[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 65 (Wednesday, April 7, 2021)]
[Notices]
[Pages 18112-18114]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2021-07182]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Railroad Administration

[Docket No. FRA-2020-0027-N-40]


Proposed Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment 
Request

AGENCY: Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), Department of 
Transportation (DOT).

ACTION: Notice of information collection; request for comment.

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SUMMARY: Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) and its 
implementing regulations, this notice announces that FRA is forwarding 
the Information Collection Request (ICR) abstracted below to the Office 
of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and comment. The ICR 
describes the information collection and its expected burden. On 
December 1, 2020, FRA published a notice providing a 60-

[[Page 18113]]

day period for public comment on the ICR.

DATES: Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before 
May 7, 2021.

ADDRESSES: Written comments and recommendations for the proposed ICR 
should be sent within 30 days of publication of this notice to 
www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAMain. Find the particular ICR by selecting 
``Currently under 30-day Review--Open for Public Comments'' or by using 
the search function.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Hodan Wells, Information 
Collection Clearance Officer, Office of Railroad Safety, Regulatory 
Analysis Division, Federal Railroad Administration, telephone: (202) 
493-0440, email: [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The PRA, 44 U.S.C. 3501-3520, and its 
implementing regulations, 5 CFR part 1320, require Federal agencies to 
issue two notices seeking public comment on information collection 
activities before OMB may approve paperwork packages. See 44 U.S.C. 
3506, 3507; 5 CFR 1320.8 through 1320.12. On December 1, 2020, FRA 
published a 60-day notice in the Federal Register soliciting comment on 
the ICR for which it is now seeking OMB approval. See 85 FR 77337.
    On February 1, 2021, the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO 
(TTD) commented on this ICR. On February 25, 2021, FRA staff met with 
TTD to discuss its comment. A summary of the discussion is available in 
the above listed docket. TTD explained its concerns with FRA's proposed 
revisions to form FRA F 6180.151, namely that the revised form would 
allow users to voluntarily self-identify as railroad employees. TTD 
noted that full consideration, and investigation if needed, of the 
alleged violation should be given to each report regardless of the 
user's affiliation. TTD questioned the benefits that FRA would receive 
from having this information and stated that users may not realize that 
this self-identification is optional. TTD expressed that railroad 
employees could potentially face employer retaliation by self-
identifying as railroad employees when submitting information to FRA 
through this form. TTD requested that FRA add language to this form, 
clarifying that this field is voluntary.
    On the proposed form, FRA makes clear that members of the public 
and rail employees are not required to identify themselves or their 
place or type of employment to report an alleged violation or other 
safety concern to FRA. Indeed, the form definitively states this at the 
top and reiterates that no identifying information is required to 
report, but that identifying information is helpful in assisting FRA 
staff in assessing the matter and then, if necessary, taking 
appropriate action. The proposed form provides the following 
instructions:

    Your submission is voluntary and anonymous unless you choose to 
provide us with your contact information. Choosing not to provide 
your contact information may affect FRA's ability to follow up with 
you on the status of the investigation and may prevent FRA from 
adequately investigating the alleged violation, complaint, or 
inquiry.

    On the proposed form, the optional field for the respondent to 
identify as a ``Public Citizen'' or ``Railroad Employee'' falls under 
these instructions that clearly state the following:

AVF Collection Questions

    * Anonymous submissions are allowed, but FRA strongly encourages 
at least one type of contact information for follow-up 
communications.

    The optional identifying fields are included to assist FRA in 
determining if, where, and when an alleged violation may have occurred 
and what appropriate follow-up actions are necessary to assess and 
investigate the matter. Further, this optional identifying information 
is helpful to FRA in assessing trends and patterns of safety violations 
or concerns over time. The information is not shared outside the agency 
and is protected to the extent allowed under Federal law. The form can 
be submitted if any or all the identifying information fields are left 
blank, so respondents can share as much or as little information as 
they deem necessary.
    FRA determined that its form and the data collection and management 
process afterward required improvement to assist FRA staff in assessing 
and then, if necessary, taking appropriate action on alleged violations 
and other safety inquiries. Further, FRA has reviewed its processes and 
determined that this form and its revisions would improve FRA's service 
to the public and assessment of alleged violations and other safety 
inquiries.
    In response to internal feedback that it would be helpful if 
``Hours of Service'' were a standalone category in the ``Category of 
Alleged Violation, Complaint, or Inquiry'' drop down menu, FRA has made 
this change to the form to allow FRA staff to better keep track of 
Hours of Service violations, complaints, or inquiries. Before OMB 
decides whether to approve the proposed collection of information, it 
must provide 30 days for public comment. Federal law requires OMB to 
approve or disapprove paperwork packages between 30 and 60 days after 
the 30-day notice is published. 44 U.S.C. 3507(b)-(c); 5 CFR 
1320.10(b); see also 60 FR 44978, 44983 (Aug. 29, 1995). OMB believes 
the 30-day notice informs the regulated community to file relevant 
comments and affords the agency adequate time to digest public comments 
before it renders a decision. 60 FR 44983 (Aug. 29, 1995). Therefore, 
respondents should submit their respective comments to OMB within 30 
days of publication to best ensure having their full effect.
    Comments are invited on the following ICR regarding: (1) Whether 
the information collection activities are necessary for FRA to properly 
execute its functions, including whether the information will have 
practical utility; (2) the accuracy of FRA's estimates of the burden of 
the information collection activities, including the validity of the 
methodology and assumptions used to determine the estimates; (3) ways 
for FRA to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information 
being collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of information 
collection activities on the public, including the use of automated 
collection techniques or other forms of information technology.
    The summary below describes the ICR that FRA will submit for OMB 
clearance as the PRA requires:
    Title: Federal Railroad Administration Alleged Violation and 
Inquiry Form.\1\
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    \1\ FRA is revising the title of OMB Control Number 2130-0590 
(formerly titled ``Alleged Violation Reporting Form'').
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    OMB Control Number: 2130-0590.
    Abstract: The FRA Alleged Violation and Inquiry Form is a response 
to section 307(b) of the Rail Safety Improvement Act of 2008, which 
requires FRA to ``provide a mechanism for the public to submit written 
reports of potential violations of Federal railroad safety and 
hazardous materials transportation laws, regulations, and orders to the 
Federal Railroad Administration.'' The FRA Alleged Violation and 
Inquiry Form allows the public to submit alleged violations, 
complaints, or inquiries directly to FRA. The form allows FRA to 
collect information necessary to investigate the alleged violation, 
complaint, or inquiry, and to follow up with the submitting party. FRA 
may share the information collected with partnering States under its 
State Rail Safety Participation

[[Page 18114]]

Program and with law enforcement agencies.
    FRA will use the information collected under the form to identify 
problem areas and take necessary action to prevent potential accidents 
of the type indicated by the information submitted from occurring.
    FRA's proposed revisions to the form include: (1) Adding several 
dropdown menus for form elements (e.g., type, title, preferred method 
of contact, position, category of submission, date, time, city, State, 
and entity involved) so that users can quickly provide complete contact 
and incident information while having to hand-enter less information; 
(2) adding a question requesting the users identify if they are members 
of the public, a railroad employee, or other; and (3) informing users 
that they will receive an automated response from FRA after the form is 
submitted. The revisions are designed to make the existing form easier 
to use and more understandable, and to simplify the collection of 
information. If users elect to provide any identifying information, it 
will be protected to the extent allowed under Federal law and FRA will 
only use this identifying information to follow up with users regarding 
their submissions. The revised form will ensure that users provide the 
necessary information so that FRA staff can review and respond more 
quickly. The revised form also will facilitate FRA's ability to 
maintain the data collected in a more useful and uniform manner, as the 
new dropdown boxes will assist FRA in receiving more standardized 
responses.
    Type of Request: Revision of a currently approved information 
collection.
    Affected Public: Public.
    Form(s): FRA F 6180.151.
    Respondent Universe: Public.
    Frequency of Submission: On occasion.
    Total Estimated Annual Responses: 600.
    Total Estimated Annual Burden: 70 hours.
    Total Estimated Annual Burden Hour Dollar Cost Equivalent: $1,890.
    Under 44 U.S.C. 3507(a) and 5 CFR 1320.5(b) and 1320.8(b)(3)(vi), 
FRA informs all interested parties that a respondent is not required to 
respond to, conduct, or sponsor a collection of information that does 
not display a currently valid OMB control number.

    Authority: 44 U.S.C. 3501-3520.

Brett A. Jortland,
Acting Chief Counsel.
[FR Doc. 2021-07182 Filed 4-6-21; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-06-P