Agency Information Collection Activity Under OMB Review: Certification of Change or Correction of Name Government Life Insurance
In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995, this notice announces that the Veterans Benefits Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs, will submit the collection of information abstracted below to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and comment. The PRA submission describes the nature of the information collection and its expected cost and burden and it includes the actual data collection instrument.
Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E) Program: Name Change; Correction
On February 16, 2022, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) published in the Federal Register a final rule that amended the regulations pertaining to the name of the Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment program to ``Veteran Readiness and Employment'' (VR&E). VA also amended the title of ``Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Officer'' to ``Veteran Readiness and Employment Officer'' and the position of ``Director of Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment'' to ``Executive Director of Veteran Readiness and Employment''. This correction addresses minor technical errors in the published final rule.
VA Acquisition Regulation: Department of Veterans Affairs Acquisition Regulation System and Research and Development
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is proposing to amend and update its VA Acquisition Regulation (VAAR) in phased increments to revise or remove any policy superseded by changes in the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), to remove procedural guidance internal to VA into the VA Acquisition Manual (VAAM), and to incorporate any new agency specific regulations or policies. These changes seek to streamline and align the VAAR with the FAR and remove outdated and duplicative requirements and reduce burden on contractors. The VAAM incorporates portions of the removed VAAR as well as other internal agency acquisition policy. VA will rewrite certain parts of the VAAR and VAAM, and as VAAR parts are rewritten, will publish them in the Federal Register. VA will combine related topics, as appropriate. This rulemaking revises VAAR coverage concerning Department of Veterans Affairs Acquisition Regulation System and Research and Development. It also revises affected parts concerning Definitions of Words and Terms, Required Sources of Supplies and Services, Types of Contracts and Solicitation Provisions and Contract Clauses.
Notice of Request for Information Regarding Veterans Outdoor Recreation
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is requesting information to assist in implementing the statutory requirements of the Veterans Comprehensive Prevention, Access to Care, and Treatment (COMPACT) Act of 2020. The COMPACT Act mandates VA to establish an interagency task force to be known as the Task Force on Outdoor Recreation for Veterans (Task Force). The Task Force will carry out its duties in consultation with appropriate veterans outdoor recreation groups, and through this request for information, VA seeks comments on various topics from these groups to help inform the work and ultimately the recommendations of the Task Force. This effort aligns with the Administration's America the Beautiful initiative, which seeks to improve opportunities for outdoor recreation and address inequitable access to nature and its benefits. Feedback from the public will also help inform the work ahead.
Privacy Act of 1974; System of Records
Pursuant to the Privacy Act of 1974, notice is hereby given that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is updating the system of records in its inventory entitled, ``Veterans and Dependents National Cemetery Gravesite Reservation Records'' VA (41VA41). This system contains information related to Veterans and their dependents who have made gravesite reservations with the National Cemetery Administration (NCA). VA is amending the system of records by revising the Purpose, Routine Uses of Records Maintained in the System, Safeguards, and Notification Procedure. VA is republishing the system notice in its entirety.
Schedule for Rating Disabilities-Ear, Nose, Throat, and Audiology Disabilities; Special Provisions Regarding Evaluation of Respiratory Conditions; Schedule for Rating Disabilities-Respiratory System
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) proposes to revise sections that address the ear, nose, throat, audiology, and respiratory systems. The purpose of these changes is to update medical terminology, incorporate medical advances that have occurred since the last review, and provide well-defined criteria in accordance with actual clinical practice. VA will also rename the body system currently designated for conditions related to hearing and the ear, to include the nose and throat. VA will also consolidate within the scope of otolaryngology several diagnostic codes (DCs) currently listed within the respiratory system.
Agency Information Collection Activity: Application for Veterans Affairs Life Insurance (VALI)
Veterans Benefits Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), is announcing an opportunity for public comment on the proposed collection of certain information by the agency. Under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995, Federal agencies are required to publish notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including each proposed extension of a currently approved collection, and allow 60 days for public comment in response to the notice.
Schedule for Rating Disabilities: Mental Disorders
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) proposes to amend the portion of the rating schedule dealing with mental disorders, including revising the General Rating Formula for Mental Disorders and combining currently separate General Rating Formula for Mental Disorders with the General Rating Formula for Eating Disorders in the VA Schedule for Rating Disabilities (VASRD or rating schedule). The proposed rule reflects changes made by the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5 (DSM-5), advances in medical knowledge, and recommendations from VA's Mental Disorders Work Group.
Agency Information Collection Activity: Advertising, Sales, Enrollment Materials, and Candidate Handbooks
Veterans Benefits Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), is announcing an opportunity for public comment on the proposed collection of certain information by the agency. Under the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995, Federal agencies are required to publish notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including each proposed revision of a currently approved collection, and allow 60 days for public comment in response to the notice.
Change of Publication Manner for Notice of Invention Licenses
Currently, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) publishes notices of prospective exclusive, co-exclusive or partially exclusive domestic or foreign licenses of Government-owned inventions at the Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer (FLC) business website (https://federallabs.org/licenses-list/all). VA must provide notice of its intent to license VA inventive subject matter in order to provide the public an opportunity to file written objections to the proposed license within at least a 15-day notice period. VA is announcing that, 15 days from the publication of this Notice, it will begin using the TechLink website (https://techlinkcenter.org) as its primary publication forum for providing notice. TechLink is a non- profit center of Montana State University. The TechLink website will serve as VA's primary forum for publishing notices of prospective exclusive, co-exclusive or partially exclusive domestic or foreign licenses licensing opportunities. However, if VA is unable to use the TechLink website due to technical problems or other unforeseen circumstances, VA will publish such notices at the FLC business website.
Department of Veterans Affairs' Tribal Representation Expansion Project
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is seeking Tribal consultation on ``The Tribal Representation Expansion Project (T. REP)'', a project through which VA strives to ensure that Native American Veterans have access to responsible, qualified representation in the preparation, presentation, and prosecution of their benefit claims before VA. VA is seeking comments on whether Tribal communities currently have access to representation for VA benefit claims and, for those Tribes that are being underserved in terms of representation, whether the Tribal governments may be interested in collaborating with VA to designate an individual within the community as authorized to prepare, present, and prosecute VA benefit claims. In addition, VA is seeking comments and recommendations on any issues, concerns, or processes the Tribes believe should be addressed in T. REP to better ensure that the project is successful in helping to expand access to representation for Native American Veterans on their benefit claims before VA.
Agency Information Collection Activity Under OMB Review: Suicide Prevention 2.0 Program-Community Opinion Survey
In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995, this notice announces that the Veterans Health Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs, will submit the collection of information abstracted below to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and comment. The PRA submission describes the nature of the information collection and its expected cost and burden, and it includes the actual data collection instrument.
Requesting Disinterment of an Eligible Decedent From a National Cemetery
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) proposes to amend regulations governing disinterment of eligible decedents interred in VA national cemeteries. The amendment is necessary to clarify the requirements that must be met before VA can decide a disinterment request. Clarification of the requirements will help ensure consistent administration of disinterment requests at all VA national cemeteries. Current regulations permit disinterment only when all living immediate family members of the decedent, and the person who initiated the interment (whether or not such person is a member of the immediate family), all give their written consent, or when VA receives an order from a court or State instrumentality of competent jurisdiction directing the disinterment. We propose to clarify that if the individual who initiated the interment does not consent, or is not alive to provide consent, or all living immediate family members are not in agreement, anyone seeking disinterment of an eligible decedent must obtain an order from a court or State instrumentality of competent jurisdiction to direct the disinterment. This clarification will support the regulatory principle that all burials in national cemeteries are considered permanent and final and that a disinterment will be permitted only for cogent reasons, preserve the intent of the individual who initiated the interment, and ensure that a court or other appropriate entity rather than VA will adjudicate family disputes.
Agency Information Collection Activity Under OMB Review: Record Keeping at Flight Schools
In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995 this notice announces that the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA), Department of Veterans Affairs, will submit the collection of information abstracted below to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and comment. The PRA submission describes the nature of the information collection and its expected cost and burden; it includes the actual data collection instrument.
Informed Consent and Advance Directives
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) published an interim final rule amending its regulation regarding informed consent and advance directives. In that rulemaking, we amended the regulation by reorganizing it and amending language where necessary to enhance clarity. We also made changes to facilitate the informed consent process, the ability to communicate with patients or surrogates through available modalities of communication, and the execution and witness requirements for a VA Advance Directive. Before adopting that interim final rule as final, VA revises the provision related to which personnel may be delegated the responsibility for providing a patient with information needed for the patient to make a fully informed consent decision. Upon further review, VA has determined that this provision requires a further change to better clarify roles in the team-based delivery of care model. We are providing the public an opportunity to submit comments solely on this amendment.
Clarification Concerning Tuition and Fees Payment Plans for Standard Terms and 85/15 Calculations
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides notice of a policy advisory issued on August 31, 2021, by VA's Education Service. The policy advisory clarifies and amends VA's previous regulatory interpretation of tuition and fees (T&F) payment plans to differentiate between types of payment plans. Some payment plans should no longer be categorized as institutional support to a student when calculating the ratio of ``supported'' to ``non-supported'' students in a program pursuant to the 85/15 Rule. While VA is retaining the general rule that a student who has a payment plan with an Educational Training Institute (ETI) should be considered supported, a student participating in a payment plan that meets the criteria set forth in this notice should not be considered supported and, instead, should be counted on the non- supported side of the 85/15 ratio.
VA Pilot Program on Graduate Medical Education and Residency
The Department of Veterans Affairs proposes to revise its medical regulations to establish a new pilot program on graduate medical education and residency, as required by section 403 of the John S. McCain III, Daniel K. Akaka, and Samuel R. Johnson VA Maintaining Internal Systems and Strengthening Integrated Outside Network Act of 2018.
Extension of the Presumptive Period for Compensation for Gulf War Veterans
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) amends its adjudication regulations regarding compensation for disabilities resulting from undiagnosed illnesses suffered by veterans who served in the Persian Gulf War. This amendment is necessary to extend the presumptive period for qualifying chronic disabilities resulting from undiagnosed illnesses that must become manifest to a compensable degree in order for entitlement for disability compensation to be established. The intended effect of this amendment is to provide consistency in VA adjudication policy and preserve certain rights afforded to Persian Gulf War veterans and to ensure fairness for current and future Persian Gulf War veterans.
Threshold for Reporting VA Debts to Consumer Reporting Agencies
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) amends its regulations around the conditions by which VA benefits debts or medical debts are reported to consumer reporting agencies (CRA). The Johnny Isakson and David P. Roe, M.D. Veterans Health Care and Benefits Improvement Act of 2020 provides the Secretary authority to prescribe regulations that establish the minimum amount of a benefits or medical debt that the Secretary will report to the CRA. This change will establish the methodology for determining a minimum threshold for debts reported to CRA.