Proposed Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request, 5805-5807 [2019-03049]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 36 / Friday, February 22, 2019 / Notices these exemptions will be effective on March 26, 2019, unless stayed pending reconsideration. Petitions to stay that do not involve environmental issues,2 formal expressions of intent to file an OFA under 49 CFR 1152.27(c)(2),3 and trail use/rail banking requests under 49 CFR 1152.29 must be filed by March 4, 2019. Petitions to reopen or requests for public use conditions under 49 CFR 1152.28 must be filed by March 14, 2019, with the Surface Transportation Board, 395 E Street SW, Washington, DC 20423–0001. A copy of any petition filed with the Board should be sent to Eric M. Hocky, Clark Hill, PLC, One Commerce Square, 2005 Market Street, Suite 1000, Philadelphia, PA 19103. If the verified notice contains false or misleading information, the exemptions are void ab initio. Applicants have filed a combined environmental and historic report that addresses the effects, if any, of the abandonment on the environment and historic resources. OEA will issue an environmental assessment (EA) by March 1, 2019. Interested persons may obtain a copy of the EA by writing to OEA (Surface Transportation Board, Washington, DC 20423–0001) or by calling OEA at (202) 245–0305. Assistance for the hearing impaired is available through the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1– 800–877–8339. Comments on environmental and historic preservation matters must be filed within 15 days after the EA becomes available to the public. Environmental, historic preservation, public use, or trail use/rail banking conditions will be imposed, where appropriate, in a subsequent decision. Pursuant to the provisions of 49 CFR 1152.29(e)(2), SCRF shall file a notice of consummation with the Board to signify that it has exercised the authority granted and fully abandoned the Line. If consummation has not been effected by SCRF’s filing of a notice of consummation by February 22, 2020, and there are no legal or regulatory barriers to consummation, the authority to abandon will automatically expire. 2 The Board will grant a stay if an informed decision on environmental issues (whether raised by a party or by the Board’s Office of Environmental Analysis (OEA) in its independent investigation) cannot be made before the exemptions’ effective date. See Exemption of Out-of-Serv. Rail Lines, 5 I.C.C.2d 377 (1989). Any request for a stay should be filed as soon as possible so that the Board may take appropriate action before the exemptions’ effective date. 3 Each OFA must be accompanied by the filing fee, which is currently set at $1,800. See 49 CFR 1002.2(f)(25). VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:52 Feb 21, 2019 Jkt 247001 Board decisions and notices are available at www.stb.gov. Decided: February 15, 2019. By the Board, Allison C. Davis, Acting Director, Office of Proceedings. Jeffrey Herzig, Clearance Clerk. [FR Doc. 2019–03061 Filed 2–21–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4915–01–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Railroad Administration [Docket No. FRA–2019–0004–N–3] Proposed Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Notice of information collection; request for comment. AGENCY: Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) and its implementing regulations, FRA seeks approval of the Information Collection Request (ICR) abstracted below. Before submitting this ICR to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for approval, FRA is soliciting public comment on specific aspects of the activities identified below. DATES: Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before April 23, 2019. ADDRESSES: Submit written comments on the ICR activities by mail to either: Mr. Robert Brogan, Information Collection Clearance Officer, Office of Railroad Safety, Regulatory Analysis Division, Federal Railroad Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Room W33–497, Washington, DC 20590; or Ms. Kim Toone, Information Collection Clearance Officer, Office of Information Technology, Federal Railroad Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Room W34–212, Washington, DC 20590. Commenters requesting FRA to acknowledge receipt of their respective comments must include a self-addressed stamped postcard stating, ‘‘Comments on OMB Control Number 2130–NEW’’ and should also include the title of the ICR. Alternatively, comments may be faxed to (202) 493–6216 or (202) 493–6497, or emailed to Mr. Brogan at robert.brogan@ dot.gov, or Ms. Toone at kim.toone@ dot.gov. Please refer to the assigned OMB control number in any correspondence submitted. FRA will summarize comments received in SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00146 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 5805 response to this notice in a subsequent notice and include them in its information collection submission to OMB for approval. Mr. Robert Brogan, Information Collection Clearance Officer, Office of Railroad Safety, Regulatory Analysis Division, Federal Railroad Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Room W33–497, Washington, DC 20590 (telephone: 202– 493–6292) or Ms. Kim Toone, Information Collection Clearance Officer, Office of Information Technology, Federal Railroad Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Room W34–212, Washington, DC 20590 (telephone: 202– 493–6132). FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: The PRA, 44 U.S.C. 3501–3520, and its implementing regulations, 5 CFR part 1320, require Federal agencies to provide 60-days’ notice to the public to allow comment on information collection activities before seeking OMB approval of the activities. See 44 U.S.C. 3506, 3507; 5 CFR 1320.8 through 1320.12. Specifically, FRA invites interested parties to comment on the following ICR regarding: (1) Whether the information collection activities are necessary for FRA to properly execute its functions, including whether the activities will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of FRA’s estimates of the burden of the information collection activities, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used to determine the estimates; (3) ways for FRA to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information being collected; and (4) ways for FRA to minimize the burden of information collection activities on the public, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. See 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A); 5 CFR 1320.8(d)(1). FRA believes that soliciting public comment may reduce the administrative and paperwork burdens associated with the collection of information that Federal regulations require. In summary, FRA reasons that comments received will advance three objectives: (1) Reduce reporting burdens; (2) organize information collection requirements in a ‘‘user-friendly’’ format to improve the use of such information; and (3) accurately assess the resources expended to retrieve and produce information requested. See 44 U.S.C. 3501. The summary below describes the ICR that FRA will submit for OMB clearance as the PRA requires: SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: E:\FR\FM\22FEN1.SGM 22FEN1 5806 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 36 / Friday, February 22, 2019 / Notices Title: Federal Railroad Administration Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Disparity Study. OMB Control Number: 2130–NEW. Abstract: The objective of this work is to complete a congressionally-mandated disparity study evaluating the participation by small and disadvantaged businesses in railroad contracting that meets the requirements of the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program for federallyfunded projects administered by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) or the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), 49 CFR part 26. The purpose of this disparity study is to evaluate the market for the availability and utilization of small and disadvantaged businesses in publiclyfunded railroad contracting. The study will be used as evidence to inform FRA and DOT on the state of small and disadvantaged business contracting in the railroad industry and will be a component in the FRA’s Title VI compliance program. FRA does not currently have statutory authority to administer a DBE program like those in place at FHWA, FTA, and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). DOT DBE regulations applicable to FHWA, FTA and FAA require state and local transportation agencies that receive DOT financial assistance to establish goals for the participation of DBEs. Each DOT-assisted State and local transportation agency is required to establish annual DBE goals, review the scopes of anticipated large prime contracts, and establish contract-specific DBE subcontracting goals. Without statutory DBE authority, FRA can only encourage recipients of its Federal financial assistance to use in their projects small business concerns owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. These types of small business concerns include small businesses, DBEs, Veteran-Owned Small Businesses, and Service Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses. Despite the lack of a formal DBE program, FRA fully supports the objectives of DBE programs and all FRA’s grantees are required to avoid discrimination in contracting. In addition, in late 2015, Congress passed the ‘‘Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act’’ (FAST Act), (Pub. L. 114–94). The FAST Act codified the requirement for FRA to conduct ‘‘a VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:52 Feb 21, 2019 Jkt 247001 nationwide disparity and availability study on the availability and use of small business concerns owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals and veteranowned small businesses in publicly funded intercity rail passenger transportation projects.’’ See FAST Act, sec. 11310, Small Business Participation Study. The legislation requires that: ‘‘Not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall submit a report containing the results of the study . . . to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives.’’ Id. The collection of information for the study includes three surveys and a series of webinar focus groups. In Survey #1, FRA’s study contractor (i.e., the Jack Faucett Associates team) will contact all FRA grant recipients and work with them to identify all of the prime contractors, consultants, and vendors with whom they spent grant funds and the amount of those funds. Next, the study team will contact the sub-grantees, prime contractors, consultants and suppliers that the study identified, and work with them to identify all subcontractors, subconsultants, and suppliers that they utilize and the amount of those contracts. This survey is necessary to develop estimates of the amount of FRA grants and contracts that flow to DBEs. In Survey #2, the study team will survey DBE and non-DBE firms in the railroad industry. The survey will elicit data on firms’ experiences with discrimination, as well as experiences in bidding with the grantees and their prime contractors and consultants. This approach ensures that anecdotal findings are corroborated by an actual representation of the DBE and non-DBE communities at large in the relevant markets. The personal experiences of disparate treatment suffered by minorities or women in seeking and performing public and private sector work in the relevant marketplace reinforce buttress sound statistical evidence of disparate impacts. Since response rates to voluntary surveys tend to be fairly low, the study team will take additional steps to increase responsiveness, including an outreach campaign, professionally designed PO 00000 Frm 00147 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 surveys, cover letters signed by top FRA officials, multiple reminders, and a devoted wide-area telephone service line and email address for requesting replacement surveys and addressing other inquiries. Moreover, the study team will statistically validate representativeness using surveys of nonrespondents. In the focus groups, the study team will also collect qualitative anecdotal information through in-depth webinar focus groups of DBE and non-DBE business owners, as well as procurement personnel at FRA and its grantees. These focus groups likewise will explore barriers to the full and fair participation of DBEs in FRA’s market area and that of its grantees. The focus groups also will investigate whether the USDOT programs and policies, as they apply to FRA and its grantees, adequately address these challenges. These focus groups will yield valuable information about the day-to-day realities affecting DBE firms and will inform how to develop FRA’s policy responses to those challenges. In Survey #3, the study team will survey firms to verify their DBE status. The comparison of FRA’s use of DBEs versus their prevalence by industry and geography is crucial to developing the sound statistical evidence of discrimination the courts have required. Starting from known business establishment lists (such as those from Dun & Bradstreet), the study will crossreference numerous additional listings and directories of DBE firms in the relevant geographic and product markets in order to improve the classification of firms according to their status. Next, the study team will take the additional step of validating putative assignments using telephone surveys of a statistically random sample of businesses from the master database. Type of Request: Approval of a new collection of information. Affected Public: Businesses. Form(s): FRA F 6180.171; FRA F 6180.172; FRA F 6180.173; FRA F 6180.174. Respondent Universe: 35,000 Grantees, Sub-Grantees, Prime Contractors, Sub-Contractors, DBEs, and Non-Disadvantaged Business Firms. Frequency of Submission: On occasion. Reporting Burden: E:\FR\FM\22FEN1.SGM 22FEN1 5807 Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 36 / Friday, February 22, 2019 / Notices Average time per response (hours) Total annual burden hours Total annual burden cost * Form No. Respondent universe Total annual responses Survey #1: Grantee and Contractor Collection Form. 1,250 Grantees, Sub-grantees, Prime-Contractors, and SubContractors. 35,000 DBE and non-DBE firms .... 500 surveys ....... 4 2,000 $115,300 2,750 surveys .... .25 688 39,663 20,000 DBE and non-DBE firms .... 250 focus group participants. 4,250 surveys .... 1 250 14,413 .05 213 12,279 Survey #2: Experiences with Discrimination. Focus Groups on Experiences with Discrimination. Survey #3: DBE Status Verification 28,000 DBE and non-DBE firms .... Note: The annual hourly wage rate for the above calculations is $57.65 and is derived from the Management Occupations (Occupational Code 11–0000) Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor: Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2017, National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates. Total Estimated Annual Responses: 7,750. Total Estimated Annual Burden: 3,151 hours. Total Estimated Dollar Cost: $181,655. Under 44 U.S.C. 3507(a) and 5 CFR 1320.5(b) and 1320.8(b)(3)(vi), FRA informs all interested parties that it may not conduct or sponsor, and a respondent is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. Authority: 44 U.S.C. 3501–3520. Brett A. Jortland, Acting Chief Counsel. [FR Doc. 2019–03049 Filed 2–21–19; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–06–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Railroad Administration [Docket No. FRA–2019–0004–N–2] Proposed Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Notice of information collection; request for comment. AGENCY: Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) and its implementing regulations, FRA seeks approval of the Information Collection Requests (ICRs) abstracted below. Before submitting these ICRs to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for approval, FRA is soliciting public comment on specific aspects of the activities identified below. DATES: Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before April 23, 2019. ADDRESSES: Submit written comments on the ICRs activities by mail to either: SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:52 Feb 21, 2019 Jkt 247001 Mr. Robert Brogan, Information Collection Clearance Officer, Office of Railroad Safety, Regulatory Analysis Division, Federal Railroad Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Room W33–497, Washington, DC 20590; or Ms. Kim Toone, Information Collection Clearance Officer, Office of Information Technology, Federal Railroad Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Room W34–212, Washington, DC 20590. Commenters requesting FRA to acknowledge receipt of their respective comments must include a self-addressed stamped postcard stating, ‘‘Comments on OMB Control Number 2130–XXXX,’’ (the relevant OMB control number for each ICR is listed below) and should also include the title of the ICR. Alternatively, comments may be faxed to (202) 493–6216 or (202) 493–6497, or emailed to Mr. Brogan at Robert.Brogan@dot.gov, or Ms. Toone at Kim.Toone@dot.gov. Please refer to the assigned OMB control number in any correspondence submitted. FRA will summarize comments received in response to this notice in a subsequent notice and include them in its information collection submission to OMB for approval. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Robert Brogan, Information Collection Clearance Officer, Office of Railroad Safety, Regulatory Analysis Division, Federal Railroad Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Room W33–497, Washington, DC 20590 (telephone: (202) 493–6292) or Ms. Kim Toone, Information Collection Clearance Officer, Office of Information Technology, Federal Railroad Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Room W34–212, Washington, DC 20590 (telephone: (202) 493–6132). SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The PRA, 44 U.S.C. 3501–3520, and its implementing regulations, 5 CFR part 1320, require Federal agencies to PO 00000 Frm 00148 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 provide 60-days’ notice to the public to allow comment on information collection activities before seeking OMB approval of the activities. See 44 U.S.C. 3506, 3507; 5 CFR 1320.8 through 1320.12. Specifically, FRA invites interested parties to comment on the following ICRs regarding: (1) Whether the information collection activities are necessary for FRA to properly execute its functions, including whether the activities will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of FRA’s estimates of the burden of the information collection activities, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used to determine the estimates; (3) ways for FRA to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information being collected; and (4) ways for FRA to minimize the burden of information collection activities on the public, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology. See 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A); 5 CFR 1320.8(d)(1). FRA believes that soliciting public comment may reduce the administrative and paperwork burdens associated with the collection of information that Federal regulations mandate. In summary, FRA reasons that comments received will advance three objectives: (1) Reduce reporting burdens; (2) organize information collection requirements in a ‘‘user-friendly’’ format to improve the use of such information; and (3) accurately assess the resources expended to retrieve and produce information requested. See 44 U.S.C. 3501. The summaries below describe the ICRs that FRA will submit for OMB clearance as the PRA requires: Title: Safety Appliance Standards Guidance Checklist Forms. OMB Control Number: 2130–0565. Abstract: Sample car/locomotive inspections are performed upon request as a courtesy to the car manufacturers to ensure that the equipment is built in accordance with the Code of Federal E:\FR\FM\22FEN1.SGM 22FEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 84, Number 36 (Friday, February 22, 2019)]
[Notices]
[Pages 5805-5807]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-03049]


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

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Railroad Administration

[Docket No. FRA-2019-0004-N-3]


Proposed Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment 
Request

AGENCY: Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), U.S. Department of 
Transportation (DOT).

ACTION: Notice of information collection; request for comment.

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

SUMMARY: Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) and its 
implementing regulations, FRA seeks approval of the Information 
Collection Request (ICR) abstracted below. Before submitting this ICR 
to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for approval, FRA is 
soliciting public comment on specific aspects of the activities 
identified below.

DATES: Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before 
April 23, 2019.

ADDRESSES: Submit written comments on the ICR activities by mail to 
either: Mr. Robert Brogan, Information Collection Clearance Officer, 
Office of Railroad Safety, Regulatory Analysis Division, Federal 
Railroad Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Room W33-497, 
Washington, DC 20590; or Ms. Kim Toone, Information Collection 
Clearance Officer, Office of Information Technology, Federal Railroad 
Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Room W34-212, Washington, DC 
20590. Commenters requesting FRA to acknowledge receipt of their 
respective comments must include a self-addressed stamped postcard 
stating, ``Comments on OMB Control Number 2130-NEW'' and should also 
include the title of the ICR. Alternatively, comments may be faxed to 
(202) 493-6216 or (202) 493-6497, or emailed to Mr. Brogan at 
robert.brogan@dot.gov, or Ms. Toone at kim.toone@dot.gov. Please refer 
to the assigned OMB control number in any correspondence submitted. FRA 
will summarize comments received in response to this notice in a 
subsequent notice and include them in its information collection 
submission to OMB for approval.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Robert Brogan, Information 
Collection Clearance Officer, Office of Railroad Safety, Regulatory 
Analysis Division, Federal Railroad Administration, 1200 New Jersey 
Avenue SE, Room W33-497, Washington, DC 20590 (telephone: 202-493-6292) 
or Ms. Kim Toone, Information Collection Clearance Officer, Office of 
Information Technology, Federal Railroad Administration, 1200 New 
Jersey Avenue SE, Room W34-212, Washington, DC 20590 (telephone: 202-
493-6132).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The PRA, 44 U.S.C. 3501-3520, and its 
implementing regulations, 5 CFR part 1320, require Federal agencies to 
provide 60-days' notice to the public to allow comment on information 
collection activities before seeking OMB approval of the activities. 
See 44 U.S.C. 3506, 3507; 5 CFR 1320.8 through 1320.12. Specifically, 
FRA invites interested parties to comment on the following ICR 
regarding: (1) Whether the information collection activities are 
necessary for FRA to properly execute its functions, including whether 
the activities will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of FRA's 
estimates of the burden of the information collection activities, 
including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used to 
determine the estimates; (3) ways for FRA to enhance the quality, 
utility, and clarity of the information being collected; and (4) ways 
for FRA to minimize the burden of information collection activities on 
the public, including the use of automated collection techniques or 
other forms of information technology. See 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A); 5 
CFR 1320.8(d)(1).
    FRA believes that soliciting public comment may reduce the 
administrative and paperwork burdens associated with the collection of 
information that Federal regulations require. In summary, FRA reasons 
that comments received will advance three objectives: (1) Reduce 
reporting burdens; (2) organize information collection requirements in 
a ``user-friendly'' format to improve the use of such information; and 
(3) accurately assess the resources expended to retrieve and produce 
information requested. See 44 U.S.C. 3501.
    The summary below describes the ICR that FRA will submit for OMB 
clearance as the PRA requires:

[[Page 5806]]

    Title: Federal Railroad Administration Disadvantaged Business 
Enterprise (DBE) Disparity Study.
    OMB Control Number: 2130-NEW.
    Abstract: The objective of this work is to complete a 
congressionally-mandated disparity study evaluating the participation 
by small and disadvantaged businesses in railroad contracting that 
meets the requirements of the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) 
program for federally-funded projects administered by the Federal 
Highway Administration (FHWA) or the Federal Transit Administration 
(FTA), 49 CFR part 26. The purpose of this disparity study is to 
evaluate the market for the availability and utilization of small and 
disadvantaged businesses in publicly-funded railroad contracting. The 
study will be used as evidence to inform FRA and DOT on the state of 
small and disadvantaged business contracting in the railroad industry 
and will be a component in the FRA's Title VI compliance program.
    FRA does not currently have statutory authority to administer a DBE 
program like those in place at FHWA, FTA, and the Federal Aviation 
Administration (FAA). DOT DBE regulations applicable to FHWA, FTA and 
FAA require state and local transportation agencies that receive DOT 
financial assistance to establish goals for the participation of DBEs. 
Each DOT-assisted State and local transportation agency is required to 
establish annual DBE goals, review the scopes of anticipated large 
prime contracts, and establish contract-specific DBE subcontracting 
goals. Without statutory DBE authority, FRA can only encourage 
recipients of its Federal financial assistance to use in their projects 
small business concerns owned and controlled by socially and 
economically disadvantaged individuals. These types of small business 
concerns include small businesses, DBEs, Veteran-Owned Small 
Businesses, and Service Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Businesses. 
Despite the lack of a formal DBE program, FRA fully supports the 
objectives of DBE programs and all FRA's grantees are required to avoid 
discrimination in contracting.
    In addition, in late 2015, Congress passed the ``Fixing America's 
Surface Transportation Act'' (FAST Act), (Pub. L. 114-94). The FAST Act 
codified the requirement for FRA to conduct ``a nationwide disparity 
and availability study on the availability and use of small business 
concerns owned and controlled by socially and economically 
disadvantaged individuals and veteran-owned small businesses in 
publicly funded intercity rail passenger transportation projects.'' See 
FAST Act, sec. 11310, Small Business Participation Study. The 
legislation requires that: ``Not later than 2 years after the date of 
enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall submit a report containing 
the results of the study . . . to the Committee on Commerce, Science, 
and Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on Transportation 
and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives.'' Id.
    The collection of information for the study includes three surveys 
and a series of webinar focus groups. In Survey #1, FRA's study 
contractor (i.e., the Jack Faucett Associates team) will contact all 
FRA grant recipients and work with them to identify all of the prime 
contractors, consultants, and vendors with whom they spent grant funds 
and the amount of those funds. Next, the study team will contact the 
sub-grantees, prime contractors, consultants and suppliers that the 
study identified, and work with them to identify all subcontractors, 
sub-consultants, and suppliers that they utilize and the amount of 
those contracts. This survey is necessary to develop estimates of the 
amount of FRA grants and contracts that flow to DBEs.
    In Survey #2, the study team will survey DBE and non-DBE firms in 
the railroad industry. The survey will elicit data on firms' 
experiences with discrimination, as well as experiences in bidding with 
the grantees and their prime contractors and consultants. This approach 
ensures that anecdotal findings are corroborated by an actual 
representation of the DBE and non-DBE communities at large in the 
relevant markets. The personal experiences of disparate treatment 
suffered by minorities or women in seeking and performing public and 
private sector work in the relevant marketplace reinforce buttress 
sound statistical evidence of disparate impacts. Since response rates 
to voluntary surveys tend to be fairly low, the study team will take 
additional steps to increase responsiveness, including an outreach 
campaign, professionally designed surveys, cover letters signed by top 
FRA officials, multiple reminders, and a devoted wide-area telephone 
service line and email address for requesting replacement surveys and 
addressing other inquiries. Moreover, the study team will statistically 
validate representativeness using surveys of non-respondents.
    In the focus groups, the study team will also collect qualitative 
anecdotal information through in-depth webinar focus groups of DBE and 
non-DBE business owners, as well as procurement personnel at FRA and 
its grantees. These focus groups likewise will explore barriers to the 
full and fair participation of DBEs in FRA's market area and that of 
its grantees. The focus groups also will investigate whether the USDOT 
programs and policies, as they apply to FRA and its grantees, 
adequately address these challenges. These focus groups will yield 
valuable information about the day-to-day realities affecting DBE firms 
and will inform how to develop FRA's policy responses to those 
challenges.
    In Survey #3, the study team will survey firms to verify their DBE 
status. The comparison of FRA's use of DBEs versus their prevalence by 
industry and geography is crucial to developing the sound statistical 
evidence of discrimination the courts have required. Starting from 
known business establishment lists (such as those from Dun & 
Bradstreet), the study will cross-reference numerous additional 
listings and directories of DBE firms in the relevant geographic and 
product markets in order to improve the classification of firms 
according to their status. Next, the study team will take the 
additional step of validating putative assignments using telephone 
surveys of a statistically random sample of businesses from the master 
database.
    Type of Request: Approval of a new collection of information.
    Affected Public: Businesses.
    Form(s): FRA F 6180.171; FRA F 6180.172; FRA F 6180.173; FRA F 
6180.174.
    Respondent Universe: 35,000 Grantees, Sub-Grantees, Prime 
Contractors, Sub-Contractors, DBEs, and Non-Disadvantaged Business 
Firms.
    Frequency of Submission: On occasion.
    Reporting Burden:

[[Page 5807]]



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                           Average time
                 Form No.                         Respondent universe           Total annual responses     per response    Total annual    Total annual
                                                                                                              (hours)      burden hours    burden cost *
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Survey #1: Grantee and Contractor          1,250 Grantees, Sub-grantees,     500 surveys................               4           2,000        $115,300
 Collection Form.                           Prime-Contractors, and Sub-
                                            Contractors.
Survey #2: Experiences with                35,000 DBE and non-DBE firms....  2,750 surveys..............             .25             688          39,663
 Discrimination.
Focus Groups on Experiences with           20,000 DBE and non-DBE firms....  250 focus group                           1             250          14,413
 Discrimination.                                                              participants.
Survey #3: DBE Status Verification.......  28,000 DBE and non-DBE firms....  4,250 surveys..............             .05             213          12,279
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note: The annual hourly wage rate for the above calculations is $57.65 and is derived from the Management Occupations (Occupational Code 11-0000) Bureau
  of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor: Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2017, National Occupational Employment and Wage
  Estimates.

    Total Estimated Annual Responses: 7,750.
    Total Estimated Annual Burden: 3,151 hours.
    Total Estimated Dollar Cost: $181,655.
    Under 44 U.S.C. 3507(a) and 5 CFR 1320.5(b) and 1320.8(b)(3)(vi), 
FRA informs all interested parties that it may not conduct or sponsor, 
and a respondent is not required to respond to, a collection of 
information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    Authority: 44 U.S.C. 3501-3520.

Brett A. Jortland,
Acting Chief Counsel.
[FR Doc. 2019-03049 Filed 2-21-19; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-06-P