[Federal Register Volume 72, Number 92 (Monday, May 14, 2007)]
[Notices]
[Pages 27132-27134]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E7-9162]


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OFFICE OF GOVERNMENT ETHICS


Proposed Collection; Comment Request for Unmodified Qualified 
Trust Model Certificates and Model Trust Documents

AGENCY: Office of Government Ethics (OGE).

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: The Office of Government Ethics is publishing this first round 
notice and seeking comment on the twelve executive branch OGE model 
certificates and model documents for qualified trusts. OGE intends to 
submit these forms for extension of approval (up to two years) by the 
Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction 
Act. OGE is proposing no changes to these forms at this time. As in the 
past, OGE will notify filers of an update to the privacy information 
contained in the existing

[[Page 27133]]

forms, and will post a notification thereof on its Web site.

DATES: Written comments by the public and the agencies on this proposed 
extension are invited and must be received by July 13, 2007.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments to OGE on this paperwork notice by 
any of the following methods:
    E-mail: [email protected]. (Include reference to ``Qualified trust 
model certificates and model trust documents paperwork comment'' in the 
subject line of the message).
    FAX: 202-482-9237.
    Mail, Hand Delivery/Courier: Office of Government Ethics, Suite 
500, 1201 New York Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20005-3917, Attention: 
Paul D. Ledvina, Records Officer, Information Resources Management 
Division.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Ledvina at the Office of 
Government Ethics; telephone: 202-482-9281; TDD: 202-482-9293; FAX: 
202-482-9237; E-mail: [email protected]. The model certificates of 
independence and compliance for qualified trusts are codified in 
appendixes A, B, and C to 5 CFR part 2634. Copies of the model trust 
documents are available through the Forms, Publications & Other Ethics 
Documents section of OGE's Web site at http://www.usoge.gov. Copies of 
the qualified trust model certificates and the model trust documents 
may also be obtained, without charge, by contacting Mr. Ledvina.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Office of Government Ethics is planning 
to submit, after this first round notice and comment period, all twelve 
qualified trust model certificates and model documents described below 
(all of which are included under OMB paperwork control number 3209-
0007) for a two-year extension of approval by OMB under the Paperwork 
Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. chapter 35). At that time, OGE will publish a 
second paperwork notice in the Federal Register to inform the public 
and the agencies. The current paperwork approval, last granted by OMB 
in 2005, for the model certificates and model trust documents is 
scheduled to expire at the end of June 2007. OGE is proposing no 
changes to the twelve qualified trust certificates and model documents 
at this time.
    In 2003, OGE updated the OGE/GOVT-1 system of records notice 
(covering SF 278 Public Financial Disclosure Reports and other name-
retrieved ethics program records), including the addition of the three 
new routine uses. As a result, the Privacy Act Statement on each of the 
qualified trust model certificates and documents, which includes 
paraphrases of the routine uses, is affected. OGE has not incorporated 
this update into the qualified trust model certificates and documents 
at this time, since a more thorough revision of these information 
collections is planned within the next two years. Upon distribution of 
the trust model certificates and documents, OGE will continue to inform 
users of the update to the Privacy Act Statement. OGE will also post a 
notification thereof on its Web site to accompany the model 
certificates and documents.
    OGE is the supervising ethics office for the executive branch of 
the Federal Government under the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 
(Ethics Act). Presidential nominees to executive branch positions 
subject to Senate confirmation and any other executive branch officials 
may seek OGE approval for Ethics Act qualified blind or diversified 
trusts as one means to be used to avoid conflicts of interest.
    OGE is the sponsoring agency for the model certificates and model 
trust documents for qualified blind and diversified trusts of executive 
branch officials set up under section 102(f) of the Ethics Act, 5 
U.S.C. app. Sec.  102(f), and OGE's implementing financial disclosure 
regulations at subpart D of 5 CFR part 2634. The various model 
certificates and model trust documents are utilized by OGE and 
settlors, trustees and other fiduciaries in establishing and 
administering these qualified trusts.
    There are two categories of information collection requirements 
that OGE plans to submit for renewed paperwork approval, each with its 
own related reporting model certificates or model trust documents which 
are subject to paperwork review and approval by OMB. The OGE regulatory 
citations for these two categories, together with identification of the 
forms used for their implementation, are as follows:
    i. Qualified trust certifications--5 CFR 2634.401(d)(2), 
2634.403(b)(11), 2634.404(c)(11), 2634.406(a)(3) and (b), 2634.408, 
2634.409 and appendixes A and B to part 2634 (the two implementing 
forms, the Certificate of Independence and Certificate of Compliance, 
are codified respectively in the cited appendixes; see also the Privacy 
Act and Paperwork Reduction Act notices thereto in appendix C); and
    ii. Qualified trust communications and model provisions and 
agreements--5 CFR 2634.401(c)(1)(i) and (d)(2), 2634.403(b), 
2634.404(c), 2634.408 and 2634.409 (the ten implementing forms are the: 
(A) Blind Trust Communications (Expedited Procedure for Securing 
Approval of Proposed Communications); (B) Model Qualified Blind Trust 
Provisions; (C) Model Qualified Diversified Trust Provisions; (D) Model 
Qualified Blind Trust Provisions (For Use in the Case of Multiple 
Fiduciaries); (E) Model Qualified Blind Trust Provisions (For Use in 
the Case of an Irrevocable Pre-Existing Trust); (F) Model Qualified 
Diversified Trust Provisions (Hybrid Version); (G) Model Qualified 
Diversified Trust Provisions (For Use in the Case of Multiple 
Fiduciaries); (H) Model Qualified Diversified Trust Provisions (For Use 
in the Case of an Irrevocable Pre-Existing Trust); (I) Model 
Confidentiality Agreement Provisions (For Use in the Case of a 
Privately Owned Business); and (J) Model Confidentiality Agreement 
Provisions (For Use in the Case of Investment Management Activities). 
As noted above, blank copies of each of these model documents are 
posted on OGE's Web site.
    The communications formats and the confidentiality agreements 
(items ii. (A), (I) and (J) above), once completed, would not be 
available to the public because they contain sensitive, confidential 
information. All the other completed model trust certificates and model 
trust documents (except for any trust provisions that relate to the 
testamentary disposition of trust assets) are publicly available based 
upon a proper Ethics Act request (by filling out an OGE Form 201 access 
form).
    The Office of Government Ethics administers the qualified trust 
program for the executive branch. Therefore, the estimated burden 
figures provided below represent branchwide implementation of the 
forms. The estimated hour burden, which remains the same as last 
indicated by OGE in its prior second round paperwork renewal notice in 
2005 (70 FR 31471-31472 June 1, 2005), is based on the amount of time 
imposed on a trust administrator or private representative.
    i. Trust Certificates:
    A. Certificate of Independence: total filers (executive branch): 5; 
private citizen filers (100%): 5; private citizen burden hours (20 
minutes/certificate): 2.
    B. Certificate of Compliance: total filers (executive branch): 10; 
private citizen filers (100%): 10; private citizen burden hours (20 
minutes/certificate): 3; and
    ii. Model Qualified Trust Documents:
    A. Blind Trust Communications: total users (executive branch): 5; 
private citizen users (100%): 5; communications documents (private 
citizens): 25 (based on an average of five communications per user, per 
year);

[[Page 27134]]

private citizen burden hours (20 minutes/communication): 8.
    B. Model Qualified Blind Trust: total users (executive branch): 2; 
private citizen users (100%): 2; private citizen burden hours (100 
hours/model): 200.
    C. Model Qualified Diversified Trust: total users (executive 
branch): 1; private citizen users (100%): 1; private citizen burden 
hours (100 hours/model): 100.
    D.-H. Of the five remaining model qualified trust documents: total 
users (executive branch): 2; private citizen users (100%): 2; private 
citizen burden hours (100 hours/model): 200.
    I.-J. Of the two model confidentiality agreements: total users 
(executive branch): 1; private citizen users (100%): 1; private citizen 
burden hours (50 hours/agreement): 50.
    However, the total annual reporting hour burden on filers 
themselves is zero and not the 563 hours estimated above because OGE's 
estimating methodology reflects the fact that all respondents hire 
private trust administrators or other private representatives to set up 
and maintain the qualified blind and diversified trusts. Respondents 
themselves, typically incoming private citizen Presidential nominees, 
therefore incur no hour burden. The estimated total annual cost burden 
to respondents resulting from the collection of information is 
$1,000,000. Those who use the model documents for guidance are private 
trust administrators or other private representatives hired to set up 
and maintain the qualified blind and diversified trusts of executive 
branch officials who seek to establish qualified trusts. The cost 
burden figure is based primarily on OGE's knowledge of the typical 
trust administrator fee structure (an average of 1 percent of total 
assets) and OGE's experience with administration of the qualified trust 
program. The $1,000,000 annual cost figure is based on OGE's estimate 
of an average of five active trusts anticipated to be under 
administration for each of the next two years with combined total 
assets of $100,000,000. However, OGE notes that the $1,000,000 figure 
is a cost estimate for the overall administration of the trusts, only a 
portion of which relates to information collection and reporting. For 
want of a precise way to break out the costs directly associated with 
information collection, OGE is continuing to report to OMB the full 
$1,000,000 estimate for paperwork clearance purposes.
    Public comment is invited on each aspect of the model qualified 
trust certificates and model trust documents, and underlying regulatory 
provisions, as set forth in this notice, including specific views on 
the need for and practical utility of this set of collections of 
information, the accuracy of OGE's burden estimate, the potential for 
enhancement of quality, utility and clarity of the information 
collected, and the minimization of burden (including the use of 
information technology).
    Comments received in response to this notice will be summarized 
for, and may be included with, the OGE request for extension of the OMB 
paperwork approval for the set of the various existing qualified trust 
model certificates, the model communications package, and the model 
trust documents. The comments will also become a matter of public 
record.

    Approved: May 3, 2007.
Robert I. Cusick,
Director, Office of Government Ethics.
[FR Doc. E7-9162 Filed 5-11-07; 8:45 am]
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