Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; American Community Survey Methods Panel Tests, 54317-54320 [2017-24943]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 221 / Friday, November 17, 2017 / Notices written statements with the Board’s staff before or after the meeting. Written comments and time requests for oral comments must be sent to Scott Jacobson, Black Hills National Forest Supervisor’s Office, 1019 North Fifth Street, Custer, South Dakota 57730; by email to sjjacobson@fs.fed.us, or via facsimile to 605–673–9208. Meeting Accommodations: If you are a person requiring reasonable accommodation, please make requests in advance for sign language interpreting, assistive listening devices, or other reasonable accommodation for access to the facility or proceedings by contacting the person listed in the section titled FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. All reasonable accommodation requests are managed on a case by case basis. Dated: October 24, 2017. Chris French, Associate Deputy Chief, National Forest System. I. Abstract [FR Doc. 2017–24914 Filed 11–16–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3411–15–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Census Bureau Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; American Community Survey Methods Panel Tests U.S. Census Bureau, Commerce. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. DATES: To ensure consideration, written comments must be submitted on or before January 16, 2018. ADDRESSES: Please direct all written comments to Jennifer Jessup, Departmental Paperwork Clearance Officer, Department of Commerce, Room 6616, 14th and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230 (or via the Internet at PRAcomments@doc.gov). You may also submit comments, identified by Docket number USBC– 2017–0006, to the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. All comments received are part of the public record. No comments will be posted to http://www.regulations.gov for sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:32 Nov 16, 2017 Jkt 244001 public viewing until after the comment period has closed. Comments will generally be posted without change. All Personally Identifiable Information (for example, name and address) voluntarily submitted by the commenter may be publicly accessible. Do not submit Confidential Business Information or otherwise sensitive or protected information. You may submit attachments to electronic comments in Microsoft Word, Excel, WordPerfect, or Adobe PDF file formats only. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Requests for additional information or copies of the information collection instrument(s) and instructions should be directed to Robin A. Pennington, U.S. Census Bureau, Decennial Census Management Division, 4600 Silver Hill Rd., Washington, DC 20233, or email at Robin.A.Pennington@census.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The American Community Survey (ACS) collects detailed socioeconomic data from about 3.5 million addresses in the United States and 36,000 in Puerto Rico each year. The ACS also collects detailed socioeconomic data from about 195,000 residents living in Group Quarters (GQ) facilities. Resulting tabulations from this data collection are provided on a yearly basis. The ACS allows the Census Bureau to provide timely and relevant housing and socioeconomic statistics, even for small geographies. An ongoing data collection effort with an annual sample of this magnitude requires that the ACS continue research, testing, and evaluations aimed at improving data quality, achieving survey cost efficiencies, and improving ACS questionnaire content and related data collection materials. The ACS Methods Panel is a research program designed to address and respond to survey issues and needs. From 2018 to 2021, the ACS Methods Panel may include testing methods for increasing survey efficiencies, reducing survey cost, lessening respondent burden, improving response rates, and improving data quality. At this time, plans are in place to propose several tests: Self-response mail messaging tests, a respondent burden field test, testing the use of administrative data, GQ testing, and two content tests. Since the ACS Methods Panel is designed to address emerging issues, we may conduct additional testing as needed. Any additional testing would focus on methods for reducing data collection costs, improving data quality, improving the PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 54317 respondent experience, revising content, or testing new questions that have an urgent need to be included on the ACS. In response to declining response rates and increasing costs, the Census Bureau plans to study methods to increase self-response, the least expensive mode of data collection. The Census Bureau currently sends up to five mailings to a sampled address to inform the occupants that their address has been selected and to encourage them to respond to the ACS. The proposed tests would include changes to messages included in the mailings to motivate the public to respond to the ACS. The proposed tests would also include modifications to the materials, including the mailing type (for example, sending letters versus postcards). Changes to the number of mailings or the timing of the mailings may be explored. The Census Bureau is also considering testing automated phone reminders. In 2014, the ACS conducted a comprehensive content review to ensure that only the information needed is requested and that the justifications provided by federal agencies for the ACS questions are current and valid (Chappell and Obenski, 2014). The Census Bureau takes very seriously respondent burden and concerns and recognizes that the content review process was only an initial step to addressing them. The Census Bureau has worked hard to identify a range of possibilities for reducing perceived respondent burden while still maintaining the irreplaceable quality and richness of ACS data (Hughes et al., 2015, Griffin and Hughes, 2013, Hughes et al., 2016, Heimel et al., 2016, Oliver et al., 2016). In a workshop held in 2016, the National Academies of Science Committee on National Statistics recommended identifying a way to quantify or measure respondent burden (National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, 2016). The Census Bureau has begun work to understand respondents’ experience responding to the ACS through focus groups and cognitive testing. The next step for this work is to conduct a field test, implementing questions to measure respondent burden. The Census Bureau has made significant progress exploring the use of administrative data in surveys and censuses, potentially as a substitute for questions asked of respondents. Administrative data refer to data collected by government agencies for the purposes of administering programs or providing services. The Census Bureau has evaluated the availability E:\FR\FM\17NON1.SGM 17NON1 sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES 54318 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 221 / Friday, November 17, 2017 / Notices and suitability of several different data sources for use in the ACS on telephone service, the year a residence was built, condominium status, income, residence one year ago, and self-employment income. We are currently exploring administrative data use for property values, property taxes, and acreage. Additionally, we plan to evaluate the quality, coverage, and feasibility of using administrative records in lieu of enumeration for institutional GQs (U.S. Census Bureau, 2017). In addition to replacing questions on the survey, administrative data may be used to reduce burden of existing questions by allowing for modification of the questions. For example, the ACS currently asks respondents to provide their total income for the past 12 months as well as income received from various sources (for example, wages, interest, retirement income). We are currently cognitively testing modifications to the income questions, including changing the reference year from the past 12 months to the previous calendar year, as well as only asking respondents if income was received from various sources rather than the amount. As a continuation of this research, the Census Bureau proposes a field test of revised content, for income as well as other topics both for the housing unit questionnaire as well as the GQ questionnaire. Some questions may be modified while others would be removed. The ACS samples about 18,000 GQ facilities each year. A GQ is a place where people live or stay, in a group living arrangement, which is owned or managed by an entity or organization providing housing and/or services for the residents. There are two categories of GQs: Institutional and noninstitutional. Institutional GQs include places such as correctional facilities and nursing homes. Non-institutional GQs include college housing, military barracks, and residential treatment centers. Most interviews conducted in GQs are interviewer-administered (over 90 percent of interviews in institutional GQs and just under 75 percent in noninstitutional GQs), but some GQ respondents self-respond using a paper questionnaire. The Census Scientific Advisory Committee Working Group on Group Quarters in the ACS recommended that the Census Bureau consider making an ‘‘internet version of the ACS available to non-institutional GQ residents, especially in college dorms, military barracks, and group homes’’ (National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, 2016). Additional support was VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:32 Nov 16, 2017 Jkt 244001 identified for this in a workshop held in 2016 with the National Academies of Science Committee on National Statistics. The Census Bureau proposes a field test of an internet self-response GQ form for residents in noninstitutional GQs. Working through the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Interagency Committee for the ACS, the Census Bureau will solicit proposals from other Federal agencies to change existing questions or add new questions to the ACS. The Census Bureau proposes testing any new or revised questions in one of two content tests. A content test using all modes of data collection will be conducted in 2021. Conducting a self-response only content test prior to 2021 allows the Census Bureau to be more agile in reacting to changes in society and legislation. The objective of both content tests is to determine the impact of changing question wording and response categories, as well as redefining underlying constructs, on the quality of the data collected. The Census Bureau proposes to evaluate changes to current questions by comparing the revised questions to the current ACS questions. For new questions, the Census Bureau proposes to compare the performance of two versions of any new questions and benchmark results to other well-known sources of such information. References Chappell, Gary and Sally Obenski. 2014. American Community Survey Fiscal Year 2014 Content Review. U.S. Census Bureau. Accessed 8/1/2017 at, https:// www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/ operations-and-administration/2014content-review.html. Griffin, Deborah and Todd Hughes. 2013. Effect of Changing Call Parameters in the American Community Survey’s Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing Operation. ACS13–RER–17. U.S. Census Bureau. Accessed 8/1/2017 at, http://www.census.gov/library/ working-papers/2013/acs/2013_Griffin_ 03.html. Heimel, Sarah, Dorothy Barth, and Megan Rabe. 2016. ‘‘Why We Ask’’ Mail Package Insert Test. ACS16–MP–07. U.S. Census Bureau. Accessed 8/1/2017 at, https:// www.census.gov/library/working-papers/ 2016/acs/2016_Heimel_01.html. Hughes, Todd, Michael Beaghen, and Mark Asiala. 2015. Reducing Respondent Burden in the American Community Survey. Accessed 8/1/2017 at, https:// www.census.gov/content/dam/Census/ programs-surveys/acs/operations-andadministration/2015-16-surveyenhancements/Reducing_Burden_ACS_ Feasibility_Assessment.pdf. Hughes, Todd, Eric Slud, Robert Ashmead, and Rachael Walsh. 2016. Results of a Field Pilot to Reduce Respondent PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Contact Burden in the American Community Survey’s Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing Operation. ACS16–RER–07. U.S. Census Bureau. Accessed 8/1/2017 at, https:// www.census.gov/library/working-papers/ 2016/acs/2016_Hughes_01.html. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. (2016). Reducing Response Burden in the American Community Survey: Processing of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. Accessed 8/1/2017 at, https://doi.org/ 10.17226/23639. Oliver, Broderick, Michael Risley, and Andrew Roberts. 2016. 2015 Summer Mandatory Messaging Test. ACS16– RER–5–R1. U.S. Census Bureau. Accessed 8/1/2017 at, https:// www.census.gov/library/working-papers/ 2016/acs/2016_Oliver_01.html. U.S. Census Bureau. 2017. Agility in Action 2.0: A Snapshot of enhancements to the American Community Survey. Accessed 8/8/2017 at, https://www.census.gov/ programs-surveys/acs/operations-andadministration/agility-in-action/agilityin-action-2.html. II. Method of Collection Self-Response Mail Messaging Tests— We will use the same self-response modes we offer in ACS production data collection, that is, internet and a mailback paper questionnaire. No interviewer-administered interviews are necessary for these tests. Different strategies to encourage self-response may be used, including changes to the number and timing of the mailings, the messages and materials included in each mailing, as well as automated telephone reminders. Testing is usually conducted with split-sample experiments, using current ACS production materials as the control. The Census Bureau expects to conduct up to four self-response mail messaging tests each year. Respondent Burden Field Test—The Census Bureau proposes adding several optional questions about the respondent’s perception of burden at the end of the ACS interview. The questions would allow respondents the opportunity to give feedback after completing the ACS and are intended to measure the burden of the survey, including the contacts we made to reach the respondent, the time it took to complete the survey, and how difficult and sensitive it was for the respondent to answer the questions. The questions would be asked of respondents across all modes of data collection: Internet, paper questionnaires, and intervieweradministered. Testing the Use of Administrative Data in Housing Units (HUs) and GQs— We will test replacing or substituting all or parts of the ACS with administrative E:\FR\FM\17NON1.SGM 17NON1 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 221 / Friday, November 17, 2017 / Notices data, which could make it possible to remove or modify the existing questions on the questionnaire. Respondents could be presented with a new version of the questionnaire with some questions not asked and others modified, as compared to production ACS. Evidence suggests that respondents who respond to the ACS using different modes of data collection (internet, paper questionnaire, and interviewer-administered) have different socioeconomic characteristics. Therefore, this test will include all modes of data collection. This test would include respondents in both HUs and GQs. Group Quarters Test—A sample of GQ respondents will be given the option of completing the survey via self-response using an internet instrument. We would evaluate the quality of the data received from the internet compared to traditional data collection methods for GQs (paper questionnaires and interviewer-administered) as well as assess operational issues with offering the internet option, including feedback from interviewers. Content Tests—The self-response content test will include internet and paper-questionnaires for data collection. Additionally, assistance over the phone will be offered to respondents, which can result in an interview being 2018 Self-Response saging Tests. 2019 Self-Response saging Tests. Mail Mes- Mail Mes- 2020 Self-Response saging Tests. Mail Mes- 2021 Self-Response saging Tests. Mail Mes- Respondent Burden Field Test ....... Testing the Use of Administrative Data in HUs and GQs. Group Quarters Test ....................... Self-Response Content Test ........... 2021 ACS Content Test .................. Total ......................................... sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES III. Data OMB Control Number: 0607–0936. Form Number(s): ACS–1, ACS–1(GQ), ACS–1(PR)SP, ACS CAPI(HU) and ACS RI(HU). Type of Review: Regular submission. Affected Public: Individuals and households. Estimated Number of Respondents: Self-Response Mail Messaging Tests— We estimate that each of the self- response mail messaging tests will include 60,000 respondents. We anticipate there will be up to 14 tests across the 3-year period. Respondent Burden Field Test— 100,000. Testing the Use of Administrative Data—100,000. Self-Response Content Test—100,000 respondents plus 63,000 respondents in the follow-up reinterview. 2021 ACS Content Test—100,000 respondents plus 83,000 respondents in the follow-up reinterview. Estimated Time per Response: Self-Response Mail Messaging Tests— 40 minutes. Respondent Burden Field Test—50 minutes (10 minutes for the optional follow-up questions). Testing the Use of Administrative Data in HUs and GQs—40 minutes. Group Quarters Test—40 minutes (includes both the interview with the facility manager and the interview itself). Self-Response Content Test—40 minutes for the initial interview plus 20 minutes for the follow-up reinterview. 2021 ACS Content Test—40 minutes for the initial interview plus 20 minutes for the follow-up reinterview. Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 297,445. Estimated number of respondents Test Estimated time per response (in minutes) Test A—60,000 ............................ Test B—60,000 ............................ Test A—60,000 ............................ Test B—60,000 ............................ Test C—60,000 ............................ Test D—60,000 ............................ Test A—60,000 ............................ Test B—60,000 ............................ Test C—60,000 ............................ Test D—60,000 ............................ Test A—60,000 ............................ Test B—60,000 ............................ Test C—60,000 ............................ Test D—60,000 ............................ 100,000 ........................................ 100,000 ........................................ Test A—40 ................................... Test B—40 ................................... Test A—40 ................................... Test B—40 ................................... Test C—40 ................................... Test D—40 ................................... Test A—40 ................................... Test B—40 ................................... Test C—40 ................................... Test D—40 ................................... Test A—40 ................................... Test B—40 ................................... Test C—40 ................................... Test D—40 ................................... 50 ................................................. 40 ................................................. Test A—40,000. Test B—40,000. Test A—40,000. Test B—40,000. Test C—40,000. Test D—40,000. Test A—40,000. Test B—40,000. Test C—40,000. Test D—40,000. Test A—40,000. Test B—40,000. Test C—40,000. Test D—40,000. 83,334. 66,667. 500 ............................................... Initial Interview—100,000 ............. Follow-up Reinterview—63,000 ... Initial Interview—100,000 ............. Follow-up Reinterview—83,000 ... 40 ................................................. Initial Interview—40 ...................... Follow-up Reinterview—20 .......... Initial Interview—40 ...................... Follow-up Reinterview—20 .......... 334. Initial Interview—66,667. Follow-up Reinterview—21,000. Initial Interview—66,667. Follow-up Reinterview—27,667. 1,386,500 ..................................... ....................................................... 892,336 (over 3 years). Estimated Total Annual Cost to Public: Except for their time, there is no cost to respondents. Respondent’s Obligation: Mandatory. VerDate Sep<11>2014 conducted. These interviews are considered self-response in the ACS. The test will be a split-sample experiment with some respondents assigned to receive current production ACS content and some respondents assigned to receive new and revised content. Additionally, a follow-up reinterview may be conducted with all households who responded to measure response burden as well as response bias or response variance. Comparisons will be made between the experimental treatments to determine whether the new or revised content produces better data quality and/or reduces respondent burden. The 2021 ACS Content Test will be similar to the self-response content test in that it will be a split-sample experiment with a follow-up reinterview. However, this test will include all modes of data collection (internet, mail, and intervieweradministered). 54319 18:32 Nov 16, 2017 Jkt 244001 Legal Authority: Title 13 U.S.C. Sections 141 and 193. PO 00000 Frm 00004 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Total burden hours IV. Request for Comments Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including E:\FR\FM\17NON1.SGM 17NON1 54320 Federal Register / Vol. 82, No. 221 / Friday, November 17, 2017 / Notices whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency’s estimate of the burden (including hours and cost) of the proposed collection of information; (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 respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized and/or included in the request for OMB approval of this information collection; they also will become a matter of public record. Sheleen Dumas, Departmental PRA Lead, Office of the Chief Information Officer. [FR Doc. 2017–24943 Filed 11–16–17; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510–07–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Dated: November 13, 2017. Andrew McGilvray, Executive Secretary. Foreign-Trade Zones Board [B–69–2017] [FR Doc. 2017–24972 Filed 11–16–17; 8:45 am] sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 52—Suffolk County, New York; Notification of Proposed Production Activity; Estee Lauder Inc., (Hair Straightening Styling Balm), Melville, New York Estee Lauder Inc. (Estee Lauder) submitted a notification of proposed production activity to the FTZ Board for its facilities in Melville, New York within FTZ 52. The notification conforming to the requirements of the regulations of the FTZ Board (15 CFR 400.22) was received on November 2, 2017. Estee Lauder already has authority to manufacture and distribute skin care, fragrance, and cosmetic products within FTZ 52. The current request would add a finished product (hair straightening styling balm) to the scope of authority. Pursuant to 15 CFR 400.14(b), additional FTZ authority would be limited to the finished product described in the submitted notification (as described below) and subsequently authorized by the FTZ Board. Production under FTZ procedures could exempt Estee Lauder from customs duty payments on the foreignstatus materials/components used in export production. On its domestic sales, for foreign-status materials/ components in the existing scope of authority, Estee Lauder would be able to choose the duty rate during customs entry procedures that applies to hair VerDate Sep<11>2014 straightening styling balm (duty-free). Estee Lauder would be able to avoid duty on foreign-status components which become scrap/waste. Customs duties also could possibly be deferred or reduced on foreign-status production equipment. Public comment is invited from interested parties. Submissions shall be addressed to the Board’s Executive Secretary at the address below. The closing period for their receipt is December 27, 2017. A copy of the notification will be available for public inspection at the Office of the Executive Secretary, Foreign-Trade Zones Board, Room 21013, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230–0002, and in the ‘‘Reading Room’’ section of the Board’s Web site, which is accessible via www.trade.gov/ftz. For further information, contact Juanita Chen at Juanita.Chen@trade.gov or (202) 482–1378. 18:32 Nov 16, 2017 Jkt 244001 BILLING CODE 3510–DS–P DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [C–552–819] Certain Steel Nails From the Socialist Republic of Vietnam: Notice of Rescission of Countervailing Duty Administrative Review, 2016 Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce. AGENCY: The Department of Commerce (the Department) is rescinding the administrative review of the countervailing duty (CVD) order on certain steel nails (steel nails) from the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (Vietnam) for the period January 1, 2016, to December 31, 2016, based on the timely withdrawal of the request for review. SUMMARY: DATES: Applicable November 17, 2017. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Yasmin Bordas, AD/CVD Operations, Office VI, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482–3813 and (202) 482–7438, respectively. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: PO 00000 Frm 00005 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Background On July 3, 2017, the Department published in the Federal Register a notice of opportunity to request an administrative review of the CVD order on steel nails from Vietnam for the period January 1, 2016, to December 31, 2016.1 On July 31, 2017, the Department received a timely request, in accordance with section 751(a) of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act), from Mid Continent Steel & Wire Inc. (the petitioner) to conduct an administrative review of this CVD order with respect to 14 companies.2 Based upon this request, on September 13, 2017, in accordance with section 751(a) of the Act, the Department published in the Federal Register a notice of initiation of administrative review for this CVD order.3 On September 28, 2017, the petitioner timely withdrew its request for an administrative review for each of the 14 companies.4 Rescission of Review Pursuant to 19 CFR 351.213(d)(1), the Secretary will rescind an administrative review, in whole or in part, if a party who requested the review withdraws the request within 90 days of the date of publication of the notice of initiation of the requested review. As noted above, the petitioner withdrew its request for review by the 90-day deadline. No other party requested an administrative review. Accordingly, we are rescinding the administrative review of the CVD order on steel nails from Vietnam covering the period January 1, 2016, to December 31, 2016. Assessment The Department will instruct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to assess CVDs on all appropriate entries at a rate equal to the cash deposit of estimated CVDs required at the time of entry, or withdrawal from warehouse, for consumption, during the period January 1, 2016, to December 31, 2016, in accordance with 19 CFR 351.212(c)(1)(i). The Department intends to issue appropriate assessment instructions directly to CBP 15 days after publication of this notice in the Federal Register. 1 See Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Order, Finding, or Suspended Investigation; Opportunity to Request Administrative Review, 82 FR 30833 (July 3, 2017). 2 See Letter from the petitioner re: Certain Steel Nails from Vietnam: Request for Administrative Reviews, dated July 31, 2017. 3 See Initiation of Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Administrative Reviews, 82 FR 42974 (September 13, 2017) (Initiation Notice). 4 See Letter from the petitioner re: Certain Steel Nails from Vietnam: Withdrawal of Request for Administrative Reviews, dated September 28, 2017. E:\FR\FM\17NON1.SGM 17NON1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 221 (Friday, November 17, 2017)]
[Notices]
[Pages 54317-54320]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-24943]


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

DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

Census Bureau


Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; American 
Community Survey Methods Panel Tests

AGENCY: U.S. Census Bureau, Commerce.

ACTION: Notice.

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

SUMMARY: The Department of Commerce, as part of its continuing effort 
to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, invites the general public 
and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on 
proposed and/or continuing information collections, as required by the 
Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

DATES: To ensure consideration, written comments must be submitted on 
or before January 16, 2018.

ADDRESSES: Please direct all written comments to Jennifer Jessup, 
Departmental Paperwork Clearance Officer, Department of Commerce, Room 
6616, 14th and Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230 (or via 
the Internet at PRAcomments@doc.gov). You may also submit comments, 
identified by Docket number USBC-2017-0006, to the Federal e-Rulemaking 
Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. All comments received are part of 
the public record. No comments will be posted to http://www.regulations.gov for public viewing until after the comment period 
has closed. Comments will generally be posted without change. All 
Personally Identifiable Information (for example, name and address) 
voluntarily submitted by the commenter may be publicly accessible. Do 
not submit Confidential Business Information or otherwise sensitive or 
protected information. You may submit attachments to electronic 
comments in Microsoft Word, Excel, WordPerfect, or Adobe PDF file 
formats only.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Requests for additional information or 
copies of the information collection instrument(s) and instructions 
should be directed to Robin A. Pennington, U.S. Census Bureau, 
Decennial Census Management Division, 4600 Silver Hill Rd., Washington, 
DC 20233, or email at Robin.A.Pennington@census.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Abstract

    The American Community Survey (ACS) collects detailed socioeconomic 
data from about 3.5 million addresses in the United States and 36,000 
in Puerto Rico each year. The ACS also collects detailed socioeconomic 
data from about 195,000 residents living in Group Quarters (GQ) 
facilities. Resulting tabulations from this data collection are 
provided on a yearly basis. The ACS allows the Census Bureau to provide 
timely and relevant housing and socioeconomic statistics, even for 
small geographies.
    An ongoing data collection effort with an annual sample of this 
magnitude requires that the ACS continue research, testing, and 
evaluations aimed at improving data quality, achieving survey cost 
efficiencies, and improving ACS questionnaire content and related data 
collection materials. The ACS Methods Panel is a research program 
designed to address and respond to survey issues and needs. From 2018 
to 2021, the ACS Methods Panel may include testing methods for 
increasing survey efficiencies, reducing survey cost, lessening 
respondent burden, improving response rates, and improving data 
quality.
    At this time, plans are in place to propose several tests: Self-
response mail messaging tests, a respondent burden field test, testing 
the use of administrative data, GQ testing, and two content tests. 
Since the ACS Methods Panel is designed to address emerging issues, we 
may conduct additional testing as needed. Any additional testing would 
focus on methods for reducing data collection costs, improving data 
quality, improving the respondent experience, revising content, or 
testing new questions that have an urgent need to be included on the 
ACS.
    In response to declining response rates and increasing costs, the 
Census Bureau plans to study methods to increase self-response, the 
least expensive mode of data collection. The Census Bureau currently 
sends up to five mailings to a sampled address to inform the occupants 
that their address has been selected and to encourage them to respond 
to the ACS. The proposed tests would include changes to messages 
included in the mailings to motivate the public to respond to the ACS. 
The proposed tests would also include modifications to the materials, 
including the mailing type (for example, sending letters versus 
postcards). Changes to the number of mailings or the timing of the 
mailings may be explored. The Census Bureau is also considering testing 
automated phone reminders.
    In 2014, the ACS conducted a comprehensive content review to ensure 
that only the information needed is requested and that the 
justifications provided by federal agencies for the ACS questions are 
current and valid (Chappell and Obenski, 2014). The Census Bureau takes 
very seriously respondent burden and concerns and recognizes that the 
content review process was only an initial step to addressing them. The 
Census Bureau has worked hard to identify a range of possibilities for 
reducing perceived respondent burden while still maintaining the 
irreplaceable quality and richness of ACS data (Hughes et al., 2015, 
Griffin and Hughes, 2013, Hughes et al., 2016, Heimel et al., 2016, 
Oliver et al., 2016). In a workshop held in 2016, the National 
Academies of Science Committee on National Statistics recommended 
identifying a way to quantify or measure respondent burden (National 
Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, 2016). The Census 
Bureau has begun work to understand respondents' experience responding 
to the ACS through focus groups and cognitive testing. The next step 
for this work is to conduct a field test, implementing questions to 
measure respondent burden.
    The Census Bureau has made significant progress exploring the use 
of administrative data in surveys and censuses, potentially as a 
substitute for questions asked of respondents. Administrative data 
refer to data collected by government agencies for the purposes of 
administering programs or providing services. The Census Bureau has 
evaluated the availability

[[Page 54318]]

and suitability of several different data sources for use in the ACS on 
telephone service, the year a residence was built, condominium status, 
income, residence one year ago, and self-employment income. We are 
currently exploring administrative data use for property values, 
property taxes, and acreage. Additionally, we plan to evaluate the 
quality, coverage, and feasibility of using administrative records in 
lieu of enumeration for institutional GQs (U.S. Census Bureau, 2017). 
In addition to replacing questions on the survey, administrative data 
may be used to reduce burden of existing questions by allowing for 
modification of the questions. For example, the ACS currently asks 
respondents to provide their total income for the past 12 months as 
well as income received from various sources (for example, wages, 
interest, retirement income). We are currently cognitively testing 
modifications to the income questions, including changing the reference 
year from the past 12 months to the previous calendar year, as well as 
only asking respondents if income was received from various sources 
rather than the amount. As a continuation of this research, the Census 
Bureau proposes a field test of revised content, for income as well as 
other topics both for the housing unit questionnaire as well as the GQ 
questionnaire. Some questions may be modified while others would be 
removed.
    The ACS samples about 18,000 GQ facilities each year. A GQ is a 
place where people live or stay, in a group living arrangement, which 
is owned or managed by an entity or organization providing housing and/
or services for the residents. There are two categories of GQs: 
Institutional and non-institutional. Institutional GQs include places 
such as correctional facilities and nursing homes. Non-institutional 
GQs include college housing, military barracks, and residential 
treatment centers. Most interviews conducted in GQs are interviewer-
administered (over 90 percent of interviews in institutional GQs and 
just under 75 percent in non-institutional GQs), but some GQ 
respondents self-respond using a paper questionnaire. The Census 
Scientific Advisory Committee Working Group on Group Quarters in the 
ACS recommended that the Census Bureau consider making an ``internet 
version of the ACS available to non-institutional GQ residents, 
especially in college dorms, military barracks, and group homes'' 
(National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, 2016). 
Additional support was identified for this in a workshop held in 2016 
with the National Academies of Science Committee on National 
Statistics. The Census Bureau proposes a field test of an internet 
self-response GQ form for residents in non-institutional GQs.
    Working through the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) 
Interagency Committee for the ACS, the Census Bureau will solicit 
proposals from other Federal agencies to change existing questions or 
add new questions to the ACS. The Census Bureau proposes testing any 
new or revised questions in one of two content tests. A content test 
using all modes of data collection will be conducted in 2021. 
Conducting a self-response only content test prior to 2021 allows the 
Census Bureau to be more agile in reacting to changes in society and 
legislation. The objective of both content tests is to determine the 
impact of changing question wording and response categories, as well as 
redefining underlying constructs, on the quality of the data collected. 
The Census Bureau proposes to evaluate changes to current questions by 
comparing the revised questions to the current ACS questions. For new 
questions, the Census Bureau proposes to compare the performance of two 
versions of any new questions and benchmark results to other well-known 
sources of such information.

References

Chappell, Gary and Sally Obenski. 2014. American Community Survey 
Fiscal Year 2014 Content Review. U.S. Census Bureau. Accessed 8/1/
2017 at, https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/operations-and-administration/2014-content-review.html.
Griffin, Deborah and Todd Hughes. 2013. Effect of Changing Call 
Parameters in the American Community Survey's Computer Assisted 
Telephone Interviewing Operation. ACS13-RER-17. U.S. Census Bureau. 
Accessed 8/1/2017 at, http://www.census.gov/library/working-papers/2013/acs/2013_Griffin_03.html.
Heimel, Sarah, Dorothy Barth, and Megan Rabe. 2016. ``Why We Ask'' 
Mail Package Insert Test. ACS16-MP-07. U.S. Census Bureau. Accessed 
8/1/2017 at, https://www.census.gov/library/working-papers/2016/acs/2016_Heimel_01.html.
Hughes, Todd, Michael Beaghen, and Mark Asiala. 2015. Reducing 
Respondent Burden in the American Community Survey. Accessed 8/1/
2017 at, https://www.census.gov/content/dam/Census/programs-surveys/acs/operations-and-administration/2015-16-survey-enhancements/Reducing_Burden_ACS_Feasibility_Assessment.pdf.
Hughes, Todd, Eric Slud, Robert Ashmead, and Rachael Walsh. 2016. 
Results of a Field Pilot to Reduce Respondent Contact Burden in the 
American Community Survey's Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing 
Operation. ACS16-RER-07. U.S. Census Bureau. Accessed 8/1/2017 at, 
https://www.census.gov/library/working-papers/2016/acs/2016_Hughes_01.html.
National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. (2016). 
Reducing Response Burden in the American Community Survey: 
Processing of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies 
Press. Accessed 8/1/2017 at, https://doi.org/10.17226/23639.
Oliver, Broderick, Michael Risley, and Andrew Roberts. 2016. 2015 
Summer Mandatory Messaging Test. ACS16-RER-5-R1. U.S. Census Bureau. 
Accessed 8/1/2017 at, https://www.census.gov/library/working-papers/2016/acs/2016_Oliver_01.html.
U.S. Census Bureau. 2017. Agility in Action 2.0: A Snapshot of 
enhancements to the American Community Survey. Accessed 8/8/2017 at, 
https://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/operations-and-administration/agility-in-action/agility-in-action-2.html.

II. Method of Collection

    Self-Response Mail Messaging Tests--We will use the same self-
response modes we offer in ACS production data collection, that is, 
internet and a mail-back paper questionnaire. No interviewer-
administered interviews are necessary for these tests. Different 
strategies to encourage self-response may be used, including changes to 
the number and timing of the mailings, the messages and materials 
included in each mailing, as well as automated telephone reminders. 
Testing is usually conducted with split-sample experiments, using 
current ACS production materials as the control. The Census Bureau 
expects to conduct up to four self-response mail messaging tests each 
year.
    Respondent Burden Field Test--The Census Bureau proposes adding 
several optional questions about the respondent's perception of burden 
at the end of the ACS interview. The questions would allow respondents 
the opportunity to give feedback after completing the ACS and are 
intended to measure the burden of the survey, including the contacts we 
made to reach the respondent, the time it took to complete the survey, 
and how difficult and sensitive it was for the respondent to answer the 
questions. The questions would be asked of respondents across all modes 
of data collection: Internet, paper questionnaires, and interviewer-
administered.
    Testing the Use of Administrative Data in Housing Units (HUs) and 
GQs--We will test replacing or substituting all or parts of the ACS 
with administrative

[[Page 54319]]

data, which could make it possible to remove or modify the existing 
questions on the questionnaire. Respondents could be presented with a 
new version of the questionnaire with some questions not asked and 
others modified, as compared to production ACS. Evidence suggests that 
respondents who respond to the ACS using different modes of data 
collection (internet, paper questionnaire, and interviewer-
administered) have different socioeconomic characteristics. Therefore, 
this test will include all modes of data collection. This test would 
include respondents in both HUs and GQs.
    Group Quarters Test--A sample of GQ respondents will be given the 
option of completing the survey via self-response using an internet 
instrument. We would evaluate the quality of the data received from the 
internet compared to traditional data collection methods for GQs (paper 
questionnaires and interviewer-administered) as well as assess 
operational issues with offering the internet option, including 
feedback from interviewers.
    Content Tests--The self-response content test will include internet 
and paper-questionnaires for data collection. Additionally, assistance 
over the phone will be offered to respondents, which can result in an 
interview being conducted. These interviews are considered self-
response in the ACS. The test will be a split-sample experiment with 
some respondents assigned to receive current production ACS content and 
some respondents assigned to receive new and revised content. 
Additionally, a follow-up reinterview may be conducted with all 
households who responded to measure response burden as well as response 
bias or response variance. Comparisons will be made between the 
experimental treatments to determine whether the new or revised content 
produces better data quality and/or reduces respondent burden. The 2021 
ACS Content Test will be similar to the self-response content test in 
that it will be a split-sample experiment with a follow-up reinterview. 
However, this test will include all modes of data collection (internet, 
mail, and interviewer-administered).

III. Data

    OMB Control Number: 0607-0936.
    Form Number(s): ACS-1, ACS-1(GQ), ACS-1(PR)SP, ACS CAPI(HU) and ACS 
RI(HU).
    Type of Review: Regular submission.
    Affected Public: Individuals and households.
    Estimated Number of Respondents:
    Self-Response Mail Messaging Tests--We estimate that each of the 
self-response mail messaging tests will include 60,000 respondents. We 
anticipate there will be up to 14 tests across the 3-year period.
    Respondent Burden Field Test--100,000.
    Testing the Use of Administrative Data--100,000.
    Self-Response Content Test--100,000 respondents plus 63,000 
respondents in the follow-up reinterview.
    2021 ACS Content Test--100,000 respondents plus 83,000 respondents 
in the follow-up reinterview.
    Estimated Time per Response:
    Self-Response Mail Messaging Tests--40 minutes.
    Respondent Burden Field Test--50 minutes (10 minutes for the 
optional follow-up questions).
    Testing the Use of Administrative Data in HUs and GQs--40 minutes.
    Group Quarters Test--40 minutes (includes both the interview with 
the facility manager and the interview itself).
    Self-Response Content Test--40 minutes for the initial interview 
plus 20 minutes for the follow-up reinterview.
    2021 ACS Content Test--40 minutes for the initial interview plus 20 
minutes for the follow-up reinterview.
    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 297,445.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                      Estimated number of        Estimated time per
               Test                       respondents           response (in minutes)      Total burden hours
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
2018 Self-Response Mail Messaging  Test A--60,000...........  Test A--40..............  Test A--40,000.
 Tests.                            Test B--60,000...........  Test B--40..............  Test B--40,000.
2019 Self-Response Mail Messaging  Test A--60,000...........  Test A--40..............  Test A--40,000.
 Tests.                            Test B--60,000...........  Test B--40..............  Test B--40,000.
                                   Test C--60,000...........  Test C--40..............  Test C--40,000.
                                   Test D--60,000...........  Test D--40..............  Test D--40,000.
2020 Self-Response Mail Messaging  Test A--60,000...........  Test A--40..............  Test A--40,000.
 Tests.                            Test B--60,000...........  Test B--40..............  Test B--40,000.
                                   Test C--60,000...........  Test C--40..............  Test C--40,000.
                                   Test D--60,000...........  Test D--40..............  Test D--40,000.
2021 Self-Response Mail Messaging  Test A--60,000...........  Test A--40..............  Test A--40,000.
 Tests.                            Test B--60,000...........  Test B--40..............  Test B--40,000.
                                   Test C--60,000...........  Test C--40..............  Test C--40,000.
                                   Test D--60,000...........  Test D--40..............  Test D--40,000.
Respondent Burden Field Test.....  100,000..................  50......................  83,334.
Testing the Use of Administrative  100,000..................  40......................  66,667.
 Data in HUs and GQs.
Group Quarters Test..............  500......................  40......................  334.
Self-Response Content Test.......  Initial Interview--        Initial Interview--40...  Initial Interview--
                                    100,000.                                             66,667.
                                   Follow-up Reinterview--    Follow-up Reinterview--   Follow-up Reinterview--
                                    63,000.                    20.                       21,000.
2021 ACS Content Test............  Initial Interview--        Initial Interview--40...  Initial Interview--
                                    100,000.                                             66,667.
                                   Follow-up Reinterview--    Follow-up Reinterview--   Follow-up Reinterview--
                                    83,000.                    20.                       27,667.
                                  ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Total........................  1,386,500................  ........................  892,336 (over 3 years).
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Estimated Total Annual Cost to Public: Except for their time, there 
is no cost to respondents.
    Respondent's Obligation: Mandatory.
    Legal Authority: Title 13 U.S.C. Sections 141 and 193.

IV. Request for Comments

    Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of 
information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of 
the agency, including

[[Page 54320]]

whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy 
of the agency's estimate of the burden (including hours and cost) of 
the proposed collection of information; (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 
respondents, including through the use of automated collection 
techniques or other forms of information technology.
    Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized 
and/or included in the request for OMB approval of this information 
collection; they also will become a matter of public record.

Sheleen Dumas,
Departmental PRA Lead, Office of the Chief Information Officer.
[FR Doc. 2017-24943 Filed 11-16-17; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 3510-07-P