Notice of Request for Information To Assist the Department of Veterans Affairs To Determine the Feasibility and Need for Providing Interments in Veterans' National Cemeteries on Saturdays and Sundays, 37293-37294 [2017-16721]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 152 / Wednesday, August 9, 2017 / Notices POLICIES AND PRACTICES FOR RETRIEVAL OF RECORDS: DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS Records may be retrieved by case number, delivery tracking number, and name. POLICIES AND PRACTICES FOR RETENTION AND DISPOSAL OF RECORDS: Records are managed in accordance with National Archives and Records Administration approved BEP Records Schedule N1–318–04–16 Currency Standards. ADMINISTRATIVE, TECHNICAL, AND PHYSICAL SAFEGUARDS: Access is limited to personnel approved by the Office of Financial Management, Mutilated Currency Division. There are both logical and physical controls in place to protect access to the data. Records are maintained in locked file cabinets. Only authorized users have access to the area that houses the file cabinets. Rooms are locked when not manned by cleared personnel. RECORD ACCESS PROCEDURES: Individuals seeking to determine whether this system of records contains their information should address written inquiries in accordance with 31 CFR part 1 to the Disclosure Officer, Bureau of Engraving and Printing, Office of the Chief Counsel—FOIA and Transparency Services, 14th & C Streets SW., Room 419–A, Washington, DC 20228. CONTESTING RECORD PROCEDURES: See ‘‘Record Access Procedures’’ above. NOTIFICATION PROCEDURES: See ‘‘Record Access Procedures’’ above. EXEMPTIONS PROMULGATED FOR THE SYSTEM: None. sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES HISTORY: Notice of this system of records was last published in full on April 16, 2013 (78 FR 22617) as the Department of the Treasury, Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) .046—Automated Mutilated Currency Tracking System’’. [FR Doc. 2017–16789 Filed 8–8–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4840–01–P VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:00 Aug 08, 2017 Jkt 241001 Notice of Request for Information To Assist the Department of Veterans Affairs To Determine the Feasibility and Need for Providing Interments in Veterans’ National Cemeteries on Saturdays and Sundays Department of Veterans Affairs. Request for Information. AGENCY: ACTION: The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is requesting feedback to assist in implementing section 304 of the Jeff Miller and Richard Blumenthal Veterans Health Care and Benefits Improvement Act of 2016, which requires VA to conduct a study on the feasibility and need for providing increased interments in VA national cemeteries on Saturdays and Sundays. This notice requests comments from interested parties to help inform VA as it conducts this study, to include specific questions for comment with regard to the perceived need for such increased interments. DATES: Comments in response to this request for information must be received by VA on or before September 8, 2017. ADDRESSES: Written comments may be submitted through www.Regulations.gov, or by mail or hand delivery to the Director, Office of Regulation Policy and Management (00REG), Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Ave. NW., Room 1068, Washington, DC 20420; or by fax to (202) 273–9026 (this is a toll-free number). Comments should indicate they are submitted in response to ‘‘Notice of Request for Information to assist the Department of Veterans Affairs to determine the feasibility and need for providing interments in veterans’ national cemeteries on Saturdays and Sundays.’’ Copies of comments received will be available for public inspection in the Office of Regulation Policy and Management, (00REG), Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Ave. NW., Room 1063B, Washington, DC 20420, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday (except Federal holidays). Please call (202) 461–4902 for an appointment (this is not a toll-free number). During the comment period, comments may also be viewed online through the Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) at www.Regulations.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Brad Phillips, Executive Director, Pacific District, National Cemetery Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Avenue NW., SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00105 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 37293 Washington, DC 20420, (510) 637–6280 (this is not a toll free number). SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Section 304 of the Jeff Miller and Richard Blumenthal Veterans Health Care and Benefits Improvement Act of 2016 (Public Law 114–315, hereafter referred to as ‘‘the Act’’) requires VA to conduct a study on the feasibility and need for providing increased interments in veterans’ cemeteries on Saturdays and Sundays. In accordance with section 304(a)(2) of the Act, matters to be studied include: (1) The number of requests for interments in veterans’ cemeteries on a Saturday or Sunday since January 1, 2007; (2) the number of requests that were granted for interments in veterans’ cemeteries on a Saturday or Sunday since January 1, 2007; (3) an estimate of the number of families that, since January 1, 2007, would have selected a weekend interment if such an interment had been offered; (4) a review of the practices relating to weekend interments among non-veterans’ cemeteries, including private and municipal cemeteries; (5) a comparison of the costs to veterans’ cemeteries with respect to providing regular interments only during weekdays and such costs for providing regular interments during weekdays and at least one weekend day; (6) any other information the Secretary determines appropriate. Under section 304(a)(3) of the Act, VA must consult with the following groups in conducting this study: veterans who are eligible to be interred in a veterans’ cemetery; family members of individuals interred in a veterans’ cemetery; veterans service organizations; associations representing cemetery and funeral home professionals; the heads of agencies of State governments relating to veterans affairs; the directors of veterans’ cemeteries; and any other person the Secretary determines appropriate. This notice of request for information serves as the means for VA to consult with these groups and entities by soliciting their input on two specific matters: the number of families that, since January 1, 2007, would have selected a weekend interment if such an interment had been offered (in accordance with section 304(a)(2)(C) of the Act); and the practices relating to weekend interments among non-veterans’ cemeteries, including private and municipal cemeteries (in accordance with section 304(a)(2)(D) of the Act). VA will use comments it receives as part of conducting the study required in section 304(a) of the Act. VA will then submit a final report to Congress regarding the E:\FR\FM\09AUN1.SGM 09AUN1 37294 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 152 / Wednesday, August 9, 2017 / Notices study, as required by section 304(b) of the Act. VA notes that due to the requirement in section 304(b) of the Act to submit a report to Congress within 180 days of enactment of the Act, VA has submitted an interim report to Congress with internal administrative information related to the feasibility of and need for providing these increased interments, as well as summaries of similar information that some external groups anecdotally provided to VA. This notice of request for information ensures that all groups with which VA is required to consult in section 304(a)(3) have an opportunity to comment on those matters listed in section 304(a)(2)(C) and (D) of the Act. VA has been able to gather information from its internal administrative systems as relates to the other matters listed in the Act. This notice of request for information has a comment period of 30 days in which commenters may reply to the questions presented in the next section below. VA believes that 30 days are sufficient to provide comments, as some groups and entities with expertise in the feasibility of and need for providing these increased interments have already provided anecdotal information that has informed VA’s interim report to Congress. This notice is a request for information only. This does not constitute a Request for Proposal, applications, proposal abstracts, or quotations, and VA will not accept unsolicited proposals. Commenters are encouraged to provide complete but concise responses to the questions outlined below. Please note that VA will not respond to comments or other questions regarding policy plans, decisions, or issues with regard to this notice. VA may choose to contact individual commenters, and such communications would only serve to further clarify their written comments. sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES Request for Information This request for information will assist VA to conduct the study required in section 304(a) of the Act. Because VA is required to consult with specific groups as listed in section 304(a)(3) of the Act, and because some questions solicit information from these specific VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:00 Aug 08, 2017 Jkt 241001 groups, VA requests that all commenters identify in their comments if they are members of one of the following groups: Veterans who are eligible to be interred in a veterans’ cemetery; family members of individuals interred in a veterans’ cemetery; veterans service organizations; associations representing cemetery and funeral home professionals; and the heads of agencies of State governments relating to veterans affairs. VA welcomes comments from individuals outside of these groups as well. VA requests information related to the questions below: 1. If you are a family member of an individual who was interred in a VA national cemetery since January 1, 2007, would you likely have selected a weekend interment option (interment on Saturday or Sunday) if one had been offered? Why or why not? 2. If you are a veteran or other individual eligible for interment at a VA national cemetery, or family member of such an individual: a. Would you prefer a weekend interment (Saturday or Sunday) if such an option were offered? Why or why not? b. Would you prefer interment on a Saturday or on a Sunday, and why might you have a preference for one day or the other? 3. If you belong to an association, entity, or business representing cemetery and funeral home professionals, or are a director of a State or tribal veterans’ cemetery, please provide a review of practices relating to weekend interment options offered in private and other cemeteries (that are not VA national cemeteries). Specifically: a. Do your members, or does your organization or business, offer a Saturday or Sunday interment option? Why or why not? b. If a weekend interment option is offered, is it offered on either or both Saturday or Sunday? Why is it offered on only one day or both days? c. Is there a difference in costs to the entity to offer and conduct weekend interments versus weekday interments (to include resources like staffing and use of buildings and grounds)? Are these costs passed on to the family in the form of higher fees or charges? PO 00000 Frm 00106 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 9990 d. What do you perceive to be the advantages or disadvantages of offering weekend interment options in cemeteries and also, specifically, in VA national cemeteries? 4. If you belong to or represent veterans service organizations, or heads of agencies of State governments related to veterans affairs: a. Have veterans or their family members in the areas you serve expressed a preference for a weekend interment option in VA national cemeteries? Did those veterans or their family members provide reasons why they would or would not prefer such an option, and if so, what were the reasons provided? b. What do you perceive to be the advantages or disadvantages of VA offering weekend interment options in VA national cemeteries? Paperwork Reduction Act This request for information constitutes a general solicitation of public comments as stated in the implementing regulations of the Paperwork Reduction Act at 5 CFR 1320.3(h)(4). Therefore, this request for information does not impose information collection requirements (i.e. reporting, recordkeeping, or third-party disclosure requirements). Consequently, there is no need for review by the Office of Management and Budget under the authority of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). Signing Authority The Secretary of Veterans Affairs, or designee, approved this document and authorized the undersigned to sign and submit the document to the Office of the Federal Register for publication electronically as an official document of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Gina S. Farrisee, Deputy Chief of Staff, Department of Veterans Affairs, approved this document on August 3, 2017, for publication. Dated: August 3, 2017. Michael Shores, Director, Regulation Policy & Management, Office of the Secretary, Department of Veterans Affairs. [FR Doc. 2017–16721 Filed 8–8–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8320–01–P E:\FR\FM\09AUN1.SGM 09AUN1

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[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 152 (Wednesday, August 9, 2017)]
[Notices]
[Pages 37293-37294]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-16721]


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DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS


Notice of Request for Information To Assist the Department of 
Veterans Affairs To Determine the Feasibility and Need for Providing 
Interments in Veterans' National Cemeteries on Saturdays and Sundays

AGENCY: Department of Veterans Affairs.

ACTION: Request for Information.

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

SUMMARY: The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is requesting feedback 
to assist in implementing section 304 of the Jeff Miller and Richard 
Blumenthal Veterans Health Care and Benefits Improvement Act of 2016, 
which requires VA to conduct a study on the feasibility and need for 
providing increased interments in VA national cemeteries on Saturdays 
and Sundays. This notice requests comments from interested parties to 
help inform VA as it conducts this study, to include specific questions 
for comment with regard to the perceived need for such increased 
interments.

DATES: Comments in response to this request for information must be 
received by VA on or before September 8, 2017.

ADDRESSES: Written comments may be submitted through 
www.Regulations.gov, or by mail or hand delivery to the Director, 
Office of Regulation Policy and Management (00REG), Department of 
Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Ave. NW., Room 1068, Washington, DC 
20420; or by fax to (202) 273-9026 (this is a toll-free number). 
Comments should indicate they are submitted in response to ``Notice of 
Request for Information to assist the Department of Veterans Affairs to 
determine the feasibility and need for providing interments in 
veterans' national cemeteries on Saturdays and Sundays.'' Copies of 
comments received will be available for public inspection in the Office 
of Regulation Policy and Management, (00REG), Department of Veterans 
Affairs, 810 Vermont Ave. NW., Room 1063B, Washington, DC 20420, 
between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday 
(except Federal holidays). Please call (202) 461-4902 for an 
appointment (this is not a toll-free number). During the comment 
period, comments may also be viewed online through the Federal Docket 
Management System (FDMS) at www.Regulations.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Brad Phillips, Executive Director, 
Pacific District, National Cemetery Administration, Department of 
Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20420, (510) 
637-6280 (this is not a toll free number).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Section 304 of the Jeff Miller and Richard 
Blumenthal Veterans Health Care and Benefits Improvement Act of 2016 
(Public Law 114-315, hereafter referred to as ``the Act'') requires VA 
to conduct a study on the feasibility and need for providing increased 
interments in veterans' cemeteries on Saturdays and Sundays. In 
accordance with section 304(a)(2) of the Act, matters to be studied 
include: (1) The number of requests for interments in veterans' 
cemeteries on a Saturday or Sunday since January 1, 2007; (2) the 
number of requests that were granted for interments in veterans' 
cemeteries on a Saturday or Sunday since January 1, 2007; (3) an 
estimate of the number of families that, since January 1, 2007, would 
have selected a weekend interment if such an interment had been 
offered; (4) a review of the practices relating to weekend interments 
among non-veterans' cemeteries, including private and municipal 
cemeteries; (5) a comparison of the costs to veterans' cemeteries with 
respect to providing regular interments only during weekdays and such 
costs for providing regular interments during weekdays and at least one 
weekend day; (6) any other information the Secretary determines 
appropriate.
    Under section 304(a)(3) of the Act, VA must consult with the 
following groups in conducting this study: veterans who are eligible to 
be interred in a veterans' cemetery; family members of individuals 
interred in a veterans' cemetery; veterans service organizations; 
associations representing cemetery and funeral home professionals; the 
heads of agencies of State governments relating to veterans affairs; 
the directors of veterans' cemeteries; and any other person the 
Secretary determines appropriate. This notice of request for 
information serves as the means for VA to consult with these groups and 
entities by soliciting their input on two specific matters: the number 
of families that, since January 1, 2007, would have selected a weekend 
interment if such an interment had been offered (in accordance with 
section 304(a)(2)(C) of the Act); and the practices relating to weekend 
interments among non-veterans' cemeteries, including private and 
municipal cemeteries (in accordance with section 304(a)(2)(D) of the 
Act). VA will use comments it receives as part of conducting the study 
required in section 304(a) of the Act. VA will then submit a final 
report to Congress regarding the

[[Page 37294]]

study, as required by section 304(b) of the Act. VA notes that due to 
the requirement in section 304(b) of the Act to submit a report to 
Congress within 180 days of enactment of the Act, VA has submitted an 
interim report to Congress with internal administrative information 
related to the feasibility of and need for providing these increased 
interments, as well as summaries of similar information that some 
external groups anecdotally provided to VA. This notice of request for 
information ensures that all groups with which VA is required to 
consult in section 304(a)(3) have an opportunity to comment on those 
matters listed in section 304(a)(2)(C) and (D) of the Act. VA has been 
able to gather information from its internal administrative systems as 
relates to the other matters listed in the Act.
    This notice of request for information has a comment period of 30 
days in which commenters may reply to the questions presented in the 
next section below. VA believes that 30 days are sufficient to provide 
comments, as some groups and entities with expertise in the feasibility 
of and need for providing these increased interments have already 
provided anecdotal information that has informed VA's interim report to 
Congress.
    This notice is a request for information only. This does not 
constitute a Request for Proposal, applications, proposal abstracts, or 
quotations, and VA will not accept unsolicited proposals. Commenters 
are encouraged to provide complete but concise responses to the 
questions outlined below. Please note that VA will not respond to 
comments or other questions regarding policy plans, decisions, or 
issues with regard to this notice. VA may choose to contact individual 
commenters, and such communications would only serve to further clarify 
their written comments.

Request for Information

    This request for information will assist VA to conduct the study 
required in section 304(a) of the Act. Because VA is required to 
consult with specific groups as listed in section 304(a)(3) of the Act, 
and because some questions solicit information from these specific 
groups, VA requests that all commenters identify in their comments if 
they are members of one of the following groups: Veterans who are 
eligible to be interred in a veterans' cemetery; family members of 
individuals interred in a veterans' cemetery; veterans service 
organizations; associations representing cemetery and funeral home 
professionals; and the heads of agencies of State governments relating 
to veterans affairs. VA welcomes comments from individuals outside of 
these groups as well. VA requests information related to the questions 
below:
    1. If you are a family member of an individual who was interred in 
a VA national cemetery since January 1, 2007, would you likely have 
selected a weekend interment option (interment on Saturday or Sunday) 
if one had been offered? Why or why not?
    2. If you are a veteran or other individual eligible for interment 
at a VA national cemetery, or family member of such an individual:
    a. Would you prefer a weekend interment (Saturday or Sunday) if 
such an option were offered? Why or why not?
    b. Would you prefer interment on a Saturday or on a Sunday, and why 
might you have a preference for one day or the other?
    3. If you belong to an association, entity, or business 
representing cemetery and funeral home professionals, or are a director 
of a State or tribal veterans' cemetery, please provide a review of 
practices relating to weekend interment options offered in private and 
other cemeteries (that are not VA national cemeteries). Specifically:
    a. Do your members, or does your organization or business, offer a 
Saturday or Sunday interment option? Why or why not?
    b. If a weekend interment option is offered, is it offered on 
either or both Saturday or Sunday? Why is it offered on only one day or 
both days?
    c. Is there a difference in costs to the entity to offer and 
conduct weekend interments versus weekday interments (to include 
resources like staffing and use of buildings and grounds)? Are these 
costs passed on to the family in the form of higher fees or charges?
    d. What do you perceive to be the advantages or disadvantages of 
offering weekend interment options in cemeteries and also, 
specifically, in VA national cemeteries?
    4. If you belong to or represent veterans service organizations, or 
heads of agencies of State governments related to veterans affairs:
    a. Have veterans or their family members in the areas you serve 
expressed a preference for a weekend interment option in VA national 
cemeteries? Did those veterans or their family members provide reasons 
why they would or would not prefer such an option, and if so, what were 
the reasons provided?
    b. What do you perceive to be the advantages or disadvantages of VA 
offering weekend interment options in VA national cemeteries?

Paperwork Reduction Act

    This request for information constitutes a general solicitation of 
public comments as stated in the implementing regulations of the 
Paperwork Reduction Act at 5 CFR 1320.3(h)(4). Therefore, this request 
for information does not impose information collection requirements 
(i.e. reporting, recordkeeping, or third-party disclosure 
requirements). Consequently, there is no need for review by the Office 
of Management and Budget under the authority of the Paperwork Reduction 
Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.).

Signing Authority

    The Secretary of Veterans Affairs, or designee, approved this 
document and authorized the undersigned to sign and submit the document 
to the Office of the Federal Register for publication electronically as 
an official document of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Gina S. 
Farrisee, Deputy Chief of Staff, Department of Veterans Affairs, 
approved this document on August 3, 2017, for publication.

    Dated: August 3, 2017.
Michael Shores,
Director, Regulation Policy & Management, Office of the Secretary, 
Department of Veterans Affairs.
[FR Doc. 2017-16721 Filed 8-8-17; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 8320-01-P