[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 210 (Friday, October 30, 2015)]
[Pages 66894-66895]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-27721]



 Energy Information Administration

Agency Information Collection Extension

AGENCY: U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), Department of 

ACTION: Agency Information Collection Activities: Information 
Collection Extension with Changes; Notice and Request for Comments.


SUMMARY: The EIA invites public comment on the proposed collection of 
information, EIA-882T, ``Generic Clearance for Questionnaire Testing, 
Evaluation, and Research'' that EIA is developing for submission to the 
Office of Management and Budget (OMB) pursuant to the Paperwork 
Reduction Act of 1995. Comments are invited on whether the proposed 
collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of 
the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall 
have practical utility; the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the 
burden of the proposed collection of information, including the 
validity of the methodology and assumptions used; ways to enhance the 
quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and 
ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on 
respondents, including through the use of automated collection 
techniques or other forms of information technology.

DATES: Comments regarding this proposed information collection must be 
received on or before December 29, 2015. If you anticipate difficulty 
in submitting comments within that period, contact the person listed in 
ADDRESSES as soon as possible.

ADDRESSES: Written comments may be sent to Jacob Bournazian, Energy 
Information Administration, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington DC 
20585 or by fax at 202-586-0552 or by email at 
[email protected].

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Requests for additional information or 
copies of the information collection instrument and instructions should 
be directed to Jacob Bournazian, Energy Information Administration, 
1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585, phone: 202-586-
5562, email: [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This information collection request 
    (1) OMB No.: 1905-0186;
    (2) Information Collection Request Title: Generic Clearance for 
Questionnaire Testing, Evaluation, and Research;
    (3) Type of Request: Revision;
    (4) Purpose: The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) is 
planning to request a three-year approval from the Office of Management 
and Budget (OMB) to utilize qualitative and quantitative methodologies 
to pretest questionnaires and validate the quality of the data 
collected on EIA forms. This authority would allow EIA to conduct 
pretest surveys, pilot surveys, respondent debriefings, cognitive 
interviews, usability interviews, and focus groups. Through the use of 
these methodologies, EIA will improve the quality of data being 
collected for measuring market activity and assessing supply conditions 
in energy markets, reduce or minimize respondent burden, increase 
agency efficiency, and improve responsiveness to the public. This 
authority also improves EIA's ability to collect relevant and timely 
information that meets the data needs of EIA's customers.
    The specific methods proposed for the coverage by this clearance 
are described below. Also outlined is the legal authority for these 
voluntary information gathering activities.
    The following methods are proposed:
    Field Testing. Field testing surveys conducted under this clearance 
will generally be methodological studies. The field testing samples 
drawn may not be representative of the survey respondent universe 
because they will be designed to clarify particular issues. Collection 
may be on the basis of fuel market coverage related to the issues that 
are the subject to the research, market size of the respondent, 
position of the respondent in the upstream and/or downstream market for 
a particular fuel group, and convenience, e.g., limited to specific 
geographic locations. The sample sizes and designs will be determined 
at the time of development and will vary based on the content of the 
information collection or survey being tested.
    Pilot Surveys. Pilot surveys conducted under this clearance will 
generally be methodological studies, but will always employ 
statistically representative samples. The pilot surveys will replicate 
all components of the methodological design, sampling procedures (where 
possible) and questionnaires of the full scale survey. Pilots will 
normally be utilized when EIA undertakes a complete redesign of a 
particular data collection methodology or when EIA undertakes data 
collection in new areas, such as greenhouse gases or alternative fueled 
motor vehicle transportation system studies.
    Respondent Debriefings. Respondent debriefings conducted under this 
clearance will generally be methodological or cognitive research 
studies. The debriefing form is administered after a respondent 
completes a questionnaire either in paper format, electronically, or 
through in-person interviews. The debriefings contain probing questions 
to determine how respondents interpret the survey questions, how much 
time and effort was spent completing the questionnaire, and whether 
they have problems in completing the survey/questionnaire. Respondent 
debriefings also are useful in determining potential issues with data 
quality and in estimating respondent burden.
    Cognitive Interviews. Cognitive interviews are typically one-on-one 
interviews in which the respondent is usually asked to ``think aloud'' 
or is asked ``retrospective questions'' as he or

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she answers survey questions, reads survey materials, or completes 
other activities as part of a survey process. A number of different 
techniques may be involved, including asking respondents what specific 
words or phrases mean, and asking respondents probing questions to 
determine how they estimate or calculate specific data elements on a 
survey form. The objective of these interviews is to identify problems 
of ambiguity or misunderstanding, to identify other difficulties 
respondents have answering questions, reduce measurement error in a 
survey, and assess the burden for reporting energy information.
    Usability Interviews. Usability interviews are similar to cognitive 
interviews in which a respondent is typically asked to ``think aloud'' 
or asked ``retrospective questions'' as he or she reviews an electronic 
questionnaire, Web site and/or associated materials, or hard copy form. 
The objective of a usability interview is to make sure that respondents 
can easily and intuitively navigate electronic questionnaires, Web 
sites and other associated materials, or other survey instruments.
    Focus Groups. Focus groups involve group sessions guided by a 
moderator who follows a topic guide containing questions or topics 
focused on a particular issue rather than adhering to a standardized 
questionnaire. Focus groups are useful for surfacing and exploring 
issues with populations of interest, e.g., a specific group of 
    (5) Annual Estimated Number of Respondents: 2,000;
    (6) Annual Estimated Number of Total Responses: 2,000;
    (7) Annual Estimated Number of Burden Hours: 2,000;
    (8) Annual Estimated Reporting and Recordkeeping Cost Burden: There 
are no additional costs associated with these survey methods other than 
the burden hours. The information is maintained in the normal course of 
business. The cost of burden hours to the respondents is estimated to 
be $143,940 (2,000 burden hours times $71.97 per hour), which 
represents a reduction of 1,006 burden hours from the prior renewal of 
this collection. Therefore, other than the cost of burden hours, EIA 
estimates that there are no additional costs for generating, 
maintaining and providing the information.

    Statutory Authority:  Section 13(b) of the Federal Energy 
Administration Act of 1974, Public Law 93-275, codified at 15 U.S.C. 

    Issued in Washington, DC, on October 26, 2015.
Nanda Srinivasan,
Director, Office of Survey Development and Statistical Integration, 
U.S. Energy Information Administration.
[FR Doc. 2015-27721 Filed 10-29-15; 8:45 am]