Elimination of On-the-Job Training and Apprenticeship Trainee Certification, 11906-11909 [2020-03884]

Download as PDF 11906 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 40 / Friday, February 28, 2020 / Proposed Rules ADDRESSES section of this preamble. We seek any comments or information that may lead to the discovery of a significant environmental impact from this proposed rule. G. Protest Activities The Coast Guard respects the First Amendment rights of protesters. Protesters are asked to contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section to coordinate protest activities so that your message can be received without jeopardizing the safety or security of people, places or vessels. jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS V. Public Participation and Request for Comments We view public participation as essential to effective rulemaking, and will consider all comments and material received during the comment period. Your comment can help shape the outcome of this rulemaking. If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this rulemaking, indicate the specific section of this document to which each comment applies, and provide a reason for each suggestion or recommendation. We encourage you to submit comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at https:// www.regulations.gov. If your material cannot be submitted using https:// www.regulations.gov, call or email the person in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document for alternate instructions. We accept anonymous comments. All comments received will be posted without change to https:// www.regulations.gov and will include any personal information you have provided. For more about privacy and submissions in response to this document, see DHS’s Correspondence System of Records notice (84 FR 48645, September 26, 2018). Documents mentioned in this NPRM as being available in the docket, and all public comments, will be in our online docket at https://www.regulations.gov and can be viewed by following that website’s instructions. Additionally, if you go to the online docket and sign up for email alerts, you will be notified when comments are posted or a final rule is published. List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 165 Harbors, Marine safety, Navigation (water), Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Security measures, Waterways. For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard is proposing to amend 33 CFR part 165 as follows: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:07 Feb 27, 2020 Jkt 250001 PART 165—REGULATED NAVIGATION AREAS AND LIMITED ACCESS AREAS 1. The authority citation for part 165 continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 46 U.S.C. 70034, 70051; 33 CFR 1.05–1, 6.04–1, 6.04–6, and 160.5; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1. 2. Add § 165.T05–0088 to read as follows: ■ § 165.T05–0088 Safety Zone; New Jersey Intracoastal Waterway, Atlantic City, NJ. (a) Location. The following area is a safety zone: All navigable waters of the New Jersey Intracoastal Waterway in Atlantic City, NJ, within the polygon bounded by the following: Originating on the southwest portion at approximate position latitude 39°20′57″ N, longitude 074°27′59″ W; thence northeasterly along the shoreline to latitude 39°21′35″ N, longitude 074°27′06″ W; thence east across the mouth of Beach Thorofare to the shoreline at latitude 39°21′41″ N, longitude 074°26′55″ W; thence east along the shoreline to latitude 39°21′42″ N, longitude 074°26′51″ W; thence southeast across the New Jersey Intracoastal Waterway to the shoreline at latitude 39°21′43″ N, longitude 074°26′41″ W; thence southwest along the shoreline to approximate position latitude 39°20′55″ N, longitude 074°27′57″ W; thence north to the point of origin. (b) Definitions. As used in this section, designated representative means a Coast Guard Patrol Commander, including a Coast Guard petty officer, warrant or commissioned officer on board a Coast Guard vessel or on board a federal, state, or local law enforcement vessel assisting the Captain of the Port (COTP), Delaware Bay in the enforcement of the safety zone. (c) Regulations. (1) Under the general safety zone regulations in subpart C of this part, you may not enter the safety zone described in paragraph (a) of this section unless authorized by the COTP or the COTP’s designated representative. (2) To seek permission to enter or remain in the zone, contact the COTP or the COTP’s representative via VHF–FM channel 16 or 215–271–4807. Those in the safety zone must comply with all lawful orders or directions given to them by the COTP or the COTP’s designated representative. (3) This section applies to all vessels except those engaged in law enforcement, aids to navigation servicing, and emergency response operations. (d) Enforcement. The U.S. Coast Guard may be assisted in the patrol and PO 00000 Frm 00041 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 enforcement of the safety zone by Federal, State, and local agencies. (e) Enforcement period. This zone will be enforced from noon to approximately 7 p.m. on April 4, 2020, and from approximately 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., or shortly before that, on April 5, 2020. Dated: February 24, 2020. Scott E. Anderson, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Captain of the Port Delaware Bay. [FR Doc. 2020–04087 Filed 2–27–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110–04–P DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS 38 CFR Part 21 RIN 2900–AQ61 Elimination of On-the-Job Training and Apprenticeship Trainee Certification Department of Veterans Affairs. Proposed rule. AGENCY: ACTION: The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) proposes to amend its regulations that contain the requirements for certification of attendance at on-the-job training and apprenticeship programs under the Veterans Apprenticeship and Labor Opportunity Reform Act (VALOR Act). Section 3 of this law eliminated the requirement that trainees (veterans and other eligible persons who receive the training) certify attendance at on-the-job or apprentice training prior to disbursement of a training assistance allowance, thereby placing the responsibility solely on the employer to certify attendance in on-the-job and apprenticeship programs. Although it does not apply to chapter 30, we propose to eliminate the regulatory trainee certification requirement for chapter-30 trainees as well. DATES: Comments must be received on or before April 28, 2020. ADDRESSES: Written comments may be submitted through www.Regulations.gov; by mail or handdelivery to Director, Office of Regulation Policy and Management (00REG), Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Avenue NW, Room 1064, Washington, DC 20420; or by fax to (202) 273–9026. Comments should indicate that they are submitted in response to ‘‘RIN 2900–AQ61— Elimination of On-the-Job Training and Apprenticeship Trainee Certification.’’ Copies of comments received will be available for public inspection in the Office of Regulation Policy and SUMMARY: E:\FR\FM\28FEP1.SGM 28FEP1 jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 40 / Friday, February 28, 2020 / Proposed Rules Management, Room 1064, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday (except holidays). Please call (202) 461–4902 for an appointment. (This is not a toll-free number.) In addition, during the comment period, comments may be viewed online through the Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) at www.Regulations.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Cheryl Amitay, Chief, Policy and Regulation Development Staff (225C), Education Service, Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20420, (202) 461–9700. (This is not a toll-free telephone number.) SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Prior to the enactment of Public Law 115–89, 131 Stat. 1279, ‘‘Veterans Apprenticeship and Labor Opportunity Reform Act’’ (VALOR Act), 38 U.S.C. 3680(c) required that veterans and other eligible persons pursuing approved programs of on-the-job training (OJT) or apprenticeship training (trainees) certify actual attendance and that training establishments certify that a trainee was enrolled in and pursuing a program of apprenticeship or other on-job training. VA implemented former section 3680(c) in 38 CFR 21.4138(e)(2), 21.5133(b), and 21.7640(a)(3). VA also required dual certification for chapter-30 apprenticeship and OJT programs in 38 CFR 21.7140(c)(2). Section 3 of Public Law 115–89 amended sec. 3680(c) to eliminate the trainee’s attendance certification requirement. Consequently, only the training establishment is required to certify the trainee’s OJT or apprenticeship training. Congress eliminated the trainee certification requirement to ‘‘reduce the administrative burden on veterans while maintaining attendance certification’’ to ‘‘ensure GI Bill benefits are only paid to individuals who are abiding by the benefit requirements.’’ H.R. Rep. No. 115–398, at 4 (2017). VA therefore proposes to amend 38 CFR 21.4138(e)(2), 21.5133(b), and 21.7640(a)(3) by removing references to the requirement for a trainee’s certification. Section 3034 of title 38, U.S.C., sets forth general provisions regarding the administration of the chapter 30 Montgomery GI Bill program. Section 3034(a)(1) provides that the general administration of educational benefits provisions contained in chapter 36 apply to the chapter 30 program, except for sec. 3680(c), among other provisions. Although 38 U.S.C. 3034(a)(1) specifically excepts 38 U.S.C. 3680(c) VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:07 Feb 27, 2020 Jkt 250001 11907 from application to the provision of educational assistance under chapter 30, VA previously promulgated 38 CFR 21.7140(c)(2)(ii) to require employer and trainee certification for apprenticeship and OJT programs under chapter 30. (VA apparently interpreted sec. 3034(a)(1) as not necessarily prohibiting VA from requiring dual certifications but, rather, as not requiring VA to require dual certifications pursuant to sec. 3680(c).) VA proposes to amend 38 CFR 21.7140(c)(2)(ii) to eliminate the trainee certification requirement for apprenticeship and OJT programs under chapter 30. We are proposing to amend section 21.7140(c)(2) so that the certification requirement would be consistent across all VA education and training programs and with Congress’ intent to reduce the administrative burden for trainees enrolled in apprenticeship and OJT programs. H.R. Rep. No. 115–398, at 4. VA also proposes to amend the authority citations for 38 CFR 21.4138(e) and 21.5133 to explain that 38 U.S.C. 3680(c) is an authority for these regulations. Also, VA would add an authority citation for § 21.7140(c)(2) to explain that 38 U.S.C. 3034 and 3680(g) are the authority for this regulation. Finally, VA would add the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) information-collection control number for 38 CFR 21.4138, 21.5133, 21.7140, and 21.7640. These proposed amendments would necessitate revision of the current OMB approved collection of information, OMB Control No. 2900–0178, VA Form 22–6553d–1, ‘‘Monthly Certification of On-The-Job and Apprenticeship Training.’’ Both the trainee and the training establishment must currently complete and sign the form reporting the number of hours the trainee has worked and, if applicable, the date the trainee terminated training. Based on this form, VA either continues a trainee’s education benefits without changes or amends or terminates benefits. We propose to revise this information collection to remove the trainee’s certification based on Public Law 115–89. distributive impacts; and equity). Executive Order 13563 (Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review) emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, reducing costs, harmonizing rules, and promoting flexibility. The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs has determined that this rule is not a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866. VA’s impact analysis can be found as a supporting document at http:// www.regulations.gov, usually within 48 hours after the rulemaking document is published. Additionally, a copy of the rulemaking and its impact analysis are available on VA’s website at http:// www1.va.gov/orpm/, by following the link for ‘‘VA Regulations Published From FY 2004 Through Fiscal Year to Date.’’ This proposed rule is expected to be an E.O. 13771 deregulatory action. Details on the estimated cost savings of this proposed rule can be found in the rule’s economic analysis. Executive Orders 12866, 13563, and 13771 Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess the costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, when regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, and other advantages; The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (at 44 U.S.C. 3507) requires that VA consider the impact of paperwork and other information collection burdens imposed on the public. Under 44 U.S.C. 3507(a), an agency may not collect or sponsor the collection of information, nor may it impose an information collection requirement unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. See also 5 CFR 1320.8(b)(3)(vi). PO 00000 Frm 00042 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 Regulatory Flexibility Act The Secretary hereby certifies that this proposed rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities as they are defined in the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601–612). This rulemaking does not change VA’s policy or provisions involving any small entities. Therefore, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 605(b), the initial and final regulatory flexibility analysis requirements of 5 U.S.C. 603 and 604 do not apply. Unfunded Mandates The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 requires at 2 U.S.C. 1532 that agencies prepare an assessment of anticipated costs and benefits before issuing any rule that may result in the expenditure by State, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100 million or more (adjusted annually for inflation) in any one year. This proposed rule would have no such effect on State, local, and tribal governments, or on the private sector. Paperwork Reduction Act E:\FR\FM\28FEP1.SGM 28FEP1 jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS 11908 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 40 / Friday, February 28, 2020 / Proposed Rules This proposed rule includes provisions involving a revised collection of information under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 that requires approval by OMB. OMB assigns control numbers to collections of information it approves. VA may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. The information collection requirement in §§ 21.4138(e)(2), 21.5133(b), 21.7140(c)(2), and 21.7640(a)(3) is currently approved by OMB and has been assigned OMB control number 2900–0178. Title: Monthly Certification of OnThe-Job and Apprenticeship Training (VA Form 22–6553d & 22–6553d–1). Summary of collection of information: The amended collection of information in proposed §§ 21.4138(e)(2), 21.5133(b), 21.7140(c)(2), and 21.7640(a)(3) would require only the training establishment to complete and submit VA Form 22–6553d or 22– 6553d–1 to certify a trainee’s on-the-job training or apprenticeship training. This proposed rule would eliminate the requirement for the trainee to complete and submit this form to certify training. The proposed amendment to §§ 21.4138(e)(2), 21.5133(b), 21.7140(c)(2), and 21.7640(a)(3) would decrease the estimated annual number of respondents and consequently reduce the estimated total annual reporting and recordkeeping burden. The estimated annual burden for the revised collection of information would be determined as follows: Description of need for information and proposed use of information: There would be no change in the need for information and proposed use of information collected for OMBapproved Control Number 2900–0178 (VA Form 22–6553d or 22–6553d–1). VA Form 22–6553d or 22–6553d–1 is used to report the number of hours the trainee has worked and, if applicable, to report the date the trainee terminated training. Description of likely respondents: The certifying officials at VA approved training establishments would be the sole respondents as a result of the proposed rule. They are the only parties that would complete and sign VA Form 22–6553d or 22–6553d–1 to certify a trainee’s on-the-job training or apprenticeship training as the proposed rule, which would implement Public Law 115–89, would eliminate the requirement that trainees also complete and sign the form. This change, therefore, would reduce the number of respondents. VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:07 Feb 27, 2020 Jkt 250001 Estimated number of respondents per month/year: 3,795 annually. Estimated frequency of responses per month/year: 9 responses per respondent. Estimated number of responses per month/year: 34,155 annually. Estimated average burden per response: The estimated average burden per response for OMB-approved Control Number 2900–0178 (VA Form 22–6553d or 22–6553d–1), would be 10 minutes, rather than 20 minutes when there were two respondents required for each form. Estimated total annual reporting and recordkeeping burden: 5,693 hours. Estimated total annual respondent burden cost: $142,211. This proposed rule would reduce the current annual respondent burden costs from $283,348 to $142,211, resulting in an information collection burden costs savings of $141,137. Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance numbers and titles for the programs affected by this document are 64.027, Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance; 64.028, Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance; 64.032, Montgomery GI Bill Selected Reserve; Reserve Educational Assistance Program; 64.117, Survivors and Dependents Educational Assistance; 64.120, Post-Vietnam Era Veterans’ Educational Assistance; 64.124, AllVolunteer Force Educational Assistance. List of Subjects in 38 CFR—Part 21 Administrative practice and procedure, Armed forces, Civil rights, Claims, Colleges and universities, Conflict of interests, Defense Department, Education, Employment, Grant programs—education, Grant programs—veterans, Health care, Loan Programs—education, Loan programs— veterans, Manpower training programs, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Schools, Travel and transportation expenses, Veterans, Vocational education, Vocational rehabilitation. 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. Pamela Powers, Chief of Staff, Department of Veterans Affairs, PO 00000 Frm 00043 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 approved this document on February 20, 2020, for publication. Luvenia Potts, Regulation Development Coordinator, Office of Regulation Policy & Management, Office of the Secretary, Department of Veterans Affairs. For the reasons stated in the preamble, VA proposes to amend 38 CFR part 21 as follows: PART 21—VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION AND EDUCATION Subpart D—Administration of Educational Assistance Programs 1. The authority citation for part 21, Subpart D continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 10 U.S.C. 2141 note, ch. 1606; 38 U.S.C. 501(a), chs. 30, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, and as noted in specific sections. 2. Amend § 21.4138 by: a. Revisig paragraph (e)(2)(ii); b. Revising the authority citation for paragraph (e); and ■ c. Revising the information collection approval at the end of the section. The revisions read as follows: ■ ■ ■ § 21.4138 Certifications and release of payments. * * * * * (e) * * * (2) * * * (ii) VA has received from the training establishment a certification of hours worked. * * * * * (Authority: 38 U.S.C. 5113, 3680(b), 3680(c), 3680(g)) * * * * * (The Office of Management and Budget has approved the information collection requirements in this section under control numbers 2900–0178 and 2900–0604) Subpart G—Post-Vietnam Era Veterans’ Educational Assistance Under 38 U.S.C. Chapter 32 3. The authority citation for part 21, Subpart G continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501(a), chs. 32, 36, and as noted in specific sections. 4. Amend § 21.5133 by: a. Revising paragraph (b)(2); b. Revising the information collection approval at the end of the section; and. ■ c. Revising the authority citation at the end of the section. The revisions read as follows: ■ ■ ■ § 21.5133 Certifications and release of payments. * * * * * (b) * * * (2) VA has received from the training establishment a certification of hours E:\FR\FM\28FEP1.SGM 28FEP1 Federal Register / Vol. 85, No. 40 / Friday, February 28, 2020 / Proposed Rules worked. Generally, this certification will be required monthly, resulting in monthly payments. * * * * * (Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control numbers 2900–0178 and 2900–0465) [FR Doc. 2020–03884 Filed 2–27–20; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8320–01–P (Authority: 38 U.S.C. 3680(c), 3680(g), 3689) ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY Subpart K—All Volunteer Force Educational Assistance Program (Montgomery GI Bill—Active Duty) 40 CFR Parts 9, 122, 123, 127, 403, and 503 5. The authority citation for part 21, Subpart K continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501(a), chs. 30, 36, and as noted in specific sections. 6. Amend § 21.7140 by: a. Revising paragraph (c)(2)(ii); ■ b. Adding an authority citation for paragraph (c)(2); and ■ c. Revising the information collection approval at the end of the section. The revisions and addition read as follows: ■ ■ § 21.7140 Certifications and release of payments. * * * * * (c) * * * (2) * * * (ii) VA has received from the training establishment a certification of hours worked. (Authority: 38 U.S.C. 3034, 3680(g)) * * * * * (The Office of Management and Budget has approved the information collection provisions in this section under control numbers 2900–0178, 2900–0695, and 2900– 0698) Subpart L—Educational Assistance for Members of the Selected Reserve 7. The authority citation for part 21, Subpart L continues to read as follows: ■ Authority: 10 U.S.C. ch. 1606; 38 U.S.C. 501(a), 512, ch. 36, and as noted in specific sections. 8. Amend § 21.7640 by: ■ a. Revising paragraph (a)(3)(ii); and ■ b. Revising the information collection approval at the end of the section. The revisions read as follows: ■ § 21.7640 Release of payments. * jbell on DSKJLSW7X2PROD with PROPOSALS (Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control numbers 2900–0073 and 2900–0178) * * * * (a) * * * (3) * * * (ii) VA has received certification by the training establishment of the reservist’s hours worked. * * * * * VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:07 Feb 27, 2020 Jkt 250001 [EPA–HQ–OECA–2019–0408; FRL–10005– 21–OECA] RIN 2020–AA52 NPDES Electronic Reporting Rule— Phase 2 Extension Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). ACTION: Proposed rule. AGENCY: EPA published the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Electronic Reporting Rule (‘‘NPDES eRule’’) on 22 October 2015. The 2015 rule required EPA and states to modernize Clean Water Act (CWA) reporting. The NPDES eRule included a phased implementation schedule. In this notice, EPA proposes postponing the compliance deadlines for Phase 2 implementation by three years and providing states with additional flexibility to request additional time as needed. Further, this notice proposes changes to the NPDES eRule that would clarify existing requirements and eliminate some duplicative or outdated reporting requirements. Taken together, these changes are designed to save the NPDES authorized programs considerable resources, make reporting easier for NPDES-regulated entities, streamline permit renewals, ensure full exchange of NPDES program data between states and EPA, enhance public transparency, improve environmental decision-making, and protect human health and the environment. DATES: Comments must be received on or before April 28, 2020. Under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), comments on the information collection provisions are best assured of consideration if the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) receives a copy of your comments on or before March 30, 2020. ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA–HQ– OECA–2019–0408, to the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http:// www.regulations.gov. Follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00044 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 11909 edited or withdrawn. EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e., on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http:// www2.epa.gov/dockets/commentingepa-dockets. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For additional information, please contact Mr. Carey A. Johnston, Office of Compliance (mail code 2222A), Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: 202–566– 1014; or email: johnston.carey@epa.gov (preferred). Also see the following website for additional information regarding the rulemaking: https:// www.epa.gov/compliance/npdesereporting. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Table of Contents I. General Information II. Background III. Changes to Phase 2 Compliance Deadlines IV. Alternative Phase 2 Compliance Deadlines V. Clarifying Edits for More Efficient Implementation and 2019 NPDES Updates Rule Changes VI. Assistance to States To Implement Phase 2 VII. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. General Information A. Does this action apply to me? Entities potentially affected by this action include all NPDES-permitted facilities, whether covered by an individual permit or general permit, industrial users located in cities without approved local pretreatment programs, facilities subject to EPA’s biosolids regulations, and governmental entities that have received NPDES program authorization or are implementing portions of the NPDES program in a cooperative agreement with EPA. These entities include: E:\FR\FM\28FEP1.SGM 28FEP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 40 (Friday, February 28, 2020)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 11906-11909]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-03884]


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DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS

38 CFR Part 21

RIN 2900-AQ61


Elimination of On-the-Job Training and Apprenticeship Trainee 
Certification

AGENCY: Department of Veterans Affairs.

ACTION: Proposed rule.

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

SUMMARY: The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) proposes to amend its 
regulations that contain the requirements for certification of 
attendance at on-the-job training and apprenticeship programs under the 
Veterans Apprenticeship and Labor Opportunity Reform Act (VALOR Act). 
Section 3 of this law eliminated the requirement that trainees 
(veterans and other eligible persons who receive the training) certify 
attendance at on-the-job or apprentice training prior to disbursement 
of a training assistance allowance, thereby placing the responsibility 
solely on the employer to certify attendance in on-the-job and 
apprenticeship programs. Although it does not apply to chapter 30, we 
propose to eliminate the regulatory trainee certification requirement 
for chapter-30 trainees as well.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before April 28, 2020.

ADDRESSES: Written comments may be submitted through 
www.Regulations.gov; by mail or hand-delivery to Director, Office of 
Regulation Policy and Management (00REG), Department of Veterans 
Affairs, 810 Vermont Avenue NW, Room 1064, Washington, DC 20420; or by 
fax to (202) 273-9026. Comments should indicate that they are submitted 
in response to ``RIN 2900-AQ61--Elimination of On-the-Job Training and 
Apprenticeship Trainee Certification.'' Copies of comments received 
will be available for public inspection in the Office of Regulation 
Policy and

[[Page 11907]]

Management, Room 1064, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., 
Monday through Friday (except holidays). Please call (202) 461-4902 for 
an appointment. (This is not a toll-free number.) In addition, during 
the comment period, comments may be viewed online through the Federal 
Docket Management System (FDMS) at www.Regulations.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Cheryl Amitay, Chief, Policy and 
Regulation Development Staff (225C), Education Service, Department of 
Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20420, (202) 461-
9700. (This is not a toll-free telephone number.)

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Prior to the enactment of Public Law 115-89, 
131 Stat. 1279, ``Veterans Apprenticeship and Labor Opportunity Reform 
Act'' (VALOR Act), 38 U.S.C. 3680(c) required that veterans and other 
eligible persons pursuing approved programs of on-the-job training 
(OJT) or apprenticeship training (trainees) certify actual attendance 
and that training establishments certify that a trainee was enrolled in 
and pursuing a program of apprenticeship or other on-job training. VA 
implemented former section 3680(c) in 38 CFR 21.4138(e)(2), 21.5133(b), 
and 21.7640(a)(3). VA also required dual certification for chapter-30 
apprenticeship and OJT programs in 38 CFR 21.7140(c)(2).
    Section 3 of Public Law 115-89 amended sec. 3680(c) to eliminate 
the trainee's attendance certification requirement. Consequently, only 
the training establishment is required to certify the trainee's OJT or 
apprenticeship training. Congress eliminated the trainee certification 
requirement to ``reduce the administrative burden on veterans while 
maintaining attendance certification'' to ``ensure GI Bill benefits are 
only paid to individuals who are abiding by the benefit requirements.'' 
H.R. Rep. No. 115-398, at 4 (2017). VA therefore proposes to amend 38 
CFR 21.4138(e)(2), 21.5133(b), and 21.7640(a)(3) by removing references 
to the requirement for a trainee's certification.
    Section 3034 of title 38, U.S.C., sets forth general provisions 
regarding the administration of the chapter 30 Montgomery GI Bill 
program. Section 3034(a)(1) provides that the general administration of 
educational benefits provisions contained in chapter 36 apply to the 
chapter 30 program, except for sec. 3680(c), among other provisions. 
Although 38 U.S.C. 3034(a)(1) specifically excepts 38 U.S.C. 3680(c) 
from application to the provision of educational assistance under 
chapter 30, VA previously promulgated 38 CFR 21.7140(c)(2)(ii) to 
require employer and trainee certification for apprenticeship and OJT 
programs under chapter 30. (VA apparently interpreted sec. 3034(a)(1) 
as not necessarily prohibiting VA from requiring dual certifications 
but, rather, as not requiring VA to require dual certifications 
pursuant to sec. 3680(c).)
    VA proposes to amend 38 CFR 21.7140(c)(2)(ii) to eliminate the 
trainee certification requirement for apprenticeship and OJT programs 
under chapter 30. We are proposing to amend section 21.7140(c)(2) so 
that the certification requirement would be consistent across all VA 
education and training programs and with Congress' intent to reduce the 
administrative burden for trainees enrolled in apprenticeship and OJT 
programs. H.R. Rep. No. 115-398, at 4.
    VA also proposes to amend the authority citations for 38 CFR 
21.4138(e) and 21.5133 to explain that 38 U.S.C. 3680(c) is an 
authority for these regulations. Also, VA would add an authority 
citation for Sec.  21.7140(c)(2) to explain that 38 U.S.C. 3034 and 
3680(g) are the authority for this regulation. Finally, VA would add 
the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) information-collection 
control number for 38 CFR 21.4138, 21.5133, 21.7140, and 21.7640.
    These proposed amendments would necessitate revision of the current 
OMB approved collection of information, OMB Control No. 2900-0178, VA 
Form 22-6553d-1, ``Monthly Certification of On-The-Job and 
Apprenticeship Training.'' Both the trainee and the training 
establishment must currently complete and sign the form reporting the 
number of hours the trainee has worked and, if applicable, the date the 
trainee terminated training. Based on this form, VA either continues a 
trainee's education benefits without changes or amends or terminates 
benefits. We propose to revise this information collection to remove 
the trainee's certification based on Public Law 115-89.

Executive Orders 12866, 13563, and 13771

    Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess the 
costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, when 
regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize 
net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public 
health and safety effects, and other advantages; distributive impacts; 
and equity). Executive Order 13563 (Improving Regulation and Regulatory 
Review) emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and 
benefits, reducing costs, harmonizing rules, and promoting flexibility. 
The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs has determined that 
this rule is not a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 
12866. VA's impact analysis can be found as a supporting document at 
http://www.regulations.gov, usually within 48 hours after the 
rulemaking document is published. Additionally, a copy of the 
rulemaking and its impact analysis are available on VA's website at 
http://www1.va.gov/orpm/, by following the link for ``VA Regulations 
Published From FY 2004 Through Fiscal Year to Date.'' This proposed 
rule is expected to be an E.O. 13771 deregulatory action. Details on 
the estimated cost savings of this proposed rule can be found in the 
rule's economic analysis.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Secretary hereby certifies that this proposed rule would not 
have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities as they are defined in the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 
U.S.C. 601-612). This rulemaking does not change VA's policy or 
provisions involving any small entities. Therefore, pursuant to 5 
U.S.C. 605(b), the initial and final regulatory flexibility analysis 
requirements of 5 U.S.C. 603 and 604 do not apply.

Unfunded Mandates

    The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 requires at 2 U.S.C. 1532 
that agencies prepare an assessment of anticipated costs and benefits 
before issuing any rule that may result in the expenditure by State, 
local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private 
sector, of $100 million or more (adjusted annually for inflation) in 
any one year. This proposed rule would have no such effect on State, 
local, and tribal governments, or on the private sector.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (at 44 U.S.C. 3507) requires 
that VA consider the impact of paperwork and other information 
collection burdens imposed on the public. Under 44 U.S.C. 3507(a), an 
agency may not collect or sponsor the collection of information, nor 
may it impose an information collection requirement unless it displays 
a currently valid OMB control number. See also 5 CFR 1320.8(b)(3)(vi).

[[Page 11908]]

    This proposed rule includes provisions involving a revised 
collection of information under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 
that requires approval by OMB. OMB assigns control numbers to 
collections of information it approves. VA may not conduct or sponsor, 
and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information 
unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. The 
information collection requirement in Sec. Sec.  21.4138(e)(2), 
21.5133(b), 21.7140(c)(2), and 21.7640(a)(3) is currently approved by 
OMB and has been assigned OMB control number 2900-0178.
    Title: Monthly Certification of On-The-Job and Apprenticeship 
Training (VA Form 22-6553d & 22-6553d-1).
    Summary of collection of information: The amended collection of 
information in proposed Sec. Sec.  21.4138(e)(2), 21.5133(b), 
21.7140(c)(2), and 21.7640(a)(3) would require only the training 
establishment to complete and submit VA Form 22-6553d or 22-6553d-1 to 
certify a trainee's on-the-job training or apprenticeship training. 
This proposed rule would eliminate the requirement for the trainee to 
complete and submit this form to certify training. The proposed 
amendment to Sec. Sec.  21.4138(e)(2), 21.5133(b), 21.7140(c)(2), and 
21.7640(a)(3) would decrease the estimated annual number of respondents 
and consequently reduce the estimated total annual reporting and 
recordkeeping burden.
    The estimated annual burden for the revised collection of 
information would be determined as follows:
    Description of need for information and proposed use of 
information: There would be no change in the need for information and 
proposed use of information collected for OMB-approved Control Number 
2900-0178 (VA Form 22-6553d or 22-6553d-1). VA Form 22-6553d or 22-
6553d-1 is used to report the number of hours the trainee has worked 
and, if applicable, to report the date the trainee terminated training.
    Description of likely respondents: The certifying officials at VA 
approved training establishments would be the sole respondents as a 
result of the proposed rule. They are the only parties that would 
complete and sign VA Form 22-6553d or 22-6553d-1 to certify a trainee's 
on-the-job training or apprenticeship training as the proposed rule, 
which would implement Public Law 115-89, would eliminate the 
requirement that trainees also complete and sign the form. This change, 
therefore, would reduce the number of respondents.
    Estimated number of respondents per month/year: 3,795 annually.
    Estimated frequency of responses per month/year: 9 responses per 
respondent.
    Estimated number of responses per month/year: 34,155 annually.
    Estimated average burden per response: The estimated average burden 
per response for OMB-approved Control Number 2900-0178 (VA Form 22-
6553d or 22-6553d-1), would be 10 minutes, rather than 20 minutes when 
there were two respondents required for each form.
    Estimated total annual reporting and recordkeeping burden: 5,693 
hours.
    Estimated total annual respondent burden cost: $142,211.
    This proposed rule would reduce the current annual respondent 
burden costs from $283,348 to $142,211, resulting in an information 
collection burden costs savings of $141,137.

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance

    The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance numbers and titles for 
the programs affected by this document are 64.027, Post-9/11 Veterans 
Educational Assistance; 64.028, Post-9/11 Veterans Educational 
Assistance; 64.032, Montgomery GI Bill Selected Reserve; Reserve 
Educational Assistance Program; 64.117, Survivors and Dependents 
Educational Assistance; 64.120, Post-Vietnam Era Veterans' Educational 
Assistance; 64.124, All-Volunteer Force Educational Assistance.

List of Subjects in 38 CFR--Part 21

    Administrative practice and procedure, Armed forces, Civil rights, 
Claims, Colleges and universities, Conflict of interests, Defense 
Department, Education, Employment, Grant programs--education, Grant 
programs--veterans, Health care, Loan Programs--education, Loan 
programs--veterans, Manpower training programs, Reporting and 
recordkeeping requirements, Schools, Travel and transportation 
expenses, Veterans, Vocational education, Vocational rehabilitation.

    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. Pamela 
Powers, Chief of Staff, Department of Veterans Affairs, approved this 
document on February 20, 2020, for publication.

Luvenia Potts,
Regulation Development Coordinator, Office of Regulation Policy & 
Management, Office of the Secretary, Department of Veterans Affairs.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, VA proposes to amend 38 CFR 
part 21 as follows:

PART 21--VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION AND EDUCATION

Subpart D--Administration of Educational Assistance Programs

0
1. The authority citation for part 21, Subpart D continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority:  10 U.S.C. 2141 note, ch. 1606; 38 U.S.C. 501(a), 
chs. 30, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, and as noted in specific sections.

0
2. Amend Sec.  21.4138 by:
0
a. Revisig paragraph (e)(2)(ii);
0
b. Revising the authority citation for paragraph (e); and
0
c. Revising the information collection approval at the end of the 
section.
    The revisions read as follows:


Sec.  21.4138   Certifications and release of payments.

* * * * *
    (e) * * *
    (2) * * *
    (ii) VA has received from the training establishment a 
certification of hours worked.
* * * * *

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 5113, 3680(b), 3680(c), 3680(g))

* * * * *

(The Office of Management and Budget has approved the information 
collection requirements in this section under control numbers 2900-
0178 and 2900-0604)

Subpart G--Post-Vietnam Era Veterans' Educational Assistance Under 
38 U.S.C. Chapter 32

0
3. The authority citation for part 21, Subpart G continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority:  38 U.S.C. 501(a), chs. 32, 36, and as noted in 
specific sections.

0
4. Amend Sec.  21.5133 by:
0
a. Revising paragraph (b)(2);
0
b. Revising the information collection approval at the end of the 
section; and.
0
c. Revising the authority citation at the end of the section.
    The revisions read as follows:


Sec.  21.5133   Certifications and release of payments.

* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (2) VA has received from the training establishment a certification 
of hours

[[Page 11909]]

worked. Generally, this certification will be required monthly, 
resulting in monthly payments.
* * * * *

(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control 
numbers 2900-0178 and 2900-0465)

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 3680(c), 3680(g), 3689)

Subpart K--All Volunteer Force Educational Assistance Program 
(Montgomery GI Bill--Active Duty)

0
5. The authority citation for part 21, Subpart K continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority:  38 U.S.C. 501(a), chs. 30, 36, and as noted in 
specific sections.

0
6. Amend Sec.  21.7140 by:
0
a. Revising paragraph (c)(2)(ii);
0
b. Adding an authority citation for paragraph (c)(2); and
0
c. Revising the information collection approval at the end of the 
section.
    The revisions and addition read as follows:


Sec.  21.7140   Certifications and release of payments.

* * * * *
    (c) * * *
    (2) * * *
    (ii) VA has received from the training establishment a 
certification of hours worked.

(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 3034, 3680(g))

* * * * *

(The Office of Management and Budget has approved the information 
collection provisions in this section under control numbers 2900-
0178, 2900-0695, and 2900-0698)

Subpart L--Educational Assistance for Members of the Selected 
Reserve

0
7. The authority citation for part 21, Subpart L continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority:  10 U.S.C. ch. 1606; 38 U.S.C. 501(a), 512, ch. 36, 
and as noted in specific sections.

0
8. Amend Sec.  21.7640 by:
0
a. Revising paragraph (a)(3)(ii); and
0
b. Revising the information collection approval at the end of the 
section.
    The revisions read as follows:


Sec.  21.7640   Release of payments.

* * * * *
    (a) * * *
    (3) * * *
    (ii) VA has received certification by the training establishment of 
the reservist's hours worked.
* * * * *

(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control 
numbers 2900-0073 and 2900-0178)
[FR Doc. 2020-03884 Filed 2-27-20; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 8320-01-P