Standards for Maintaining, Collecting, and Presenting Federal Data on Race and Ethnicity, 67398-67401 [2016-23672]

Download as PDF 67398 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 190 / Friday, September 30, 2016 / Notices III. Proposed Actions OSHA is requesting that OMB extend its approval of the collection of information requirements contained in the Construction Standards on Fall Protection Systems Criteria and Practices (29 CFR 1926.502) and Training Requirements (29 CFR 1926.503). OSHA is requesting a 31,264 burden hour reduction, from 457,108 hours to 425,844 based on the Agency’s determinations that fewer employers are required to comply with the Standard’s collection of information requirements and that information exchanged during an OSHA compliance inspection is not covered by the PRA. The Agency will summarize the comments submitted in response to this notice and will include this summary in the request to OMB. Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection. Title: Construction Fall Protection Systems Criteria and Practices (29 CFR 1926.502) and Training Requirements (29 CFR 1926.503). OMB Control Number: 1218–0197. Affected Public: Business or other forprofits; Federal Government; State, Local, or Tribal Government. Number of Responses: 5,314,317. Frequency of Record Keeping: On occasion, annually. Average Time per Response: Time per response ranges from 5 minutes (.08 hour) to certify a safety net to 1 hour to develop a fall protection plan. Estimated Total Burden Hours: 425,844. Estimated Cost (Operation and Maintenance): $0. mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with NOTICES IV. Public Participation—Submission of Comments on This Notice and Internet Access to Comments and Submissions You may submit comments in response to this document as follows: (1) electronically at http:// www.regulations.gov, which is the Federal eRulemaking Portal; (2) by facsimile (fax); or (3) by hard copy. All comments, attachments, and other material must identify the Agency name and the OSHA docket number for this ICR (Docket No. OSHA–2010–0008). You may supplement electronic submissions by uploading document files electronically. If you wish to mail additional materials in reference to an electronic or facsimile submission, you must submit them to the OSHA Docket Office (see the section of this notice titled ADDRESSES). The additional materials must clearly identify your electronic comments by your full name, date, and the docket number so the Agency can attach them to your comments. VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:49 Sep 29, 2016 Jkt 238001 Because of security procedures, the use of regular mail may cause a significant delay in the receipt of comments. For information about security procedures concerning the delivery of materials by hand, express delivery, messenger, or courier service, please contact the OSHA Docket Office at (202) 693–2350, (TTY (877) 889– 5627). Comments and submissions are posted without change at http:// www.regulations.gov. Therefore, OSHA cautions commenters about submitting personal information such as social security numbers and date of birth. Although all submissions are listed in the http://www.regulations.gov index, some information (e.g., copyrighted material) is not publicly available to read or download from this Web site. All submissions, including copyrighted material, are available for inspection and copying at the OSHA Docket Office. Information on using the http:// www.regulations.gov Web site to submit comments and access the docket is available at the Web site’s ‘‘User Tips’’ link. Contact the OSHA Docket Office for information about materials not available from the Web site, and for assistance in using the Internet to locate docket submissions. V. Authority and Signature David Michaels, Ph.D., MPH, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, directed the preparation of this notice. The authority for this notice is the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3506 et seq.) and Secretary of Labor’s Order No. 1–2012 (77 FR 3912). Signed at Washington, DC, on September 27, 2016. David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health. [FR Doc. 2016–23667 Filed 9–29–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510–26–P OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET Standards for Maintaining, Collecting, and Presenting Federal Data on Race and Ethnicity Executive Office of the President, Office of Management and Budget (OMB). ACTION: Review and Possible Limited Revision of OMB’s Statistical Policy Directive on Standards for Maintaining, Collecting, and Presenting Federal Data on Race and Ethnicity. AGENCY: PO 00000 Frm 00110 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 The Standards for Maintaining, Collecting, and Presenting Federal Data on Race and Ethnicity were last revised in 1997 (62 FR 58782, Oct. 30, 1997; see https:// www.whitehouse.gov/omb/fedreg_ 1997standards). Since these revisions were implemented, much has been learned about how these standards have improved the quality of Federal information collected and presented on race and ethnicity. At the same time, some areas may benefit from further refinement. Accordingly, OMB currently is undertaking a review of particular components of the 1997 standard: The use of separate questions measuring race and ethnicity and question phrasing; the classification of a Middle Eastern and North African group and reporting category; the description of the intended use of minimum reporting categories; and terminology used for race and ethnicity classifications. OMB’s current review of the standard is limited to these areas. Specific questions appear under the section, ‘‘Issues for Comment.’’ DATES: Comments on the review and possible limited revisions to OMB’s Standards for Maintaining, Collecting, and Presenting Federal Data on Race and Ethnicity detailed in this notice must be in writing. To ensure consideration of comments, they must be received no later than [30 days from the publication of this notice]. Please be aware of delays in mail processing at Federal facilities due to increased security. Respondents are encouraged to send comments electronically via email, or http://www.regulations.gov (discussed in ADDRESSES below). ADDRESSES: Written comments on these issues may be addressed to Katherine K. Wallman, Chief Statistician, Office of Management and Budget, 1800 G St., 9th Floor, Washington, DC 20503. You may also send comments or questions via Email to Race-ethnicity@ omb.eop.gov or to http:// www.regulations.gov—a Federal EGovernment Web site that allows the public to find, review, and submit comments on documents that agencies have published in the Federal Register and that are open for comment. Simply type, ‘‘Race-ethnicity’’ (in quotes) in the Comment or Submission search box, click Go, and follow the instructions for submitting comments. Comments submitted in response to this notice may be made available to the public through relevant Web sites. For this reason, please do not include in your comments information of a confidential nature, such as sensitive personal information or proprietary SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\30SEN1.SGM 30SEN1 mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 190 / Friday, September 30, 2016 / Notices information. If you send an email comment, your email address will be automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket. Please note that responses to this public comment request containing any routine notice about the confidentiality of the communication will be treated as public comments that may be made available to the public notwithstanding the inclusion of the routine notice. Electronic Availability: This document is available on the Internet on the OMB Web site at: https:// www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/ omb/inforeg/directive15/race-ethnicity_ directive_2016FRN1.pdf. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jennifer Park, Senior Statisitician, 1800 G St., 9th Floor, Washington, DC 20503, Email address: Race-ethnicity@ omb.eop.gov, telephone number: (202) 395–9046. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background: Development work on the standards for classification of Federal data on race and ethnicity originated in the activities of the Federal Interagency Committee on Education (FICE), which was originally established by Executive Order 11185 in 1964. The FICE Subcommittee on Minority Education completed a report in April 1973 on higher education for Chicanos, Puerto Ricans, and American Indians, which noted in particular the lack of comparable data on racial and ethnic groups. Accordingly, the report called for the coordinated development of common definitions for racial and ethnic groups, and the Federal collection of racial and ethnic enrollment and other educational data on a compatible and nonduplicative basis. In June 1974, FICE created an Ad Hoc Committee on Racial and Ethnic Definitions whose 25 members came from Federal agencies with major responsibilities for the collection or use of racial and ethnic data. It took on the task of determining and describing the major groups to be identified by Federal agencies when collecting and reporting racial and ethnic data. The Ad Hoc Committee wanted to ensure that whatever categories the various agencies used could be aggregated, disaggregated, or otherwise combined so that the data developed by one agency could be used in conjunction with the data developed by another agency. In addition, the Ad Hoc Committee recommended that the categories could be subdivided into more detailed ethnic groups to meet users’ needs, but that to maintain comparability, such detail data should VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:49 Sep 29, 2016 Jkt 238001 aggregate into the minimum racial and ethnic categories. Following testing of proposed categories, and the receipt of comments and incorporation of suggested modifications, OMB on May 12, 1977, promulgated for use by all Federal agencies minimum standard categories for the collection and presentation of data on race and ethnicity. (See 42 FR 1926 May 12, 1977.) (Although OMB required the agencies to use these racial and ethnic categories at a minimum, it should be emphasized that the standard permited collection of additional detail if the more detailed categories could be aggregated into the minimum racial and ethnic categories to allow comparability of data.) In 1994, OMB published a notice of proposed review and possible revision of the standard. (See https:// www.whitehouse.gov/omb/fedreg_ notice_15.) It requested comments on the adequacy of then current categories. Specifically, it asked for comments on the addition of a ‘‘multiracial’’ category; the addition of an ‘‘Other Race’’ category; use of an open-ended question to solicit information on race and ethnicity; the names of the ‘‘Black’’ category and the ‘‘American Indian or Alaska Native’’ category; including ‘‘Native Hawaiians’’ as a separate reporting category from the ‘‘Asian or Pacific Islander’’ category; adding Hispanic as a racial designation rather than ethnicity; and adding an ‘‘Arab or Middle Eastern’’ category as an ethnicity. OMB established an Interagency Committee for the Review of the Racial and Ethnic Standards, whose members represented the many and diverse Federal needs for racial and ethnic data, including statutory requirements for such data. In 1997, OMB published the recommendations of the Interagency Committee in its notice of decision. (See https://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/ fedreg_1997standards.) Drawing from stakeholder input, Interagency Committee statistical analysis, and public comment, the standard was revised in several ways. It required separate measures of race and ethnicity, with the ‘‘Hispanic or Latino’’ ethnicity presented first. Respondents were offered the option of selecting one or more racial designations, with the use of the instructions ‘‘Mark one or more’’ and ‘‘Select one or more.’’ ‘‘AfricanAmerican’’ was added to the category of ‘‘Black.’’ ‘‘Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander’’ was created as a separate category from ‘‘Asian or Pacific Islander.’’ However, agreement could not be reached regarding the composition of an ‘‘Arab/Middle PO 00000 Frm 00111 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 67399 Eastern’’ category, and no classification or category was therefore defined. Current Review: Since the 1997 revision, the U.S. population has continued to become more racially and ethnically diverse. Additionally, much has been learned about the implementation of these standards since they were issued approximately two decades ago. In accordance with good statistical practice, several Federal agencies have conducted methodological research to better understand how use of the revised standard informs the quality of Federal statistics on race and ethnicity. In 2014, OMB formed an Interagency Working Group for Research on Race and Ethnicity to exchange research findings, identify implementation issues, and collaborate on a shared research agenda to improve Federal data on race and ethnicity. The Working Group comprises representatives from ten cabinet departments and three other agencies engaged in the collection or use of Federal race and ethnicity data. Through its systematic review of the implemention of the 1997 revision and stakeholder feedback, the Working Group identified four particular areas where further revisions to the standard might improve the quality of race and ethnicity information collected and presented by Federal agencies. Specifically, these four areas include: 1. The use of separate questions versus a combined question to measure race and ethnicity and question phrasing; 2. the classification of a Middle Eastern and North African group and distinct reporting category; 3. the description of the intended use of minimum reporting categories; and 4. the salience of terminology used for race and ethnicity classifications and other language in the standard. Issues for Comment: With this Notice, OMB is seeking comments from the public on: (1) The adequacy of the current standard in the areas identified for focused review (see detailed descriptions below); (2) specific suggestions for the identified areas that have been offered; and (3) principles that should govern any proposed revisions to the standards in the identified areas. Question Format & Nonresponse: Although many respondents report within the race and ethnicity categories specified by the standard, recent censuses, surveys, and experimental tests have shown that its implementation is not well understood and/or is considered inadequate by some respondents. This results in respondents’ inability and/or E:\FR\FM\30SEN1.SGM 30SEN1 mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with NOTICES 67400 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 190 / Friday, September 30, 2016 / Notices unwillingness to self-identify as the standard intends. For a growing segment of respondents, this situation arises because of the conceptual complexity that is rooted in the standard’s definitional distinction of race from ethnicity. Nearly half of Hispanic or Latino respondents do not identify within any of the standard’s race categories (Rios et al. 2014; see https:// www.census.gov/population/www/ documentation/twps0102/ twps0102.pdf). With the projected steady growth of the Hispanic or Latino population, the number of people who do not identify with any of the standard’s race categories is expected to increase (Compton et al. 2012; see https://www.census.gov/2010census/ pdf/2010_Census_Race_HO_AQE.pdf; Rios et al. 2014). Additionally, although the reporting of multiple races is permitted according to the current standard, reporting multiple Hispanic origins or a mixed Hispanic/nonHispanic heritage in the current Hispanic ethnicity question is not permitted. (Please note: The terms ‘Hispanic or Latino’’ and ‘‘Hispanic’’ are used interchangeably in this Notice.) To explore this issue further, the U.S. Census Bureau conducted the 2010 Census Race and Hispanic Origin Alternative Questionnaire Experiment (AQE). Among its most notable findings was that a combined question design (rather than the current standard of separate questions) yielded a substantially increased use of OMB standard categories among Hispanic or Latino respondents, signaling that a combined question approach may better reflect how Hispanic or Latino respondents view themselves (see https://www.census.gov/2010census/ pdf/2010_Census_Race_HO_AQE.pdf). Qualitative aspects of this research further supported this interpretation. The Federal Interagency Working Group for Research on Race and Ethnicity continues to examine this proposal. If a combined measure were to be used outside of a limited, methodological experiment, it would be necessary for OMB to revise the current standard. Middle Eastern or North African: According to the current standard, the aggregate reporting category of ‘‘White’’ race includes people having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa. During the periodic review preceding the 1997 revision, OMB’s Interagency Committee for the Review of the Racial and Ethnic Standards considered suggestions to require an additional, distinct minimum reporting category for respondents identifying as ‘‘Arabs or Middle VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:49 Sep 29, 2016 Jkt 238001 Easterners.’’ At the conclusion of the review, agreement could not be reached among public stakeholders on the intended measurement concept (i.e., whether the category should be based on language, geography, etc.) nor, accordingly, a definition for this category. The Committee took this public disagreement into consideration and thus did not issue a definition nor an additional, minimum reporting category for this group. Instead, OMB encouraged further research be done to determine the best way to improve data for ‘‘Arabs/Middle Easterners.’’ The Federal Interagency Working Group for Research on Race and Ethnicity continues to examine this proposal, with input from multiple stakeholders. If consensus upon a definition for Middle Eastern or North African can be reached, with or without the requirement of an additional, separate, aggregate reporting category, OMB would need to revise the current standard to clarify the classification instructions. This would address potential inconsistencies across data collections where data describing a Middle Eastern or North African group could be reported separately for detailed analyses (for example, where sample size permits), but otherwise could be aggregated into the ‘‘White’’ reporting category to facilitate comparability across information collections that would not have large enough samples to permit separate, detailed reporting. Intent of Minimum Categories: The standard provides a minimum set of racial and ethnic categories for use when Federal agencies are collecting and presenting such information for statistical, administrative, or compliance purposes. However, it does not preclude the collection and presentation of additional detailed categories for statistical, administrative, or compliance purposes, provided that the additional detailed categories can be aggregated into the minimum set to permit comparisons. Specifically, the current standard advises, ‘‘In no case shall the provisions of the standards be construed to limit the collection of data to the categories described above. The collection of greater detail is encouraged . . .’’ There are numerous examples of Federal agencies collecting detailed race and ethnicity data in their statistical reporting; these are not limited to decennial censuses or extremely large surveys, such as the American Community Survey (ACS). Nonetheless, OMB has learned that the minimum reporting categories as described in the current standard are often misinterpreted as the only permissible PO 00000 Frm 00112 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 reporting categories. Accordingly, OMB has asked the Federal Interagency Working Group for Research on Race and Ethnicity to examine the language in the current standard in order to improve the understanding of the intended use of minimum categories, that is, to facilitate comparison across information collections, rather than to limit detailed race and ethnic group information collection and presentation. Terminology: As the diversity of the U.S. continues to increase, it becomes more important for people to understand the racial and ethnic terminology included in Federal data collection systems. The language used to describe race and ethnicity changes over time, and while some terminology continues to resonate with group members, other expressions may fall out of favor or take on other meanings. For example, the standard currently designates ‘‘Black or African American’’ as the ‘‘principal minority race.’’ This designation provides an option, in certain circumstances, for presentation of the ‘‘White’’ category, the ‘‘Black or African American’’ category (as the ‘principal minority race’) and the ‘‘All Other Races’’ category, without the requirement of also presenting other minimum reporting categories. The designation may warrant revision for several reasons. First, certain definitions of ‘‘minority’’ as including Hispanic (i.e., HR 4238; see https:// www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/ house-bill/4238), and the relative prevalence of the Hispanic or Latino population compared with the Black or African American population, suggest potential revision of the ‘‘principal minority race’’ designation, or the use of alternative terms (e.g., ‘‘principal minority race/ethnicity’’). Perhaps most broadly, the utility of presenting a category of ‘‘All Other Races,’’ given the diversity of experience among other race/ethnicity groups, and the salience of designating a ‘‘principal minority’’ for presentation purposes, suggests further review. The Federal Interagency Working Group for Research on Race and Ethnicity is examining such terminology for possible revision to the standard. Guidance for Review: Federal Uses of Race and Ethnicity Data: When providing comment regarding proposed areas for possible revision, it may be helpful to keep in mind how the standard is used. The standard not only guides information collected and presented from the decennial census and numerous other statistical collections, but also is used by Federal agencies for civil rights enforcement and for program E:\FR\FM\30SEN1.SGM 30SEN1 mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 190 / Friday, September 30, 2016 / Notices administrative reporting. These include, among others: • Enforcing the requirements of the Voting Rights Act; • reviewing State congressional redistricting plans; • collecting and presenting population and population characteristics data, labor force data, education data, and vital and health statistics; • establishing and evaluating Federal affirmative action plans and evaluating affirmative action and discrimination in employment in the private sector; • monitoring the access of minorities to home mortgage loans under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act; • enforcing the Equal Credit Opportunity Act; • monitoring and enforcing desegregation plans in the public schools; • assisting minority businesses under the minority business development programs; and • monitoring and enforcing the Fair Housing Act. To most effectively promote information quality, the intended uses of data on race and ethnicity should be considered when changes to the standards are contemplated. Additionally, the possible effects of any proposed changes on the quality and utility of the resulting data must be considered. General Principles for the Review of the Racial and Ethnic Data Categories: When providing comment on particular areas of the current standard, it also may be helpful to consult the principles that framed the 1977 and 1997 revisions. Comments on these principles are welcomed. 1. The racial and ethnic categories set forth in the standard should not be interpreted as being scientific or anthropological in nature. 2. Respect for individual dignity should guide the processes and methods for collecting data on race and ethnicity; respondent self-identification should be facilitated to the greatest extent possible. 3. To the extent practicable, the concepts and terminology should reflect clear and generally understood definitions that can achieve broad public acceptance. 4. The racial and ethnic categories should be comprehensive in coverage and produce compatible, nonduplicated, exchangeable data across Federal agencies. 5. Foremost consideration should be given to data aggregations by race and ethnicity that are useful for statistical analysis, program administration and VerDate Sep<11>2014 20:49 Sep 29, 2016 Jkt 238001 assessment, and enforcement of existing laws and judicial decisions, bearing in mind that the standards are not intended to be used to establish eligibility for participation in any Federal program. 6. While Federal data needs for racial and ethnic data are of primary importance, consideration should also be given to needs at the State and local government levels, including American Indian tribal and Alaska Native village governments, as well as to general societal needs for these data. 7. The categories should set forth a minimum standard; additional categories should be permitted provided they can be aggregated to the standard categories. The number of standard categories should be kept to a manageable size, as determined by statistical concerns and data needs. 8. A revised set of categories should be operationally feasible in terms of burden placed upon respondents and the cost to agencies and respondents to implement the revisions. 9. Any changes in the categories should be based on sound methodological research and should include evaluations of the impact of any changes not only on the usefulness of the resulting data but also on the comparability of any new categories with the existing ones. 10. Any revision to the categories should provide for a crosswalk at the time of adoption between the old and the new categories so that historical data series can be statistically adjusted and comparisons can be made. 11. Because of the many and varied needs and strong interdependence of Federal agencies for racial and ethnic data, any changes to the existing categories should be the product of an interagency collaborative effort. OMB recognizes that these principles may in some cases represent competing goals for the standard. Through the review process, it will be necessary to balance statistical issues, needs for data, and social concerns. The application of these principles to guide the review and possible revision of the standard ultimately should result in consistent, publicly accepted data on race and ethnicity that will meet the needs of the government and the public while recognizing the diversity of the population and respecting the individual’s dignity. Howard A. Shelanski, Administrator, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. [FR Doc. 2016–23672 Filed 9–29–16; 8:45 am] NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION [Notice: (16–069)] NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee; Heliophysics Subcommittee; Meeting National Aeronautics and Space Administration. AGENCY: ACTION: Notice of meeting. In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, Public Law 92–463, as amended, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announces a meeting of the Heliophysics Subcommittee of the NASA Advisory Council (NAC). This Subcommittee reports to the Science Committee of the NAC. The meeting will be held for the purpose of soliciting, from the scientific community and other persons, scientific and technical information relevant to program planning. SUMMARY: Tuesday, October 25, 2016, 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m., Eastern Time. DATES: FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: KarShelia Henderson, Science Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC 20546, (202) 358–2355, fax (202) 358–2779, or khenderson@ nasa.gov. The meeting will be open to the public telephonically and via WebEx. Any interested person may call the USA toll free conference call number 1–888–625– 1623, passcode 5538265, to participate in this meeting by telephone. The WebEx link is https://nasa.webex.com/; the meeting number is 999 356 448 and the password is HPS2016!. The agenda for the meeting includes the following topics: SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: —Living With a Star (LWS) Vision —LWS Focus Topics for Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Sciences (ROSES) 2017 It is imperative that the meeting be held on this date to accommodate the scheduling priorities of the key participants. Patricia D. Rausch, Advisory Committee Management Officer, National Aeronautics and Space Administration. [FR Doc. 2016–23657 Filed 9–29–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7510–13–P BILLING CODE 3110–01–P PO 00000 Frm 00113 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 9990 67401 E:\FR\FM\30SEN1.SGM 30SEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 190 (Friday, September 30, 2016)]
[Notices]
[Pages 67398-67401]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-23672]


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

OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET


Standards for Maintaining, Collecting, and Presenting Federal 
Data on Race and Ethnicity

AGENCY: Executive Office of the President, Office of Management and 
Budget (OMB).

ACTION: Review and Possible Limited Revision of OMB's Statistical 
Policy Directive on Standards for Maintaining, Collecting, and 
Presenting Federal Data on Race and Ethnicity.

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

SUMMARY: The Standards for Maintaining, Collecting, and Presenting 
Federal Data on Race and Ethnicity were last revised in 1997 (62 FR 
58782, Oct. 30, 1997; see https://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/fedreg_1997standards). Since these revisions were implemented, much has 
been learned about how these standards have improved the quality of 
Federal information collected and presented on race and ethnicity. At 
the same time, some areas may benefit from further refinement. 
Accordingly, OMB currently is undertaking a review of particular 
components of the 1997 standard: The use of separate questions 
measuring race and ethnicity and question phrasing; the classification 
of a Middle Eastern and North African group and reporting category; the 
description of the intended use of minimum reporting categories; and 
terminology used for race and ethnicity classifications. OMB's current 
review of the standard is limited to these areas. Specific questions 
appear under the section, ``Issues for Comment.''

DATES: Comments on the review and possible limited revisions to OMB's 
Standards for Maintaining, Collecting, and Presenting Federal Data on 
Race and Ethnicity detailed in this notice must be in writing. To 
ensure consideration of comments, they must be received no later than 
[30 days from the publication of this notice]. Please be aware of 
delays in mail processing at Federal facilities due to increased 
security. Respondents are encouraged to send comments electronically 
via email, or http://www.regulations.gov (discussed in ADDRESSES 
below).

ADDRESSES: Written comments on these issues may be addressed to 
Katherine K. Wallman, Chief Statistician, Office of Management and 
Budget, 1800 G St., 9th Floor, Washington, DC 20503. You may also send 
comments or questions via Email to Race-ethnicity@omb.eop.gov or to 
http://www.regulations.gov--a Federal E-Government Web site that allows 
the public to find, review, and submit comments on documents that 
agencies have published in the Federal Register and that are open for 
comment. Simply type, ``Race-ethnicity'' (in quotes) in the Comment or 
Submission search box, click Go, and follow the instructions for 
submitting comments.
    Comments submitted in response to this notice may be made available 
to the public through relevant Web sites. For this reason, please do 
not include in your comments information of a confidential nature, such 
as sensitive personal information or proprietary

[[Page 67399]]

information. If you send an email comment, your email address will be 
automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is 
placed in the public docket. Please note that responses to this public 
comment request containing any routine notice about the confidentiality 
of the communication will be treated as public comments that may be 
made available to the public notwithstanding the inclusion of the 
routine notice.
    Electronic Availability: This document is available on the Internet 
on the OMB Web site at: https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/inforeg/directive15/race-ethnicity_directive_2016FRN1.pdf.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jennifer Park, Senior Statisitician, 
1800 G St., 9th Floor, Washington, DC 20503, Email address: Race-ethnicity@omb.eop.gov, telephone number: (202) 395-9046.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 
    Background: Development work on the standards for classification of 
Federal data on race and ethnicity originated in the activities of the 
Federal Interagency Committee on Education (FICE), which was originally 
established by Executive Order 11185 in 1964. The FICE Subcommittee on 
Minority Education completed a report in April 1973 on higher education 
for Chicanos, Puerto Ricans, and American Indians, which noted in 
particular the lack of comparable data on racial and ethnic groups. 
Accordingly, the report called for the coordinated development of 
common definitions for racial and ethnic groups, and the Federal 
collection of racial and ethnic enrollment and other educational data 
on a compatible and nonduplicative basis.
    In June 1974, FICE created an Ad Hoc Committee on Racial and Ethnic 
Definitions whose 25 members came from Federal agencies with major 
responsibilities for the collection or use of racial and ethnic data. 
It took on the task of determining and describing the major groups to 
be identified by Federal agencies when collecting and reporting racial 
and ethnic data. The Ad Hoc Committee wanted to ensure that whatever 
categories the various agencies used could be aggregated, 
disaggregated, or otherwise combined so that the data developed by one 
agency could be used in conjunction with the data developed by another 
agency. In addition, the Ad Hoc Committee recommended that the 
categories could be subdivided into more detailed ethnic groups to meet 
users' needs, but that to maintain comparability, such detail data 
should aggregate into the minimum racial and ethnic categories.
    Following testing of proposed categories, and the receipt of 
comments and incorporation of suggested modifications, OMB on May 12, 
1977, promulgated for use by all Federal agencies minimum standard 
categories for the collection and presentation of data on race and 
ethnicity. (See 42 FR 1926 May 12, 1977.) (Although OMB required the 
agencies to use these racial and ethnic categories at a minimum, it 
should be emphasized that the standard permited collection of 
additional detail if the more detailed categories could be aggregated 
into the minimum racial and ethnic categories to allow comparability of 
data.)
    In 1994, OMB published a notice of proposed review and possible 
revision of the standard. (See https://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/fedreg_notice_15.) It requested comments on the adequacy of then 
current categories. Specifically, it asked for comments on the addition 
of a ``multiracial'' category; the addition of an ``Other Race'' 
category; use of an open-ended question to solicit information on race 
and ethnicity; the names of the ``Black'' category and the ``American 
Indian or Alaska Native'' category; including ``Native Hawaiians'' as a 
separate reporting category from the ``Asian or Pacific Islander'' 
category; adding Hispanic as a racial designation rather than 
ethnicity; and adding an ``Arab or Middle Eastern'' category as an 
ethnicity. OMB established an Interagency Committee for the Review of 
the Racial and Ethnic Standards, whose members represented the many and 
diverse Federal needs for racial and ethnic data, including statutory 
requirements for such data.
    In 1997, OMB published the recommendations of the Interagency 
Committee in its notice of decision. (See https://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/fedreg_1997standards.) Drawing from stakeholder input, Interagency 
Committee statistical analysis, and public comment, the standard was 
revised in several ways. It required separate measures of race and 
ethnicity, with the ``Hispanic or Latino'' ethnicity presented first. 
Respondents were offered the option of selecting one or more racial 
designations, with the use of the instructions ``Mark one or more'' and 
``Select one or more.'' ``AfricanAmerican'' was added to the category 
of ``Black.'' ``Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander'' was created 
as a separate category from ``Asian or Pacific Islander.'' However, 
agreement could not be reached regarding the composition of an ``Arab/
Middle Eastern'' category, and no classification or category was 
therefore defined.
    Current Review: Since the 1997 revision, the U.S. population has 
continued to become more racially and ethnically diverse. Additionally, 
much has been learned about the implementation of these standards since 
they were issued approximately two decades ago. In accordance with good 
statistical practice, several Federal agencies have conducted 
methodological research to better understand how use of the revised 
standard informs the quality of Federal statistics on race and 
ethnicity.
    In 2014, OMB formed an Interagency Working Group for Research on 
Race and Ethnicity to exchange research findings, identify 
implementation issues, and collaborate on a shared research agenda to 
improve Federal data on race and ethnicity. The Working Group comprises 
representatives from ten cabinet departments and three other agencies 
engaged in the collection or use of Federal race and ethnicity data.
    Through its systematic review of the implemention of the 1997 
revision and stakeholder feedback, the Working Group identified four 
particular areas where further revisions to the standard might improve 
the quality of race and ethnicity information collected and presented 
by Federal agencies. Specifically, these four areas include:
    1. The use of separate questions versus a combined question to 
measure race and ethnicity and question phrasing;
    2. the classification of a Middle Eastern and North African group 
and distinct reporting category;
    3. the description of the intended use of minimum reporting 
categories; and
    4. the salience of terminology used for race and ethnicity 
classifications and other language in the standard.
    Issues for Comment: With this Notice, OMB is seeking comments from 
the public on: (1) The adequacy of the current standard in the areas 
identified for focused review (see detailed descriptions below); (2) 
specific suggestions for the identified areas that have been offered; 
and (3) principles that should govern any proposed revisions to the 
standards in the identified areas.
    Question Format & Nonresponse: Although many respondents report 
within the race and ethnicity categories specified by the standard, 
recent censuses, surveys, and experimental tests have shown that its 
implementation is not well understood and/or is considered inadequate 
by some respondents. This results in respondents' inability and/or

[[Page 67400]]

unwillingness to self-identify as the standard intends.
    For a growing segment of respondents, this situation arises because 
of the conceptual complexity that is rooted in the standard's 
definitional distinction of race from ethnicity. Nearly half of 
Hispanic or Latino respondents do not identify within any of the 
standard's race categories (Rios et al. 2014; see https://www.census.gov/population/www/documentation/twps0102/twps0102.pdf). 
With the projected steady growth of the Hispanic or Latino population, 
the number of people who do not identify with any of the standard's 
race categories is expected to increase (Compton et al. 2012; see 
https://www.census.gov/2010census/pdf/2010_Census_Race_HO_AQE.pdf; Rios 
et al. 2014). Additionally, although the reporting of multiple races is 
permitted according to the current standard, reporting multiple 
Hispanic origins or a mixed Hispanic/non-Hispanic heritage in the 
current Hispanic ethnicity question is not permitted. (Please note: The 
terms `Hispanic or Latino'' and ``Hispanic'' are used interchangeably 
in this Notice.)
    To explore this issue further, the U.S. Census Bureau conducted the 
2010 Census Race and Hispanic Origin Alternative Questionnaire 
Experiment (AQE). Among its most notable findings was that a combined 
question design (rather than the current standard of separate 
questions) yielded a substantially increased use of OMB standard 
categories among Hispanic or Latino respondents, signaling that a 
combined question approach may better reflect how Hispanic or Latino 
respondents view themselves (see https://www.census.gov/2010census/pdf/2010_Census_Race_HO_AQE.pdf). Qualitative aspects of this research 
further supported this interpretation. The Federal Interagency Working 
Group for Research on Race and Ethnicity continues to examine this 
proposal. If a combined measure were to be used outside of a limited, 
methodological experiment, it would be necessary for OMB to revise the 
current standard.
    Middle Eastern or North African: According to the current standard, 
the aggregate reporting category of ``White'' race includes people 
having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle 
East, or North Africa. During the periodic review preceding the 1997 
revision, OMB's Interagency Committee for the Review of the Racial and 
Ethnic Standards considered suggestions to require an additional, 
distinct minimum reporting category for respondents identifying as 
``Arabs or Middle Easterners.'' At the conclusion of the review, 
agreement could not be reached among public stakeholders on the 
intended measurement concept (i.e., whether the category should be 
based on language, geography, etc.) nor, accordingly, a definition for 
this category. The Committee took this public disagreement into 
consideration and thus did not issue a definition nor an additional, 
minimum reporting category for this group. Instead, OMB encouraged 
further research be done to determine the best way to improve data for 
``Arabs/Middle Easterners.'' The Federal Interagency Working Group for 
Research on Race and Ethnicity continues to examine this proposal, with 
input from multiple stakeholders. If consensus upon a definition for 
Middle Eastern or North African can be reached, with or without the 
requirement of an additional, separate, aggregate reporting category, 
OMB would need to revise the current standard to clarify the 
classification instructions. This would address potential 
inconsistencies across data collections where data describing a Middle 
Eastern or North African group could be reported separately for 
detailed analyses (for example, where sample size permits), but 
otherwise could be aggregated into the ``White'' reporting category to 
facilitate comparability across information collections that would not 
have large enough samples to permit separate, detailed reporting.
    Intent of Minimum Categories: The standard provides a minimum set 
of racial and ethnic categories for use when Federal agencies are 
collecting and presenting such information for statistical, 
administrative, or compliance purposes. However, it does not preclude 
the collection and presentation of additional detailed categories for 
statistical, administrative, or compliance purposes, provided that the 
additional detailed categories can be aggregated into the minimum set 
to permit comparisons. Specifically, the current standard advises, ``In 
no case shall the provisions of the standards be construed to limit the 
collection of data to the categories described above. The collection of 
greater detail is encouraged . . .''
    There are numerous examples of Federal agencies collecting detailed 
race and ethnicity data in their statistical reporting; these are not 
limited to decennial censuses or extremely large surveys, such as the 
American Community Survey (ACS). Nonetheless, OMB has learned that the 
minimum reporting categories as described in the current standard are 
often misinterpreted as the only permissible reporting categories. 
Accordingly, OMB has asked the Federal Interagency Working Group for 
Research on Race and Ethnicity to examine the language in the current 
standard in order to improve the understanding of the intended use of 
minimum categories, that is, to facilitate comparison across 
information collections, rather than to limit detailed race and ethnic 
group information collection and presentation.
    Terminology: As the diversity of the U.S. continues to increase, it 
becomes more important for people to understand the racial and ethnic 
terminology included in Federal data collection systems. The language 
used to describe race and ethnicity changes over time, and while some 
terminology continues to resonate with group members, other expressions 
may fall out of favor or take on other meanings.
    For example, the standard currently designates ``Black or African 
American'' as the ``principal minority race.'' This designation 
provides an option, in certain circumstances, for presentation of the 
``White'' category, the ``Black or African American'' category (as the 
`principal minority race') and the ``All Other Races'' category, 
without the requirement of also presenting other minimum reporting 
categories. The designation may warrant revision for several reasons. 
First, certain definitions of ``minority'' as including Hispanic (i.e., 
HR 4238; see https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/4238), and the relative prevalence of the Hispanic or Latino population 
compared with the Black or African American population, suggest 
potential revision of the ``principal minority race'' designation, or 
the use of alternative terms (e.g., ``principal minority race/
ethnicity''). Perhaps most broadly, the utility of presenting a 
category of ``All Other Races,'' given the diversity of experience 
among other race/ethnicity groups, and the salience of designating a 
``principal minority'' for presentation purposes, suggests further 
review. The Federal Interagency Working Group for Research on Race and 
Ethnicity is examining such terminology for possible revision to the 
standard.
    Guidance for Review:
    Federal Uses of Race and Ethnicity Data: When providing comment 
regarding proposed areas for possible revision, it may be helpful to 
keep in mind how the standard is used. The standard not only guides 
information collected and presented from the decennial census and 
numerous other statistical collections, but also is used by Federal 
agencies for civil rights enforcement and for program

[[Page 67401]]

administrative reporting. These include, among others:
     Enforcing the requirements of the Voting Rights Act;
     reviewing State congressional redistricting plans;
     collecting and presenting population and population 
characteristics data, labor force data, education data, and vital and 
health statistics;
     establishing and evaluating Federal affirmative action 
plans and evaluating affirmative action and discrimination in 
employment in the private sector;
     monitoring the access of minorities to home mortgage loans 
under the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act;
     enforcing the Equal Credit Opportunity Act;
     monitoring and enforcing desegregation plans in the public 
schools;
     assisting minority businesses under the minority business 
development programs; and
     monitoring and enforcing the Fair Housing Act.
    To most effectively promote information quality, the intended uses 
of data on race and ethnicity should be considered when changes to the 
standards are contemplated. Additionally, the possible effects of any 
proposed changes on the quality and utility of the resulting data must 
be considered.
    General Principles for the Review of the Racial and Ethnic Data 
Categories: When providing comment on particular areas of the current 
standard, it also may be helpful to consult the principles that framed 
the 1977 and 1997 revisions. Comments on these principles are welcomed.
    1. The racial and ethnic categories set forth in the standard 
should not be interpreted as being scientific or anthropological in 
nature.
    2. Respect for individual dignity should guide the processes and 
methods for collecting data on race and ethnicity; respondent self-
identification should be facilitated to the greatest extent possible.
    3. To the extent practicable, the concepts and terminology should 
reflect clear and generally understood definitions that can achieve 
broad public acceptance.
    4. The racial and ethnic categories should be comprehensive in 
coverage and produce compatible, nonduplicated, exchangeable data 
across Federal agencies.
    5. Foremost consideration should be given to data aggregations by 
race and ethnicity that are useful for statistical analysis, program 
administration and assessment, and enforcement of existing laws and 
judicial decisions, bearing in mind that the standards are not intended 
to be used to establish eligibility for participation in any Federal 
program.
    6. While Federal data needs for racial and ethnic data are of 
primary importance, consideration should also be given to needs at the 
State and local government levels, including American Indian tribal and 
Alaska Native village governments, as well as to general societal needs 
for these data.
    7. The categories should set forth a minimum standard; additional 
categories should be permitted provided they can be aggregated to the 
standard categories. The number of standard categories should be kept 
to a manageable size, as determined by statistical concerns and data 
needs.
    8. A revised set of categories should be operationally feasible in 
terms of burden placed upon respondents and the cost to agencies and 
respondents to implement the revisions.
    9. Any changes in the categories should be based on sound 
methodological research and should include evaluations of the impact of 
any changes not only on the usefulness of the resulting data but also 
on the comparability of any new categories with the existing ones.
    10. Any revision to the categories should provide for a crosswalk 
at the time of adoption between the old and the new categories so that 
historical data series can be statistically adjusted and comparisons 
can be made.
    11. Because of the many and varied needs and strong interdependence 
of Federal agencies for racial and ethnic data, any changes to the 
existing categories should be the product of an interagency 
collaborative effort.
    OMB recognizes that these principles may in some cases represent 
competing goals for the standard. Through the review process, it will 
be necessary to balance statistical issues, needs for data, and social 
concerns. The application of these principles to guide the review and 
possible revision of the standard ultimately should result in 
consistent, publicly accepted data on race and ethnicity that will meet 
the needs of the government and the public while recognizing the 
diversity of the population and respecting the individual's dignity.

Howard A. Shelanski,
Administrator, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.
[FR Doc. 2016-23672 Filed 9-29-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3110-01-P