State CN agencies will be expected to provide a response to the one-time data request. The SFAs (SFA directors, staff at the SFAs, and/or data managers at the SFA) will be contacted up to eight times for: (1) Study notification and request for the verification of administrative data (2) to complete a telephone pre-visit interview; (3) an on-site visit to abstract records; (4) a telephone contact to ask for any additional income eligibility applications for new students enrolled during phase 2 of data collection; (5) a telephone contact to ask for any additional income eligibility applications for new students enrolled during phase 3 of data collection; (6) a request for administrative data submitted to the State CN agency; (7) a request to complete a web-based SFA Director Survey; and (8) a telephone contact with a sub-set of 60 SFA Directors that complete the SFA Director Survey to complete a qualitative in-depth interview. Schools (principals, staff, and/or cafeteria managers) will be contacted up VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:34 Aug 09, 2016 Jkt 238001 to three times for: (1) Study notification; (2) to complete a pre-visit telephone interview to help prepare for the inperson data collection visit; and (3) an onsite data collection visit to abstract meal count and claiming records, conduct observations of meal service and to complete a brief interview with the cafeteria manager. Parents or guardians of sampled households will be contacted up to three occasions for: (1) Recruitment; (2) to complete a one time in-person household survey; and (3) to complete an in-depth phone interview (with a subset of 60 households that completed the Household Survey). There will be approximately 62 nonresponding SFAs, 156 non-responding schools, and 1,606 non-responding households. The burden for nonrespondents is outlined in the table that follows, and includes the time to review introductory materials and respond to the follow up contact call, as well as data collection activities. Program non-participants are contacted only once for the pretesting of survey instruments. PO 00000 Frm 00007 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Estimated Total Annual Responses: The total estimated number of responses for data collection is 59,133. This includes 53,505 for respondents and 5,628 for non-respondents. Estimated Time per Response: The estimated time per response is 14.76 minutes (0.246 hours) for respondents, and 2.94 minutes (0.049 hours) for nonrespondents. The estimated time of response across the entire collection is 13.62 minutes (0.227 hours). The estimated time of response varies from 1 minute to four hours depending on respondent group, as shown in the table below. Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: The total public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated at 13,445 hours (annually). The estimated burden for each type of respondent is given in the table below. Dated: August 2, 2016. Yvette S. Jackson, Acting Administrator, Food and Nutrition Service. BILLING CODE 3410–30–P E:\FR\FM\10AUN1.SGM 10AUN1 mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with NOTICES VerDate Sep<11>2014 lle~p<lnden! Type of Jkt 238001 respor~der Category Program Non- 3 Frm 00008 4,!!18 4,818 4,818 4,818 883.3 4,818 4,818 24!l.'l 4,818 4,818 2,007.5 4,818 4,818 4!JL5 4,818 4,818 4$18 !JJSO 3"613.5 4,318 4,818 4,818 0.033 160.6 4,818 4,818 4,818 0.033 l&D.6 60 0.333 60 0.083 I Survey Recruitment Contact Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4725 E:\FR\FM\10AUN1.SGM 4,818 4,818 PO 00000 4,818 4,818 l-1rH 1<:;;.hrdrl 0.500 4,818 ~ , ,, 6,424 T;;.:::t 3 6,424 11~..-.owdtiu~ Household I Program :ipants lnitH'n.: "'"'11rl"~ 1 15 0 0 0.083 1,606 1,606 0050 1.506 1.606 0 !JOOO 0.0 3,6135 \;;,hf'}l.ll 10AUN1 50 60 Incentives Received 60 50 1 1 0.750 45.0 l 0 160.6 1 160.6 [) 45.0 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 154 / Wednesday, August 10, 2016 / Notices 17:34 Aug 09, 2016 APEC III Burden Estimate Table (page 1 of 3) 2.0 52817 EN10AU16.003</GPH> mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with NOTICES 52818 VerDate Sep<11>2014 Jkt 238001 Respondent Categmv 1Hl PO 00000 State Child Nutr~tton 3.7 A€em:y Frm 00009 -175[) Fmt 4703 28 2.!! Sfmt 4725 10AUN1 -~uthoritv 62 62 3Hl 856.0 337 275 275 22.9 62 62 5.2 281 275 275 688 61 62 15.5 84' m 275 4.6 275 275 22.9 275 !khoGi fGod 325.0 275 Up Contact Guide (Stud\' 275 m I m 337 E:\FR\FM\10AUN1.SGM 337 275 275 275 6-38 275 22.9 1 175 0250 ····---------------J---------------------l-::...::_: ________:·.:::: ___________________________ J_______~I~_____J ______ ~?~------J _______: ______J------~-~::_____ .j_ ______::::.:_______ .~.____:::~~----' EN10AU16.004</GPH> 0250 D 4.6 22.9 22.9 - Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 154 / Wednesday, August 10, 2016 / Notices 17:34 Aug 09, 2016 APEC III Burden Estimate Table (page 2 of 3) mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with NOTICES category 175 1 275 0.1£7 275 275 1 275 l.OOIJ 275.0 275 l!l 1 10 0.167 1.7 275 275 275 :ns 2.75 2.75 Sfmt 9990 275 275 PO 00000 275 Staff Frm 00010 . (SF AI I ·---·--· ...... - •... ····--·-· I ·----- I 275 45.& 0 0 275.0 L7 175 625 E:\FR\FM\10AUN1.SGM 5ci1DOI 525 I ISJ:I1oolsi jScl1ooi Follow ~P Comacr Guide 10AUN1 71!1 625 781 525 1 525 l}1},g;3 52.1 156 1 156 0.250 39.0 91.1 525 625 1 625 Q.333 2083 \l D 0 C.!lu"l!l 6.0 2.08.3 625 625 1 625 312.5 2 2 1 2 1.5 625 625 1 625 tt250 156.3 I .- .. ,.. '" ,-,..,. ,.,...,,..,... .,,-,..,.., I 9.456 0.246 l1uos.ol >:: ..-h. ......-..t r."'...,.;;,.,...,,.,+<""'"' =.-. . ...<fUm..+ r;,..,_.-;.- Staff n.-.,-,'""r""'..,., !\!,-,,.,_ jinterau to School Data CoHerto~- .Access Count Records l'" ..-.~...,;,..;,,,, 'T<:>,.i'"- r·=do'l"c.nc:>. Cafeter~a 1 aansacnon Manager Icafeteria Manager lOTAt uoser\l't:n:n:m H2.5 r.A'='"'""''"'""r I I 7.632 r 7.{)1 I 53.505 r 1 1.5 156.3 '- "'""'"'"' 1.824 I 3.00 r 5.•628 I 0.!149 I 275.{1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 154 / Wednesday, August 10, 2016 / Notices Type of resiJOil{lents Respoo!!ent Fmt 4703 Jkt 238001 [FR Doc. 2016–18983 Filed 8–9–16; 8:45 am] 17:34 Aug 09, 2016 BILLING CODE 3410–30–C VerDate Sep<11>2014 APEC III Burden Estimate Table (page 3 of3) 466.8 I 5,1!63.$ 13..445 52819 EN10AU16.005</GPH>

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 154 (Wednesday, August 10, 2016)]
[Notices]
[Pages 52814-52819]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-18983]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Food and Nutrition Service


Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; 
Comments Request--Third Access Participation Eligibility and 
Certification Study Series (APEC III)

AGENCY: Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), USDA.

ACTION: Notice.

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

SUMMARY: In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this 
notice invites the general public and other public agencies to comment 
on this proposed information collection. This is a reinstatement, with 
change, of a previously approved collection for which approval has 
expired (OMB Number 0584-0530, Expiration Date: 08/31/2015); for the 
Third Access Participation Eligibility and Certification Study Series 
(APEC III).

DATES: Written comments must be received on or before October 11, 2016.

ADDRESSES: Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection 
of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions 
of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical 
utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the 
proposed collection of information, including the validity of the 
methodology and assumptions that were used; (c) ways to enhance the 
quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and 
(d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on 
those who are to respond, including use of appropriate automated, 
electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or 
other forms of information technology.
    Comments may be sent to: Devin Wallace-Williams, Ph.D., Food and 
Nutrition Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 3101 Park Center 
Drive, Alexandria, VA 22302. Comments may also be submitted via fax to 
the attention of Devin Wallace-Williams, Ph.D. at 703-305-2576 or via 
email to Devin.Wallace-Williams@fns.usda.gov. Comments will also be 
accepted through the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Go to http://www.regulations.gov, and follow the online instructions for submitting 
comments electronically.
    All written comments will be open for public inspection at the 
office of the Food and Nutrition Service during regular business hours 
(8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time Monday through Friday) at 
3101 Park Center Drive, Alexandria, Virginia 22302.
    All responses to this notice will be summarized and included in the 
request for Office of Management and Budget approval. All comments will 
be a matter of public record.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Requests for additional information or 
copies of this information collection should be directed to Devin 
Wallace-Williams, Ph.D. at 703-457-6791.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 
    Title: Third Access, Participation, Eligibility, and Certification 
Study Series (APEC III).
    Form Number: Not applicable.
    OMB Number: 0584-0530.
    Expiration Date: Not Yet Determined.
    Type of Request: Reinstatement, with change, of a previously 
approved collection for which approval has expired.
    Abstract: The purpose of this third study on Access, Participation, 
Eligibility, and Certification (APEC III) is to provide the Food and 
Nutrition Service (FNS) with key information on the annual error rates 
and erroneous payments for the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and 
School Breakfast Program (SBP) in school year (SY) 2017-2018. In 
addition, APEC III will identify School Food Authority (SFA), school, 
and student/household characteristics that may be related to error 
rates, and identify strategies and actionable guidance for reducing 
errors. Specifically, the four study objectives are:
     Objective 1: Generate a national estimate of the annual 
amount of erroneous payments based on School Year 2017-2018 by 
replicating the APEC methodology.
     Objective 2: Provide a robust examination of the 
relationship of student (household), school, and SFA characteristics to 
error rates.
     Objective 3: Conduct a sub-study on the differences in 
error rates among SFAs using different implementation strategies in 
their school meals programs.
     Objective 4: Perform qualitative analyses examining the 
reasons for erroneous payments.
    Consistent with APEC methodology, APEC III will collect data to 
address the study objectives using a multistage-clustered sample 
design, which will include:
     A nationally representative sample of SFAs in the 
contiguous 48 states and the District of Columbia;
     A stratified sample of schools within each SFA (i.e. 
sampling from SFAs with Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) schools 
and from SFAs without CEP schools independently to ensure proportional 
representation in the final sample); and
     A random sample of students (households) within each 
sampled school that applied for free and reduced-price meals (including 
denied applicants), were categorically eligible for free meals, or were 
directly certified for free meals.
    APEC III will collect data via in-person visits to SFAs, schools, 
and

[[Page 52815]]

households to measure certification, aggregation, and meal claiming 
errors. Data collection will include (a) abstraction from income 
eligibility applications, categorical eligibility records and CEP 
records for determining the identified student percentage (ISP); (b) 
abstraction of meal count and claiming records from SFAs, schools and 
FNS administrative data; (c) an SFA director survey; (d) school meal 
observations; and (e) household surveys. Abstraction of income 
eligibility data and household surveys will take place three times 
during the study year to ensure coverage of applicants from different 
times during the year. APEC III data collection will also include 
qualitative data collection to help better understand the factors that 
contribute to errors, including an SFA director interview, a cafeteria 
manager interview and in-depth interviews with select households. 
Finally, administrative meal participation data (data on the number of 
meals served and claimed for sampled students) will be collected as 
well.
    To measure certification error in non-CEP schools due to 
administrative errors, APEC III will independently determine 
certification status based on abstracted application data to assess 
errors in the SFA determination of certification status. To measure 
certification error in non-CEP schools due to household reporting 
errors, APEC III will independently determine certification status 
based on household survey data. This independent determination will be 
compared to certification status based on data reported on the 
application. To measure meal claiming errors, APEC III will conduct 
observations of a sample of meals served to students to confirm that 
meals claimed for reimbursement meet the meal pattern requirements. To 
measure aggregation error APEC III will abstract meal count and 
claiming records from different sources (school, SFA, State) for a 
target month, and identify discrepancies in data reported at each stage 
of the meal counting and claiming process. The following describes the 
types of error:

1. Certification errors

     Certification errors occur when students are certified for 
levels of benefits for which they are not eligible. Specifically, the 
student is certified for the wrong meal eligibility category.
     Because each meal eligibility category is reimbursed at 
different rates, an error in certification results in an incorrect 
level of benefit being paid to the SFA--either an overpayment or 
underpayment.
     Certification error may result from administrative error 
on the part of the SFA during application review or it can result from 
a household reporting error.
     Certification errors contribute the largest share to the 
total erroneous payments.

2. Meal claiming errors

     Meal claiming errors occur when there is an improper 
classification of meal reimbursement status based on meal components 
served.
     In schools operating with offer versus serve, including 
all high schools, the student may select fewer meal components/food 
items and still have a reimbursable meal (provided all components are 
offered to the student).
     In schools that are not operating under ``offer versus 
serve,'' a complete meal must contain all meal components required 
under the breakfast or lunch meal patterns.

3. Aggregation errors

     Aggregation errors occur in the process of counting, 
consolidating, and claiming the number of meals served in a given month 
(by claiming category--free, reduced priced, or paid)
     This occurs in the transmission of meal count and claim 
data between school, SFA, State and USDA for reimbursement.
    The sample will include schools participating in the CEP and non-
CEP schools. In summary, CEP allows school districts, individual 
schools, or groups of schools to offer breakfasts and lunches at no 
charge to all students if at least 40 percent of their students are 
``Identified Students''--that is, approved for free meals without an 
application based on participation in programs such as the Supplemental 
Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Temporary Assistance for Needy 
Families (TANF). In CEP, all meals are free to students. However, the 
percentage of meals claimed at the free and paid reimbursement level is 
determined by the Identified Student Percentage (ISP). Thus, the 
procedures for measuring certification errors in CEP will be focused on 
independently verifying the ISP and the claiming percentages for free 
and paid meals.
    The analysis plan includes four components: Calculating error and 
erroneous payment estimates, comparisons to APEC I and APEC II 
estimates, quantitative and qualitative analyses to identify factors 
associated with errors, and developing an error forecasting model. The 
calculation of estimates from APEC III will include the incidence of 
error, the total dollar amount of error and the dollar based error 
rate. The comparisons to prior APEC studies will include tests for 
significant changes over time. The quantitative and qualitative 
analyses will examine the sources and causes of errors with a focus on 
identifying potential policy options for reducing errors. Finally, the 
estimation modeling will provide both State and National models for 
estimating errors using econometric forecasting and Bayesian 
approaches, and small area estimation models (for State level 
estimates).
    Affected Public: Individuals/Households, State, Local, or Tribal 
Government, and Businesses and Other for Profit and Not for Profit 
Organizations. Respondent groups identified include: (1) Child 
Nutrition (CN) State agencies, (2) School Food Authorities (SFAs), (3) 
Schools (both CEP schools and non-CEP schools), and (4) parents/
guardians of sampled students that are either certified to receive a 
free or reduced price meal or who applied for but were denied benefits 
in School Year (SY) 2017-18.
    Estimated Number of Respondents: The total estimated number of 
respondents is 9,456. This includes 7,606 responding program 
participants, (b) 1,824 non-responding program participants, and (c) 26 
program non-participants. The responding program participants include: 
44 State CN agency administrators; 44 State CN data managers; 275 
directors at SFAs; 275 staff at SFAs; 275 data managers at SFAs; 625 
school principals; 625 school staff; 625 school cafeteria managers; and 
4,818 parents or guardians of sampled students. The number of SFA 
Directors, Cafeteria Managers and parents or guardians that will also 
complete the qualitative in-depth interviews are included in the 
counts. Non-responding program participants include: 62 directors at 
SFAs, 156 school principals, and 1,606 parents or guardians of sampled 
students. Program non-participants, as part of cognitive pretesting, 
include: 9 SFA Director Survey Pre-test participants; 3 SFA Director 
In-Depth Interview Pre-test participants; 2 Cafeteria Manager In-Depth 
Interview Pre-test participants; 9 Household Survey Pre-test 
participants; and 3 Household In-Depth Interview Pre-test participants.
    Estimated Frequency of Responses per Respondent: The estimated 
frequency of response across the entire collection is 6.25. For the 
respondents, the estimated frequency of response is estimated at 7.01 
annually, while the frequency for non-respondents is estimated at 3.09 
annually. Administrators at State CN agencies will be contacted up to 
two times: (1) Initial study contact and (2) a one-time data request 
for meal count

[[Page 52816]]

and claiming data submitted by the sampled SFAs for the SY 2017-2018. 
Data managers at the State CN agencies will be expected to provide a 
response to the one-time data request.
    The SFAs (SFA directors, staff at the SFAs, and/or data managers at 
the SFA) will be contacted up to eight times for: (1) Study 
notification and request for the verification of administrative data 
(2) to complete a telephone pre-visit interview; (3) an on-site visit 
to abstract records; (4) a telephone contact to ask for any additional 
income eligibility applications for new students enrolled during phase 
2 of data collection; (5) a telephone contact to ask for any additional 
income eligibility applications for new students enrolled during phase 
3 of data collection; (6) a request for administrative data submitted 
to the State CN agency; (7) a request to complete a web-based SFA 
Director Survey; and (8) a telephone contact with a sub-set of 60 SFA 
Directors that complete the SFA Director Survey to complete a 
qualitative in-depth interview.
    Schools (principals, staff, and/or cafeteria managers) will be 
contacted up to three times for: (1) Study notification; (2) to 
complete a pre-visit telephone interview to help prepare for the in-
person data collection visit; and (3) an onsite data collection visit 
to abstract meal count and claiming records, conduct observations of 
meal service and to complete a brief interview with the cafeteria 
manager.
    Parents or guardians of sampled households will be contacted up to 
three occasions for: (1) Recruitment; (2) to complete a one time in-
person household survey; and (3) to complete an in-depth phone 
interview (with a subset of 60 households that completed the Household 
Survey).
    There will be approximately 62 non-responding SFAs, 156 non-
responding schools, and 1,606 non-responding households. The burden for 
non-respondents is outlined in the table that follows, and includes the 
time to review introductory materials and respond to the follow up 
contact call, as well as data collection activities.
    Program non-participants are contacted only once for the pretesting 
of survey instruments.
    Estimated Total Annual Responses: The total estimated number of 
responses for data collection is 59,133. This includes 53,505 for 
respondents and 5,628 for non-respondents.
    Estimated Time per Response: The estimated time per response is 
14.76 minutes (0.246 hours) for respondents, and 2.94 minutes (0.049 
hours) for non-respondents. The estimated time of response across the 
entire collection is 13.62 minutes (0.227 hours). The estimated time of 
response varies from 1 minute to four hours depending on respondent 
group, as shown in the table below.
    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: The total public 
reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated at 
13,445 hours (annually). The estimated burden for each type of 
respondent is given in the table below.

     Dated: August 2, 2016.
Yvette S. Jackson,
Acting Administrator, Food and Nutrition Service.
 BILLING CODE 3410-30-P

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[FR Doc. 2016-18983 Filed 8-9-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3410-30-C