[Federal Register Volume 65, Number 83 (Friday, April 28, 2000)]
[Pages 25004-25009]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 00-10570]



Information Initiative ``Collecting Information in the 
Information Age''

AGENCY: Office of Management and Budget, Executive Office of the 

ACTION: Notice.


SUMMARY: The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs within the 
Office of Management and Budget (OMB), with help from a group of 
Federal agencies, is beginning an initiative to examine how agencies 
can collect information more effectively and efficiently. The 
initiative will focus on improving the quality of information agencies 
collect while minimizing the collection burden, particularly through 
the use of information technology. Eight Federal agencies are 
participating in the initiative: the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), 
the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) of the 
Department of Labor, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the 
Department of Transportation (DOT), the Health Care Financing 
Administration (HCFA) of the Department of Health and Human Services 
(HHS), the Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Student Financial 
Assistance Agency of the Department of Education (ED), and the Small 
Business Administration (SBA). The initiative will begin with a public 
Forum on April 27, 2000. Through a series of Roundtables with 
stakeholders, each agency will explore ways to improve the quality of 
data collected, disseminate better information to the public, and 
reduce burden. The dates, topic and discussion questions for each 
Roundtable are in the Supplementary Information below. OMB is seeking 
written or electronic comments from members of the public on the topics 
and discussion questions. The procedure for submitting comments is in 
Dates and Addresses below. At a second Forum and in a final report, 
OIRA will compile the comments received, present the results of the 
roundtable discussions regarding specific and overall agency collection 
efforts, and recommend opportunities for further progress in

[[Page 25005]]

information management and burden reduction.

DATES AND ADDRESSES: The first Forum will be on April 27 in Room 450 of 
the Eisenhower Executive Office Building (EEOB), Pennsylvania Avenue, 
Washington, D.C. Roundtables will be held on April 27 and other dates, 
including April 28, and May 5, 8, 10, and 11. There will be morning and 
afternoon Roundtables on April 27. Roundtables will be held in the New 
Executive Office Building, 725 17th Street, NW., and the Indian Treaty 
Room, EEOB, Washington, DC. Because space may be limited for specific 
roundtables, OMB recommends that those wishing to participate pre-
register to ensure that they can participate in the sessions of their 
choice. Registration procedures are in the Supplemental Information 
below. Those not registered will be accommodated as space and time 
permit. The second forum will be held approximately 90 days after the 
first Forum.
    Written and electronic comments must be received by June 12, 2000. 
DOT has established an electronic docket at http://dms.dot.gov/ to 
receive electronic comments. OMB encourages members of the public to 
submit electronic comments to that site. When you access the site, 
click on ES Submit. Then click on unregistered user submission. You 
will see a document submission sheet. Fill in the data elements for 
submitter, docket ID, operating administration, and document title. The 
docket ID is 7156. The operating administration (use pull-down window) 
is OMB. The document title corresponds to a Roundtable and is one of 
the following:

 ED--Electronic Documentation
 HCFA--Provider Enrollment;
 IRS--Self Employed;
 IRS--Employment Tax;
 IRS--Post Filing Burden;
    Type the document title exactly as written here. Then click ``enter 
comment'' and type in your comment on screen, or click on attach to 
attach a file. Click on Help for acceptable file formats. Submit 
written comments to DOT Dockets, 400 7th St. SW., PL401, Washington, DC 
20590. Include the docket ID (7156) and the document title at the top 
of your comment (for example: docket 7156, HCFA - CMN). Submit comments 
by fax to 202-493-2251.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For further information contact Ronald 
F. Matzner, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of 
Management and Budget, Room 10202, New Executive Office Building, 
Washington, DC, 20503. Telephone: (202) 395-4856 or at 
[email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) 
requires OMB to oversee the information collection activities of 
Federal agencies. Among the purposes of the PRA are to improve data 
quality, program efficiency, and delivery of services to the public, 
while minimizing information collection burdens. OMB is charged with 
responsibility to work with agencies to make their information 
collections more effective and efficient. To this end, OMB, with help 
from Federal regulatory agencies, has begun an initiative to examine 
how agencies can collect information more effectively and efficiently.
    Each of the participating agencies will hold a series of 
roundtables or dialogue sessions with stakeholders. In each Roundtable 
session, the agency chairing the session will ask participants to 
address specific topics and issues with respect to a particular 
information collection or the agency's information collection efforts 
in general. The participating agencies have chosen information 
collections and topics that illustrate current agency practices or 
highlight issues common to government in general. Agencies will use the 
input and dialogue from stakeholders in their decision making regarding 
the specific collection initiatives and generally in their efforts to 
improve data quality, gather and disseminate better information, and 
reduce burden. OMB will consider the input from stakeholders and the 
agency responses in its final report. OMB expects that the roundtables 
will focus on best information collection practices and new uses of 
technology to help government balance the need for information with the 
minimization of burden. Special attention may focus on the use of 
information technology to change significantly the way government 
obtains information. OMB also expects that agencies may discuss efforts 
to share information across programs, agencies, and Departments.
    The initiative will begin with a public Forum on April 27, 2000, 
consisting of presentations by senior agency officials and Roundtables. 
Agency officials first will discuss burden reduction accomplishments to 
date and current agency initiatives to improve data quality and reduce 
collection burden. Most participating agencies will then host 
Roundtable sessions. The IRS will have additional roundtables on May 8 
and 11. EPA and HCFA will have Roundtables on April 28 and May 10 
    As of April 4, the following Roundtables have been scheduled:
     EPA--TSCA Electronic Reporting (April 27, 10:30-12:30);
     EPA--RCRA Burden Reduction (April 27, 2-4:30);
     EPA--TRI Certification in Lieu of Full Reporting (April 
28, 10-12:30);
     EPA--Consolidated Emissions Reporting and Consolidated 
Federal Air Rules (April 28, 2-4:30);
     HCFA--Certificates of Medical Necessity for DMEs (April 
27, all day);
     HCFA--Provider Enrollment (May 10, all day);
     IRS--Self Employed Tax Burden (April 27, all day);
     IRS--Employment Tax Burden (May 8, all day);
     IRS--Post Filing Burden (May 11, all day);
     OSHA--Certifying Regulatory Compliance (April 27, 10:30-
     USDA--Service Center Initiative (April 27, 10:30-12:30);
    The following is a detailed description of the information 
collections, topics, issues and questions that will be discussed at 
each roundtable, arranged in chronological order.
    There will be five roundtables on April 27 from 10:30 to 12:30.

EPA--RCRA Streamlining

    The Office of Solid Waste (OSW) reviewed all of its RCRA reporting 
and recordkeeping requirements. It is considering streamlining or 
eliminating many of them, which could reduce the information collection 
burden of the program by up to 40%. The key issues to discuss are:
    (1) Eliminating or streamlining one third of the 334 notices and 
reports that facilities send to states or EPA.
    (2) Eliminating or streamlining four reporting requirements for the 
Land Disposal Restrictions Program.
    (3) Reducing the frequency of facility self-inspections for 
hazardous waste tanks from daily to weekly and reducing inspection 
frequencies for all other treatment units on a case-by-case basis.
    (4) Deferring to the OSHA standards for facility emergency response 
    (5) Allowing electronic recordkeeping and reporting.

[[Page 25006]]

HCFA--Certificates of Medical Necessity (CMN) for DMEs

    HCFA has published a notice in the Federal Register announcing the 
agency's review of all CMNs (except for oxygen). It is extending the 
comment period until June 1, 2000 to receive additional input in the 
Information Initiative. HCFA hopes the roundtable will result in useful 
information to help it improve the design and administration of CMNs. 
Key issues are: (1) Practical experience with DMERCs in processing 
CMNs; (2) the elimination or addition of data elements (Is HCFA 
collecting the correct information?); (3) the utility of CMN 
information; (4) the clarity of CMN questions; (5) information 
technology that can make the collections more efficient and effective; 
(6) present burden (complexity and time); and (7) reengineering the 
process (such as getting the physician's signature, ICD-9 codes).

IRS--Self-Employed Tax Burden

    Approximately one million new small businesses start up each year. 
Currently, about 10 million Americans are self-employed full time. This 
number will continue to climb as information technology changes the way 
Americans do their work. IRS is reinventing itself to better adapt its 
services to meet the needs of this dynamic taxpayer segment. In 
general, the self-employed taxpayer population has substantially higher 
income and files up to three to four times the number of forms and 
schedules as wage and investment taxpayers. A majority of self-employed 
taxpayers (about 88 percent) rely on tax professionals to prepare their 
income tax forms. Many are savvy technologically--about 65 percent use 
the World Wide Web to access the Internet. On the other hand, many of 
the self-employed do not understand tax law requirements, rely on 
inadequate accounting practices, and struggle with resource and cash 
flow problems. This roundtable discussion, therefore, will focus on 
what can be done to help the self-employed comply with tax law 
requirements while decreasing the amount of time and out-of-pocket 
costs (burden) these individuals face in preparing and filing their 
Federal income tax return.
    Specific issues to be discussed during this roundtable are:

Identifying Self-Employed Burden

     Is the burden of preparing and filing Federal income tax 
returns greater on the self-employed taxpayer than on wage and 
investment taxpayers?
     What are the specific burdens on the self-employed 
     Are any of these elements unique to the self-employed 
     Identify specific legislative provisions that may cause 
unnecessary burden on self-employed taxpayers.
     Identify specific elements in IRS procedures and processes 
that are affecting the most self-employed taxpayers? What processes are 
costing self-employed taxpayers the most money?
     Identify specific elements in IRS forms and publications 
that may cause unnecessary burden on self-employed taxpayers.

Process and Form Redesign To Reduce Burden

     Are there any legislation or regulatory changes that would 
decrease burden?
     Are there any changes in IRS processes and processes that 
would decrease burden without impacting compliance?
     Are there any changes in forms and publications that would 
decrease burden?
     What education/outreach efforts are working and what 
additional efforts are needed to improve self-employed individuals' 
knowledge of what their responsibility is for filing taxes?
     Are there joint efforts with third parties that could 
solidify better relations between IRS and the self-employed?

The Role of Tax Professionals in Reducing Burden

     Many self-employed individuals turn to tax professionals 
to prepare and file their Federal income tax return. What is the role 
of the tax preparer today? How has this role changed in recent years?
     What special benefits do tax professionals afford the 
self-employed individual?
     What role may tax professionals play in the future that 
will help reduce self-employed tax burden?

Technology Issues

    Off-the-shelf tax software packages provide self-employed 
individuals with powerful tools to assist them in preparing and filing 
their federal income tax returns. But many self-employed individuals do 
not take advantage of these tools.
     Are there barriers, that IRS can control, that keep self-
employed individuals from optimizing their use of tax preparation 
     What can IRS do to eliminate these barriers?
     How effective have other electronic tools, such as e-
filing, been in reducing self-employed tax burden.
     How can information technology be best utilized to reduce 
self-employed tax preparation and filing burden?
     What policies, business prophecies, and procedures might 
the IRS change to maximize the benefits of information technology?
     Are there any legislative or regulatory changes needed to 
optimize the use of technology?
     How can IRS make better use of its Web site for burden 
     What education/outreach is necessary?

OSHA--Certifying Regulatory Compliance

    OSHA has reviewed all of its rules and regulations to identify 
existing information collection requirements, including certification 
records. After conducting this review, OSHA identified a number of 
existing provisions in the General Industry, Shipyard Employment, and 
Construction industry standards which require employers to prepare a 
certification record to demonstrate regulatory compliance. Employers 
must prepare and maintain documents confirming that they completed 
required activities, including: inspecting, testing, and checking 
equipment; assessing and controlling safety and health hazards; and 
training employees. OSHA is considering the possibility of revoking 
some or all of the certification records if it would reduce unnecessary 
paperwork without diminishing employee protection. OSHA has had 
discussions with the National Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety 
and Health, the Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health, 
and the Maritime Advisory Committee on Occupational Safety and Health 
about the certification records. As part of this forum, OSHA will 
discuss the recommendations and comment from those Committees and seek 
input from attendees. The discussion will focus on the following 
    (1) Should OSHA eliminate some or all of the certification 
requirements? If so, which?
    (2) How much burden reduction will result from the elimination of 
certification records?
    (3) How will employers demonstrate to OSHA that they have complied 
with a regulatory provision if a certification record is not required?
    (4) Will employers forego the required inspections, tests, 
assessments or training if OSHA does not require written documentation 
to certify completion of these activities?
    (5) Should OSHA retain any specific certification requirements?

[[Page 25007]]

    (6) Are any existing certification requirements useful to employers 
for purposes other than documenting compliance with an OSHA standard?
    (7) What alternatives to certification are available that employers 
could use to demonstrate compliance with the required activities (e.g., 
equipment testing, employee training)?
    (8) If certification requirements are revoked, what would be the 
effect on employee protection?
    (9) Are there other paperwork requirements the Agency could 
eliminate without jeopardizing the safety and health of workers?
    (10) Are there any paperwork requirements that hinder employers 
from using the latest technology to reduce the paperwork burden?
    (11) Are there ways to modify existing paperwork requirements that 
could reduce burden? For example, modifying the frequency of the 
collection, the contents, or identification of areas of duplication?
    (12) Are there services or products the Agency could provide to 
make it easier to comply with paperwork requirements?

USDA--Service Center Initiative (SCI)

    SCI is an effort by USDA's county-based agencies, the Farm Service 
Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service and Rural Development to 
provide one-stop service for farm programs and farm credit, 
conservation programs, and rural loans and grants. It would allow 
customers to conduct business, and submit and receive information 
without visiting a service center. It also would integrate service 
delivery with that provided by other service providers in the 
community. The effort will reduce burden by sharing information, 
eliminating redundancy, reengineering business processes, and reducing 
office visits and paperwork. Key issues for discussions are building 
common business and technical architectures; business process 
reengineering; eliminating redundancy; sharing customer information; 
privacy and security; and pilot site status. Discussion Topics will 
    1. Are these needs and expectations the right improvements for USDA 
to target?
    2. What service delivery methods used successfully by other public 
or private enterprises can and should USDA follow?
    3. Will providing information and delivering services through the 
Internet and e-mail be a useful alternative to visiting a service 
    4. What privacy concerns arise from USDA consolidating information 
from the three agencies onto single computer systems?
    5. Given existing budget realities, how should USDA best assist and 
train staff and customers to empower them to use the Internet and USDA 
Internet-based services?
    6. How should USDA measure success in delivering these services 
over the Internet?
    There will be four Roundtables on April 27 from 2:00 to 4:30.

EPA--Electronic Reporting, Focusing on TSCA

    EPA's Office of Prevention, Pesticides, and Toxic Substances has 
developed electronic technology initiatives for reporting under 
sections 4, 5, 8(c), 8(d), 8(e), and 12(b) of the Toxic Substances 
Control Act (TSCA). They also will be used for reporting to the 
Interagency Testing Committee (ITC), an independent advisory committee 
to the EPA Administrator that includes 15 U.S. Government 
organizations. These initiatives use state of the art technologies such 
as public key infrastructure (PKI) to digitally sign submissions, and 
portable document format (PDF) and hypertext mark up language (HTML) to 
submit reports to the EPA over the Internet or on compact discs.
    EPA would like to discuss the following with stakeholders:
    (1) Does the approach do what EPA intends it to do (i.e. make it 
easier to use, reduce errors, improve tracking, satisfy company needs)?
    (2) What do they think about the system and forms used (i.e., user 
friendly, help menus, easy to follow, instructions, related guidance)?
    (3) Would companies use this optional electronic reporting 
approach? Why? Why not?
    (4) Are incentives available to encourage electronic submission of 
TSCA data?
    (5) How should the Agency measure and account for the burden 
related to electronic submissions like these? How should the Agency 
measure and account for other benefits related to this electronic 
approach, i.e., increased efficiencies for the regulated community, as 
well as within EPA?
    (6) Can EPA reduce related burden further?
    (7) Are there other reporting or submission requirements within 
OPPTS where this approach would help to significantly reduce burden?
    (8) Are there new ways to report electronically that OPPTS should 

HCFA--CMNs Continues

IRS--Self-Employed Tax Burden Continues

USDA-SUSDA--Service Center Initiative Continues

    EPA will have two half-day Roundtables on April 28, one on TRI and 
the other on Consolidated Air Emissions and Consolidated Federal Air 

EPA--TRI Certification of No Significant Change From Prior Year

    The Toxics Release Inventory is a publicly available EPA database 
that contains information on specific toxic chemical releases and other 
waste management activities reported annually by facilities in certain 
industry sectors. A suggestion has been made that some of the 
facilities that file a Form R should have the option to file a 
``Certification of No Material Change'' in lieu of Form R in alternate 
years. EPA would like to discuss this suggestion with interested 
parties. Key issues are:
    (1) What qualitative conditions would a facility need to certify 
had not changed (inputs, production processes, production levels, and 
waste management practices)?
    (2) How much is a ``material change'' with respect to each 
qualifying condition?
    (3) Should there be a quantitative certification with respect to 
either total releases or distribution of releases among media?
    (4) If a quantitative certification were needed, what would be a 
simple, verifiable standard? (For example, eligibility could be limited 
to facilities that did not have more than an X% change in their 
reported quantities over the past two or three years.)
    (5) How much burden reduction would certification yield?

EPA--Consolidated Emissions Reporting and Consolidated Federal Air 

    A. Regulated facilities submit air pollutant emissions data to the 
state governments that submit the data to EPA. EPA is considering a 
Consolidated Emissions Reporting Rule (CERR) to simplify emissions 
reporting, unify reporting dates, streamline the way states submit this 
data to EPA, consolidate and harmonize reporting requirements, improve 
data quality, and minimize overall reporting burden. Key issues for 
discussion are:
    (1) Whether EPA can streamline or simplify the requirements 
    (2) Whether EPA should apply the same streamlining and 
simplification to new categories of data the Agency needs

[[Page 25008]]

to collect to support its programs to control fine particles and ozone.
    (3) Whether EPA should add hazardous air pollutants to the 
categories of pollutants for which state reporting is required.
    B. Consolidated Federal Air Rule. EPA is also in the final stages 
of developing a ``one-stop'' air pollution regulation for the chemical 
industry. Called the Consolidated Federal Air Rule, this regulation, 
the first of its kind, will combine all existing air regulations 
affecting the synthetic organic chemical industry into one streamlined 
and simplified rule, eliminating duplication and substantially reducing 
paperwork burden. EPA and the affected industry entered into the 
process with hopes that the effort could be a model for the 
consolidation of air rules affecting other industry sectors. EPA and 
the synthetic organic chemical industry expended an enormous amount of 
effort and resources developing the rule. The experience has been 
mixed. While the rule does simplify and reduce paperwork, the effort 
was so resource intensive and the issues so complex that it calls into 
question whether it is a useful model for other industries. At the 
Roundtable, EPA will briefly describe how this new concept works, and 
will invite discussion whether the concept is likely to prove useful 
for other industries.

On May 8, the IRS Will Have a Full Day Roundtable on Employment Tax 

    This roundtable discussion will focus on the burden faced by small 
businesses and self-employed individuals in preparing and filing their 
Federal employment tax return. The process of completing IRS Form 941 
(Federal Employment Tax Return) is by itself not a major source of 
burden for small businesses--it's only one page. The real burden is 
derived from the day-to-day activities, such as completing calculations 
and record keeping, that supply the numbers needed to fill out the 
    The issues to be discussed during this roundtable session are:

Identifying the Issues

     What are the specific elements of burden associated with 
preparing and filing Federal employment tax returns?
     Identify specific legislative provisions that may cause 
unnecessary burden on small businesses and self-employed taxpayers 
preparing and filing their employment tax return.
     Identify specific elements in IRS procedures and processes 
that may cause unnecessary burden.
     Identify specific elements in IRS forms and publications 
that may cause unnecessary burden.

Process Redesign

    Two States, Iowa and Montana, have initiated simplified tax and 
wage reporting processes where one form 941 serves the needs of both 
the Federal and the state taxing authorities. What can be done at the 
Federal level to encourage cooperation between the states and the IRS 
to expand this burden reducing process?
     Is there anything outside of ongoing efforts that you 
would recommend IRS should consider that would simplify the current 
employment tax reporting process?
     What outreach efforts would you recommend to encourage 
greater cooperation among the States, IRS, and the small business 
community to facilitate such filing?

Other Burden

     When an employer has employees, complying with IRS 
requirements necessarily involves consideration of other agency rules 
and procedures. For example, a small business owner must determine if 
an applicant can work in the US, and if so, at what rate to withhold 
taxes--if at all. Also, the small business owner must be familiar with 
Immigration and Naturalization Service rules and procedures. It is 
often unclear to which agency an employer should refer questions and 
discuss issues. How can the Federal government work more effectively to 
minimize the employer's burden and assist the employer to comply with 
the requirements of all regulatory agencies?
     Proposals have been made for legislation that would allow 
return free filing for taxpayers who file the Form 1040EZ and 1040A. 
The IRS would use W-2s, 1099s, and withholding to calculate and send 
tax bills or refunds to taxpayers, who could accept or challenge the 
calculation. What would the impact be on employers who would have to 
obtain information from employees to supply to the IRS? How would this 
impact the burden of filing employment tax forms?
     Small business owners do not always understand how 
penalties are assessed and how the amount of the penalty is calculated. 
How can the IRS disseminate better information to clarify how penalties 
are assessed?
     As businesses grow they often face new sets of employment 
tax issues. Adding more employees can often mean that a business will 
face more payroll tax issues. For example, as a company's payroll 
increases the number of required tax deposits might also increase and/
or the company may be required to electronically transfer payroll 
information to IRS. What can be done to alleviate this burden?

Using Technology

    The IRS provides several options for filing Form 941 using modern 
technology. IRS implemented TeleFile in 1998. In April, 2000, the IRS 
introduced 941 e-File.
     What else might the IRS do to maximize the benefit of 
information technology with respect to employment taxes?
     Are there legislative or regulatory changes that could 
facilitate greater use of software and the Internet for filing 
employment tax forms?
     Do you know of any specific problems in IRS' distribution 
of information about employment tax law changes that may be impeding 
small business and self-employed taxpayers from receiving necessary 
information clearly and quickly?
     Tax laws frequently change. Small businesses don't always 
have the time to keep up with the changes. How can technology be best 
used to inform small business about tax changes?
     What education/outreach is working and what education/
outreach is needed?
     How can IRS make better use of its Web site for burden 
reduction in this area?
     The IRS is encouraging the electronic filing of Form 941. 
IRS has a 941 e-file program. It is a relatively new program with 
specified procedures. Are there additional procedures or formats needed 
to make it even easier for small business to file online?
     Is there anything else the IRS might do to revise the 
existing program or add additional options that would maximize the 
benefits of information technology with respect to employment taxes?

Service Providers

     Many self-employed individuals turn to service providers 
to prepare and file their Federal employment tax return. What is the 
role of the service provider today? How has this role changed in recent 
     What special benefits do service providers afford small 
business and self-employed taxpayers?
     What role may service providers play in the future that 
will help reduce small business/self-employed tax burden?

[[Page 25009]]

HCFA Will Have a Full Day Roundtable Session on May 10 on Provider 
Enrollment for Medicare Billing Privileges

    HCFA is proposing to revise its provider enrollment forms. It has 
consulted with the industry, conducted various outreach, including at 
least one town meeting. In response to the industry input, HCFA has 
made some changes to the new forms and other aspects of the proposal. 
Prior to publishing the proposal for agency review and public comment, 
HCFA would like additional public dialogue on the proposed forms. 
Drafts of the proposed forms are at http://www.hcfa.gov/regs/prdact95.htm. Key issues are:
    (1) Use of three separate forms to target specific providers and 
suppliers (855 for individual practitioners, 855A for providers billing 
fiscal intermediaries, and 855B for organizations billing carriers);
    (2) Differences between current and proposed forms;
    (3) Needs and use of the information; and
    (4) Use of information technology.

On May 11, the IRS Will Have a Full Day Roundtable on Post Filing 

    Post-filing time and out-of-pocket costs incurred by taxpayers in 
an effort to comply with the existing tax laws have been largely 
unmeasured. In 1983 Arthur D. Little developed a methodology to measure 
filing burden. However, no method was developed to measure post-filing 
burden. The focus of this roundtable discussion will be to assess ways 
in which post-filing burden can and should be measured.
    The issues to be discussed during this roundtable session are:
    (1) Defining Post Filing Burden. When does the post-filing process 
begin? Can post filing burden be initiated by the taxpayer or only by 
IRS? What specific activities constitute post-filing burden? What is 
the best way to measure post-filing burden?
    (2) Wage and Investment versus Small Business. How is post-filing 
burden on small businesses and the self employed different from the 
post-filing burden on wage and investment taxpayers?
    (3) New Approaches. Given IRS's mission to provide American 
taxpayers with quality service by helping them understand and meet 
their tax responsibilities what processes and procedures do you think 
IRS can streamline to alleviate post-filing burden? As the IRS 
restructures, what operational issues should it consider that would 
reduce small business/self-employed filing burden?
    (4) The IRS is conducting a pilot in which qualified tax 
professionals can discuss taxpayer account issues with IRS customer 
service representatives by e-mail over the IRS Web site 24 hours a day. 
How effective is such a program in reducing post-filing burden? How 
might the IRS maximize the benefit of information technology to 
minimize post filing burden?
    Among the information collections that DOT has chosen for this 
initiative are two associated with rulemakings that are either proposed 
or about to be proposed. First, the Department published in the Federal 
Register on December 9, 1999 (64 FR 69076) a notice of proposed 
rulemaking (NPRM) to revise the Department's drug and alcohol testing 
procedures. DOT has held public listening sessions on its proposed 
rulemaking in Washington DC on March 20 and 21, in Los Angeles, 
California on March 28, and in Dallas Texas on March 30. Due to the 
close proximity of the Information Initiative's roundtables to the drug 
and alcohol sessions, the latter will be treated as part of the 
Information Initiative in lieu of a roundtable. The Department also 
will conduct an electronic chat room regarding the drug and alcohol 
NPRM from April 3 to April 7. The issues discussed and the comments 
submitted in the drug and alcohol meetings and in the electronic chat 
room will be considered at the final Forum and in OMB's final report 
and recommendations. Similarly, the Department expects to publish 
shortly an NPRM to revise its Motor Carrier Hours of Service. After it 
is published, DOT intends to hold a series of listening sessions 
similar to those conducted for the drug and alcohol NPRM. These 
sessions also will be considered part of the Information Initiative in 
lieu of a Roundtable.
    ED recently has begun a negotiated rulemaking that would reengineer 
its regulations to make it easier for educational and financial 
institutions to use electronic technology to document interactions with 
students and ED. ED expects to conduct a number of stakeholder sessions 
between now and early summer. These sessions will be part of the 
Information Initiative.
    On May 5, the participating agencies will conduct an interagency 
roundtable to share best practices and discuss the challenges and 
opportunities of information technology with respect to information 
collections. This roundtable will not be open to the public. An agency 
may hold additional roundtables on one or more of the collections, 
topics or issues during the month of May if warranted.
    OMB recommends that attendees register for the Forum and each 
roundtable that they wish to attend. Attendees may register by e-mail 
to [email protected], or by fax at 202-395-7285. Submit 
registrations at least 3 working days before the date of a Roundtable. 
All attendees must provide the following: full name, full mailing 
address, telephone number, e-mail address, and each roundtable that he 
or she will attend. If an attendee will attend the Forum held in the 
EEOB, he or she must also provide his or her date of birth and social 
security number.

John T. Spotila,
Administrator, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.
[FR Doc. 00-10570 Filed 4-27-00; 8:45 am]