[Federal Register Volume 64, Number 209 (Friday, October 29, 1999)]
[Pages 58375-58376]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 99-28378]



Commodity Credit Corporation

Notice of Request for Approval of a New Information Collection

AGENCY: Commodity Credit Corporation, USDA.

ACTION: Notice and request for comments.


SUMMARY: Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) is seeking approval from 
the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for use of the forms 
necessary to implement the Total Quality Systems Audit (TQSA) program.
    This information collection will allow CCC to determine compliance 
with TQSA standards. This program is being implemented to ensure that 
CCC purchases meet customer requirements and needs. Vendors offering 
processed commodities covered by TQSA for sale to CCC will have to meet 
quality control standards to assure the quality of the end product to 
be purchased by CCC.

DATES: Comments on this notice must be received on or before December 
28, 1999 to be assured consideration.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Tim Mehl, Chief, Warehouse License and 
Examination Division, Kansas City Commodity Office, 9200 Ward Parkway, 
Kansas City, Missouri 64114, telephone (816) 926-6843, fax (816) 926-

    Title: Total Quality Systems Audit Program.
    OMB Control Number: 0560-NEW.
    Type of Request: Approval of a new information collection.
    Abstract: TQSA is a fee for service program open to food processors 
and other food related manufacturers of certain products purchased by 
CCC. Participation in the TQSA program may be required by CCC. Such 
requirement will be included in the applicable CCC commodity purchase 
announcement or invitation. A TQSA team has been organized in the Farm 
Service Agency (FSA) from personnel in FSA's Commodity Operations 
Division and the Department's Kansas City Commodity Office (KCCO).
    During a TQSA audit, the participating vendor must make available 
to the audit team records pertaining to organization, production, work 
procedures, quality testing, shipping, sub-supplier certifications,

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proof of U.S. origin, and all USDA contract documents. The vendor will 
make available key personnel and production workers for interview.
    The TQSA team coordinates the audit with the vendor's management. 
The team makes detailed assessments of the vendor's production 
facilities, equipment, and procedures. Quality procedures and 
documentation are reviewed and assessed for compliance to TQSA 
standards. Records pertaining to purchasing, production, shipping, and 
safety are appraised. A review of CCC contracted products is made.
    Four types of TQSA audits are performed:
    1. Baseline audits are done for new or potential TQSA participants. 
The audit provides the company with guidelines to meet the TQSA 
    2. Full audits are mandatory for those vendors that have previously 
met the TQSA standards and wish to remain in compliance with the TQSA 
    3. Surveillance audits are limited in scope to confirm corrective 
actions, found during full audits, are complete and successfully 
    4. Destination reviews are conducted at a point in the commodity 
distribution chain to verify the product conforms to standards. The 
review is usually conducted as part of an audit program to check 
product quality, but may be conducted in response to a customer 
    To be compliant with TQSA standards the vendor must completely 
conform to Good Manufacturing Practices (21 CFR Part 110), Applicable 
Federal or State food safety requirements, and current commodity 
announcement/invitations, if applicable. Vendors must also demonstrate 
an acceptable level of conformance with ISO/ANSI/ASQ 9001-1994 Quality 
Systems Model for Quality Assurance in Design, Development, Production, 
Installation, and Servicing Standards.
    All observations and findings of non-conformance will be recorded 
on the Audit Summary (KC-1TQ). Evidence of major non-conformance or 
system failures will be reported on the Corrective Actions Request (KC-
    At the conclusion of the audit a score is determined according to 
established procedures. This score is also used to determine the 
frequency of future audits. The score, the audit results on the KC-1TQ, 
the KC-3TQ, and the billable hours are discussed with the vendor's 
representative at an exit meeting. Any disputes will be settled during 
this meeting and the results and the score revised if necessary. The 
score finalized during this meeting cannot be disputed at a later date.
    The Audit Summary (KC-1TQ) and the Corrective Action Request (KC-
3TQ) require the signature of the vendor's representative. The 
signature constitutes agreement with the results and score of the 
audit. The signed forms are provided to KCCO. This information may be 
used to determine the eligibility for and awarding of contracts.
    Estimate of Burden: Public reporting burden for collecting 
information under this notice is estimated to average 30 minutes per 
response, including the time for reviewing instructions, searching 
existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and 
completing and reviewing the collection of information.
    Respondents: Food vendors participating in the TQSA Program.
    Respondents: 250.
    Estimated Number of Annual Responses per Respondent: 2.
    Estimated Total Annual Burden Per Respondent: 1 hour.
    Total Annual Responses: 500.
    Total Annual Burden Hours: 250.
    Proposed topics for comment include: (a) Whether the collection of 
information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of 
the agency, including whether the information will have practical 
utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of burden including 
the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways to 
enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information collected; 
or (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of the information 
on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate 
automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection 
techniques or other forms of information technology.
    Comments regarding this information collection requirement may be 
directed to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of 
Management and Budget, Attention: Desk Officer for USDA, Washington, DC 
20503, and to Timothy P. Mehl, Chief, Warehouse Licensing and 
Examination Division, Kansas City Commodity Office, 9200 Ward Parkway, 
Kansas City, Missouri 64114, telephone (816) 926-6843, fax (816) 926-
    All comments will become a matter of public record.

    Signed at Washington, DC, on October 25, 1999.
Keith Kelly,
Executive Vice President, Commodity Credit Corporation.
[FR Doc. 99-28378 Filed 10-28-99; 8:45 am]