Federal Register Vol. 81, No.212,

Federal Register Volume 81, Issue 212 (November 2, 2016)

Page Range76271-76491
FR Document

81_FR_212
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
81 FR 76491 - Continuation of the National Emergency With Respect to SudanPDF
81 FR 76487 - National Diabetes Month, 2016PDF
81 FR 76485 - National College Application Month, 2016PDF
81 FR 76483 - Delegation of Authority Pursuant to Sections 5, 6(a) and 6(c), and 8(a) of the Global Food Security Act of 2016PDF
81 FR 76347 - Deletion of Items From Sunshine Act MeetingPDF
81 FR 76383 - Sunshine Act MeetingPDF
81 FR 76358 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 76362 - Science Board to the Food and Drug Administration Advisory Committee; Notice of MeetingPDF
81 FR 76403 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; New York Stock Exchange LLC; Order Granting Approval of Proposed Rule Change Amending Section 907.00 of the NYSE Listed Company Manual To Adjust the Timing of Entitlements to Complimentary Products and Services for Special Purpose Acquisition CompaniesPDF
81 FR 76365 - Organization and Functional Statement; Part GFG; California Area Office; Proposed Functional StatementPDF
81 FR 76348 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 76408 - Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) Meeting Notice; Closed MeetingPDF
81 FR 76379 - Georgia; Amendment No. 5 to Notice of a Major Disaster DeclarationPDF
81 FR 76378 - North Carolina; Amendment No. 9 to Notice of a Major Disaster DeclarationPDF
81 FR 76348 - Notice to All Interested Parties of the Termination of the Receivership of 10299-WestBridge Bank and Trust Company, Chesterfield, MissouriPDF
81 FR 76347 - Notice to All Interested Parties of the Termination of the Receivership of 10345-Habersham Bank, Clarksville, GeorgiaPDF
81 FR 76347 - Notice of Termination; 10499-Columbia Savings Bank, Cincinnati, OhioPDF
81 FR 76379 - Kentucky; Amendment No. 1 to Notice of a Major Disaster DeclarationPDF
81 FR 76376 - North Carolina; Amendment No. 3 to Notice of a Major Disaster DeclarationPDF
81 FR 76379 - North Carolina; Amendment No. 4 to Notice of a Major Disaster DeclarationPDF
81 FR 76377 - Kansas; Major Disaster and Related DeterminationsPDF
81 FR 76378 - North Carolina; Amendment No. 5 to Notice of a Major Disaster DeclarationPDF
81 FR 76377 - North Carolina; Amendment No. 6 to Notice of a Major Disaster DeclarationPDF
81 FR 76331 - Foreign-Trade Zone 134-Chattanooga, Tennessee Application for Subzone Wacker Polysilicon North America LLC Charleston, TennesseePDF
81 FR 76376 - North Carolina; Amendment No. 7 to Notice of a Major Disaster DeclarationPDF
81 FR 76377 - North Carolina; Amendment No. 8 to Notice of a Major Disaster DeclarationPDF
81 FR 76348 - Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding CompaniesPDF
81 FR 76332 - Countervailing Duty Investigation of Ammonium Sulfate From the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Affirmative DeterminationPDF
81 FR 76408 - Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs, U.S. Department of State Procedures for the Receipt of Written Communications Regarding Decisions That Have Been Issued by the Department of Transportation That Are Subject to Approval by the President Under 49 U.S.C. 41307PDF
81 FR 76385 - Improving the Management and Use of Government AircraftPDF
81 FR 76414 - Notice of Open Public HearingPDF
81 FR 76393 - Biweekly Notice; Applications and Amendments to Facility Operating Licenses and Combined Licenses Involving No Significant Hazards Considerations; CorrectionPDF
81 FR 76381 - Notice of Amended Proposed Withdrawal and Notice of Public Meetings; Oregon; CorrectionPDF
81 FR 76288 - Supplemental Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Department of the InteriorPDF
81 FR 76392 - Combined License Application for Turkey Point Nuclear Plant, Units 6 and 7PDF
81 FR 76373 - Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
81 FR 76407 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 76367 - Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
81 FR 76367 - Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
81 FR 76368 - Proposed Collection; 60-Day Comment Request; Public Health Service Applications and Pre-Award Reporting Requirements (Office of the Director)PDF
81 FR 76371 - Proposed Collection; 60-Day Comment Request; Post-Award Reporting Requirements Including Research Performance Progress Report Collection (Office of the Director)PDF
81 FR 76370 - Submission for OMB Review; 30-Day Comment Request, National Institutes of Health Electronic Application System for Certificates of ConfidentialityPDF
81 FR 76342 - SociVolta Inc.; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 AuthorizationPDF
81 FR 76344 - Combined Notice of FilingsPDF
81 FR 76343 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
81 FR 76341 - Combined Notice of Filings #1PDF
81 FR 76331 - Agenda and Notice of Public Meeting of the New Mexico Advisory CommitteePDF
81 FR 76410 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Request for Comments for New Information CollectionPDF
81 FR 76409 - Petition for Exemption; Summary of Petition Received; William DaleyPDF
81 FR 76409 - Petition for Exemption; Summary of Petition ReceivedPDF
81 FR 76307 - Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Uniformed Services (CHAMPUS)/TRICARE: Refills of Maintenance Medications Through Military Treatment Facility Pharmacies or National Mail Order Pharmacy ProgramPDF
81 FR 76384 - Notice of Lodging of Proposed Amended Consent Decree Under the Clean Water ActPDF
81 FR 76375 - Current List of HHS-Certified Laboratories and Instrumented Initial Testing Facilities Which Meet Minimum Standards To Engage in Urine Drug Testing for Federal AgenciesPDF
81 FR 76333 - Market Risk Advisory CommitteePDF
81 FR 76345 - Order on Intent To Revoke Market-Based Rate AuthorityPDF
81 FR 76344 - Louisiana Public Service Commission and the Council for the City of New Orleans v. Entergy Services, Inc.; Notice of Compliance FilingPDF
81 FR 76346 - National Fuel Gas Supply Corporation; Notice of ApplicationPDF
81 FR 76342 - Texas Eastern Transmission, LP; Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review of the Bayway Lateral ProjectPDF
81 FR 76271 - Executive Branch Ethics Program AmendmentsPDF
81 FR 76333 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Practice by Former Members and Employees of the CommissionPDF
81 FR 76325 - DoD Identity ManagementPDF
81 FR 76383 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection, eComments Requested; Extension Without Change of a Previously Approved Collection, Application for Permit To Import Controlled Substances for Domestic and/or Scientific PurposesPDF
81 FR 76411 - Proposed Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 76340 - Secretary of Energy Advisory BoardPDF
81 FR 76393 - Product Change-Priority Mail and Parcel Select Negotiated Service AgreementPDF
81 FR 76364 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection: Public Comment Request; Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Core Medical Services Waiver Application RequirementsPDF
81 FR 76323 - Reference Amount Customarily Consumed for Flavored Nut Butter Spreads and Products That Can Be Used To Fill Cupcakes and Other Desserts, in the Labeling of Human Food Products; Request for Information and CommentsPDF
81 FR 76360 - Animal Drug User Fees and Fee Waivers and Reductions; Draft Revised Guidance for Industry; AvailabilityPDF
81 FR 76400 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Order Instituting Proceedings To Determine Whether To Approve or Disapprove a Proposed Rule Change Relating to the Listing and Trading of Shares of SolidX Bitcoin Trust Under NYSE Arca Equities Rule 8.201PDF
81 FR 76400 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE Arca, Inc.; Notice of Designation of a Longer Period for Commission Action on Proceedings To Determine Whether To Approve or Disapprove a Proposed Rule Change Relating to a Change to the Underlying Index for the PowerShares Build America Bond PortfolioPDF
81 FR 76393 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; National Stock Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing of a Proposed Rule Change To Amend Exchange Rule 11.26 To Correct Defective Numbering in the Interpretations and Policies of the RulePDF
81 FR 76363 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission to OMB for Review and Approval; Public Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 76395 - NF Investment Corp., et al.; Notice of ApplicationPDF
81 FR 76384 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection; eComments Requested; Assessing the Potential Monetized Benefits of Captioning Web Content for Individuals Who Are Deaf or Hard of HearingPDF
81 FR 76359 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for Office of Management and Budget Review; Comment Request; Guidance for Industry on Hypertension Indication: Drug Labeling for Cardiovascular Outcome ClaimsPDF
81 FR 76361 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Human Tissue Intended for TransplantationPDF
81 FR 76382 - Certain Access Control Systems and Components Thereof; Commission Determination Not To Review an Initial Determination Granting Complainant's Motion To Amend the Complaint and Notice of InvestigationPDF
81 FR 76357 - Information Collection; Reporting Purchases From Sources Outside the United StatesPDF
81 FR 76406 - North Carolina Disaster Number NC-00081PDF
81 FR 76406 - Florida Disaster Number FL-00121PDF
81 FR 76406 - South Carolina Disaster Number SC-00040PDF
81 FR 76406 - Georgia Disaster Number GA-00081PDF
81 FR 76412 - U.S. Merchant Marine Academy Board of Visitors MeetingPDF
81 FR 76372 - Government-Owned Inventions; Availability for LicensingPDF
81 FR 76373 - National Cancer Institute; Notice of MeetingPDF
81 FR 76374 - National Institute of Allergy And Infectious Diseases; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
81 FR 76374 - Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute Of Child Health & Human Development; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
81 FR 76370 - Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development; Notice of Closed MeetingPDF
81 FR 76381 - Notice of Receipt of Complaint; Solicitation of Comments; Relating to the Public InterestPDF
81 FR 76412 - Michelin North America, Inc., Grant of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential NoncompliancePDF
81 FR 76414 - Open Meeting of the Taxpayer Advocacy Panel Notices and Correspondence Project Committee: CorrectionPDF
81 FR 76334 - Announcement of Requirements and Registration for the EdSim ChallengePDF
81 FR 76311 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Adding Ten Species and Updating Five Species on the List of Endangered and Threatened WildlifePDF
81 FR 76315 - Revisions to Indexing Policies and Page 700 of FERC Form No. 6PDF
81 FR 76300 - Reporting of Data for Mishandled Baggage and Wheelchairs and Scooters Transported in Aircraft Cargo CompartmentsPDF
81 FR 76446 - Family Violence Prevention and Services ProgramsPDF
81 FR 76306 - Various National Indian Gaming Commission RegulationsPDF
81 FR 76291 - Technical and Conforming Changes and Corrections to FHFA RegulationsPDF
81 FR 76380 - Golden Eagles; Programmatic Take Permit Decision; Finding of No Significant Impact for Final Environmental Assessment; Alta East Wind Project, Kern County, CaliforniaPDF
81 FR 76416 - Technological ModernizationPDF

Issue

81 212 Wednesday, November 2, 2016 Contents Editorial Note:

In the printed version of the Federal Register Table of Contents for Monday, October 31, 2016, FR Doc. 2016-26316 and 2026-26317 were incorrectly listed under the heading Buy American Waivers. These notices should have appeared under the heading Buy America Waivers.

Centers Medicare Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 76358-76359 2016-26493 Children Children and Families Administration RULES Family Violence Prevention and Services Programs, 76446-76480 2016-26063 Civil Rights Civil Rights Commission NOTICES Meetings: New Mexico Advisory Committee, 76331 2016-26438 Commerce Commerce Department See

Foreign-Trade Zones Board

See

International Trade Administration

Commodity Futures Commodity Futures Trading Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Practice by Former Members and Employees of the Commission, 76333-76334 2016-26417 Meetings: Market Risk Advisory Committee, 76333 2016-26426 Defense Department Defense Department RULES Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Uniformed Services: Refills of Maintenance Medications through Military Treatment Facility Pharmacies or National Mail Order Pharmacy Program, 76307-76311 2016-26432 PROPOSED RULES DoD Identity Management, 76325-76330 2016-26416 Education Department Education Department NOTICES EdSim Challenge; Requirements and Registration, 76334-76340 2016-26262 Energy Department Energy Department See

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

NOTICES Meetings: Secretary of Energy Advisory Board, 76340-76341 2016-26410
Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration NOTICES Petitions for Exemption; Summaries, 76409 2016-26433 Petitions for Exemption; Summaries: William Daley, 76409-76410 2016-26434 Federal Communications Federal Communications Commission NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 76347 2016-26640 Federal Deposit Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation NOTICES Terminations of Receivership: 10499 Columbia Savings Bank, Cincinnati, OH, 76347 2016-26480 Habersham Bank, Clarksville, GA, 76347 2016-26481 WestBridge Bank and Trust Co. Chesterfield, MO, 76348 2016-26482 Federal Election Federal Election Commission PROPOSED RULES Technological Modernization, 76416-76444 2016-25102 Federal Emergency Federal Emergency Management Agency NOTICES Major Disaster Declarations: North Carolina; Amendment No. 3, 76376 2016-26478 North Carolina; Amendment No. 4, 76379 2016-26477 North Carolina; Amendment No. 5, 76378 2016-26475 North Carolina; Amendment No. 6, 76377 2016-26474 North Carolina; Amendment No. 7, 76376-76377 2016-26472 North Carolina; Amendment No. 8, 76377 2016-26471 North Carolina; Amendment No. 9, 76378 2016-26483 Major Disasters and Related Determinations: Georgia; Amendment No. 5, 76379 2016-26484 Kansas, 76377-76378 2016-26476 Kentucky; Amendment No. 1, 76379 2016-26479 Federal Energy Federal Energy Regulatory Commission PROPOSED RULES Revisions to Indexing Policies and Page 700 of Form No. 6, 76315-76323 2016-26227 NOTICES Applications: National Fuel Gas Supply Corp., 76346-76347 2016-26420 Combined Filings, 76341, 76343-76345 2016-26441 2016-26442 2016-26443 Compliance Filings: Louisiana Public Service Commission and the Council for the City of New Orleans v. Entergy Services, Inc., 76344 2016-26421 Environmental Reviews: Texas Eastern Transmission, LP, 76342-76343 2016-26419 Initial Market-Based Rate Filings Including Requests for Blanket Section 204 Authorizations: AP and G Holdings LLC, Bargain Energy, LLC, CES Placerita, Inc., et al., 76345-76346 2016-26422 SociVolta Inc., 76342 2016-26444 Federal Highway Federal Highway Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 76410-76411 2016-26435 Federal Housing Finance Agency Federal Housing Finance Agency RULES Technical and Conforming Changes and Corrections, 76291-76300 2016-26022 Federal Procurement Federal Procurement Policy Office NOTICES Improving the Management and Use of Government Aircraft, 76385-76392 2016-26464 Federal Railroad Federal Railroad Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 76411-76412 2016-26414 Federal Reserve Federal Reserve System NOTICES Changes in Bank Control: Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding Companies, 76348 2016-26470 Federal Trade Federal Trade Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 76348-76357 2016-26486 Fish Fish and Wildlife Service RULES Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants: Ten Species Added and Five Species Updated on the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife, 76311-76314 2016-26241 NOTICES Environmental Assessments; Availability, etc.: Golden Eagles; Programmatic Take Permit Decision; Alta East Wind Project, Kern County, CA, 76380-76381 2016-25746 Food and Drug Food and Drug Administration PROPOSED RULES Food Labeling: Reference Amount Customarily Consumed for Flavored Nut Butter Spreads and Products That Can Be Used To Fill Cupcakes and Other Desserts, 76323-76325 2016-26407 NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Guidance for Industry on Hypertension Indication: Drug Labeling for Cardiovascular Outcome Claims, 76359-76360 2016-26399 Human Tissue Intended for Transplantation, 76361-76362 2016-26398 Guidance for Industry: Animal Drug User Fees and Fee Waivers and Reductions, 76360-76361 2016-26406 Meetings: Science Board to the Food and Drug Administration Advisory Committee, 76362-76363 2016-26491 Foreign Claims Foreign Claims Settlement Commission NOTICES Meetings; Sunshine Act, 76383 2016-26534 Foreign Trade Foreign-Trade Zones Board NOTICES Subzone Applications: Wacker Polysilicon North America LLC, Foreign-Trade Zone 134, Charleston, TN, 76331-76332 2016-26473 General Services General Services Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Reporting Purchases from Sources Outside the United States, 76357-76358 2016-26396 Government Ethics Government Ethics Office RULES Executive Branch Ethics Program, 76271-76288 2016-26418 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

See

Children and Families Administration

See

Food and Drug Administration

See

Health Resources and Services Administration

See

Indian Health Service

See

National Institutes of Health

See

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Health Resources Health Resources and Services Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Core Medical Services Waiver Application Requirements, 76364-76365 2016-26408 Telehealth Outcome Measures, 76363-76364 2016-26402 Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Federal Emergency Management Agency

Indian Health Indian Health Service NOTICES Organization and Functional Statements, 76365-76367 2016-26488 Interior Interior Department See

Fish and Wildlife Service

See

Land Management Bureau

See

National Indian Gaming Commission

RULES Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Department of the Interior, 76288-76290 2016-26458
Internal Revenue Internal Revenue Service NOTICES Meetings: Taxpayer Advocacy Panel and Correspondence Project Committee; Correction, 76414 2016-26383 International Trade Adm International Trade Administration NOTICES Antidumping or Countervailing Duty Investigations, Orders, or Reviews: Ammonium Sulfate from the People's Republic of China, 76332-76333 2016-26469 International Trade Com International Trade Commission NOTICES Complaints: Certain High-Potency Sweeteners, Processes for Making Same, and Products Containing Same, 76381-76382 2016-26385 Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Access Control Systems and Components Thereof, 76382-76383 2016-26397 Justice Department Justice Department See

Foreign Claims Settlement Commission

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Application for Permit to Import Controlled Substances for Domestic and/or Scientific Purposes, 76383-76384 2016-26415 Assessing the Potential Monetized Benefits of Captioning Web Content for Individuals Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing, 76384-76385 2016-26400 Proposed Consent Decrees: Clean Water Act, 76384 2016-26430
Land Land Management Bureau NOTICES Applications for Withdrawal of Public Lands: Oregon; Public Meetings, 76381 2016-26459 Management Management and Budget Office See

Federal Procurement Policy Office

Maritime Maritime Administration NOTICES Meetings: U.S. Merchant Marine Academy Board of Visitors, 76412 2016-26391 National Highway National Highway Traffic Safety Administration NOTICES Petitions for Decisions of Inconsequential Noncompliance: Michelin North America, Inc., 76412-76414 2016-26384 National Indian National Indian Gaming Commission RULES Various National Indian Gaming Commission Regulations, 76306-76307 2016-26060 National Institute National Institutes of Health NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Electronic Application System for Certificates of Confidentiality, 76370-76371 2016-26445 Post-Award Reporting Requirements Including Research Performance Progress Report Collection, 76371-76372 2016-26447 Public Health Service Applications and Pre-Award Reporting Requirements, 76368-76370 2016-26448 Government-Owned Inventions; Availability for Licensing, 76372-76373 2016-26390 Meetings: Center for Scientific Review, 76367-76368, 76373-76374 2016-26450 2016-26451 2016-26452 2016-26454 Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, 76370, 76374 2016-26386 2016-26387 National Cancer Institute, 76373 2016-26389 National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, 76374-76375 2016-26388 Nuclear Regulatory Nuclear Regulatory Commission NOTICES Combined License; Applications: Turkey Point Nuclear Plant, Units 6 and 7, 76392-76393 2016-26456 Facility Operating and Combined Licenses: Applications and Amendments Involving Proposed No Significant Hazards Considerations, etc., 76393 2016-26461 Postal Service Postal Service NOTICES Product Changes: Priority Mail and Parcel Select Negotiated Service Agreement, 76393 2016-26409 Presidential Documents Presidential Documents PROCLAMATIONS Special Observances: National College Application Month (Proc. 9531), 76485-76486 2016-26657 National Diabetes Month (Proc. 9532), 76487-76489 2016-26658 ADMINISTRATIVE ORDERS Global Food Security Act of 2016; Delegation of Authority (Memorandum of September 30, 2016), 76481-76483 2016-26652 Sudan; Continuation of National Emergency (Notice of October 31, 2016), 76491 2016-26659 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission NOTICES Applications: NF Investment Corp., et al., 76395-76400 2016-26401 Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: National Stock Exchange, Inc., 76393-76395 2016-26403 New York Stock Exchange LLC, 76403-76406 2016-26490 NYSE Arca, Inc., 76400-76403 2016-26404 2016-26405 Small Business Small Business Administration NOTICES Disaster Declarations: Florida; Amendment 2, 76406 2016-26394 North Carolina; Amendment 8, 76406 2016-26395 South Carolina; Amendment 3, 76406 2016-26393 Major Disaster Declarations: Georgia: Amendment 1, 76406-76407 2016-26392 Social Social Security Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 76407-76408 2016-26453 State Department State Department NOTICES Meetings: Overseas Security Advisory Council, 76408 2016-26485 Procedures for the Receipt of Written Communications Regarding Decisions, 76408-76409 2016-26467 Substance Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration NOTICES Certified Laboratories and Instrumented Initial Testing Facilities: List of Facilities that Meet Minimum Standards to Engage in Urine Drug Testing for Federal Agencies, 76375-76376 2016-26427 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

Federal Highway Administration

See

Federal Railroad Administration

See

Maritime Administration

See

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

RULES Reporting of Data for Mishandled Baggage and Wheelchairs and Scooters Transported in Aircraft Cargo Compartments, 76300-76306 2016-26181
Treasury Treasury Department See

Internal Revenue Service

U.S. China U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission NOTICES Public Hearings, 76414 2016-26463 Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Federal Election Commission, 76416-76444 2016-25102 Part III Health and Human Services Department, Children and Families Administration, 76446-76480 2016-26063 Part IV Presidential Documents, 76481-76483, 76485-76489, 76491 2016-26658 2016-26652 2016-26659 2016-26657 Reader Aids

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81 212 Wednesday, November 2, 2016 Rules and Regulations OFFICE OF GOVERNMENT ETHICS 5 CFR Part 2638 RIN 3209-AA42 Executive Branch Ethics Program Amendments AGENCY:

Office of Government Ethics (OGE).

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The U.S. Office of Government Ethics is issuing a final rule amending the regulation that sets forth the elements and procedures of the executive branch ethics program. This comprehensive revision is informed by the experience gained over the last several decades administering the program, and was developed in consultation with agency ethics officials, the federal inspector general community, the Office of Personnel Management, and the Department of Justice. The final rule defines and describes the executive branch ethics program, delineates the responsibilities of various stakeholders, and enumerates key executive branch ethics procedures.

DATES:

This final rule is effective January 1, 2017.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Monica Ashar, Assistant Counsel, Office of Government Ethics, Suite 500, 1201 New York Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20005-3917; Telephone: (202) 482-9300; TTY: (800) 877-8339; FAX: (202) 482-9237.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

The U.S. Office of Government Ethics (OGE) published a proposed rule in the Federal Register, 81 FR 36193, June 6, 2016, proposing to amend 5 CFR part 2638, The Executive Branch Ethics Program. Part 2638 sets forth the mission of the executive branch ethics program, the responsibilities of key participants, and the procedures of the executive branch ethics program, as well as the procedures for government ethics education, correction of executive branch agency ethics programs, and corrective action involving individual employees.

These amendments, which are described in the preamble to the proposed rule, draw upon the collective experience of agency ethics officials across the executive branch and OGE as the supervising ethics office. They reflect extensive input from the executive branch ethics community and the inspector general community, as well as OGE's consultation with the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Office of Personnel Management pursuant to 5 U.S.C. app. 402(b)(1). In short, they present a comprehensive picture of the executive branch ethics program, its responsibilities and its procedures, as reflected through nearly 40 years of interpreting and implementing the Ethics in Government Act of 1978, as amended (the Act), as well as other applicable statutes, regulations, Executive orders, and authorities.

The proposed rule provided a 60-day comment period, which ended on August 5, 2016. OGE received one set of timely and responsive comments, which were submitted by an individual. OGE also received one set of timely comments from an executive branch agency, but the agency withdrew its comments prior to the deadline. After carefully considering the individual's comments and making appropriate modifications, and for the reasons set forth below and in the preamble to the proposed rule, OGE is publishing this final rule.

OGE plans to issue several pieces of guidance to the executive branch ethics community in order to provide assistance and instruction regarding the implementation of these amendments. Additionally, OGE Desk Officers are available to answer questions from their respective agencies.

II. Summary of Comments and Changes to the Proposed Rule General Comments

As noted above, OGE received one set of comments on the proposed rule. In several instances, the commenter proposed minor, largely technical changes in wording. These proposed changes pertained to §§ 2638.107(g) and (h) (adding the words “payment for” before “travel”), 2638.202 (deleting the citation to section 402 of the Act), and 2638.204 (adding the words “filed with or” before “transmitted”). For various reasons, OGE has not adopted these recommendations. OGE did, however, adopt the commenter's recommendation at § 2638.207(a) to change “the” agency to “an” agency. The more substantive changes proposed by the commenter are discussed in further detail below.

Additionally, as described below, OGE is making several technical changes to provisions involving Inspectors General. OGE is making these changes based on its continuing collaboration with the federal inspector general community and with the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE), of which the Director of OGE (Director) is a statutory member. OGE has taken into consideration the views of CIGIE, as expressed both in CIGIE meetings and in various communications with individual members of CIGIE and CIGIE's leadership. OGE believes the changes will increase the effectiveness of its ongoing coordination with CIGIE. These changes are intended to align the regulation more closely with the Act and the Inspector General Act of 1978, as amended (the Inspector General Act).

Subpart A—Mission and Responsibilities

Section 2638.101 sets forth the mission of the executive branch ethics program, which is to prevent conflicts of interest on the part of executive branch employees. The one commenter recommended revising the second sentence of § 2638.101(b), which describes the sources of potential conflicts of interest, so as to make the language clearer and to broaden the discussion of the mission to reference helping employees uphold their ethical responsibilities. Although OGE has revised this language for clarity consistent with the general aim of this comment, OGE has not adopted the specific recommendation to reference assistance to employees. Section 2638.101 is intended to articulate overarching, program-level principles, rather than focus on assisting employees individually.

OGE made several technical changes to § 2638.106, which describes the government ethics responsibilities of Inspectors General. These changes were made to more accurately reflect their authority as set forth in section 6 of the Inspector General Act.

Subpart B—Procedures of the Executive Branch Ethics Program

Section 2638.206 establishes the requirement to provide the Director with notice of referrals made to DOJ regarding potential violations of criminal conflict of interest laws. OGE made several technical changes to this section to delete references to “agencies” in order to avoid potential confusion as to the appropriate channel for making required notifications. OGE sought neither to limit the independence of Inspectors General nor to exclude them from this regulatory requirement. OGE is, however, sensitive to general concerns about Inspector General independence and has eliminated the reference to “agencies” as a prophylactic measure to avoid creating any perception that Inspectors General would need to act in concert with various agency offices when filing the required notifications. Additionally, the one commenter suggested deleting the citation to section 402 of the Act from the undesignated paragraph of § 2638.206. As a result of the technical changes described above, the citation has been removed.

Related technical changes include deleting from § 2638.206(a) the 30-day deadline by which the Director must be notified of a referral to DOJ. This change aligns the regulation with the statutory language of 5 U.S.C. app. 402(e)(2), which requires notification “upon referral.” Accordingly, OGE also deleted the corresponding reference to the 30-day deadline from § 2638.604(n). Other technical changes include deleting the language at § 2638.206(b), which required the referring agency to provide the Director with certain information, because the provision was redundant of § 2638.202, “furnishing records and information generally.” In its place, OGE has added language committing that it will obtain the concurrence of CIGIE's Chairperson before implementing substantive changes to the OGE Form 202. With this self-imposed requirement, OGE is choosing to institutionalize its current collaboration with CIGIE as to the processes and procedures related to referrals to DOJ for prosecution. This language is not intended to require formal action other than agreement between OGE's Director and CIGIE's Chairperson. Further, concurrence would not be required when merely updating references to telephone numbers, email addresses, or similarly non-substantive information contained in the form. Finally, OGE deleted the language in § 2638.206(c) that recommended that an Inspector General, when making a covered referral to DOJ, provide the DAEO with copies of documents that are also provided to the Director. Because this provision offered only a recommendation, and would not have established a binding requirement, OGE found this language superfluous. The deletion of this language would not prevent an Inspector General from providing a DAEO with copies of documents, unless such disclosure were prohibited by law, and there may in fact be instances when OGE would encourage such sharing of documents in order to ensure that appropriate corrective action is taken.

Section 2638.209 sets forth the procedures for OGE's formal advisory opinion service, including the criteria that the Director will consider when determining whether to issue a formal advisory opinion. The sole commenter suggested replacing the fifth criterion, “the interests of the executive branch ethics program” at § 2638.209(b)(5), with “the importance of the question to upholding the ethics responsibilities of employees, as listed in § 2638.102.” OGE has not adopted this recommendation. The fifth criterion could already reasonably encompass the standard the commenter proposed. As currently drafted, the fifth criterion has the advantage of supplementing the first four criteria, which are unchanged from the prior regulation.

Subpart C—Government Ethics Education

Section 2638.302 contains the definitions for the two training formats prescribed in subpart C. Regarding the definition of “live training” at § 2638.302(a), which requires that “the presenter personally communicate[] a substantial portion of the material at the same time as the employees being trained are receiving [it],” the sole commenter requested additional guidance on the minimum for satisfying the “substantial portion” criteria. He cites example 5, in which OGE demonstrates that the “substantial portion” standard can be been met with at least a 20-minute discussion following a 40-minute video. Although the 40-minute video or other non-live material alone would not satisfy this criterion, coupling the non-live material with at least a 20-minute phone call would bring the training into compliance with the minimum standard. Further, the phone call and the video presentation are not required to occur on the same day. Although OGE did not adopt the commenter's recommendation, OGE emphasizes that the default, as illustrated in examples 1 through 4, will be for the presenter to personally communicate the material for the full duration or nearly the full duration of the training, except when to do so is impracticable.

Section 2638.304 sets forth the requirements for administering initial ethics training to new agency employees. The sole commenter observed that the deadlines for completion at § 2638.304(b) and (b)(1) are expressed in months, while the deadline at § 2638.304(a)(2)(iii) is expressed in days. He suggested that the deadlines in this section should be expressed consistently. In response, OGE is making the deadlines consistent by changing the deadline at § 2638.304(a)(2)(iii) from 90 days to 3 months. OGE selected 3 months rather than 90 days because a 3-month deadline would allow agencies to offer initial ethics training four times a year, whereas four 90-day periods would fall slightly short of a full year. The commenter also addressed the 60-day period pertaining to special Government employees at § 2638.304(b)(2), mistakenly characterizing it as a deadline. The 60-day period tracks provisions in the Act, 5 U.S.C. app. 101(d), and in criminal conflict of interest statutes, 18 U.S.C. 203 and 205, that modify certain requirements for employees who serve no more than 60 days in a year. OGE has not adopted the recommendation, which was based on an incorrect reading of the proposed rule. In considering this comment, however, OGE identified an error in its proposed language and made a technical correction at § 2638.304(b)(2), changing “less than 60 days” to “no more than 60 days” so as to conform to the statutory time frame. OGE also made the same technical correction at § 2638.305(b)(2)(ii).

OGE made a similar technical correction at § 2638.305(a) to remedy an inconsistency. In the proposed rule, OGE stated that this section, with some exceptions, “applies to public filers who are Senate-confirmed Presidential nominees and appointees.” At the same time, § 2638.305(b)(2)(ii) prescribes procedures for certain special Government employees who are “expected to serve for less than 60 days in a calendar year.” Because these individuals are not public filers, OGE deleted the words “public filers who are” in § 2638.305(a).

Subpart E—Corrective Action Involving Individual Employees

Subpart E implements the limited authority of the Director to take certain actions against individual employees. The commenter challenged the authority of Inspectors General to investigate matters within DOJ's authority and recommended deleting language in §§ 2638.501 and 2638.502 authorizing referrals to Inspectors General. OGE has not adopted this recommendation. As noted above, OGE consulted with DOJ prior to submitting the proposed rule for publication, and DOJ did not object to this provision.

Section 2638.504 contains the procedures that OGE may use when the Director has reason to believe that an executive branch employee is violating or has violated a noncriminal government ethics law or regulation. OGE made two technical changes to this section. First, in § 2638.504(a), OGE is clarifying that, consistent with 5 U.S.C. app. 402(f)(2)(A)(ii)(II), the Presidential notification procedure is triggered only in connection with investigations to be initiated by agency heads. Second, in § 2638.504(b), OGE is clarifying that OGE may close only its own involvement in the matter. This provision was not intended to suggest that any other office would necessarily close its involvement.

Subpart F—General Provisions

The sole commenter also raised a question regarding the definition of disciplinary action at § 2638.603 with respect to military officers. He asserted that the phrase “comparable provisions may include those in the Uniform Code of Military Justice” was “overly vague and largely beside the point.” In response to this comment and to avoid any confusion, OGE has deleted examples of disciplinary actions, as well as examples of provisions that may apply to employees who are not subject to title 5 of the United States Code. Because agencies interpret the authority under which they administer disciplinary actions, as well as determine specific disciplinary actions, OGE does not want this provision to be misconstrued as seeking to limit the authority of agencies.

As noted above in the discussion of § 2638.206(a), OGE has also deleted the language of § 2638.604(n) in the proposed regulation, which reiterated a deadline that has since been removed. As a result, OGE has also renumbered the subsequent paragraphs.

III. Matters of Regulatory Procedure Regulatory Flexibility Act

As Director of the Office of Government Ethics, I certify under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. chapter 6) that this final rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities because it primarily affects current and former federal executive branch employees.

Paperwork Reduction Act

The Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. chapter 35) does not apply because this regulation does not contain information collection requirements that require approval of the Office of Management and Budget.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

For purposes of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. chapter 5, subchapter II), this final rule would not significantly or uniquely affect small governments and will not result in increased expenditures by State, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100 million or more (as adjusted for inflation) in any one year.

Executive Order 13563 and Executive Order 12866

Executive Orders 13563 and 12866 direct agencies to assess all costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select the regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, distributive impacts, and equity). Executive Order 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. This rulemaking has been designated as a “significant regulatory action” although not economically significant, under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, this final rule has been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget.

Executive Order 12988

As Director of the Office of Government Ethics, I have reviewed this final rule in light of section 3 of Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform, and certify that it meets the applicable standards provided therein.

List of Subjects in 5 CFR Part 2638

Administrative practice and procedure, Conflict of interests, Government employees, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

Approved: October 27, 2016. Walter M. Shaub, Jr., Director, Office of Government Ethics. Accordingly, the Office of Government Ethics is revising 5 CFR part 2638 as set forth below: PART 2638—EXECUTIVE BRANCH ETHICS PROGRAM Subpart A—Mission and Responsibilities Sec. 2638.101 Mission. 2638.102 Government ethics responsibilities of employees. 2638.103 Government ethics responsibilities of supervisors. 2638.104 Government ethics responsibilities of agency ethics officials. 2638.105 Government ethics responsibilities of lead human resources officials. 2638.106 Government ethics responsibilities of Inspectors General. 2638.107 Government ethics responsibilities of agency heads. 2638.108 Government ethics responsibilities of the Office of Government Ethics. Subpart B—Procedures of the Executive Branch Ethics Program 2638.201 In general. 2638.202 Furnishing records and information generally. 2638.203 Collection of public financial disclosure reports required to be submitted to the Office of Government Ethics. 2638.204 Collection of other public financial disclosure reports. 2638.205 Collection of confidential financial disclosure reports. 2638.206 Notice to the Director of certain referrals to the Department of Justice. 2638.207 Annual report on the agency's ethics program. 2638.208 Written guidance on the executive branch ethics program. 2638.209 Formal advisory opinions. 2638.210 Presidential transition planning. Subpart C—Government Ethics Education 2638.301 In general. 2638.302 Definitions. 2638.303 Notice to prospective employees. 2638.304 Initial ethics training. 2638.305 Additional ethics briefing for certain agency leaders. 2638.306 Notice to new supervisors. 2638.307 Annual ethics training for confidential filers and certain other employees. 2638.308 Annual ethics training for public filers. 2638.309 Agency-specific ethics education requirements. 2638.310 Coordinating the agency's ethics education program. Subpart D—Correction of Executive Branch Agency Ethics Programs 2638.401 In general. 2638.402 Informal action. 2638.403 Formal action. Subpart E—Corrective Action Involving Individual Employees 2638.501 In general. 2638.502 Violations of criminal provisions related to government ethics. 2638.503 Recommendations and advice to employees and agencies. 2638.504 Violations of noncriminal provisions related to government ethics. Subpart F—General Provisions 2638.601 Authority and purpose. 2638.602 Agency regulations. 2638.603 Definitions. 2638.604 Key program dates. Authority:

5 U.S.C. App. 101-505; E.O. 12674, 54 FR 15159, 3 CFR, 1989 Comp., p. 215, as modified by E.O. 12731, 55 FR 42547, 3 CFR, 1990 Comp., p. 306.

Subpart A—Mission and Responsibilities
§ 2638.101 Mission.

(a) Mission. The primary mission of the executive branch ethics program is to prevent conflicts of interest on the part of executive branch employees.

(b) Breadth. The executive branch ethics program works to ensure that public servants make impartial decisions based on the interests of the public when carrying out the governmental responsibilities entrusted to them, serve as good stewards of public resources, and loyally adhere to the Constitution and laws of the United States. In the broadest sense of the term, “conflicts of interest” stem from financial interests; business or personal relationships; misuses of official position, official time, or public resources; and the receipt of gifts. The mission is focused on both conflicts of interest and the appearance of conflicts of interest.

(c) Conflicts-based program. The executive branch ethics program is a conflicts-based program, rather than a solely disclosure-based program. While transparency is an invaluable tool for promoting and monitoring ethical conduct, the executive branch ethics program requires more than transparency. This program seeks to ensure the integrity of governmental decision making and to promote public confidence by preventing conflicts of interest. Taken together, the systems in place to identify and address conflicts of interest establish a foundation on which to build and sustain an ethical culture in the executive branch.

§ 2638.102 Government ethics responsibilities of employees.

Consistent with the fundamental principle that public service is a public trust, every employee in the executive branch plays a critical role in the executive branch ethics program. As provided in the Standards of Conduct at part 2635 of this chapter, employees must endeavor to act at all times in the public's interest, avoid losing impartiality or appearing to lose impartiality in carrying out official duties, refrain from misusing their offices for private gain, serve as good stewards of public resources, and comply with the requirements of government ethics laws and regulations, including any applicable financial disclosure requirements. Employees must refrain from participating in particular matters in which they have financial interests and, pursuant to § 2635.402(f) of this chapter, should notify their supervisors or ethics officials when their official duties create the substantial likelihood of such conflicts of interest. Collectively, the charge of employees is to make ethical conduct the hallmark of government service.

§ 2638.103 Government ethics responsibilities of supervisors.

Every supervisor in the executive branch has a heightened personal responsibility for advancing government ethics. It is imperative that supervisors serve as models of ethical behavior for subordinates. Supervisors have a responsibility to help ensure that subordinates are aware of their ethical obligations under the Standards of Conduct and that subordinates know how to contact agency ethics officials. Supervisors are also responsible for working with agency ethics officials to help resolve conflicts of interest and enforce government ethics laws and regulations, including those requiring certain employees to file financial disclosure reports. In addition, supervisors are responsible, when requested, for assisting agency ethics officials in evaluating potential conflicts of interest and identifying positions subject to financial disclosure requirements.

§ 2638.104 Government ethics responsibilities of agency ethics officials.

(a) Appointment of a Designated Agency Ethics Official. Each agency head must appoint a Designated Agency Ethics Official (DAEO). The DAEO is the employee with primary responsibility for directing the daily activities of the agency's ethics program and coordinating with the Office of Government Ethics.

(b) Qualifications necessary to serve as DAEO. The following are necessary qualifications of an agency's DAEO:

(1) The DAEO must be an employee at an appropriate level in the organization, such that the DAEO is able to coordinate effectively with officials in relevant agency components and gain access to the agency head when necessary to discuss important matters related to the agency's ethics program.

(2) The DAEO must be an employee who has demonstrated the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to manage a significant agency program, to understand and apply complex legal requirements, and to generate support for building and sustaining an ethical culture in the organization.

(3) On an ongoing basis, the DAEO must demonstrate the capacity to serve as an effective advocate for the executive branch ethics program, show support for the mission of the executive branch ethics program, prove responsive to the Director's requests for documents and information related to the ethics program, and serve as an effective liaison with the Office of Government Ethics.

(4) In any agency with 1,000 or more employees, any DAEO appointed after the effective date of this regulation must be an employee at the senior executive level or higher, unless the agency has fewer than 10 positions at that level.

(c) Responsibilities of the DAEO. Acting directly or through other officials, the DAEO is responsible for taking actions authorized or required under this subchapter, including the following:

(1) Serving as an effective liaison to the Office of Government Ethics;

(2) Maintaining records of agency ethics program activities;

(3) Promptly and timely furnishing the Office of Government Ethics with all documents and information requested or required under subpart B of this part;

(4) Providing advice and counseling to prospective and current employees regarding government ethics laws and regulations, and providing former employees with advice and counseling regarding post-employment restrictions applicable to them;

(5) Carrying out an effective government ethics education program under subpart C of this part;

(6) Taking appropriate action to resolve conflicts of interest and the appearance of conflicts of interest, through recusals, directed divestitures, waivers, authorizations, reassignments, and other appropriate means;

(7) Consistent with § 2640.303 of this chapter, consulting with the Office of Government Ethics regarding the issuance of waivers pursuant to 18 U.S.C. 208(b);

(8) Carrying out an effective financial disclosure program, by:

(i) Establishing such written procedures as are appropriate relative to the size and complexity of the agency's financial disclosure program for the filing, review, and, when applicable, public availability of financial disclosure reports;

(ii) Requiring public and confidential filers to comply with deadlines and requirements for financial disclosure reports under part 2634 of this chapter and, in the event of noncompliance, taking appropriate action to address such noncompliance;

(iii) Imposing late fees in appropriate cases involving untimely filing of public financial disclosure reports;

(iv) Making referrals to the Inspector General or the Department of Justice in appropriate cases involving knowing and willful falsification of financial disclosure reports or knowing and willful failure to file financial disclosure reports;

(v) Reviewing financial disclosure reports, with an emphasis on preventing conflicts of interest;

(vi) Consulting, when necessary, with financial disclosure filers and their supervisors to evaluate potential conflicts of interest;

(vii) Timely certifying financial disclosure reports and taking appropriate action with regard to financial disclosure reports that cannot be certified; and

(viii) Using the information disclosed in financial disclosure reports to prevent and resolve potential conflicts of interest.

(9) Assisting the agency in its enforcement of ethics laws and regulations when agency officials:

(i) Make appropriate referrals to the Inspector General or the Department of Justice;

(ii) Take disciplinary or corrective action; and

(iii) Employ other means available to them.

(10) Upon request of the Office of Inspector General, providing that office with ready and active assistance with regard to the interpretation and application of government ethics laws and regulations, as well as the procedural requirements of the ethics program;

(11) Ensuring that the agency has a process for notifying the Office of Government Ethics upon referral, made pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 535, to the Department of Justice regarding a potential violation of a conflict of interest law, unless such notification would be prohibited by law;

(12) Providing agency officials with advice on the applicability of government ethics laws and regulations to special Government employees;

(13) Requiring timely compliance with ethics agreements, pursuant to part 2634, subpart H of this chapter;

(14) Conducting ethics briefings for certain agency leaders, pursuant to § 2638.305;

(15) Prior to any Presidential election, preparing the agency's ethics program for a potential Presidential transition; and

(16) Periodically evaluating the agency's ethics program and making recommendations to the agency regarding the resources available to the ethics program.

(d) Appointment of an Alternate Designated Agency Ethics Official. Each agency head must appoint an Alternate Designated Agency Ethics Official (ADAEO). The ADAEO serves as the primary deputy to the DAEO in the administration of the agency's ethics program. Together, the DAEO and the ADAEO direct the daily activities of an agency's ethics program and coordinate with the Office of Government Ethics. The ADAEO must be an employee who has demonstrated the skills necessary to assist the DAEO in the administration of the agency's ethics program.

(e) Program support by additional ethics officials and other individuals. Subject to approval by the DAEO or the agency head, an agency may designate additional ethics officials and other employees to assist the DAEO in carrying out the responsibilities of the ethics program, some of whom may be designated “deputy ethics officials” for purposes of parts 2635 and 2636 of this chapter. The agency is responsible for ensuring that these employees have the skills and expertise needed to perform their assigned duties related to the ethics program and must provide appropriate training to them for this purpose. Although the agency may appoint such officials as are necessary to assist in carrying out functions of the agency's ethics program, they will be subject to the direction of the DAEO with respect to the functions of the agency's ethics program described in this chapter. The DAEO retains authority to make final decisions regarding the agency's ethics program and its functions, subject only to the authority of the agency head and the Office of Government Ethics.

(f) Ethics responsibilities that may be performed only by the DAEO or ADAEO. In addition to any items reserved for action by the DAEO or ADAEO in other parts of this chapter, only the DAEO or ADAEO may carry out the following responsibilities:

(1) Request approval of supplemental agency regulations, pursuant to § 2635.105 of this chapter;

(2) Recommend a separate component designation, pursuant to § 2641.302(e) of this chapter;

(3) Request approval of an alternative means for collecting certain public financial disclosure reports, pursuant to § 2638.204(c);

(4) Request determinations regarding public reporting requirements, pursuant to §§ 2634.202(c), 2634.203, 2634.205, and 2634.304(f) of this chapter;

(5) Make determinations, other than exceptions in individual cases, regarding the means the agency will use to collect public or confidential financial disclosure reports, pursuant to §§ 2638.204 and 2638.205;

(6) Request an alternative procedure for filing confidential financial disclosure reports, pursuant to § 2634.905(a) of this chapter;

(7) Request a formal advisory opinion on behalf of the agency or a prospective, current, or former employee of that agency, pursuant to § 2638.209(d); and

(8) Request a certificate of divestiture, pursuant to § 2634.1005(b) of this chapter.

§ 2638.105 Government ethics responsibilities of lead human resources officials.

(a) The lead human resources official, as defined in § 2638.603, acting directly or through delegees, is responsible for:

(1) Promptly notifying the DAEO of all appointments to positions that require incumbents to file public or confidential financial disclosure reports, with the notification occurring prior to appointment whenever practicable but in no case occurring more than 15 days after appointment; and

(2) Promptly notifying the DAEO of terminations of employees in positions that require incumbents to file public financial disclosure reports, with the notification occurring prior to termination whenever practicable but in no case occurring more than 15 days after termination.

(b) The lead human resources official may be assigned certain additional ethics responsibilities by the agency.

(1) If an agency elects to assign such responsibilities to human resources officials, the lead human resources official is responsible for coordinating, to the extent necessary and practicable, with the DAEO to support the agency's ethics program;

(2) If the lead human resources official is responsible for conducting ethics training pursuant to subpart C of this part, that official must follow the DAEO's directions regarding applicable requirements, procedures, and the qualifications of any presenters, consistent with the requirements of this chapter;

(3) If the lead human resources official is responsible for issuing the required government ethics notices in written offers of employment, pursuant to § 2638.303, or providing supervisory ethics notices, pursuant to § 2638.306, that official must comply with any substantive and procedural requirements established by the DAEO, consistent with the requirements of this chapter; and

(4) To the extent applicable, the lead human resources official is required to provide the DAEO with a written summary and confirmation regarding procedures for implementing certain requirements of subpart C of this part by January 15 each year, pursuant to § 2638.310.

(c) Nothing in this section prevents an agency head from delegating the duties described in paragraph (b) of this section to another agency official. In the event that an agency head delegates the duties described in paragraph (b) of this section to an agency official other than the lead human resources official, the requirements of paragraph (b) of this section will apply to that official.

§ 2638.106 Government ethics responsibilities of Inspectors General.

An agency's Inspector General has authority to conduct investigations of suspected violations of conflict of interest laws and other government ethics laws and regulations. An Inspector General is responsible for giving due consideration to a request made pursuant to section 403 of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 (the “Act”) by the Office of Government Ethics for investigation of a possible violation of a government ethics law or regulation. Inspectors General provide the Office of Government Ethics notification of certain referrals to the Department of Justice, pursuant to § 2638.206. Inspectors General may consult with the Director for legal guidance on the application of government ethics laws and regulations, except that the Director may not make any finding as to whether a provision of title 18, United States Code, or any criminal law of the United States outside of such title, has been or is being violated. Nothing in this section will be construed to limit or otherwise affect the authority of an Inspector General under section 6 of the Inspector General Act of 1978, as amended, including the authority under section 6(a)(2) to make such investigations and reports relating to the administration of the programs and operations of the applicable establishment as are, in the judgment of the Inspector General, necessary or desirable.

§ 2638.107 Government ethics responsibilities of agency heads.

The agency head is responsible for, and will exercise personal leadership in, establishing and maintaining an effective agency ethics program and fostering an ethical culture in the agency. The agency head is also responsible for:

(a) Designating employees to serve as the DAEO and ADAEO and notifying the Director in writing within 30 days of such designation;

(b) Providing the DAEO with sufficient resources, including staffing, to sustain an effective ethics program;

(c) Requiring agency officials to provide the DAEO with the information, support, and cooperation necessary for the accomplishment of the DAEO's responsibilities;

(d) When action is warranted, enforcing government ethics laws and regulations through appropriate referrals to the Inspector General or the Department of Justice, investigations, and disciplinary or corrective action;

(e) Requiring that violations of government ethics laws and regulations, or interference with the functioning of the agency ethics program, be appropriately considered in evaluating the performance of senior executives;

(f) Requiring the Chief Information Officer and other appropriate agency officials to support the DAEO in using technology, to the extent practicable, to carry out ethics program functions such as delivering interactive training and tracking ethics program activities;

(g) Requiring appropriate agency officials to submit to the Office of Government Ethics, by May 31 each year, required reports of travel accepted by the agency under 31 U.S.C. 1353 during the period from October 1 through March 31;

(h) Requiring appropriate agency officials to submit to the Office of Government Ethics, by November 30 each year, required reports of travel accepted by the agency under 31 U.S.C. 1353 during the period from April 1 through September 30; and

(i) Prior to any Presidential election, supporting the agency's ethics program in preparing for a Presidential transition.

§ 2638.108 Government ethics responsibilities of the Office of Government Ethics.

The Office of Government Ethics is the supervising ethics office for the executive branch, providing overall leadership and oversight of the executive branch ethics program designed to prevent and resolve conflicts of interest. The Office of Government Ethics has the authorities and functions established in the Act.

(a) Authorities and functions. Among other authorities and functions, the Office of Government Ethics has the authorities and functions described in this section.

(1) The Office of Government Ethics issues regulations regarding conflicts of interest, standards of conduct, financial disclosure, requirements for agency ethics programs, and executive branch-wide systems of records for government ethics records. In issuing any such regulations, the Office of Government Ethics will, to the full extent required under the Act and any Executive order, coordinate with the Department of Justice and the Office of Personnel Management. When practicable, the Office of Government Ethics will also consult with a diverse group of selected agency ethics officials that represents a cross section of executive branch agencies to ascertain representative views of the DAEO community when developing substantive revisions to this chapter.

(2) The Office of Government Ethics reviews and approves or disapproves agency supplemental ethics regulations.

(3) The Office of Government Ethics issues formal advisory opinions to interested parties, pursuant to § 2638.209. When developing a formal advisory opinion, the Office of Government Ethics will provide interested parties with an opportunity to comment.

(4) The Office of Government Ethics issues guidance and informal advisory opinions, pursuant to § 2638.208. When practicable, the Office of Government Ethics will consult with selected agency ethics officials to ascertain representative views of the DAEO community when developing guidance or informal advisory opinions that the Director determines to be of significant interest to a broad segment of the DAEO community.

(5) The Office of Government Ethics supports agency ethics officials through such training, advice, and counseling as the Director deems necessary.

(6) The Office of Government Ethics provides assistance in interpreting government ethics laws and regulations to executive branch Offices of Inspector General and other executive branch entities.

(7) When practicable, the Office of Government Ethics convenes quarterly executive branch-wide meetings of key agency ethics officials. When the Office of Government Ethics convenes a major executive branch-wide training event, the event normally serves in place of a quarterly meeting.

(8) Pursuant to sections 402(b)(10) and 403 of the Act, the Director requires agencies to furnish the Office of Government Ethics with all information, reports, and records which the Director determines to be necessary for the performance of the Director's duties, except when such a release is prohibited by law.

(9) The Office of Government Ethics conducts reviews of agency ethics programs in order to ensure their compliance with program requirements and to ensure their effectiveness in advancing the mission of the executive branch-wide ethics program. The Office of Government Ethics also conducts single-issue reviews of individual agencies, groups of agencies, or the executive branch ethics program as a whole.

(10) The Office of Government Ethics reviews financial disclosure reports filed by employees, former employees, nominees, candidates for the Office of the President of the United States, and candidates for the Office of the Vice President of the United States who are required to file executive branch financial disclosure reports with the Office of Government Ethics pursuant to sections 101, 103(c), and 103(l) of the Act.

(11) By January 15 each year, the Office of Government Ethics issues year-end reports to agencies regarding their compliance with the obligations, pursuant to section 103(c) of the Act and part 2634 of this chapter:

(i) To timely transmit the annual public financial disclosure reports of certain high-level officials to the Office of Government Ethics; and

(ii) To promptly submit such additional information as is necessary to obtain the Director's certification of the reports.

(12) The Office of Government Ethics oversees the development of ethics agreements between agencies and Presidential nominees for positions in the executive branch requiring Senate confirmation and tracks compliance with such agreements. The Office of Government Ethics also maintains a guide that provides sample language for ethics agreements of Presidential nominees requiring Senate confirmation.

(13) The Office of Government Ethics proactively assists Presidential Transition Teams in support of effective and efficient Presidential transitions and, to the extent practicable, may provide Presidential campaigns with advice and counsel on preparing for Presidential transitions.

(14) The Office of Government Ethics orders such corrective action on the part of an agency as the Director deems necessary, pursuant to subpart D of this part, and such corrective action on the part of individual executive branch employees as the Director deems necessary, pursuant to subpart E of this part.

(15) The Office of Government Ethics makes determinations regarding public financial disclosure requirements, pursuant to §§ 2634.202(c), 2634.203, 2634.205, and 2634.304(f) of this chapter.

(16) The Office of Government Ethics conducts outreach to inform the public of matters related to the executive branch ethics program.

(17) The Director and the Office of Government Ethics take such other actions as are necessary and appropriate to carry out their responsibilities under the Act.

(b) Other authorities and functions. Nothing in this subpart or this chapter limits the authority of the Director or the Office of Government Ethics under the Act.

Subpart B—Procedures of the Executive Branch Ethics Program
§ 2638.201 In general.

This subpart establishes certain procedures of the executive branch ethics program. The procedures set forth in this subpart are in addition to procedures established elsewhere in this chapter and in the program advisories and other issuances of the Office of Government Ethics.

§ 2638.202 Furnishing records and information generally.

Consistent with sections 402 and 403 of the Act, each agency must furnish to the Director all information and records in its possession which the Director deems necessary to the performance of the Director's duties, except to the extent prohibited by law. All such information and records must be provided to the Office of Government Ethics in a complete and timely manner.

§ 2638.203 Collection of public financial disclosure reports required to be submitted to the Office of Government Ethics.

The public financial disclosure reports of individuals, other than candidates for elected office and elected officials, whose reports are required by section 103 of the Act to be transmitted to the Office of Government Ethics will be transmitted through the executive branch-wide electronic filing system of the Office of Government Ethics, except in cases in which the Director determines that using that system would be impracticable.

§ 2638.204 Collection of other public financial disclosure reports.

This section establishes the procedure that the executive branch ethics program will use to collect, pursuant to section 101 of the Act, public financial disclosure reports of individuals whose reports are not required by section 103 of the Act to be transmitted to the Office of Government Ethics.

(a) General. Subject to the exclusions and exceptions in paragraphs (b) through (d) of this section, the public financial disclosure reports required by part 2634 of this chapter will be collected through the executive branch-wide electronic filing system of the Office of Government Ethics.

(b) Exclusions. This section does not apply to persons whose financial disclosure reports are covered by section 105(a)(1) or (2) of the Act, persons whose reports are required by section 103 of the Act to be transmitted to the Office of Government Ethics, or such other persons as the Director may exclude from the coverage of this section in the interest of the executive branch ethics program.

(c) Authorization to collect public reports in paper format or through a legacy electronic filing system. Upon written request signed by the DAEO or ADAEO and by the Chief Information Officer, the Director of the Office of Government Ethics may authorize an agency in the interest of the executive branch ethics program to collect public financial disclosure reports in paper format or through a legacy electronic filing system other than the executive branch-wide electronic filing system of the Office of Government Ethics. The Director may rescind any such authorization based on a written determination that the rescission promotes the efficiency or effectiveness of the executive branch ethics program, but only after providing the agency with advance written notice and an opportunity to respond. The rescission will become effective on January 1 of a subsequent calendar year, but not less than 24 months after notice is provided.

(d) Exceptions in cases of extraordinary circumstances or temporary technical difficulties. Based on a determination that extraordinary circumstances or temporary technical difficulties make the use of an electronic filing system impractical, the DAEO or ADAEO may authorize an individual to file a public financial disclosure report using such alternate means of filing as are authorized in the program advisories of the Office of Government Ethics. To the extent practicable, agencies should limit the number of exceptions they grant under this paragraph each year. The Director may suspend an agency's authority to grant exceptions under this paragraph when the Director is concerned that the agency may be granting exceptions unnecessarily or in a manner that is inconsistent with § 2638.601(c). Nothing in this paragraph limits the authority of the agency to excuse an employee from filing electronically to the extent necessary to provide reasonable accommodations under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Pub. L. 93-112), as amended, or other applicable legal authority.

§ 2638.205 Collection of confidential financial disclosure reports.

This section establishes the procedure that the executive branch will use to collect confidential financial disclosure reports from employees of the executive branch. To the extent not inconsistent with part 2634 of this chapter or with the approved forms, instructions, and other guidance of the Office of Government Ethics, the DAEO of each agency will determine the means by which the agency will collect confidential financial disclosure reports, including a determination as to whether the agency will collect such reports in either paper or electronic format. Nothing in this paragraph limits the authority of the agency to provide reasonable accommodations under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Pub. L. 93-112), as amended, or other applicable legal authority.

§ 2638.206 Notice to the Director of certain referrals to the Department of Justice.

This section establishes the requirement to provide the Director with notice of certain referrals.

(a) Upon any referral made pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 535 to the Department of Justice regarding a potential violation of a conflict of interest law, the referring office must notify the Director of the referral by filing a completed OGE Form 202 with the Director, unless prohibited by law.

(b) In order to ensure effective coordination of this section, the Office of Government Ethics will obtain the concurrence of the Chairperson of the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency before implementing substantive changes to the OGE Form 202.

(c) If an agency's procedures authorize an official outside the Office of Inspector General to make a referral covered by this section, that official must provide the Inspector General and the DAEO with copies of documents provided to the Director pursuant this section, unless prohibited by law.

§ 2638.207 Annual report on the agency's ethics program.

(a) By February 1 of each year, an agency must file with the Office of Government Ethics, pursuant to section 402(e)(1) of the Act, a report containing such information about the agency's ethics program as is requested by the Office of Government Ethics. The report must be filed electronically and in a manner consistent with the instructions of the Office of Government Ethics.

(b) In order to facilitate the collection of required information by agencies, the Office of Government Ethics will provide agencies with advance notice regarding the contents of the report prior to the beginning of the reporting period for information that would be expected to be tracked over the course of the reporting period. Otherwise, it will provide as much notice as practicable, taking into consideration the effort required to collect the information.

§ 2638.208 Written guidance on the executive branch ethics program.

This section describes several means by which the Office of Government Ethics provides agencies, employees, and the public with guidance regarding its legal interpretations, program requirements, and educational offerings. Normally, guidance documents are published on the official Web site of the Office of Government Ethics.

(a) Legal advisories. The Office of Government Ethics issues legal advisories, which are memoranda regarding the interpretation of government ethics laws and regulations. They are intended primarily to provide education and notice to executive branch ethics officials; prospective, current, and former executive branch employees; and individuals who interact with the executive branch.

(b) Program advisories. The Office of Government Ethics issues program advisories, which are memoranda regarding the requirements or procedures applicable to the executive branch ethics program and individual agency ethics programs. They are intended primarily to instruct agencies on uniform procedures for the executive branch ethics program.

(c) Informal advisory opinions. Upon request or upon its own initiative, the Office of Government Ethics issues informal advisory opinions. Informal advisory opinions address subjects that in the opinion of the Director do not meet the criteria for issuance of formal advisory opinions. They are intended primarily to provide guidance to individuals and illustrate the application of government ethics laws and regulations to specific circumstances.

§ 2638.209 Formal advisory opinions.

This section establishes the formal advisory opinion service of the Office of Government Ethics.

(a) General. The Office of Government Ethics renders formal advisory opinions pursuant to section 402(b)(8) of the Act. A formal advisory opinion will be issued when the Director determines that the criteria and requirements established in this section are met.

(b) Subjects of formal advisory opinions. Formal advisory opinions may be rendered on matters of general applicability or important matters of first impression concerning the application of the Act; Executive Order 12674 of April 12, 1989, as modified by Executive Order 12731 of October 17, 1990; 18 U.S.C. 202-209; and regulations interpreting or implementing these authorities. In determining whether to issue a formal advisory opinion, the Director will consider:

(1) The unique nature of the question and its precedential value;

(2) The potential number of employees throughout the government affected by the question;

(3) The frequency with which the question arises;

(4) The likelihood or presence of inconsistent interpretations on the same question by different agencies; and

(5) The interests of the executive branch ethics program.

(c) Role of the formal advisory opinion service. The formal advisory opinion service of the Office of Government Ethics is not intended to replace the government ethics advice and counseling programs maintained by executive branch agencies. Normally, formal advisory opinions will not be issued with regard to the types of questions appropriately directed to an agency's DAEO. If a DAEO receives a request that the DAEO believes might appropriately be answered by the Office of Government Ethics through a formal advisory opinion, the DAEO will consult informally with the General Counsel of the Office of Government Ethics for instructions as to whether the matter should be referred to the Office of Government Ethics or retained by the agency for handling. Except in unusual circumstances, the Office of Government Ethics will not render formal advisory opinions with respect to hypothetical situations posed in requests for formal advisory opinions. At the discretion of the Director, however, the Office of Government Ethics may render formal advisory opinions on certain proposed activities or financial transactions.

(d) Eligible persons. Any person may request an opinion with respect to a situation in which that person is directly involved, and an authorized representative may request an opinion on behalf of that person. However, an employee will normally be required to seek an opinion from the agency's DAEO before requesting a formal advisory opinion from the Office of Government Ethics. In addition, a DAEO may request a formal advisory opinion on behalf of the agency or a prospective, current, or former employee of that agency.

(e) Submitting a request for a formal advisory opinion. The request must be submitted either by electronic mail addressed to [email protected] or by mail, through either the United States Postal Service or a private shipment service, to the Director of the Office of Government Ethics, Suite 500, 1201 New York Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20005-3917. Personal deliveries will not be accepted.

(f) Requirements for request. The request must include:

(1) An express statement indicating that the submission is a request for a formal advisory opinion;

(2) The name, street address, and telephone number of the person requesting the opinion;

(3) The name, street address, and telephone number of any representative of that person;

(4) All material facts necessary for the Director to render a complete and correct opinion;

(5) The date of the request and the signature of either the requester or the requester's representative; and

(6) In the case of a request signed by a representative, a written designation of the representative that is dated and signed by the requester.

(g) Optional materials. At the election of the requester, the request may also include legal memoranda or other material relevant to the requested formal advisory opinion.

(h) Additional information. The Director may request such additional information or documentation as the Director deems necessary to the development of a formal advisory opinion, from either the requester or other sources. If the requester or the requester's representative fails to cooperate with such a request, the Office of Government Ethics normally will close the matter without issuing a formal advisory opinion.

(i) Comments from interested parties. The Office of Government Ethics will, to the extent practicable, solicit written comments on a request by posting a prominent notice on its official Web site. Any such notice will summarize relevant information in the request, provide interested parties 30 days to submit written comments, and include instructions for submitting written comments. Written comments submitted after the deadline will be considered only at the discretion of the Director.

(j) Consultation with the Department of Justice. Whenever the Office of the Government Ethics is considering rendering a formal advisory opinion, the Director will consult with the Office of Legal Counsel of the Department of Justice sufficiently in advance to afford that office an opportunity to review the matter. In addition, whenever a request involves an actual or apparent violation of any provision of 18 U.S.C. 202-209, the Director will consult with the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice. If the Criminal Division determines that an investigation or prosecution will be undertaken, the Director will take no further action on the request, unless the Criminal Division makes a determination not to prosecute.

(k) Consultation with other executive branch officials. The Director will consult with such other executive branch officials as the Director deems necessary to ensure thorough consideration of issues and information relevant to the request by the Office of Government Ethics. In the case of a request submitted by a prospective or current employee, the Director will share a copy of the request with the DAEO of the employee's agency.

(l) Publication. The Office of Government Ethics will publish each formal advisory opinion on its official Web site. Prior to publishing a formal advisory opinion on its Web site, the Office of Government Ethics will delete information that identifies individuals involved and that is unnecessary to a complete understanding of the opinion.

(m) Reliance on formal advisory opinions. (1) Any formal advisory opinion referred to in this section or any provisions or finding of a formal advisory opinion involving the application of the Act or the regulations promulgated pursuant to the Act or Executive order may be relied upon by:

(i) Any person directly involved in the specific transaction or activity with respect to which such advisory opinion has been rendered; and

(ii) Any person directly involved in any specific transaction or activity which is indistinguishable in all its material aspects from the transaction or activity with respect to which such formal advisory opinion was rendered.

(2) Any person who relies upon any provision or finding of any formal advisory opinion in accordance with this paragraph and who acts in good faith in accordance with the provisions and findings of such opinion will not, as a result of such act, be subject to prosecution under 18 U.S.C. 202-209 or, when the opinion is exculpatory, be subject to any disciplinary action or civil action based upon legal authority cited in that opinion.

§ 2638.210 Presidential transition planning.

Prior to any Presidential election, each agency has a responsibility to prepare its agency ethics program for a Presidential transition. Such preparations do not constitute support for a particular candidate and are not reflective of a belief regarding the likely outcome of the election; rather, they reflect an understanding that agencies are responsible for ensuring the continuity of governmental operations.

(a) Preparing the ethics program for a transition. The agency head or the DAEO must, not later than 12 months before any Presidential election, evaluate whether the agency's ethics program has an adequate number of trained agency ethics officials to effectively support a Presidential transition.

(b) Support by the Office of Government Ethics. In connection with any Presidential election, the Office of Government Ethics will:

(1) Prior to the election, offer training opportunities for agency ethics officials on counseling departing noncareer appointees on post-employment restrictions, reviewing financial disclosure reports, drafting ethics agreements for Presidential nominees, and counseling new noncareer appointees on conflict of interest laws and the Standards of Conduct; and

(2) After the election, in the event of a Presidential transition, proactively assist the Presidential Transition Team in preparing for Presidential nominations, coordinate with agency ethics officials, and develop plans to implement new initiatives related to government ethics.

Subpart C—Government Ethics Education
§ 2638.301 In general.

Every agency must carry out a government ethics education program to teach employees how to identify government ethics issues and obtain assistance in complying with government ethics laws and regulations. An agency's failure to comply with any of the education or notice requirements set forth in this subpart does not exempt an employee from applicable government ethics requirements.

§ 2638.302 Definitions.

The following definitions apply to the format of the various types of training required in this subpart. The agency may deviate from these prescribed formats to the extent necessary to provide reasonable accommodations to participants under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Pub. L. 93-112), as amended, or other applicable legal authority.

(a) Live. A training presentation is considered live if the presenter personally communicates a substantial portion of the material at the same time as the employees being trained are receiving the material, even if part of the training is prerecorded or automated. The training may be delivered in person or through video or audio technology. The presenter must respond to questions posed during the training and provide instructions for participants to submit questions after the training.

Example 1.

An agency ethics official provides a presentation regarding government ethics and takes questions from participants who are assembled in a training room with the ethics official. At the end of the session, the ethics official provides contact information for participants who wish to pose additional questions. This training is considered live.

Example 2.

An agency ethics official provides a presentation to a group of employees in an auditorium. She presents an introduction and a brief overview of the material that will be covered in the training. She has participants watch a prerecorded video regarding government ethics. She stops the video frequently to elaborate on key concepts and offer participants opportunities to pose questions before resuming the video. At the end of the session, she recaps key concepts and answers additional questions. She then provides contact information for employees who wish to pose additional questions. This training is considered live.

Example 3.

The ethics official in Example 2 arranges for several Senate-confirmed public filers stationed outside of headquarters to participate in the live training via streaming video or telephone. For these remote participants, the ethics official also establishes a means for them to pose questions during the training, such as by emailing questions to her assistant. She also provides these remote participants with instructions for contacting the ethics office to pose additional questions after the training. This training is also considered live for the remote participants.

Example 4.

Agency ethics officials present training via a telephone conference. A few dozen agency employees dial into the conference call. The ethics officials take questions that are submitted by email and provide contact information for employees who wish to pose additional questions later. This training is considered live.

Example 5.

Several Senate-confirmed public filers required to complete live training in a particular year are stationed at various facilities throughout the country. For these filers, an ethics official schedules a 20-minute conference call, emails them copies of the written materials and a link to a 40-minute video on government ethics, and instructs them to view the video before the conference call. During the conference call, the ethics official recaps key concepts, takes questions, and provides his contact information in case participants have additional questions. The public filers then confirm by email that they watched the video and participated in the conference call. This training is considered live because a substantial portion of the training was live.

(b) Interactive. A training presentation is considered interactive if the employee being trained is required to take an action with regard to the subject of the training. The required action must involve the employee's use of knowledge gained through the training and may not be limited to merely advancing from one section of the training to another section. Training that satisfies the requirements of paragraph (a) of this section will also satisfy the requirements of this paragraph.

Example 1.

An automated system allows employees to view a prerecorded video in which an agency ethics official provides training. At various points, the system poses questions and an employee selects from among a variety of possible answers. The system provides immediate feedback as to whether the selections are correct or incorrect. When the employee's selections are incorrect, the system displays the correct answer and explains the relevant concepts. This training is considered interactive.

Example 2.

If, instead of a video, the training described in Example 1 were to include animated or written materials interspersed with questions and answers, the training would still be considered interactive.

Example 3.

A DAEO emails materials to employees who are permitted under part 2638 to complete interactive training. The materials include a written training presentation, questions, and space for employees to provide written responses. Employees are instructed to submit their answers to agency ethics officials, who provide individualized feedback. This training is considered interactive.

Example 4.

A DAEO emails materials to employees who are permitted under part 2638 to complete interactive training. The materials include a written training presentation, questions, and an answer key. The DAEO also distributes instructions for contacting an ethics official with any questions about the subjects covered. This training meets the minimum requirements to be considered interactive, even though the employees are not required to submit their answers for review and feedback. However, any DAEO who uses this minimally interactive format is encouraged to provide employees with other opportunities for more direct and personalized feedback.

§ 2638.303 Notice to prospective employees.

Written offers of employment for positions covered by the Standards of Conduct must include the information required in this section to provide prospective employees with notice of the ethical obligations associated with the positions.

(a) Content. The written offer must include, in either the body of the offer or an attachment:

(1) A statement regarding the agency's commitment to government ethics;

(2) Notice that the individual will be subject to the Standards of Conduct and the criminal conflict of interest statutes as an employee;

(3) Contact information for an appropriate agency ethics office or an explanation of how to obtain additional information on applicable ethics requirements;

(4) Where applicable, notice of the time frame for completing initial ethics training; and

(5) Where applicable, a statement regarding financial disclosure requirements and an explanation that new entrant reports must be filed within 30 days of appointment.

(b) DAEO's authority. At the election of the DAEO, the DAEO may specify the language that the agency will use in the notice required under paragraph (a) of this section or may approve, disapprove, or revise language drafted by other agency officials.

(c) Tracking. Each agency must establish written procedures, which the DAEO must review each year, for issuing the notice required in this section. In the case of an agency with 1,000 or more employees, the DAEO must review any submissions under § 2638.310 each year to confirm that the agency has implemented an appropriate process for meeting the requirements of this section.

§ 2638.304 Initial ethics training.

Each new employee of the agency subject to the Standards of Conduct must complete initial ethics training that meets the requirements of this section.

(a) Coverage. (1) This section applies to each employee appointed to a position in an agency who was not an employee of the agency immediately prior to that appointment. This section also permits Presidential nominees for Senate-confirmed positions to complete the initial ethics training prior to appointment.

(2) The DAEO may exclude a non-supervisory position at or below the GS-8 grade level, or the equivalent, from the requirement to complete the training presentation described in paragraph (e)(1) of this section, provided that:

(i) The DAEO signs a written determination that the duties of the position do not create a substantial likelihood that conflicts of interest will arise;

(ii) The position does not meet the criteria set forth at § 2634.904 of this chapter; and

(iii) The agency provides an employee described in paragraph (a)(1) of this section who is appointed to the position with the written materials required under paragraph (e)(2) of this section within 3 months of appointment.

(b) Deadline. Except as provided in this paragraph, each new employee must complete initial ethics training within 3 months of appointment.

(1) In the case of a Presidential nominee for a Senate-confirmed position, the nominee may complete the ethics training before or after appointment, but not later than 3 months after appointment.

(2) In the case of a special Government employee who is reasonably expected to serve for no more than 60 days in a calendar year on a board, commission, or committee, the agency may provide the initial ethics training at any time before, or at the beginning of, the employee's first meeting of the board, commission, or committee.

(c) Duration. The duration of the training must be sufficient for the agency to communicate the basic ethical obligations of federal service and to present the content described in paragraph (e) of this section.

(d) Format. Employees covered by this section are required to complete interactive initial ethics training.

(e) Content. The following content requirements apply to initial ethics training.

(1) Training presentation. The training presentation must focus on government ethics laws and regulations that the DAEO deems appropriate for the employees participating in the training. The presentation must address concepts related to the following subjects:

(i) Financial conflicts of interest;

(ii) Impartiality;

(iii) Misuse of position; and

(iv) Gifts.

(2) Written materials. In addition to the training presentation, the agency must provide the employee with either the following written materials or written instructions for accessing them:

(i) The summary of the Standards of Conduct distributed by the Office of Government Ethics or an equivalent summary prepared by the agency;

(ii) Provisions of any supplemental agency regulations that the DAEO determines to be relevant or a summary of those provisions;

(iii) Such other written materials as the DAEO determines should be included; and

(iv) Instructions for contacting the agency's ethics office.

(f) Tracking. Each agency must establish written procedures, which the DAEO must review each year, for initial ethics training. In the case of an agency with 1,000 or more employees, the DAEO must review any submissions under § 2638.310 each year to confirm that the agency has implemented an appropriate process for meeting the requirements of this section.

Example 1.

The DAEO of a large agency decides that the agency's ethics officials will conduct live initial ethics training for high-level employees and certain procurement officials. The DAEO directs ethics officials to cover concepts related to financial conflicts of interest, impartiality, misuse of position, and gifts during the live training sessions. She also coordinates with the agency's Chief Information Officer to develop computerized training for all other new employees, and she directs her staff to include concepts related to financial conflicts of interest, impartiality, misuse of position, and gifts in the computerized training. The computerized training poses multiple-choice questions and provides feedback when employees answer the questions. At the DAEO's request, the agency's human resources officials distribute the required written materials as part of the onboarding procedures for new employees. The computerized training automatically tracks completion of the training, and the ethics officials use sign-in sheets to track participation in the live training. After the end of the calendar year, the DAEO reviews the materials submitted by the Office of Human Resources under § 2638.310 to confirm that the agency has implemented procedures for identifying new employees, distributing the written materials, and providing their initial ethics training. The agency's program for initial ethics training complies with the requirements of § 2638.304.

Example 2.

The agency head, the DAEO, and the lead human resources official of an agency with more than 1,000 employees have agreed that human resources officials will conduct initial ethics training. The DAEO provides the lead human resources official with written materials for use during the training, approves the content of the presentations, and trains the human resources officials who will conduct the initial ethics training. After the end of the calendar year, the lead human resources official provides the DAEO with a copy of the agency's procedures for identifying new employees and providing initial ethics training, and the lead human resources official confirms that there is a reasonable basis for concluding that the procedures have been implemented. The DAEO reviews these procedures and finds them satisfactory. The agency has complied with its tracking obligations with regard to initial ethics training.

§ 2638.305 Additional ethics briefing for certain agency leaders.

In addition to other applicable requirements, each individual covered by this section must complete an ethics briefing to discuss the individual's immediate ethics obligations. Although the ethics briefing is separate from the initial ethics training, the agency may elect to combine the ethics briefing and the initial ethics training, provided that the requirements of both this section and § 2638.304 are met.

(a) Coverage. This section applies to Senate-confirmed Presidential nominees and appointees, except for those in positions identified in § 2634.201(c)(2) of this chapter.

(b) Deadline. The following deadlines apply to the ethics briefing.

(1) Except as provided in paragraph (b)(2) of this section, each individual covered by this section must complete the ethics briefing after confirmation but not later than 15 days after appointment. The DAEO may grant an extension of the deadline not to exceed 30 days after appointment.

(2)(i) In extraordinary circumstances, the DAEO may grant an additional extension to an individual by issuing a written determination that an extension is necessary. The determination must describe the extraordinary circumstances necessitating the extension, caution the individual to be vigilant for conflicts of interest created by any newly acquired financial interests, remind the individual to comply with any applicable ethics agreement, and be accompanied by a copy of the ethics agreement(s). The DAEO must send a copy of the determination to the individual before expiration of the time period established in paragraph (b)(1) of this section. The agency must conduct the briefing at the earliest practicable date thereafter. The written determination must be retained with the record of the individual's briefing.

(ii) In the case of a special Government employee who is expected to serve for no more than 60 days in a calendar year on a board, commission, or committee, the agency must provide the ethics briefing before the first meeting of the board, commission, or committee.

(c) Qualifications of presenter. The employee conducting the briefing must have knowledge of government ethics laws and regulations and must be qualified, as the DAEO deems appropriate, to answer the types of basic and advanced questions that are likely to arise regarding the required content.

(d) Duration. The duration of the ethics briefing must be sufficient for the agency to communicate the required content.

(e) Format. The ethics briefing must be conducted live.

(f) Content. The ethics briefing must include the following activities.

(1) If the individual acquired new financial interests reportable under section 102 of the Act after filing the nominee financial disclosure report, the agency ethics official must appropriately address the potential for conflicts of interest arising from those financial interests.

(2) The agency ethics official must counsel the individual on the basic recusal obligation under 18 U.S.C. 208(a).

(3) The agency ethics official must explain the recusal obligations and other commitments addressed in the individual's ethics agreement and ensure that the individual understands what is specifically required in order to comply with each of them, including any deadline for compliance. The ethics official and the individual must establish a process by which the recusals will be achieved, which may consist of a screening arrangement or, when the DAEO deems appropriate, vigilance on the part of the individual with regard to recusal obligations as they arise in particular matters.

(4) The agency ethics official must provide the individual with instructions and the deadline for completing initial ethics training, unless the individual completes the initial ethics training either before or during the ethics briefing.

(g) Tracking. The DAEO must maintain a record of the date of the ethics briefing for each current employee covered by this section.

Example 1.

A group of ethics officials conducts initial ethics training for six Senate-confirmed Presidential appointees within 15 days of their appointments. At the end of the training, ethics officials meet individually with each of the appointees to conduct their ethics briefings. The agency and the appointees have complied with both § 2638.304 and § 2638.305.

Example 2.

The Senate confirms a nominee for a position as an Assistant Secretary. After the nominee's confirmation but several days before her appointment, the nominee completes her initial ethics briefing during a telephone call with an agency ethics official, and the ethics official records the date of the briefing. The agency and the nominee have complied with § 2638.305. During the telephone call, the ethics official also discusses the content required for initial ethics training and provides the nominee with instructions for accessing the required written materials online. The agency and the nominee have also complied with § 2638.304.

§ 2638.306 Notice to new supervisors.

The agency must provide each employee upon initial appointment to a supervisory position with the written information required under this section.

(a) Coverage. This requirement applies to each civilian employee who is required to receive training pursuant to 5 CFR 412.202(b).

(b) Deadline. The agency must provide the written materials required by this section within 1 year of the employee's initial appointment to the supervisory position.

(c) Written materials. The written materials must include contact information for the agency's ethics office and the text of § 2638.103. In addition, a copy of, a hyperlink to, or the address of a Web site containing the Principles of Ethical Conduct must be included, as well as such other information as the DAEO deems necessary for new supervisors.

(d) Tracking. Each agency must establish written procedures, which the DAEO must review each year, for supervisory ethics notices. In the case of an agency with 1,000 or more employees, the DAEO must review any submissions under § 2638.310 each year to confirm that the agency has implemented an appropriate process for meeting the requirements of this section.

§ 2638.307 Annual ethics training for confidential filers and certain other employees.

Each calendar year, employees covered by this section must complete ethics training that meets the following requirements.

(a) Coverage. In any calendar year, this section applies to the following employees, unless they are public filers:

(1) Each employee who is required to file an annual confidential financial disclosure report pursuant to § 2634.904 of this chapter during that calendar year, except an employee who ceases to be a confidential filer before the end of the calendar year;

(2) Employees appointed by the President and employees of the Executive Office of the President;

(3) Contracting officers described in 41 U.S.C. 2101; and

(4) Other employees designated by the head of the agency.

(b) Deadline. The employee must complete required annual ethics training before the end of the calendar year.

(c) Duration. Agencies must provide employees with 1 hour of duty time to complete interactive training and review any written materials.

(d) Format. The following formatting requirements apply.

(1) Except as provided in paragraph (d)(2) of this section, employees covered by this section are required to complete interactive training.

(2) If the DAEO determines that it is impracticable to provide interactive training to a special Government employee covered by this section who is expected to work no more than 60 days in a calendar year, or to an employee who is an officer in the uniformed services serving on active duty for no more 30 consecutive days, only the requirement to provide the written materials required by this section will apply to that employee each year. The DAEO may make the determination as to individual employees or a group of employees.

(e) Content. The following content requirements apply to annual ethics training for employees covered by this section.

(1) Training presentation. The training presentation must focus on government ethics laws and regulations that the DAEO deems appropriate for the employees participating in the training. The presentation must address concepts related to the following subjects:

(i) Financial conflicts of interest;

(ii) Impartiality;

(iii) Misuse of position; and

(iv) Gifts.

(2) Written materials. In addition to the training presentation, the agency must provide the employee with either the following written materials or written instructions for accessing them:

(i) The summary of the Standards of Conduct distributed by the Office of Government Ethics or an equivalent summary prepared by the agency;

(ii) Provisions of any supplemental agency regulations that the DAEO determines to be relevant or a summary of those provisions;

(iii) Such other written materials as the DAEO determines should be included; and

(iv) Instructions for contacting the agency's ethics office.

(f) Tracking. The following tracking requirements apply to training conducted pursuant to this section. An employee covered by this section must confirm in writing the completion of annual ethics training and must comply with any procedures established by the DAEO for such confirmation. If the DAEO or other presenter has knowledge that an employee completed required training, that individual may record the employee's completion of the training, in lieu of requiring the employee to provide written confirmation. In the case of an automated system that delivers interactive training, the DAEO may deem the employee to have confirmed the completion of the training if the system tracks completion automatically.

§ 2638.308 Annual ethics training for public filers.

Each calendar year, public filers and other employees specified in this section must complete ethics training that meets the following requirements.

(a) Coverage. In any calendar year, this section applies to each employee who is required to file an annual public financial disclosure report pursuant to § 2634.201(a) of this chapter during that calendar year, except for an employee who ceases to be a public filer during that calendar year.

(b) Deadline. A public filer must complete required annual ethics training before the end of the calendar year.

(c) Qualifications of presenter. The employee conducting any live training presentation must have knowledge of government ethics laws and regulations and must be qualified, as the DAEO deems appropriate, to answer the types of basic and advanced questions that are likely to arise regarding the required content.

(d) Duration. The duration of training must be sufficient for the agency to communicate the required content, but at least 1 hour. Agencies must provide employees with 1 hour of duty time to complete interactive training and review any written materials.

(e) Format. The annual ethics training must meet the following formatting requirements.

(1) Employees whose pay is set at Level I or Level II of the Executive Schedule must complete 1 hour of live training each year, unless a matter of vital national interest makes it necessary for an employee to complete interactive training in lieu of live training in a particular year.

(2) Other civilian employees identified in section 103(c) of the Act who are stationed in the United States must complete live training once every 2 years and interactive training in alternate years. In extraordinary circumstances, the DAEO may grant written authorization for an employee who is required to complete live training in a particular year to complete interactive training.

(3) All other employees covered by this section must complete interactive training.

(f) Content. The following content requirements apply to annual ethics training for employees covered by this section.

(1) Training presentation. The training presentation must focus on government ethics laws and regulations that the DAEO deems appropriate for the employees participating in the training. The presentation must address concepts related to the following subjects:

(i) Financial conflicts of interest;

(ii) Impartiality;

(iii) Misuse of position; and

(iv) Gifts.

(2) Written materials. In addition to the training presentation, the agency must provide the employee with either the following written materials or written instructions for accessing them:

(i) The summary of the Standards of Conduct distributed by the Office of Government Ethics or an equivalent summary prepared by the agency;

(ii) Provisions of any supplemental agency regulations that the DAEO determines to be relevant or a summary of those provisions;

(iii) Such other written materials as the DAEO determines should be included; and

(iv) Instructions for contacting the agency's ethics office.

(g) Tracking. The following tracking requirements apply to training conducted pursuant to this section. An employee covered by this section must confirm in writing the completion of annual ethics training and must comply with any procedures established by the DAEO for such confirmation. If the DAEO or other presenter has knowledge that an employee completed required training, that individual may record the employee's completion of the training, in lieu of requiring the employee to provide written confirmation. In the case of an automated system that delivers interactive training, the DAEO may deem the employee to have confirmed the completion of the training if the system tracks completion automatically.

Example 1.

The DAEO of a small agency distributes the written materials for annual training by emailing a link to a Web site that contains the required materials. He then conducts a live training session for all of the agency's public filers. He spends the first 15 minutes of the training addressing concepts related to financial conflicts of interest, impartiality, misuse of position, and gifts. Because several participants are published authors, he spends the next 15 minutes covering restrictions on compensation for speaking, teaching, and writing. He then spends 20 minutes discussing hypothetical examples related to the work of the agency and 10 minutes answering questions. The training meets the content requirements of this section. Further, because live training satisfies the requirements for interactive training, this training meets the formatting requirements for all public filers, including those required to complete interactive training.

Example 2.

An ethics official personally appears at each monthly senior staff meeting to conduct a 10-minute training session on government ethics. Across the year, he addresses concepts related to financial conflicts of interest, impartiality, misuse of position, gifts, and other subjects related to government ethics laws and regulations, although no one session covers all of these subjects. During each meeting, he distributes a one-page handout summarizing the key points of his presentation, takes questions, and provides contact information for employees who wish to pose additional questions. He records the names of the public filers in attendance at each meeting. Once a year, he emails them the required written materials, as well as the one-page summaries. While many of these public filers do not attend all 12 meetings, each attends at least six sessions during the calendar year. Although some of the filers missed the sessions that addressed gifts, they all received the handout summarizing the presentation on gifts. The training satisfies the annual training requirement for the public filers who attended the meetings, including those required to complete interactive training. Moreover, because the ethics official recorded the names of the public filers who attended, the filers are not required to separately confirm their completion of the training.

Example 3.

One of the Presidentially appointed, Senate-confirmed employees in Example 2 was required to complete live training that year. Because she attended only four senior staff meetings during the year, she completed only 40 minutes of annual ethics training. The DAEO allows the employee to spend 20 minutes reviewing the handouts and written materials and send an email confirming that she completed her review before the end of the calendar year. This arrangement satisfies the requirements for live annual training because a substantial portion of the training was live.

§ 2638.309 Agency-specific ethics education requirements.

The DAEO may establish additional requirements for the agency's ethics education program, with or without a supplemental agency regulation under § 2635.105 of this chapter.

(a) Groups of employees. The DAEO may establish specific government ethics training requirements for groups of agency employees.

(b) Employees performing ethics duties. The DAEO has an obligation to ensure that employees performing assigned ethics duties have the necessary expertise with regard to government ethics laws and regulations. If the DAEO determines that employees engaged in any activities described in §§ 2638.104 and 2638.105 require training, the DAEO may establish specific training requirements for them either as a group or individually.

(c) Procedures. The DAEO may establish specific procedures for training that the DAEO requires under paragraph (a) or (b) of this section, including any certification procedures the DAEO deems necessary. Agency employees must comply with the requirements and procedures that the DAEO establishes under this section.

§ 2638.310 Coordinating the agency's ethics education program.

In an agency with 1,000 or more employees, any office that is not under the supervision of the DAEO but has been delegated responsibility for issuing notices, pursuant to § 2638.303 or § 2638.306, or conducting training, pursuant to § 2638.304, must submit the following materials to the DAEO by January 15 each year:

(a) A written summary of procedures that office has established to ensure compliance with this subpart; and

(b) Written confirmation that there is a reasonable basis for concluding that the procedures have been implemented.

Subpart D—Correction of Executive Branch Agency Ethics Programs
§ 2638.401 In general.

The Office of Government Ethics has authority, pursuant to sections 402(b)(9) and 402(f)(1) of the Act, to take the action described in this subpart with respect to deficiencies in agency ethics programs. Agency ethics programs comprise the matters described in this subchapter for which agencies are responsible.

§ 2638.402 Informal action.

If the Director has information indicating that an agency ethics program is not compliant with the requirements set forth in applicable government ethics laws and regulations, the Director is authorized to take any or all of the measures described in this section. The Director may:

(a) Contact agency ethics officials informally to identify the relevant issues and resolve them expeditiously;

(b) Issue a notice of deficiency to make the agency aware of its possible noncompliance with an applicable government ethics law or regulation;

(c) Require the agency to respond in writing to the notice of deficiency;

(d) Require the agency to provide such additional information or documentation as the Director determines to be necessary;

(e) Issue an initial decision with findings as to the existence of a deficiency in the agency's ethics program;

(f) Require the agency to correct or, at the Director's discretion, satisfactorily mitigate any deficiency in its ethics program;

(g) Provide the agency with guidance on measures that would correct or satisfactorily mitigate any program deficiency;

(h) Monitor the agency's efforts to correct or satisfactorily mitigate the deficiency and require the agency to submit progress reports; or

(i) Take other actions authorized under the Act to resolve the matter informally.

§ 2638.403 Formal action.

If the Director determines that informal action, pursuant to § 2638.402, has not produced an acceptable resolution, the Director may issue an order directing the agency to take specific corrective action.

(a) Before issuing such an order, the Director will:

(1) Advise the agency in writing of the deficiency in its ethics program;

(2) Describe the action that the Director is considering taking;

(3) Provide the agency with 30 days to respond in writing; and

(4) Consider any timely written response submitted by the agency.

(b) If the Director is satisfied with the agency's response, no order will be issued.

(c) If the Director decides to issue an order, the order will describe the corrective action to be taken.

(d) If the agency does not comply with the order within a reasonable time, the Director will:

(1) Notify the head of the agency of intent to furnish a report of noncompliance to the President and the Congress;

(2) Provide the agency 14 calendar days within which to furnish written comments for submission with the report of noncompliance; and

(3) Report the agency's noncompliance to the President and to the Congress.

Subpart E—Corrective Action Involving Individual Employees
§ 2638.501 In general.

This subpart addresses the Director's limited authority, pursuant to sections 402(b)(9) and 402(f)(2) of the Act, to take certain actions with regard to individual employees if the Director suspects a violation of a noncriminal government ethics law or regulation. Section 402(f)(5) of the Act prohibits the Director from making any finding regarding a violation of a criminal law. Therefore, the Director will refer possible criminal violations to an Inspector General or the Department of Justice, pursuant to § 2638.502. If, however, the Director is concerned about a possible violation of a noncriminal government ethics law or regulation by an employee, the Director may notify the employee's agency, pursuant to § 2638.503. In the rare circumstance that an agency does not address a matter after receiving this notice, the Director may use the procedures in § 2638.504 to issue a nonbinding recommendation of a disciplinary action or an order to terminate an ongoing violation. Nothing in this subpart relieves an agency of its primary responsibility to ensure compliance with government ethics laws and regulations.

§ 2638.502 Violations of criminal provisions related to government ethics.

Consistent with section 402(f) of the Act, nothing in this subpart authorizes the Director or any agency official to make a finding as to whether a provision of title 18, United States Code, or any other criminal law of the United States outside of such title, has been or is being violated. If the Director has information regarding the violation of a criminal law by an individual employee, the Director will notify an Inspector General or the Department of Justice.

§ 2638.503 Recommendations and advice to employees and agencies.

The Director may make such recommendations and provide such advice to employees or agencies as the Director deems necessary to ensure compliance with applicable government ethics laws and regulations. The Director's authority under this section includes the authority to communicate with agency heads and other officials regarding government ethics and to recommend that the agency investigate a matter or consider taking disciplinary or corrective action against individual employees.

§ 2638.504 Violations of noncriminal provisions related to government ethics.

In the rare case that consultations made pursuant to § 2638.503 have not resolved the matter, the Director may use the procedures in this section if the Director has reason to believe that an employee is violating, or has violated, any noncriminal government ethics law or regulation. Any proceedings pursuant to this section will be conducted in accordance with applicable national security requirements.

(a) Agency investigation. The Director may recommend that the agency head or the Inspector General conduct an investigation. If the Director determines thereafter that an agency head has not conducted an investigation within a reasonable time, the Director will notify the President.

(b) Initiating further proceedings. Following an investigation pursuant to paragraph (a) of this section or a determination by the Director that an investigation has not been conducted within a reasonable time, the Director may either initiate further proceedings under this section or close the involvement of the Office of Government Ethics in the matter.

(1) If the Director initiates further proceedings, the Director will notify the employee in writing of the suspected violation, the right to respond orally and in writing, and the right to be represented. The notice will include instructions for submitting a written response and requesting an opportunity to present an oral response, copies of this section and sections 401-403 of the Act, and copies of the material relied upon by the Office of Government Ethics.

(2) If the Director is considering issuing an order directing the employee to take specific action to terminate an ongoing violation, the Director will also provide notice of the potential issuance of an order and the right to request a hearing, pursuant to paragraph (f) of this section.

(c) Employee's response. The employee will be provided with a reasonable opportunity to present an oral response to the General Counsel of the Office of Government Ethics within 30 calendar days of the date of the employee's receipt of the notice described in paragraph (b) of this section. If the employee fails to timely request an opportunity to present an oral response or fails to cooperate with reasonable efforts to schedule the oral response, only a timely submitted written response will be considered.

(d) General Counsel's recommendation. After affording the employee 30 calendar days to respond, the General Counsel will provide the Director with a written recommendation as to the action warranted by the circumstances. However, if the employee has timely exercised an applicable right to request a hearing pursuant to paragraph (g) of this section, the provisions of paragraph (g) will apply instead of the provisions of this paragraph.

(1) If the employee has not had an opportunity to comment on any newly obtained material relied upon for the recommendation, the General Counsel will provide the employee with an opportunity to comment on that material before submitting the recommendation to the Director.

(2) The recommendation will include findings of fact and a conclusion as to whether it is more likely than not that a violation has occurred. The General Counsel will provide the Director with copies of the material relied upon for the recommendation, including any timely written response and a transcript of any oral response of the employee.

(3) In the case of an ongoing violation, the General Counsel may recommend an order directing the employee to take specific action to terminate the violation, provided that the employee has been afforded the notice required under paragraph (f) of this section and an opportunity for a hearing.

(e) Decisions and orders of the Director. After reviewing the recommendation of the General Counsel pursuant to paragraph (d) of this section or, in the event of a hearing, the recommendation of the administrative law judge pursuant to paragraph (g)(7) of this section, the Director may issue a decision and, if applicable, an order. The authority of the Director to issue decisions and orders under this paragraph may not be delegated to any other official. The Director's decision will include written findings and conclusions with respect to all material issues and will be supported by substantial evidence of record.

(1) A copy of the decision and order will be furnished to the employee and, if applicable, the employee's representative. Copies will also be provided to the DAEO and the head of the agency or, where the employee is the head of an agency, to the President. The Director's decision and any order will be posted on the official Web site of the Office of Government Ethics, except to the extent prohibited by law.

(2) The Director's decision may include a nonbinding recommendation that appropriate disciplinary or corrective action be taken against the employee. If the agency head does not take the action recommended within a reasonable period of time, the Director may notify the President.

(3) In the case of an ongoing violation, the Director may issue an order directing the employee to take specific action to terminate the violation, provided that the employee has been afforded the notice required under paragraph (f) of this section and an opportunity for a hearing.

(f) Notice of the right to request a hearing regarding an order to terminate a violation. Before an order to terminate an ongoing violation may be recommended or issued under this section, the employee must be provided with written notice of the potential issuance of an order, the right to request a hearing, and instructions for requesting a hearing.

(1) If the employee submits a written request for a hearing within 30 calendar days of the date of the employee's receipt of the notice, the hearing will be conducted pursuant to paragraph (g) of this section;

(2) If the employee does not submit a written request for a hearing within 30 days of receipt of the notice, the General Counsel may issue a recommendation, pursuant to paragraph (d) of this section, in lieu of a hearing after first considering any timely response of the employee, pursuant to paragraph (c) of this section; and

(3) If the employee timely submits written requests for both a hearing, pursuant to paragraph (f) of this section, and an oral response, pursuant to paragraph (c) of this section, only a hearing will be conducted, pursuant to paragraph (g) of this section.

(g) Hearings. If, after receiving a notice required pursuant to paragraph (f) of this section, the employee submits a timely request for a hearing, an administrative law judge who has been appointed under 5 U.S.C. 3105 will serve as the hearing officer, and the following procedures will apply to the hearing. An employee of the Office of Government Ethics will be assigned to provide the administrative law judge with logistical support in connection with the hearing.

(1) The General Counsel of the Office of Government Ethics will designate attorneys to present evidence and argument at the hearing in support of a possible finding that the employee is engaging in an ongoing violation. The General Counsel will serve as Advisor to the Director and will not, in connection with the presentation of evidence and argument against the employee, direct or supervise these attorneys. Any attorney who presents evidence, argument, or testimony against the employee at the hearing will be recused from assisting the Director or the General Counsel in connection with the contemplated order.

(2) The administrative law judge will issue written instructions for the conduct of the hearing, including deadlines for submitting lists of proposed witnesses and exchanging copies of documentary evidence. The hearing will be conducted informally, and the administrative law judge may make such rulings as are necessary to ensure that the hearing is conducted equitably and expeditiously.

(3) The parties to the hearing will be the employee and the attorneys of the Office of Government Ethics designated to present evidence and arguments supporting a finding that a violation is ongoing, respectively. The parties will not engage in ex parte communications with the administrative law judge, unless the administrative law judge authorizes limited ex parte communications regarding scheduling and logistical matters.

(4) If either party requests assistance in securing the appearance of an approved witness who is an employee, the administrative law judge may, at his or her discretion, notify the General Counsel, who will assist the Director in requesting that the head of the employing agency produce the witness, pursuant to section 403(a)(1) of the Act. The Director will notify the President if an agency head fails to produce the approved witness.

(5) The hearing will be conducted on the record and witnesses will be placed under oath and subject to cross-examination. Following the hearing, the administrative law judge will provide each party with a copy of the hearing transcript.

(6) Hearings will generally be open to the public, but the administrative law judge may issue a written order closing, in whole or in part, the hearing in the best interests of national security, the employee, a witness, or an affected person. The order will set forth the reasons for closing the hearing and, along with any objection to the order by a party, will be made a part of the record. Unless specifically excluded by the administrative law judge, the DAEO of the employee's agency will be permitted to attend a closed hearing. If the administrative law judge denies a request by a party or an affected person to close the hearing, in whole or in part, that denial will be immediately appealable by the requester. The requester must file a notice of appeal with the Director within 3 working days. In the event that such a notice is filed, the hearing will be held in abeyance pending resolution of the appeal. The notice of appeal, exclusive of attachments, may not exceed 10 pages of double-spaced type. The Director will afford the parties and, if not a party, the requester the opportunity to make an oral presentation in person or via telecommunications technology within 3 working days of the filing of the appeal. The oral presentation will be conducted on the record. If the appellant or either party is unavailable to participate in the oral presentation within the 3-working-day period, the Director will convene the oral presentation without that party or affected person. The Director will issue a decision on the appeal within 3 working days of the oral presentation. If the Director is unavailable during this time period, the Director may designate a senior executive of the Office of Government Ethics to hear the oral presentation and decide the appeal. The notice of appeal, the record of the oral presentation, the decision on the appeal, and any other document considered by the Director or the Director's designee in connection with the appeal will be made a part of the record of the hearing.

(7) After closing the record, the administrative law judge will certify the entire record to the Director for decision. When so certifying the record, the administrative law judge will make a recommended decision, which will include his or her written findings of fact and conclusions of law with respect to material issues. After considering the certified record, the Director may issue a decision and an order, pursuant to paragraph (e) of this section.

(h) Dismissal. The Director may dismiss a proceeding under this section at any time, without a finding as to the alleged violation, upon a finding that:

(1) The employee or the agency has taken appropriate action to address the Director's concerns;

(2) The employee has undertaken, or agreed in writing to undertake, measures the Director deems satisfactory; or

(3) A question has arisen involving the potential application of a criminal law.

(i) Notice procedure. The notices required by paragraphs (b)(1) and (f) of this section may be delivered by U.S. mail, electronic mail, or personal delivery. There will be a rebuttable presumption that notice sent by U.S. mail is received within 5 working days. If the agency does not promptly provide the Office of Government Ethics with an employee's contact information upon request, the notice may be sent to the agency's DAEO, who will bear responsibility for promptly delivering that notice to the employee and promptly notifying the Director after its delivery.

Subpart F—General Provisions
§ 2638.601 Authority and purpose.

(a) Authority. The regulations of this part are issued pursuant to the authority of titles I and IV of the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 (Pub. L. 95-521, as amended) (“the Act”).

(b) Purpose. These executive branch regulations supplement and implement titles I, IV and V of the Act and set forth more specifically certain procedures provided in those titles, and furnish examples, where appropriate.

(c) Agency authority. Subject only to the authority of the Office of Government Ethics as the supervising ethics office for the executive branch, all authority conferred on agencies in this subchapter B of chapter XVI of title 5 of the Code of Federal Regulations is sole and exclusive authority.

§ 2638.602 Agency regulations.

Each agency may, subject to the prior approval of the Office of Government Ethics, issue regulations not inconsistent with this part and this subchapter, using the procedures set forth in § 2635.105 of this chapter.

§ 2638.603 Definitions.

For the purposes of this part:

Act means the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 (Pub. L. 95-521, as amended).

ADAEO or Alternate Designated Agency Ethics Official means an officer or employee who is designated by the head of the agency as the primary deputy to the DAEO in coordinating and managing the agency's ethics program in accordance with the provisions of § 2638.104.

Agency or agencies means any executive department, military department, Government corporation, independent establishment, board, commission, or agency, including the United States Postal Service and Postal Regulatory Commission, of the executive branch.

Agency head means the head of an agency. In the case of a department, it means the Secretary of the department. In the case of a board or commission, it means the Chair of the board or commission.

Confidential filer means an employee who is required to file a confidential financial disclosure report pursuant to § 2634.904 of this chapter.

Conflict of interest laws means 18 U.S.C. 202-209, and conflict of interest law means any provision of 18 U.S.C. 202-209.

Corrective action means any action necessary to remedy a past violation or prevent a continuing violation of this part, including but not limited to restitution, change of assignment, disqualification, divestiture, termination of an activity, waiver, the creation of a qualified diversified or blind trust, or counseling.

DAEO or Designated Agency Ethics Official means an officer or employee who is designated by the head of the agency to coordinate and manage the agency's ethics program in accordance with the provisions of § 2638.104.

Department means a department of the executive branch.

Director means the Director of the Office of Government Ethics.

Disciplinary action means those disciplinary actions referred to in Office of Personnel Management regulations and instructions implementing provisions of title 5 of the United States Code or provided for in comparable provisions applicable to employees not subject to title 5.

Employee means any officer or employee of an agency, including a special Government employee. It includes officers but not enlisted members of the uniformed services. It includes employees of a state or local government or other organization who are serving on detail to an agency, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 3371, et seq. It does not include the President or Vice President. Status as an employee is unaffected by pay or leave status or, in the case of a special Government employee, by the fact that the individual does not perform official duties on a given day.

Executive branch includes each executive agency as defined in 5 U.S.C. 105 and any other entity or administrative unit in the executive branch. However, it does not include any agency, entity, office, or commission that is defined by or referred to in 5 U.S.C. app. sections 109(8)-(11) of the Act as within the judicial or legislative branch.

Government ethics laws and regulations include, among other applicable authorities, the provisions related to government ethics or financial disclosure of the following authorities:

(1) Chapter 11 of title 18 of the United States Code;

(2) The Ethics in Government Act of 1978 (Pub. L. 95-521, as amended);

(3) The Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act of 2012 (STOCK Act) (Pub. L. 112-105, as amended);

(4) Executive Order 12674 (Apr. 12, 1989) as amended by Executive Order 12731 (Oct. 17, 1990); and

(5) Subchapter B of this chapter.

Lead human resources official means the agency's chief policy advisor on all human resources management issues who is charged with selecting, developing, training, and managing a high-quality, productive workforce. For agencies covered by the Chief Human Capital Officers Act of 2002 (Pub. L. 107-296), the Chief Human Capital Officer is the lead human resources official.

Person includes an individual, partnership, corporation, association, government agency, or public or private organization.

Principles of Ethical Conduct means the collection of general principles set forth in § 2635.101(b) of this chapter.

Public filer means an employee, former employee, or nominee who is required to file a public financial disclosure report, pursuant to § 2634.202 of this chapter.

Senior executive means a career or noncareer appointee in the Senior Executive Service or equivalent federal executive service. It also includes employees in Senior Level (SL) and Senior Technical (ST) positions. In addition, it includes equivalent positions in agencies that do not have a federal executive service.

Special Government employee means an employee who meets the definition at 18 U.S.C. 202(a). The term does not relate to a specific category of employee, and 18 U.S.C. 202(a) is not an appointment authority. The term describes individuals appointed to positions in the executive branch, the legislative branch, any independent agency of the United States, or the District of Columbia who are covered less expansively by conflict of interest laws at 18 U.S.C. 202-209. As a general matter, an individual appointed to a position in the legislative or executive branch who is expected to serve for 130 days or less during any period of 365 consecutive days is characterized as a special Government employee. The appointment of special Government employees is not administered or overseen by the Office of Government Ethics but is carried out under legal authorities administered by the Office of Personnel Management and other agencies.

Standards of Conduct means the Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch set forth in part 2635 of this chapter.

§ 2638.604 Key program dates.

Except as amended by program advisories of the Office of Government Ethics, the following list summarizes key deadlines of the executive branch ethics program:

(a) January 15 is the deadline for:

(1) The Office of Government Ethics to issue its year-end status reports, pursuant to § 2638.108(a)(11); and

(2) In an agency with 1,000 or more employees, any office not under the supervision of the DAEO that provides notices or training required under subpart C of this part to provide a written summary and confirmation, pursuant to § 2638.310.

(b) February 1 is the deadline for the DAEO to submit the annual report on the agency's ethics program, pursuant to § 2638.207.

(c) February 15 is the deadline for employees to file annual confidential financial disclosure reports, pursuant to § 2634.903(a) of this chapter.

(d) May 15 is the deadline for employees to file annual public financial disclosure reports, pursuant to § 2634.201(a) of this chapter.

(e) May 31 is the deadline for the agency to submit required travel reports to the Office of Government Ethics, pursuant to § 2638.107(g).

(f) July 1 is the deadline for the DAEO to submit a letter stating whether components currently designated should remain designated, pursuant to § 2641.302(e)(2) of this chapter.

(g) November 30 is the deadline for the agency to submit required travel reports to the Office of Government Ethics, pursuant to § 2638.107(h).

(h) December 31 is the deadline for completion of annual ethics training for employees covered by §§ 2638.307 and 2638.308.

(i) By the deadline specified in the request is the deadline, pursuant to § 2638.202, for submission of all documents and information requested by the Office of Government Ethics in connection with a review of the agency's ethics program, except when the submission of the information or reports would be prohibited by law.

(j) Prior to appointment whenever practicable but in no case more than 15 days after appointment is the deadline, pursuant to § 2638.105(a)(1), for the lead human resources official to notify the DAEO that the agency has appointed a confidential or public financial disclosure filer.

(k) Prior to termination whenever practicable but in no case more than 15 days after termination is the deadline, pursuant to § 2638.105(a)(2), for the lead human resources official to notify the DAEO of the termination of a public financial disclosure filer.

(l) Within 15 days of appointment is the deadline for certain agency leaders to complete ethics briefings, pursuant to § 2638.305(b).

(m) Within 30 days of designation is the deadline for the agency head to notify the Director of the designation of any DAEO or ADAEO, pursuant to § 2638.107(a).

(n) Within 3 months of appointment is the deadline for new employees to complete initial ethics training, pursuant to § 2638.304(b).

(o) Within 1 year of appointment is the deadline for new supervisors to receive supervisory ethics notices, pursuant to § 2638.306(b).

(p) Not later than 12 months before any Presidential election is the deadline for the agency head or the DAEO to evaluate whether the agency's ethics program has an adequate number of trained agency ethics officials to deliver effective support in the event of a Presidential transition, pursuant to § 2638.210(a).

[FR Doc. 2016-26418 Filed 11-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6345-03-P
DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR 5 CFR Part 3501 [Docket ID: DOI-2016-0007; 167D0102R2; DS636440000; DR2000000.CH7000] RIN 1092-AA12 Supplemental Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Department of the Interior AGENCY:

Department of the Interior (DOI).

ACTION:

Direct final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Department of the Interior (DOI), with the concurrence of the Office of Government Ethics (OGE), is amending the Supplemental Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Department of the Interior (Supplemental Standards). The Supplemental Standards apply only to DOI personnel and augment the Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch (OGE Standards). This direct final rule amends portions of the Supplemental Standards to account for the current DOI structure resulting from organizational changes that established new bureaus and an office within DOI.

DATES:

This rule is effective on January 3, 2017 unless we receive any significant adverse comments on or before December 2, 2016. If adverse comment is received, DOI will publish a timely withdrawal of the rule in the Federal Register.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments on this rule by either of the methods listed below. Please use Regulation Identifier Number 1092-AA12 in your message.

1. Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. In the “Search” bar, enter DOI-2016-0007 (the docket number for this rule) and then click “Search.” Follow the instructions on the Web site for submitting comments.

2. U.S. mail, courier, or hand delivery: Departmental Ethics Office, Department of the Interior, 1849 C Street NW., MS 7346, Washington, DC 20240.

We request that you send comments only by one of the methods described above. We will post all comments on http://www.regulations.gov. This generally means that we will post any personal information you provide us.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Edward McDonnell, Departmental Ethics Office, [email protected], (202) 208-5916. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

I. Background

On August 7, 1992, OGE published the OGE Standards, which, as corrected and amended, are codified at 5 CFR part 2635 (57 FR 35006). Effective on February 3, 1993, the OGE Standards establish uniform standards of ethical conduct that apply to all executive branch officers and employees. Section 2635.105 of the OGE Standards authorizes an agency, with the concurrence of OGE, to adopt and jointly issue agency-specific supplemental regulations that are necessary to properly implement its ethics program. On October 16, 1997, DOI, with OGE's concurrence and joint issuance, established the Supplemental Standards that became effective on June 24, 1998. See 62 FR 53713-53726; 63 FR 34258-34259. Employees of DOI are subject to the Supplemental Standards promulgated by OGE and DOI. The Supplemental Standards are necessary for successful implementation of DOI's ethics program in light of DOI's unique programs and operations. DOI is therefore amending portions of the Supplemental Standards to account for current DOI structure resulting from organizational changes that established new bureaus and an office within DOI.

II. Analysis of the Regulation A. Section 3501.102 Designation of Separate Agency Components

The direct final rule amends § 3501.102(a) of the Supplemental Standards to reflect the current organizational structure mandated by Secretarial Order 3299 issued on May 19, 2010, and as further amended, in accordance with statutory authority that resulted in the establishment of new bureaus and an office within DOI. As currently organized and relevant to the Supplemental Standards, the duties and responsibilities of the former Minerals Management Service (MMS) were separated and reassigned to two newly established bureaus and an office. The new bureaus and office are the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), and the Office of Natural Resources Revenue (ONRR). BOEM and BSEE are distinct and separate bureaus under the Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management. Section 2635.203(a) of the OGE Standards authorizes an executive department, by supplemental regulation, to designate as a separate agency any component of the department that the department determines exercises a distinct and separate function. Pursuant to this authority, DOI amends the Supplemental Standards to designate BOEM and BSEE as separate agencies in § 3501.102(a) for purposes of the regulations contained in subpart B of 5 CFR part 2635, government gifts from outside sources, including determining whether the donor of a gift is a prohibited source under 5 CFR 2635.203(d); 5 CFR 2635.807 governing teaching, speaking and writing; and § 3501.105(b) of this part governing prior approval requirements for outside employment by an employee with a prohibited source (other than for an employee of the U.S. Geological Survey or for a special Government employee). ONRR is organizationally placed within DOI under the Assistant Secretary for Policy, Management and Budget. Therefore, ONRR is included in the remainder of DOI under § 3501.102(b).

B. Section 3501.103 Prohibited Interests in Federal Lands

The direct final rule amends § 3501.103(b)(1)(i) of the Supplemental Standards to include all BOEM, BSEE and ONRR employees in the restrictions against holding financial interests in Federal lands or resources administered or controlled by DOI. Following the establishment of MMS in 1982, to address ethics concerns, DOI promulgated a regulation extending the restrictions on ownership of interests in Federal lands to all employees of the MMS. See 62 FR 53714 (October 16, 1997). Therefore, in order to continue to protect the integrity of the programs of the former MMS, that were subsequently reassigned to the newly established entities of BOEM, BSEE and ONRR, DOI is revising § 3501.103(b) to explicitly cover all employees of these three entities.

Procedural Matters Regulatory Planning and Review (Executive Order (E.O.) 12866 and 13563)

Executive Order 12866 provides that the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) will review all significant rules. The OIRA has determined that this rule is not significant.

Executive Order 13563 reaffirms the principles of E.O. 12866 while calling for improvements in the nation's regulatory system to promote predictability, to reduce uncertainty, and to use the best, most innovative, and least burdensome tools for achieving regulatory ends. The executive order directs agencies to consider regulatory approaches that reduce burdens and maintain flexibility and freedom of choice for the public where these approaches are relevant, feasible, and consistent with regulatory objectives. Executive Order 13563 emphasizes further that regulations must be based on the best available science and that the rulemaking process must allow for public participation and an open exchange of ideas. We have developed this rule in a manner consistent with these requirements.

This direct final rule is not a “significant regulatory action” under section 3(f) of E.O. 12866, Regulatory Planning and Review, as supplemented by E.O. 13563, Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review, and does not require an assessment of potential costs and benefits under section 6(a)(3) of that Order. Accordingly, this direct final rule is not subject to review by OMB. As discussed previously, this direct final rule only regulates DOI employees and consequently does not impose any additional direct costs on the private sector. In addition, DOI does not believe this rulemaking would increase government costs. The direct final rule is also expected to result in stronger public confidence in the integrity of DOI programs and operations.

This direct final rule will not impact the ability of BOEM, BSEE or ONRR to accomplish their missions and will not impact off-shore operators, lessees, contractors, or third parties. It is an internal procedural rule applicable solely to BOEM, BSEE, and ONRR employees and establishes rules for ethical conduct in the performance of official duties that protects their integrity and impartiality.

Administrative Procedures Act—Direct Final Rule

We are publishing this rule as a direct final rule because we view this action as an administrative action that relates solely to certain DOI employees and is non-controversial. This rule will be effective on the date shown in the DATES section unless we receive any significant adverse comments on or before the deadline for comments set forth in the DATES section. Significant adverse comments are comments that provide strong justifications why the rule should not be adopted or for changing the rule. If we receive any significant adverse comments, we will publish a notice in the Federal Register withdrawing this rule before the effective date. If we receive no significant adverse comments, we will publish a document in the Federal Register confirming the effective date.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

DOI certifies that this direct final rule will not have a significant economic effect on a substantial number of small entities under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.). It does not affect any small entities. It affects only certain DOI employees.

Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

This direct final rule is not a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804(2) of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act. This direct final rule:

a. Will not have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more.

b. Will not cause a major increase in costs or prices for consumers, individual industries, Federal, State, or local government agencies, or geographic regions.

c. Will not have significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or the ability of U.S.-based enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

This direct final rule will not impose an unfunded mandate on State, local, or tribal governments or the private sector of more than $100 million per year. The direct final rule will not have a significant or unique effect on State, local, or tribal governments or the private sector. A statement containing the information required by the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (2 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) is not required.

Takings Implication Assessment (E.O. 12630)

Under the criteria in E.O. 12630, this direct final rule does not have significant takings implications. The direct final rule is not a governmental action capable of interference with constitutionally protected property rights. A Takings Implication Assessment is not required.

Federalism (E.O. 13132)

Under the criteria in E.O. 13132, this direct final rule does not have sufficient federalism implications to warrant the preparation of a Federalism Assessment. This direct final rule will not substantially and directly affect the relationship between the Federal and State governments. A Federalism Assessment is not required.

Civil Justice Reform (E.O. 12988)

This direct final rule complies with the requirements of E.O. 12988. Specifically, this direct final rule:

(a) Meets the criteria of section 3(a) requiring that all regulations be reviewed to eliminate errors and ambiguity and be written to minimize litigation; and

(b) Meets the criteria of section 3(b)(2) requiring that all regulations be written in clear language and contain clear legal standards.

Consultation With Indian Tribes (E.O. 13175)

The Department of the Interior strives to strengthen its government-to-government relationship with Indian tribes through a commitment to consultation with Indian tribes and recognition of their right to self-governance and tribal sovereignty. We have evaluated this direct final rule under the Department's consultation policy and under the criteria in E.O. 13175 and have determined that it has no potential effects on federally recognized Indian tribes.

Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA)

The direct final rule contains no new public reporting or recordkeeping requirements, and an OMB submission under the PRA is not required. The PRA provides that an agency may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. Until OMB approves a collection of information and assigns a control number, the public is not required to respond.

National Environmental Policy Act

This direct final rule does not constitute a major Federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment. DOI analyzed this direct final rule under the criteria of the National Environmental Policy Act and implementing regulations issued by the Council on Environmental Quality (40 CFR parts 1500-1508) and DOI (43 CFR part 46). This direct final rule meets the criteria set forth in 43 CFR 46.210(i) for a Departmental “Categorical Exclusion” in that this direct final rule is a regulation “of an administrative, financial, legal, technical, or procedural nature; or whose environmental effects are too broad, speculative, or conjectural to lend themselves to meaningful analysis. . . .” Further, DOI has analyzed this direct final rule to determine if it meets any of the extraordinary circumstances that will require an environmental assessment or an environmental impact statement as set forth in 43 CFR 46.205. DOI has concluded that this direct final rule does not meet any of the criteria for extraordinary circumstances as set forth in 43 CFR 46.215(a) through (l).

Data Quality Act

In developing this direct final rule, we did not conduct or use a study, experiment, or survey requiring peer review under the Data Quality Act (Pub. L. 106-554, app. C § 515, 114 Stat. 2763, 2763A-153-154).

Effects on the Nation's Energy Supply (E.O. 13211)

This direct final rule is not a significant energy action under the definition in E.O. 13211. A Statement of Energy Effects is not required.

Clarity of This Regulation

Executive Orders 12866 and 12988 and the Presidential Memorandum of June 1, 1998, require the Department to write all rules in plain language. This means that each rule the Department publishes must:

(a) Be logically organized;

(b) Use the active voice to address readers directly;

(c) Use clear language rather than jargon;

(d) Be divided into short sections and sentences; and

(e) Use lists and tables wherever possible.

If you feel that the Department did not meet these requirements, please send comments by one of the methods listed in the ADDRESSES section. To better help the Department revise the rule, your comments should be as specific as possible. For example, you should tell us the numbers of the sections or paragraphs that are unclearly written, which sections or sentences are too long, and the sections where you believe lists or tables would be useful.

Public Availability of Comments

Before including your address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment—including your personal identifying information—may be made publicly available at any time. While you can ask the Department in your comment to withhold your personal identifying information from public review, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

If you send an email comment directly to the Department without going through http://www.regulations.gov, your email address will be automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is placed in the public docket and made available on the Internet. If you submit an electronic comment, the Department recommends that you include your name and other contact information in the body of your comment and with any disk or CD-ROM you submit. If the Department cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, the Department may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic files should avoid the use of special characters, avoid any form of encryption, and be free of any defects or viruses.

The Department cannot ensure that comments received after the close of the comment period (see DATES) will be included in the docket for this rulemaking and considered. Comments sent to an address other than those listed above will not be included in the docket for this rulemaking.

List of Subjects in 5 CFR Part 3501

Conflict of interests, Department components, Gifts, Government employees, Prior approval of outside employment, Speaking and writing, and Teaching.

Dated: October 27, 2016. Melinda J. Loftin, Designated Agency Ethics Official, Department of the Interior. Approved: October 27, 2016. Walter M. Shaub, Jr., Director, U.S. Office of Government Ethics.

For the reasons stated in the preamble, DOI, with the concurrence of OGE, amends title 5 of CFR part 3501 as follows:

PART 3501—SUPPLEMENTAL STANDARDS OF ETHICAL CONDUCT FOR EMPLOYEES OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR 1. The authority citation for part 3501 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

5 U.S.C. 301, 7301; 5 U.S.C. App. (Ethics in Government Act of 1978); 30 U.S.C. 1211; 43 U.S.C. 11, 31(a); E.O. 12674, 3 CFR, 1989 Comp., p. 215, as modified by E.O. 12731, 3 CFR, 1990 Comp., p. 306; 5 CFR 2635.105, 2635.203(a), 2635.403(a), 2635.502, 2635.803, 2635.807.

2. In § 3501.102 revise paragraph (a) to read as follows:
§ 3501.102 Designation of separate agency components.

(a) Each of the following eleven components of the Department is designated as an agency separate from each of the other ten listed components and, for employees of that component, as an agency distinct from the remainder of the Department, for purposes of the regulations in subpart B of 5 CFR part 2635 governing gifts from outside sources, 5 CFR 2635.807 governing teaching, speaking and writing, and § 3501.105 requiring prior approval of outside employment. However, the following eleven components are not deemed to be separate agencies for purposes of applying any provision of 5 CFR part 2635 or this part to employees of the remainder of the Department:

(1) Bureau of Indian Affairs, including the Office of Indian Education Programs;

(2) Bureau of Land Management;

(3) Bureau of Reclamation;

(4) Bureau of Ocean Energy Management;

(5) Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement;

(6) National Indian Gaming Commission;

(7) National Park Service;

(8) Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement;

(9) Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians;

(10) U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; and

(11) U.S. Geological Survey.

3. In § 3501.103 revise the heading of paragraph (b), and paragraph (b)(1)(i), to read as follows:
§ 3501.103 Prohibited interest in Federal lands.

(b) Prohibited financial interests in Federal lands for employees of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, and the Office of Natural Resources Revenue and for the Secretary and employees of the Office of the Secretary and other Departmental offices reporting directly to a Secretarial officer who are in positions classified at GS-15 and above. (1) * * *

(i) All employees of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, and Office of Natural Resources Revenue; and

[FR Doc. 2016-26458 Filed 11-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4335-30-P
FEDERAL HOUSING FINANCE AGENCY 12 CFR Parts 1200, 1201, 1229, 1238, 1239, 1261, 1264, 1266, 1267, 1269, 1270, 1273, 1274, 1278, 1281, 1282, 1290, and 1291 RIN 2590-AA80 Technical and Conforming Changes and Corrections to FHFA Regulations AGENCY:

Federal Housing Finance Agency.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) is amending its rules to make a number of conforming changes and corrections intended to fix citations, provide for consistent use of terminology, and remove duplicative definitions. FHFA is also removing provisions that are no longer applicable, clarifying other provisions by incorporating language to implement existing FHFA regulatory interpretations, and making other changes and corrections.

DATES:

Effective December 2, 2016.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Thomas E. Joseph, Associate General Counsel, [email protected], 202-649-3076 (this is not a toll-free number), Office of General Counsel, Federal Housing Finance Agency, 400 Seventh Street SW., Washington, DC 20219. The telephone number for the Telecommunications Device for the Hearing Impaired is 800-877-8339.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

Effective July 30, 2008, the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA) 1 created FHFA as a new independent agency of the federal government. HERA transferred to FHFA the supervisory and oversight responsibilities of the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO) over the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) (collectively, the Enterprises), and of the Federal Housing Finance Board (Finance Board) over the Federal Home Loan Banks (Banks) and the Bank System's Office of Finance. Under the legislation, the Enterprises, the Banks, and the Office of Finance continue to operate under regulations promulgated by OFHEO and the Finance Board until such regulations are superseded by regulations issued by FHFA.2

1 Public Law 110-289, 122 Stat. 2654.

2See 12 U.S.C. 4511, note.

II. The Final Rule A. The Proposed Amendments

In May 2016, FHFA issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPR) that would have amended its regulations to make a number of technical and conforming changes and corrections that corrected citations, provided for consistent use of terminology, and removed outdated or duplicative provisions and definitions.3 While most of the changes represented technical corrections, some of the proposed changes removed provisions that FHFA believed were no longer applicable, clarified provisions to incorporate FHFA regulatory interpretations of the particular rule, or changed provisions to better reflect statutory requirements. As a result, FHFA requested public comments on all of the proposed changes. The comment period for the NPR closed on July 25, 2016.

3See, Proposed Rule: Technical and Conforming Changes and Corrections to FHFA Regulations, 81 FR 33424 (May 26, 2016) (hereinafter “Proposed Rule”).

FHFA intended the NPR to address errors that had arisen in its regulations as it amended, readopted, and transferred a large number of the Finance Board or OFHEO regulations. Given that this process occurred over several years, not all cross-references in the FHFA current regulations are correct. In addition, in January 2013, FHFA adopted 12 CFR part 1201 (part 1201), which provides general definitions of terms used in all FHFA's regulations. Not all terminology in FHFA's regulations is consistent with the terms in part 1201. FHFA also identified certain provisions in its regulations that require corrections to bring them more in line with statutory mandates. Finally, a number of provisions in the regulations address now-completed transition periods or events or otherwise do not have future applicability to the Enterprises or the Banks.

B. Comments Received

FHFA received two comments on the NPR. One comment letter was a joint letter from all eleven Banks. The other came from a smaller group of Banks. One comment letter objected to the proposed removal of the provision on out-of-district advances from the regulations and to statements FHFA made in the preamble of the proposed rule about the need for Banks to assure that members capitalize any participated advances. It also identified additional errors in current regulations that FHFA had not included in the proposed rule and suggested a change to one of the definitions proposed by FHFA. The other letter did not comment specifically on any amendments proposed by FHFA but objected to some aspects of what FHFA described in the preamble as the current policy for identifying which Bank directorships would be eliminated when a state is slated to lose a director's seat as a result of the annual designation of directorships.4

4See Proposed Rule, 81 FR at 33427-28.

Proposal To Remove § 1266.25. One comment letter objected to FHFA's proposal to remove from its regulations § 1266.25, a provision that authorizes a Bank to become a creditor to a member of another Bank through the purchase of an outstanding advance (or a participation interest therein) from the other Bank, or “through an arrangement with the other Bank that provides for the establishment of such a creditor/debtor relationship at the time the advance is made.” The commenters believed that removal of the provision, coupled with FHFA's statement in the preamble that non-members of a purchasing Bank would need to capitalize any participation interest in their advances that are sold to that Bank, will result in eliminating long-standing authority that allowed Banks to purchase such advances.5 The commenters contended that when the Finance Board adopted the predecessor regulation to § 1266.25 in 2000, it did not mention requiring non-member capitalization of such out-of-district participation interests, but instead stated that the purpose of the rule was to assure that the Bank performed the same level of due diligence as that applied to in-district advances.

5 In the NPR, FHFA noted that:

Removal of this provision [§ 1266.25] would not prevent one Bank from selling an advance or participation to another Bank, based solely on the statutory authority, but FHFA would expect that before doing so a Bank would first obtain the concurrence of FHFA about how a non-member could capitalize those advances through some means other than buying stock. Proposed Rule, 81 FR at 33430.

While the comment letter contended that the Finance Board did not require the capitalization of participation interests in advances when it originally adopted what is currently § 1266.25, the rule specifically states that any creditor/debtor relationships established under the rule “shall be subject to all the provisions of [the advances regulation] that would apply to an advance made by a Bank to its own members or housing associates.” 6 One of the provisions in the Finance Board advances regulation, at the time current § 1266.25, was originally adopted in 2000, prohibited a Bank from making an advance to one of its members if the aggregate amount of the outstanding advances to that member would exceed 20 times the amount paid in by such member for the Bank's capital stock.7 Thus, as written, the out-of-district advances rule by its terms would appear to have required the capitalization of an out-of-district advance involving a member of another Bank, whether it was established through sale of a participation interest or through creation of a direct creditor/debtor relationship between a Bank and a member of another Bank.

6 The commenter noted that current § 1266.25 is identical, except for some minor changes in word order, to the provision adopted at 12 CFR 950.18 in July 2000.

7See 12 CFR 935.15(a) (2000). Effective February 18, 2000, § 935.15 of the Finance Board regulations was re-designated without substantive change as § 950.15. See 65 FR 8253, 8254 (Feb. 18, 2000). This provision was again later re-designated without further amendment as § 950.11 in July 2000. See 65 FR. 44414, 44430 (July 18, 2000). This provision is currently found at 12 CFR 1266.11(a) but applied only to Banks that had not converted to the Gramm-Leach-Bliley capital structure. As a consequence, FHFA proposed to delete it in the NPR. See Proposed Rule, 81 FR at 33430.

In fact, part of FHFA's reason for proposing to delete § 1266.25 is the ambiguity and difficulty in applying the broad requirement that any participation interest in an advance or direct creditor/debtor relationship with an out-of-district member meet all requirements of the advances regulation, as if that out-of-district member were a member of the Bank ultimately holding the advance.8 Moreover, as FHFA also noted, the provision does not add meaningfully to the clear statutory authority that allows Banks to buy or sell advances or participation interests in advances to other Banks.9 As written, § 1266.25 requires that in order to purchase an advance or participation interest in an advance made by another Bank, the purchasing Bank would have to assure the transaction is structured to meet all the same requirements that apply to an advance that the purchasing Bank makes to its own members. This requirement appears to add complexity to these sales and to create uncertainties for these transactions. As a result, the comments received in response to the proposal to delete § 1266.25 do not alter FHFA's underlying reasons for proposing to remove the provision, and FHFA has determined to adopt the final rule as proposed.

8See id.

9 12 U.S.C. 1430 (d) provides in relevant part that: “Any Federal Home Loan Bank shall have power to sell to any other Federal Home Loan Bank, with or without recourse, any advance made under the provision of this chapter, or to allow such [B]ank a participation therein, and any other Federal Home Loan Bank shall have power to purchase such advance or accept a participation therein, together with an appropriate assignment of security therefor.”

The comment letter, however, correctly noted that prior to the adoption of the predecessor to § 1266.25, the Finance Board had not required non-member capitalization of participated advances. The comment letter, therefore, raised a fair point that FHFA's statements in the preamble about capitalization of participation interests were likely to create uncertainties about the Banks' ability to exercise their statutory authority to buy and sell participation interests in advances. Notwithstanding the language of the preamble to the NPR, FHFA did not intend to alter the long-standing agency policy that allows a Bank to purchase a participation interest in an advance made by another Bank without requiring the borrowing member to capitalize the participation interest acquired by the purchasing Bank. The final rule does nothing to change that policy, and thus the Banks may continue to purchase and sell participation interests in advances as they have done previously. The only substantive effect of removing § 1266.25 is to eliminate the language that addresses the establishment of debtor/creditor relationships other than those created through the sale of a participation interest in an advance. Because that provision does not describe the type of relationships encompassed by its language, it has created some uncertainty as to its scope, which has prompted inquiries from the Banks about what types of transactions are permitted. FHFA has informally advised some Banks that the “arrangement with the other Bank” language of § 1266.25(a) does not authorize a Bank to originate an advance to a member of another Bank, nor does it authorize a Bank to issue standby letters of credit on behalf of a member of another Bank. By removing that language FHFA will eliminate such uncertainties and should not adversely affect any Bank because none has established any such debtor/creditor relationships with members of other Banks in reliance on that provision.

Proposed Changes to Part 1261. Another comment expressed concerns about FHFA statements in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of the NPR relating to how FHFA determines which member directorship to eliminate when, in the annual designation of directorships, FHFA allocates to a particular state fewer directorships for the coming year than it has in the current year. Specifically, commenters took issue with FHFA's statement that if a state were going to lose a member directorship at the start of the next year and such state had a member directorship slated to expire at the end of the current year, then the Bank would eliminate the directorship—and the director—with the expiring term.10 The commenters argued that this statement constituted a change in agency policy and as such should have been the subject of a substantive rulemaking. They also argued that in this situation, a Bank's board of directors should be able to designate which directorship for the particular state would be eliminated, as is the case when FHFA reduces the number of directorships for a state which has no director with a term expiring that year. Without discretion to make such determinations, commenters stated, Banks' boards of directors could suffer adverse consequences, including losing key members.

10See Proposed Rule, 81 FR at 33427-28.

As an initial matter, these comments did not address any of the specific technical amendments that FHFA proposed to make to the part 1261 regulation. Indeed, FHFA did not propose to revise any regulations pertaining to the reduction of directorships caused by the annual designation process, and the preamble statements that appear to have prompted the comments were simply background information that FHFA provided as context to the FHFA's proposed revisions to other provisions of part 1261. As background information, the preamble statements did not purport to make any changes to agency policy regarding Bank directorships, but simply described the existing practice for one particular situation. Therefore, FHFA is not making any changes in the final rule as a result of these comments.

Moreover, FHFA disagrees with the comment letter's contention that a Bank's board of directors should be permitted in all cases to determine which particular directorship must be eliminated when the annual designation of directorships reduces the number of directorships allocated to a particular state. By statute, FHFA is required annually to establish the size of the board of directors for each Bank and to designate the number of member directorships to be allocated to each state within each Bank's district. Occasionally, FHFA's designation of directorships order reduces the number of directorships allocated to a particular state, which means that one of the incumbent directorships must be eliminated as of the end of that calendar year. If one of those directorships has a term that will expire as of the end of that calendar year, the reduction in board size required by FHFA's designation of directorships order is effectively self-executing, i.e., the expiration of the term of office for one director automatically brings the board size into compliance with the size authorized by the designation order. To allow the Banks to do what the commenter has suggested, i.e., retain the director with the expiring term, would necessarily require that the Bank take some action to remove from its board a director whose term of office has not expired, so that the number of directorships for that state does not exceed the number authorized by FHFA. A Bank, however, has no legal authority to remove a sitting director from the Bank's board of directors, and thus could not require an incumbent director whose term is not expiring to leave the board. This situation differs from that in which FHFA reduces the number of directorships allocated to a particular state, which has no directorships expiring at the end of the year. In that case, the designation of directorships order is what terminates one of the member directorships, and effectively delegates to the Bank's board of directors the authority to determine which particular directorship has been terminated. In those circumstances, there is no legal issue relating to the removal of an incumbent director prior to the expiration of his or her term because, as of the effective date of the designation of directorships order, the directorship would have ceased to exist and there would be no office from which the person was being removed.

Proposed Definition of President. Commenters also suggested that FHFA alter the proposed definition of “president” to read “the individual who serves as the highest ranking executive officer of a Bank.” The NPR proposed to define president, when used to describe an officer of a Bank, as “a Bank's principal executive officer.”

The commenters did not provide a reason for the suggested change or why FHFA's proposed definition was problematic. FHFA notes that the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) uses the term “principal executive officer” in the context of its disclosure rules on compensation, which the Banks already apply.11 FHFA also believes the reference to “principal executive officer” is clearer and more straightforward than trying to identify which Bank officer outranks another or to quantify the ranking among executive officers. Thus, FHFA is adopting the definition of “president” as proposed.

11See 17 CFR 229.402.

Additional Technical Corrections. Finally, commenters identified additional corrections to FHFA's regulations that were not included as part of the NPR. FHFA agrees that commenters identified clear errors with FHFA's current regulations and is therefore adopting the corrections suggested by commenters as part of the final rule.

First, commenters pointed out that cross references in 12 CFR 1266.17(c)(2) to § 1266.3(b) of FHFA's rules appear to be incorrect, and the reference instead should be to § 1266.5(b). FHFA agrees and is adding to the final rule a provision to make this correction. The cross reference in § 1266.17(c)(2) is intended to incorporate standards that Banks must apply when making advances to members to any advance that a Bank makes to a housing associate. The current cite in the rule to § 1266.3(b), however, references requirements that apply to long-term advances made to members rather than the pricing criteria, which are set forth in § 1266.5(b). The Finance Board appears to have added the erroneous cross reference to the rule when it first adopted it in 2002, and FHFA carried over the mistake to part 1266 when it re-adopted the rule in 2010.12

12See Final Rule: Technical Amendments to Federal Housing Finance Board Regulations, 57 FR12841, 12851 (Mar. 20, 2002). See, also, Final Rule: Use of Community Development Loans by Community Financial Institutions to Secure Advances; Secured Lending by Federal Home Loan Banks to Members and Their Affiliates; Transfer of Advances and New Business Activity Regulation, 75 FR 76617, 76622 (Dec. 9, 2010).

Second, commenters identified two corrections to appendix A of part 1273 (appendix A), which sets forth exceptions to the general SEC disclosure standards that the Office of Finance (OF) otherwise must follow in preparing the Bank System's Combined Financial Report. The first error is a reference to “Item 402(1) of SEC Regulation S-K” in paragraph C of appendix A. SEC Regulation S-K, however does not contain an “Item 402(1).” The Finance Board erroneously cited to “Item 402(1), 17 CFR 229.402(1)” when it first adopted appendix A in 2000.13 FHFA, however, cannot determine what provision in Regulation S-K, the Finance Board intended to reference. Nor can FHFA identify any other SEC item that might be relevant to the matters addressed in paragraph C of appendix A. As a result, FHFA intends to delete the reference to “Item 402(1) of SEC Regulation S-K,” as suggested by commenters.

13See Final Rule, Office of Finance; Authority of Federal Home Loan Banks to Issue Consolidated Obligations, 65 FR 36290, 36303 (June 7, 2000).

Commenters also pointed out that a statement in paragraph D of appendix A is no longer accurate given recent regulatory changes. Specifically, paragraph D, which addresses matters submitted for shareholder vote, contains a statement that: “The only item shareholders vote upon is the annual election of directors.” Under the voluntary merger rules adopted by FHFA after HERA, however, a Bank's shareholders also may vote to ratify a voluntary merger agreement between their Bank and another Bank.14 Thus, given that the statement about member voting is no longer accurate and adds nothing substantive to the appendix item at issue, FHFA is deleting the sentence as suggested by commenters.

14See 12 CFR 1278.6.

C. The Final Rule

As just discussed, FHFA is adopting as part of the final rule a number of additional technical corrections suggested by commenters but is otherwise not changing the proposed rule based on the comments received. In addition, FHFA is updating the table in § 1200.4 providing the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control numbers and expiration dates for FHFA information collections under the Paperwork Reduction Act to reflect recent OMB actions and approvals.

Further, after publication of the NPR, FHFA identified additional instances in which terms defined in part 1201 of its regulations, which provides general definitions applicable to all FHFA regulations, are also defined in other FHFA regulations. As a result, FHFA is adopting provisions as part of this final rule to remove duplicative definitions from part 1281 for the terms “Bank System” and “data reporting manual (DRM)” and from part 1282 for the term “HUD.” 15 FHFA is also adopting in the final rule a correction to a cross-reference in 12 CFR 1266.10 to the FHFA regulation addressing the Banks' member product policies. The member products policy regulation was located at 12 CFR 917.4 but FHFA recently transferred it to 12 CFR 1239.30, although FHFA did not update the cross reference in 12 CFR 1266.10 at that time.16

15 12 CFR parts 1281 and 1282.

16See Final Rule: Responsibilities of Boards of Directors, Corporate Practices and Corporate Governance Matters, 80 FR 72327 (Nov. 19, 2015).

Other than incorporating the additional corrections highlighted above, FHFA is adopting the changes proposed by the NPR as final without further substantive changes.

D. Considerations of Differences Between the Banks and the Enterprises

When promulgating regulations relating to the Banks, section 1313(f) of the Safety and Soundness Act requires the Director to consider the differences between the Banks and the Enterprises with respect to the Banks' cooperative ownership structure; mission of providing liquidity to members; affordable housing and community development mission; capital structure; and joint and several liability.17 The changes made in this rulemaking correct existing FHFA regulations or are clarifying and conforming in nature. Nonetheless, FHFA, in preparing this rule, considered the differences between the Banks and the Enterprises as they related to the above factors. FHFA requested public comments about whether these differences should result in any revisions to the proposed rule, but received no comments responsive to this request.

17See 12 U.S.C. 4513.

III. Paperwork Reduction Act

The final rule does not contain any collections of information pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). Therefore, FHFA has not submitted any information to the Office of Management and Budget for review.

IV. Regulatory Flexibility Act

The final rule applies only to the Banks and the Enterprises, which do not come within the meaning of small entities as defined in the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA). See 5 U.S.C. 601(6). Therefore, in accordance with section 605(b) of the RFA, FHFA certifies that this final rule does not have significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

List of Subjects 12 CFR Part 1200

Organization and functions (Government agencies), Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Seals and insignia.

12 CFR Part 1201

Administrative practice and procedure, Federal home loan banks, Government-sponsored enterprises, Office of finance, Regulated entities.

12 CFR Part 1229

Capital, Federal home loan banks, Government-sponsored enterprises, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

12 CFR Part 1238

Administrative practice and procedure, Capital, Federal home loan banks, Government-sponsored enterprises, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Stress test.

12 CFR Part 1239

Administrative practice and procedure, Federal home loan banks, Government-sponsored enterprises, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

12 CFR Part 1261

Banking, Banks, Conflicts of interest, Elections, Ethical conduct, Federal home loan banks, Financial disclosure, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

12 CFR Parts 1264, 1266, and 1267

Community development, Credit, Federal home loan banks, Housing, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

12 CFR Part 1269

Community development, Credit, Federal home loan banks, Housing, Letters of credit.

12 CFR Part 1270

Accounting, Federal home loan banks, Government securities.

12 CFR Part 1273

Federal home loan banks, Securities.

12 CFR Part 1274

Accounting, Federal home loan banks, Financial disclosure.

12 CFR Part 1278

Banks, Banking, Federal home loan banks, Mergers.

12 CFR Parts 1281 and 1290

Credit, Federal home loan banks, Housing, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

12 CFR Part 1282

Mortgages, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

12 CFR Part 1291

Community development, Credit, Federal home loan banks, Housing, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

Accordingly, for reasons stated in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION and under authority of 12 U.S.C. 4511, 4513, and 4526, FHFA is amending chapter XII of title 12 of the Code of Federal Regulations as follows:

CHAPTER XII—FEDERAL HOUSING FINANCE AGENCY Subchapter A—Organization and Operations PART 1200—ORGANIZATION AND FUNCTIONS 1. The authority citation for part 1200 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

5 U.S.C. 552, 12 U.S.C. 4512, 12 U.S.C. 4526, 44 U.S.C. 3506.

2. Add § 1200.4 to read as follows:
§ 1200.4 OMB control numbers assigned under the Paperwork Reduction Act.

(a) Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3531) and the implementing regulations of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) (5 CFR part 1320), an agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

(b) OMB has approved the collections of information contained in FHFA's regulations and has assigned each collection a control number. The following table displays the sections of FHFA's regulations (both those located in this chapter and those promulgated by the former Federal Housing Finance Board that appear in chapter IX of this title) containing collections of information, along with the applicable OMB control numbers and the expirations dates for those control numbers:

12 CFR part or section where identified and described OMB control No. Expiration date 906.5 2590-0004 07/31/2017 955.4 2590-0008 02/29/2016 1207.23 2590-0014 07/31/2018 1222.22 2590-0013 07/31/2018 1222.23 2590-0013 07/31/2018 1222.24 2590-0013 07/31/2018 1222.25 2590-0013 07/31/2018 1222.26 2590-0013 07/31/2018 1261.7 2590-0006 12/31/2017 1261.12 2590-0006 12/31/2017 1261.14 2590-0006 12/31/2017 1263.2 2590-0003 12/31/2016 1263.4 2590-0003 12/31/2016 1263.5 2590-0003 12/31/2016 1263.6 2590-0003 12/31/2016 1263.7 2590-0003 12/31/2016 1263.8 2590-0003 12/31/2016 1263.9 2590-0003 12/31/2016 1263.11 2590-0003 12/31/2016 1263.12 2590-0003 12/31/2016 1263.13 2590-0003 12/31/2016 1263.14 2590-0003 12/31/2016 1263.15 2590-0003 12/31/2016 1263.16 2590-0003 12/31/2016 1263.17 2590-0003 12/31/2016 1263.18 2590-0003 12/31/2016 1263.24 2590-0003 12/31/2016 1263.26 2590-0003 12/31/2016 1263.31 2590-0003 12/31/2016 1264.4 2590-0001 12/31/2018 1264.5 2590-0001 12/31/2018 1264.6 2590-0001 12/31/2018 1266.17 2590-0001 12/31/2018 1277.28 2590-0002 12/31/2016 1290.2 2590-0005 02/29/2016 1290.3 2590-0005 02/29/2016 1290.4 2590-0005 02/29/2016 1290.5 2590-0005 02/29/2016 1291.5 2590-0007 11/30/2016 1291.6 2590-0007 11/30/2016 1291.7 2590-0007 11/30/2016 1291.8 2590-0007 11/30/2016 1291.9 2590-0007 11/30/2016
PART 1201—GENERAL DEFINITIONS APPLYING TO ALL FEDERAL HOUSING FINANCE AGENCY REGULATIONS 3. The authority citation for part 1201 continues to read as follows: Authority:

12 U.S.C. 4511(b), 4513(a), 4513(b).

4. Amend § 1201.1 by revising the definition of “Bank System” and adding, in alphabetical order, a definition for “President” to read as follows:
§ 1201.1 Definitions.

Bank System means the Federal Home Loan Bank System, consisting of all of the Banks and the Office of Finance.

President, when referring to an officer of a Bank only, means a Bank's principal executive officer.

Subchapter B—Entity Regulations PART 1229—CAPITAL CLASSIFICATIONS AND PROMPT CORRECTIVE ACTION 5. The authority citation for part 1229 continues to read as follows: Authority:

12 U.S.C. 1426, 4513, 4526, 4613, 4614, 4615, 4616, 4617, 4618, 4622, 4623.

6. Amend § 1229.1 by revising the definitions of “new business activity” and “total capital” to read as follows:
§ 1229.1 Definitions.

New business activity when used in this subpart has the same meaning set forth in § 1272.1 of this chapter.

Total capital means the sum of the Bank's permanent capital, the amount paid-in for its Class A stock, the amount of any general allowances for losses, and the amount of any other instruments identified in a Bank's capital plan that the Director has determined to be available to absorb losses incurred by such Bank.

7. Amend § 1229.6 by revising paragraph (a)(3) to read as follows:
§ 1229.6 Mandatory actions applicable to undercapitalized Banks.

(a) * * *

(3) Not make any capital distribution unless:

(i) The distribution meets the requirements of § 1229.5(b) and paragraphs (a)(3)(ii) and (iii) of this section and the Director has provided permission for such distribution as set forth in § 1229.5(b);

(ii) The capital distribution will not result in the Bank being reclassified as significantly undercapitalized or critically undercapitalized; and

(iii) The capital distribution does not violate any restriction on the redemption or repurchase of capital stock or the declaration or payment of a dividend set forth in section 6 of the Bank Act (12 U.S.C. 1426) or in any other applicable regulation;

§ 1229.7 [Amended]
8. Amend § 1229.7(a) by removing the reference to “§ 1229.7 or § 1229.8 of this subpart” and adding in its place a reference to “§ 1229.8 or § 1229.9”. PART 1238—STRESS TESTING OF REGULATED ENTITIES 9. The authority citation for part 1238 continues to read as follows: Authority:

12 U.S.C. 1426; 4513; 4526; 4612; 5365(i).

§ 1238.1 [Amended]
10. Amend § 1238.1(a) by: a. Removing the reference to “Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA)” and adding in its place “FHFA”; b. Removing the reference to “Federal Housing Enterprises Financial Safety and Soundness Act of 1992, as amended” and adding in its place “Safety and Soundness Act”; and c. Removing the reference to “Federal Home Loan Bank Act, as amended” and adding in its place “Bank Act”.
§ 1238.2 [Amended]
11. Amend § 1238.2 by removing the definitions for “Federal Home Loan Banks,” “Federal Housing Finance Agency or FHFA,” and “regulated entities”. PART 1239—RESPONSIBLITIES OF BOARDS OF DIRECTORS, CORPORATE PRACTICES, AND CORPORATE GOVERNANCE 12. The authority citation for part 1239 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

12 U.S.C. 1426, 1427, 1432(a), 1436(a), 1440, 4511(b), 4513(a), 4513(b), 4526, and 15 U.S.C. 78oo(b).

13. Amend § 1239.32 by: a. Revising paragraphs (d)(3) and (e)(4); b. Removing the word “and” at the end of paragraph (e)(8); c. Removing the period at the end of paragraph (e)(9) and adding “; and” in its place; and d. Adding paragraph (e)(10).

The revisions and addition read as follows:

§ 1239.32 Audit committee.

(d) * * *

(3) Each Bank's audit committee charter shall:

(i) Provide that the audit committee has the responsibility to select, evaluate and, where appropriate, replace the internal auditor and that the internal auditor may be removed only with the approval of the audit committee;

(ii) Provide that the internal auditor shall report directly to the audit committee on substantive matters and that the internal auditor is ultimately accountable to the audit committee and board of directors;

(iii) Provide that the audit committee shall be directly responsible for the appointment, compensation, retention, and oversight of the work of the external auditor;

(iv) Provide that the external auditor shall report directly to the audit committee;

(v) Provide that both the internal auditor and the external auditor shall have unrestricted access to the audit committee without the need for any prior management knowledge or approval; and

(vi) Provide that the Bank shall make available appropriate funding, as determined by the audit committee, for payment of compensation to the external auditor, to any independent advisors or counsel engaged by the audit committee, and ordinary administrative expenses that are necessary or appropriate for the audit committee to carry out its duties.

(e) * * *

(4) Oversee the external audit function by:

(i) Approving the external auditor's annual engagement letter; and

(ii) Reviewing the performance of the external auditor.

(10) Establish procedures for the receipt, retention, and treatment of complaints received by the Bank regarding accounting, internal accounting controls, or auditing matters, and for the confidential, anonymous submission by employees of the Bank of concerns regarding questionable accounting or auditing matters.

Subchapter D—Federal Home Loan Banks PART 1261—FEDERAL HOME LOAN BANK DIRECTORS 14. The authority citation for part 1261 continues to read as follows: Authority:

12 U.S.C. 1426, 1427, 1432, 4511 and 4526.

§ 1261.2 [Amended]
15. Amend § 1261.2: a. By adding, in alphabetical order, a definition for “Advisory Council”; b. In the definition of “Member directorship”, by removing the words “, and includes guaranteed directorships and stock directorships”; c. In the definition of “Public interest directorship”, by removing the words “four years experience” and, in their place, adding the words “four years of experience”; and d. By removing the definition of “Stock directorship”.

The revision reads as follows:

§ 1261.2 Definitions.

Advisory Council means the Advisory Council each Bank is required to establish pursuant to section 10(j)(11) of the Bank Act (12 U.S.C. 1430(j)(11)), and part 1291 of this chapter.

§ 1261.3 [Amended]
16. Amend § 1261.3: a. In paragraph (b), by removing the words “commencing on or after January 1, 2009”; and b. In paragraph (e), by removing the word “part”, wherever it appears, and, in its place, adding the word “subpart”. 17. Amend § 1261.4 by revising paragraphs (a) and (b) to read as follows:
§ 1261.4 Designation of member directorships.

(a) Capital stock reports. (1) On or before April 10 of each year, each Bank shall deliver to FHFA a capital stock report that indicates, as of the record date, the number of members located in each voting State in the Bank's district, the number of shares of Bank stock that each member (identified by its FHFA ID number) was required to hold, and the number of shares of Bank stock that all members located in each voting State were required to hold. If a Bank has issued more than one class of stock, it shall report the total shares of stock of all classes required to be held by the members. The Bank shall certify to FHFA that, to the best of its knowledge, the information provided in the capital stock report is accurate and complete, and that it has notified each member of its minimum capital stock holding requirement as of the record date.

(2) The number of shares of Bank stock that any member was required to hold as of the record date shall be determined in accordance with the minimum investment established by the capital plan for that Bank.

(b) Designation of member directorships. Using the method of equal proportions, the Director annually will conduct a designation of member directorships for each Bank based on the number of shares of Bank stock required to be held by the members in each State as of the record date. If a Bank has issued more than one class of stock, the Director will designate the directorships for each State in that Bank district based on the combined number of shares required to be held by the members in that State. For purposes of conducting the designation, the number of shares of Bank stock required to be held by members as of that date shall be determined in accordance with the minimum investment established by the capital plan for that Bank. In all cases, the Director will designate the directorships by using the information provided by each Bank in its capital stock report required by paragraph (a)(1) of this section.

§ 1261.5 [Amended]
18. Amend § 1261.5: a. In paragraph (b), by removing the extra period following the words “under § 1261.4(c).”; and b. By removing paragraph (e)(2). 19. Amend § 1261.6 by revising paragraph (b) to read as follows:
§ 1261.6 Determination of member votes.

(b) Number of votes. For each member directorship and each independent directorship that is to be filled in an election, each member shall be entitled to cast one vote for each share of Bank stock that the member was required to hold as of the record date. Notwithstanding the preceding sentence, the number of votes that any member may cast for any one directorship shall not exceed the average number of shares of Bank stock required to be held as of the record date by all members located in the same State as of the record date. If a Bank has issued more than one class of stock, it shall calculate the average number of shares separately for each class of stock, using the total number of members in a State as the denominator, and shall apply those limits separately in determining the maximum number of votes that any member owning that class of stock may cast in the election. The number of shares of Bank stock that a member was required to hold as of the record date shall be determined in accordance with the minimum investment requirement established by the Bank's capital plan.

§ 1261.7 [Amended]
20. Amend § 1261.7: a. In paragraph (a), by redesignating the first paragraph (a)(1) as the introductory text to paragraph (a); b. In paragraph (d)(1)(i), by removing the words “four years experience” and, in their place, adding the words “four years of experience”; and c. In paragraph (e)(2), by removing the words “four years experience” and, in their place, adding the words “four years of experience”. 21. Amend § 1261.8 by revising paragraphs (a) and (c) to read as follows:
§ 1261.8 Election process.

(a) Ballots. Promptly after fulfilling the requirements of § 1261.7(f), each Bank shall prepare and deliver a ballot to each member that was a member as of the record date. The Bank shall include with each ballot a closing date for the Bank's receipt of voted ballots, which date shall be no earlier than 30 calendar days after the date such ballot is delivered to the member.

(1) A ballot shall include at least the following provisions:

(i) For states in which one or more member directorships are to be filled in the election, an alphabetical listing of the names of each nominee for such directorship, the name, location, and FHFA ID number of the member each nominee serves, the nominee's title or position with the member, and the number of member directorships to be filled by the members in that voting state in the election;

(ii) An alphabetical listing of the names of each nominee for a public interest independent directorship and a brief description of each nominee's experience representing consumer and community interests;

(iii) An alphabetical listing of the names of each nominee for the other independent directorships and a brief description of each nominee's qualifications, including his or her knowledge or experience in the areas of financial management, auditing and accounting, risk management practices, derivatives, project development, organizational management, and any other area of knowledge or experience set forth in § 1261.7(e);

(iv) A statement that write-in candidates are not permitted; and

(v) A confidentiality statement prohibiting the Bank from disclosing how any member voted.

(2) At the election of the Bank, a ballot also may include, in the body or as an attachment, a brief description of the skills and experience of each nominee for a member directorship.

(c) Lack of member directorship nominees. If, for any voting State, the number of nominees for the member directorships for that State is equal to or fewer than the number of such directorships to be filled in that year's election, the Bank shall deliver a notice to the members in the affected voting State (in lieu of including any member directorship nominees on the ballot for that State) that such nominees shall be deemed elected without further action, due to an insufficient number of nominees to warrant balloting. Thereafter, the Bank shall declare elected all such eligible nominees. The nominees declared elected shall be included as directors-elect in the report of election required under paragraph (g) of this section. Any member directorship that is not filled due to a lack of nominees shall be deemed vacant as of January 1 of the following year and shall be filled by the Bank's board of directors in accordance with § 1261.14(a).

22. Amend § 1261.9 by revising paragraphs (a) and (c) to read as follows:
§ 1261.9 Actions affecting director elections.

(a) Banks. Each Bank, acting through its board of directors, may conduct an annual assessment of the skills and experience possessed by the members of its board of directors as a whole and may determine whether the capabilities of the board would be enhanced through the addition of individuals with particular skills and experience. If the board of directors determines that the Bank could benefit by the addition to the board of directors of individuals with particular qualifications, such as auditing and accounting, derivatives, financial management, organizational management, project development, risk management practices, or the law, it may identify those qualifications and so inform the members as part of its announcement of elections pursuant to § 1261.7(a).

(c) Prohibition. Except as provided in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section, or § 1207.21(b)(5) of this chapter, no director, officer, attorney, employee, or agent of a Bank shall:

(1) Communicate in any manner that a director, officer, attorney, employee, or agent of a Bank, directly or indirectly, supports or opposes the nomination or election of a particular individual for a directorship; or

(2) Take any other action to influence the voting with respect to any particular individual.

§ 1261.13 [Amended]
23. Amend § 1261.13 by removing the words “this part” in the first sentence, and, in their place, adding the words “this subpart”. 24. Revise § 1261.15 to read as follows:
§ 1261.15 Minimum number of member directorships.

Except with respect to member directorships of a Bank resulting from the merger of any two or more Banks, the number of member directorships allocated to each state shall not be less than the number of directorships allocated to that state on December 31, 1960. The following table sets forth the states within Bank districts not created from the merger of two or more Banks whose members held more than one directorship on December 31, 1960:

State Number of
  • elective
  • directorships on
  • December 31, 1960
  • California 3 Colorado 2 Illinois 4 Indiana 5 Kansas 3 Kentucky 2 Louisiana 2 Massachusetts 3 Michigan 3 New Jersey 4 New York 4 Ohio 4 Oklahoma 2 Pennsylvania 6 Tennessee 2 Texas 3 Wisconsin 4
    PART 1264—FEDERAL HOME LOAN BANK HOUSING ASSOCIATES 25. The authority citation for part 1264 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    12 U.S.C. 1430b, 4511, 4513 and 4526.

    § 1264.2 [Amended]
    26. Amend § 1264.2 by removing the reference “part 950 of this title” and adding in its place the reference “part 1266 of this chapter”. PART 1266—ADVANCES 27. The authority citation for part 1266 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    12 U.S.C. 1426, 1429, 1430, 1430b, 1431, 4511(b), 4513, 4526(a).

    Subpart A—Advances to Members 28. Amend § 1266.1 by revising the definition of “Tangible capital” to read as follows:
    § 1266.1 Definitions.

    Tangible capital means:

    (1) Capital, calculated according to GAAP, less “intangible assets” except for purchased mortgage servicing rights to the extent such assets are included in a member's core or Tier 1 capital, as reported in a member's Report of Condition and Income for members whose primary federal regulator is the FDIC, the OCC, or the FRB.

    (2) Capital calculated according to GAAP, less intangible assets, as defined by a Bank for members that are not regulated by the FDIC, the OCC, or the FRB; provided that a Bank shall include a member's purchased mortgage servicing rights to the extent such assets are included for the purpose of meeting regulatory capital requirements. In addition, for those members that are insurance companies and that do not file or otherwise prepare financial statements based on GAAP, Banks may base this calculation on the member's financial statements prepared using Statutory Accounting Principles as implemented by the insurance company member's appropriate state regulator.

    § 1266.10 [Amended]
    29. Amend § 1266.10(a) by removing the reference to “§ 917.4 of this title” and adding in its place a reference to “§ 1239.30 of this chapter”.
    § 1266.11 [Removed and Reserved]
    30. Remove and reserve § 1266.11. 31. Amend § 1266.13 by revising paragraph (a) to read as follows:
    § 1266.13 Special advances to savings associations.

    (a) Eligible institutions. (1) A Bank, upon receipt of a written request from the OCC, with respect to a federal savings association, or from the FDIC, with respect to a state chartered savings association, may make short-term advances to a savings association member pursuant to section 10(h) of the Bank Act (12 U.S.C. 1430(h)).

    (2) Such request must certify that the savings association member:

    (i) Is solvent but presents a supervisory concern to the OCC or FDIC, as appropriate, because of the member's financial condition; and

    (ii) Has reasonable and demonstrable prospects of returning to a satisfactory financial condition.

    Subpart B—Advances to Housing Associates
    § 1266.17 [Amended]
    32. Amend § 1266.17(c)(2)(i) by removing the reference to “§ 1266.3(b)” each time it appears and adding in its place a reference to “§ 1266.5(b)”. Subpart C [Removed] 33. Remove subpart C to part 1266, consisting of § 1266.25. PART 1267—FEDERAL HOME LOAN BANK INVESTMENTS 34. The authority citation for part 1267 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    12 U.S.C. 1429, 1430, 1430b, 1431, 1436, 4511, 4513, 4526.

    § 1267.1 [Amended]
    35. Amend § 1267.1 by removing the definitions for “consolidated obligation” and “GAAP”. PART 1269—STANDBY LETTERS OF CREDIT 36. The authority citation for part 1269 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    12 U.S.C. 1429, 1430, 1430b, 1431, 4511, 4513 and 4526.

    § 1269.4 [Amended]
    37. Amend § 1269.4(a)(1) by removing the reference to “969.2 of this title” and adding in its place a reference to “1270.3 of this chapter”. PART 1270—LIABILITIES 38. The authority citation for part 1270 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    12 U.S.C. 1431, 1432, 1435, 4511, 4512, 4513, and 4526.

    § 1270.9 [Amended]
    39. Amend § 1270.9(d)(1) by removing the reference to “§ 956.6 of this title” and adding in its place a reference to “§ 1267.4 of this chapter”. PART 1273—OFFICE OF FINANCE 40. The authority citation for part 1273 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    12 U.S.C. 1431, 1440, 4511(b), 4513, 4514(a), 4526(a).

    § 1273.1 [Amended]
    41. Amend § 1273.1 by removing the definitions for “Bank System,” “Consolidated obligations,” “Financing Corporation or FICO,” “Generally accepted accounting principles or GAAP,” “NRSRO,” “Office of Finance or OF,” and “Resolution Funding Corporation or REFCORP”. 42. Amend § 1273.3 by revising paragraphs (a) and (d) to read as follows:
    § 1273.3 Functions of the OF.

    (a) Joint debt issuance. Subject to part 1270, subparts B and C, of this chapter, and this part, the OF, as agent for the Banks, shall offer, issue, and service (including making timely payments on principal and interest due) consolidated obligations.

    (d) Financing Corporation and Resolution Funding Corporation. The OF shall perform such duties and responsibilities for FICO as may be required under part 1271, subpart D, of this chapter, or for REFCORP as may be required under part 1271, subpart E, of this chapter or authorized by FHFA pursuant to section 21B(c)(6)(B) of the Bank Act (12 U.S.C. 1441b(c)(6)(B)).

    § 1273.6 [Amended]
    43. Amend § 1273.6(a) by removing the reference to “§§ 966.8 and 966.9 of this title” and adding in its place a reference to “§§ 1270.9 and 1270.10 of this chapter”. 44. Revise § 1273.7 to read as follows:
    § 1273.7 Structure of the OF board of directors.

    (a) Membership. The OF board of directors shall consist of part-time members as follows:

    (1) Each of the Bank presidents, ex officio, provided that if the presidency of any Bank becomes vacant, the person designated by the Bank's board of directors to temporarily fulfill the duties of president of that Bank shall serve on the OF board of directors until the presidency is filled permanently; and

    (2) Five Independent Directors who—

    (i) Each shall be a citizen of the United States;

    (ii) As a group, shall have substantial experience in financial and accounting matters; and

    (iii) Shall not have any material relationship with a Bank, or the OF (directly or as a partner, shareholder, or officer of an organization), as determined under criteria set forth in a policy adopted by the OF board of directors. At a minimum, such policy shall provide that an Independent Director may not:

    (A) Be an officer, director, or employee of any Bank or member of a Bank, or have been an officer, director, or employee of a Bank or member of a Bank during the previous three years;

    (B) Be an officer or employee of the OF, or have been an officer or employee of the OF during the previous three years; or

    (C) Be affiliated with any consolidated obligations selling or dealer group under contract with OF, or hold shares or any other financial interest in any entity that is part of a consolidated obligations seller or dealer group in an amount greater than the lesser of $250,000 or 0.01% of the market capitalization of the seller or dealer group, or in an amount that exceeds $1,000,000 for all entities that are part of any consolidated obligations seller dealer group, combined. For purposes of this paragraph (a)(2)(iii)(C), a holding company of an entity that is part of a consolidated obligations seller or dealer group shall be deemed to be part of the consolidated obligations selling or dealer group if the assets of the holding company's subsidiaries that are part of a consolidated obligation seller or dealer group constitute 35% or more of the consolidated assets of the holding company.

    (b) Terms. (1) Except as provided in paragraph (b)(2) of this section, each Independent Director shall serve for five-year terms (which shall be staggered so that no more than one Independent Director seat would be scheduled to become vacant in any one year), and shall be subject to removal or suspension in accordance with § 1273.4(a). An Independent Director may not serve more than two full, consecutive terms, provided that any partial term served by an Independent Director pursuant to paragraph (b)(2) of this section shall not count as a term for purposes of this restriction.

    (2) The OF board of directors shall fill any vacancy among the Independent Directors occurring prior to the scheduled end of a term by majority vote, subject to FHFA's review of, and non-objection to, the new Independent Director. The OF board of directors shall provide FHFA with the same biographic and background information about the new Independent Director required under paragraph (c) of this section, and FHFA shall have the same rights of non-objection to the Independent Director (and to appoint a different Independent Director) as set forth in paragraph (c) of this section. A person shall be elected (or otherwise appointed by FHFA) under this paragraph (b)(2) to serve only for the remainder of the term associated with the vacant directorship.

    (c) Election of Independent Directors. The Independent Directors shall be elected by majority vote of the OF board of directors, subject to FHFA's review of, and non-objection to, each Independent Director. The OF board of directors shall provide FHFA with relevant biographic and background information, including information demonstrating that the new Independent Director meets the requirements of paragraph (a)(2) of this section, at least 20 business days before the person assumes any duties as a member of the OF board of directors. If the OF board of directors, in FHFA's judgment, fails to elect a suitably qualified person, FHFA may appoint some other person who meets the requirements of paragraph (a)(2) of this section. FHFA will provide notice of its objection to a particular Independent Director prior to the date that such Director is to assume duties as a member of the OF board of directors. Such notice shall indicate whether, given FHFA's objection, FHFA intends to fill the seat through appointment or a new election should be held by the OF board of directors.

    (d) Election of Chair and Vice-Chair. (1) The Chair shall be elected by majority vote of the OF board of directors from among the Independent Directors then serving on the OF board of directors, and the Vice Chair shall be elected by majority vote of the OF board of directors from among all directors.

    (2) The OF board of directors shall promptly inform FHFA of the election of a Chair or Vice Chair. If FHFA objects to any Chair or Vice Chair elected by the OF board of directors, FHFA shall provide written notice of its objection within 20 business days of the date that FHFA first receives the notice of the election of the Chair and or Vice Chair, and the OF board of directors must then promptly elect a new Chair or Vice Chair, as appropriate.

    (e) By-laws and Committees. (1) The OF board of directors shall adopt by-laws governing the manner in which the board conducts its affairs, which shall be consistent with the requirements of this part and other applicable laws and regulations as administered by FHFA. The by-laws of the board of directors shall be subject to review and approval by FHFA.

    (2) In addition to the Audit Committee required under § 1273.9, the OF board of directors may establish other committees, including an Executive Committee. The duties and powers of such committee, including any powers delegated by the OF board of directors, shall be specified in the by-laws of the board of directors or the charter of the committee.

    (f) Compensation. (1) The Bank presidents shall not receive any additional compensation or reimbursement as a result of their service as a director of the OF board.

    (2) The OF shall pay reasonable compensation and expenses to the Independent Directors in accordance with the requirements for payment of compensation and expenses to Bank directors as set forth in part 1261 of this chapter.

    (g) Corporate Governance and Indemnification—(1) General. The corporate governance practices and procedures of the OF, and practices and procedures related to indemnification (including advancement of expenses) shall comply with applicable Federal law, rules, and regulations.

    (2) Election and designation of body of law. (i) To the extent not inconsistent with paragraph (g)(1) of this section, the OF shall elect to follow the corporate governance and indemnification practices and procedures set forth in one of the following:

    (A) The law of the jurisdiction in which the principal office of the OF is located;

    (B) The Delaware General Corporation Law (Del. Code Ann. Title 8); or

    (C) The Revised Model Business Corporation Act.

    (ii) The OF board of directors shall designate in its by-laws the body of law elected pursuant to this paragraph (g)(2).

    (3) Indemnification. Subject to paragraphs (g)(1) and (2) of this section, to the extent applicable, the OF shall indemnify (and advance the expenses of) its directors, officers, and employees under such terms and conditions as are determined by the OF board of directors. The OF shall be authorized to maintain insurance for its directors, the CEO, and any other officer or employee of the OF. Nothing in this paragraph (g)(3) shall affect any rights to indemnification (including the advancement of expenses) that a director, the CEO, or any other officer or employee of the OF had with respect to any actions, omissions, transactions, or facts occurring prior to December 2, 2016.

    (h) Delegation. In addition to any delegation to a committee allowed under paragraph (e) of this section, the OF board of directors may delegate any of its authority or duties to any employee of the OF in order to enable OF to carry out its functions.

    (i) Outside staff and consultants. In carrying out its duties and responsibilities, the OF board of directors, or any committee thereof, shall have authority to retain staff and outside counsel, independent accountants, or other outside consultants at the expense of the OF.

    § 1273.8 [Amended]
    45. Amend § 1273.8 by: a. Removing from paragraph (d)(2) the reference to “§ 917.5 of this title” and adding in its place a reference to “§ 1239.31 of this chapter”; b. Removing paragraph (d)(3); and c. Redesignating paragraphs (d)(4), (5), and (6) as paragraphs (d)(3), (4), and (5), respectively. 46. Amend § 1273.9 by revising paragraph (b)(5) to read as follows:
    § 1273.9 Audit Committee.

    (b) * * *

    (5) The Audit Committee shall oversee internal audit activities, including the selection, evaluation, compensation, and, where appropriate, replacement of the internal auditor. The internal auditor shall report directly to the Audit Committee on substantive matters, and is ultimately accountable to the Audit Committee and the board of directors.

    § 1273.10 [Removed]
    47. Remove § 1273.10. 48. Amend appendix A to part 1273 by revising paragraphs C and D to read as follows: Appendix A to Part 1273—Exceptions to the General Disclosure Standards

    C. Compensation. The information on compensation required by Item 402 of Regulation S-K, 17 CFR 229.402, will be provided only for Bank presidents and the CEO of the OF.

    D. Submission of matters to a vote of stockholders. No information will be presented on matters submitted to shareholders for a vote, as otherwise required by Item 4 of the SEC's form 10-K, 17 CFR 249.310.

    PART 1274—FINANCIAL STATEMENT OF THE BANKS 49. The authority citation for part 1274 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    12 U.S.C. 1426, 1431, 4511(b), 4513, 4526(a).

    § 1274.1 [Amended]
    50. Amend § 1274.1 by removing the definitions for “Bank System” and “Financing Corporation or FICO”. PART 1278—VOLUNTARY MERGERS OF FEDERAL HOME LOAN BANKS 51. The authority citation for part 1278 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    12 U.S.C. 1432(a), 1446, 4511.

    § 1278.1 [Amended]
    52. Amend § 1278.1 by removing the definition for “GAAP”. Subchapter E—Housing Goals and Mission PART 1281—FEDERAL HOME LOAN BANK HOUSING GOALS 53. The authority citation for part 1281 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    12 U.S.C. 1430c.

    Subpart A—General
    § 1281.1 [Amended]
    54. Amend § 1281.1 by removing the definitions for “Bank System”, “Data Reporting Manual (DRM)”, and “Member”. PART 1282—ENTERPIRSE HOUSING GOALS AND MISSION 55. The authority citation for part 1282 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    12 U.S.C. 4501, 4502, 4511, 4513, 4526, 4561-4566.

    Subpart A—General
    § 1282.1 [Amended]
    56. Amend § 1282.1 by removing the definition for the term “HUD”. PART 1290—COMMUNITY SUPPORT REQUIREMENTS 57. The authority citation for part 1290 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    12 U.S.C. 1430(g), 4511, 4513.

    58. Amend § 1290.1 by revising the definition of “Advisory Council” to read as follows:
    § 1290.1 Definitions.

    Advisory Council means the Advisory Council each Bank is required to establish pursuant to section 10(j)(11) of the Bank Act (12 U.S.C. 1430(j)(11)) and part 1291 of this chapter.

    PART 1291—FEDERAL HOME LOAN BANKS' AFFORDABLE HOUSING PROGRAM 59. The authority citation for part 1291 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    12 U.S.C. 1430(j).

    § 1291.4 [Amended]
    60. Amend § 1291.4(f) by removing the reference to “the Act” and adding a reference to “the Bank Act” in its place. Dated: October 21, 2016. Melvin L. Watt, Director, Federal Housing Finance Agency.
    [FR Doc. 2016-26022 Filed 11-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8070-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Office of the Secretary 14 CFR Parts 234 and 241 [Docket No. DOT-RITA-2011-0001] RIN 2105-AE41 (formerly 2139-AA13) Reporting of Data for Mishandled Baggage and Wheelchairs and Scooters Transported in Aircraft Cargo Compartments AGENCY:

    Office of the Secretary (OST), Department of Transportation (DOT).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Transportation (DOT or Department) is issuing a final rule that changes the mishandled-baggage data that air carriers are required to report, from the number of Mishandled Baggage Reports (MBR) and the number of domestic passenger enplanements to the number of mishandled bags and the number of enplaned bags. Fees for checked baggage may have changed customer behavior regarding the number of bags checked, potentially affecting mishandled-baggage rates. Finally, this rule fills a data gap by collecting separate statistics for mishandled wheelchairs and scooters used by passengers with disabilities and transported in aircraft cargo compartments. An additional topic covered in the proposed rule, the reporting of airline fee revenues, remains open and is not addressed in this rulemaking.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective December 2, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Zeenat Iqbal, Office of the Assistant General Counsel for Aviation Enforcement and Proceedings, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE., Washington, DC 20590, 202-366-9293 (phone), 202-366-5944 (fax), [email protected] You may also contact Blane A. Workie, Assistant General Counsel for Aviation Enforcement and Proceedings, Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE., Washington, DC 20590, 202-366-9342 (phone), 202-366-7152 (fax), [email protected] TTY users may reach these individuals via the Federal Relay Service toll-free at 800-877-8339. You may obtain copies of this notice in an accessible format by contacting the above named individuals.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    On July 15, 2011, the Department published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) in the Federal Register, 76 FR 41726, which addressed the following areas: (1) Reporting of ancillary fee revenue; (2) data for computation of mishandled-baggage rates; and (3) data for mishandled wheelchairs and scooters used by passengers with disabilities that are transported in the cargo compartment. With regard to the reporting of ancillary fee revenue, the Department proposed to collect detailed information about ancillary fees paid by airline consumers to determine the total amount of fees carriers collect through the a la carte pricing approach for optional services related to air transportation. The Department also proposed to alter its matrix for collecting and publishing data on mishandled baggage. For many years the Department has required the larger U.S. air carriers to report the number of Mishandled Baggage Reports (MBRs) filed by passengers and the total number of passenger enplaned. The Department then divides the number of MBRs (the numerator) by the total number of passengers enplaned (the denominator) and multiplies the result by 1,000 in order to arrive at a rate of MBRs per 1,000 passengers which it publishes in its monthly Air Travel Consumer Report. For example, if an airline reports 800 MBRs and 600,000 passengers enplaned, that carrier will have a published rate of 1.3 MBRs per 1,000 passenger enplanements. In the NPRM, rather than compute the number of Mishandled Baggage Reports per unit of domestic enplanements the Department proposed using the number of mishandled bags per unit of total bags checked. As noted in the NPRM, passenger behavior was altered regarding the unit of bags checked when many air carriers began charging passengers for each bag that they check. We believe that airline passengers would have better information to compare airline services if the matrix for mishandled baggage were changed to the number of the actual mishandled bags per unit of checked bags rather than the number of Mishandled Baggage Reports filed by passengers per unit of domestic scheduled-service passenger enplanements. As explained below in greater detail, although the NPRM proposed to require carriers to report the total number of “checked bags,” in this final rule we are clarifying this term to mean the total number of “checked bags enplaned.” Consequently, a one-way connecting passenger would have his or her checked bag counted each time the bag was enplaned—i.e., at the origin point and at the connecting point. This is consistent with the manner in which the existing rule requires the total number of passengers enplaned to be reported. Finally, the Department proposed to collect information regarding damage, delay or loss of wheelchairs and scooters transported in the aircraft cargo compartment.

    The Department received 278 comments in response to the NPRM, including several representing the views of multiple entities. Of these, eight comments were from members of the airline industry, representing the views of Allegiant Air, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Southwest Airlines, Spirit Airlines, United Air Lines, US Airways, and Virgin America. Six comments were from industry associations, representing the views of Airports Council International, North America (ACI-NA), the Air Transport Association of America (ATA) [now known as Airlines For America (A4A)], the American Aviation Institute (AAI), the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA), the Association of Retail Travel Agents (ARTA), and the Regional Airline Association (RAA). The Department received two comments from FlyersRights.org and 260 comments from individuals, including 219 from members of FlyersRights.org. Other consumer and disability associations, including Consumer Action, the Consumer Federation of America, Consumers Union, the Consumer Travel Alliance, the National Consumers League, the Open Doors Foundation, and the Paralyzed Veterans of America submitted comments.

    On April 27, 2012, the Department published a notice of public meeting in the Federal Register, 77 FR 25105, listing a series of questions that the Department intended to pose to the public in order to receive input on the costs and benefits associated with the proposals outlined in the July 15, 2011, NPRM. This public meeting was held at the Department's headquarters on May 17, 2012. Attendees provided the Department with oral comments, a transcript of which is available in the public docket. Subsequent to the public meeting, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and US Airways submitted additional written comments.

    In general, consumers, consumer associations, disability associations, and airports support the rule as proposed while many airlines and airline associations oppose it. The section-by-section analysis will describe each provision of the final rule.

    On January 17, 2014, President Obama signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014 (Pub. L. 113-76), which included language transferring the powers and duties, functions, authorities and personnel of the Department's Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA) to the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology (OST-R) in the Department's Office of the Secretary. Thus, the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology is now an office within the Office of the Secretary. Based on the Act, this rulemaking received a new regulation identifier number.

    Comments and Responses 1. Reporting of Ancillary Fee Revenue

    The Department bifurcated its rulemaking on the reporting of ancillary fee revenue into two separate rules: this rule to address the reporting of data used in the computation of mishandled baggage and wheelchair/scooter rates (2104-AE41), and another rule to address the reporting of ancillary fee revenue (2105-AE31). These rulemakings were split as they address unrelated matters and their separation will make it easier for stakeholders to locate information about a particular topic embodied in each separate rule. The Department's rulemaking on the reporting of ancillary fee revenue, including an analysis of the public comments received in response to the 2011 NPRM and 2012 public meeting, remains open.

    2. Mishandled Baggage

    The NPRM: In the NPRM, the Department proposed changing the methodology for reporting mishandled baggage on a domestic system basis, excluding charter flights. The rule's proposed text would require reporting the number of mishandled bags rather than the number of Mishandled Baggage Reports filed by passengers, and the total number of domestic checked bags enplaned rather than the number of domestic passenger enplanements. As noted above, the Department stated in the NPRM that it believes that the current matrix for comparing airline mishandled baggage performance is outdated and the proposed changes would give airline passengers better information to compare airline services. Passenger behavior was altered regarding the number of bags checked when many air carriers began charging passengers for each bag that they check. Although the Department did not specifically solicit comments on alternative methodologies for reporting mishandled baggage, comments received from air carriers and their associations led the Department to consider alternatives discussed below.

    Comments: Consumers and consumer groups, as well as ACI-NA and one carrier, Southwest Airlines, stated that the proposed methodology would render more accurate and useful results. The current methodology, these comments asserted, compares unrelated numbers since fewer passengers currently check bags than when the methodology was devised. Consumer groups commented that the Department should capture data regarding the number of mishandled bags that were checked at the gate, in addition to the number of mishandled bags that were checked at check-in counters and self-service bag drop locations.

    On the other hand, A4A (excluding JetBlue and Southwest Airlines), RAA, and the carriers that submitted comments, with the exception of Southwest Airlines, contend that the Department's long-standing methodology for calculating mishandled baggage is useful and valid. They commented that the proposed methodology would cost industry more than the current methodology. Increased costs would stem primarily from recording interlined baggage, gate-checked baggage, and “valet” bags. (Interlined baggage is checked baggage of a passenger whose itinerary does not involve a code-share but includes more than one airline. Gate-checked baggage is baggage that the passenger brought to the gate but which was taken by the carrier at that location and checked into the baggage compartment of the aircraft. Valet bags, sometimes called planeside bags, are bags that a passenger drops at the end of the loading bridge or on the tarmac near the aircraft and which carrier personnel load into the baggage compartment of the aircraft, a process that is frequently used by regional airlines.) In addition, individual carriers commented that the proposed methodology would mislead the public, and would benefit Southwest Airlines to the detriment of all other carriers, regardless of each carrier's ability to properly handle bags. One carrier, US Airways, disagreed with a conclusion in a report issued by the Government Accountability Office (GAO; report GAO-10-785, July 2010) that bag fees had altered consumer behavior by leading them to check fewer bags, thus resulting in fewer MBRs. A4A (excluding JetBlue and Southwest Airlines) and RAA recommended that should the Department deem a change is necessary, the denominator of the rate calculation should be the total number of domestic enplaned bags rather than origin-and-destination bags. For example, for a passenger with a checked bag who is traveling one-way from Denver to Boston with a connection (change of planes) in Chicago, a “total enplaned bags” system would count the bag twice, i.e. when it was enplaned on the Denver-Chicago flight and again when it was enplaned on the Chicago-Boston flight. An “origin-and-destination” system would only count the bag once, as a bag moving from Denver to Boston regardless of the flight or flights that were used.) Southwest Airlines expressed concern with using total domestic enplaned bags as the denominator, claiming that to do so would benefit hub-and-spoke carriers at the expense of point-to-point carriers.

    American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and US Airways commented that the Department severely underestimated the cost of complying with the proposed rule. They noted for gate-checked and “valet” bags, carriers would have to replace a manual bag tagging system with an automated one. Delta Air Lines stressed the importance of using an automated system because less than one hundredth of one percent often separates competitors in the Department's mishandled baggage rankings. That carrier estimated this would cost up to $10 million in new equipment and $900,000 in programming, while requiring 18 to 24 months to fully implement. US Airways estimated that automation would cost $1 million in new equipment and $1 million in programming. In addition, Delta Air Lines commented that the rule would cause operational delays and passenger inconvenience because of the time involved in printing and then scanning automated bag tags.

    On January 12, 2016, A4A filed supplemental comments. The organization objected to language in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Transparency of Airline Ancillary Fees and Other Consumer Issues (“Consumer Rule 3”) 1 that would amend the mishandled baggage reporting rule (14 CFR 234.6) to require reports “for all domestic scheduled passenger flight segments that are held out with the reporting carrier's code . . . ,” including flights operated for a carrier by its regional-carrier code-share partners. A4A stated that the data are not captured by flight segment today and that devising a system to do so would be costly and time-consuming. A4A also objected to language in that NPRM which the organization said could impede “valet” or “planeside” baggage service widely offered by regional carriers and would have to be coordinated with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

    1 79 FR 29970, May 23, 2014, Docket DOT-OST-2014-0056.

    Finally, the Department received comments questioning which airline must report baggage in interline situations or when multiple airlines place their codes on a single flight.

    DOT Response: The Department has decided to require that airlines report mishandled baggage in terms of the number of mishandled bags and the total number of domestic enplaned bags, excluding charter flights. A bag will be counted as “enplaned” on each flight of a passenger's journey. For example, if a passenger were traveling one-way from Denver to Boston with a connection in Chicago from one flight to another, the bag will be counted twice (once for each flight). Consistent with this approach, if that passenger were instead traveling on a direct flight from Denver to Boston with an intermediate stop in Chicago but no change of planes, the bag would be counted only once—when it was enplaned in Denver.

    Passenger behavior was reportedly altered when many air carriers began charging passengers for each checked bag. Specifically, the GAO report cited above stated that the introduction of baggage fees resulted in a decline of 40 to 50 percent in the number of checked bags with a corresponding 40 percent decline in the number of MBRs per 1,000 passengers (GAO-10-785, July 2010, page 25). The ratio between checked bags and the number of passengers can vary greatly depending on the fees charged. Moreover, there is not a direct relationship between the number of MBRs and the number of mishandled (i.e., lost, stolen, delayed, damaged, and pilfered) bags because a single MBR could be submitted by a family—or even an individual—with multiple mishandled bags. In addition, the Department has decided to include in its revised mishandled baggage methodology all checked bags, including those checked at the gate and “valet” bags. As the GAO noted, as the amount of checked baggage has decreased, the amount of carry-on baggage has increased, resulting in airlines' having to check more bags at the gate. The Department believes that the new methodology in this rule will better inform passengers of their chances to retrieve their gate-checked baggage in an acceptable and timely manner.

    The Department agrees with the suggestion from A4A (excluding JetBlue and Southwest Airlines) and RAA that the Department use the number of domestic bag enplanements rather than origin-and-destination bags in the denominator. We have revised the language of the relevant section accordingly. Using the enplaned-bag approach will avoid the costs that would be entailed for tracking a given bag from origin to destination for connecting passengers under an origin-and-destination approach. The use of “enplaned bag” language in the final rule also results in a carrier receiving “credit” for a properly-handled bag on each flight of a passenger's journey. This ensures that when bags travel on multi-carrier itineraries or when interline agreements allow carriers to check bags through to the passenger's final destination, even when that passenger possesses more than one ticket, the operating carrier on each flight will receive “credit” for a properly-handled bag. For example, if a passenger travels on a flight operated by airline A from Washington, DC to Los Angeles, and a flight operated by airline B from Los Angeles to Honolulu, for the “denominator” figure airline A would include the passenger's checked baggage in its reporting for the Washington—Los Angeles flight while airline B would include the passenger's checked baggage in its reporting for the Los Angeles—Honolulu flight. The same piece of luggage would be reported by both airlines (on different flights), thus giving both airlines the chance to receive “credit” for handling the bag. Whether or not airlines A and B operate one or both of those flights as part of a code-share or as part of an interline agreement would have no impact on their reporting requirements. In the comments received from A4A (excluding JetBlue and Southwest) and RAA, the associations noted that the “enplanement” approach would resolve much of the complexity stemming from interlining, gate checking, and “valet” bag situations. Thus, the Department believes that adopting the suggested methodology of A4A (excluding JetBlue and Southwest) and RAA will result in lower compliance costs for air carriers.

    Using the total number of domestic bag enplanements rather than bags checked for origin-destination trips further reduces the rule's cost because air carriers already count pieces of checked baggage in order to comply with the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) existing weight-and-balance requirements. The FAA requires that carriers maintain, for at least three months, the number of “standard,” “heavy,” and “non-luggage” bags carried in the cargo compartment. Delta Air Lines confirmed at the May 17, 2012, public meeting that, because of the FAA requirements, the carrier already possesses a tally of bags transported in the cargo compartment on each of its domestic scheduled flights.

    With respect to A4A's January 12, 2016, supplemental comments, the language in the “Consumer Rule 3” NPRM concerning reporting by flight segment referred to a separate proposal in that proceeding that would require carrier reports about on-time performance, oversales, and mishandled baggage to include data for flights operated by their domestic code-share partners. The phrase “for all domestic scheduled passenger flight segments that are held out with the reporting carrier's code” in that NPRM was simply intended to capture the code-share operations, not to require reporting by flight segment. If this Consumer Rule 3 proposal is finalized, we will modify the phrase in question to make this clear. This final rule simply requires carriers to count the number of checked bags that are enplaned on each flight; it does not require carriers to conduct segment-by-segment tracking of the number of bags on board each segment of a direct flight, nor does it require origin-destination (“O&D”) tracking based on each passenger's itinerary.

    A4A also contended in its January 12, 2016, comments that in order to comply with the instant rule as proposed, the only realistic solution for most carriers is to begin tracking “valet bags” in the same way that all other checked bags are tracked today—with an automated bag tag (ABT) that is linked to the passenger's Passenger Name Record, rather than the existing paper valet tags. A4A further asserted that once a bag is tagged with an ABT, TSA requires it to be treated like all other checked baggage and prohibits the traveler from having access to it in the sterile area of the airport. A4A stated that this means that carriers could no longer return these bags to passengers on the jet bridge at the conclusion of the flight. However, the rule does not require the use of ABTs. In addition, TSA has advised the Department that TSA's interest is in ensuring that passengers do not have access in the secure area of an airport to a checked bag that has not passed through the passenger security screening checkpoint. Valet bags are screened at that checkpoint. TSA explained that attaching an ABT to a bag that the passenger has carried through the screening checkpoint, or referring to such a bag as a checked bag, would not trigger the prohibition on the passenger having access to that bag in the airport's secure area.

    The Department is not prescribing a particular mechanism through which air carriers must capture the data required by this rule. Carriers may adopt whichever method they find best suited to their business model. In terms of “valet” bags, for example, this rule does not require air carriers to provide passengers with individual bag claims that must be matched to bags on arrival; instead, air carriers need only ensure that the “valet” bag is properly counted in the data reported to the Department.

    Finally, the Department has made a ministerial change to its proposed rule. In its NPRM, the Department cited “49 U.S.C. 329 and chapters 41101 and 41701” as the authority for the mishandled baggage portion of the rule. The correct citation is: “49 U.S.C. 329, 41101 and 41701.”

    3. Data for Wheelchairs and Scooters Transported in Aircraft Cargo Compartments A. Reporting Mishandled Wheelchairs and Scooters Transported in the Cargo Compartment

    The NPRM: The Department proposed requiring carriers to report the number of mishandled wheelchairs and scooters and the total number of wheelchairs/scooters transported in the aircraft cargo compartment. The Department sought public comment to better understand the scope of this issue and whether the prospect of loss, damage or delay of such devices or the lack of data made consumers with disabilities reluctant to travel by air.

    Comments: In general, consumers voiced support for the proposal to require air carriers to break out data on the number of mishandled wheelchairs and scooters transported in the aircraft cargo compartment, maintaining that such reporting would reduce the number of incidents, while providing passengers with disabilities with a metric for making better-informed travel decisions. The Paralyzed Veterans of America and the Consumer Travel Alliance made similar supportive comments, noting that their members frequently request this currently-unavailable data, although the former group did request that the Department define “mishandled” in its regulation. ACI-NA commented that the proposed rule will increase accessibility of airports in general because passengers will know more about the air travel experience.

    On the other hand, A4A (excluding Southwest Airlines) and RAA commented that the Department had no basis for concluding that passengers with disabilities are reluctant to travel by air due to wheelchair mishandling, and that the proposal lacked a public policy justification. Several air carriers asserted that the Air Carrier Access Act and its implementing regulation (14 CFR part 382) already provide carriers with an incentive to handle these devices properly. The associations, individual airlines, and ARTA commented that the proposed rule was unduly burdensome on industry. In particular, these comments noted that wheelchairs and scooters are manually tagged and checked, and thus air carriers would need to implement a new mechanism to capture the required data. In written comments, American Airlines and Delta Air Lines commented that there would be high costs involved in programming systems to differentiate wheelchairs and scooters transported in the cargo compartment from the larger universe of all checked baggage. At the May 17, 2012, public meeting, US Airways stated that costs would be high, while others, including Delta Air Lines and Southwest Airlines, indicated the opposite. As an alternative to the Department's proposal, several carriers proposed the establishment of a working group to devise a workable method of capturing the required data.

    The Open Doors Foundation did not support the proposed rule. This organization commented that collecting this data would lead to competition among carriers in an area that should not be competitive, would cause airlines to reduce training and policies to the bare minimum needed to obtain “good” numbers, and would divert Department resources from other projects intended to make air travel more accessible.

    Although A4A's comments opposing the Department's proposal represented the views of all of that association's members except Southwest Airlines, US Airways filed a supplemental comment after the May 17, 2012, public meeting in which it indicated that it did not object to the Department's proposal to require carriers to report the number of mishandled wheelchairs and scooters transported in the aircraft cargo compartment. US Airways commented that it would need one year to update software to distinguish wheelchairs and scooters from other checked baggage and that it should have the option of stowing some assistive devices in the passenger cabin.

    DOT Response: The Department has decided to require carriers to report the number of mishandled wheelchairs and scooters and the number of wheelchairs/scooters accepted for transport in the aircraft cargo compartment. The Department's applicable definition of “mishandled” is found at 14 CFR 234.1, which defines “mishandled” as “loss, delay, damage, or pilferage.” When issuing its NPRM, the Department intended for the same definition to apply to mishandled wheelchairs and scooters. The Department agrees with the many comments received from the public and disability rights groups that this rule will make air travel more accessible as it will provide the traveling public with the data necessary to make informed travel decisions.

    The number of wheelchairs and scooters accepted for transport in the aircraft cargo compartment is to be included in the total number of checked bags enplaned. Similarly, the number of mishandled wheelchairs and scooters is to be included in the number of mishandled checked bags. We believe that the number of mishandled bags (and the rate of mishandled bags per 1,000 bags enplaned, which will be calculated by DOT and included in our Air Travel Consumer Report) should include all items of which the carrier took custody.

    In response to comments from industry that there is no basis to conclude that passengers with disabilities are reluctant to travel by air due to wheelchair and scooter mishandling, the Department believes that the public comments received from air travelers with disabilities and disability rights organizations are representative of a widespread reluctance. It is public policy that air travel should be accessible to all members of the public, and the Department believes that this rule advances that policy goal. The Department appreciates that the Air Carrier Access Act and 14 CFR part 382 have provided air carriers with an incentive to handle wheelchairs and scooters properly. The Department believes that this final rule will not only act as an additional incentive, but most importantly will provide passengers with disabilities with a metric that they may use to compare air carriers and to make informed travel decisions. The Department agrees with US Airways' comment that capturing data on the incidence of wheelchair and scooter mishandling is in line with a carrier's obligations and duties to passengers with disabilities.

    The Department appreciates the concerns raised by Open Doors. While we believe that air carriers do strive to provide good service to passengers with disabilities, we continue to think that consumers with disabilities have the right to know which airlines provide the best service and have a right to select their air carriers based on that knowledge. In addition, the Department's existing disability regulations already require airlines to provide training to their employees. The new rule provides further incentive to airlines to provide the training necessary to result in as little mishandling as possible to wheelchairs and scooters. Finally, this rulemaking does not divert the Department's attention from other objectives, e.g., issuing rules requiring accessible in-flight entertainment systems, but instead provides passengers with mobility impairments, who represent a large segment of the population of travelers with disabilities, with information they deserve and need to make informed travel decisions.

    B. Extension of the Rule to Other Assistive Devices and/or Devices Transported in the Passenger Cabin

    The NPRM: The Department solicited comments on whether the rule should be extended to all wheelchairs and scooters, regardless of whether they are transported in the passenger cabin or in the cargo compartment, and whether the rule should apply to other mobility devices, e.g., walkers.

    Comments: Many consumers and disability rights organizations commented that the Department should extend the rule in this manner. These comments generally relied on the same rationale as for their support of the proposed reporting requirement for mishandled wheelchairs and scooters transported in the cargo compartment; namely, that the number of mishandled assistive devices will be reduced and consumers with disabilities will have data necessary to make better-informed travel decisions. The Paralyzed Veterans of America further recommended that this rule be applied to foreign air carriers and a member of the public recommended that this rule be applied to other modes of transportation. Many air carriers commented that capturing data on mishandled wheelchairs and scooters transported in the passenger cabin would prove unworkable since no data is kept about items transported in the cabin. US Airways commented that it would not oppose an extension of the rule to other mobility devices so long as the Department explicitly listed which mobility devices were covered by the rule, and so long as the Department explicitly excluded mobility devices not used by passengers with disabilities.

    Members of the public made numerous recommendations intended to improve the air travel experience for passengers with disabilities. These recommendations included the creation of a uniform damage form, a requirement that air carriers maintain a list of repair shops located near each airport served, a blanket exemption from all ancillary fees for passengers with disabilities, a mandated retrofitting of aircraft so that all mobility devices may be transported in the passenger cabin, and a prohibition on the gate-checking of assistive devices.

    DOT Response: The Department believes that requiring the reporting of data on the mishandling of all assistive devices, particularly those transported in the passenger cabin, is impracticable. The Department understands that airlines do not have a mechanism for tracking items carried in the passenger cabin. Further, wheelchairs and scooters are generally checked as single items, while other assistive devices are generally stored inside baggage. Requiring the reporting of data on assistive devices stored inside checked baggage would require passengers and airlines to inventory such baggage. As a result, the Department will require that carriers report data only on scooters and wheelchairs.

    The Department appreciates the additional recommendations received from the general public, including the application of this rule to cover other modes or to foreign air carriers, but concludes that these recommendations fall outside the scope of the current rulemaking.

    4. Compliance Date

    The NPRM: The Department did not propose a specific compliance date.

    Comments: None of the public comments received prior to the May 17, 2012, public meeting related to the compliance date of this rule. During the public meeting and in subsequent public comments, most air carriers commented that they would need 12 to 24 months after the final rule is published in the Federal Register to comply because of time necessary for re-programming existing systems, installing new equipment, and training employees. In addition, Delta Air Lines and US Airways commented that a compliance date of January 1 would be preferable because it would provide the clearest demarcation between data sets.

    DOT Response: The Department has determined that air carriers must comply with the new reporting requirements for air transportation taking place on or after January 1, 2018. The Department agrees with Delta Air Lines and US Airways that a January 1 compliance date provides a clear demarcation between data sets, corresponding with a change in the type of data reported by air carriers. In particular, given that this rule significantly changes the mishandled baggage metric, choosing the first day of the year as the compliance date will make future year-over-year comparisons more meaningful. In addition, the selection of this compliance date provides air carriers with adequate time to update their internal systems and reporting processes.

    Based on this compliance date, data in this new format on mishandled baggage for the month of January 2018 will be due February 15, 2018. Data on mishandled wheelchairs and scooters transported in aircraft cargo compartments for the month of January 2018 will also be due February 15, 2018.

    Regulatory Analyses and Notices A. Executive Order 12866 (Regulatory Planning and Review) and DOT Regulatory Policies and Procedures

    This action has been determined not to be significant under Executive Order 12866 and the Department of Transportation's Regulatory Policies and Procedures. It has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget. These changes make the measure of the published mishandled baggage rate more informative for ticket purchasers trying to assess risk. The new metric of number of bags reported as mishandled reveals more than the old figure of the number of reports of mishandled bags, since a single passenger report can cover multiple bags or even multiple passengers (e.g., several members of a family). Also, the number of enplaned checked bags is more helpful than the number of passengers, particularly given that the ratio of checked bags to passengers will tend to vary among carriers depending on their baggage allowances and fees. With purchasers better informed on the comparative performance of different carriers, competition among airlines should sharpen and performance in baggage handling can be expected to improve. As for reporting of wheelchairs and scooters, making information available to the public on each carrier's performance on handling wheelchairs and scooters would enable passengers with disabilities to make better decisions about which carrier to fly. Comments submitted in this rulemaking from air travelers with disabilities and disability rights organizations suggest that fear of the airlines damaging or losing wheelchairs and scooters creates a reluctance to fly among those dependent on these devices. The expected present value of costs incurred by carriers to comply with the final rule over a 10 year period using a 7% discount rate is estimated at $2,064,588 and using a 3% discount rate is estimated at $2,483,436. The final Regulatory Evaluation has concluded that the benefits of the final rule justify its costs. A copy of the final Regulatory Evaluation has been placed in the docket.

    B. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) requires an agency to review regulations to assess their impact on small entities unless the agency determines that a rule is not expected to have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. DOT defines small carriers based on the standard published in 14 CFR 399.73 as carriers that provide air transportation exclusively with aircraft that seat no more than 60 passengers. No small U.S. air carriers are affected by these requirements, as they apply only to the “reporting carriers,” i.e., U.S. carriers that account for at least 1 percent of domestic scheduled passenger revenue. No small carriers as defined in 14 CFR 399.73 are included in this group. On the basis of this examination, I hereby certify that this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    C. Executive Order 13132 (Federalism)

    This final rule has been analyzed in accordance with the principles and criteria contained in Executive Order 13132 (“Federalism”). This final rule does not include any provision that: (1) Has substantial direct effects on the States, the relationship between the national government and the States, or the distribution of power and responsibility among the various levels of government; (2) imposes substantial direct compliance costs on State and local governments; or (3) preempts State law. States are already preempted from regulating in this area by the Airline Deregulation Act, 49 U.S.C. 41713. Therefore, the consultation and funding requirements of Executive Order 13132 do not apply.

    D. Executive Order 13084

    This final rule has been analyzed in accordance with the principles and criteria contained in Executive Order 13084 (“Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments”). Because this final rule does not significantly or uniquely affect the communities of the Indian Tribal governments or impose substantial direct compliance costs on them, the funding and consultation requirements of Executive Order 13084 do not apply.

    E. Paperwork Reduction Act

    This rule adopts new and revised information collection requirements subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA). The Department will publish a separate notice in the Federal Register inviting the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the general public, and other Federal agencies to comment on the new and revised information collection requirements contained in this document. As prescribed by the PRA, the requirements will not go into effect until OMB has approved them and the Department has published a notice announcing the effective date of the information collection requirements.

    F. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    The Department has determined that the requirements of Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 do not apply to this rule.

    G. National Environmental Policy Act

    The Department has analyzed the environmental impacts of this proposed action pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) and has determined that it is categorically excluded pursuant to DOT Order 5610.1C, Procedures for Considering Environmental Impacts (44 FR 56420, Oct. 1, 1979). Categorical exclusions are actions identified in an agency's NEPA implementing procedures that do not normally have a significant impact on the environment and therefore do not require either an environmental assessment (EA) or environmental impact statement (EIS). See 40 CFR 1508.4. In analyzing the applicability of a categorical exclusion, the agency must also consider whether extraordinary circumstances are present that would warrant the preparation of an EA or EIS. Id. Paragraph 3.c.6.i of DOT Order 5610.1C categorically excludes “[a]ctions relating to consumer protection, including regulations.” The purpose of this rulemaking is to change the way in which air carriers report mishandled baggage to the Department and fill a data gap by collecting separate statistics for mishandled wheelchairs and scooters used by passengers with disabilities and transported in aircraft cargo compartments. The Department does not anticipate any environmental impacts, and there are no extraordinary circumstances present in connection with this rulemaking.

    Issued this 18th day of October, 2016, in Washington, DC. Anthony R. Foxx, Secretary of Transportation. List of Subjects in 14 CFR Part 234

    Air carriers, Mishandled baggage, On-time statistics, Reporting, Uniform system of accounts.

    Accordingly, the Department of Transportation amends 14 CFR chapter II as follows:

    PART 234—[AMENDED] 1. The authority citation for part 234 is revised to read as follows: Authority:

    49 U.S.C. 329, 41101, and 41701.

    2. Section 234.2 is amended by adding the definition of “Mishandled checked bag” in alphabetical order, to read as follows:
    § 234.2 Definitions.

    Mishandled checked bag means a checked bag that is lost, delayed, damaged or pilfered, as reported to a carrier by or on behalf of a passenger.

    3. Section 234.6 is revised to read as follows:
    § 234.6 Baggage-handling statistics.

    (a) For air transportation taking place before January 1, 2018, each reporting carrier shall report monthly to the Department on a domestic system basis, excluding charter flights, the total number of passengers enplaned system-wide and the total number of mishandled-baggage reports filed with the carrier.

    (b) For air transportation taking place on or after January 1, 2018, each reporting carrier shall report monthly to the Department on a domestic system basis, excluding charter flights:

    (1) The total number of checked bags enplaned, including gate checked baggage, “valet bags,” interlined bags, and wheelchairs and scooters enplaned in the aircraft cargo compartment;

    (2) The total number of wheelchairs and scooters that were enplaned in the aircraft cargo compartment;

    (3) The number of mishandled checked bags, including gate-checked baggage, “valet bags,” interlined bags and wheelchairs and scooters that were enplaned in the aircraft cargo compartment; and

    (4) The number of mishandled wheelchairs and scooters that were enplaned in the aircraft cargo compartment.

    (c) The information in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section shall be submitted to the Department within 15 days after the end of the month to which the information applies and must be submitted with the transmittal accompanying the data for on-time performance in the form and manner set forth in accounting and reporting directives issued by the Director, Office of Airline Information.

    [FR Doc. 2016-26181 Filed 11-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-9X-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR National Indian Gaming Commission 25 CFR Parts 517, 584, and 585 RIN 3141-AA21, 3141-AA57 Various National Indian Gaming Commission Regulations AGENCY:

    National Indian Gaming Commission.

    ACTION:

    Correcting amendments.

    SUMMARY:

    The National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) amends various regulations previously issued. The NIGC moved its headquarters and needs to update the address. The agency also revises two headings by shortening them.

    DATES:

    Effective November 17, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mary Modrich-Alvarado, Staff Attorney, (202) 632-7003.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA or the Act), Public Law 100-497, 25 U.S.C. 2701 et seq., was signed into law October 17, 1988. The Act established the NIGC and set out a comprehensive framework for the regulation of gaming on Indian lands. The purposes of the Act include: Providing a statutory basis for the operation of gaming by Indian tribes as a means of promoting tribal economic development, self-sufficiency, and strong tribal governments; ensuring that the Indian tribe is the primary beneficiary of the gaming operation; and declaring that the establishment of independent federal regulatory authority for gaming on Indian lands, the establishment of federal standards for gaming on Indian lands, and the establishment of a National Indian Gaming Commission are necessary to meet congressional concerns regarding gaming and to protect such gaming as a means of generating tribal revenue. 25 U.S.C. 2702.

    II. Corrections 25 CFR Part 517—Freedom of Information Act Procedures

    This document revises 25 CFR 517.2 to reflect the correct physical address. This document also amends 25 CFR 517.4(a) and 517.8(b)(2) to reflect the correct mailing address.

    25 CFR Part 584—Appeals Before a Presiding Official

    This document revises the heading of 25 CFR part 584.

    25 CFR Part 585—Appeals to the Commission

    This document revises the heading of 25 CFR part 585.

    III. Certain Findings

    Under the Administrative Procedure Act, a notice of proposed rulemaking is not required when an agency, for good cause, finds that notice and public comments are impractical, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest. Because the revisions here are technical in nature and intended solely to update the NIGC's current mailing address the NIGC is publishing a technical amendment.

    IV. Regulatory Matters Executive Order 13175

    The National Indian Gaming Commission is committed to fulfilling its tribal consultation obligations—whether directed by statute or administrative action such as Executive Order 13175 (Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments)—by adhering to the consultation framework described in its Consultation Policy published on July 15, 2013. Due to the ministerial nature of the action being taken here, consultation is not required under the NIGC's Consultation Policy.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    This rule will not have a significant economic effect on a substantial number of small entities as defined by the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601, et seq. Indian tribes are not considered to be small entities for purposes of the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

    Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

    This rule is not a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804(2), the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act. This rule will not result in an annual effect on the economy of $100 million per year or more. This rule will not cause a major increase in costs or prices for consumers, individual industries, federal, state, or local government agencies, or geographic regions and does not have a significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, innovation, or on the ability of U.S.-based enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises.

    Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    The Commission, as an independent regulatory agency, is exempt from compliance with the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act, 2 U.S.C. 1502(1); 2 U.S.C. 658(1).

    Takings

    In accordance with Executive Order 12630, the Commission determined the rule does not have significant takings implications. A takings implication assessment is not required.

    Civil Justice Reform Act

    In accordance with Executive Order 12988, the Commission determined the rule does not unduly burden the judicial system and meets the requirements of sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) of the Executive Order.

    National Environmental Policy Act

    The Commission determined this rule does not constitute a major federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment and that a detailed statement is not required pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, 42 U.S.C. 4321, et seq.

    Paperwork Reduction Act

    The rule does not contain any information collection requirements for which Office of Management and Budget approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520) is required.

    List of Subjects 25 CFR Part 517

    Freedom of information.

    25 CFR Part 584

    Administrative practice and procedure, Gambling.

    25 CFR Part 585

    Administrative practice and procedure, Gambling, Indians—lands, Penalties.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, the NIGC amends 25 CFR parts 517, 584, and 585 as follows:

    PART 517—FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT PROCEDURES 1. The authority citation for part 517 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    5 U.S.C. 552, as amended.

    2. Revise the first sentence of § 517.2 to read as follows:
    § 517.2 Public reading room.

    Records that are required to be maintained by the Commission shall be available for public inspection and copying at 90 K Street NE., Suite 200, Washington, DC 20002. * * *

    3. Revise the first two sentences of § 517.4(a) to read as follows:
    § 517.4 Requirements for making requests.

    (a) How to make a FOIA request. Requests for records made pursuant to the FOIA must be in writing. Requests should be sent to the National Indian Gaming Commission, Attn: FOIA Officer, C/O Department of Interior, 1849 C Street NW., Mailstop #1621, Washington, DC 20240. * * *

    4. Revise the last sentence in § 517.8(b)(2) to read as follows:
    § 517.8 Appeals.

    (b) * * *

    (2) * * * The appeal shall be addressed to the National Indian Gaming Commission, Attn: FOIA Appeals Officer, C/O Department of Interior, 1849 C Street NW., Mailstop #1621, Washington, DC 20240.

    PART 584—APPEALS BEFORE A PRESIDING OFFICIAL 5. The authority citation for part 584 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    25 U.S.C. 2706, 2710, 2711, 2712, 2713, 2715, 2717.

    6. Revise the heading of part 584 to read as set forth above. PART 585—APPEALS TO THE COMMISSION 7. The authority citation for part 585 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    25 U.S.C. 2706, 2710, 2711, 2712, 2713, 2715, 2717.

    8. Revise the heading of part 585 to read as set forth above. Dated: October 17, 2016. Jonodev O. Chaudhuri, Chairman. Kathryn Isom-Clause, Vice Chair. E. Sequoyah Simermeyer, Associate Commissioner.
    [FR Doc. 2016-26060 Filed 11-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7565-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary 32 CFR Part 199 [Docket ID: DOD-2015-HA-0062] RIN 0720-AB64 Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Uniformed Services (CHAMPUS)/TRICARE: Refills of Maintenance Medications Through Military Treatment Facility Pharmacies or National Mail Order Pharmacy Program AGENCY:

    Office of the Secretary, Department of Defense (DoD).

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This final rule implements section 702 (c) of the Carl Levin and Howard P. “Buck” McKeon National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015 which states that beginning October 1, 2015, the pharmacy benefits program shall require eligible covered beneficiaries generally to refill non-generic prescription maintenance medications through military treatment facility pharmacies or the national mail-order pharmacy program. An interim final rule is in effect. Section 702(c) of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015 also terminates the TRICARE For Life Pilot Program on September 30, 2015. The TRICARE For Life Pilot Program described in section 716(f) of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013, was a pilot program which began in March 2014 requiring TRICARE For Life beneficiaries to refill non-generic prescription maintenance medications through military treatment facility pharmacies or the national mail-order pharmacy program. TRICARE for Life beneficiaries are those enrolled in the Medicare wraparound coverage option of the TRICARE program. This rule includes procedures to assist beneficiaries in transferring covered prescriptions to the mail order pharmacy program.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: This rule is effective January 6, 2017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dr. George Jones, Jr., Chief, Pharmacy Operations Division, Defense Health Agency, telephone 703-681-2890.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    A. Executive Summary 1. Purpose

    This final rule implements Section 702(c) of the Carl Levin and Howard P. “Buck” McKeon National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015 which states that beginning October 1, 2015, the pharmacy benefits program shall require eligible covered beneficiaries generally to refill non-generic prescription maintenance medications through military treatment facility pharmacies or the national mail-order pharmacy program. Eligible covered beneficiaries are defined in sections 1072(5) and 1086 of title 10, United States Code.

    2. Summary of the Major Provisions of the Final Rule

    TRICARE beneficiaries are generally required to obtain all prescription refills for select non-generic maintenance medications from the TRICARE mail order program (where beneficiary copayments are much lower than in retail pharmacies) or military treatment facilities (where there are no copayments). Covered maintenance medications are those prescribed for chronic, long-term conditions that are taken on a regular, recurring basis, but do not include medications to treat acute conditions. TRICARE will follow best commercial practices, including that beneficiaries will be notified of the new rules and mechanisms to allow them to receive adequate medication during their transition to mail for their refills. The statute and rule authorize a waiver of the mail order requirement based on patient needs and other appropriate circumstances.

    3. Costs and Benefits

    The effect of the statutory requirement, implemented by this rule, is to shift a volume of prescriptions from retail pharmacies to the mail order pharmacy program. This will produce savings to the Department of approximately $81 million per year and savings to beneficiaries of approximately $20 million per year in reduced copayments.

    B. Background

    In Fiscal Year 2014, 61 million prescriptions were filled for TRICARE beneficiaries through the TRICARE retail pharmacy benefit at a net cost of $5.1 billion to the government. On average, the government pays 32% less for brand name maintenance medication prescriptions filled in the mail order program or military treatment facility pharmacies than through the retail program. Not all prescriptions filled through the retail program are maintenance/chronic medications. However, there is potential for significant savings to the government by shifting a portion of TRICARE prescription refills to the mail order program or military treatment facility pharmacies. In addition, there will be significant savings to TRICARE beneficiaries who will receive up to a 90 day refill at no charge for generics in the mail order program compared to $10 copay for up to a 30 day in retail. The savings is even greater for brand-name prescriptions: $20 for up to 90 days in mail versus $24 for up to 30 days in retail, meaning that for a 90-day supply the copayment comparison is $20 in mail to $72 in retail. The non-formulary copayment amount is $49 for up to 90 days in mail non-formulary drugs are generally not available in retail.

    C. Summary of the Final Rule

    The final rule revises paragraph (r) to 32 CFR 199.21. This paragraph (r) establishes rules for the new program of refills of maintenance medications for TRICARE through the mail order pharmacy program. Paragraph (r)(1) requires that for covered non-generic maintenance medications, TRICARE beneficiaries are generally required to obtain their prescription refills through the national mail order pharmacy program or through military treatment facility pharmacies. TRICARE beneficiaries are defined in sections 1072(5) and 1086 of title 10, United States Code, including those enrolled in the Medicare wraparound coverage option of the TRICARE program.

    Paragraph (r)(2) provides that the Director, Defense Health Agency will establish, maintain, and periodically revise and update a list of covered maintenance medications, which will be accessible through the TRICARE Pharmacy Program Web site and by telephone through the TRICARE Pharmacy Program Service Center. Each medication included on the list will be a medication prescribed for a chronic, long-term condition that is taken on a regular, recurring basis. It will be clinically appropriate and cost effective to dispense the medication from the mail order pharmacy. It will be available for an initial filling of a 30-day or less supply through retail pharmacies, and will be generally available at military treatment facility pharmacies for initial fill and refills. It will be available for refill through the national mail-order pharmacy.

    Paragraph (r)(3) provides that a refill is a subsequent filling of an original prescription under the same prescription number or other authorization as the original prescription, or a new original prescription issued at or near the end date of an earlier prescription for the same medication for the same patient.

    Paragraph (r)(4) provides that a waiver of the general requirement to obtain maintenance medication prescription refills from the mail order pharmacy or military treatment facility pharmacy will be granted in several circumstances. There is a case-by-case waiver to permit prescription maintenance medication refills at a retail pharmacy when necessary due to personal need or hardship, emergency, or other special circumstance, for example, for nursing home residents. This waiver is obtained through an administrative override request to the TRICARE pharmacy benefits manager under procedures established by the Director, Defense Health Agency.

    Paragraph (r)(5) establishes procedures for the effective operation of the program. The Department will implement the program by utilizing best commercial practices to the extent practicable. An effective communication plan that includes efforts to educate beneficiaries in order to optimize participation and satisfaction will be implemented. Beneficiaries with active prescriptions for a medication on the maintenance medication list will be notified that their medication is covered under the program. Beneficiaries will be advised that they may receive up to two 30 day fills at retail while they transition their prescription to the mail order program. The beneficiary will be contacted after each of these two fills reminding the beneficiary that the prescription must be transferred to mail. Requests for a third fill at retail will be blocked and the beneficiary advised to call the pharmacy benefits manager (PBM) for assistance. The PBM will provide a toll free number to assist beneficiaries in transferring their prescriptions from retail to the mail order program. With the beneficiary's permission, the PBM will contact the physician or other health care provider who prescribed the medication to assist in transferring the prescription to the mail order program. In any case in which a beneficiary is required to obtain a maintenance medication prescription refill from the national mail-order pharmacy program and attempts instead to refill such medications at a retail pharmacy, the PBM will also maintain the toll free number to assist the beneficiary. This assistance may include information on how to request a waiver or in taking any other appropriate action to meet the beneficiary's needs and to implement the program. The PBM will ensure that a pharmacist is available at all times through the toll-free telephone number to answer beneficiary questions or provide other appropriate assistance.

    Paragraph (r)(6) provides that the program will remain in effect indefinitely with any adjustments or modifications required by law.

    D. Summary of and Response to Public Comments

    The interim final rule was published in the Federal Register (80 FR 46796) August 6, 2015, for a 60-day comment period. We received six comments on the interim final rule; four comments from individuals and two comments from professional associations. We appreciate these comments, which are summarized here, along with DoD's response.

    Comment: One comment expressed concern regarding the possibilities of delays in the mail causing the patient to miss a day or more of their medication.

    Response: The provisions of the TRICARE pharmacy contract permit beneficiaries to refill medications well in advance of the refill due date to allow for adequate shipping time. Additionally, this final rule provides for a case-by-case waiver to permit prescription maintenance medication refill at a retail pharmacy when necessary due to personal need or hardship, emergency, or special circumstance.

    Comment: One commenter objected to the lack of clear communication from ESI by stating that conflicting messages are often given to a beneficiary who calls with a question, i.e. your medications has been shipped, your medication has not been shipped, etc. The same individual suggests that Prior Approvals for brand name products often get deleted from the system requiring the beneficiary to repeat the PA process.

    Response: DoD acknowledges the commenter's concerns regarding contractor communication and Prior Approvals being deleted from the system, both of which are contract specific issues, and not part of the regulatory language. It should be noted that Prior Approvals may be time limited depending on the medication. DoD will consider the feedback for incorporation into future contractor customer service performance requirements.

    Comment: One commenter inquired why Active Duty personnel are not required to participate in this mandatory program which appears to be targeting retirees. In addition, the individual suggested a blanket waiver be administered for retirees who live in remote areas with very limited MTF pharmacy access. A final concern asked if MTF staffing has been increased to accommodate the potential influx of retirees.

    Response: This final rule conforms with the current statutory requirement of Section 702 in the fiscal year (FY) 2015 National Defense Authorization Act, requiring eligible covered beneficiaries generally to refill non-generic prescription maintenance medications through military treatment facility pharmacies or the national mail order program. Eligible covered beneficiaries are defined in Title 10, Section 1072(5) and does not include Active Duty service members. The statute and the rule designate military treatment facility (MTF) pharmacies or the mail order pharmacy program as the two options available to beneficiaries for obtaining refills of non-generic prescription maintenance medications. For those beneficiaries who live in remote areas with limited MTF access, the mail order pharmacy program is an ideal option saving both time and copayment expenses. Our experience and data from the TRICARE FOR LIFE maintenance medication pilot showed that there was sufficient capacity to accommodate the change, both at mail order and in the MTFs. Our data show that the overall impact on the MTF workload was very minimal, while majority of the prescriptions went to mail order. The movement of brand maintenance medications from retail to mail order actually saves beneficiaries out-of-pocket expenses in the form of reduced copays and up to a 90 day supply for less than the 30 day copay at retail. This provides a win-win scenario for the beneficiary and the government.

    Comment: One commenter cited anecdotal evidence in Alabama that resulted in emergency room visits from ingesting mail order prescriptions that had been exposed to excessive heat. The commenter expressed concerns about proper temperature control of medications shipped through the mail and suggests the rule include a requirement that all medications must be kept within the FDA's recommended range of 59-86 degrees.

    Response: The pharmacy contractor reviews all medications dispensed through the mail order pharmacy for unique shipping requirements, based on information from the manufacturer. For medications that are temperature-sensitive, special shipping procedures are followed. The temperature-sensitive medications are mailed via expedited overnight shipping or 2nd day air, at no cost to the beneficiary. Before certain medications are delivered, a scheduling call is made to the beneficiary to arrange a delivery time and date.

    Comment: A professional association commented with a number of concerns: beneficiaries should continue to have choice, flexibility, and easy access to prescription medications; unnecessary waste resulting from auto-ship policies and the suggestion to implement policies to ensure mail order refills are approved and needed; DoD should conduct and publicize a beneficiary satisfaction survey at the end of each year; beneficiaries should be properly informed about the options to seek a waiver and clear instructions on how to obtain one; DoD should develop and make available a complete list of acute care meds.

    Response: This final rule conforms with the current statutory requirement of Section 702 in the FY 2015 NDAA requiring eligible covered beneficiaries generally to refill non-generic prescription maintenance medications through military treatment facility pharmacies or the national mail order program. DoD believes it is being implemented successfully and without adverse effects on beneficiaries. Non-generic prescription maintenance medications subject to the program are listed at www.health.mil/selectdruglist. DoD has determined it unnecessary to have an additional list to specify acute care medications that are not subject to the program. DoD continues to monitor beneficiary satisfaction of the TRICARE pharmacy program.

    Comment: A professional association commented with the following concerns: The rule should clearly indicate that covered maintenance medications include non-generic only; beneficiaries should have to consent to getting a refill rather than automatic shipping; mandatory mail results in a silo approach where the patient gets prescriptions from multiple sources resulting the lack of coordinated care; community pharmacists are often the sole source for medication and patient education and can only judge the patient's understand by in-person interactions; communications to beneficiaries regarding waivers should include complete information on how to obtain a waiver.

    Response: Section 199.21(r)(1) has been amended to insert “non-generic” prior to “covered medications”. Contractor requirements are not part of the regulatory language. In order to participate in the mail order auto-ship program, beneficiaries must consent to auto-ship enrollment but are not required to do so. Beneficiaries enrolled in the auto-ship program are notified prior to medication shipment.

    E. Regulatory Procedures Executive Order 12866, “Regulatory Planning and Review”

    Executive Order (E.O.) 12866 requires that a comprehensive regulatory impact analysis be performed on any economically significant regulatory action, defined primarily as one that would result in an effect of $100 million or more in any one year. The DoD has examined the economic and policy implications of this final rule and based on the resulting analysis, the Office of Management and Budget has concluded that this is an economically significant regulatory action under the Executive Order. The program rule will produce savings to the Department of approximately $81M per year and savings to beneficiaries of approximately $20 million per year in reduced copayments. This rule results in a shift of workload from retail pharmacies to the mail order program. This workload shift is estimated to result in a net impact to retail pharmacy margins nationwide of $15.6 million in FY17 dollars. This rule has been designated an economically significant regulatory action under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, the rule has been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

    Congressional Review Act, 5 U.S.C. 801, et seq.

    Under the Congressional Review Act, a major rule may not take effect until at least 60 days after submission to Congress of a report regarding the rule. A major rule is one that would have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more or have certain other impacts. This final rule is not a major rule under the Congressional Review Act.

    Section 202, Public Law 104-4, “Unfunded Mandates Reform Act”

    This rule does not contain a Federal mandate that may result in the expenditure by State, local and tribal governments, in aggregate, or by the private sector, of $100 million or more (adjusted for inflation) in any one year.

    Public Law 96-354, “Regulatory Flexibility Act” (5 U.S.C. 601)

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) requires that each Federal agency prepare and make available for public comment, a regulatory flexibility analysis when the agency issues a regulation which would have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities. This final rule does not have a significant impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    Public Law 96-511, “Paperwork Reduction Act” (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35)

    This final rule contains no new information collection requirements subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3511).

    Executive Order 13132, “Federalism”

    This final rule does not have federalism implications, as set forth in Executive Order 13132. This rule does not have substantial direct effects on the States; the relationship between the National Government and the States; or the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of Government.

    List of Subjects in 32 CFR Part 199

    Administrative practice and procedure, Claims, Dental health, Fraud, Health care, Health insurance, Individuals with disabilities, Military personnel.

    Accordingly, 32 CFR part 199 is amended as follows:

    PART 199—[AMENDED] 1. The authority citation for part 199 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    5 U.S.C. 301; 10 U.S.C. chapter 55.

    2. Section 199.21 is amended by revising paragraph (r) to read as follows:
    § 199.21 TRICARE Pharmacy Benefits Program.

    (r) Refills of maintenance medications for eligible covered beneficiaries through the mail order pharmacy program—(1) In general Consistent with section 702 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015, this paragraph requires that for non-generic covered maintenance medications, beneficiaries are generally required to obtain their prescription through the national mail-order pharmacy program or through military treatment facility pharmacies. For purposes of this paragraph, eligible covered beneficiaries are those defined under sections 1072 and 1086 of title 10, United States Code.

    (2) Medications covered. The Director, DHA, will establish, maintain, and periodically revise and update a list of non-generic covered maintenance medications subject to the requirement of paragraph (r)(1) of this section. The current list will be accessible through the TRICARE Pharmacy Program Internet Web site and by telephone through the TRICARE Pharmacy Program Service Center. Each medication included on the list will meet the following requirements:

    (i) It will be a medication prescribed for a chronic, long-term condition that is taken on a regular, recurring basis.

    (ii) It will be clinically appropriate to dispense the medication from the mail order pharmacy.

    (iii) It will be cost effective to dispense the medication from the mail order pharmacy.

    (iv) It will be available for an initial filling of a 30-day or less supply through retail pharmacies.

    (v) It will be generally available at military treatment facility pharmacies for initial fill and refills.

    (vi) It will be available for refill through the national mail-order pharmacy program.

    (3) Refills covered. For purposes of the program under paragraph (r)(1) of this section, a refill is:

    (i) A subsequent filling of an original prescription under the same prescription number or other authorization as the original prescription; or

    (ii) A new original prescription issued at or near the end date of an earlier prescription for the same medication for the same patient.

    (4) Waiver of requirement. A waiver of the general requirement to obtain maintenance medication prescription refills from the mail order pharmacy or military treatment facility pharmacy will be granted in the following circumstances:

    (i) There is a blanket waiver for prescription medications that are for acute care needs.

    (ii) There is a blanket waiver for prescriptions covered by other health insurance.

    (iii) There is a case-by-case waiver to permit prescription maintenance medication refills at a retail pharmacy when necessary due to personal need or hardship, emergency, or other special circumstance. This waiver is obtained through an administrative override request to the TRICARE pharmacy benefits manager under procedures established by the Director, DHA.

    (5) Procedures. Under the program established by paragraph (r)(1) of this section, the Director, DHA will establish procedures for the effective operation of the program. Among these procedures are the following:

    (i) The Department will implement the program by utilizing best commercial practices to the extent practicable.

    (ii) An effective communication plan that includes efforts to educate beneficiaries in order to optimize participation and satisfaction will be implemented.

    (iii) Beneficiaries with active retail prescriptions for a medication on the maintenance medication list will be notified that their medication is included under the program. Beneficiaries will be advised that they may receive two 30 day fill at retail while they transition their prescription to the mail order program.

    (iv) Requests for a third fill at retail will result in 100% patient cost shares and will be blocked from any TRICARE payments and the beneficiary advised to call the pharmacy benefits manager (PBM) for assistance.

    (v) The PBM will provide a toll free number to assist beneficiaries in transferring their prescriptions from retail to the mail order program. With the beneficiary's permission, the PBM will contact the physician or other health care provider who prescribed the medication to assist in transferring the prescription to the mail order program.

    (vi) In any case in which a beneficiary required under paragraph (r) of this section to obtain a maintenance medication prescription refill from national mail order pharmacy program and attempts instead to refill such medications at a retail pharmacy, the PBM will also maintain the toll free number to assist the beneficiary. This assistance may include information on how to request a waiver, consistent with paragraph (r)(4)(iii) of this section, or in taking any other appropriate action to meet the beneficiary's needs and to implement the program.

    (vii) The PBM will ensure that a pharmacist is available at all times through the toll-free telephone number to answer beneficiary questions or provide other appropriate assistance.

    (6) This program will remain in effect indefinitely with any adjustments or modifications required by law.

    Dated: October 28, 2016. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2016-26432 Filed 11-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service 50 CFR Part 17 [Docket No. FWS-HQ-ES-2016-0109; 4500030113] RIN 1018-BB82 Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Adding Ten Species and Updating Five Species on the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife AGENCY:

    Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Final rule.

    SUMMARY:

    We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), in accordance with the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act), are amending the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife (List) by adding: three foreign coral species (Cantharellus noumeae, Siderastrea glynni, and Tubastraea floreana), dusky sea snake (Aipysurus fuscus), Banggai cardinalfish (Pterapogon kauderni), the Tanzanian distinct population segment (DPS) of African coelacanth (Latimeria chalumnae), Nassau grouper (Epinephelus striatus), and three angelshark species (Squatina aculeata, S. oculata, and S. squatina). We are also updating the entries for Puget Sound-Georgia Basin canary rockfish (Sebastes pinniger), Puget Sound-Georgia Basin yelloweye rockfish (Sebastes ruberrimus), lower Columbia River coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch), and the Puget Sound steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) to reflect the designation of critical habitat, and we are updating the entry for the North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis) to reflect an applicable rule citation. These amendments are based on previously published determinations by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce, which has jurisdiction for these species.

    DATES:

    This rule is effective November 2, 2016. Applicability date: The three coral and dusky sea snake listings were applicable as of November 6, 2015. The Banggai cardinalfish listing was applicable as of February 19, 2016. The Tanzanian DPS of African coelacanth listing was applicable as of April 28, 2016. The Nassau grouper listing was applicable as of July 29, 2016. The three angelshark listings were applicable as of August 31, 2016. The critical habitat designations for the Puget Sound-Georgia Basin canary rockfish (Sebastes pinniger) and Puget Sound-Georgia Basin yelloweye rockfish (Sebastes ruberrimus) were applicable as of February 11, 2015. The critical habitat designations for the lower Columbia River coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) and the Puget Sound steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) were applicable as of March 25, 2016. The applicable rule citation for the North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis) was applicable as of December 6, 2013.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Sarah Quamme, Chief, Unified Listing Team, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, MS-ES, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041-3803; 703-358-1796.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    In accordance with the Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.) and Reorganization Plan No. 4 of 1970 (35 FR 15627; October 6, 1970), NMFS has jurisdiction over the marine and anadromous taxa specified in this rule. Under section 4(a)(1) of the Act, NMFS must decide whether a species under its jurisdiction should be classified as endangered or threatened. Under section 4(a)(3)(A)(i) of the Act, NMFS must designate any habitat of endangered or threatened species which is then considered to be critical habitat. NMFS makes these determinations and critical habitat designations via its rulemaking process. Under section 4(a)(2) of the Act, we, the Service, are then responsible for publishing final rules to amend the List in title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) at 50 CFR 17.11(h).

    On December 16, 2014, NMFS published a proposed rule (79 FR 74953) to list the dusky sea snake (Aipysurus fuscus) and three foreign corals (Cantharellus noumeae, Siderastrea glynni, and Tubastraea floreana) as endangered species, and the Banggai cardinalfish (Pterapogon kauderni) as a threatened species. NMFS solicited public comments on the proposed rule through February 17, 2015. On October 7, 2015, NMFS published a final rule (80 FR 60560) to list the dusky sea snake and the three foreign coral species as endangered species. On January 20, 2016, NMFS published a final rule (81 FR 3023) to list the Banggai cardinalfish as a threatened species.

    The listing of the dusky sea snake and three foreign coral species was applicable as of November 6, 2015. The listing of the Banggai cardinalfish was applicable as of February 19, 2016. In the final rules for these species (dusky sea snake and three corals: 80 FR 60560; Banggai cardinalfish: 81 FR 3023), NMFS addressed all public comments received in response to the proposed rule. By publishing this final rule, we are simply taking the necessary administrative step to codify these changes in the List at 50 CFR 17.11(h).

    On March 3, 2015, NMFS published a proposed rule (80 FR 11363) to list the Tanzanian DPS of African coelacanth (Latimeria chalumnae) as a threatened species. NMFS solicited public comments on the proposed rule through May 4, 2015. NMFS addressed all public comments received in response to the proposed rule, and on March 29, 2016, NMFS published a final rule (81 FR 17398) to list the Tanzanian DPS of African coelacanth as a threatened species. The listing of the Tanzanian DPS of African coelacanth was applicable as of April 28, 2016. By publishing this final rule, we are simply taking the necessary administrative step to codify these changes in the List at 50 CFR 17.11(h).

    On September 2, 2014, NMFS published a proposed rule (79 FR 51929) to list Nassau grouper (Epinephelus striatus) as a threatened species. NMFS solicited public comments on the proposed rule through December 31, 2014. NMFS addressed all public comments received in response to the proposed rule, and on June 29, 2016, NMFS published a final rule (81 FR 42268) to list Nassau grouper as a threatened species. The listing of Nassau grouper was applicable as of July 29, 2016. By publishing this final rule, we are simply taking the necessary administrative step to codify these changes in the List at 50 CFR 17.11(h).

    On July 14, 2015, NMFS published a proposed rule (80 FR 40969) to list the sawback angelshark (Squatina aculeata), smoothback angelshark (Squatina oculata), and the common angelshark (Squatina squatina) as endangered species. NMFS solicited public comments on the proposed rule through September 14, 2015. NMFS addressed all public comments received in response to the proposed rule, and on August 1, 2016, NMFS published a final rule (81 FR 50394) to list these three angelshark species as endangered species. The listing of these three angelshark species was applicable as of August 31, 2016. By publishing this final rule, we are simply taking the necessary administrative step to codify these changes in the List at 50 CFR 17.11(h).

    We are also updating the entries on the List for the Puget Sound-Georgia Basin canary rockfish (Sebastes pinniger), Puget Sound-Georgia Basin yelloweye rockfish (Sebastes ruberrimus), lower Columbia River coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch), and the Puget Sound steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) to reflect the final designation of critical habitat for these four species. On August 6, 2013, NMFS published a proposed rule (78 FR 47635) identifying critical habitat for the Puget Sound-Georgia Basin DPSs of yelloweye rockfish and canary rockfish. NMFS solicited public comments on the proposed rule through November 4, 2013. On November 13, 2014, NMFS published a final rule (79 FR 68042) designating critical habitat for these two rockfish species. On January 14, 2013, NMFS published a proposed rule (78 FR 2726) identifying critical habitat for the lower Columbia River coho salmon and Puget Sound steelhead. NMFS solicited public comments on the proposed rule through April 15, 2013. On February 24, 2016, NMFS published a final rule (81 FR 9252) designating critical habitat for these two species.

    The designation of critical habitat for the Puget Sound-Georgia Basin rockfish DPSs was applicable as of February 11, 2015. The designation of critical habitat for the lower Columbia River coho salmon and Puget Sound steelhead was applicable as of March 25, 2016. In the respective final rules (79 FR 68042 and 81 FR 9252), NMFS addressed all public comments received in response to the proposed rules. By publishing this final rule, we are simply taking the necessary administrative step to codify these changes in the List at 50 CFR 17.11(h).

    Finally, we are updating the entry on the List for the North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis) to reflect the publication of a final rule eliminating the expiration date (or “sunset clause”) contained in regulations at 50 CFR 224.105 requiring vessel speed restrictions to reduce the likelihood of lethal vessel collisions with North Atlantic right whales. NMFS published the proposed rule on June 6, 2013 (78 FR 34024), and solicited public comments through August 5, 2013. NMFS addressed all public comments received in response to the proposed rule. On December 9, 2013, NMFS published a final rule (78 FR 73726), followed by a correction to the final rule (79 FR 34245, June 16, 2014), removing the sunset clause. By publishing this final rule, we are simply taking the necessary administrative step to codify these changes in the List at 50 CFR 17.11(h).

    The rulemaking actions discussed above are presented in Table 1. As mentioned above, in all cases, NMFS addressed the public comments received.

    Table 1—Rulemaking Actions by NMFS Common name Scientific name Proposed rule publication date, action Final rule publication date Applicability date Dusky sea snake Aipysurus fuscus December 16, 2014 (79 FR 74953), to list as endangered October 7, 2015 (80 FR 60560) November 6, 2015. Coral (no common name) Cantharellus noumeae December 16, 2014 (79 FR 74953), to list as endangered October 7, 2015 (80 FR 60560) November 6, 2015. Coral (no common name) Siderastrea glynni December 16, 2014 (79 FR 74953), to list as endangered October 7, 2015 (80 FR 60560) November 6, 2015. Coral (no common name) Tubastraea floreana December 16, 2014 (79 FR 74953), to list as endangered October 7, 2015 (80 FR 60560) November 6, 2015. Banggai cardinalfish Pterapogon kauderni December 16, 2014 (79 FR 74953), to list as threatened January 20, 2016 (81 FR 3023) February 19, 2016. African coelacanth (Tanzanian DPS) Latimeria chalumnae March 3, 2015 (80 FR 11363), to list as threatened March 29, 2016 (81 FR 17398) April 28, 2016. Nassau grouper Epinephelus striatus September 2, 2014 (79 FR 51929), to list as threatened June 29, 2016 (81 FR 42268) July 29, 2016. Sawback angelshark Squatina aculeata July 14, 2015 (80 FR 40969), to list as endangered August 1, 2016 (81 FR 50394) August 31, 2016. Smoothback angelshark Squatina oculata July 14, 2015 (80 FR 40969), to list as endangered August 1, 2016 (81 FR 50394) August 31, 2016. Common angelshark Squatina squatina July 14, 2015 (80 FR 40969), to list as endangered August 1, 2016 (81 FR 50394) August 31, 2016. Canary rockfish (Puget Sound-Georgia Basin DPS) Sebastes pinniger August 6, 2013 (78 FR 47635), to designate critical habitat November 13, 2014 (79 FR 68042) February 11, 2015. Yelloweye rockfish (Puget Sound-Georgia Basin DPS) Sebastes ruberrimus August 6, 2013 (78 FR 47635), to designate critical habitat November 13, 2014 (79 FR 68042) February 11, 2015. Coho salmon (lower Columbia River) Oncorhynchus kisutch January 14, 2013 (78 FR 2726), to designate critical habitat February 24, 2016 (81 FR 9252) March 25, 2016. Steelhead (Puget Sound DPS) Oncorhynchus mykiss January 14, 2013 (78 FR 2726), to designate critical habitat February 24, 2016 (81 FR 9252) March 25, 2016. North Atlantic right whale Eubalaena glacialis June 6, 2013 (78 FR 34024), to eliminate the “sunset clause” December 9, 2013 (78 FR 73726); correction to final rule on June 16, 2014 (79 FR 34245) December 6, 2013. Administrative Procedure Act

    Because NMFS provided a public comment period on the proposed rules for these taxa, and because this action of the Service to amend the List in accordance with the determination by NMFS is nondiscretionary, the Service finds good cause that the notice and public comment procedures of 5 U.S.C. 553(b) are unnecessary for this action. We also find good cause under 5 U.S.C. 553(d)(3) to make this rule effective immediately. The NMFS rules extended protection under the Act to these species and listed them in 50 CFR parts 223 and 224 or designated critical habitat under 50 CFR part 226; this rule is an administrative action to amend the List at 50 CFR 17.11(h) to reflect that NMFS has completed final listing determinations or revisions, or final critical habitat determinations, for these species. The public would not be served by delaying the effective date of this rulemaking action.

    Required Determinations National Environmental Policy Act

    We have determined that an environmental assessment, as defined under the authority of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, need not be prepared in connection with regulations adopted pursuant to section 4(a) of the Act. We outlined our reasons for this determination in the Federal Register on October 25, 1983 (48 FR 49244).

    List of Subjects in 50 CFR Part 17

    Endangered and threatened species, Exports, Imports, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Transportation.

    Regulation Promulgation

    Accordingly, we amend part 17, subchapter B of chapter I, title 50 of the Code of Federal Regulations, as set forth below:

    PART 17—ENDANGERED AND THREATENED WILDLIFE AND PLANTS 1. The authority citation for part 17 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1361-1407; 1531-1544; and 4201-4245, unless otherwise noted.

    2. Amend § 17.11(h), the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife, by: a. Revising the entry for “Whale, North Atlantic right” under MAMMALS; b. Adding an entry for “Sea snake, dusky” in alphabetical order under REPTILES; c. Adding entries for “Angelshark, common,” “Angelshark, sawback,” “Angelshark, smoothback,” “Cardinalfish, Banggai,” “Coelacanth, African [Tanzanian DPS],” and “Grouper, Nassau” in alphabetical order under FISHES; d. Revising the entries for “Rockfish, canary [Puget Sound-Georgia Basin DPS],” “Rockfish, yelloweye [Puget Sound-Georgia Basin DPS],” “Salmon, coho [Lower Columbia River ESU],” and “Steelhead [Puget Sound DPS]” under FISHES; and e. Adding entries for “Coral, (no common name)” [Cantharellus noumeae], “Coral, (no common name)” [Siderastrea glynni], and “Coral, (no common name)” [Tubastraea floreana] in alphabetical order by scientific name under CORALS.

    The revisions and additions read as follows:

    § 17.11 Endangered and threatened wildlife.

    (h) * * *

    Common name Scientific name Where listed Status Listing citations and applicable rules MAMMALS *         *         *         *         *         *         * Whale, North Atlantic right Eubalaena glacialis Wherever found E 35 FR 8491; 6/2/1970, 73 FR 12024; 3/6/2008,N 76 FR 20558; 4/13/2011, 79 FR 42687; 7/23/2014, 50 CFR 224.103, 50 CFR 224.105, 50 CFR 226.203.CH *         *         *         *         *         *         * REPTILES *         *         *         *         *         *         * Sea snake, dusky Aipysurus fuscus Wherever found E 80 FR 60560; 10/7/2015.N *         *         *         *         *         *         * FISHES *         *         *         *         *         *         * Angelshark, common Squatina squatina Wherever found E 81 FR 50394; 8/1/2016.N Angelshark, sawback Squatina aculeata Wherever found E 81 FR 50394; 8/1/2016.N Angelshark, smoothback Squatina oculata Wherever found E 81 FR 50394; 8/1/2016.N *         *         *         *         *         *         * Cardinalfish, Banggai Pterapogon kauderni Wherever found T 81 FR 3023; 1/20/2016.N *         *         *         *         *         *         * Coelacanth, African [Tanzanian DPS] Latimeria chalumnae Tanzanian DPS—see 50 CFR 223.102 T 81 FR 17398;. 3/29/2016N *         *         *         *         *         *         * Grouper, Nassau Epinephelus striatus Wherever found T 81 FR 42268; 6/29/2016.N *         *         *         *         *         *         * Rockfish, canary [Puget Sound-Georgia Basin DPS] Sebastes pinniger Puget Sound-Georgia Basin DPS—see 50 CFR 223.102 T 75 FR 22276; 4/28/2010,N 76 FR 20558; 4/13/2011, 79 FR 42687; 7/23/2014, 50 CFR 226.224.CH Rockfish, yelloweye [Puget Sound-Georgia Basin DPS] Sebastes ruberrimus Puget Sound-Georgia Basin DPS—see 50 CFR 223.102 T 75 FR 22276; 4/28/2010,N 76 FR 20558; 4/13/2011, 79 FR 42687; 7/23/2014, 50 CFR 226.224.CH *         *         *         *         *         *         * Salmon, coho [Lower Columbia River ESU] Oncorhynchus kisutch Lower Columbia River ESU—see 50 CFR 223.102 T 70 FR 37160; 6/28/2005,N 76 FR 20558; 4/13/2011, 79 FR 42687; 7/23/2014, 50 CFR 223.203,4d 50 CFR 226.212.CH *         *         *         *         *         *         * Steelhead [Puget Sound DPS] Oncorhynchus mykiss Puget Sound DPS—see 50 CFR 223.102 T 72 FR 26722; 5/11/2007,N 76 FR 20558; 4/13/2011, 79 FR 42687; 7/23/2014, 50 CFR 223.203,4d 50 CFR 226.212.CH *         *         *         *         *         *         * CORALS *         *         *         *         *         *         * Coral, (no common name) Cantharellus noumeae Wherever found E 80 FR 60560; 10/7/2015. N *         *         *         *         *         *         * Coral, (no common name) Siderastrea glynni Wherever found E 80 FR 60560; 10/7/2015. N Coral, (no common name) Tubastraea floreana Wherever found E 80 FR 60560; 10/7/2015. N *         *         *         *         *         *         *
    Dated: October 14, 2016. Stephen Guertin, Acting Director, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-26241 Filed 11-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4333-15-P
    81 212 Wednesday, November 2, 2016 Proposed Rules DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 18 CFR Parts 342, 343, and 357 [Docket No. RM17-1-000] Revisions to Indexing Policies and Page 700 of FERC Form No. 6 AGENCY:

    Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Advance notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    The Commission seeks comment regarding potential modifications to its policies for evaluating oil pipeline indexed rate changes. The Commission also seeks comment regarding potential changes to FERC Form No. 6, page 700. The Commission invites all interested persons to submit comments in response to the proposals.

    DATES:

    Initial Comments are due December 19, 2016, and Reply Comments are due January 31, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments, identified by docket number, may be filed in the following ways:

    • Electronic Filing through http://www.ferc.gov. Documents created electronically using word processing software should be filed in native applications or print-to-PDF format and not in a scanned format.

    Mail/Hand Delivery: Those unable to file electronically may mail or hand-deliver comments to: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Secretary of the Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    Instructions: For detailed instructions on submitting comments and additional information on the rulemaking process, see the Comment Procedures section of this document.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Adrianne Cook (Technical Information), Office of Energy Market Regulation, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, (202) 502-8849 Monil Patel (Technical Information), Office of Energy Market Regulation, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, (202) 502-8296 Andrew Knudsen (Legal Information), Office of the General Counsel, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, (202) 502-6527
    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Table of Contents Table of Contents Paragraph numbers I. Background 4 II. Indexing Policies 7 III. Modifications to Page 700 13 A. Background 14 B. Supplemental Page 700s 16 C. Additional Reporting Requirements on Page 700 22 IV. Burden 31 V. Comment Procedures 31 VI. Document Availability 32

    1. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission) is considering modifications to its policies for evaluating oil pipeline index rate changes and to the data reporting requirements reflected in page 700 of Form No. 6. As discussed below, the Commission's index ratemaking methodology has become the predominant mechanism for adjusting oil pipeline rates under the Interstate Commerce Act (ICA). Therefore, ensuring that index rate increases do not cause pipeline revenues to unreasonably depart from oil pipeline costs, and that both the Commission and oil pipeline shippers have sufficient information to assess the relationship between oil pipeline rates and costs, is essential to the Commission's implementation of its statutory obligations under the ICA. In this Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANOPR), the Commission is considering a series of reforms to improve the Commission's and shippers' ability to ensure that oil pipeline rates are just and reasonable.

    2. This ANOPR is the result of the Commission's ongoing monitoring and evaluation of the relationship between oil pipeline costs and rates. In 2015, the Liquids Shippers Group,1 Airlines for America,2 and the National Propane Gas Association 3 (collectively, Joint Shippers) filed a petition for rulemaking seeking additional cost information on Form No. 6, page 700.4 In July 2015, the Commission held a technical conference discussing this proposal, including the Joint Shippers' asserted need for greater insight into oil pipelines' costs and revenues to enable shippers to challenge oil pipeline rates that may be unjust and unreasonable.

    1 Liquids Shippers Group consists of the following crude oil or natural gas liquids producers: Anadarko Energy Services Company, Apache Corporation, Cenovus Energy Marketing Services Ltd., ConocoPhillips Company, Devon Gas Services LP, Encana Marketing (USA) Inc., Marathon Oil Company, Murphy Exploration and Production Company USA, Noble Energy Inc., Pioneer Natural Resources USA Inc., and Statoil Marketing and Trading (US) Inc.

    2 Airlines for America is a trade association representing cargo and passenger airlines, including Alaska Airlines, Inc., American Airlines Group (American Airlines and US Airways), Atlas Air, Inc., Delta Air Lines, Inc., Federal Express Corporation, Hawaiian Airlines, JetBlue Airways Corp., Southwest Airlines Co., United Continental Holdings, Inc., and United Parcel Service Co.

    3 The National Propane Gas Association is a national trade association of the propane industry with a membership of approximately 3,000 companies, including 38 affiliated state and regional associations representing members in all 50 states.

    4 Petition for Rulemaking, Docket No. RM15-19-000 (filed April 20, 2015) (Petition).

    3. In addition, the Commission recently completed the 2015 Five-Year Indexing Review proceeding, which involved an assessment of the relationship between the oil pipeline index and industry costs.5 Although the five-year review process addressed the calculation of the index-level on an industry-wide basis, it did not address how individual oil pipelines may adjust their rates based on the approved index.

    5Five Year Review of the Oil Pipeline Index, 153 FERC ¶ 61,312 (2015).

    4. However, through the Commission's ongoing monitoring of how the index affects pipeline rates, the Commission has observed that some pipelines continue to obtain additional index rate increases despite reporting on Form No. 6, page 700 revenues that significantly exceed costs. The Commission's experience with index proceedings has also indicated that our standards for evaluating shipper objections to index filings could be strengthened and clarified, to both protect against excessive rate increases and, consistent with the streamlined and simplified methodology required by Congress,6 minimize costly and time-consuming litigation regarding pipeline rates.

    6See infra P 8.

    5. Accordingly, in this ANOPR, the Commission proposes reforms to its review of oil pipeline index rate filings and the reporting requirements for Form No. 6, page 700 to better fulfill its statutory obligations under the ICA. First, the Commission is considering a new policy that would deny proposed index increases if (a) a pipeline's Form No. 6, page 700 revenues exceed the page 700 total cost-of-service by 15 percent for both of the prior two years or (b) the proposed index increases exceed by 5 percent the annual cost changes reported on the pipeline's most recently filed page 700.

    6. Second, in response to the Joint Shippers' Petition, the Commission is also considering applying these new reforms to costs more closely associated with the proposed indexed rate than the total company-wide costs and revenues presently reported by oil pipelines on page 700. Accordingly, the Commission is considering requiring pipelines to file supplemental page 700s for (a) crude pipelines and product pipelines, (b) non-contiguous systems, and (c) major pipeline systems. The Commission also seeks comments regarding a proposed requirement that pipelines report (a) information regarding the allocations used to prepare the supplemental page 700s, and (b) separate revenues for cost-based rates (e.g. indexing), non-cost-based rates (e.g. market-based rates or settlement rates), and other jurisdictional revenues (such as penalties).

    I. Background

    7. The Commission regulates the rates, terms, and conditions that oil pipelines charge under the Interstate Commerce Act (ICA).7 The ICA prohibits oil pipelines from charging rates that are “unjust and unreasonable” and permits shippers and the Commission to challenge both pre-existing and newly filed rates.8

    7 49 App. U.S.C. 1 et seq. (1988).

    8 49 App. U.S.C. 13(1), 15(1), and 15(7).

    8. In the Energy Policy Act of 1992 (EPAct 1992), Congress mandated that the Commission establish a simplified and generally applicable ratemaking methodology for oil pipelines and streamline procedures in oil pipeline rate proceedings.9 In response to EPAct 1992's mandate, the Commission issued Order No. 561 creating the indexing methodology,10 which allows oil pipelines to change their rates subject to certain ceiling levels as opposed to making cost-of-service filings to change those rates. These ceiling levels change every July 1 with an index based upon industry-wide cost changes.11 Indexing serves as the Commission's primary oil pipeline ratemaking methodology. However, the Commission also permits oil pipelines to change their rates via (a) a traditional cost-of-service filing based upon a showing that a substantial divergence exists between the pipeline's indexed rates and the pipeline's costs, (b) market-based rates if the pipeline can demonstrate it lacks market power, and (c) settlement rates.12

    9 Energy Policy Act of 1992, Public Law 102-486 Sec. 1803(b), 106 Stat. 3010 (Oct. 24, 1992).

    10Revisions to Oil Pipeline Regulations pursuant to Energy Policy Act of 1992, Order No. 561, FERC Stats. & Regs, ¶ 30,985, at 30,940 (1993), order on reh'g and clarification, Order No. 561-A, FERC Stats. & Regs., ¶ 31,000 (1994), aff'd sub nom. Ass'n of Oil Pipe Lines v. FERC, 83 F.3d 1424 (D.C. Cir. 1996) (AOPL).

    11 Pursuant to the Commission's indexing methodology, oil pipelines change their rate ceiling levels effective every July 1 by “multiplying the previous index year's ceiling level by the most recent index published by the Commission.” 18 CFR 342.3(d)(1) (2016). Currently, the index level is based upon the Producer's Price Index for Finished Goods plus 1.23, which was based upon the relationship between PPI-FG and oil pipeline cost changes during the 2009-2014 period. The index level is reviewed every five-years. See Five-Year Review of the Oil Pipeline Index, 153 FERC ¶ 61,312 (2015).

    12 18 CFR 342.4 (2016).

    9. At the same time it created the indexing methodology, the Commission added page 700 to Form No. 6 to serve as a preliminary screening tool to evaluate indexed rates.13 Page 700 provides a simplified presentation of an oil pipeline's jurisdictional cost-of-service and revenues. In its present form, page 700 reflects only total company data and does not provide separate costs-of-service for different parts of a pipeline system.

    13Cost-of-Service Reporting and Filing Requirements for Oil Pipelines, Order No. 571, FERC Stats. & Regs., ¶ 31,006 (1994), order on reh'g and clarification, Order No. 571-A, FERC Stats. & Regs., ¶ 31,012 (1994), aff'd sub nom. All jurisdictional pipelines are required to file page 700, including pipelines exempt from filing the full Form 6. 18 CFR 357.2(a)(2) and (a)(3) (2016).

    10. Page 700 serves as the means for the Commission's initial evaluation of protests and complaints alleging that a pipeline's indexed rate change is “substantially in excess” of the pipeline's cost changes.14 When a shipper files a protest against an oil pipeline's indexed rate change, the percentage comparison test has been used by the Commission to determine whether to investigate the indexed filing. The percentage comparison test compares (a) the change in the prior two years' total cost-of-service data reported on page 700 with (b) the proposed indexed rate change.15 If the percentage comparison test differential is greater than 10 percent, the Commission has historically investigated the protested index filing via subsequent administrative law judge hearing procedures, and, depending upon the outcome of that investigation, may modify or reject the index rate change. If the differential is less than 10 percent, the Commission has generally exercised its discretion to accept the rate filing without an investigation.16

    14 18 CFR 343.2(c) (2016).

    15Calnev Pipe Line L.L.C., 130 FERC ¶ 61,082, at PP 10-11 (2010) (Calnev).

    16SFPP, L.P., 143 FERC ¶ 61,141, at P 6 (2013).

    11. The Commission also relies upon page 700 as a preliminary screen to evaluate complaints against an indexed rate change. Whereas the percentage comparison test has served as the means for evaluating a protest to an index rate change, the Commission applies a wider range of factors to evaluate complaints.17 These factors include the substantially exacerbate test that directs further investigation if (a) a pipeline is already “substantially over-recovering” and (b) the pipeline has filed an index increase that would “substantially exacerbate” that over-recovery. If a shipper provides reasonable grounds that a pipeline's index increase will substantially exacerbate an existing over-recovery, the Commission will set the matter for hearing before an administrative law judge.18

    17Calnev, 130 FERC ¶ 61,082 at P 11. The Commission has explained that it will consider additional factors in a complaint because it has more time to evaluate complaints and the complainant must carry the burden of proof. BP West Coast Products LLC v. SFPP, L.P., 122 FERC ¶ 61,141, at PP 6-7 (2007).

    18BP West Coast Products LLC v. SFPP, L.P., 122 FERC ¶ 61,129 (2008).

    II. Indexing Policies

    12. The Commission is contemplating changes to indexing policies for evaluating annual oil pipeline indexed filings. These changes would modify both the existing percentage comparison test and the substantially exacerbate test. Through these modifications, the Commission seeks to ensure that oil pipeline rates under the ICA are just and reasonable by reducing the likelihood that an oil pipeline's rates substantially deviate from its costs through the application of indexed rate increases. The Commission also is exploring whether and how such changes would further streamline and simplify its regulations consistent with the objectives of EPAct 1992.

    13. Accordingly, the Commission is considering a two-part evaluation of index filings.19 The Commission would use these tests to strengthen and clarify its evaluation of all indexed filings upon the filing of a protest or complaint or upon the Commission's own initiative.20 The first part of the evaluation, the new “exacerbate” test, would deny any ceiling level increase or indexed rate increases for pipelines in which a pipeline's page 700 revenues exceed page 700 total costs by 15 percent for both of the prior two years. The second part of the evaluation, the new percentage comparison test, would deny a proposed increase to a pipeline's rate or ceiling level greater than 5 percent of the barrel-mile cost changes reported on page 700.21 These tests would be used by the Commission to accept or reject oil pipeline indexed filings without, at least in most cases, establishing hearing procedures.22

    19 The Commission does not propose to change its policies for evaluating index rate decreases. If the index causes a pipeline's rate ceiling to decline, then the pipeline must adjust its rates so that they remain at or below the reduced rate ceiling. 18 CFR 342.3(e) (2016).

    20 Consistent with the policy articulated in Order No. 561, the Commission anticipates continued reliance upon affected shippers to bring challenges that apply the standards contemplated by this ANOPR to indexed rate changes. Order No. 561, FERC Stats. & Regs., ¶ 30,985 at 30,967. However, the Commission retains the authority to investigate on its own initiative oil pipeline rates, including indexed rates, under sections 13 and 15 of the ICA.

    21 The Commission currently uses costs, not costs per barrel-mile, when applying the percentage comparison test to oil pipeline cost changes. However, total cost levels can fluctuate due to changing throughput even if the expenses of moving a particular barrel remain the same. The Commission has concluded that cost per barrel-mile (Line 9/Line 12) may provide a more accurate measure of a pipeline's cost changes.

    22 In other words, if a pipeline's index filing satisfied both tests, it would generally be accepted. Likewise, if the index filing failed either the exacerbate test or the percentage comparison test, it would generally be rejected.

    14. The Commission anticipates that the new exacerbate test, which considers the relationship between an oil pipeline's revenues and its costs, will have several benefits. Under indexing, individual oil pipelines may change their rates based upon industry-wide cost changes.23 When an oil pipeline's revenues significantly exceed costs, the pipeline still may seek and receive an additional rate increase that may further increase this gap. This is because, currently, the Commission does not typically consider the relationship between an oil pipeline's revenues and its costs when evaluating an indexed rate change. The exception, the existing substantially exacerbate test, only applies after the proposed rate increase becomes effective and a shipper files a complaint.

    23 Using an industry-wide index both simplifies the ratemaking procedures by avoiding consideration of a particular pipeline's costs and rewards efficient companies that control costs. “Indexing fosters efficiency by severing the linkage under traditional cost-of-service ratemaking between . . . rate changes and . . . costs. This provides the pipeline with the incentive to cut costs aggressively, since . . . it may retain a portion of the savings it generates.” See Order No. 561, FERC Stats. & Regs., ¶ 30,985 at 30,948 n.37.

    15. Through the new exacerbate test, shippers could raise objections to proposed rate increases when pipeline revenues already appreciably exceed costs. The contemplated 15 percent threshold is intended to preserve an indexing regime based upon industry-wide cost changes while also ensuring that the index does not cause a particular oil pipeline's rates to unreasonably depart from its costs. For example, an oil pipeline with costs corresponding to industry-wide averages and with revenues 115 percent of costs would earn a real return on equity (ROE) 24 that is appreciably higher than the real ROE the pipeline itself has identified on page 700.25 Under these circumstances, it may be reasonable to deny additional index rate increases. However, to avoid distortions caused by one-year fluctuations in costs and revenue, the Commission only anticipates denying an index increase if the 15 percent threshold is exceeded for two consecutive years.

    24 The real ROE is the nominal or total ROE less the inflationary component of ROE.

    25 When a pipeline reports revenues that are 115 percent of page 700 total cost-of-service, approximately one-third of these additional revenues represent income tax liabilities and the remaining two-thirds are additional equity earnings for the pipeline. Accordingly, for a hypothetical pipeline reporting the industry-wide average page 700 return on equity (page 700, line 7b) of approximately 18.3 percent of its total costs (page 700, line 9), the additional revenues would translate to an increase in equity return of 55 percent (i.e. 2/3 * 15 percent/18.3 percent). If the pipeline incorporated the industry-wide average ROE of 10.4 percent in its page 700 cost-of-service (page 700, line 6d), such a pipeline would actually be recovering a 16.1 percent real ROE (10.4 percent + 10.4 percent * 55 percent). The Commission calculated the industry-wide averages in this footnote based upon the publicly available page 700 data filed by oil pipelines.

    16. Similarly, the Commission also anticipates that the new percentage comparison test will help ensure that rates better reflect costs. By reducing the gap between an annual rate increase and a pipeline's cost changes from 10 to 5 percent, the Commission constrains the difference that can emerge in a one-year period between a pipeline's costs and its revenues.26 However, as is the case with the existing percentage comparison test, if a pipeline's page 700 reported costs exceed its revenues, the Commission would permit the pipeline to take the full index increase because the pipeline is not recovering its costs.

    26 Using the 10 percent threshold, a pipeline with costs annually declining by 5 percent and 4.9 percent of annual indexed rate increases could have revenues that exceed costs by roughly 20 percent after two years and 30 percent after three years. Applying that same hypothetical but using the 5 percent threshold, the revenues would only exceed costs by 10 percent after two years and around 15 percent after three years.

    17. The Commission is also considering requiring pipelines, whether or not they modify their indexed rates, to make an annual filing showing changes in their ceiling levels.27 These ceiling levels would also be subject to challenge using the new exacerbate and percentage comparison tests. Applying these processes to the pipeline's rate ceilings, not just the rates, would limit the emergence of pipeline over-recoveries. Under the new exacerbate test, a pipeline's ceiling levels would not increase when its revenues exceed 115 percent of costs, ensuring that the pipeline would not be able to significantly raise its rates (and thus revenues) immediately after page 700 revenues fall below 115 percent of page 700 costs.28 Likewise, by applying the new percentage comparison test to a pipeline's ceiling level changes (as well as to its indexed rate changes), the Commission also would limit the ability of a pipeline to carry-forward the full indexed increase to a future period when that increase significantly exceeds (i.e. more than 5 percent) the pipeline's cost changes.29

    27 As explained, supra P 8, indexing allows oil pipelines to change their rates subject to certain ceiling levels. These ceiling levels change every July 1 with an index based upon industry-wide cost changes. When a pipeline's ceiling levels change, the pipeline is not currently obligated to make a filing with the Commission. Pipelines are currently only obligated to make a filing with the Commission if they change their rates pursuant to the changing ceiling levels.

    28 In other words, the change in the ceiling increase would be limited to a 5 percent difference from the pipeline's cost change. For example, if the index for 2018 is 3 percent, and the pipeline's cost change is −3 percent, the pipeline's ceiling level could not increase by 3 percent because this would fail the percentage comparison test because 6 [3−(−3)] is more than 5. Rather, in this hypothetical example, the ceiling level could only change by 2 percent [2−(−3) = 5]. This 2 percent increase to the ceiling level would carry forward whether or not the pipeline raised its rates up to the ceiling.

    29 Currently, Commission policy allows a pipeline to file a partial index rate increase leading to a percentage comparison test of 9.9 percent while the pipeline's ceiling rate still increases by the full index. The pipeline can make a filing with the Commission to increase its rates up to the ceiling level in a subsequent year.

    18. The Commission anticipates these tests can be used to simplify and streamline oil pipeline ratemaking procedures. While page 700 has been used as a “preliminary screen,” under the tests proposed here, the pipeline's own reported cost data on page 700 would serve as a sufficient basis for a decision to deny a challenged index rate filing. In such circumstances, a full hearing before an administrative law judge would not be necessary. By relying more upon the pipeline's self-reported page 700 data, the Commission could simplify and streamline the process for evaluating indexed rate changes. To the extent that commenters believe there may be circumstances in which the new exacerbate test and the revised percentage comparison tests when applied to page 700 (or the supplemental page 700s described below) would not provide a reasonable basis for accepting or rejecting an indexed filing, commenters should (a) identify those circumstances and (b) specifically discuss how those circumstances could be addressed for evaluating indexed rate changes in a simplified and streamlined ratemaking process.

    19. Along similar lines, the Commission anticipates that these modifications would streamline and simplify Commission policies by establishing clearer standards. For example, under the new exacerbate test, the Commission would be identifying the specific threshold for what constitutes a “substantial over-recovery.” Further, when the Commission sets an indexed rate filing for hearing based upon either the percentage comparison test or the substantially exacerbate test, there is limited precedent providing guidance regarding the parameters and scope of such a hearing subject to a simplified ratemaking methodology.30 This lack of clarity creates complexity and uncertainty for both shippers and pipelines. By accepting and rejecting indexed filings based upon the proposed new exacerbate and percentage comparison tests, the Commission seeks to establish a clearer policy consistent with the objective of a simplified and streamlined ratemaking process.

    30 Consistent with the intent of indexing to create a simplified ratemaking methodology, the investigation into an indexed rate increase should not require the parties to fully litigate a cost-of-service rate case.

    20. Whether relying upon the existing page 700 or the supplemental page 700s, the Commission expects that these new tests would serve as the primary mechanism for evaluating oil pipeline indexed rate changes.31 The Commission anticipates that these new policies for evaluating indexed filings would both (a) ensure that index rate increases do not cause pipeline revenues to substantially deviate from costs and (b) streamline and simplify the Commission's ratemaking methodologies.

    31 Because page 700 is critical to the Commission's ability to monitor oil pipeline rates, the Commission emphasizes that pipelines must comply with the current requirement to file the Form No. 6, including the page 700, by April 18 of each year. Although waivers may still be granted in limited circumstances, the Commission must be able to evaluate the indexed rates before they become effective on July 1 of each year. Failure to timely file the Form No. 6 could delay the effective date of a pipeline's proposed indexed increase or, potentially, lead to the outright rejection of the requested increase.

    III. Modifications to Page 700

    21. The Commission has preliminarily concluded that additional reporting requirements may enhance the ability of shippers and the Commission to monitor oil pipeline rates. First, the Commission is considering a requirement that pipelines file supplemental page 700s for (a) crude pipelines and product pipeline systems, (b) non-contiguous systems, and (c) certain major pipeline systems. These changes would complement the proposed new exacerbate and percentage comparison tests. Using the supplemental page 700s, the Commission could evaluate indexed rate changes based upon costs and revenues more closely related (and thus more relevant) to the proposed indexed rate change.32

    32 Shippers could also use the supplemental page 700 as the basis for initiating a cost-of-service complaint against a pipeline's rates. Consistent with the mandate for a simplified ratemaking methodology in EPAct 1992, the Commission created indexing to avoid cost-of-service litigation. However, shippers may still pursue cost-of-service claims if a pipeline's indexed rates substantially diverged from a pipeline's costs. Arco v. Calnev Pipe Line, L.L.C., 97 FERC ¶ 61,057, at 61,311 (2001) (citing Order No. 561, FERC Stats. & Regs., ¶ 30,985 at 30,955).

    22. Second, the Commission is considering requiring pipelines on page 700 and the supplemental page 700s to report additional information regarding (a) cost allocations used on the supplemental page 700s and (b) separate revenues for cost-based rates (e.g., indexing), non-cost-based rates (e.g., market-based rates), and other jurisdictional revenues (such as penalties).

    A. Background

    The Commission's reevaluation of page 700 originated with the Joint Shippers' petition for rulemaking. In the petition, the Joint Shippers requested that the Commission require pipelines to disaggregate the total company data reported on page 700 and to file supplemental page 700s with summary costs-of-service for (a) crude and product systems and (b) for each “rate design” segment. The Joint Shippers' proposal also requested that all interested parties be given access to the work papers used to prepare page 700. A technical conference held July 30, 2015, discussed the Joint Shippers' petition. The Commission provided the opportunity for initial comments due September 25, 2015 and reply comments due October 30, 2015. At the technical conference and in subsequent comments, the Association of Oil Pipelines (AOPL) opposed the proposal as unduly burdensome and inconsistent with the Commission's indexing ratemaking regime. In addition to the comments from AOPL the Commission also received nine separate initial comments from pipeline entities opposing the petition.33 The Joint Commenters,34 Liquids Shippers Group, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers,35 and Tesoro Refining and Marketing LLC filed initial comments supporting the proposal. On October 30, 2015, AOPL and SFPP, L.P., filed reply comments expressing continued opposition to the petition and the Joint Commenters and the Liquids Shippers Group filed reply comments in further support of the petition.

    33 The Commission received comments from Explorer Pipeline Company, Magellan Midstream Partners, L.P., Marathon Pipe Line LLC, Shell Pipeline Company LP, Plains Pipeline, L.P., SFPP, L.P., Buckeye Pipe Line Company, L.P., jointly NuStar Logistics, L.P. and NuStar Pipeline Operating Partnership, L.P., and, jointly, Enterprise Products Partners L.P. and its operating subsidiaries Enterprise TE Products Pipeline Company LLC and Mid-America Pipeline Company, LLC.

    34 Joint Commenters include Airlines for America, National Propane Gas Association, and Valero Marketing and Supply Company.

    35 The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers represents companies that develop and produce natural gas and crude oil throughout Canada.

    23. In its reply comments, AOPL advanced a limited alternative proposal to the petition that would require pipelines to report carrier property data shown on Form No. 6, pages 212-213 and accrued depreciation data shown on Form No. 6, page 216 separately for crude oil and products.36 Using this data, AOPL stated shippers could estimate costs by crude and products pipeline systems. In the supplemental reply comments filed November 23, 2015, Joint Commenters argued AOPL's counterproposal did not provide adequate information for shippers to meaningfully evaluate the reasonableness of rates.37 On December 8, 2015, AOPL filed a response to the Joint Commenters Supplemental Reply Comments.

    36 AOPL Reply Comments, Docket No. RM15-19-000, at 60.

    37 Joint Commenters Supplemental Reply Comments, Docket No. RM15-19-000, at 18.

    B. Supplemental Page 700s 1. Commission Proposal

    24. The Commission's preliminary assessment indicates that providing supplemental page 700s for different parts of a pipeline system may enhance the Commission's and shippers' ability to evaluate a pipeline's indexed rates.

    25. For some pipelines, the total company data on page 700 consolidates costs and revenues from several different assets, including (a) pipeline systems that move crude oil as opposed to petroleum products, (b) non-contiguous systems that use geographically separate assets, and (c) major pipeline systems that extend at least 250 miles and serve fundamentally different markets. The costs associated with providing service on one of these systems may be fundamentally different from the costs associated with providing service on other parts of the total company pipeline system. Accordingly, these supplemental page 700s would be useful both in the evaluation of index filings (as discussed above) and for cost-of-service challenges to oil pipeline rates. When a pipeline seeks an indexed increase to a particular rate, shippers and the Commission could use the supplemental page 700s to compare the rate change with costs that are more closely associated with that particular rate.

    26. Accordingly, as discussed below, the Commission is considering requiring pipelines to file supplemental page 700s for crude oil systems (labeled 700c) and petroleum product systems (labeled 700p). Within each of these crude and product systems, the Commission is considering a further requirement that pipelines provide a supplemental page 700 for (a) non-contiguous (geographically separate) pipeline systems 38 and (b) major pipeline systems. Major pipeline systems would consist of large pipeline systems (at least over 250 miles) that serve markets (either origin or destination) different from the remainder of the pipeline's system.39 Major pipeline systems would also include separate pipeline systems (even those below the 250-mile threshold) established by a final Commission order in a litigated rate case. The supplemental page 700s for non-contiguous and major pipeline systems would be labeled 700c1, 700c2, etc., for crude systems, and 700p1, 700p2, etc., for product systems.40

    38 For example, if one pipeline system goes from California to Nevada and another pipeline system goes from Texas to Arizona.

    39 A major pipeline system would include one branch of a “V” where different parts of the total company system share a similar origin but where one 250-mile system serves destinations to the northwest and another part travels to destinations to the northeast. Laterals, different divisions of an integrated and interconnected reticulated pipeline, different divisions of a straight-line pipeline, and granular rate segments are not intended to be a major pipeline system within the Commission's contemplated definition.

    40 By definition, if a pipeline has one major pipeline system labeled 700c1 which extends over 250 miles, it must also file a supplemental page 700c2 for the remainder of its crude system.

    27. The Commission anticipates that these supplemental page 700s would allow index rate changes to be evaluated using data that is more relevant to a particular shipper's rates than the currently reported company-wide data. These criteria identify pipeline systems associated with (a) separate transportation movements and (b) costs due to the use of different assets.

    28. The Commission expects that the benefits described above will outweigh the accounting burden for disaggregating the cost data on these supplemental page 700s. For crude and product systems, pipelines are already required to disaggregate significant data on the Form No. 6. For non-contiguous pipelines, geographically separate systems are also more likely to be recorded separately on a company's books and records.41 Similarly, 250-mile major pipeline systems are likely to be of sufficient significance that the pipeline separately tracks the costs and revenues associated with such a large part of its business. Nonetheless, to the extent that a pipeline's existing books and records do not allow for the pipeline to directly assign certain costs that would be required to be reported on the supplemental page 700s, the Commission, as discussed below, is considering allowing for certain reasonable allocations and estimates using the available data.

    41 Pipelines typically record their costs using cost centers and location codes. It seems reasonable that in most cases these data should be sufficiently precise to associate particular costs with the major pipeline system identified above.

    29. The Commission does not presently intend to pursue additional segmentation of page 700, such as the “rate design” segments proposed in the Joint Shippers' petition. Indexing does not require an exact correlation between a pipeline's costs and rates,42 and, given that regulatory scheme, we believe that the changes proposed above will provide sufficient transparency to allow the Commission and shippers to monitor pipelines' costs and revenues. The Commission has previously relied upon the total company costs reported on page 700, and we believe the more specific supplemental page 700s identified above will be appropriate to be used in future applications of the index.

    42 As the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has explained, requiring an individualized cost-of-service evaluation for each pipeline would be inconsistent with the simplification mandated by EPAct 1992. AOPL v. FERC, 281 F.3d 239, 244 (D.C. Cir. 2002). Indexing achieves simplification by using an industry-wide index as opposed to relying upon a detailed examination of each pipeline's particular costs. The Commission only considers a pipeline's particular cost changes if the index rate change is in “substantial excess” of the pipeline's costs or there is a substantial divergence between a pipeline's rates and the costs associated with those rates.

    30. Moreover, the Commission is concerned about the application of the Joint Shippers' proposal on an industry-wide basis. Most pipelines have never made a filing with the Commission identifying their rate design segments, and Commission precedent provides limited guidance for identifying rate design segments.43 Rate design segmentation of page 700 would likely insert into the Commission's “simplified” indexing methodology complex, fact-specific disputes regarding the appropriate rate design segmentation.44 Further, the Joint Shippers' alternate proposal to define rate design segments using definition 32(a) from the Uniform System of Accounts provides little clarity because this definition has historically served a separate accounting purpose and has never previously been applied to identify rate design segments.45

    43 A pipeline would only need to identify its rate design segments if it litigated a cost-of-service rate case. Because pipelines primarily use indexing to change their rates, such cost-of-service cases are rare. The Commission has only required one pipeline, SFPP, to use segmented data in a cost-of-service case. SFPP, LP, 86 FERC ¶ 61,022, at 61,080 (1999). There, the Commission made a series of fact-specific holdings to conclude that SFPP's south system consisted of two rate design segments, one travelling from Texas to Phoenix, Arizona, and another from California to Phoenix, Arizona.

    44 How a pipeline defines its segments could fundamentally affect which rates are eligible for an indexed increase based upon the supplemental page 700s.

    45 Rather, this definition applies to the accounting rules for treatment of the purchase and sale of an asset. Specifically, based upon definition 32(a), the sale or disposal of a “segment of a business” must be accounted for as part of “discontinued operations” and not included among the gains and losses associated with pipeline's continuing operations. See 18 CFR pt. 352, Instruction 1-6(c) and Account No. 676 (2016) (“Gain (loss) on disposal of discontinued segments”). The Commission's considerations when applying this accounting definition may differ significantly from considerations used to identify separate segments in a rate case.

    31. The comments filed in Docket No. RM15-19-000 demonstrate our concerns. As an initial matter, different shipper comments supporting the segmentation proposal identify conflicting lists of pipelines that “could” have different rate design segments.46 Moreover, to identify these segments, the Joint Shippers used potentially inapplicable criteria such as “undivided joint interest” 47 and separate “tariff listings” 48 that, in addition to being potentially over-inclusive, failed to identify SFPP, L.P., a non-contiguous pipeline that has repeatedly been treated as operating separate segments in Commission rate cases.49 In addition, the rate design segments identified by shippers include relatively insignificant assets, such as small laterals.50 The burden associated with segmentation is not a one-time burden, as pipeline systems change over time and pipelines will need to re-evaluate their rate design segments in future years. Recent litigation before the Commission further demonstrates the burdens imposed by a fact-specific inquiry into a pipeline's segmentation.51 Given the Commission's indexing ratemaking regime and our determination that alternative reforms to page 700 will provide sufficient transparency to assist the Commission and shippers, the Commission currently does not intend to pursue the Joint Shippers' proposed reporting requirement.

    46Compare Tesoro Refining and Marketing LLC Initial Comment, Docket No. RM15-19-000, Appendix with Joint Shippers Initial Comment, Docket No. RM15-19-000, at 38-39; Attachment 2, Affidavit of Michael R. Tolleth, Docket No. RM15-19-000, at 9 & Liquid Shippers Group Initial Comments, Docket No. RM15-19-000, at 30.

    47 The Joint Shippers state that undivided joint interests pipelines indicate the existence of separate rate design segments because these systems “generally have tariffs for each of the owners and may be geographically disconnected from other segments.” Joint Shippers Initial Comment, Attachment 2, Affidavit of Michael R. Tolleth, Docket No. RM15-19-000, at 12. However, because pipelines can structure their own tariffs, it is not clear whether merely having a separate tariff justifies a separate rate design system. Moreover, it is not clear that undivided joint systems are necessarily geographically separate. For example, the “Maumee System” is a crude oil pipeline that runs from Lima, OH, and to Samaria, MI. Mid-Valley Pipeline Company (Mid-Valley) and Hardin Street Holdings (Hardin) jointly own the “Maumee System.” Including Maumee, Mid-Valley's System extends continuously from northeast Texas to Samaria, Michigan, with receipts a several points on the southern portion of its system and delivery points all along its system, including four points on the Maumee System. In any event, to the extent an undivided joint interest pipeline is geographically separate, it would be addressed by the Commission's definition above.

    48 Oil pipelines have discretion with the structuring of their tariff, and how the tariff is structured does not necessarily establish whether or not separate rate design segments exist.

    49See Affidavit of Michael R. Tolleth, Figure 1, Docket No. RM15-19-000, page 9.

    50 The shippers' proposal exempts pipelines that report total company revenues less than $10 million for each of the three previous years. However, it does not address small segments within larger total systems. For instance, the shippers' filings identify a 12-mile lateral on the Seminole pipeline as potentially requiring a separate page 700. Compare AOPL Reply Comments, Docket No. RM15-19-000, at 26-27 with Joint Shippers Supplemental Reply Comments, Docket No. RM15-19-000, at 8-9.

    51 These disputes have involved issues very specific to the operations of a particular pipeline system, such as (a) whether a pipeline, which was effectively a single pipe moving from the Gulf of Mexico to the northeastern United States, should be divided into two separate rate design systems (Joint Shippers Initial Comment, Attachment 1, Affidavit of Daniel S. Arthur, Docket No. RM15-19-000, at 28 and Appendix O) (discussing TE Enterprise Products, Docket No. IS12-203-000); (b) whether a pipeline's extension into Long Island, NY, should be treated separately from its much larger Eastern System on the basis of the different product moved, different pipeline vintages, different operational requirements and other factors (Joint Shippers Initial Comment, Attachment 1, Affidavit of Daniel S. Arthur, Docket No. RM15-19-000, Appendix E at 2) (discussing Buckeye Pipeline, Docket No. OR12-28-000); and (c) although not objecting to the segmentation in that particular case, questioning whether one of a pipeline's three systems should be divided further to account for different lines that move different products and serve different shippers (National Propane Group, et al, Initial Brief, Docket Nos. IS05-216-000, et al., at 13-14 (filed February 7, 2008) (discussing Mid-America Pipeline Company, LLC's Northern System). The oil pipeline cost-of-service cases involving rate design segmentation disputes have generally settled before the Commission issues a precedential order. However, they illustrate the burden that would be imposed by requiring every pipeline that files a page 700 to assess its system in this manner.

    C. Additional Reporting Requirements on Page 700

    32. The Commission is also considering requiring pipelines to report additional data on the page 700 and supplemental page 700s. First, in order to facilitate the creation of the supplemental page 700s above, the Commission is considering requiring pipelines to explain the allocation of costs between the different supplemental page 700s. Second, the Commission is considering requiring all pipelines to report separate revenues and throughput for cost-based transportation rates (resulting from indexing and cost-of-service), non-cost-based transportation rates (resulting from settlement rates and market-based rates), and other jurisdictional revenues (such as penalties).

    1. Cost Allocation Data

    33. The Commission is contemplating reporting requirements involving the cost allocation methodologies used to derive the system-specific data reported on the supplemental page 700s. As discussed below, the Commission recognizes pipeline arguments that it may be difficult or costly for pipelines to directly assign certain costs to the system-specific supplemental page 700s. Thus, the Commission is considering whether to permit pipelines to use reasonable methodologies for allocating those costs. However, to ensure transparency, the Commission is considering also requiring pipelines to provide information regarding these allocations on page 700. This information would allow the Commission and other interested parties to observe (a) how these allocations are affecting the supplemental page 700s' costs-of-service and (b) any changes in direct assignment or allocation practices between annual page 700 filings.52

    52 As provided by the current instructions on page 700, a pipeline must explain any change in its application of the Opinion No. 154-B cost-of-service methodology from the prior year.

    34. Page 700 includes ratemaking information that, unlike typical accounting data, pipelines may not be able to cost-effectively determine on a segmented basis. For example, the Opinion No. 154-B trended original cost rate base 53 (page 700, line 5d) includes (a) the original cost of the rate base (page 700, line 5a), (b) a Starting Rate Base Write-Up developed in 1983 to transition from a prior ratemaking methodology to trended original cost ratemaking (page 700, line 5b), and (c) Net Deferred Earnings, which consists of the accumulations since 1983 of the inflationary component of a pipeline's annual return (page 700, line 5c).54 Unlike typical accounting data, absent a cost-of-service rate case (which most oil pipelines have not experienced since 1983), a pipeline may have had no reason to maintain or calculate this data other than on the company-wide basis for page 700. Given that an exact accounting of the Starting Rate Base Write-Up and Deferred Earnings would require data from 1983 to the present,55 obtaining this data may be impracticable.

    53 The Commission's cost-of-service methodology was established in Opinion No. 154-B. Williams Pipe Line Co., Opinion No. 154-B, 31 FERC ¶ 61,377, order on reh'g, Opinion No. 154-C, 33 FERC ¶ 61,327 (1985). When the Commission established indexing and page 700, the Commission determined that it would continue to use the Opinion No. 154-B methodology to measure pipeline costs for evaluating whether a pipeline's indexed rate changes were in substantial excess of the pipeline's rate changes.

    54 Under the Opinion No. 154-B trended original cost ratemaking, the inflationary component of the nominal return is placed in deferred earnings and recovered as a part of rate base in future years. See Opinion No. 154-B, 31 FERC ¶ 61,377. See, e.g., BP West Coast Prods., LLC v. FERC, 374 F.3d 1263, 1282-83 (D.C. Cir. 2004).

    55 To properly allocate Starting Rate Base Write-Up, data may be needed dating back to the initial service date of the asset in question.

    35. Accordingly, to the extent the Opinion No. 154-B rate base information is not available in company records, the Commission would permit pipelines to perform a one-time allocation of these costs for preparing the supplemental page 700s. Reasonable allocations of this data should not significantly reduce the usefulness of the supplemental page 700 data. The Deferred Earnings and Starting Rate Base Write-Up are a relatively small part of an overall cost-of-service,56 and thus reasonable allocations should not undermine the overall accuracy of the total cost-of-service that is used for evaluating indexed rates. Moreover, once this one-time allocation of these Opinion No. 154-B rate base costs establishes a base-line, future allocations should be limited.57

    56 The Commission evaluated the role of deferred earnings as a percentage of the cost of service for each pipeline filing a 2015 page 700. The Commission calculated the percentage of deferred earnings of the total cost-of-service as follows:

    Deferred Earnings = Accumulated Net Deferred Earnings, line 5c * Real Cost of Stockholders' Equity, line 6d

    Taxes on Deferred Earnings = Accumulated Net Deferred Earnings, line 5c * Adjusted Capital Structure Ratio for Stockholders' Equity, line 6b * Real Cost of

    Stockholders' Equity, line 6d * (Composite Tax Rate, line 8a/(1-Composite Tax Rate, line 8a))

    Deferred Earnings as a Percent of Cost of Service = (Deferred Earnings + Taxes on Deferred Earnings)/Total Cost of Service, line 9.

    Using this formula, deferred earnings accounted for 6.71 percent of the median pipeline's cost of service, 3.29 percent for the pipeline at the 25th percentile and 9.44 percent for the pipeline at the 75th percentile. The industry-wide mean was 6.71 percent. Because the starting rate base write-up (line 5b) has been depreciated since 1984, it is either fully depreciated or quite small on most pipelines.

    57 In other words, once a pipeline establishes the base-line net deferred earnings for each of its supplemental page 700s, the pipeline can in subsequent years (a) amortize the base-line level established for each supplemental page 700 and (b) add future deferred earnings to the appropriate supplemental page 700. There may, however, be some further adjustments needed if a pipeline subsequently sells or acquires pre-existing assets which have accrued deferred earnings.

    36. The Commission would also permit other allocations where appropriate. Currently, when the pipeline's business records do not allow direct cost assignment, pipelines filing page 700s use Commission-approved cost allocation methodologies for (a) allocating parent company overhead to the pipeline filing page 700 and (b) identifying the jurisdictional costs reported on page 700 as opposed to the non-jurisdictional costs. To the extent necessary, the pipelines may use reasonable methodologies for allocating costs 58 between the various systems reported on the proposed supplemental page 700s. The Commission anticipates that these methodologies will generally stay consistent over time. However, the Commission recognizes that, in some circumstances, it may be appropriate for a pipeline to further refine its allocation methodologies. The Commission also does not expect pipelines to make major or high cost modifications to accounting systems or business processes solely for the purpose of filing the supplemental page 700s.

    58 These allocated costs could include items such as shared assets, shared services, and overhead costs where direct assignment may sometimes be very difficult.

    37. The Commission, however, also seeks to ensure transparency regarding the costs allocated among the supplemental page 700s. The choice and application of cost allocation methodologies involves judgment that, to some degree, may be subjective.59 The Commission and the public would also benefit from information regarding the amount of costs that pipelines are allocating as opposed to directly assigning. In order to ensure transparency and to monitor pipeline's allocation decisions, the Commission is considering requiring additional information on page 700 in order to differentiate between directly assigned and allocated costs and to briefly describe the allocation methodology.

    59 The Commission has established allocation methodologies that are used for ratemaking purposes. These include the Massachusetts Formula, the Kansas-Nebraska methodology, and volumetric allocations.

    38. Thus, for certain line items on page 700 oil pipelines would be required to report (a) directly assigned costs and (b) allocated costs.60 The directly assigned costs would be those costs that have been assigned to a specific system based upon cost centers and location codes. For the allocated costs, the pipeline would include a footnote explaining the methodology used to allocate those costs, including (a) Kansas-Nebraska methodology, (b) volumetric method, (c) gross plant, or (d) other methodologies.61

    60 The requirement to break-out directly assigned and allocated costs would be added to line 1 (Operating and Maintenance Expenses), line 2 (Depreciation Expense), line 3 (AFUDC Depreciation), line 4 (Amortization of Deferred Earnings), and proposed lines 5a1-5a4 (Trended Original Cost Rate Base). This requirement would apply to all supplemental page 700s.

    61 For example, on page 700c for crude pipeline systems, below line 1 “Operating and Maintenance Expenses,” this proposal would add Line 1a “Directly Assigned O&M Expenses,” and line 1b “Allocated O&M Expenses.” In a footnote, the pipeline could explain, “These costs were allocated using the KN Method.”

    39. Second, in order to facilitate understanding of these allocations, on both page 700 and the supplemental page 700s, the Commission is considering requiring additional data involving rate base.62 Specifically, this approach would add to line 5a, Rate Base—original cost; line 5a1—Total Carrier Property In Service (Gross Plant); line 5a2—Net Carrier Property In Service (Net Plant); line 5a3—ADIT; and line 5a4—Total Working Capital. Gross and net plant could be important for understanding how costs are being allocated. For example, this data may provide a means for allocating the Opinion No. 154-B cost data.

    62 This information would be used primarily to understand the cost allocations to the different systems as reported on the supplemental page 700s. Although the Commission does not anticipate that all pipelines would be required to file the supplemental page 700s, the Commission is considering requiring all pipelines to report this information on page 700. The data would help the Commission understand a pipeline's capital costs, and this company-wide data should already be contained within the work papers used to prepare the page 700.

    40. By permitting oil pipelines to use estimates and cost allocations for certain costs, the Commission would seek to reduce the compliance costs associated with the supplemental page 700s. However, the use of allocations would be balanced by the additional reporting requirements that would enable the Commission and shippers to monitor both the level of allocated costs and, in general terms, how those costs were allocated.

    2. Revenue, Barrel and Barrel Mile Data

    41. The Commission is also considering requiring pipelines to disaggregate page 700 revenue, barrel, and barrel-mile data associated with (a) cost-based rates (resulting from indexing and cost-of-service), (b) non-cost-based rates (resulting from settlement rates and market-based rates), and (c) other jurisdictional revenues (such as penalties).

    42. When page 700 was created following EPAct 1992, most oil pipeline revenues resulted from rates subject to cost-based regulation. Therefore, comparing total revenue to total costs served as an effective preliminary means to determine whether to challenge a pipeline's cost-based rates. However, in recent years, an increasing percentage of pipelines are using settlement rates (including negotiated rates associated with new construction). Also, at the same time the Commission created page 700, the Commission formalized its market-based rates policy in Order No. 572.63 The revenue derived from these non-cost-based rates may substantially deviate from a pipeline's cost-of-service, but still be just and reasonable.64

    63 Prior to Order No. 572, the Commission allowed market-based rates on an experimental basis. See Buckeye Pipe Line Co., 53 FERC ¶ 61,473 (1990), order on reh'g, 55 FERC ¶ 61,084 (1991).

    64Seaway Crude Pipeline Company LLC, Opinion No. 546, 154 FERC ¶ 61,070, at P 47 (2016). “(T)here is extensive precedent that supports the Commission's policy that negotiated rates need not be cost-based, and that a pipeline's entire portfolio of rates can produce revenues that exceed its overall cost-of-service.”

    43. Separating the cost-based and non-cost-based revenue could help the Commission and pipeline shippers to assess, on a preliminary basis, whether a gap between total company costs and revenues likely results from cost-based rates (which could be challenged on a cost-of-service basis) or from non-cost-based rates (which could not be challenged on a cost basis). Also, because a pipeline must know the rate to charge a shipper seeking service, this revenue data should be relatively simple for the pipeline to identify and to track.

    44. Certain limitations apply to this data. Different revenue sources may apply to different parts of the pipeline with different costs.65 As a result of this mismatch, the Commission does not intend to use the disaggregated cost-based revenues in the indexing screens described above. However, this additional information would nonetheless enable the Commission and the industry to evaluate the relative effect of the Commission's different ratemaking methodologies. It could also provide an initial assessment for shippers contemplating a cost-of-service complaint against a pipeline's rates.66

    65 For example, a negotiated rate could apply to the newer part of the pipeline system for which the rate base has not depreciated. In contrast, the cost-based rates may apply to older, legacy parts of the system in which the rate base has depreciated.

    66 As an example, consider a pipeline that ships 100,000 barrels system-wide, where 50,000 barrels are shipped under an indexed rate of $1.00 ($50,000), 25,000 barrels are shipped under a negotiated discount rate of $0.90 (for revenues of $22,500), and 25,000 are shipped at a market-based rate of $2.00 ($50,000). Also assume a total cost-of-service of $100,000. Under the existing requirements of page 700, the pipeline would list total revenues of $122,500 (50,000 + 22,500 + 50,000), producing a deviation between cost and revenue of $22,500 or 22.5 percent. If this pipeline instead reported segmented revenue, it would report $50,000 in cost-based revenue and $72,500 in non-cost-based rate revenue. The pipeline would also report throughput of 50,000 cost-based barrels, and 50,000 non-cost-based barrels. Comparing cost-based revenue to cost-based throughput, there would be no deviation between cost-based costs ($50,000) and cost-based revenues ($50,000).

    3. Work Papers

    45. Based on our consideration of the record in Docket No. RM15-19, and our proposed revisions to page 700 included in this ANOPR, we do not propose requiring pipelines to make the work papers used to prepare page 700 available to all interested parties as requested by the Joint Shippers' petition.

    46. As described earlier in the ANOPR, the Commission is proposing to significantly revise pipeline reporting requirements for page 700. Page 700 data filed by the pipelines is under oath and subject to Commission audit. The current data on page 700 allows a shipper to compare (a) a pipeline's revenues to its total cost-of-service and (b) changes to a pipeline's total cost-of-service. Under both the Commission's current policy and the policy changes proposed above, this is the data directly used to evaluate challenged index filings. Page 700 also provides significant context for these total costs, including several major cost-of-service subcomponents. By requiring additional information on page 700 and the supplemental page 700s regarding (a) rate base (proposed lines 5a1-5a4), (b) the cost allocations, and (c) revenues, the Commission is providing additional context for the data on page 700.67 We believe that this additional information provides sufficient information to allow the Commission and shippers to evaluate index findings and conduct a preliminary evaluation of a pipeline's rates prior to bringing a cost-of-service challenge. However, we invite comments on the sufficiency of this additional information in evaluating index filings and conducting preliminary evaluations of a pipeline's rates prior to bringing a cost-of-service challenge.

    67 These additions comport to Dr. Arthur's statements in his testimony pointing out that “two additional significant areas where page 700 work papers provide relevant information not reported elsewhere in the Form 6 are the allocation factors used to derive the cost-of-service and the treatment of other non-trunkline revenue, both of which can have significant influence on a resulting cost-of-service and revenues.” See Joint Shippers Initial Comments, Arthur Affidavit, Docket No. RM15-19-000, at PP 6-7.

    47. In support of their proposal, the Joint Shippers emphasize that the Commission currently has access to pipeline work papers. While true, we believe that, on balance, mandating disclosure of work papers is not necessary to provide shippers with sufficient information when considering challenges to pipelines' proposed or existing rates. In particular, we note that the dissemination of this data to shippers raises potential confidentiality concerns that do not exist when the Commission reviews the work papers. These issues include (a) shipper information protected by section 15(13) of the ICA, which prohibits disclosure of an individual shipper's movements and (b) the pipeline's competitive business information. On balance, we find that the general disclosure of this information, even subject to confidentiality agreements, is not appropriate at this time.

    IV. Burden

    48. The Commission invites commenters to also address the potential cost of the proposals being considered in this ANOPR. Comments could include an estimate of both the one-time implementation costs and the ongoing compliance costs. The Commission will provide a burden estimate in any future notice of proposed rulemaking.

    V. Comment Procedures

    49. The Commission invites interested persons to submit comments on the matters and issues presented in this notice to be adopted. Initial comments are due December 19, 2016 and reply comments are due January 31, 2017. Comments must refer to Docket No. RM17-1-000, and must include the commenter's name, the organization they represent, if applicable, and their address in their comments.

    50. The Commission encourages comments to be filed electronically via the eFiling link on the Commission's Web site at http://www.ferc.gov. The Commission accepts most standard word processing formats. Documents created electronically using word processing software should be filed in native applications or print-to-PDF format and not in a scanned format. Commenters filing electronically do not need to make a paper filing.

    51. Commenters that are not able to file comments electronically must send an original of their comments to: Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Secretary of the Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    52. All comments will be placed in the Commission's public files and may be viewed, printed, or downloaded remotely as described in the Document Availability section below. Commenters on this proposal are not required to serve copies of their comments on other commenters.

    VI. Document Availability

    53. In addition to publishing the full text of this document in the Federal Register, the Commission provides all interested persons an opportunity to view and/or print the contents of this document via the Internet through the Commission's Home Page (http://www.ferc.gov) and in the Commission's Public Reference Room during normal business hours (8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern time) at 888 First Street NE., Room 2A, Washington, DC 20426.

    54. From the Commission's Home Page on the Internet, this information is available on eLibrary. The full text of this document is available on eLibrary in PDF and Microsoft Word format for viewing, printing, and/or downloading. To access this document in eLibrary, type the docket number excluding the last three digits of this document in the docket number field.

    55. User assistance is available for eLibrary and the Commission's Web site during normal business hours from the Commission's Online Support at (202) 502-6652 (toll free at 1-866-208-3676) or email at [email protected], or the Public Reference Room at (202) 502-8371, TTY (202) 502-8659. Email the Public Reference Room at [email protected]

    By direction of the Commission.

    Issued: October 20, 2016. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-26227 Filed 11-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration 21 CFR Part 101 [Docket No. FDA-2016-N-2938] Reference Amount Customarily Consumed for Flavored Nut Butter Spreads and Products That Can Be Used To Fill Cupcakes and Other Desserts, in the Labeling of Human Food Products; Request for Information and Comments AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notification of request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or we) is announcing the establishment of a docket to receive comments, particularly data and other information, on the appropriate reference amount customarily consumed (RACC) and product category for flavored nut butter spreads (e.g., cocoa, cookie, and coffee flavored), and products that can be used to fill cupcakes and other desserts, such as cakes and pastries. We are taking this action in part because we have recently issued a final rule updating certain RACCs, and we have also received a citizen petition asking that we either issue a guidance recognizing that “nut cocoa-based spreads” fall within the “Honey, jams, jellies, fruit butter, molasses” category for purposes of RACC determination; or amend the regulation to establish a new RACC category for “nut cocoa-based spreads” with an RACC of 1 tablespoon (tbsp.). We also are taking this action in response to a request to amend our serving size regulations to establish an RACC and product category for cupcake filling.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received on or before January 3, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments as follows:

    Electronic Submissions

    Submit electronic comments in the following way:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. Comments submitted electronically, including attachments, to http://www.regulations.gov will be posted to the docket unchanged. Because your comment will be made public, you are solely responsible for ensuring that your comment does not include any confidential information that you or a third party may not wish to be posted, such as medical information, your or anyone else's Social Security number, or confidential business information, such as a manufacturing process. Please note that if you include your name, contact information, or other information that identifies you in the body of your comments, that information will be posted on http://www.regulations.gov.

    • If you want to submit a comment with confidential information that you do not wish to be made available to the public, submit the comment as a written/paper submission and in the manner detailed (see “Written/Paper Submissions” and “Instructions”).

    Written/Paper Submissions

    Submit written/paper submissions as follows:

    Mail/Hand delivery/Courier (for written/paper submissions): Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

    • For written/paper comments submitted to the Division of Dockets Management, FDA will post your comment, as well as any attachments, except for information submitted, marked and identified as confidential, if submitted as detailed in “Instructions.”

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the Docket No. FDA-2016-N-2938 for “Reference Amount Customarily Consumed for Flavored Nut Butter Spreads (e.g., cocoa, cookie, and coffee flavored), and Products That Can Be Used To Fill Cupcakes and Other Desserts, in the Labeling of Human Food Products; Request for Information and Comments.” Received comments will be placed in the docket and, except for those submitted as “Confidential Submissions,” publicly viewable at http://www.regulations.gov or at the Division of Dockets Management between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

    Confidential Submissions—To submit a comment with confidential information that you do not wish to be made publicly available, submit your comments only as a written/paper submission. You should submit two copies total. One copy will include the information you claim to be confidential with a heading or cover note that states “THIS DOCUMENT CONTAINS CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION.” We will review this copy, including the claimed confidential information, in our consideration of comments. The second copy, which will have the claimed confidential information redacted/blacked out, will be available for public viewing and posted on http://www.regulations.gov. Submit both copies to the Division of Dockets Management. If you do not wish your name and contact information to be made publicly available, you can provide this information on the cover sheet and not in the body of your comments and you must identify this information as “confidential.” Any information marked as “confidential” will not be disclosed except in accordance with 21 CFR 10.20 and other applicable disclosure law. For more information about FDA's posting of comments to public dockets, see 80 FR 56469, September 18, 2015, or access the information at: http://www.fda.gov/regulatoryinformation/dockets/default.htm.

    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or the electronic and written/paper comments received, go to http://www.regulations.gov and insert the docket number, found in brackets in the heading of this document, into the “Search” box and follow the prompts and/or go to the Division of Dockets Management, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Cherisa Henderson, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (HFS-830), Food and Drug Administration, 5001 Campus Dr., College Park, MD 20740, 240-402-1450.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background A. Flavored Nut Butter Spreads (e.g., cocoa, cookie, and coffee flavored)

    Under section 403(q)(1)(A)(i) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the FD&C Act) (21 U.S.C. 343(q)(1)(A)(i)), food that is intended for human consumption and offered for sale must bear nutrition information that provides a serving size that reflects the amount of food customarily consumed (i.e., the RACC) and is expressed in a common household measure that is appropriate to the food (unless an exception applies). We established RACCs for specific product categories in a final rule that appeared in the Federal Register on January 6, 1993, entitled “Food Labeling; Serving Sizes” (58 FR 2229, “1993 final rule”). In the 1993 final rule, FDA provided nine general principles and factors for establishing RACCs in 21 CFR 101.12(a) to ensure that foods that have similar dietary usage, product characteristics, and customarily consumed amounts have a uniform reference amount.

    The 1993 final rule included a reference (Ref. 1) to a memorandum to the file entitled “List of products for each product category,” which listed “Nutella” as an example of a product in the product category “Other dessert toppings, e.g., fruits, syrups, spreads, marshmallow cream, nuts, dairy and non-dairy whipped toppings” (see 58 FR 2229 at 2268). The conclusion that “Nutella” belongs in the “Other dessert toppings, e.g., fruits, syrups, spreads, marshmallow cream, nuts, dairy and non-dairy whipped toppings” category with an RACC of two tbsp. was based on a consumer survey conducted in 1991 that showed a significant number of respondents used “Nutella” as a dessert topping, particularly for ice cream.

    In the Federal Register of March 3, 2014, we published a proposed rule entitled, “Food Labeling: Serving Sizes of Foods That Can Reasonably Be Consumed at One-Eating Occasion; Dual-Column Labeling; Updating, Modifying, and Establishing Certain Reference Amounts Customarily Consumed; Serving Size for Breath Mints; and Technical Amendments” (79 FR 11990, “2014 proposed rule”). The 2014 proposed rule proposed to update and modify certain RACCs for previously established product categories and establish RACCs for new products and product categories. The 2014 proposed rule provided no specific discussion with respect to “Nutella.” After publication of the proposed rule, on March 4, 2014, we received a citizen petition that requested we either: (1) Issue guidance recognizing that “nut cocoa-based spreads” fall within the “Honey, jams, jellies, fruit butter, molasses” category for purposes of RACC determination or (2) amend § 101.12 to establish a new product category for “nut cocoa-based spreads” with an RACC of one tbsp. (Docket No. FDA-2014-P-0263.) Based on the information provided, which included data pertaining specifically to “Nutella,” we understand that the petition intended “Nutella” to be incorporated into a category described as “nut cocoa-based spreads.” The petitioner submitted results of a consumer usage survey that the petitioner had commissioned through a marketing research firm. The survey included 722 mothers who purchased “Nutella” in the past 3 months. The survey found that, on average, 74 percent of “Nutella” use was associated with spreading the product on bread, including toast and in making sandwiches, and that two percent of use was as a topping for ice cream. The petition also included the results of an analysis of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2003-2010 consumption data for individuals aged 4 years or older (n = 43). The reported mean, median, and mode consumption amounts from this analysis for “Nutella,” including similar products used as chocolate-flavored hazelnut spreads, were 22.6 grams (g) (about 1 tbsp.), 18 g (1 tbsp.), and 18 g (1 tbsp.), respectively.

    On March 10, 2016, we received a comment in response to the 2014 proposed rule in which a report prepared by a scientific consulting firm analyzed the NHANES data from 2003 through 2012 among participants aged 1 year and older for “Nutella” and other similar products used as chocolate-flavored hazelnut spreads (n = 92) (Ref. 2). The comment stated that the results showed that the mean, median, and mode consumption amounts were 28.6 g, 18 g (about 1 tbsp.), and 12 g, respectively. The comment included a report of an online survey designed to estimate the amount of “Nutella” typically consumed in an eating occasion. The comment asserted that the survey was administered to a representative sample of the U.S. population aged 18 to 80 years, with an average age of 27.3 years. Four hundred and thirty respondents consumed “Nutella” in the year before the survey was administered, and these respondents reported 824 eating occasions. Based on the categorical consumption amount selections weighted by the frequency of such amount consumed, the comment concluded that median consumption per eating occasion was 18.5 g (about 1 tbsp.), that the mean consumption per eating occasion was 32.6 g, and that almost half of the eating occasions (46.9 percent) involved using the product as a spread with bread or toast, as compared to use with crackers or cookies (17.2 percent), use by itself (13.9 percent), use as a spread for fruit (10.8 percent), use as a spread over pancakes or waffles (8.2 percent), and other uses (3 percent). The report concluded that the median consumption amount from both analyses was one tbsp., consistent with the RACC of one tbsp. that we had established for sweet spreads for bread such as honey, jams, and jellies.

    Following the receipt of the citizen petition and comment, in the Federal Register of May 27, 2016, we published a final rule entitled, “Food Labeling: Serving Sizes of Foods That Can Reasonably Be Consumed At One Eating Occasion; Dual-Column Labeling; Updating, Modifying, and Establishing Certain Reference Amounts Customarily Consumed; Serving Size for Breath Mints; and Technical Amendments” (81 FR 34000) (“2016 final rule”). The 2016 final rule updated and modified certain RACCs for previously established product categories and established RACCs for new products and product categories. The preamble to the 2016 final rule explained in the response to the comment on nut cocoa-based spreads that the primary usage of hazelnut spread, which was a reference to nut cocoa-based spreads such as “Nutella” discussed in the comment, is as a spread for bread instead of as a dessert topping (81 FR 34000 at 34029 to 34030). However, with respect to specific assertions raised in the March 10, 2016, comment, we responded that, while we recognize a need for an RACC for hazelnut spread outside of the dessert product category,” and agreed that the primary usage of hazelnut spread is as a spread for bread instead of as a dessert topping because the proposed rule was silent about an RACC for hazelnut spread, and because we intended to provide the opportunity for public comment on this specific issue, we intended to consider whether to move hazelnut spread to a different appropriate product category in a future rulemaking” (81 FR 34000 at 34029). This notification of request for comments represents the first step of our evaluation of the appropriate RACC and product category for flavored nut butter spreads (e.g., cocoa, cookie, and coffee flavored), which we consider to include “nut cocoa-based spread” as described in the citizen petition and comment to the 2014 proposed rule.

    B. Products Used as a Filling for Cupcakes and Other Desserts

    In response to the 2014 proposed rule, one comment requested that we establish an RACC for icing intended for use as cupcake filling. In the preamble to the 2016 final rule, we said that we recognize a need for an RACC for this specific food product as well as for other types of cake or pastry fillings,” but we further explained that, because the proposed rule was silent about an RACC for cupcake filling, and because we intended to provide the opportunity for public comment on this specific issue, we intend to establish an RACC for this product category in future rulemaking” (81 FR 34000 at 34029). This notification of request for comments represents the first step of our evaluation of the appropriate RACC and product category for products used as a filling for cupcakes and other desserts.

    II. Other Issues for Consideration

    We invite interested persons to comment on the appropriate RACC and product category for flavored nut butter spreads (e.g., cocoa, cookie, and coffee flavored), and products used as fillings for cupcakes and other desserts, such as cakes and pastries. In responding to the specific questions identified in this notice, please provide additional data and information that you believe we should consider. Please thoroughly explain your reasoning and provide data and other information to support your comments and responses to these questions. If you submit data, please also provide information regarding the type of survey or study conducted, research methodology, sampling frame, results of statistical analyses, and any other information needed to interpret the data.

    We are particularly interested in responses to the following questions:

    • What additional data and information are available to determine the customary consumption amounts of and appropriate product category for flavored nut butter spreads (e.g., cocoa, cookie, and coffee flavored)?

    • What is the major intended use of flavored nut butter spreads (e.g., cocoa, cookie, and coffee flavored)?

    • What other products on the market, if any, are similar to flavored nut butter spreads (e.g., cocoa, cookie, and coffee flavored)? What product characteristics make these products similar? What dietary usage makes these products similar? Which product categories do flavored nut butter spreads (e.g., cocoa, cookie, and coffee flavored) compete with or take market share and volume from? What data and information are available regarding the customary consumption amounts and product category for these similar products?

    • What additional data and information are available regarding the customary consumption amounts and product category of products used as fillings for cupcakes and other desserts, such as cakes and pastries?

    • What is the major intended use of fillings for cupcakes and other desserts, such as cakes and pastries?

    • What other products on the market, if any, are similar to cupcake filling, such as cakes and pastries fillings? What product characteristics make these products similar? What dietary usage makes these products similar? Which product categories do fillings for cupcakes and other desserts, such as cakes and pastries, compete with or take market share and volume from? What data and information are available regarding the customary consumption amounts and product category for these similar products?

    III. References

    The following references are on display in the Division of Dockets Management (see ADDRESSES) and are available for viewing by interested persons between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday; they are also available electronically at http://www.regulations.gov.

    1. Park, Y., Memorandum to the File, List of Products for Each Product Category, October 8, 1992.

    2. Ferrero Inc., Comment to the Food Labeling: Serving Sizes of Foods That Can Reasonably Be Consumed at One-Eating Occasion; Dual Column Labeling; Updating, Modifying, and Establishing Certain Reference Amounts Customarily Consumed; Proposed Rule. August 1, 2014.

    Dated: October 27, 2016. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2016-26407 Filed 11-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary 32 CFR Part 221 [Docket ID: DOD-2015-OS-0054] RIN 0790-AJ36 DoD Identity Management AGENCY:

    Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness (USD(P&R)), DoD.

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    This rulemaking establishes implementation guidelines for DS Logon to provide a secure means of authentication to applications containing personally identifiable information (PII) and personal health information (PHI). This will allow beneficiaries and other individuals with a continuing affiliation with DoD to update pay or health-care information in a secure environment. This service can be accessed by active duty, National Guard and Reserve, and Commissioned Corps members of the uniformed services when separating from active duty or from the uniformed service.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received by January 3, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by docket number and/or RIN number and title, by any of the following methods:

    Federal Rulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

    Mail: Department of Defense, Office of the Deputy Chief Management Officer, Directorate for Oversight and Compliance, 4800 Mark Center Drive, Mailbox #24, Alexandria, VA 22350-1700.

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name and docket number or Regulatory Information Number (RIN) for this Federal Register document. The general policy for comments and other submissions from members of the public is to make these submissions available for public viewing on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov as they are received without change, including any personal identifiers or contact information.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mr. Robert Eves, Defense Human Resources Activity, 571-372-1956.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background

    This proposed rule describes procedures for obtaining a DS Logon credential for all active duty, National Guard and Reserve, and Commissioned Corps members of the uniformed services when separating from active duty or from the uniformed service. It discusses how credential holders may maintain and update their credentials and manage their personal settings. Finally, it discusses the permissions credential holders have to access their information, who has access to view and edit their information, and who is eligible to act on their behalf.

    DoD collects and maintains information on Service members, beneficiaries, DoD employees, and other individuals affiliated with the DoD in order to issue DoD identification (ID) cards that facilitate access to DoD benefits, DoD installations, and DoD information systems. This action formally establishes DoD policy requirements for DoD Self-Service (DS) Logon credentials that are used to facilitate logical access to self-service Web sites. This regulatory action will update the CFR for DoD Manual (DoDM) 1341.02, volume 1, “DoD Identity Management: DoD Self-Service (DS) Logon Program and Credential.

    Authorities

    The DoD PIP Program uses emerging technologies to support the protection of individual identity and to assist with safeguarding DoD physical assets, networks, and systems from unauthorized access based on fraudulent or fraudulently obtained credentials. DEERS is the authoritative data source for identity and verification of affiliation with the DoD in accordance with the DoD PIP Program. Specific authorities are listed below.

    • Title 10 U.S.C. 1044a. This section establishes the authority for a Judge Advocate, other member of the armed forces, designated by law and regulations, or other eligible persons to have the powers to act as a notary. The persons identified in Title 10 U.S.C. 1044a subsection (b) have the general power of a notary and may notarize a completed and signed DD Form 3005, “Application for Surrogate Association for DoD Self-Service (DS) Logon.”

    • DoD Instruction 1000.25, “DoD Personnel Identity Protection (PIP) Program” (available at http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corres/pdf/100025p.pdf). This issuance establishes minimum acceptable criteria for the establishment and confirmation of personal identity and for the issuance of DoD personnel identity verification credentials.

    • DoD Instruction 1341.2, “Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) Procedures” (available at http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corres/pdf/134102p.pdf). This issuance establishes DEERS as the authoritative data source for identity and verification of affiliation with the DoD, and benefit eligibility to include medical, dental, and pharmacy.

    • Office of Management and Budget M-04-04, “E-Authentication Guidance for Federal Agencies” (available at www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/memoranda/fy04/m04-04.pdf). This memorandum requires agencies to review new and existing electronic transactions to ensure that authentication processes provide the appropriate level of assurance, establishing and describing four levels of identity assurance for electronic transactions requiring authentication.

    • 32 CFR part 310. This CFR part established the DoD Privacy Program in accordance with the provisions of the Privacy Act of 1974, and prescribes uniform procedures for the implementation of and compliance with the DoD Privacy Program.

    Costs and Benefits of This Regulatory Action

    The annual operating costs for the DS Logon program are approximately $1,265,305.35. Based on 6 million active users, the cost per user is about $0.21. The benefits include extending a secure means of authentication to PII and PHI to all DoD beneficiaries and other individuals with a continuing affiliation with DoD who previously had no logical access. Only one DS Logon credential may exist for an individual eliminating separate username/password combinations for each application to be accessed, allowing users to better manage their means of authentication to DoD information systems. The DS Logon credentials are credentialed at National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) e-authentication levels 1, 2, and 3, in accordance with NIST Special Publication 800-63-2 (available at: http://nvlpubs.nist.gov/nistpubs/SpecialPublications/NIST.SP.800-63-2.pdf), and at Credential Strength A and B, in accordance with DoDI 8520.03 (available at: http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corres/pdf/852003.pdf, meeting the required sensitivity level for access to self-service personal information.

    Regulatory Procedures Executive Order 12866, “Regulatory Planning and Review” and Executive Order 13563, “Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review”

    Executive Orders 13563 and 12866 direct agencies to assess all costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public health and safety effects, distribute impacts, and equity). Executive Order 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. This rule has been designated a “significant regulatory action,” although not economically significant, under section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, the proposed rule has been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

    Section 202, Public Law 104-4, “Unfunded Mandates Reform Act”

    Section 202 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA) (Pub. L. 104-4) requires agencies assess anticipated costs and benefits before issuing any rule whose mandates require spending in any 1 year of $100 million in 1995 dollars, updated annually for inflation. In 2014, that threshold is approximately $141 million. This proposed rule would not mandate any requirements for State, local, or tribal governments, nor will it affect private sector costs.

    Public Law 96-354, “Regulatory Flexibility Act” (5 U.S.C. 601)

    The Department of Defense certifies that this proposed rule is not subject to the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601) because it would not, if promulgated, have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Therefore, the Regulatory Flexibility Act, as amended, does not require us to prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis.

    Public Law 96-511, “Paperwork Reduction Act” (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35)

    Section 221.6(d)(2)(i)(A) of this proposed rule contains information collection requirements. DoD has submitted the following proposal to OMB under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. Chapter 35). Comments are invited on: (1) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of DoD, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the estimate of the burden of the proposed information collection; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) ways to minimize the burden of the information collection on respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Title: Application for Surrogate Association for DoD Self-Service (DS) Logon.

    Type of Request: New.

    Number of Respondents: 5,000.

    Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Annual Responses: 5,000.

    Average Burden per Response: 2 minutes.

    Annual Burden Hours: 167 hours.

    Needs and Uses: This information collection is consistent with Department of Defense (DoD) guidelines that have been outlined in draft DoD Manual (DoDM) 1341.02, volume 1, “DoD Identity Management: DoD Self-Service (DS) Logon Program and Credential,” which authorizes Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) enrollment and DS Logon credential issuance to surrogates. A surrogate may be established as the custodian of a deceased Service member's unmarried minor child(ren) who is under 18, who is at least 18 but under 23 and attending school full-time, or who is incapacitated. A surrogate may also be established as the agent of an incapacitated dependent (e.g., spouse, parent) or of a wounded, ill, or incapacitated Service member.

    This information collection is needed to obtain the necessary data to establish eligibility for a DS Logon credential and enrollment in DEERS.

    This information shall be used to establish an individual's eligibility for DEERS enrollment and DS Logon credential issuance as a surrogate. Once this information has been collected, a record will be established in DEERS and a DS Logon credential issued in accordance with DoDM 1341.02, volume 1. The information that is collected may be released to Federal and State agencies and private entities, on matters relating to utilization review, professional quality assurance, program integrity, civil and criminal litigation, and access to Federal government facilities, computer systems, networks, and controlled areas.

    Affected Public: 5,000.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Respondent's Obligation: Required to obtain DEERS enrollment and a DS Logon credential as a surrogate.

    OMB Desk Officer: Jasmeet Seehra.

    Written comments and recommendations on the proposed information collection should be sent to Jasmeet Seehra at [email protected], with a copy to the Defense Human Resources Activity, Suite 06J25, 4800 Mark Center Drive, Alexandria, Virginia 22350-4000. Comments can be received from 30 to 60 days after the date of publication of this proposed rule, but comments to OMB will be most useful if received by OMB within 30 days after the date of publication of this proposed rule.

    You may also submit comments, identified by docket number and title, by the following method:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the agency name, docket number and title for this Federal Register document. The general policy for comments and other submissions from members of the public is to make these submissions available for public viewing on the Internet at http://www.regulations.gov as they are received without change, including any personal identifiers or contact information.

    To request more information on this proposed information collection or to obtain a copy of the proposal and associated collection instruments, please write to Defense Human Resources Activity, Suite 06J25, 4800 Mark Center Drive, Alexandria, Virginia 22350-4000; Mr. Robert Eves; 571-372-1956.

    Executive Order 13132, “Federalism”

    Executive Order 13132 establishes certain requirements that an agency must meet when it promulgates a proposed rule (and subsequent final rule) that imposes substantial direct requirement costs on State and local governments, preempts State law, or otherwise has Federalism implications. This proposed rule will not have a substantial effect on State and local governments.

    List of Subjects in 32 CFR Part 221

    Identity management, Identification cards, Logon credentials.

    Accordingly, 32 CFR part 221 is proposed to be added to read as follows: PART 221—DOD IDENTITY MANAGEMENT Sec. 221.1 Purpose. 221.2 Applicability. 221.3 Definitions. 221.4 Policy. 221.5 Responsibilities. 221.6 Procedures. Authority:

    10 U.S.C. 1044a.

    § 221.1 Purpose.

    (a) The purpose of the overall part is to implement policy, assign responsibilities, and provide procedures for DoD personnel identification.

    (b) This part establishes implementation guidelines for DS Logon.

    § 221.2 Applicability.

    This part applies to:

    (a) The Office of the Secretary, the Military Departments (including the Coast Guard at all times, including when it is a Service in the Department of Homeland Security by agreement with that Department), the Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Joint Staff, the Combatant Commands, the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Defense, the Defense Agencies, the DoD Field Activities, and all other organizational entities within the DoD (referred to collectively in this part as the “DoD Components”).

    (b) The Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS), under agreement with the Department of Health and Human Services, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), under agreement with the Department of Commerce.

    § 221.3 Definitions.

    Unless otherwise noted, the following terms and their definitions are for the purposes of this part:

    Beneficiary. Individuals affiliated with the DoD that may be eligible for benefits or entitlements.

    Certified copy. A copy of a document that is certified as a true original and:

    (1) Conveys the appropriate seal or markings of the issuer;

    (2) Has a means to validate the authenticity of the document by a reference or source number;

    (3) Is a notarized legal document or other document approved by a judge advocate, member of any of the armed forces, or other eligible person in accordance with 10 U.S.C. 1044a; or

    (4) Has the appropriate certificate of authentication by a U.S. Consular Officer in the foreign country of issuance which attests to the authenticity of the signature and seal.

    DoD beneficiary (DB). Beneficiaries who qualify for DoD benefits or entitlements in accordance with National Institute of Science and Technology Special Publication 800-63-2, “Electronic Authentication Guideline” (available at http://nvlpubs.nist.gov/nistpubs/SpecialPublications/NIST.SP.800-63-2.pdf). This population may include widows, widowers, and eligible former spouses.

    Dependent. An individual whose relationship to the sponsor leads to entitlement to benefits and privileges.

    DS Logon credential. A username and password to allow Service members, beneficiaries, and other individuals affiliated with the DoD secure access to self-service Web sites.

    DS Logon credential holder. A Service member, beneficiary, and other individual affiliated with the DoD who has applied for and received a DS Logon credential.

    Former member. An individual who is eligible for, or entitled to, retired pay for non-regular service in accordance with 31 U.S.C. chapter 1223, but who has been discharged from the Service and who maintains no military affiliation.

    Former spouse. An individual who was married to a uniformed services member for at least 20 years, and the member had at least 20 years of service creditable toward retirement, and the marriage overlapped as follows:

    (1) Twenty years marriage, 20 years creditable service for retirement, and 20 years overlap between the marriage and the service (referred to as 20/20/20). The benefits eligibility begins on the date of divorce;

    (2) Twenty years marriage, 20 years creditable service for retirement, and 15 years overlap between the marriage and the service (referred to as 20/20/15). The benefits eligibility begins on the date of divorce; or

    (3) A spouse whose marriage was terminated from a uniformed service member who has their eligibility to receive retired pay terminated as a result of misconduct based on Service-documented abuse of the spouse and has 10 years of marriage, 20 years of creditable service for retirement, 10 years of overlap between the marriage and the service (referred to as 10/20/10). The benefits eligibility begins on the date of divorce.

    Legal guardian (LG). The terms “guardian” and “conservator” are used synonymously. Some States may limit the authority of a guardian to specific types of health care decisions; a court may also impose limitations on the health care decisions.

    Surrogate. A person who has been delegated authority, either by an eligible individual who is at least 18 years of age and mentally competent to consent or by a court of competent jurisdiction in the United States (or possession of the United States), to act on behalf of the eligible individual in a specific role.

    Widow. The female spouse of a deceased member of the uniformed services.

    Widower. The male spouse of a deceased member of the uniformed services.

    § 221.4 Policy.

    In accordance with DoD Directive 1000.25, “DoD Personnel Identity Protection (PIP) Program” (available at http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corres/pdf/100025p.pdf), DoD Instruction 1341.2, “Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) Procedures” (available at http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corres/pdf/134102p.pdf), Office of Management and Budget M-04-04, “E-Authentication Guidance for Federal Agencies” (available at www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/memoranda/fy04/m04-04.pdf) and 32 CFR part 310, it is DoD policy that DoD will provide a secure means of authentication to PII and personal health information (PHI) for all beneficiaries and other individuals with a continuing affiliation with DoD.

    § 221.5 Responsibilities.

    (a) The Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness (USD(P&R)) oversees implementation of the procedures within this part.

    (b) Under the authority, direction, and control of the USD(P&R), and in addition to the responsibilities in paragraph (c) of this section, the Director, DoDHRA, through the Director, DMDC:

    (1) Approves the addition or elimination of population categories for DS Logon eligibility.

    (2) Develops and fields the required Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) and RAPIDS infrastructure and all elements of field support required to support the management of the DS Logon credential including, but not limited to, issuance, storage, maintenance, and customer service.

    (3) Obtains and distributes DS Logon credentials, and provides a secure means for delivery.

    (c) The DoD Component heads:

    (1) Comply with this part and distribute this guidance to applicable stakeholders.

    (2) Provide manpower for issuance of DS Logon credentials and instruction for use to all eligible individuals who are requesting a DS Logon credential in conjunction with the issuance of a DoD identification (ID) card or who are applying for a DS Logon credential as a surrogate, when responsible for a DoD ID card site(s).

    (d) The Secretaries of the Military Departments, in addition to the responsibilities in paragraph (c) of this section, and the heads of the non-DoD uniformed services:

    (1) Comply with this part and distribute this guidance to applicable stakeholders.

    (2) Provide manpower for issuance of DS Logon credentials and instruction for use to all eligible individuals who are requesting a DS Logon credential in conjunction with the issuance of a DoD ID card or who are applying for a DS Logon credential as a surrogate.

    (3) Ensure all Active Duty, National Guard and Reserve, and Commissioned Corps members of their uniformed services obtain a DS Logon credential when separating from active duty or from the uniformed service.

    § 221.6 Procedures.

    (a) General. A DS Logon credential will be made available to all beneficiaries that are eligible for DoD-related benefits or entitlements to facilitate secure authentication to critical Web sites. This includes members of the uniformed services, veterans with a continuing affiliation to the DoD, spouses, dependent children aged 18 and over, and other eligible individuals identified in paragraph (b) of this section.

    (b) Overview. Only one DS Logon credential may exist for an individual, regardless of the number of affiliations an individual may have to the DoD.

    (1) Eligibility. Beneficiaries of DoD-related benefits or entitlements and other individuals with a continuing affiliation with the DoD may be eligible for a DS Logon credential. Eligible populations include:

    (i) Veterans, including former members, retirees, Medal of Honor recipients, disabled American veterans, and other veterans with a continuing affiliation to the DoD.

    (ii) Retired DoD civilian employees, including retired NOAA Wage Mariners.

    (iii) Eligible dependents in accordance with volume 2 of DoD Manual 1000.13, “DoD Identification (ID) Cards: Benefits for Members of the Uniformed Services, Their Dependents, and Other Eligible Individuals” (available at http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corres/pdf/100013_vol2.pdf), including spouses, dependent children aged 18 or older, and dependent parents.

    (iv) DBs, including eligible widows, widowers, and former spouses, in accordance with volume 2 of DoD Manual 1000.13.

    (v) Surrogates, as described in paragraph (d) of this section.

    (vi) Other populations as determined by the Director, DMDC.

    (c) Lifecycle—(1) Application. Eligible individuals, as identified in paragraph (b)(1) of this section, may apply for a DS Logon credential:

    (i) Online. Individuals with Internet access may apply for a sponsor or dependent DS Logon by submitting a:

    (A) My Access Center Web site request. This type of request supports the provisioning of a Basic DS Logon credential. The My Access Center Web site can be accessed at https://myaccess.dmdc.osd.mil/.

    (B) CAC request. Individuals with a CAC, a computer with Internet access and a CAC reader may apply for either a sponsor or a dependent DS Logon credential via the My Access Center Web site or any application that has implemented DS Logon.

    (1) A sponsor DS Logon credential is provisioned immediately upon request. This type of request supports the provisioning of a Premium DS Logon credential.

    (2) A request for a DS Logon credential on behalf of a dependent generates an activation letter with an activation code that is mailed to the sponsor at his or her home address in DEERS. Once complete, this type of request supports the provisioning of a Premium DS Logon credential.

    (C) Request using a Defense Finance and Accounting Services (DFAS) myPay account. Eligible individuals may apply for a sponsor or dependent DS Logon credential using a DFAS myPay personal identification number via the My Access Center Web site. A request for a DS Logon credential generates an activation letter with an activation code that is mailed to the sponsor at his or her home address in DEERS. Once complete, this type of request supports the provisioning of a Premium DS Logon credential.

    (ii) Via remote proofing. Eligible individuals with an existing DEERS record may apply for a sponsor or dependent DS Logon credential using remote proofing via the My Access Center Web site. Individuals requesting a DS Logon credential via remote proofing must correctly answer a number of system-generated questions. Once remote proofing is completed, a Premium DS Logon credential is provisioned immediately.

    (iii) Via in-person proofing. Eligible individuals may apply for a sponsor or dependent DS Logon credential using in-person proofing. In-person proofing is performed at Department of Veterans Affairs regional offices where the DS access station application is implemented, and at DoD ID card sites when a DS Logon credential is requested either in conjunction with DoD ID card issuance or during initial enrollment of a surrogate. Once in-person proofing is completed, a Premium DS Logon credential is provisioned immediately. Individuals requesting a DS Logon credential via in-person proofing must present:

    (A) Identity documents. DS Logon credential applicants must satisfy the identity verification criteria in paragraph 4a of volume 1 of DoD Manual 1000.13, “DoD Identification (ID) Cards: ID Card Life-Cycle” (available at http://www.dtic.mil/whs/directives/corres/pdf/100013_vol1.pdf) by presenting two forms of government-issued ID, one of which must contain a photograph. The requirement for the primary ID to have a photo cannot be waived. Identity documents must be original or a certified copy. All documentation not in English must have a certified English translation.

    (B) Proof of address. DS Logon credential applicants must present proof of address, if address on the presented ID is different than the address in DEERS.

    (C) DD Form 214, “Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty.” DS Logon credential applicants must present a DD Form 214 if a veteran who was separated before 1982. If separated from the Reserve Component, a DS Logon credential applicant may present a Reserve Component separation document in lieu of a DD Form 214.

    (2) Use. DS Logon credential holders may use their DS Logon credential at the My Access Center Web site and any other DoD self-service Web site that accepts DS Logon.

    (3) Maintenance. DS Logon credential holders may use the My Access Center Web site to maintain and update their DS Logon credential and manage their personal settings. The DS Logon credential holder may:

    (i) Activate or deactivate an account.

    (ii) Reset password.

    (iii) Update challenge questions and answers.

    (iv) Upgrade from a Basic DS Logon to a Premium DS Logon credential.

    (v) Select or update preferred sponsor, if a dependent of two sponsors.

    (vi) Manage personal and advanced security settings.

    (vii) Manage contact information.

    (viii) Manage relationships and access granting.

    (ix) Manage the DS Logon credential using additional capabilities as implemented by the Director, DMDC.

    (4) Decomissioning. DS Logon credentials may be decommissioned by the DS Logon credential holder, via self-service; by an operator, at the request of the DS Logon credential holder; or by the system, when the credential holder no longer has an affiliation to the DoD or is identified as deceased in DEERS.

    (5) Reactivation. DS Logon credentials may be reactivated if the person is living and still eligible for the credential.

    (d) Associations. DS Logon supports several types of associations, including DEERS-identified family relationships and operator-initiated and -approved surrogates.

    (1) Family. Individuals are connected to one another based on their family relationship information in DEERS. A family relationship must exist in DEERS before the relationship can exist in DS Logon.

    (i) Multiple sponsors. An individual has only one DS Logon credential, regardless of the number of sponsors the individual has (e.g., a dependent child whose parents are both Service members).

    (ii) Transferring families. If an individual has a second family in DEERS, the individual can move their DS Logon credential to the second family. This changes the assignment of the DS Logon credential from the first family to the second family and removes any granted permissions from the first family.

    (2) Surrogacy. Surrogacy is a feature that allows an individual who may not be affiliated with the DoD and who may not be related to the DS Logon credential holder or eligible individual by a DoD-recognized family relationship to be granted access to a DS Logon credential holder's or an eligible individual's information. A surrogate may be established as the custodian of a deceased Service member's unmarried minor child(ren) who is under 18, who is at least 18 but under 23 and attending school full-time, or who is incapacitated. A surrogate may also be established as the agent of an incapacitated dependent (e.g., spouse, parent) or of a wounded, ill, or incapacitated Service member.

    (i) Eligibility. An operator must first establish an identity in DEERS before establishing the surrogacy association in DS Logon. To establish a surrogate association, the surrogate must present to an operator for approval:

    (A) A completed and signed DD Form 3005, “Application for Surrogate Association for DoD Self-Service (DS) Logon.”

    (B) Any additional eligibility documents required by the DD Form 3005 which describe the scope of the surrogate's authority.

    (C) Proof of identity, in accordance with the requirements for in-person proofing in paragraph (c)(1)(iii) of this section.

    (ii) Types of surrogates—(A) Financial agent (FA). An eligible individual names an FA to assist with specific financial matters.

    (B) Legal agent (LA). An eligible individual names an LA to assist with legal matters.

    (C) Caregiver (CG). An eligible individual names a CG to assist with general health care requirements (example, viewing general health-care related information, scheduling appointments, refilling prescriptions, and tracking medical expenses), but does not make health care decisions.

    (D) Health care agent (HA). An eligible individual (the patient) names an HA in a durable power of attorney for health care documents to make health care decisions.

    (E) Legal guardian (LG). An LG is appointed by a court of competent jurisdiction in the United States (or jurisdiction of the United States) to make legal decisions for an eligible individual.

    (F) Special guardian (SG). An SG is appointed by a court of competent jurisdiction in the United States (or jurisdiction of the United States) for the specific purpose of making health care-related decisions for an eligible individual.

    (e) Permissions. A sponsor, a sponsor's spouse, and a sponsor's dependent over the age of 18 can manage who has access to their information (i.e., who has access to view and edit their information and who is eligible to act on their behalf). The provisions of this section may be superseded by order of a court of competent jurisdiction.

    (1) Sponsor access. Sponsors will automatically have access to the information of all dependents under the age of 18.

    (2) Spousal access—(i) Automatic. A sponsor's spouse will automatically have access to the information of all dependent children under the age of 18 whose relationship to the sponsor began on or after the date of marriage of the sponsor and sponsor's spouse.

    (ii) Sponsor-granted. The sponsor may grant the sponsor's spouse access to the information of dependent children under the age of 18 whose relationship to the sponsor began before the date of marriage of the sponsor and the sponsor's spouse.

    (3) Granted access. A sponsor, a sponsor's spouse, and a sponsor's dependent over the age of 18 may grant access to their information via the My Access Center Web site in accordance with paragraph (c)(3) of this section. Surrogate access to the information of a sponsor, a sponsor's spouse, and a sponsor's dependent (regardless of age) must be granted via in-person proofing, including the submission of eligibility documents to an operator for approval in accordance with paragraph (d)(2) of this section.

    (i) Access granting by a sponsor. Sponsors may grant their spouse access to the sponsor's information and the information of any sponsor's dependents under the age of 18. Access to the sponsor's information and the information of any sponsor's dependents under the age of 18 may not be granted to any other sponsor's dependent, unless that dependent has been identified as a surrogate.

    (ii) Access granting by a spouse. Spouses may grant the sponsor access to the spouse's information. Access to the spouse's information may not be granted to any other sponsor's dependent, unless that sponsor's dependent has been identified as a surrogate.

    (iii) Access granting by a dependent over 18. A sponsor's dependent over the age of 18 may grant the sponsor and the sponsor's spouse access to the dependent's information. Access to the information of a sponsor's dependent over the age of 18 may not be granted to any other sponsor's dependent, unless that sponsor's dependent has been identified as a surrogate.

    Dated: October 27, 2016. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2016-26416 Filed 11-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    81 212 Wednesday, November 2, 2016 Notices COMMISSION ON CIVIL RIGHTS Agenda and Notice of Public Meeting of the New Mexico Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    Commission on Civil Rights.

    ACTION:

    Announcement of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given, pursuant to the provisions of the rules and regulations of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (Commission), and the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), that a planning meeting of the New Mexico Advisory Committee to the Commission will convene at 11:00 a.m. (MDT) on Wednesday, November 16, 2016, via teleconference. The purpose of the meeting is to receive comments and report from SAC members on their recommendations to develop an outline in preparation of the SAC's report on Elder Abuse in New Mexico. The committee will also discuss next steps for the project.

    DATES:

    Wednesday, November 16, 2016, at 11:00 a.m. (MDT).

    ADDRESSES:

    To be held via teleconference:

    Conference Call Toll-Free Number: 1-888-298-3457, Conference ID: 2806935.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Malee V. Craft, DFO, [email protected], 303-866-1040.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Members of the public may listen to the discussion by dialing the following Conference Call Toll-Free Number: 1-888-298-3457; Conference ID: 2806935. Please be advised that before being placed into the conference call, the operator will ask callers to provide their names, their organizational affiliations (if any), and an email address (if available) prior to placing callers into the conference room. Callers can expect to incur charges for calls they initiate over wireless lines, and the Commission will not refund any incurred charges. Callers will incur no charge for calls they initiate over land-line connections to the toll-free phone number.

    Persons with hearing impairments may also follow the discussion by first calling the Federal Relay Service (FRS) at 1-800-977-8339 and provide the FRS operator with the Conference Call Toll-Free Number: 1-888-298-3457, Conference ID: 2806935. Members of the public are invited to submit written comments; the comments must be received in the regional office by Friday, December 16, 2016. Written comments may be mailed to the Rocky Mountain Regional Office, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 1961 Stout Street, Suite 13-201, Denver, CO 80294, faxed to (303) 866-1050, or emailed to Evelyn Bohor at [email protected] Persons who desire additional information may contact the Rocky Mountain Regional Office at (303) 866-1040.

    Records and documents discussed during the meeting will be available for public viewing as they become available at https://database.faca.gov/committee/meetings.aspx?cid=264 and clicking on the “Meeting Details” and “Documents” links. Records generated from this meeting may also be inspected and reproduced at the Rocky Mountain Regional Office, as they become available, both before and after the meeting. Persons interested in the work of this advisory committee are advised to go to the Commission's Web site, www.usccr.gov, or to contact the Rocky Mountain Regional Office at the above phone number, email or street address.

    Agenda • Welcome and Roll-call Sandra Rodriguez, Chair, New Mexico Advisory Committee Malee V. Craft, Regional Director, Rocky Mountain Regional Office (RMRO) • Receive comments and recommendations to develop an outline in preparing SAC report on elder abuse • Next Steps Dated: October 28, 2016. David Mussatt, Supervisory Chief, Regional Programs Unit.
    [FR Doc. 2016-26438 Filed 11-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [B-71-2016] Foreign-Trade Zone 134—Chattanooga, Tennessee Application for Subzone Wacker Polysilicon North America LLC Charleston, Tennessee

    An application has been submitted to the Foreign-Trade Zones Board (the Board) by the Chattanooga Chamber Foundation, grantee of FTZ 134, requesting subzone status for the facility of Wacker Polysilicon North America LLC, located in Charleston, Tennessee. The application was submitted pursuant to the provisions of the Foreign-Trade Zones Act, as amended (19 U.S.C. 81a-81u), and the regulations of the Board (15 CFR part 400). It was formally docketed on October 28, 2016.

    The proposed subzone (564 acres) is located at 553 Wacker Blvd. NW., Charleston. A notification of proposed production activity has been submitted and is being processed under 15 CFR 400.37 (Doc. B-52-2016).

    In accordance with the Board's regulations, Kathleen Boyce of the FTZ Staff is designated examiner to review the application and make recommendations to the Executive Secretary.

    Public comment is invited from interested parties. Submissions shall be addressed to the Board's Executive Secretary at the address below. The closing period for their receipt is December 12, 2016. Rebuttal comments in response to material submitted during the foregoing period may be submitted during the subsequent 15-day period to December 27, 2016.

    A copy of the application will be available for public inspection at the Office of the Executive Secretary, Foreign-Trade Zones Board, Room 21013, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230-0002, and in the “Reading Room” section of the Board's Web site, which is accessible via www.trade.gov/ftz.

    For further information, contact Kathleen Boyce at [email protected] (202) 482-1346.

    Dated: October 28, 2016. Camille R. Evans, Acting Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-26473 Filed 11-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE International Trade Administration [C-570-050] Countervailing Duty Investigation of Ammonium Sulfate From the People's Republic of China: Preliminary Affirmative Determination AGENCY:

    Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, Department of Commerce.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Commerce (the Department) preliminarily determines that countervailable subsidies are being provided to producers and exporters of ammonium sulfate from the People's Republic of China (PRC). The period of investigation is January 1, 2015 through December 31, 2015. We invite interested parties to comment on this preliminary determination.

    DATES:

    Effective November 2, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Robert Galantucci, AD/CVD Operations, Office IV, Enforcement and Compliance, International Trade Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20230; telephone (202) 482-2923.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Scope of the Investigation

    The product covered by this investigation is ammonium sulfate from the PRC. For a complete description of the scope of this investigation, see Appendix II.

    Methodology

    The Department is conducting this countervailing duty (CVD) investigation in accordance with section 701 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (the Act). For each of the subsidy programs found countervailable, we preliminarily determine that there is a subsidy, i.e., a financial contribution by an “authority” that gives rise to a benefit to the recipient, and that the subsidy is specific.1 For a full description of the methodology underlying our preliminary conclusions, see the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.2 A list of topics discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum is included as Appendix I to this notice. The Preliminary Decision Memorandum is a public document and is on file electronically via Enforcement and Compliance's Antidumping and Countervailing Duty Centralized Electronic Service System (ACCESS). ACCESS is available to registered users at http://access.trade.gov, and is available to all parties in the Central Records Unit, room B8024 of the main Department of Commerce building. In addition, a complete version of the Preliminary Decision Memorandum can be accessed directly at http://enforcement.trade.gov/frn/. The signed Preliminary Decision Memorandum and the electronic version are identical in content.

    1See sections 771(5)(B) and (D) of the Act regarding financial contribution; section 771(5)(E) of the Act regarding benefit; and section 771(5A) of the Act regarding specificity.

    2See Memorandum, “Decision Memorandum for the Preliminary Affirmative Determination in the Countervailing Duty Investigation of Ammonium Sulfate from the People's Republic of China,” dated concurrently with, and hereby adopted by, this notice (Preliminary Decision Memorandum).

    In making these findings, we relied on facts otherwise available. Additionally, because we find that the mandatory respondents did not act to the best of their ability to respond to the Department's requests for information, and therefore impeded this investigation, we drew an adverse inference where appropriate in selecting from among the facts otherwise available.3 For further information, see “Use of Facts Otherwise Available and Adverse Inferences” in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum.

    3See sections 776(a) and (b) of the Act.

    Preliminary Determination and Suspension of Liquidation

    In accordance with sections 776(a)(1), 776(a)(2), and 776(b) of the Act, we applied facts otherwise available with an adverse inference to assign countervailable subsidy rates for non-cooperative mandatory respondents Wuzhoufeng Agricultural Science & Technology Co. Ltd. (Wuzhoufeng AST) and Yantai Jiahe Agriculture Means of Production Co. Ltd. (Yantai AMP). With respect to the all-others rate, section 705(c)(5)(B) of the Act provides that if the countervailable subsidy rates established for all exporters and producers individually investigated are determined entirely in accordance with section 776 of the Act, the Department may use any reasonable method to establish an all-others rate for exporters and producers not individually investigated. In this case, the rates assigned to Wuzhoufeng AST and Yantai AMP are based entirely on facts otherwise available, with an adverse inference, under section 776 of the Act. There is no other information on the record with which to determine an all-others rate. As a result, in accordance with section 705(c)(5)(B) of the Act, we have established the all-others rate by applying the countervailable subsidy rates for mandatory respondents Wuzhoufeng AST and Yantai AMP. The preliminary estimated countervailable subsidy rates are summarized in the table below.

    Company Subsidy rate
  • (percent)
  • Wuzhoufeng Agricultural Science & Technology Co. Ltd 206.72 Yantai Jiahe Agriculture Means of Production Co. Ltd 206.72 All-Others 206.72

    In accordance with sections 703(d)(1)(B) and (d)(2) of the Act, we will direct U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to suspend liquidation of all entries of ammonium sulfate from the PRC as described in the “Scope of the Investigation” entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption on or after the date of publication of this notice in the Federal Register, and to require a cash deposit for such entries of merchandise in the amounts indicated above.

    International Trade Commission Notification

    In accordance with section 703(f) of the Act, we will notify the International Trade Commission (ITC) of our determination. In addition, we are making available to the ITC all non-privileged and non-proprietary information relating to this investigation. We will allow the ITC access to all privileged and business proprietary information in our files, provided the ITC confirms that it will not disclose such information, either publicly or under an administrative protective order, without the written consent of the Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance.

    In accordance with section 705(b)(2) of the Act, if our final determination is affirmative, the ITC will make its final determination within 45 days after the Department makes its final determination.

    Public Comment

    Interested parties may submit case and rebuttal briefs, as well as request a hearing.4 Case briefs may be submitted no later than 30 days after the publication of this preliminary determination in the Federal Register, and rebuttal briefs, limited to issues raised in the case briefs, may be submitted no later than five days after the deadline for case briefs. Interested parties who wish to request a hearing, or to participate if one is requested, must do so in writing within 30 days after the publication of this preliminary determination in the Federal Register.

    4See 19 CFR 351.309(c)-(d), 19 CFR 351.310(c).

    This determination is issued and published pursuant to sections 703(f) and 777(i) of the Act and 19 CFR 351.205(c).

    Dated: October 24, 2016. Ronald K. Lorentzen, Acting Assistant Secretary for Enforcement and Compliance. Appendix I List of Topics Discussed in the Preliminary Decision Memorandum I. Summary II. Background III. Scope Comments IV. Scope of the Investigation V. Injury Test VI. Application of the CVD Law to Imports from the PRC VII. Use of Facts Otherwise Available and Adverse Inferences VIII. Calculation of the All-Others Rate IX. ITC Notification X. Public Comment XI. Conclusion Appendix II Scope of the Investigation

    The merchandise covered by this investigation is ammonium sulfate in all physical forms, with or without additives such as anti-caking agents. Ammonium sulfate, which may also be spelled as ammonium sulphate, has the chemical formula (NH4)2SO4.

    The scope includes ammonium sulfate that is combined with other products, including by, for example, blending (i.e., mixing granules of ammonium sulfate with granules of one or more other products), compounding (i.e., when ammonium sulfate is compacted with one or more other products under high pressure), or granulating (incorporating multiple products into granules through, e.g., a slurry process). For such combined products, only the ammonium sulfate component is covered by the scope of this investigation.

    Ammonium sulfate that has been combined with other products is included within the scope regardless of whether the combining occurs in countries other than China.

    Ammonium sulfate that is otherwise subject to this investigation is not excluded when commingled (i.e., mixed or combined) with ammonium sulfate from sources not subject to this investigation. Only the subject component of such commingled products is covered by the scope of this investigation.

    The Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) registry number for ammonium sulfate is 7783-20-2.

    The merchandise covered by this investigation is currently classifiable under Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS) subheading 3102.21.0000. Although this HTSUS subheading and CAS registry number are provided for convenience and customs purposes, the written description of the scope of the investigation is dispositive.

    [FR Doc. 2016-26469 Filed 11-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION Market Risk Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice of meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announces that on November 17, 2016 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., the Market Risk Advisory Committee (MRAC) will hold a public meeting at the CFTC's Washington, DC, headquarters. The meeting will be held in the Conference Center at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission's headquarters in Washington, DC. At this meeting: (1) The CCP Risk Management Subcommittee (CRM) will present to the MRAC its final recommendations on how Central Counterparties (CCPs) can further enhance their efforts in preparing for the default of a significant clearing member as discussed at the April 2, 2015, November 2, 2015, and June 27, 2016 meetings of the MRAC; and (2) the MRAC will discuss the Bank of England's coordinated CCP default fire drill.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on November 17, 2016 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Members of the public who wish to submit written statements in connection with the meeting should submit them by November 24, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting will take place in the Conference Center at the CFTC's headquarters, Three Lafayette Centre, 1155 21st Street NW., Washington, DC 20581. Written statements should be submitted by mail to: Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Three Lafayette Centre, 1155 21st Street NW., Washington, DC 20581, attention: Office of the Secretary, or by electronic mail to: [email protected] Please use the title “Market Risk Advisory Committee” in any written statement you submit. Any statements submitted in connection with the committee meeting will be made available to the public, including publication on the CFTC Web site, http://www.cftc.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Petal Walker, MRAC Designated Federal Officer, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Three Lafayette Centre, 1155 21st Street NW., Washington, DC 20581; (202) 418-5010.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The meeting will be open to the public with seating on a first-come, first-served basis. Members of the public may also listen to the meeting by telephone by calling a domestic toll-free telephone or international toll or toll-free number to connect to a live, listen-only audio feed. Call-in participants should be prepared to provide their first name, last name, and affiliation.

    Domestic Toll Free: 866-844-9416.

    International Toll and Toll Free: Will be posted in the latest press release for the meeting on the MRAC's meetings Web page, http://www.cftc.gov/About/CFTCCommittees/MarketRiskAdvisoryCommittee/mrac_meetings. After opening the latest press release, click on Related Links for the number(s).

    Pass Code/Pin Code: CFTC.

    The meeting agenda may change to accommodate other MRAC priorities. For agenda updates, please visit the MRAC meetings Web page. After the meeting, a transcript of the meeting will be published through a link on the CFTC's Web site, http://www.cftc.gov. All written submissions provided to the CFTC in any form will also be published on the CFTC's Web site. Persons requiring special accommodations to attend the meeting because of a disability should notify the contact person above. Authority:

    5 U.S.C. app. 2 § 10(a)(2).

    Dated: October 27, 2016. Robert N. Sidman, Deputy Secretary of the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2016-26426 Filed 11-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6351-01-P
    COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION [Renew Collection 3038-0025] Agency Information Collection Activities: Practice by Former Members and Employees of the Commission AGENCY:

    Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) is announcing an opportunity for public comment on the proposed collection of certain information by the agency. Under the Paperwork Reduction Act (“PRA”), Federal agencies are required to publish notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information and to allow 60 days for public comment. This notice announces the intent to renew the Information Collection Request (“ICR”) abstracted below, and describes the nature of the information collection and its expected costs and burden.

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted on or before January 3, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by “Practice by Former Members and Employees of the Commission Pursuant to 17 CFR 140.735-6” or by “OMB Control No. 3038-0025, by any of the following methods:

    The Agency's Web site, at http://comments.cftc.gov/: Following the instructions for submitting comments through the Web site.

    Mail: Christopher Kirkpatrick, Secretary of the Commission, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Three Lafayette Centre, 1155 21st Street NW., Washington, DC 20581.

    Hand Delivery/Courier: Same as mail above.

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov/. Follow the instructions for submitting comments through the Portal.

    Please submit your comments using only one method.

    All comments must be submitted in English, or if not, accompanied by an English translation. Comments will be posted as received to http://www.cftc.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Bianca Gomez, Counsel, Office of the General Counsel, Commodities Futures Trading Commission, 202-418-5627; email: [email protected], and refer to OMB Control No. 3038-0025.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Under the PRA, Federal agencies must obtain approval from the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) for each collection of information they conduct or sponsor. Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the PRA, 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A), requires Federal agencies to provide a 60-day notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information before submitting the collection to OMB for approval. To comply with this requirement, the CFTC is publishing notice of the proposed collection of information listed below.

    Title: Practice by Former Members and Employees of the Commission (OMB Control No. 3038-0025). This is a request for extension of a currently approved information collection.

    Abstract: Commission Rule 140.735-6 governs the practice before the Commission of former members and employees of the Commission and is intended to ensure that the Commission is aware of any existing conflict of interest. The rule generally requires former members and employees who are employed or retained to represent any person before the Commission within two years of the termination of their CFTC employment to file a brief written statement with the Commission's Office of General Counsel. The proposed rule was promulgated pursuant to the Commission's rulemaking authority contained in section 8a(5) of the Commodity Exchange Act, 7 U.S.C. 12a(5) (1994), as amended. With respect to the collection of information, the CFTC invites comments on:

    • Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information will have a practical use;

    • The accuracy of the Commission'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, usefulness, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    • Ways to minimize the burden of collection of 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; e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

    Burden Statement: Section 140.735-6 of the Commission's regulations result in information collection requirements within the meaning of the PRA. The respondent burden for this collection is estimated to average 0.10 hours per response to file the brief written statement. This estimate include the time needed to review instructions; develop, acquire, install, and utilize technology and systems for the purposes of collecting, validating, and verifying information, processing and maintaining information and disclosing and providing information; adjust the existing ways to comply with any previously applicable instructions and requirements; train personnel to be able to respond to a collection of information; and transmit or otherwise disclose the information.

    Estimated number of responses: 30.

    Estimated total annual burden on respondents: 0.10 hours.

    Estimated total annual burden on respondents: 3.

    Frequency of collection: On occasion.

    There are no startup capital costs or operating and maintenance costs associated with this collection.

    Authority:

    44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.

    Dated: October 27, 2016. Robert N. Sidman, Deputy Secretary of the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2016-26417 Filed 11-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6351-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Announcement of Requirements and Registration for the EdSim Challenge AGENCY:

    Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education, Department of Education.

    ACTION:

    Notice; public challenge.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Department of Education (the Department) is announcing the EdSim Challenge (Challenge), a prize competition funded by the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 (Perkins IV or Act). The Challenge calls upon the virtual reality, video game developer, and educational technology communities to design next-generation computer-generated simulations for career and technical education (CTE) that prepare students for the globally competitive workforce of the 21st century.

    The Challenge seeks designs that lead to the acquisition of academic, technical, and employability skills through engaging simulated experiences in the hybrid reality continuum. For the purpose of this notice, “hybrid reality continuum” refers to the range of computer-generated simulations that extend from completely simulated environments to environments that incorporate aspects of the real world.1 For the purpose of this Challenge, “EdSim” is broadly defined as computer-generated three-dimensional learning environments, including virtual, augmented, and mixed realities that draw upon or mimic real-world experiences and are designed to educate users.

    1 Estes, J. S., Dailey-Hebert, A., & Choi, D. H. (2016). Integrating Technological Innovations to Enhance the Teaching-Learning. In D. H. Choi, A. Dailey-Hebert, and J. S. Estes (Ed.S.) Process. Emerging Tools and Applications of Virtual Reality in Education (pp 277-304), Hersey, PA: Information Science Reference (an imprint of IGI Global).

    The purpose of this Challenge is to stimulate the marketplace for computer-generated virtual and augmented reality educational experiences that combine existing and future technologies with skill-building content and embedded assessment.

    DATES:

    We must receive your first round Challenge submission on or before 4:59:59 p.m., Washington, DC time on January 17, 2017.

    The timeframes for judging the first round submissions and selecting the finalists will be determined by the Department.

    The Department will conduct at least one online information session during the first round submission phase of the Challenge. The date of the session will be determined and announced by the Department, posted on www.edsimchallenge.com (Challenge Web page), and sent to entrants by email. The dates for Challenge events and deadline for second round submissions will be determined and announced by the Department.

    The date for the final judging will be determined and announced by the Department following Demonstration Day.

    The winner(s) will be announced on a date determined and announced by the Department.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit entries for the Challenge on www.edsimchallenge.com.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Albert Palacios, U.S. Department of Education, 550 12th Street SW., Room 11086, Washington, DC 20202 or by email: [email protected]

    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text telephone (TTY), call the Federal Relay Service, toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Administration of the Challenge Competition

    The Challenge will be conducted by the U.S. Department of Education. Luminary Labs, L.L.C. (Luminary Labs) has been contracted by the Department to assist and support the Department in organizing and managing this competition. Activities conducted by Luminary Labs may also include providing technical assistance to potential entrants, entrants, and finalists.

    II. Subject of Challenge Competition

    Simulated digital learning environments, such as virtual and augmented reality experiences, training simulations, and multiplayer video games, represent an emerging class of instructional content delivery in education. Research indicates that simulation-based learning provides students with enriched experiences in information retention, engagement, skills training, and learning outcomes.2 The virtual reality, video game developer, and educational technology communities are invited to design simulations that prepare America's students for the increasingly competitive workforce through next-generation career and technical education.

    2 Tobias, S., and J. D. Fletcher. “Reflections on `A Review of Trends in Serious Gaming' ” Review of Educational Research 82, no. 2 (2012): 233-37; Rutten, Nico, Wouter R. Van Joolingen, and Jan T. Van Der Veen. “The Learning Effects of Computer Simulations in Science Education.” Computers & Education 58, no. 1 (2012): 136-53.

    A call for public feedback, which took place from November 4 to December 9, 2015, helped to shape the Challenge. This public feedback informed the design of several Challenge elements, including the selection criteria, approach to technology, and the content of the submission form. Specifically, the public feedback indicated that the field was interested in the Department allowing maximum flexibility to entrants designing concepts. More information regarding the call for public feedback can be found on the Challenge Web page.

    The Challenge will be conducted in four phases:

    (1) Challenge launch and the first round submission phase;

    (2) Judging of first round submissions and selection of finalists;

    (3) Virtual Accelerator Phase (inclusive of finalist mentorship, Innovator's Boot Camp, second round submissions, and Demonstration Day); and

    (4) Final judging and selection of winner(s).

    The Challenge calls upon potential entrants to submit information concerning concepts that would allow users to gain and demonstrate new academic, technical, and employability skills through engaging simulation experiences. The Department is most interested in immersive and engaging simulations that will help define the next generation of applied learning.

    The Department invites potential entrants to submit concepts which may include a prototype for discrete, playable simulations with clearly defined learning goals. The Department seeks concepts that aim to build competency in multiple skills by familiarizing the user with a particular career pathway or providing the user with guided experiences.

    The Department seeks concepts with the potential to connect to other simulations and set the stage for a more competitive and robust marketplace for educational simulations. The Department encourages developers to make aspects of their EdSims available through open source licenses and low-cost sharable components in order to increase access to CTE and educational simulations.3

    3 Information on open source education technology and resources can be found on the Department Web site at http://tech.ed.gov/developers.

    Up to five finalists will be selected from the pool of submissions received during the first round submission phase. From the total prize pool of $680,000, each of the finalists will be awarded $50,000 for their submission based on a review by the judging panel using the criteria in paragraph (a) in the Selection Criteria section of this notice. Finalists will be encouraged to use their winnings to improve upon their submissions. Finalists are required to participate in the Virtual Accelerator Phase, submit a second round submission, and attend the Innovator's Boot Camp and Demonstration Day. After the Virtual Accelerator Phase, Demonstration Day, and final judging using the criteria in paragraph (b) in the Selection Criteria section of this notice, the winner(s) will be selected by the Department and receive the remainder of the prize money.

    Virtual Accelerator Phase Description

    The Virtual Accelerator Phase begins on the date finalists are announced and concludes on Demonstration Day,4 which is the day when finalists present their second round submissions to the judging panel. During this phase, the finalists will revise and improve upon their submissions in preparation for Demonstration Day. On Demonstration Day, the finalists will be required to present their concept and demonstrate a final prototype.

    4 The date of the announcement of the finalists will be determined by the Department.

    General Elements of the Virtual Accelerator Phase include the following—

    (1) Mentorship: Finalists will have access to subject matter experts (SMEs) who will act throughout the Virtual Accelerator Phase as mentors, helping the finalists to revise and improve their submissions.

    (2) Innovator's Boot Camp:5 Finalists will be required to participate in the Innovator's Boot Camp. The Innovator's Boot Camp will either be a live event in the greater New York City metropolitan area, or a virtual event. Finalists will be required to cover their own expenses to attend the Innovator's Boot Camp and may use their prize money for this purpose. The Innovator's Boot Camp is expected to be conducted over a three-day period. Finalists will receive guidance through teaching modules, which may include hands-on activities, with SMEs and Luminary Labs staff. While the agenda has yet to be finalized, major themes will likely include user testing and interface development along with instructions on how to best revise and improve finalists' submissions, potentially including various design and innovation methodologies that would improve access to CTE programs for everyone, including individuals with disabilities.

    5 The date of the Innovator's Boot Camp will be determined by the Department.

    (3) Demonstration Day Presentation Support: After the Innovator's Boot Camp and prior to Demonstration Day, all finalists will have the opportunity to practice their presentations and receive feedback from Luminary Labs on how to improve their Demonstration Day presentations.

    Following Demonstration Day, a judging panel will provide recommendations to the Department on the selection of one or more winners from the pool of finalists to receive the remainder of the prize money.

    Program Authority: The goals, purposes, and activities related to the Challenge are authorized by section 114(c)(1) of Perkins IV, 20 U.S.C. 2324(c)(1). Under this section, the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education is authorized to carry out research, development, dissemination, evaluation and assessment, capacity building, and technical assistance with regard to CTE programs under Perkins IV. Following the Challenge, the Department plans to post abstracts of the submissions selected as finalists and winners on the Challenge Web page for public viewing. Abstracts will include a concept summary and a selection of multimedia elements from each finalist's and winner's submission. The judge's scores will not be posted. Neither the Department nor Luminary Labs will provide feedback to entrants that are not selected as finalists.

    III. Eligibility

    (a) Eligible entrants must be:

    (1) Individuals at least 18 years of age and a citizen or permanent resident of the United States; 6

    6 The 50 States of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the outlying areas of the United States Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the Republic of Palau.

    (2) Teams of individuals that:

    (i) Are all at least 18 years of age;

    (ii) Include at least one citizen or permanent resident of the United States; and

    (iii) May also include foreign citizens who affirm at the time of submission of an entry for the Challenge that they are foreign citizens, who are not permanent residents; or

    (3) An entity registered or incorporated in accordance with applicable State and local laws, and maintaining a primary place of business in the United States. The entity may include foreign citizens participating as employees of the entity.

    (b) Ineligible entrants include—

    (1) A foreign citizen unless participating as part of an eligible team or entity;

    (2) A Federal entity;

    (3) A Federal employee acting within the scope of his or her employment; and

    (4) All employees of the Department, Luminary Labs, Challenge sponsors, or any other individual or entity associated with the development or administration of the Challenge, as well as members of such persons' immediate families (spouses, children, siblings, parents), and persons living in the same household as such persons, whether or not related.

    (c) Entrants must:

    (1) Register on the Challenge Web page (see Additional Terms that are Part of the Official Rules, under the General Terms and Conditions in this notice);

    (2) Enter a submission on the Challenge Web page according to the rules, terms, and conditions in this notice;

    (3) Comply with all requirements of the Challenge;

    (4) Provide affirmation upon submission of an entry for the Challenge that an entrant is eligible under subsection (a) of this section. If selected as a finalist, entrants must provide documentation to demonstrate their eligibility at that time.

    (5) Agree to—

    (i) Assume any and all risks and waive claims against the Federal government and its related entities, except in the case of willful misconduct, for any injury, death, damage, or loss of property, revenue, or profits, whether direct, indirect, or consequential, arising from their participation in the Challenge, whether the injury, death, damage, or loss of property, revenue, or profits, whether direct, indirect, or consequential, arises through negligence or otherwise;

    (ii) Indemnify the Federal government against third party claims for damages arising from, or related to, competition activities, patents, copyrights, and trademark infringements; and

    (iii) Comply with and abide by the Official Rules, Terms and Conditions in this notice, and the decisions of the Department which shall be final and binding in all respects.

    (d) Entrants are not required to obtain liability insurance or demonstrate financial responsibility in order to participate in the Challenge.

    IV. Prizes

    The total prize pool for the Challenge is $680,000. From the $680,000 Challenge prize pool funds, up to five finalists will be awarded $50,000 each following the judging of the first round submissions. Finalists will improve upon and revise their submissions during the Virtual Accelerator Phase. At the conclusion of the Virtual Accelerator Phase, finalists must submit a second round submission and present their submissions on Demonstration Day. After Demonstration Day, a judging panel will provide recommendations to the Department on the selection of one or more winners from the pool of finalists to receive the remainder of the prize money.

    Prizes awarded under this competition will be paid by electronic funds transfer. Winners are responsible for any applicable local, State, and Federal taxes and reporting that may be required under applicable tax laws.

    V. Selection Criteria

    (a) To participate in the Challenge, an entrant must submit an eligible entry according to the Eligibility section of this notice. Each of the following five selection criteria may be assigned up to five points during the judging of first round submissions in order to select finalists (for a total of up to 25 points). The following criteria will be used to select the finalists:

    (1) Learning Outcomes (up to 5 points). The extent to which the submission contains: Clearly defined academic, technical, and employability skill-learning objectives; a comprehensive description of the desired change or improvement in the user's knowledge and skills; and an efficient mechanism to provide feedback to the user and instructor with respect to progress toward achievement of the learning outcomes.

    (2) Engagement (up to 5 points). The extent to which the submission describes an engaging user experience that is on par with commercially available entertainment games.

    (3) Commitment (up to 5 points). The extent that the submission demonstrates an appropriate level of commitment and ability of the entrant to move from concept to the demonstrative prototype within the timeline of the Challenge.

    (4) Implementation Strategy (up to 5 points). The extent to which the submission considers the implementation challenges that schools face, such as cost and potential technological constraints, including how to integrate with existing and future technology.

    (5) Scalability and Expansion (up to 5 points). The extent to which the submission demonstrates the scalability of the simulation, including its potential to connect with other simulations, as well as set the stage for a more competitive and robust marketplace for educational simulations.

    (b) When judging the finalist submissions, including a prototype, judges will recommend to the Department the winner(s) from the pool of the finalists. From the pool of finalists, the winner(s) will be selected based on the following six criteria. Each of the six selection criteria may be assigned up to five points during the selection of the winner(s) from the pool of finalists (for a total of up to 30 points). The following criteria will be used to select the winner(s):

    (1) Learning Outcomes (up to 5 points). The extent to which the simulation prototype contains clearly defined academic, technical, and employability learning objectives; spurs change or improvement in the user's knowledge and skills; and provides data to the user and instructor with respect to progress toward achievement of the learning outcomes.

    (2) Engagement—User Experience (up to 5 points). The extent to which the simulation prototype demonstrates an engaging user experience on par with commercially available entertainment games.

    (3) Engagement—User Interface (up to 5 points). The extent to which the simulation prototype exhibits a thoughtful user interface design on par with commercially available entertainment games.

    (4) Commitment (up to 5 points). The extent to which the submission—

    (i) Demonstrates the entrant's evolution and improvement of the concept; and

    (ii) Illustrates the entrant's ability and intention to improve upon and scale the simulation beyond the Challenge timeframe.

    (5) Implementation Strategy (up to 5 points). The extent to which the submission describes a detailed plan for implementation that takes into account potential barriers such as cost and technological constraints, including integration with existing and future technology, and proposes potential solutions to overcome such barriers.

    (6) Long-term Vision (up to 5 points). The extent to which the submission—

    (i) Demonstrates a plan for encouraging collaboration among the developer community, including making aspects of the solution available through open source licenses; and

    (ii) Provides a vision of how the entrant's plan will stimulate the broader educational simulation market.

    VI. Submission Information

    1. To participate in the Challenge, an entrant must—

    (a) Register on the Challenge Web page.

    (b) Enter the required information on the Challenge Web page submission form.

    2. Content and Form of Submission:

    To submit an entry to the first round of the Challenge, an entrant must complete the submission form on the Challenge Web page. Finalists must submit a second round submission using the second round submission form on the Challenge Web page to be eligible for winner selection.

    3. Submission Dates and Times:

    The first round submissions phase officially begins November 2, 2016 with this announcement of the Challenge and continues to January 17, 2017 at 4:59:59 p.m., Washington, DC time. Luminary Labs is the official timekeeper for the Challenge.

    Submissions must be received during the first round submissions phase of the Challenge to be eligible. To submit an entry to the Challenge, an entrant must go to the Challenge Web page and complete all required fields of the submission form before the close of the first round submissions phase. Each entrant must complete all of the required fields in the submission form in accordance with the Official Rules, Terms, and Conditions section of this notice. All entrants are required to provide consent to those Official Rules, Terms, and Conditions upon submitting an entry. Once submitted, a submission may not be altered during the first round submissions phase. The Department reserves the right to disqualify any submission that the Department deems inappropriate.

    Entrants may enter individually or as part of a team, and teams are strongly encouraged. Each team member must be clearly identified on the team's submission form for the team to be eligible. Teams must designate a primary contact to serve as the team lead (Team Lead) and manage the distribution of any awarded prizes. In the event a dispute regarding the identity of the entrant who actually submitted the entry cannot be resolved by the Department, the affected entry will be deemed ineligible.

    The first round submissions phase closes at 4:59:59 p.m., Washington, DC time on January 17, 2017. The Department encourages entrants to submit entries as far in advance of the deadline as possible and suggests not later than one hour before the deadline to ensure the completed submission is received. If an entrant is unable to submit an entry before the deadline date because of a technical problem with the Challenge Web page system, the entrant must immediately contact the person listed under For Further Information Contact in this notice, and provide an explanation of the technical problem experienced on the Challenge Web page system. Where possible, this should include a screenshot or photograph of the on-screen problem. The Department will accept the entrant's submission if the Department can confirm that a technical problem occurred with the Challenge Web page system and that the technical problem affected the entrant's ability to submit an entry by 4:59:59 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the entry deadline date. The Department will contact the entrant after a determination is made on whether the entry will be accepted.

    Note:

    These extensions apply only to the unavailability of, or technical problems with, the Challenge Web page system. The Department will not grant an entrant an extension if the entrant failed to submit an entry in the system by the submission deadline date and time, or if the technical problem experienced is unrelated to the Challenge Web page system.

    Individuals with disabilities who need an accommodation or auxiliary aid in connection with the submission process should contact the person listed under For Further Information Contact in this notice. If the Department provides an accommodation or auxiliary aid to an individual with a disability in connection with the submission process, the entry remains subject to all other requirements and limitations in this notice.

    VII. Submission Review Information Review and Selection Process

    Should the volume of first round submissions exceed the capacity of the independent judges to conduct a thorough evaluation of the submissions, an independent review panel with expertise relevant to the criteria described in the Award Selection Criteria section of this notice will conduct a preliminary review of the first round submissions. In conducting the preliminary review, the independent review panel will assign scores to each first round submission according to the criteria described in the Award Selection Criteria section of this notice. During the preliminary review, each criterion may be assigned up to 5 points for a total of up to 25 points.

    The size of the independent review panel will be based on the number of submissions received. Each member of the independent review panel will score a maximum of thirty submissions and all submissions will receive scores from three different independent review panelists.

    The submissions with the thirty highest scores assigned by the independent review panel will then be scored by independent judges based on the quality of each entry according to the criteria described in the Award Selection Criteria section of this notice.

    Based on their individual expertise, judges will recommend up to five finalists to be selected by the Department. Once the Department has selected a group of finalists based on the recommendations of the judges consistent with the selection criteria, the finalists will then refine their submissions during the Virtual Accelerator Phase. At the conclusion of the Virtual Accelerator Phase, finalists will submit a second round submission and present their submissions on Demonstration Day.

    Entries will be scored by the judges based on the quality of each entry according to the criteria described in paragraph (a) of the Selection Criteria section in this notice. When selecting finalists from the first round submission phase, each of the five criteria may be worth up to five points for a total of up to 25 points. When selecting the winner(s) from the finalists, judges will consider the six criteria described in paragraph (b) of the Selection Criteria section in this notice. Each of the six criteria will be assigned up to five points for a total of up to 30 points available.

    By participating in the Challenge, each entrant acknowledges and agrees that such recommendations of the judges based on the criteria may differ and agrees to be bound by, and not to challenge, the final decisions of the Department.

    VIII. Official Rules, Terms and Conditions General Terms and Conditions

    The Department reserves the right to suspend, postpone, cease, terminate, or otherwise modify this Challenge or any entrant's participation in the Challenge, at any time at the Department's sole discretion.

    All entry information submitted on the Challenge Web page and all materials, including any copy of the submission, becomes property of the Department and will not be acknowledged or returned by Luminary Labs or the Department. However, entrants retain ownership of their concepts, including any software, research, or other intellectual property (IP) that they develop in connection therewith, subject to the license granted to the Department to use submissions as set forth in the Intellectual Property of Solutions section of this notice. Proof of submission is not considered proof of delivery or receipt of such entry. Furthermore, the Department and Luminary Labs shall have no liability for any submission that is lost, intercepted, or not received by the Department or Luminary Labs. The Department and Luminary Labs assume no liability or responsibility for any error, omission, interruption, deletion, theft, destruction, unauthorized access to, or alteration of, submissions.

    Representations and Warranties/Indemnification

    By participating in the Challenge, each entrant represents, warrants, and covenants as follows:

    (a) The entrants are the sole authors, creators, and owners of the submission;

    (b) The entrant's submission—

    (i) Is not the subject of any actual or threatened litigation or claim;

    (ii) Does not, and will not, violate or infringe upon the intellectual property rights, privacy rights, publicity rights, or other legal rights of any third party;

    (iii) Does not contain any harmful computer code (sometimes referred to as “malware,” “viruses,” or “worms”); and

    (c) The submission, and entrants' use of the submission, does not, and will not, violate any applicable laws or regulations of the United States.

    If the submission includes the work of any third party (such as third party content or open source code), the entrant must be able to provide, upon the request of the Department or Luminary Labs, documentation of all appropriate licenses and releases for such third party works. If the entrant cannot provide documentation of all required licenses and releases, the Department reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to disqualify the applicable submission, or direct the entrant to secure the licenses and releases for the Department's benefit within three days of notification of the missing documentation and allow the applicable submission to remain in the Challenge. In addition, the Department reserves all rights to pursue an entrant for claims based on damages incurred by entrant's failure to obtain such licenses and releases.

    Entrants will indemnify, defend, and hold harmless the Department and Luminary Labs from and against all third party claims, actions, or proceedings of any kind and from any and all damages, liabilities, costs, and expenses relating to, or arising from, entrant's submission or any breach or alleged breach of any of the representations, warranties, and covenants of entrant hereunder. The Department reserves the right to disqualify any submission that the Department, in its discretion, deems to violate these Official Rules, Terms and Conditions in this notice.

    Submission License

    Each entrant retains title to, and full ownership of, its submission. The entrant expressly reserves all intellectual property rights not expressly granted under this agreement. By participating in the Challenge, each entrant hereby irrevocably grants a license to the Department and Luminary Labs to store and access submissions in perpetuity that may be reproduced or distributed in the future. Please refer to the Intellectual Property of Submissions section of this notice for further information regarding rights to submissions.

    Publicity Release

    By participating in the Challenge, each entrant hereby irrevocably grants to the Department and Luminary Labs the right to use such entrant's name, likeness, image, and biographical information in any and all media for advertising and promotional purposes relating to the Challenge in perpetuity and otherwise as stated in the Submission License section of this notice.

    Disqualification

    The Department reserves the right in its sole discretion to disqualify any entrant who is found to be tampering with the entry process or the operation of the Challenge, Challenge Web page, or other Challenge-related Web pages; to be acting in violation of these Official Rules, Terms and Conditions; to be acting in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner, or with the intent to disrupt or undermine the legitimate operation of the Challenge; or to annoy, abuse, threaten, or harass any other person; and, the Department reserves the right to seek damages and other remedies from any such person to the fullest extent permitted by law.

    Links to Third-Party Web Pages

    The Challenge Web page may contain links to third-party Web pages that are not owned or controlled by Luminary Labs or the Department. Luminary Labs and the Department do not endorse or assume any responsibility for any such third party sites. If an entrant accesses a third-party Web page from the Challenge Web page, the entrant does so at the entrant's own risk and expressly relieves Luminary Labs or the Department from any and all liability arising from use of any third-party Web page content.

    Disclaimer

    The Challenge Web page contains information and resources from public and private organizations that may be useful to the reader. Inclusion of this information does not constitute an endorsement by the Department or Luminary Labs of any products or services offered or views expressed. Blog articles provide insights on the activities of schools, programs, grantees, and other education stakeholders to promote continuing discussion of educational innovation and reform. Blog articles do not endorse any educational product, service, curriculum, or pedagogy.

    The Challenge Web page also contains hyperlinks and URLs created and maintained by outside organizations, which are provided for the reader's convenience. The Department and Luminary Labs are not responsible for the accuracy of the information contained therein.

    Notice to Finalists/Winner(s)

    Attempts to notify finalists and winner(s) will be made using the email address associated with the Team Lead's Luminary LightboxTM account. The Department and Luminary Labs are not responsible for email or other communication problems of any kind.

    If, despite reasonable efforts, an entrant does not respond within three days of the first notification attempt regarding selection as a finalist (or a shorter time as exigencies may require) or if the notification is returned as undeliverable to such entrant, that entrant may forfeit the entrant's finalist status and associated prizes, and an alternate finalist may be selected.

    If any potential prize winner is found to be ineligible, has not complied with these Official Rules, Terms and Conditions, or declines the applicable prize for any reason prior to award, such potential prize winner will be disqualified. An alternate winner may be selected, or the applicable prize may go unawarded.

    Attendance

    To maintain eligibility, finalists are required to participate in Challenge activities organized by the Department and Luminary Labs, which include the Virtual Accelerator Phase, Innovator's Boot Camp, and Demonstration Day. If a finalist is unable to participate in any mandatory activities, the finalist will not be eligible to win the Challenge. Finalists and winner(s) are required to attend these events at their own expense.

    Intellectual Property (IP) of Submissions

    Entrants retain ownership of their submission, including any software, research or other IP that they develop in connection therewith, subject to the license granted to the Department to use submissions as set forth herein.

    Entrants retain all rights to the submission and any invention or work, including any software, submitted as part of the submission, subject to the following—

    If the submission wins, the Department retains an exclusive, nontransferable, irrevocable, paid-up world-wide license to publish and publicly demonstrate any such invention or work of the submission throughout the world, in perpetuity, for Federal purposes.

    As specified in Selection Criteria (b)(6) Long-term Vision, finalists will be evaluated, in part, on the aspects of their simulation they plan to make available through open source licenses. Finalists will be asked to provide evidence of their progress towards this goal as part of the second round submission.

    Dates/Deadlines

    The Department reserves the right to modify any dates or deadlines set forth in these Official Rules, Terms and Conditions or otherwise governing the Challenge.

    Challenge Termination

    The Department reserves the right to suspend, postpone, cease, terminate or otherwise modify this Challenge, or any entrant's participation in the Challenge, at any time at the Department's discretion.

    General Liability Release

    By participating in the Challenge, each entrant hereby agrees that—

    (a) The Department and Luminary Labs shall not be responsible or liable for any losses, damages, or injuries of any kind (including death) resulting from participation in the Challenge or any Challenge-related activity, or from entrants' acceptance, receipt, possession, use, or misuse of any prize; and

    (b) The entrant will indemnify, defend, and hold harmless the Department and Luminary Labs from and against all third party claims, actions, or proceedings of any kind and from any and all damages, liabilities, costs, and expenses relating to, or arising from, the entrant's participation in the Challenge.

    Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the Department and Luminary Labs are not responsible for incomplete, illegible, misdirected, misprinted, late, lost, postage-due, damaged, or stolen entries or prize notifications; or for lost, interrupted, inaccessible, or unavailable networks, servers, satellites, Internet Service Providers, Web pages, or other connections; or for miscommunications, failed, jumbled, scrambled, delayed, or misdirected computer, telephone, cable transmissions or other communications; or for any technical malfunctions, failures, difficulties, or other errors of any kind or nature; or for the incorrect or inaccurate capture of information, or the failure to capture any information.

    These Official Rules, Terms and Conditions cannot be modified except by the Department in its sole and absolute discretion. The invalidity or unenforceability of any provision of these Official Rules, Terms and Conditions shall not affect the validity or enforceability of any other provision. In the event that any provision is determined to be invalid or otherwise unenforceable or illegal, these Official Rules, Terms and Conditions shall otherwise remain in effect and shall be construed in accordance with their terms as if the invalid or illegal provision were not contained herein.

    Exercise

    The failure of the Department to exercise or enforce any right or provision of these Official Rules, Terms and Conditions shall not constitute a waiver of such right or provision.

    Governing Law

    All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation, and enforceability of these Official Rules, Terms and Conditions shall be governed by and construed in accordance with U.S. Federal law as applied in the Federal courts of the District of Columbia if a complaint is filed by any party against the Department, and the laws of the State of New York as applied in the New York state courts in New York City if a complaint is filed by any party against Luminary Labs.

    Privacy Policy

    By participating in the Challenge, each entrant hereby agrees that occasionally, the Department and Luminary Labs may also use the entrant's information to contact the entrant about Federal Challenge and innovation related activities, and acknowledges that the entrant has read and accepted the privacy policy at: www.edsimchallenge.com/privacy.

    Additional Terms That Are Part of the Official Rules, Terms and Conditions

    Please review the Luminary LightboxTM Terms of Service at: www.LuminaryLightbox.com/terms for additional rules that apply to participation in the Challenge and more generally to use of the Challenge Web page. Such Terms of Service are incorporated by reference into these Official Rules, Terms and Conditions. If there is a conflict between the Terms of Service and these Official Rules, Terms and Conditions, the latter terms shall control with respect to this Challenge only.

    Participation in the Challenge constitutes an entrant's full and unconditional agreement to these Official Rules, Terms and Conditions. By entering, an entrant agrees that all decisions related to the Challenge that are made pursuant to these Official Rules, Terms and Conditions are final and binding, and that all such decisions are at the sole discretion of the Department or Luminary Labs.

    Luminary Labs collects personal information from entrants to the Challenge. The information collected is subject to the privacy policy located here: www.LuminaryLightbox.com/privacy.

    Winners List/Official Rules/Contact

    To obtain a list of finalists and winner(s) (after the conclusion of the Challenge) or a copy of these Official Rules, Terms, and Conditions, send a self-addressed envelope with the proper postage affixed to: Luminary Labs, 30 West 22nd St., Floor 6, New York, NY 10010. Please specify “Winners List” or “Official Rules” and the name of the specific Challenge in this request.

    Please contact the person listed under For Further Information Contact in section IX of this notice, should you have any comments or questions about these Official Rules, Terms, and Conditions.

    IX. Agency Contact

    For Further Information Contact: Albert Palacios, U.S. Department of Education, 550 12th Street SW., Room 11-086, Washington, DC 20202 or by email: [email protected]

    If you use a TDD or a TTY, call the FRS, toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

    X. Other Information

    Accessible Format: Individuals with disabilities can obtain this document and a copy of the application package in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disk) on request to the program contact person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in this notice.

    Electronic Access to This Document: The official version of this document is the document published in the Federal Register. Free Internet access to the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations is available via the Federal Digital System at: www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys. At this site you can view this document, as well as all other documents of this Department published in the Federal Register, in text or Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF). To use PDF you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available free at the site.

    You may also access documents of the Department published in the Federal Register by using the article search feature at: www.federalregister.gov. Specifically, through the advanced search feature at this site, you can limit your search to documents published by the Department.

    Dated: October 26, 2016. Johan E. Uvin, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Delegated the Duties of Assistant Secretary for Career, Technical, and Adult Education.
    [FR Doc. 2016-26262 Filed 11-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Secretary of Energy Advisory Board AGENCY:

    Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Notice of open meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces an open meeting of the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board (SEAB). SEAB was reestablished pursuant to the Federal Advisory Committee Act. This notice is provided in accordance with the Act.

    DATES:

    December 13, 2016, 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Room 1E-245, Washington, DC 20585.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Karen Gibson, Designated Federal Officer, U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585; [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background: The Board was established to provide advice and recommendations to the Secretary on the Department's basic and applied research, economic and national security policy, educational issues, operational issues, and other activities as directed by the Secretary.

    Purpose of the Meeting: This meeting is the quarterly meeting of the Board.

    Tentative Agenda: The meeting will start at 8:30 a.m. on December 13th. The tentative meeting agenda includes: Updates from SEAB's task forces, informational briefings, and an opportunity for comments from the public. The meeting will conclude at 12:30 p.m. Agenda updates will be posted on the SEAB Web site prior to the meeting: www.energy.gov/seab.

    Public Participation: The meeting is open to the public. Individuals who would like to attend must RSVP to Karen Gibson no later than 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 8, 2016 at [email protected] Please provide your name, organization, citizenship, and contact information. Anyone attending the meeting will be required to present government issued identification. Please note that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has determined that regular driver's licenses (and ID cards) from the following jurisdictions are not acceptable: American Samoa, Missouri, Washington and Wisconsin. Acceptable alternate forms of Photo-ID include:

    • U.S. Passport or Passport Card

    • An Enhanced Driver's License or Enhanced ID-Card issued by the state of Washington (Enhanced licenses issued by these states are clearly marked Enhanced or Enhanced Driver's License)

    • A military ID or other government issued Photo-ID card

    Individuals and representatives of organizations who would like to offer comments and suggestions may do so during the meeting. Approximately 30 minutes will be reserved for public comments. Time allotted per speaker will depend on the number who wish to speak but will not exceed 5 minutes. The Designated Federal Officer is empowered to conduct the meeting in a fashion that will facilitate the orderly conduct of business. Those wishing to speak should register to do so beginning at 8:15 a.m. on December 13th.

    Those not able to attend the meeting or who have insufficient time to address the committee are invited to send a written statement to Karen Gibson, U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585, email to [email protected]

    Minutes: The minutes of the meeting will be available on the SEAB Web site or by contacting Ms. Gibson. She may be reached at the postal address or email address above, or by visiting SEAB's Web site at www.energy.gov/seab.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on October 27, 2016. LaTanya R. Butler, Deputy Committee Management Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-26410 Filed 11-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings #1

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric rate filings:

    Docket Numbers: ER11-2154-005.

    Applicants: Twin Eagle Resource Management, LLC.

    Description: Notice of Change in Status of Twin Eagle Resource Management, LLC.

    Filed Date: 10/25/16.

    Accession Number: 20161025-5136.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/15/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-938-005.

    Applicants: Arizona Public Service Company.

    Description: Compliance filing: Compliance Filing—APS EIM OATT Revisions to be effective 5/1/2016.

    Filed Date: 10/25/16.

    Accession Number: 20161025-5112.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/15/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-2304-001

    Applicants: Duke Energy Florida, LLC.

    Description: Compliance filing: Unfiled GIAs Compliance Filing to be effective 9/26/2016.

    Filed Date: 10/26/16.

    Accession Number: 20161026-5063.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/16/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-181-000.

    Applicants: Wabash Valley Power Association, Inc.

    Description: Tariff Cancellation: Submission of Notice of Cancellation—NREMC to be effective 6/30/2015.

    Filed Date: 10/25/16.

    Accession Number: 20161025-5107.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/15/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-182-000.

    Applicants: Pacific Gas and Electric Company.

    Description: Compliance filing: Resubmittal of Revisions to WDT LGIA & SGIA In Compliance With Orders 827 & 828 to be effective 10/17/2016.

    Filed Date: 10/26/16.

    Accession Number: 20161026-5002.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/16/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-183-000.

    Applicants: Duke Energy Progress, LLC.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: DEP-SEPA Amended RS No. 126 to be effective 12/31/2016.

    Filed Date: 10/26/16.

    Accession Number: 20161026-5030.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/16/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-184-000.

    Applicants: SociVolta Inc.

    Description: Baseline eTariff Filing: Baseline new to be effective 1/1/2017.

    Filed Date: 10/26/16.

    Accession Number: 20161026-5033.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/16/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-185-000.

    Applicants: Upper Michigan Energy Resources Corporation.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: UMERC to Alger Delta Rate Schedule No. 3 to be effective 1/1/2017.

    Filed Date: 10/26/16.

    Accession Number: 20161026-5041.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/16/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-186-000.

    Applicants: Upper Michigan Energy Resources Corporation.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: UMERC to Ontonagon Rate Schedule No 5 to be effective 1/1/2017.

    Filed Date: 10/26/16.

    Accession Number: 20161026-5042.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/16/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-187-000.

    Applicants: Twin Eagle Resource Management, LLC.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Change in Category Status to be effective 12/27/2016.

    Filed Date: 10/26/16.

    Accession Number: 20161026-5056.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/16/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-188-000.

    Applicants: Southern California Edison Company.

    Description: Tariff Cancellation: Notices of Cancellation GIA & DSA SunEdison ? Terminal Freezers—Oxnard, Calif to be effective 12/26/2016.

    Filed Date: 10/26/16.

    Accession Number: 20161026-5081.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/16/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-189-000.

    Applicants: Northern States Power Company, a Minnesota Corporation.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: MP Maint Svcs Agrmt—628—0.0.0 to be effective 12/23/2016.

    Filed Date: 10/26/16.

    Accession Number: 20161026-5089.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/16/16.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric securities filings:

    Docket Numbers: ES17-6-000.

    Applicants: National Grid USA, Nantucket Electric Company, The Narragansett Electric Company, Niagara Mohawk Power Corporation, New England Hydro-Transmission Electric, Inc., National Grid Generation LLC.

    Description: Application of National Grid USA, on behalf of Nantucket Electric Company, et al., for Authority to Issue Securities.

    Filed Date: 10/25/16.

    Accession Number: 20161025-5129.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/15/16.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following open access transmission tariff filings:

    Docket Numbers: OA08-14-000.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: Informational Compliance Filing regarding operational penalties of Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. under OA08-14.

    Filed Date: 10/24/16.

    Accession Number: 20161024-5198.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/14/16.

    The filings are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the links or querying the docket number.

    Any person desiring to intervene or protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified comment date. Protests may be considered, but intervention is necessary to become a party to the proceeding.

    eFiling is encouraged. More detailed information relating to filing requirements, interventions, protests, service, and qualifying facilities filings can be found at: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling/filing-req.pdf. For other information, call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: October 26, 2016. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-26441 Filed 11-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. ER17-184-000] SociVolta Inc.; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes Request for Blanket Section 204 Authorization

    This is a supplemental notice in the above-referenced proceeding of SociVolta Inc.'s application for market-based rate authority, with an accompanying rate tariff, noting that such application includes a request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability.

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest should file with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214). Anyone filing a motion to intervene or protest must serve a copy of that document on the Applicant.

    Notice is hereby given that the deadline for filing protests with regard to the applicant's request for blanket authorization, under 18 CFR part 34, of future issuances of securities and assumptions of liability is November 15, 2016.

    The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper, using the FERC Online links at http://www.ferc.gov. To facilitate electronic service, persons with Internet access who will eFile a document and/or be listed as a contact for an intervenor must create and validate an eRegistration account using the eRegistration link. Select the eFiling link to log on and submit the intervention or protests.

    Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the intervention or protest to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    The filings in the above-referenced proceeding are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the appropriate link in the above list. They are also available for electronic review in the Commission's Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an eSubscription link on the Web site that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected] or call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: October 26, 2016. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-26444 Filed 11-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. CP16-473-000] Texas Eastern Transmission, LP; Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review of the Bayway Lateral Project

    On June 29, 2016, Texas Eastern Transmission, LP (Texas Eastern) filed an application in Docket No. CP16-473-000 requesting a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity pursuant to Section 7(c) of the Natural Gas Act to construct and operate certain natural gas pipeline facilities. The proposed project is known as the Bayway Lateral Project (Project). The Project would transport an incremental volume of approximately 300,000 dekatherms per day from Texas Eastern's existing Line 38 to serve new commercial customers (the Linden Cogen Power Plant and the Phillips 66 Bayway Refinery).

    On July 14, 2016, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission or FERC) issued its Notice of Application for the Project. Among other things, that notice alerted agencies issuing federal authorizations of the requirement to complete all necessary reviews and to reach a final decision on a request for a federal authorization within 90 days of the date of issuance of the Commission staff's Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Project. This instant notice identifies the FERC staff's planned schedule for the completion of the EA for the Project.

    Schedule for Environmental Review

    Issuance of EA: November 23, 2016.

    90-day Federal Authorization Decision Deadline: February 21, 2017.

    If a schedule change becomes necessary, additional notice will be provided so that the relevant agencies are kept informed of the Project's progress.

    Project Description

    Texas Eastern proposes to construct, operate, and maintain new pipeline and aboveground facilities in the City of Linden, Union County, New Jersey. The Project would consist of the installation of approximately 2,300 linear feet of 24-inch-diameter pipeline connecting Texas Eastern's existing Line 38 to the Linden Cogen Power Plant and Phillips 66 Bayway Refinery. The Project also includes construction of one new fenced metering and regulating station on the Phillips 66-owned property adjacent to the Linden Cogen Power Plant.

    Background

    On August 5, 2016, the Commission issued a Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Assessment for the Proposed Bayway Lateral Project and Request for Comments on Environmental Issues (NOI). The NOI was sent to affected landowners; federal, state, and local government agencies; elected officials; environmental and public interest groups; Native American tribes; other interested parties; and local libraries and newspapers. We received one comment in response to our NOI from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA suggested several additional environmental issues be addressed in the EA, including an analysis of air quality impacts; an evaluation of alternatives, including those outside FERC's jurisdiction; a comprehensive evaluation of cumulative, indirect, and secondary impacts; climate change adaptation; and environmental justice. Consolidated Rail Corporation also filed comments in response to the Notice of Application regarding railroad safety.

    Additional Information

    In order to receive notification of the issuance of the EA and to keep track of all formal issuances and submittals in specific dockets, the Commission offers a free service called eSubscription. This can reduce the amount of time you spend researching proceedings by automatically providing you with notification of these filings, document summaries, and direct links to the documents. Go to www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp.

    Additional information about the Project is available from the Commission's Office of External Affairs at (866) 208-FERC or on the FERC Web site (www.ferc.gov). Using the “eLibrary” link, select “General Search” from the eLibrary menu, enter the selected date range and “Docket Number” excluding the last three digits (i.e., CP16-473), and follow the instructions. For assistance with access to eLibrary, the helpline can be reached at (866) 208-3676, TTY (202) 502-8659, or at [email protected] The eLibrary link on the FERC Web site also provides access to the texts of formal documents issued by the Commission, such as orders, notices, and rule makings.

    Dated: October 27, 2016. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-26419 Filed 11-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings #1

    Take notice that the Commission received the following exempt wholesale generator filings:

    Docket Numbers: EG17-16-000.

    Applicants: 96WI 8me LLC.

    Description: Notice of Self-Certification of Exempt Wholesale Generator Status of 96WI 8me LLC.

    Filed Date: 10/26/16.

    Accession Number: 20161026-5183.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/16/16.

    Take notice that the Commission received the following electric rate filings:

    Docket Numbers: ER12-959-000.

    Applicants: Southwest Power Pool, Inc.

    Description: Report Filing: Tri-County Electric Cooperative Formula Rate Second Refund Report in ER12-959 to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 10/26/16.

    Accession Number: 20161026-5118.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/16/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-2234-001.

    Applicants: EF Kenilworth LLC.

    Description: Report Filing: Refund Report to be effective N/A.

    Filed Date: 10/27/16.

    Accession Number: 20161027-5099.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/17/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-2402-000; ER16-2403-000; ER16-2404-000.

    Applicants: UGI Utilities Inc.

    Description: Supplement to August 11, 2016 UGI Utilities Inc., et al. Triennial Market Power Analyses, et al.

    Filed Date: 10/25/16.

    Accession Number: 20161025-5055.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/15/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-2532-001.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: Tariff Amendment: 2016-10-27_Amendment to filing to revise RPU Att O and Protocols to be effective 11/1/2016.

    Filed Date: 10/27/16.

    Accession Number: 20161027-5104.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/17/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-2558-001.

    Applicants: Pacific Gas and Electric Company.

    Description: Tariff Amendment: Errata Filing to the E&P Agreements for Alamo Springs Solar 1 and 2 to be effective 9/8/2016.

    Filed Date: 10/27/16.

    Accession Number: 20161027-5003.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/17/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-2569-001.

    Applicants: The Dayton Power and Light Company.

    Description: Tariff Amendment: DP&L Supplemental Filing Response to Deficiency Letter to be effective 11/8/2016.

    Filed Date: 10/27/16.

    Accession Number: 20161027-5089.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/17/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER16-2570-001.

    Applicants: AES Ohio Generation, LLC.

    Description: Tariff Amendment: AES Ohio Supplemental Filing Response to Deficiency Letter to be effective 11/8/2016.

    Filed Date: 10/27/16.

    Accession Number: 20161027-5095.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/17/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-135-001.

    Applicants: DesertLink, LLC.

    Description: Tariff Amendment: Amendment to 1 to be effective 12/19/2016.

    Filed Date: 10/27/16.

    Accession Number: 20161027-5169.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/17/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-190-000.

    Applicants: Wisconsin Public Service Corporation.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: WPS Corp and Alger Delta Agreement for Wholesale Distribution Service to be effective 1/1/2017.

    Filed Date: 10/27/16.

    Accession Number: 20161027-5058.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/17/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-191-000.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 2016-10-27_ATC Request for Updated Depreciation Rates to be effective 1/1/2017.

    Filed Date: 10/27/16.

    Accession Number: 20161027-5068.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/17/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-192-000.

    Applicants: Northern Maine Independent System Administrator, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Normal Filing NMMR #10 to be effective 11/1/2016.

    Filed Date: 10/27/16.

    Accession Number: 20161027-5088.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/17/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-193-000.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 2016-10-27_SA 2856 MidAmerican-MidAmerican 1st Rev GIA (J411) to be effective 10/28/2016.

    Filed Date: 10/27/16.

    Accession Number: 20161027-5105.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/17/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-194-000.

    Applicants: Hartree Partners, LP.

    Description: Baseline eTariff Filing: Administrative eTariff Filing to be effective 10/28/2016.

    Filed Date: 10/27/16.

    Accession Number: 20161027-5120.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/17/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-195-000.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 2016-10-27 SA 1756 METC-Consumers Energy 10th Rev. GIA (G479B) to be effective 10/1/2016.

    Filed Date: 10/27/16.

    Accession Number: 20161027-5121.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/17/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-196-000.

    Applicants: Pima Energy Storage System, LLC.

    Description: Baseline eTariff Filing: Pima Energy Storage System, LLC Application for Market-Based Rates to be effective 10/28/2016.

    Filed Date: 10/27/16.

    Accession Number: 20161027-5141.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/17/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-197-000.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 2016-10-27_SA 2966 ATC-Upper Michigan Energy Resources CFA to be effective 12/27/2016.

    Filed Date: 10/27/16.

    Accession Number: 20161027-5142.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/17/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-198-000.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 2016-10-27_SA 2967 ATC-Upper Michigan Energy Resources D-TIA to be effective 12/27/2016.

    Filed Date: 10/27/16.

    Accession Number: 20161027-5143.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/17/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-199-000.

    Applicants: Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 2016-10-27_SA 2968 ATC-Upper Michigan Energy Resources PSA to be effective 12/27/2016.

    Filed Date: 10/27/16.

    Accession Number: 20161027-5145.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/17/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-200-000.

    Applicants: PJM Interconnection, L.L.C.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: 3rd Quarter 2016 Update to OA and RAA Member Lists to be effective 9/30/2016.

    Filed Date: 10/27/16.

    Accession Number: 20161027-5153.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/17/16.

    Docket Numbers: ER17-201-000.

    Applicants: Shell Energy North America (US), L.P.

    Description: § 205(d) Rate Filing: Category 1 Seller Notice to be effective 10/28/2016.

    Filed Date: 10/27/16.

    Accession Number: 20161027-5158.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/17/16.

    The filings are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the links or querying the docket number.

    Any person desiring to intervene or protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified comment date. Protests may be considered, but intervention is necessary to become a party to the proceeding.

    eFiling is encouraged. More detailed information relating to filing requirements, interventions, protests, service, and qualifying facilities filings can be found at: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling/filing-req.pdf. For other information, call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: October 27, 2016. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-26442 Filed 11-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. EL00-66-021] Louisiana Public Service Commission and the Council for the City of New Orleans v. Entergy Services, Inc.; Notice of Compliance Filing

    Take notice that on October 26, 2016, Entergy Services, Inc. submitted a compliance filing, pursuant to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (Commission) September 26, 2016 Order.1

    1La. Pub. Serv. Comm'n v. Entergy Corp., 156 FERC ¶ 61,220 (2016) (September 26 Order).

    Any person desiring to intervene or to protest this filing must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.211, 385.214). Protests will be considered by the Commission in determining the appropriate action to be taken, but will not serve to make protestants parties to the proceeding. Any person wishing to become a party must file a notice of intervention or motion to intervene, as appropriate. Such notices, motions, or protests must be filed on or before the comment date. On or before the comment date, it is not necessary to serve motions to intervene or protests on persons other than the Applicant.

    The Commission encourages electronic submission of protests and interventions in lieu of paper using the “eFiling” link at http://www.ferc.gov. Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the protest or intervention to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426.

    This filing is accessible on-line at http://www.ferc.gov, using the “eLibrary” link and is available for review in the Commission's Public Reference Room in Washington, DC. There is an “eSubscription” link on the Web site that enables subscribers to receive email notification when a document is added to a subscribed docket(s). For assistance with any FERC Online service, please email [email protected], or call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on November 16, 2016.

    Dated: October 27, 2016. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-26421 Filed 11-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Combined Notice of Filings

    Take notice that the Commission has received the following Natural Gas Pipeline Rate and Refund Report filings:

    Filings Instituting Proceedings

    Docket Numbers: RP17-53-000.

    Applicants: National Fuel Gas Supply Corporation.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Settlement Rates 11/01/16 to be effective 11/1/2016.

    Filed Date: 10/25/16.

    Accession Number: 20161025-5012.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/7/16.

    Docket Numbers: RP17-54-000.

    Applicants: El Paso Natural Gas Company, L.L.C.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Negotiated Rate Agreement Update (Conoco 2016) to be effective 11/1/2016.

    Filed Date: 10/25/16.

    Accession Number: 20161025-5054.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/7/16.

    Docket Numbers: RP17-55-000.

    Applicants: Iroquois Gas Transmission System, L.P.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: 10/25/16 Negotiated Rates—Freepoint Commodities LLC (RTS) 7250-16 to be effective 11/1/2016.

    Filed Date: 10/25/16.

    Accession Number: 20161025-5058.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/7/16.

    Docket Numbers: RP17-56-000.

    Applicants: Iroquois Gas Transmission System, L.P.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: 10/25/16 Negotiated Rates—Freepoint Commodities LLC (RTS) 7250-17 to be effective 11/1/2016.

    Filed Date: 10/25/16.

    Accession Number: 20161025-5059.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/7/16.

    Docket Numbers: RP17-57-000.

    Applicants: Iroquois Gas Transmission System, L.P.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: 10/25/16 Negotiated Rates—Freepoint Commodities LLC (RTS) 7250-18 to be effective 11/1/2016.

    Filed Date: 10/25/16.

    Accession Number: 20161025-5061.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/7/16.

    Docket Numbers: RP17-58-000.

    Applicants: Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: ConocoPhillips Negotiated Rate to be effective 11/1/2016.

    Filed Date: 10/25/16.

    Accession Number: 20161025-5094.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/7/16.

    Docket Numbers: RP17-59-000.

    Applicants: El Paso Natural Gas Company, L.L.C.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Non-Conforming Negotiated Rate Agreement Filing (GIGO) to be effective 11/1/2016.

    Filed Date: 10/25/16.

    Accession Number: 20161025-5106.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/7/16.

    Docket Numbers: RP17-60-000.

    Applicants: Iroquois Gas Transmission System, L.P.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: 10/25/16 Negotiated Rates—Consolidated Edison Energy Inc. (HUB) 2275-89 to be effective 11/1/2016.

    Filed Date: 10/25/16.

    Accession Number: 20161025-5108.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/7/16.

    Docket Numbers: RP17-61-000.

    Applicants: Natural Gas Pipeline Company of America.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: Tenaska Marketing Negotiated Rate to be effective 11/1/2016.

    Filed Date: 10/25/16.

    Accession Number: 20161025-5109.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/7/16.

    Docket Numbers: RP17-62-000.

    Applicants: Iroquois Gas Transmission System, L.P.

    Description: § 4(d) Rate Filing: 10/25/16 Negotiated Rates—Mercuria Energy America, Inc. (HUB) 7450-89 to be effective 11/1/2016.

    Filed Date: 10/25/16.

    Accession Number: 20161025-5110.

    Comments Due: 5 p.m. ET 11/7/16.

    The filings are accessible in the Commission's eLibrary system by clicking on the links or querying the docket number.

    Any person desiring to intervene or protest in any of the above proceedings must file in accordance with Rules 211 and 214 of the Commission's Regulations (18 CFR 385.211 and 385.214) on or before 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on the specified comment date. Protests may be considered, but intervention is necessary to become a party to the proceeding.

    eFiling is encouraged. More detailed information relating to filing requirements, interventions, protests, service, and qualifying facilities filings can be found at: http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling/filing-req.pdf. For other information, call (866) 208-3676 (toll free). For TTY, call (202) 502-8659.

    Dated: October 26, 2016. Nathaniel J. Davis, Sr., Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-26443 Filed 11-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Order on Intent To Revoke Market-Based Rate Authority Before Commissioners: Norman C. Bay, Chairman; Cheryl A. LaFleur, and Colette D. Honorable. Docket Nos. Electric Quarterly Reports ER02-2001-020 AP&G Holdings LLC ER12-2430-000 Bargain Energy, LLC ER14-1343-001 CES Placerita, Incorporated ER14-57-000 Crawfordsville Energy, LLC ER15-631-001 DES Wholesale, LLC ER12-1770-001 Dillon Power, LLC ER15-1810-000 DownEast Power Company, LLC ER10-1304-002 Escanaba Green Energy, LLC ER12-2307-001 GearyEnergy, LLC ER10-2817-000 LVI Power, LLC ER12-2484-000 Madstone Energy Corp ER11-4482-000 NiGen, LLC ER15-567-001 R&R Energy, Inc ER11-4711-002 Societe Generale Energy LLC ER11-2775-000 Tall Bear Group, LLC ER12-2374-000 Western Reserve Energy Services, LLC ER13-1706-000

    1. Section 205 of the Federal Power Act (FPA), 16 U.S.C. 824d (2012), and 18 CFR part 35 (2016), require, among other things, that all rates, terms, and conditions of jurisdictional services be filed with the Commission. In Order No. 2001, the Commission revised its public utility filing requirements and established a requirement for public utilities, including power marketers, to file Electric Quarterly Reports summarizing the contractual terms and conditions in their agreements for all jurisdictional services (including market-based power sales, cost-based power sales, and transmission service) and providing transaction information (including rates) for short-term and long-term power sales during the most recent calendar quarter.1

    1Revised Public Utility Filing Requirements, Order No. 2001, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,127, reh'g denied, Order No. 2001-A, 100 FERC ¶ 61,074, reh'g denied, Order No. 2001-B, 100 FERC ¶ 61,342, order directing filing, Order No. 2001-C, 101 FERC ¶ 61,314 (2002), order directing filing, Order No. 2001-D, 102 FERC ¶ 61,334, order refining filing requirements, Order No. 2001-E, 105 FERC ¶ 61,352 (2003), order on clarification, Order No. 2001-F, 106 FERC ¶ 61,060 (2004), order revising filing requirements, Order No. 2001-G, 120 FERC ¶ 61,270, order on reh'g and clarification, Order No. 2001-H, 121 FERC ¶ 61,289 (2007), order revising filing requirements, Order No. 2001-I, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,282 (2008). See also Filing Requirements for Electric Utility Service Agreements, 155 FERC ¶ 61,280 (2016) (order clarifying reporting requirements and updating data dictionary).

    2. The Commission requires sellers with market-based rate authorization to file Electric Quarterly Reports.2 Commission staff's review of the Electric Quarterly Reports indicates that the following 16 public utilities with market-based rate authorization have failed to file their Electric Quarterly Reports: AP&G Holdings LLC, Bargain Energy, LLC, CES Placerita, Incorporated, Crawfordsville Energy, LLC, DES Wholesale, LLC, Dillon Power, LLC, DownEast Power Company, LLC, Escanaba Green Energy, LLC, GearyEnergy, LLC, LVI Power, LLC, Madstone Energy Corp, NiGen, LLC, R&R Energy, Inc., Societe Generale Energy LLC, Tall Bear Group, LLC, and Western Reserve Energy Services, LLC. This order notifies these public utilities that their market-based rate authorizations will be revoked unless they comply with the Commission's requirements within 15 days of the date of issuance of this order.

    2See Refinements to Policies and Procedures for Market-Based Rates for Wholesale Sales of Electric Energy, Capacity and Ancillary Services by Public Utilities, Order No. 816, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,374 (2015), order on reh'g, Order No. 816-A, 155 FERC ¶ 61,188 (2016); Market-Based Rates for Wholesale Sales of Electric Energy, Capacity and Ancillary Services by Public Utilities, Order No. 697, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,252 at P 3, clarified, 121 FERC ¶ 61,260 (2007), order on reh'g, Order No. 697-A, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,268, clarified, 124 FERC ¶ 61,055, order on reh'g, Order No. 697-B, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,285 (2008), order on reh'g, Order No. 697-C, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,291 (2009), order on reh'g, Order No. 697-D, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,305 (2010), aff'd sub nom. Mont. Consumer Counsel v. FERC, 659 F.3d 910 (9th Cir. 2011), cert. denied, 133 S. Ct. 26 (2012).

    3. In Order No. 2001, the Commission stated that,

    [i]f a public utility fails to file a[n] Electric Quarterly Report (without an appropriate request for extension), or fails to report an agreement in a report, that public utility may forfeit its market-based rate authority and may be required to file a new application for market-based rate authority if it wishes to resume making sales at market-based rates.3

    3 Order No. 2001, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,127 at P 222.

    4. The Commission further stated that,

    [o]nce this rule becomes effective, the requirement to comply with this rule will supersede the conditions in public utilities' market-based rate authorizations, and failure to comply with the requirements of this rule will subject public utilities to the same consequences they would face for not satisfying the conditions in their rate authorizations, including possible revocation of their authority to make wholesale power sales at market-based rates.4

    4Id. P 223.

    5. Pursuant to these requirements, the Commission has revoked the market-based rate tariffs of market-based rate sellers that failed to submit their Electric Quarterly Reports.5

    5See, e.g., Electric Quarterly Reports, 80 FR 58,243 (Sep. 28, 2015); Electric Quarterly Reports, 79 FR 65,651 (Nov. 5, 2014).

    6. Sellers must file Electric Quarterly Reports consistent with the procedures set forth in Order Nos. 2001, 768 6 and 770.7 The exact filing dates for Electric Quarterly Reports are prescribed in 18 CFR 35.10b (2016). As noted above, Commission staff's review of the Electric Quarterly Reports for the period up to the first quarter of 2016 identified 16 public utilities with market-based rate authorization that failed to file Electric Quarterly Reports. Commission staff contacted or attempted to contact these entities to remind them of their regulatory obligations. Despite these reminders, the public utilities listed in the caption of this order have not met these obligations. Accordingly, this order notifies these public utilities that their market-based rate authorizations will be revoked unless they comply with the Commission's requirements within 15 days of the issuance of this order.

    6Electricity Market Transparency Provisions of Section 220 of the Federal Power Act, Order No. 768, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,336 (2012), order on reh'g, Order No. 768-A, 143 FERC ¶ 61,054 (2013).

    7Revisions to Electric Quarterly Report Filing Process, Order No. 770, FERC Stats. & Regs. ¶ 31,338 (2012).

    7. In the event that any of the above-captioned market-based rate sellers has already filed its Electric Quarterly Reports in compliance with the Commission's requirements, its inclusion herein is inadvertent. Such market-based rate seller is directed, within 15 days of the date of issuance of this order, to make a filing with the Commission identifying itself and providing details about its prior filings that establish that it complied with the Commission's Electric Quarterly Report filing requirements.

    8. If any of the above-captioned market-based rate sellers does not wish to continue having market-based rate authority, it may file a notice of cancellation with the Commission pursuant to section 205 of the FPA to cancel its market-based rate tariff.

    The Commission orders:

    (A) Within 15 days of the date of issuance of this order, each public utility listed in the caption of this order shall file with the Commission all delinquent Electric Quarterly Reports. If a public utility subject to this order fails to make the filings required in this order, the Commission will revoke that public utility's market-based rate authorization and will terminate its electric market-based rate tariff. The Secretary is hereby directed, upon expiration of the filing deadline in this order, to promptly issue a notice, effective on the date of issuance, listing the public utilities whose tariffs have been revoked for failure to comply with the requirements of this order and the Commission's Electric Quarterly Report filing requirements.

    (B) The Secretary is hereby directed to publish this order in the Federal Register.

    By the Commission.

    Issued: October 27, 2016. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-26422 Filed 11-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. CP17-2-000] National Fuel Gas Supply Corporation; Notice of Application

    Take notice that on October 14, 2016, National Fuel Gas Supply Corporation (National Fuel), 6363 Main Street, Williamsville, New York 14221, filed in Docket No. CP17-2-000, an application pursuant to section 7(b) of the Natural Gas Act and part 157 of the Commission's regulations requesting authorization to abandon its Heath Compressor Station and associated appurtenances located in Heath Township, Jefferson County, Pennsylvania, and to refunctionalize Line FM-92 from a transmission to gathering function, all as more fully set forth in the application which is on file with the Commission and open to public inspection. This filing may be viewed on the web at http://www.ferc.gov using the “eLibrary” link. Enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in the docket number field to access the document. For assistance, please contact FERC at [email protected] or call toll-free, (886) 208-3676 or TYY, (202) 502-8659.

    Any questions regarding this Application should be directed to Laura P. Berloth, Attorney for National Fuel, 6363 Main Street, Williamsville, New York 14221, or call at 716-857-7001.

    Pursuant to section 157.9 of the Commission's rules, 18 CFR 157.9, within 90 days of this notice the Commission staff will either: Complete its environmental assessment (EA) and place it into the Commission's public record (eLibrary) for this proceeding; or issue a Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review. If a Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review is issued, it will indicate, among other milestones, the anticipated date for the Commission staff's issuance of the final environmental impact statement (FEIS) or EA for this proposal. The filing of the EA in the Commission's public record for this proceeding or the issuance of a Notice of Schedule for Environmental Review will serve to notify federal and state agencies of the timing for the completion of all necessary reviews, and the subsequent need to complete all federal authorizations within 90 days of the date of issuance of the Commission staff's FEIS or EA.

    There are two ways to become involved in the Commission's review of this project. First, any person wishing to obtain legal status by becoming a party to the proceedings for this project should, on or before the comment date stated below, file with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426, a motion to intervene in accordance with the requirements of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (18 CFR 385.214 or 385.211) and the Regulations under the NGA (18 CFR 157.10). A person obtaining party status will be placed on the service list maintained by the Secretary of the Commission and will receive copies of all documents filed by the applicant and by all other parties. A party must submit 7 copies of filings made with the Commission and must mail a copy to the applicant and to every other party in the proceeding. Only parties to the proceeding can ask for court review of Commission orders in the proceeding.

    However, a person does not have to intervene in order to have comments considered. The second way to participate is by filing with the Secretary of the Commission, as soon as possible, an original and two copies of comments in support of or in opposition to this project. The Commission will consider these comments in determining the appropriate action to be taken, but the filing of a comment alone will not serve to make the filer a party to the proceeding. The Commission's rules require that persons filing comments in opposition to the project provide copies of their protests only to the party or parties directly involved in the protest.

    Persons who wish to comment only on the environmental review of this project should submit an original and two copies of their comments to the Secretary of the Commission. Environmental commenters will be placed on the Commission's environmental mailing list, will receive copies of the environmental documents, and will be notified of meetings associated with the Commission's environmental review process. Environmental commenters will not be required to serve copies of filed documents on all other parties. However, the non-party commentary will not receive copies of all documents filed by other parties or issued by the Commission (except for the mailing of environmental documents issued by the Commission) and will not have the right to seek court review of the Commission's final order.

    The Commission strongly encourages electronic filings of comments, protests and interventions in lieu of paper using the “eFiling” link at http://www.ferc.gov. Persons unable to file electronically should submit an original and 5 copies of the protest or intervention to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426. See, 18 CFR 385.2001(a)(1)(iii) and the instructions on the Commission's Web site under the “e-Filing” link.

    Comment Date: 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on November 17, 2016.

    Dated: October 27, 2016. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-26420 Filed 11-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION Deletion of Items From Sunshine Act Meeting October 27, 2016.

    The following consent agenda has been deleted from the list of items scheduled for consideration at the Thursday, October 27, 2016, Open Meeting and previously listed in the Commission's Notice of October 20, 2016. The Consent Agenda has been adopted by the Commission.

    Consent Agenda

    The Commission will consider the following subjects listed below as a consent agenda and these items will not be presented individually:

    1 MEDIA TITLE: Communtiy Radio of Decorah, Postville and Northeast Iowa for a Construction Permit for New Low Power FM Broadcast Station KCOD-LP, Decorah, Iowa. SUMMARY: The Commission will consider a Memorandum Opinion and Order concerning an Application for Review filed by Wennes Communications Stations, Inc., and Decorah Broadcasting, Inc. regarding the grant of a construction permit for low-power FM station KCOD-LP. 2 MEDIA TITLE: Open Arms Community of El Paso, Application to Construct a New Noncommercial Educational FM Station at Horizon City, Texas; Christian Ministries of El Paso, Inc., Application to Construct a New Noncommercial Educational FM Station at Horizon City, Texas, NCE October 2007 Window, MX Group 431. SUMMARY: The Commission will consider a Memorandum Opinion and Order concerning a Petition for Reconsideration and Petition for Reinstatement Nunc Pro Tunc and Application for Review regarding applications for new NCE construction permits in NCE MX Group 431. 3 GENERAL COUNSEL TITLE: In the Matter of John Anderson on Request for Inspection of Records (FOIA Control No. 2014-295). SUMMARY: The Commission will consider a Memorandum Opinion and Order concerning an Application for Review filed by Warren Havens, which appealed two decisions by the Enforcement Bureau denying four Freedom of Information Act requests. The Commission will consider a Memorandum Opinion and Order concerning an Application for Review filed by John Anderson, which appealed a decision by the Enforcement Bureau addressing his Freedom of Information Act request. Federal Communications Commission. Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-26640 Filed 10-31-16; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION Notice to All Interested Parties of the Termination of the Receivership of 10345—Habersham Bank, Clarksville, Georgia

    Notice is hereby given that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”) as Receiver for Habersham Bank, Clarksville, Georgia (“the Receiver”) intends to terminate its receivership for said institution. The FDIC was appointed receiver of Habersham Bank on February 18, 2011. The liquidation of the receivership assets has been completed. To the extent permitted by available funds and in accordance with law, the Receiver will be making a final dividend payment to proven creditors.

    Based upon the foregoing, the Receiver has determined that the continued existence of the receivership will serve no useful purpose. Consequently, notice is given that the receivership shall be terminated, to be effective no sooner than thirty days after the date of this Notice. If any person wishes to comment concerning the termination of the receivership, such comment must be made in writing and sent within thirty days of the date of this Notice to: Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Division of Resolutions and Receiverships, Attention: Receivership Oversight Department 34.6, 1601 Bryan Street, Dallas, TX 75201.

    No comments concerning the termination of this receivership will be considered which are not sent within this time frame.

    Dated: October 28, 2016. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Valerie J. Best, Assistant Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-26481 Filed 11-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6714-01-P
    FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION Notice of Termination; 10499—Columbia Savings Bank, Cincinnati, Ohio

    The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), as Receiver for 10499 Columbia Savings Bank, Cincinnati, Ohio (Receiver) has been authorized to take all actions necessary to terminate the receivership estate of Columbia Savings Bank (Receivership Estate); the Receiver has made all dividend distributions required by law.

    The Receiver has further irrevocably authorized and appointed FDIC-Corporate as its attorney-in-fact to execute and file any and all documents that may be required to be executed by the Receiver which FDIC-Corporate, in its sole discretion, deems necessary; including but not limited to releases, discharges, satisfactions, endorsements, assignments and deeds. Effective November 1, 2016, the Receivership Estate has been terminated, the Receiver discharged, and the Receivership Estate has ceased to exist as a legal entity.

    Dated: October 28, 2016. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Valerie J. Best, Assistant Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-26480 Filed 11-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6714-01-P
    FEDERAL DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORPORATION Notice to All Interested Parties of the Termination of the Receivership of 10299—WestBridge Bank and Trust Company, Chesterfield, Missouri

    Notice is hereby given that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”) as Receiver for WestBridge Bank & Trust Company, Chesterfield, Missouri (“the Receiver”) intends to terminate its receivership for said institution. The FDIC was appointed receiver of WestBridge Bank and Trust Company on October 15, 2010. The liquidation of the receivership assets has been completed. To the extent permitted by available funds and in accordance with law, the Receiver will be making a final dividend payment to proven creditors.

    Based upon the foregoing, the Receiver has determined that the continued existence of the receivership will serve no useful purpose. Consequently, notice is given that the receivership shall be terminated, to be effective no sooner than thirty days after the date of this Notice. If any person wishes to comment concerning the termination of the receivership, such comment must be made in writing and sent within thirty days of the date of this Notice to: Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Division of Resolutions and Receiverships, Attention: Receivership Oversight Department 34.6, 1601 Bryan Street, Dallas, TX 75201.

    No comments concerning the termination of this receivership will be considered which are not sent within this time frame.

    Dated: October 28, 2016. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. Valerie J. Best, Assistant Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-26482 Filed 11-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6714-01-P
    FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM Formations of, Acquisitions by, and Mergers of Bank Holding Companies

    The companies listed in this notice have applied to the Board for approval, pursuant to the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956 (12 U.S.C. 1841 et seq.) (BHC Act), Regulation Y (12 CFR part 225), and all other applicable statutes and regulations to become a bank holding company and/or to acquire the assets or the ownership of, control of, or the power to vote shares of a bank or bank holding company and all of the banks and nonbanking companies owned by the bank holding company, including the companies listed below.

    The applications listed below, as well as other related filings required by the Board, are available for immediate inspection at the Federal Reserve Bank indicated. The applications will also be available for inspection at the offices of the Board of Governors. Interested persons may express their views in writing on the standards enumerated in the BHC Act (12 U.S.C. 1842(c)). If the proposal also involves the acquisition of a nonbanking company, the review also includes whether the acquisition of the nonbanking company complies with the standards in section 4 of the BHC Act (12 U.S.C. 1843). Unless otherwise noted, nonbanking activities will be conducted throughout the United States.

    Unless otherwise noted, comments regarding each of these applications must be received at the Reserve Bank indicated or the offices of the Board of Governors not later than November 29, 2016.

    A. Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas (Robert L. Triplett III, Senior Vice President) 2200 North Pearl Street, Dallas, Texas 75201-2272:

    1. International Bancshares Corporation and IBC Subsidiary Corporation, both of Laredo, Texas; to acquire International Bank of Commerce, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

    B. Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago (Colette A. Fried, Assistant Vice President) 230 South LaSalle Street, Chicago, Illinois 60690-1414:

    1. Fentura Financial, Inc., Fenton, Michigan; to acquire 100 percent of Community Bancorp, Inc., and thereby indirectly acquire Community State Bank both of Saint Charles, Michigan.

    Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, October 28, 2016. Yao-Chin Chao, Assistant Secretary of the Board.
    [FR Doc. 2016-26470 Filed 11-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6210-01-P
    FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Federal Trade Commission (“FTC” or “Commission”).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The FTC is submitting the information collection requirements described below to the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) for review, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act (“PRA”). The FTC is seeking public comments on proposed information requests to marketers of electronic cigarettes (“e-cigarettes”). The FTC proposes to issue compulsory process orders to up to 15 e-cigarette manufacturers, distributors, and marketers per year for information concerning, among other things, data on annual sales and marketing expenditures. The Commission intends to ask OMB for a three-year clearance to collect this information.

    DATES:

    Comments on the proposed information requests must be received on or before December 2, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Interested parties may file a comment online or on paper, by following the instructions in the Request for Comment part of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below. Write “Electronic Cigarettes: Paperwork Comment, FTC File No. P14504,” on your comment. File your comment online at https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/electroniccigarettespra2 by following the instructions on the web-based form. If you prefer to file your comment on paper, mail your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Suite CC-5610 (Annex J), Washington, DC 20580, or deliver your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Constitution Center, 400 7th Street SW., 5th Floor, Suite 5610 (Annex J), Washington, DC 20024.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Requests for additional information should be addressed to Elizabeth Sanger or Rosemary Rosso, Division of Advertising Practices, Bureau of Consumer Protection, Federal Trade Commission. Telephone: (202) 326-2757 (Sanger) or (202) 326-2174 (Rosso).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

    In the past few years, sales of e-cigarettes have grown rapidly in the United States.1 These devices are available in both disposable and refillable models, in a range of nicotine strengths (including nicotine-free), and in a multitude of flavors. E-cigarettes are manufactured, distributed, and sold by a wide variety of industry members, ranging from large companies, including major U.S. tobacco companies, to small, single-location operators. They can be purchased at conventional retail stores, at “vape shops,” which are retail stores that primarily or exclusively sell e-cigarettes, and online.

    1 These products are most commonly referred to as e-cigarettes, but sometimes also are referenced as vape pens, personal vaporizers, e-hookah, and electronic nicotine delivery systems. This information collection would cover all such products, regardless of how they are referenced.

    For many years, the Commission has published reports on sales and marketing expenditures by the major cigarette and smokeless tobacco manufacturers. These data allow the agency to analyze industry sales and assess how industry members allocate their promotional activities and expenditures. The data also provide information to policymakers and public health researchers that, in many instances, is not available from other sources. Given their increasing prevalence, the Commission believes it is important and necessary for the agency to begin collecting information about e-cigarette sales and marketing activities. The Commission intends to publish a report with the data it obtains,2 and to issue similar information requests regularly in order to track trends over time. The information will be sought using compulsory process under Section 6(b) of the Federal Trade Commission Act, 15 U.S.C. 46(b).

    2 The report would not disclose any company-specific confidential data.

    The Commission intends to issue information requests to up to 15 industry members, including larger and smaller entities, and will seek information about the different types of e-cigarette products marketed, certain characteristics of those products, and information about marketing expenditures for broad categories of media. While the data may not represent overall sales and marketing activities for the entire e-cigarette industry, the information provided should provide a valuable snapshot of the current e-cigarette market, including its major players. Because the number of separately incorporated companies affected by the Commission's requests will exceed nine entities, the Commission is seeking OMB clearance under the PRA before requesting any information from the industry members.3 On October 27, 2015, as required by the PRA, the FTC published a Federal Register Notice seeking comments from the public concerning the proposed collection of information from e-cigarette marketers. See 80 FR 65758 (“October 2015 Notice”). As discussed below, 37 comments were received.

    3 Under the PRA, 44 U.S.C. 3501-3521, federal agencies must obtain approval from OMB for each “collection of information” they conduct or sponsor if posed to ten or more entities within any twelve-month period. 44 U.S.C. 3502(3); 5 CFR 1320.3(c). “Collection of information” means agency requests or requirements that members of the public submit reports, keep records, or provide information to a third party. 44 U.S.C. 3502(3); 5 CFR 1320.3(c).

    Pursuant to the OMB regulations that implement the PRA (5 CFR part 1320), the FTC is providing this second opportunity for public comment while requesting that the OMB grant the clearance for the proposed collection of information. All comments should be filed as prescribed in the Request for Comment part below, and must be received on or before December 2, 2016.

    II. Public Comments

    The FTC received 37 comments in response to the October 2015 Notice.4 Of these, 20 comments expressly supported and substantively addressed the proposed data collection. A joint comment favoring the proposal was submitted by the following public health organizations: American Academy of Pediatrics; the American Heart Association; Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids; Tobacco Control Legal Consortium; and Truth Initiative (“Joint Public Health Comment”). Comments supporting the proposal also were received from three individual public health or public interest organizations.5 Favorable substantive comments were submitted by three government-related entities or individuals: National Association of Attorneys General Tobacco Committee (“NAAG”); the Oregon Public Health Division; and the Comptroller of the City of New York; and from three academic centers involved in public health and tobacco control issues.6 Ten individuals, many involved in local health education or tobacco control activities, filed individual comments supporting the data collection.7

    4See https://www.ftc.gov/policy/public-comments/initiative-626.

    5 Comments by Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids (“CTFK”); American Lung Association; and Truth In Advertising, Inc.

    6 Comment by Georgia State University Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science (“Georgia State”); Comment by Glantz, et al., University of California, San Francisco Tobacco Center for Regulatory Science and Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education (“UCSF”); and Comment by Ribisl et al., University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health (“UNC”).

    7 Comments by K. Miloski (Riverhead Community Awareness Program); L. Rotolo (TFAC); S. Hills; D. Moore (Tobacco Free Action Committee); S. Fischer; A. Zanatta (Jewish Community Center); K. Keenan (Roswell Park Cancer Institute), M. James (POW'R Against Tobacco); J. DiFranza; and T. Cain (Anderson Aconee Behavioral Health).

    Five comments were received from industry members: R.J. Reynolds Vapor Company and RAI Services Company (“Reynolds”); Altria Client Services Inc. and Nu Mark LLC (“Altria”); Rock River Manufacturing, the tobacco products manufacturing division of Ho-Chunk, Inc. (“Ho-Chunk”); (4) Fontem US, Inc. (“Fontem”), and (5) Logic Technology Development LLC (“Logic”). None of these comments expressly opposed the proposed data collection, although two companies questioned whether the data collection was premature given the then-pending FDA deeming regulation that, among other provisions, asserts regulatory authority over e-cigarettes and other tobacco products.8 Each industry comment made suggestions that it asserted would enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected and reduce the burden on the respondents.

    8 FDA has since issued its final regulation: Deeming Tobacco Products To Be Subject to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, as Amended by the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act; Restrictions on the Sale and Distribution of Tobacco Products and Required Warning Statements for Tobacco Products (“Deeming Regulation”), 81 FR 28974 (May 10, 2016).

    The remaining 12 comments did not substantively address the proposed data collection.

    A. General Support for the Data Collection

    In its October 2015 Notice, the FTC sought comments regarding whether the proposed collection is necessary.9 Many of the comments stated that the data collection would provide important information, especially given the increased use of e-cigarettes by youth,10 and the limited availability of data on e-cigarette advertising and marketing from other sources.11 The Joint Public Health Comment stated that the collected data could provide valuable information and insights into the e-cigarette market and be used as a basis for public policy decisions. The UNC comment stated that the data collection would enable public health professionals to better understand where e-cigarette advertising and marketing dollars are being spent, and to help develop specific interventions to prevent underage use. The UCSF comment stated that the reports would enable retrospective assessment of advocacy activities and policy changes.

    9See 80 FR 65758 at 65759.

    10See, e.g., Joint Public Health Comment; comments from CTFK; UCSF; and Oregon Public Health Division.

    11See, e.g., Joint Public Health Comment; comments from CTFK; UNC; and Georgia State.

    A number of comments made favorable comparisons between the proposed collection of information on e-cigarette sales and marketing expenditures and the FTC's existing reports on cigarettes and smokeless tobacco, noting that the existing reports are widely used by public health professionals, researchers, policymakers, and government agencies.12 These comments stated that expansion of data collection to e-cigarettes is needed to inform these same stakeholders about the nature and extent of e-cigarette advertising and marketing practices, and to allow them to monitor trends.13

    12See, e.g., Joint Public Health Comment; comments from Oregon Public Health Division; M. James; D. Moore; S. Fisher; S. Hills; and L. Rotolo.

    13See, e.g., comment from CTFK.

    The FTC believes that these information requests are in the public interest and essential to the agency's performance of its authority to investigate and report publicly on industry practices that affect the economic well-being of consumers. Consistent with the agency's information collection for cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products, the data will also provide important information for researchers and policymakers.

    B. Utility of the Information Collection

    The FTC's October 2015 Notice also sought comment on whether the proposed data collection is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the FTC, including whether the information will be practically useful.14 The NAAG comment stated that the data collection would greatly facilitate state efforts to better understand and effectively regulate e-cigarettes. The Joint Public Health Comment and the Georgia State comment noted that the FTC's report would facilitate research into e-cigarette marketing because it would provide access to data that are otherwise unavailable from commercial sources, which tend to focus on larger companies and traditional distribution channels such as convenience stores. The UCSF comment states that scholarly research of e-cigarette marketing would be best served by reliable data, such as data collected directly from members of the e-cigarette market. Individual public health educators commented that a report on e-cigarette sales and marketing would facilitate their local and state health education work, which in turn informs evidence-based policymaking and regulatory action.15 One drug prevention specialist stated that a report on e-cigarette sales and marketing expenditures would also inform advocacy work and counter-marketing strategies to discourage youth and other vulnerable populations from using e-cigarettes.16

    14 80 FR 65758 at 65759.

    15See, e.g., comments by L. Rotolo and M. James.

    16See comment by T. Cain.

    One industry member, Ho-Chunk, questioned whether the value of the proposed data collection could be outweighed by the risk that a negative public perception of e-cigarettes would damage the growth of the industry. The company expressed concern that the FTC's data collection could send a premature message that the industry is engaged in predatory marketing or that there are as-yet-unknown health and safety risks associated with the use of these products.

    The Commission intends to use the data collection to provide useful baseline information (starting with 2015 data) concerning sales of the various e-cigarette products and allow the Commission to analyze how industry members allocate their promotional activities and expenditures across various media. The data also will provide researchers and policymakers with sales and marketing information that will assist their research and regulatory efforts. The Commission does not believe that the data collection itself will create any negative public perception of e-cigarettes or damage the growth of the industry. In particular, the proposal seeks sales and marketing expenditure data only and does not include an inquiry into any hypothetical predatory practices or health or safety information. In addition, the data collection here is very similar in content and methodology to studies that the Commission for many years has undertaken with respect to other markets, including cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products (OMB Control No. 3084-0134); alcoholic beverages (OMB Control No. 3084-0138); and food (OMB Control No. 3084-0139).

    C. Suggestions To Improve the Information Collection

    In its October 2015 Notice, the FTC invited comments concerning ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected.17 The FTC received substantive comments for enhancing its proposed data collection as follows: (1) Expand the scope of the proposed data collection by collecting data from a broad cross-section of market participants and increasing the number of surveyed entities; (2) collect and report data on a state-by-state basis; (3) collect and report sales data that are segmented by product type, differentiates product characteristics such as flavors and nicotine strength, that include data on refills and cartridges, and that report sales data separately from product give-aways; and (4) collect and report broad categories of marketing expenditure data.

    17 80 FR 65758 at 65759.

    1. Scope of the Data Collection

    The Commission's October 2015 Notice anticipated collecting and reporting data obtained from as many as 15 entities that would vary in size, in the number of products sold, and in the extent and variety of their advertising and marketing.18 A number of comments recommended that the Commission expand the scope of the data collection by including a broad cross-section of market participants, including distributors and entities whose products are sold in traditional retail stores (e.g., convenience stores), as well as online sellers, and vape shops. To accomplish this goal, some commenters recommended that the Commission increase the number of entities from whom it would collect data.

    18Id. at 65760.

    a. Type of Market Participant. A wide range of commenters, including both industry and public health organizations and researchers, recommended that the Commission expand the scope of the proposed data collection by including a broad cross-section of market participants in the entities surveyed through the data collection. Logic recommended that the FTC seek a broader cross-section of the market. Fontem commented that vape shops comprise a large percentage of the market, and noted that the data collection would not be meaningful if vape shops were not included. Altria also suggested that the FTC send data requests to a selection of vape shops. Reynolds recommended that the Commission differentiate the information requests by type of market participant, reasoning that such segmentation would present less need for highly differentiated sales and marketing data. The Joint Public Health Comment recommended that the FTC survey a selection of large companies, as well as a geographically dispersed selection of e-cigarette manufacturers, distributors, and retailers (including online sellers and vape shops) in order to get a cross-section of market participants. The UNC comment recommended that the proposed data collection differentiate the method of sale (distributors, online, retail) so that subsequent enforcement efforts can be tailored appropriately. Georgia State and one individual also recommended that the Commission differentiate by method of sale. Another individual recommended that the data requests segment market participants into two groups: Those that sell only e-cigarette products and those that sell e-cigarettes and other tobacco products.

    The Commission agrees that seeking data from a broad cross-section of the overall market, including distributors to conventional retail sellers, online sellers, and vape shops, would provide a fuller perspective on the overall e-cigarette market. However, the Commission was not able to find sufficient, reliable market data that would permit it to identify and select which smaller online sellers and vape shops should receive data requests. The available data from which the Commission could identify a sample of online sellers or vape shops are so limited and insufficient that any separate samples of these sellers would at best provide anecdotal information.

    In contrast, the available market data do permit a reliable sample of the largest e-cigarette marketers and some online sellers. The Commission believes that a sample of these companies will account for at least 80 percent of the conventional retail market and a sizable share of the online market. Thus, the data will provide useful information concerning at least this large subset of the overall market. At the same time, the Commission remains interested in collecting and reporting sales and marketing expenditure data from a broader cross-section of the market. Should more reliable market data become available, the Commission may seek OMB clearance to collect sales and marketing expenditure data for a broader cross-section of companies at such time, and would report on the data received.

    b. Number of Entities Submitting Data. To capture data from a broad cross-section of market participants, several commenters recommended that the Commission collect data from more than 15 entities, the number identified in the October 2015 Notice. Altria recommended increasing the number beyond 15 entities given industry fragmentation and the increased market presence of vape shops. Reynolds questioned whether data collection from 15 entities would be sufficient to allow the FTC to characterize overall market sales and marketing activities. Logic stated that the proposed data collection was under-inclusive because too few companies would be required to report data. The Georgia State and Truth In Advertising comments stated that expanding the data collection beyond 15 entities would provide a fuller perspective and more accurate representation of the overall market. The Joint Public Health Comment also recommended that the FTC send data requests to more than 15 entities.

    As discussed above, reliable data permitting the Commission to identify a representative sample of a broad cross-section of the market do not appear to be available at this time. As a result, the Commission does not believe it necessary to increase the number of entities from whom it will seek to collect and report data.

    2. State-By-State Data Collection

    The FTC's October 2015 Notice asked whether the agency should seek data on state-by-state sales of e-cigarettes.19 Altria recommended that the Commission consider conducting a state-by-state analysis given the highly fragmented nature of the overall market. Comments from public health organizations and research centers also supported state-by-state data collection for sales and, in some comments, also for marketing expenditures.20 The UNC comment noted that reporting state-by-state data would help tobacco control professionals understand which states and regions have the greatest sales, and help them target their tobacco control efforts accordingly. The Oregon Public Health Division and Georgia State comments noted that state-by-state data would be useful in evaluating the impact of state and local regulatory efforts. Reynolds opposed state-by-state data collection, stating that such data were not readily available for e-cigarettes sold through distributors who sell such products in more than one state. Reynolds further stated that there are no efficient and reliable means to obtain state-by-state data.

    19 80 FR 65758 at 65759.

    20See Joint Public Health Comment, recognizing that certain marketing expenditures made on a national level could not be reported on a state-by-state basis. See also comments from Oregon Public Health Division; UNC; Georgia State; UCSF; and T. Cain.

    Although the Commission agrees that state-by-state data collection could provide useful information, such data collection would significantly increase the complexity and burden of the data requests and might not be readily practical for some e-cigarette sellers. Thus, the Commission has decided against requesting approval for state-by-state data collection at this time. The Commission remains interested in this issue, however, and could request OMB clearance to collect state-by-state data in the future.

    3. Collection of Sales Data

    a. Type of Product. A number of commenters noted the wide variety of different e-cigarette products currently marketed. Reynolds noted that three general categories of e-cigarette products are currently available: (1) Disposable products, (2) rechargeable and pre-filled cartridge products, and (3) “tank” products that require the user to put e-liquid into an aerosol-generating device. The Joint Public Health Comment recommended that the Commission require responders to report separately by product type.21 The UNC comment also supported separate reporting by product type, noting that separate reporting can be useful to track changes in popularity and use. Similarly, the UCSF comment supported separate reporting as a means to help evaluate how changes in sales of different products correspond to changes in use.

    21 Other commenters also supported separate reporting generally. See comments from CTFK; American Lung Ass'n; NAAG; L. Rotolo; and S. Fisher.

    Reynolds recommended against differentiating by product type, noting that the different products generally could be categorized by the retail market where the products are sold, with conventional retail stores selling disposable and rechargeable products, and “vape stores” selling tank products. Reynolds preferred categorizing by type of marketer rather than type of product.

    Given the wide variety of products available, the Commission believes that separate reporting by product type will be useful and important in tracking future developments in the e-cigarette market. Thus, the proposed data collection contemplates separate reporting across three categories: (1) Non-refillable (i.e., disposable) products; (2) refillable closed systems (i.e., rechargeable and refillable cartridge products); and (3) refillable open systems (i.e., “tank” systems).

    b. Differentiation by Flavors. Comments from public health organizations, research centers, and health educators recommended that the Commission seek sales data that are differentiated by their various characterizing flavors.22 The Joint Public Health Comment stated that flavors appear to be one of the reasons youth and adults try e-cigarettes. The CTFK comment stated that the available data suggest that flavors are a key reason youth try and use e-cigarettes, citing the 2013-2014 Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (“PATH”) study, which showed that most youth smoked flavored e-cigarettes when they first tried the product and during the past month. The comment also cited data from the PATH study indicating that surveyed youth reported “comes in flavors that I like” as one of the reasons they used e-cigarettes. The Georgia State comment stated that data differentiated by flavors would help regulators and the public health community determine the role flavors play in patterns or reasons for use, perceptions of harm, and social norms.

    22See Joint Public Health Comment, and comments from CTFK; American Lung Ass'n; NAAG; UNC; UCSF; Georgia State; M. James; and L. Rotolo.

    Reynolds and Fontem opposed the collection of detailed flavor data. Fontem noted that there is no standardized method of reporting flavors across the industry, and both stated that characterizing flavors is subjective. Reynolds stated that the utility of seeking flavor data is not clear.

    Given the potential importance of flavors for trial and use of e-cigarettes, especially among youth, the Commission will seek to collect data that differentiate among flavors. However, as discussed infra at section II.D.2, to reduce the burden, the proposed data collection will designate only three flavor categories, rather than requiring companies to report each flavor individually.

    c. Differentiation by Nicotine Strength. The comments from public health organizations, research centers, and NAAG supported the collection of data on nicotine content levels. The Georgia State comment indicated that research suggests nicotine levels are related to patterns or reasons for use. The CTFK comment stated that e-cigarettes contain highly variable amounts of nicotine, and there are no reliable data providing information about nicotine strength. The UNC comment indicated that information about nicotine strength could be valuable for determining equivalence to conventional tobacco products and for consideration of potential long-term health risks. The UCSF comment noted that nicotine content data could facilitate the testing of competing hypotheses as to the effect of nicotine regulation on use.

    Fontem and Reynolds opposed collection of data concerning nicotine strength. Fontem commented that collection of nicotine content data would not be useful because there is no standardized method of reporting nicotine content across the industry. Reynolds also questioned whether nicotine content data would provide useful information.

    The Commission believes that collection of data concerning nicotine strength will provide useful information that is not readily available from other sources. The agency does not believe that the lack of a standardized reporting method invalidates the utility of these data. The FTC will take into account the various comments received in the course of developing its report on the data collection.

    d. Cartridges and Refills. Several commenters addressed the Commission's request for comments on the collection of data concerning refills, especially with regard to refillable products sold with more than one refill unit. E-cigarette products, other than disposable products, are often marketed to consumers with the device, battery, atomizer, and one or more refill units sold together in a single package. The Joint Public Health Comment stated that any cartridge or liquid unit above one should be counted as a refill, regardless of whether it is packaged as part of the same stock keeping unit (“SKU”) or sold individually. Fontem stated that there is no consistency among marketers as to blister packs or refills that come in a single package. Thus, Fontem questioned whether gathering information on refills would yield meaningful information. The company recommended that if the Commission opted to track refills, that it simply track the total number of refills. Reynolds recommended that for products sold with more than one cartridge, the FTC should abide by the product configuration as sold to consumers, i.e., allow companies to use the SKUs for reporting. Reynolds stated that relying on existing SKUs would allow responders to use existing records to produce data and, thus, would be simpler and clearer.

    On balance, requiring companies to report the total number of refill units will provide a more accurate picture of e-cigarette sales. Thus, if an e-cigarette product is sold with more than one cartridge or e-liquid unit, each cartridge or unit above one should be reported as a refill. Likewise, each cartridge or e-liquid unit sold individually also would count as a refill. In addition, the Commission believes this approach is consistent with the approach it has taken with regard to the collection of sales data for other tobacco products. For example, if three pouches of smokeless tobacco are packaged together as a single unit for sale to consumers, the Commission's compulsory process orders have required a responding company to report each pouch separately, for a total of three units.

    e. Sales and Give-Aways. Comments from public health organizations and research centers generally supported the collection of data on both sales and give-aways and the reporting of these data separately.23 CTFK noted that currently only limited data are available concerning market size and that current estimates do not differentiate between sales and give-aways.24 The UNC comment stated that collecting sales and give-away data and reporting those data separately is important for evaluating which products are most frequently purchased, and the Georgia State comment noted that reporting the data separately more accurately reflects market transactions. The UCSF comment stated that give-aways are important to identify separately given their potential to reach youth under the age of 18.

    23See Joint Public Health Comment; see also comments from CTFK; UNC; UCSF; Georgia State; American Lung Ass'n; and NAAG.

    24 The CTFK comment and the Joint Public Health Comment also noted that collecting data on give-aways was especially important because at the time there were no national restrictions on free sampling. These comments noted that such restrictions would not take effect until FDA issued its final Deeming Regulation that, among other things, asserted jurisdiction over e-cigarettes and other tobacco products. As noted supra note 7, FDA has now issued its Deeming Regulation. As a result of this regulation, the national ban on the distribution of free samples will apply to all tobacco products. 90 FR 28974 at 29054; 21 CFR 1140.16(d). The prohibition on free sampling took effect on August 8, 2016. 90 FR 28974 at 28976.

    The Commission agrees that data on sales and give-aways should be collected and reported separately given the distinct role each plays in the overall market. In addition, the agency collects and reports data on sales and give-aways separately in its data collection for cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products and, therefore, separate collection and reporting will be consistent with the approach taken for these other tobacco products.

    4. Collection of Marketing Data

    A number of comments supported data collection for the various media specifically identified in the FTC's October 2015 Notice, as well as other marketing channels.25 The NAAG comment stated that collection and reporting of broad categories of marketing expenditure data would be useful not only to the public but also to state officials who are assessing regulatory options and enforcement efforts.

    25See, e.g., Joint Public Health Comment; comments from CTFK; Oregon Public Health Division; American Lung Ass'n; and NAAG.

    The Joint Public Health Comment and the CTFK comment stated that it is important to collect marketing expenditures for television, radio, and other broadcast media, noting that unlike cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products, no statutory broadcast ban applies to e-cigarettes. Several comments specifically noted the importance of collecting and reporting data for marketing expenditures for media especially attractive to youth, such as point-of-sale advertising,26 sponsorship of concerts and other events as well as sports teams or individual athletes or drivers,27 and celebrity endorsers.28 Several comments specifically identified product placement as a category where marketing expenditures should be collected and reported,29 with the Joint Public Health Comment noting that expenditures for all forms of product placement should be collected, including product placement expenditures for broadcast media, movies, digital, and other media. The Georgia State comment supported detailed data collection for web-based and social media marketing expenditures, noting that availability of these data from commercial data sources is limited. Fontem recommended that the FTC include couponing as a category of marketing expenditures; the UCSF and Georgia State comments likewise identified coupons as well as other forms of price promotion as categories where the Commission should collect marketing expenditure data.

    26See, e.g., Joint Public Health Comment.

    27See, e.g., Joint Public Health Comment, comments from Oregon Public Health Division and NYC Office of the Comptroller.

    28See, e.g., comments from Oregon Public Health Division and NYC Office of the Comptroller.

    29See, e.g., Joint Public Health Comment, comments from CTFK and Oregon Public Health Division.

    Reynolds recommended that the data collection focus on the marketing expenditure categories already used by the FTC in its data collection for cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products, noting that the Commission has decades of experience collecting those data. One individual commenter also recommended that the Commission seek and report the same categories of marketing expenditure data tracked for cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products in order to facilitate comparisons.30

    30 Comment by J. DiFranza.

    The Commission agrees that collecting and reporting data for broad categories of marketing expenditures will be useful, including data concerning traditional and newer media, product placement, sponsorship, endorsements, and price promotions. The agency will seek to collect marketing data in categories that generally track those used for cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products, with two primary differences. First, the Commission will seek to collect and report data for marketing expenditures on broadcast media such as television and radio because, unlike cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products, no statute prohibits using these media to advertise and market e-cigarettes. Second, some of the categories have been updated to explicitly recognize newer forms of media now used for advertising and marketing, such as digital and social media.

    D. Suggestions To Minimize the Burden of the Information Collection

    The Commission's October 2015 Notice invited comments on ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on entities required to respond to the data requests.31

    31 80 FR 65758 at 65759.

    1. Defer Data Collection Until Issuance of FDA Final Deeming Regulation

    Reynolds and Fontem suggested that the Commission defer its data collection until after FDA issued its final Deeming Regulation. Reynolds noted that the final regulation would clarify the scope and impact of FDA's regulation of e-cigarettes. As noted above, FDA issued its final regulation on May 10, 2016. There is no overlap between FDA's regulation and the proposed data collection. Accordingly, it is not necessary to defer the data collection.

    2. Categorize Product Flavors and Nicotine Strength

    As discussed above, the Commission plans to collect data concerning e-cigarette flavors and nicotine strength. To reduce the burden of reporting each individual flavor, the Joint Public Health comment and comments from CTFK and the American Lung Association recommended that companies report three categories of flavors: Tobacco, menthol/mint, and other. The Joint Public Health comment stated that these three categories would most easily capture the breadth of flavors available, and make it easier for the industry and the FTC to count all the flavors. CTFK noted that categorizing in this manner would also eliminate the overlap that might result from more limited flavor categories. Comments from UCSF and NAAG, on the other hand, stated that the Commission should collect data on each individual flavor. Given the variety and number of different flavors, the Commission believes that classifying e-cigarettes into three categories of flavors—tobacco, menthol/mint, and other—will provide useful information while significantly reducing the burden on reporting companies, and will use these categories in the data collection, if approved.

    The Joint Public Health Comment and the CTFK comment also indicated that reporting nicotine strength by categories might be sufficient and would reduce the reporting burden on responding entities. The UCSF comment, on the other hand, recommended that the Commission require companies to report each different nicotine strength. Categorizing nicotine strengths would require consultation with scientific authorities to determine the appropriate categories for reporting. In addition, reporting in categories could blur trends over time due to inherent imprecision. Thus, the Commission plans to require reporting for each individual nicotine strength sold by the reporting entity, rather than for categories. Once the Commission has these data, it will consider how best to organize and discuss them in the course of developing its report.

    3. Narrow Scope of Data Requests by Requiring Less Specificity

    Reynolds and Fontem each recommended that the Commission require less detail in the data requests as a means of reducing the burden of responding, and suggested that the collection of certain information might not be useful. Fontem suggested that the Commission not seek information concerning product flavors, nicotine strength, or blister packs and refills. The company suggested that if the Commission did decide to collect flavor data, it require only two categories of information: Tobacco and other. It also suggested that if the agency decided that some information about refills was needed, it simply track total number of refills sold. Reynolds suggested that the Commission model its requests on the information requests for cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products, and not require differentiation by type of product, nicotine concentration, size, method of sale, and flavors. If the Commission opted to seek information about flavors, Reynolds recommended that the agency request data based on brand style names and descriptions the product manufacturers created to describe their products. For the reasons discussed above, the Commission believes that the information collection should include information concerning flavors, nicotine strength, refill units, and other product characteristics. Collection of flavor information by broad categories, rather than individually, will reduce the burden on responding to the information requests.

    4. Limit Information Collection to Age Screening and Ad Content Review

    In its comment, Logic proposed that the Commission limit its information collection to data applicable to: (1) Youth access and (2) illegal, inaccurate, or deceptive advertising claims about e-cigarettes. According to Logic, these two areas address the relevant societal issues for information collection, consistent with the FTC's mandate to prevent unfair or deceptive business practices. Logic stated that collecting substantial data concerning sales and marketing expenditures would represent a substantial burden and, thus, suggested that the Commission confine the information sought to companies' age-screening mechanisms and to production of their advertising campaigns for review to ensure they are not making deceptive claims. The Commission disagrees with limiting the data collection to these two categories of information. Rather, broader information collection about sales and marketing expenditures is in the public interest, because it will allow the Commission to analyze sales and assess how industry members allocate their promotional activities and expenditures. For decades, the Commission has collected and reported information about sales and marketing expenditures for other tobacco products, as well as for other consumer products, and the e-cigarette information requests are consistent with the data collection and reporting for those products. Although the Commission agrees that preventing false and deceptive advertising is an important component of its consumer protection mission, law enforcement action against specific marketers, rather than information collection, is a better means of addressing potentially unfair or deceptive e-cigarette advertising.

    E. Age-Screening Mechanisms

    In its October 2015 Notice, the Commission anticipated that its data collection requests would include seeking information concerning efforts such as age-screening mechanisms to prevent youth from being exposed to advertising and promotion of e-cigarettes or from obtaining free product samples. One industry member, Logic, supported data collection regarding age-verification methods, stating that many online sellers use no age-verification methods at all while conventional retail stores require rigorous age-verification. The Joint Public Health comment, and comments from CTFK, Georgia State, UCSF, and one individual, also supported data collection for this category, with Georgia State and UCSF also specifying age verification for online purchases. The Georgia State comment noted that data collection and reporting for this category would be useful to determine whether more stringent regulatory action was needed.

    The Commission agrees that data concerning age-verification methods would be useful, and plans to collect and report data concerning age-screening mechanisms to prevent youth from being exposed to e-cigarette advertising and promotion or from obtaining free product samples.

    F. Accuracy of Estimated Burden of the Information Collection

    The Commission's October 2015 Notice invited comments on 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.32 The Commission estimated a per company average of 200 hours for each recipient of an information request for the first year, and a per company average of 150 hours for the remaining years. Thus, the total hours burden for 15 information requests was estimated to be 3,000 hours for the first year, and 2,250 for each of the subsequent two years, for a total of 7,500 hours. The Commission estimated that the total labor costs for 15 information requests to be $300,000 for the first year, and $225,000 for each of the subsequent two years, for a total of $750,000. This estimate assumed an average $100/hour wage, which is the same estimated wage average used in the Commission's recent request for reauthorization of information requests to cigarette and smokeless tobacco companies.

    32 80 FR 65758 at 65759.

    The comment from Reynolds asserted that the Commission had underestimated the total hours burden. The company stated that it usually takes it twice as long as the FTC's estimated time burden to compile information for similar data collections for cigarette and smokeless tobacco companies. Reynolds also stated that the FTC should include in its estimate the amount of time companies will need to communicate directly with Commission staff when seeking clarification regarding the data collection. Reynolds and Fontem commented that the FTC's labor cost estimate also underestimates the total burden costs, stating that an average wage of $100/hour was too low. Neither company, however, provided an alternative figure or other information indicating what a more accurate hourly labor cost should be.

    The Commission believes that its estimate burdens with respect to both average hours and labor costs are reasonable, especially in the absence of more specific information to calculate estimates that are more precise. However, out of an abundance of caution, the Commission has revised its burden estimate from that stated in the October 2015 Notice by increasing its estimated hours burden by 50 percent. As revised, the Commission calculates a per company average of 300 hours for the first year, and 225 hours for each of the two remaining years, resulting in a cumulative total of 11,250 hours for 15 information requests over three years. The Commission has not changed is average hourly cost estimate. The Commission's estimate is based on the assumption that the labor costs will include varying compensation levels among staff, management, and legal review, with most work performed by non-legal staff. In the absence of more precise data, the Commission believes that the same $100/hour wage that it used in its recent application for reauthorization of information requests to cigarette and smokeless tobacco companies is appropriate here as well. As discussed infra, however, the total cost burden will increase due to the increase in the estimated hours burden.

    G. Other Comments

    The Joint Public Health Comment and the comments from CTFK and American Lung Association recommended that the Commission coordinate its data collection with FDA. The American Lung Association stated that coordination might be mutually beneficial for both agencies, and CTFK indicated that coordination might help assure consistency in measures. Altria also encouraged the Commission to consider how it would interact with FDA once the Deeming Regulation was issued. The FTC staff and FDA staff already have a long tradition of working together on tobacco issues and the many other areas where the two agencies share jurisdiction. The FTC staff expects that tradition will continue. To the extent that coordination is required for specific issues concerning the proposed information collection, the agencies already have processes and procedures in place to address those issues.

    The Georgia State comment recommended that the FTC require detailed brand-specific information, noting that the Commission's reports for cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products report aggregated rather than brand-specific data. The UCSF comment also recommended that the Commission collect and report brand-specific data. The Commission's compulsory process orders to surveyed companies will collect brand-specific data. However, because Section 6(f) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. 46(f), protects confidential commercial information that is submitted to the Commission, the agency cannot publicly identify sales and marketing data for particular brands or companies that is not already public. Thus, the Commission's report on the data collection will provide aggregated rather than brand-specific data.

    Commenters also recommended that the Commission seek more detailed differentiation of certain marketing expenditure data. The Joint Public Health Comment recommended that the Commission obtain data concerning the demographic composition of social media networks. The UCSF comment suggested collecting data regarding the amounts spent for different population subgroups, specific information concerning the time when marketing activities occurred, and requiring each responding company to identify its top three outlets and top three marketing programs within each media category. The added detail would significantly increase the complexity and burden of responding to the information requests. In addition, as indicated above, the Commission cannot publicly identify sales and marketing data on particular brands or companies and, thus, would not be able to include the specific data in its report. Thus, the Commission will not seek to include these data in the proposed information requests.

    The Georgia State comment recommended that the Commission collect data on e-cigarette device specifications and capabilities. The comment indicated that this information would permit assessment of product differences concerning characteristics such as nicotine delivery, patterns of use, and puff topography. Collection of these data, however, is beyond the scope of the information requests' purpose.

    Fontem's comment recommended that the Commission review e-cigarettes as smoking cessation devices and that it expand the information requests in order to collect data on other smoking cessation products, such as nicotine patches. This suggestion is beyond the scope of the proposed information collection, which concerns sales and marketing data for e-cigarette products, not products intended to treat nicotine addiction, which is the intended use for smoking cessation products. Whether any product is approved for use as a smoking cessation product is a question within the jurisdiction of FDA, not the FTC.

    As noted earlier, the FTC received twelve comments that did not address the proposed data collection. One individual raised concerns that some e-cigarette marketers were making false claims that the products were effective for smoking cessation, and four individuals indicated that e-cigarettes helped with smoking cessation. Three individuals called for regulation of e-cigarettes, which FDA's recent issuance of its Deeming Regulation accomplishes. One individual stated that e-cigarettes should not be available to persons under the age of 18. FDA's Deeming Regulation prohibits the sale (both in-person and online) of e-cigarettes and other tobacco products to persons under the age of 18.33 One individual commented that e-cigarette advertisements seem to be targeted to youth. One individual commented that the FTC should consider that a substantial portion of the e-cigarette market is for cannabis e-cigarette products rather than tobacco. Finally, one commenter asked the FTC to keep public health at the forefront of its decision-making.

    33 90 FR at 28974 at 29103; 21 CFR 1140.14. This provision took effect on August 8, 2016.

    III. Information Requests to theE-Cigarette Industry

    The Commission proposes to send information requests to the ultimate U.S. parent entities of up to 15 e-cigarette marketers in the United States. These companies will vary in size, the number of products sold, and in the extent and variety of their advertising and marketing activities, and will include the largest marketers of e-cigarettes. As noted above, based on available market data, the Commission estimates its sample will account for more than 80 percent of the conventional retail market and a sizable portion of the online market.

    The proposed information requests will seek sales data about the types and variety of e-cigarette products sold. The sales information will be reported under three broad categories: (1) Non-refillable (i.e., disposable) products; (2) refillable closed systems (i.e., rechargeable and pre-filled cartridge products); and (3) refillable open systems (i.e., “tank” systems). Within these three categories, companies will report data differentiated by the strength of nicotine content and three categories of flavors: Tobacco, menthol/mint, and other. Data will be reported separately for sales and give-aways. The information requests will collect data for both unit sales as well as by net sales revenues. Data on net sales revenues will be reported by flavor only.

    The information requests also will seek information and data concerning advertising and marketing activities and expenditures in a broad variety of media categories, including: (1) Radio, television, and print advertising; (2) Web site, digital, and social media marketing; (3) product placement; (4) endorsements, including celebrity endorsements; (5) sponsorship of concerts and other events and as well as of sports teams or individual athletes such as racing car drivers; (6) distribution of free samples; and (7) price promotions, including couponing programs. These expenditure categories generally track those used by the FTC in its data collections for cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products, with two exceptions. First, the proposed information requests will seek data concerning television and radio expenditures, since e-cigarette advertising is not subject to statutory broadcast media prohibitions. In addition, the media categories have been updated to provide more differentiation among online and digital advertising media.

    The proposed information requests also will include information about company policies pertaining to age-screening mechanisms to prevent youth from being exposed to e-cigarette advertising and promotion or from obtaining free samples of e-cigarettes.

    IV. Burden Estimates and Confidentiality A. Estimated Hours Burden: 11,250 Hours

    FTC staff's estimate of the hours burden is based on the time that would be required to respond to the Commission's information requests. The FTC currently anticipates sending information requests to as many as 15 e-cigarette companies each year. Because the Commission anticipates that these companies will vary in size, in the number of products they sell, and in the extent and variety of their advertising and promotion, and given the currently evolving nature of the e-cigarette industry, FTC staff has not calculated separate burden estimates for large and small companies, as is traditionally the case for the Commission's cigarette and smokeless tobacco information requests. For example, an e-cigarette marketer with a large volume of sales but a relatively small product line could potentially require fewer resources to respond to the Commission's information request than a marketer with lower overall sales but a substantially larger product line that offers consumers a greater range of flavor and nicotine options. Rather than account for each potential permutation of factors, FTC staff has calculated a per company average at the upper limit of this potential range. Some companies likely will require less time to compile their responses.

    The Commission anticipates that even if it provides models for the Excel datafiles the companies will be required to submit, recipients of its information requests will need substantial time to prepare a response the first time. Once an e-cigarette marketer has prepared its first response to a Commission information request, however, it will need less time in subsequent years to prepare its reports because it will know what information it will be required to produce, and will already have a template for its submission.

    Accordingly, as an approximation, FTC staff assumes a per company average of 300 hours for each recipient of the Commission's information requests the first year they have to comply with the Commission's information request. Staff anticipates that in subsequent years, the per company average will be 225 hours. Thus, the overall estimated burden for 15 recipients of the information requests is 4,500 hours for the first year and 3,375 hours for each of the two subsequent years, or a total of 11,250 hours. Thus, the average yearly burden, over the course of a prospective three-year clearance, is 3,750 hours, or 250 hours per recipient (large and small). These estimates include any time spent by separately incorporated subsidiaries and other entities affiliated with the ultimate parent company that has received the information request.

    B. Estimated Cost Burden: $1,125,000

    Commission staff cannot calculate with precision the labor costs associated with these data requests, as they entail varying compensation levels of management and/or support staff among companies of different sizes. FTC staff assumes that computer analysts and other non-legal staff will perform most of the work involved in responding to the information requests, although legal personnel will likely be involved in reviewing the actual submission to the Commission. FTC staff believes that the same $100 per hour wage that it used in its recent request for reauthorization of information requests to the major cigarette and smokeless tobacco manufacturers is appropriate here also for the combined efforts of these individuals. Using this figure, FTC staff's best estimate for the total labor costs for 15 information requests is $450,000 (4,500 hours × $100 per hour) for the first year and $337,000 for the two subsequent years (3,375 hours × $100 per hour × 2), for a total of $1,125,000 over the entire three-year period. The annualized labor cost per respondent will average approximately $25,000.

    Staff believes that the capital or other non-labor costs associated with the information requests are minimal. Although the information requests may necessitate that industry members maintain the requested information provided to the Commission, they should already have in place the means to compile and maintain business records.

    C. Confidentiality

    Section 6(f) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. 46(f), bars the Commission from publicly disclosing trade secrets or confidential commercial or financial information it receives from persons pursuant to, among other methods, special orders authorized by Section 6(b) of the FTC Act. Such information also would be exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(4). Moreover, under Section 21(c) of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. 57b-2(c), a submitter who designates a submission as confidential is entitled to ten days' advance notice of any anticipated public disclosure by the Commission, assuming that the Commission has determined that the information does not constitute Section 6(f) material. Although materials covered under one or more of these various sections are protected by stringent confidentiality constraints, the FTC Act and the Commission's rules authorize disclosure in limited circumstances (e.g., official requests by Congress, requests from other agencies for law enforcement purposes, and administrative or judicial proceedings). Even in those limited contexts, however, the Commission's rules may afford protections to the submitter, such as advance notice to seek a protective order in litigation. See 15 U.S.C. 57b-2; 16 CFR 4.9-4.11.

    Finally, the information presented in the report will not reveal company-specific data, except data that are public. See 15 U.S.C. 57b-2(d)(1)(B). Rather, the Commission anticipates providing information on an anonymous or aggregated basis, in a manner sufficient to protect individual companies' confidential information, to provide a factual summary of e-cigarette industry marketing activities and sales.

    V. Instructions for Submitting Comments

    You can file a comment online or on paper. For the Commission to consider your comment, we must receive it on or before December 2, 2016. Write “Electronic Cigarettes: Paperwork Comment, FTC File No. P114504” on your comment. Your comment—including your name and your state—will be placed on the public record of this proceeding, including to the extent practicable, on the public Commission Web site, at http://www.ftc.gov/os/publiccomments.shtm. As a matter of discretion, the Commission tries to remove individuals' home contact information from comments before placing them on the Commission Web site.

    Because your comment will be made public, you are solely responsible for making sure that your comment does not include any sensitive personal information, like anyone's Social Security number, date of birth, driver's license number or other state identification number or foreign country equivalent, passport number, financial account number, or credit or debit card number. You are also solely responsible for making sure that your comment does not include any sensitive health information, like medical records or other individually identifiable health information. In addition, do not include any “[t]rade secret or any commercial or financial information which is . . . privileged or confidential” as provided in Section 6(f) of the FTC Act 15 U.S.C. 46(f), and FTC Rule 4.10(a)(2), 16 CFR 4.10(a)(2). In particular, do not include competitively sensitive information such as costs, sales statistics, inventories, formulas, patterns, devices, manufacturing processes, or customer names.

    If you want the Commission to give your comment confidential treatment, you must file it in paper form, with a request for confidential treatment, and you have to follow the procedure explained in FTC Rule 4.9(c).34 Your comment will be kept confidential only if the FTC General Counsel grants your request in accordance with the law and the public interest.

    34 In particular, the written request for confidential treatment that accompanies the comment must include the factual and legal basis for the request, and must identify the specific portions of the comment to be withheld from the public record. See FTC Rule 4.9(c), 16 CFR 4.9(c).

    Postal mail addressed to the Commission is subject to delay due to heightened security screening. As a result, we encourage you to submit your comments online. To make sure that the Commission considers your online comment, you must file it at https://ftcpublic.commentworks.com/ftc/electroniccigarettespra2, by following the instructions on the web-based form. When this Notice appears at http://www.regulations.gov/#!home, you also may file a comment through that Web site.

    If you file your comment on paper, write “Electronic Cigarettes: Paperwork Comment, FTC File No. P114504” on your comment and on the envelope. You can mail your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Suite CC-5610 (Annex J), Washington, DC 20580, or deliver your comment to the following address: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Constitution Center, 400 7th Street SW., 5th Floor, Suite 5610 (Annex J), Washington, DC 20024.

    The FTC Act and other laws that the Commission administers permit the collection of public comments to consider and use in this proceeding as appropriate. The Commission will consider all timely and responsive public comments that it receives on or before December 2, 2016. For information on the Commission's privacy policy, including routine uses permitted by the Privacy Act, see http://www.ftc.gov/ftc/privacy.htm.

    Comments on the information collection requirements subject to review under the PRA should additionally be submitted to OMB. If sent by U.S. mail, they should be addressed to Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, Attention: Desk Officer for the Federal Trade Commission, New Executive Office Building, Docket Library, Room 10102, 725 17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20503. Comments sent to OMB by U.S. postal mail, however, are subject to delays due to heightened security precautions. Thus, comments instead should be sent by facsimile to (202) 395-5806.

    David C. Shonka, Acting General Counsel.
    [FR Doc. 2016-26486 Filed 11-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6750-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION [OMB Control No. 9000-0161; Docket 2016-0053; Sequence 37] Information Collection; Reporting Purchases From Sources Outside the United States AGENCY:

    Department of Defense (DOD), General Services Administration (GSA), and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

    ACTION:

    Notice of request for public comments regarding an extension to an existing OMB clearance.

    SUMMARY:

    Under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act, the Regulatory Secretariat Division will be submitting to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) a request to review and approve an extension of a currently approved information collection requirement concerning reporting purchases from sources outside the United States.

    DATES:

    Submit comments on or before January 3, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit comments identified by Information Collection 9000-0161, Reporting Purchases from Sources Outside the United States, by any of the following methods:

    Regulations.gov: http://www.regulations.gov.

    Submit comments via the Federal eRulemaking portal by searching for “9000-0161; Reporting of Purchases from Outside the United States”. Select the link “Submit a Comment” that corresponds with “9000-0161; Reporting of Purchases from Outside the United States”. Follow the instructions provided at the “Submit a Comment” screen. Please include your name, company name (if any), and 9000-0161; Reporting of Purchases from Outside the United States” on your attached document.

    Mail: General Services Administration, Regulatory Secretariat Division (MVCB), 1800 F Street NW., Washington, DC 20405. ATTN: Ms. Flowers/IC 9000-0161.

    Instructions: Please submit comments only and cite IC 9000-0161, in all correspondence related to this case. Comments received generally will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal and/or business confidential information provided. To confirm receipt of your comment(s), please check www.regulations.gov, approximately two to three days after submission to verify posting (except allow 30 days for posting of comments submitted by mail).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ms. Cecelia L. Davis, Procurement Analyst, at 202-219-0202 or via email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: A. Purpose

    The information on place of manufacture was formerly used by each Federal agency to prepare a report to Congress required by 41 U.S.C. 8302(b)(1) for FY 2009 through 2011 on acquisitions of articles, materials, or supplies that are manufactured outside the United States. However, the data is still necessary for analysis of the application of the Buy American statue and the trade agreements and for other reports to Congress. Additionally, contracting officers require this data as the basis for entry into the Federal Procurement Data System for further data on the rationale for purchasing foreign manufactured items.

    B. Annual Reporting Burden

    Number of respondents: 482,150.

    Responses per respondent: 10.

    Total annual responses: 1,483,592.

    Hours per response: 0.01.

    Total response burden hours: 14,836.

    C. Public Comments

    Public comments are particularly invited on: Whether this collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of functions of the FAR, and whether it will have practical utility; whether our estimate of the public burden of this collection of information is accurate, and based on valid assumptions and methodology; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and ways in which we can minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, through the use of appropriate technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Obtaining Copies of Proposals: Requesters may obtain a copy of the information collection documents from the General Services Administration, Regulatory Secretariat Division (MVCB), 1800 F Street NW., Washington, DC 20405, telephone 202-501-4755.

    Please cite OMB Control Number 9000-0161, Reporting Purchases from Sources Outside the United States, in all correspondence.

    Dated: October 27, 2016. Lorin S. Curit, Director, Federal Acquisition Policy Division, Office of Government-wide Acquisition Policy, Office of Acquisition Policy, Office of Government-wide Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2016-26396 Filed 11-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6820-EP-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [Document Identifier: CMS-10632] Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Department of Health and Human Services.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is announcing an opportunity for the public to comment on CMS' intention to collect information from the public. Under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (the PRA), federal agencies are required to publish notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information (including each proposed extension or reinstatement of an existing collection of information) and to allow 60 days for public comment on the proposed action. Interested persons are invited to send comments regarding our burden estimates or any other aspect of this collection of information, including any of the following subjects: The necessity and utility of the proposed information collection for the proper performance of the agency's functions; the accuracy of the estimated burden; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology to minimize the information collection burden.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received by January 3, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    When commenting, please reference the document identifier or OMB control number. To be assured consideration, comments and recommendations must be submitted in any one of the following ways:

    1. Electronically. You may send your comments electronically to http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for “Comment or Submission” or “More Search Options” to find the information collection document(s) that are accepting comments.

    2. By regular mail. You may mail written comments to the following address: CMS, Office of Strategic Operations and Regulatory Affairs, Division of Regulations Development, Attention: Document Identifier/OMB Control Number ___, Room C4-26-05, 7500 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, Maryland 21244-1850.

    To obtain copies of a supporting statement and any related forms for the proposed collection(s) summarized in this notice, you may make your request using one of following:

    1. Access CMS' Web site address at http://www.cms.hhs.gov/PaperworkReductionActof1995.

    2. Email your request, including your address, phone number, OMB number, and CMS document identifier, to [email protected]

    3. Call the Reports Clearance Office at (410) 786-1326.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Reports Clearance Office at (410) 786-1326.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Contents

    This notice sets out a summary of the use and burden associated with the following information collections. More detailed information can be found in each collection's supporting statement and associated materials (see ADDRESSES).

    CMS-10632 Evaluating Coverage to Care (C2C)

    Under the PRA (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), federal agencies must obtain approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for each collection of information they conduct or sponsor. The term “collection of information” is defined in 44 U.S.C. 3502(3) and 5 CFR 1320.3(c) and includes agency requests or requirements that members of the public submit reports, keep records, or provide information to a third party. Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the PRA requires federal agencies to publish a 60-day notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed collection of information, including each proposed extension or reinstatement of an existing collection of information, before submitting the collection to OMB for approval. To comply with this requirement, CMS is publishing this notice.

    Information Collection

    1. Type of Information Collection Request: New collection (Request for a new OMB control number); Title of Information Collection: Evaluating Coverage to Care (C2C); Use: CMS OMH has contracted with the RAND Corporation to evaluate From Coverage to Care (C2C). From the beginning of the Affordable Care Act's implementation, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Office of Minority Health (CMS OMH) recognized that achieving better health and reduced health care costs would require individuals to take an active role in their health care and regularly use primary and preventive care services. To address this need, CMS OMH launched From Coverage to Care (C2C) in June 2014. C2C was designed to help consumers understand what it means to have health insurance coverage, how to find a provider, when and where to seek appropriate health services, and why prevention and partnering with a provider is important for achieving optimal health. It was also designed to equip health care providers and stakeholders in the community who support consumers' connection to care with the tools needed to promote consumer engagement and to promote changes in the health care system that improve access to care. As part of C2C, CMS produced a range of consumer-oriented materials, both web-based and in print. The most in-depth of the print materials is an eight-step booklet titled “A Roadmap to Better Care and a Healthier You.” Based on the need for the information to be communicated in smaller, more digestible packets, booklets were developed to correspond to each of the eight steps. Four of the most popular pages of the Roadmap have been made available as single-page handouts for easier distribution. These materials are currently available in eight languages, including English, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Haitian Creole, Korean, Russian, and Vietnamese.

    Since the national launch in 2014, CMS has disseminated C2C through speaking engagements, webinars, and meetings sponsored by CMS regional offices. CMS fills product orders and recently completed a redesign of the C2C Web site. C2C has grown to address emerging needs of consumers, as well as stakeholders or organizations that work with and support consumers, across the full continuum of health insurance and care: Plan selection, enrollment, finding a provider, and engaging in care over time.

    RAND spent the past year designing and preparing for this evaluation to assess C2C's impact on consumer health insurance literacy and care utilization. This evaluation will also help CMS understand how C2C is spread within a community and disseminated to consumers, and in turn how best to maximize C2C's impact. The next three years will be dedicated to implementing the evaluation described in this submission. We are proposing four data collection activities: (1) A cross-sectional survey of organizations that have ordered and used the materials with consumers; (2) A cross-sectional survey of consumers, drawn from the Knowledge Networks panel, to measure the association between C2C and consumer knowledge and behavior; (3) semi-structured interviews with staff from a limited set of community organizations as part of a case study; and (4) focus groups of consumers as part of a case study. The case study will be conducted in a community where English is not the preferred language, and where C2C materials in another language (e.g., Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Haitian Creole, Korean, Russian, and Vietnamese) were used with consumers. Form Number: CMS-10632 (OMB control number: 0938-New); Frequency: Occasionally; Affected Public: Individuals or Households; Number of Respondents: 3,460; Total Annual Responses: 3,460; Total Annual Hours: 1,176. (For policy questions regarding this collection contact Ashley Peddicord-Austin at 410-786-0757).

    Dated: October 28, 2016. William N. Parham, III, Director, Paperwork Reduction Staff, Office of Strategic Operations and Regulatory Affairs.
    [FR Doc. 2016-26493 Filed 11-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4120-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2010-N-0117] Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for Office of Management and Budget Review; Comment Request; Guidance for Industry on Hypertension Indication: Drug Labeling for Cardiovascular Outcome Claims AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or we) is announcing that a proposed collection of information has been submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (the PRA).

    DATES:

    Fax written comments on the collection of information by December 2, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    To ensure that comments on the information collection are received, OMB recommends that written comments be faxed to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, OMB, Attn: FDA Desk Officer, FAX: 202-395-7285, or emailed to [email protected] All comments should be identified with the OMB control number 0910-0670. Also include the FDA docket number found in brackets in the heading of this document.

    Guidance for Industry on Hypertension Indication: Drug Labeling for Cardiovascular Outcome Claims; OMB Control Number 0910-0670—Extension

    This guidance is intended to assist applicants in developing labeling for outcome claims for drugs that are indicated to treat hypertension. With few exceptions, current labeling for antihypertensive drugs includes only the information that these drugs are indicated to reduce blood pressure; the labeling does not include information on the clinical benefits related to cardiovascular outcomes expected from such blood pressure reduction. However, blood pressure control is well established as beneficial in preventing serious cardiovascular events, and inadequate treatment of hypertension is acknowledged as a significant public health problem. FDA believes that the appropriate use of these drugs can be encouraged by making the connection between lower blood pressure and improved cardiovascular outcomes more explicit in labeling. The intent of the guidance is to provide common labeling for antihypertensive drugs except where differences are clearly supported by clinical data. The guidance encourages applicants to submit labeling supplements containing the new language.

    The guidance contains two provisions that are subject to OMB review and approval under the PRA and one provision that would be exempt from OMB review:

    1. Section IV.C of the guidance requests that the CLINICAL STUDIES section of the Full Prescribing Information of the labeling should include a summary of placebo or active-controlled trials showing evidence of the specific drug's effectiveness in lowering blood pressure. If trials demonstrating cardiovascular outcome benefits exist, those trials also should be summarized in this section. Table 1 in Section V of the guidance contains the specific drugs for which FDA has concluded that such trials exist. If there are no cardiovascular outcome data to cite, one of the following two paragraphs should appear:

    “There are no trials of [DRUGNAME] or members of the [name of pharmacologic class] pharmacologic class demonstrating reductions in cardiovascular risk in patients with hypertension,” or “There are no trials of [DRUGNAME] demonstrating reductions in cardiovascular risk in patients with hypertension, but at least one pharmacologically similar drug has demonstrated such benefits.”

    In the latter case, the applicant's submission generally should refer to table 1 in section V of the guidance. If the applicant believes that table 1 is incomplete, it should submit the clinical evidence for the additional information to Docket No. FDA-2008-D-0150. The labeling submission should reference the submission to the docket. FDA estimates that no more than one submission to the docket will be made annually from one company, and that each submission will take approximately 10 hours to prepare and submit. Concerning the recommendations for the CLINICAL STUDIES section of the Full Prescribing Information of the labeling, FDA regulations at §§ 201.56 and 201.57 (21 CFR 201.56 and 201.57) require such labeling, and the information collection associated with these regulations is approved by OMB under OMB control number 0910-0572.

    2. Section VI.B of the guidance requests that the format of cardiovascular outcome claim prior approval supplements submitted to FDA under the guidance should include the following information:

    • A statement that the submission is a cardiovascular outcome claim supplement, with reference to the guidance and related Docket No. FDA-2008-D-0150.

    • Applicable FDA forms (e.g., 356h, 3397).

    • Detailed table of contents.

    • Revised labeling to:

    ○ Include draft revised labeling conforming to the requirements in §§ 201.56 and 201.57 and

    ○ include marked-up copy of the latest approved labeling, showing all additions and deletions, with annotations of where supporting data (if applicable) are located in the submission.

    FDA estimates that approximately 1 cardiovascular outcome claim supplement will be submitted annually from approximately 1 different companies, and that each supplement will take approximately 20 hours to prepare and submit. The guidance also recommends that other labeling changes (e.g., the addition of adverse event data) should be minimized and provided in separate supplements, and that the revision of labeling to conform to §§ 201.56 and 201.57 may require substantial revision to the ADVERSE REACTIONS or other labeling sections.

    3. Section VI.C of the guidance states that applicants are encouraged to include the following statement in promotional materials for the drug.

    “[DRUGNAME] reduces blood pressure, which reduces the risk of fatal and nonfatal cardiovascular events, primarily strokes and myocardial infarctions. Control of high blood pressure should be part of comprehensive cardiovascular risk management, including, as appropriate, lipid control, diabetes management, antithrombotic therapy, smoking cessation, exercise, and limited sodium intake. Many patients will require more than one drug to achieve blood pressure goals.”

    The inclusion of this statement in the promotional materials for the drug would be exempt from OMB review based on 5 CFR 1320.3(c)(2), which states that the public disclosure of information originally supplied by the Federal government to the recipient for the purpose of disclosure to the public is not included within the definition of collection of information.

    In the Federal Register of February 22, 2016 (81 FR 8726), we published a 60-day notice requesting public comment on the proposed extension of this collection of information. No comments were received.

    We estimate the burden of this collection of information as follows:

    Table 1—Estimated Annual Reporting Burden 1 Activity Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses
  • per
  • respondent
  • Total
  • annual
  • responses
  • Hours
  • per
  • response
  • Total
  • hours
  • Submission to Docket No. FDA-2008-D-0150 1 1 1 10 10 Cardiovascular Outcome Claim Supplement Submission 1 1 1 20 20 Total 30 1 There are no capital costs or operating and maintenance costs associated with this collection of information.
    Dated: October 27, 2016. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2016-26399 Filed 11-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2004-D-0369] Animal Drug User Fees and Fee Waivers and Reductions; Draft Revised Guidance for Industry; Availability AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or Agency) is announcing the availability of a draft revised guidance for industry (GFI) #170 entitled “Animal Drug User Fees and Fee Waivers and Reductions.” This draft revised guidance document describes the types of fees the Food and Drug Administration (FDA or the Agency) is authorized to collect under the Animal Drug User Fee Act of 2003 (ADUFA), as amended, and how to request waivers and reductions from these fees.

    DATES:

    Although you can comment on any guidance at any time (see 21 CFR 10.115(g)(5)), to ensure that the Agency considers your comment on this draft revised guidance before it begins work on the final version of the guidance, submit either electronic or written comments on the draft revised guidance by January 3, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments as follows:

    Electronic Submissions

    Submit electronic comments in the following way:

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments. Comments submitted electronically, including attachments, to http://www.regulations.gov will be posted to the docket unchanged. Because your comment will be made public, you are solely responsible for ensuring that your comment does not include any confidential information that you or a third party may not wish to be posted, such as medical information, your or anyone else's Social Security number, or confidential business information, such as a manufacturing process. Please note that if you include your name, contact information, or other information that identifies you in the body of your comments, that information will be posted on http://www.regulations.gov.

    • If you want to submit a comment with confidential information that you do not wish to be made available to the public, submit the comment as a written/paper submission and in the manner detailed (see “Written/Paper Submissions” and “Instructions”).

    Written/Paper Submissions

    Submit written/paper submissions as follows:

    Mail/Hand delivery/Courier (for written/paper submissions): Division of Dockets Management (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

    • For written/paper comments submitted to the Division of Dockets Management, FDA will post your comment, as well as any attachments, except for information submitted, marked and identified, as confidential, if submitted as detailed in “Instructions.”

    Instructions: All submissions received must include the Docket No. FDA-2004-D-0369 for “Animal Drug User Fees and Fee Waivers and Reductions.” Received comments will be placed in the docket and, except for those submitted as “Confidential Submissions,” publicly viewable at http://www.regulations.gov or at the Division of Dockets Management between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

    • Confidential Submissions—To submit a comment with confidential information that you do not wish to be made publicly available, submit your comments only as a written/paper submission. You should submit two copies total. One copy will include the information you claim to be confidential with a heading or cover note that states “THIS DOCUMENT CONTAINS CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION.” The Agency will review this copy, including the claimed confidential information, in its consideration of comments. The second copy, which will have the claimed confidential information redacted/blacked out, will be available for public viewing and posted on http://www.regulations.gov. Submit both copies to the Division of Dockets Management. If you do not wish your name and contact information to be made publicly available, you can provide this information on the cover sheet and not in the body of your comments and you must identify this information as “confidential.” Any information marked as “confidential” will not be disclosed except in accordance with 21 CFR 10.20 and other applicable disclosure law. For more information about FDA's posting of comments to public dockets, see 80 FR 56469, September 18, 2015, or access the information at: http://www.fda.gov/regulatoryinformation/dockets/default.htm.

    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or the electronic and written/paper comments received, go to http://www.regulations.gov and insert the docket number, found in brackets in the heading of this document, into the “Search” box and follow the prompts and/or go to the Division of Dockets Management, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.

    Submit written requests for single copies of the guidance to the Policy and Regulations Staff (HFV-6), Center for Veterinary Medicine, Food and Drug Administration, 7519 Standish Pl., Rockville, MD 20855. Send one self-addressed adhesive label to assist that office in processing your requests. See the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for electronic access to the draft revised guidance document.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Diane Heinz, Center for Veterinary Medicine (HFV-6), Food and Drug Administration, 7519 Standish Pl., Rockville, MD 20855, 240-402-5692, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    FDA is announcing the availability of a draft revised GFI #170 entitled “Animal Drug User Fees and Fee Waivers and Reductions.” This draft revised guidance document describes the types of fees FDA is authorized to collect under ADUFA and how to request waivers and reductions from these fees. It clarifies the criteria for Barrier to Innovation waivers, clarifies the procedures for Small Business waivers, and makes additional clarifying changes.

    II. Significance of Guidance

    This level 1 draft revised guidance is being issued consistent with FDA's good guidance practices regulation (21 CFR 10.115). The draft revised guidance, when finalized, will represent the current thinking of FDA on “Animal Drug User Fees and Fee Waivers and Reductions.” It does not establish any rights for any person and is not binding on FDA or the public. You can use an alternative approach if it satisfies the requirements of the applicable statutes and regulations.

    III. Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    This draft revised guidance refers to previously approved collections of information that are subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520). The collections of information referred to in the guidance entitled “Animal Drug User Fees and Fee Waivers and Reductions” have been approved under OMB control number 0910-0540.

    IV. Electronic Access

    Persons with access to the Internet may obtain the draft revised guidance at either http://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/GuidanceComplianceEnforcement/GuidanceforIndustry/default.htm or http://www.regulations.gov.

    Dated: October 27, 2016. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2016-26406 Filed 11-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2013-N-0797] Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Human Tissue Intended for Transplantation AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA or we) is announcing that a proposed collection of information has been submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and clearance under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (the PRA).

    DATES:

    Fax written comments on the collection of information by December 2, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    To ensure that comments on the information collection are received, OMB recommends that written comments be faxed to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, OMB, Attn: FDA Desk Officer, FAX: 202-395-7285, or emailed to [email protected] All comments should be identified with the OMB control number 0910-0302. Also include the FDA docket number found in brackets in the heading of this document.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    FDA PRA Staff, Office of Operations, Food and Drug Administration, Three White Flint North, 10A63, 11601 Landsdown St., North Bethesda, MD 20852, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In compliance with 44 U.S.C. 3507, FDA has submitted the following proposed collection of information to OMB for review and clearance.

    Human Tissue Intended for Transplantation—21 CFR Part 1270 OMB Control Number 0910-0302—Extension

    Under section 361 of the Public Health Services Act (42 U.S.C. 264), FDA issued regulations under part 1270 (21 CFR part 1270) to prevent the transmission of human immunodeficiency virus, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C through the use of human tissue for transplantation. The regulations provide for inspection by FDA of persons and tissue establishments engaged in the recovery, screening, testing, processing, storage, or distribution of human tissue. These facilities are required to meet provisions intended to ensure appropriate screening and testing of human tissue donors and to ensure that records are kept documenting that the appropriate screening and testing have been completed.

    Section 1270.31(a) through (d) requires written procedures to be prepared and followed for the following steps: (1) All significant steps in the infectious disease testing process under § 1270.21; (2) all significant steps for obtaining, reviewing, and assessing the relevant medical records of the donor as prescribed in § 1270.21; (3) designating and identifying quarantined tissue; and (4) for prevention of infectious disease contamination or cross-contamination by tissue during processing. Section 1270.31(a) and (b) also requires recording and justification of any deviation from the written procedures. Section 1270.33(a) requires records to be maintained concurrently with the performance of each significant step required in the performance of infectious disease screening and testing of human tissue donors. Section 1270.33(f) requires records to be retained regarding the determination of the suitability of the donors and of the records required under § 1270.21. Section 1270.33(h) requires all records to be retained for at least 10 years beyond the date of transplantation if known, distribution, disposition, or expiration of the tissue, whichever is the latest. Section 1270.35(a) through (d) requires specific records to be maintained to document the following: (1) The results and interpretation of all required infectious disease tests; (2) information on the identity and relevant medical records of the donor; (3) the receipt and/or distribution of human tissue, and (4) the destruction or other disposition of human tissue.

    Respondents to this collection of information are manufacturers of human tissue intended for transplantation. Based on information from the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research's (CBER's) database system, FDA estimates that there are approximately 383 tissue establishments, of which 262 are conventional tissue banks and 121 are eye tissue banks. Based on information provided by industry, there are estimated totals of 2,141,960 conventional tissue products and 130,987 eye tissue products distributed per year with an average of 25 percent of the tissue discarded due to unsuitability for transplant. In addition, there are an estimated 29,799 deceased donors of conventional tissue and 70,027 deceased donors of eye tissue each year.

    Accredited members of the American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB) and Eye Bank Association of America (EBAA) adhere to standards of those organizations that are comparable to the recordkeeping requirements in part 1270. Based on information provided by CBER's database system, 90 percent of the conventional tissue banks are members of AATB (262 × 90% = 236), and 95 percent of eye tissue banks are members of EBAA (121 × 95% = 115). Therefore, recordkeeping by these 351 establishments (236 + 115 = 351) is excluded from the burden estimates as usual and customary business activities (5 CFR 1320.3(b)(2)). The recordkeeping burden, thus, is estimated for the remaining 32 establishments, which is 8.36 percent of all establishments (383 − 351 = 32, or 32/383 = 8.36%).

    FDA assumes that all current tissue establishments have developed written procedures in compliance with part 1270. Therefore, their information collection burden is for the general review and update of written procedures estimated to take an annual average of 24 hours, and for the recording and justifying of any deviations from the written procedures under § 1270.31(a) and (b), estimated to take an annual average of 1 hour. The information collection burden for maintaining records concurrently with the performance of each significant screening and testing step and for retaining records for 10 years under § 1270.33(a), (f), and (h) include documenting the results and interpretation of all required infectious disease tests and results and the identity and relevant medical records of the donor required under § 1270.35(a) and (b). Therefore, the burden under these provisions is calculated together in table 1. The recordkeeping estimates for the number of total annual records and hours per record are based on information provided by industry and FDA experience.

    In the Federal Register of June 6, 2016 (81 FR 36310), we published a 60-day notice requesting public comment on the proposed extension of this collection of information. No comments were received.

    FDA estimates the burden of this information collection as follows:

    Table 1—Estimated Annual Recordkeeping Burden 1 21 CFR Section Number of
  • recordkeepers
  • Number of
  • records per
  • recordkeeper
  • Total annual
  • records
  • Average
  • burden per
  • recordkeeping
  • Total hours
    1270.31(a), (b), (c), and (d) 2 32 1 32 24 768 1270.31(a) and 1270.31(b) 3 32 2 64 1 64 1270.33(a), (f), and (h), and 1270.35(a) and (b) 32 6,198.84 198,363 1 198,363 1270.35(c) 32 11,876.12 380,036 1 380,036 1270.35(d) 32 1,484.50 47,504 1 47,504 Total 626,735 1 There are no capital costs or operating and maintenance costs associated with this collection of information. 2 Review and update of standard operating procedures (SOPs). 3 Documentation of deviations from SOPs.
    Dated: October 27, 2016. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2016-26398 Filed 11-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2016-N-0001] Science Board to the Food and Drug Administration Advisory Committee; Notice of Meeting AGENCY:

    Food and Drug Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announces a forthcoming public advisory committee meeting of the Science Board to the Food and Drug Administration. The Science Board provides advice to the Commissioner of Food and Drugs and other appropriate officials on specific, complex scientific and technical issues important to FDA and its mission, including emerging issues within the scientific community. Additionally, the Science Board provides advice to the Agency on keeping pace with technical and scientific developments including in regulatory science, input into the Agency's research agenda and on upgrading its scientific and research facilities and training opportunities. It will also provide, where requested, expert review of Agency sponsored intramural and extramural scientific research programs. The meeting will be open to the public.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on November 15, 2016, from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    FDA White Oak Campus, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Building 31 Conference Center, the Great Room (Rm. 1503, Section C), Silver Spring, MD 20993. For those unable to attend in person, the meeting will also be Web cast. The link for the Web cast is available at https://collaboration.fda.gov/sbm1116/. Answers to commonly asked questions including information regarding special accommodations due to a disability, visitor parking, and transportation may be accessed at: http://www.fda.gov/AdvisoryCommittees/AboutAdvisoryCommittees/ucm408555.htm.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Rakesh Raghuwanshi, Office of the Chief Scientist, Office of the Commissioner, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 1, Rm. 3309, Silver Spring, MD 20993, 301-796-4769, [email protected], or FDA Advisory Committee Information Line, 1-800-741-8138 (301-443-0572 in the Washington, DC area). A notice in the Federal Register about last minute modifications that impact a previously announced advisory committee meeting cannot always be published quickly enough to provide timely notice. Therefore, you should always check the Agency's Web site at http://www.fda.gov/AdvisoryCommittees/default.htm and scroll down to the appropriate advisory committee meeting link, or call the advisory committee information line to learn about possible modifications before coming to the meeting.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Agenda: The Science Board will hear about: (1) The Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research's strategic goals for regulatory science; (2) a progress update on FDA's Opioid Action Plan and the Bovine Heparin Initiative; (3) a response from the Office of Scientific Professional Development to the Science Board's report on the Commissioner's Fellowship Program; (4) a report from the Scientific Engagements Subcommittee; (5) and a report from the Food Emergency Response Network Cooperative Agreement Program Evaluation Subcommittee.

    FDA intends to make background material available to the public no later than 2 business days before the meeting. If FDA is unable to post the background material on its Web site prior to the meeting, the background material will be made publicly available at the location of the advisory committee meeting, and the background material will be posted on FDA's Web site after the meeting. Background material is available at http://www.fda.gov/AdvisoryCommittees/Calendar/default.htm. Scroll down to the appropriate advisory committee meeting link.

    Procedure: Interested persons may present data, information, or views, orally or in writing, on issues pending before the committee. Written submissions may be made to the contact person on or before November 8, 2016. Oral presentations from the public will be scheduled between approximately 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. Those individuals interested in making formal oral presentations should notify the contact person and submit a brief statement of the general nature of the evidence or arguments they wish to present, the names and addresses of proposed participants, and an indication of the approximate time requested to make their presentation on or before November 2, 2016. Time allotted for each presentation may be limited. If the number of registrants requesting to speak is greater than can be reasonably accommodated during the scheduled open public hearing session, FDA may conduct a lottery to determine the speakers for the scheduled open public hearing session. The contact person will notify interested persons regarding their request to speak by November 4, 2016.

    Persons attending FDA's advisory committee meetings are advised that the Agency is not responsible for providing access to electrical outlets.

    FDA welcomes the attendance of the public at its advisory committee meetings and will make every effort to accommodate persons with disabilities. If you require accommodations due to a disability, please contact Rakesh Raghuwanshi at least 7 days in advance of the meeting.

    FDA is committed to the orderly conduct of its advisory committee meetings. Please visit our Web site at http://www.fda.gov/AdvisoryCommittees/AboutAdvisoryCommittees/ucm111462.htm for procedures on public conduct during advisory committee meetings.

    Notice of this meeting is given under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. app. 2).

    Dated: October 28, 2016. Janice M. Soreth, Acting Associate Commissioner, Special Medical Programs.
    [FR Doc. 2016-26491 Filed 11-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Health Resources and Services Administration Agency Information Collection Activities: Submission to OMB for Review and Approval; Public Comment Request AGENCY:

    Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Department of Health and Human Services.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with Section 3507(a)(1)(D) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, HRSA has submitted an Information Collection Request (ICR) to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval. Comments submitted during the first public review of this ICR will be provided to OMB. OMB will accept further comments from the public during the review and approval period.

    DATES:

    Comments on this ICR should be received no later than December 2, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, including the Information Collection Request Title, to the desk officer for HRSA, either by email to [email protected] or by fax to 202-395-5806.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To request a copy of the clearance requests submitted to OMB for review, email the HRSA Information Collection Clearance Officer at [email protected] or call (301) 443-1984.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Information Collection Request Title: Telehealth Outcome Measures OMB No. 0915-0311—Revision.

    Abstract: To help carry out its mission, the Office for the Advancement of Telehealth (OAT) created a set of performance measures that grantees use to evaluate the effectiveness of their services programs and monitor their progress through the use of performance reporting data.

    Need and Proposed Use of the Information: As required by the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993, all federal agencies must develop strategic plans describing their overall goal and objectives. HRSA's Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP), OAT, has worked with its grantees to develop performance measures to be used to evaluate and monitor the progress of the grantees. Grantee goals are as follows: To improve access to needed services, reduce rural practitioner isolation, improve health system productivity and efficiency, and improve patient outcomes. In each of these categories, specific indicators were designed and are reported through a performance monitoring Web site. These measures cover the principal topic areas of interest to FORHP. The data are used for program improvement and grantees use the data for performance tracking and improvement. Revisions include minor additions to the OAT Performance Improvement Measurement System (PIMS) to capture minimal data on access to care, population demographics, insurance status, quality improvement and clinical measures.

    Likely Respondents: Telehealth Network Grantees.

    Burden Statement: Burden in this context means the time expended by persons to generate, maintain, retain, disclose or provide the information requested. This includes the time needed to review instructions; to develop, acquire, install and utilize technology and systems for the purpose of collecting, validating and verifying information, processing and maintaining information, and disclosing and providing information; to train personnel and to be able to respond to a collection of information; to search data sources; to complete and review the collection of information; and to transmit or otherwise disclose the information. The total annual burden hours estimated for this ICR are summarized in the table below.

    Total Estimated Annualized Burden—Hours Form name Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Total
  • responses
  • Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • (in hours)
  • Total
  • burden
  • hours
  • PIMS 200 2 400 7 2,800 Total 200 400 2,800
    Jason E. Bennett, Director, Division of the Executive Secretariat.
    [FR Doc. 2016-26402 Filed 11-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4165-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Health Resources and Services Administration Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection: Public Comment Request; Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Core Medical Services Waiver Application Requirements AGENCY:

    Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Department of Health and Human Services.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the requirement for opportunity for public comment on proposed data collection projects (Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995), HRSA announces plans to submit an Information Collection Request (ICR), described below, to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Prior to submitting the ICR to OMB, HRSA seeks comments from the public regarding the burden estimate, below, or any other aspect of the ICR.

    DATES:

    Comments on this ICR should be received no later than January 3, 2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments to [email protected] or mail the HRSA Information Collection Clearance Officer, Room 14N39, 5600 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20857.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To request more information on the proposed project or to obtain a copy of the data collection plans and draft instruments, email [email protected] or call the HRSA Information Collection Clearance Officer at (301) 443-1984.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    When submitting comments or requesting information, please include the information request collection title for reference.

    Information Collection Request Title: Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Core Medical Services Waiver Application Requirements.

    OMB No. 0915-0307—Extension.

    Abstract: Title XXVI of the Public Health Service (PHS) Act, as amended by the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act of 2009 (Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program), Part A section 2604(c), Part B section 2612(b), and Part C section 2651(c), requires that grantees expend 75 percent of Parts A, B, and C funds on core medical services, including antiretroviral drugs for individuals with HIV, identified and eligible under the legislation. For grantees under Parts A, B, and C to be exempted from the 75 percent core medical services requirement, they must request and receive a waiver from HRSA, as required in the Act.

    On October 25, 2013, HRSA published revised standards for core medical services waiver requests in the Federal Register (78 FR 63990). These revised standards allow grant recipients flexibility to adjust resource allocation based on the current situation in their local environment. These standards ensure that grant recipients receiving waivers demonstrate the availability of core medical services, including antiretroviral drugs, for persons with HIV served under Title XXVI of the PHS Act. The core medical services waiver uniform standard and waiver request process will apply to Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Grant Awards under Parts A, B, and C of Title XXVI of the PHS Act. Core medical services waivers will be effective for a 1-year period that is consistent with the grant recipient award period. Grant recipients may submit a waiver request before the annual grant application, with the application, or up to 4 months after the grant recipient award has been made.

    Need and Proposed Use of the Information: HRSA uses the documentation submitted in core medical services waiver requests to determine if the applicant/grant recipient meets the statutory requirements for waiver eligibility including: (1) No waiting lists for AIDS Drug Assistance Program services; and (2) evidence of core medical services availability within the grant recipient's jurisdiction, state, or service area to all individuals with HIV identified and eligible under Title XXVI of the PHS Act. See sections 2604(c)(2), 2612(b)(2), and 2651(c)(2) of the PHS Act.

    Likely Respondents: Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program Part A, B, and C grant recipients.

    Burden Statement: Burden in this context means the time expended by persons to generate, maintain, retain, disclose or provide the information requested. This includes the time needed to review instructions; to develop, acquire, install and utilize technology and systems for the purpose of collecting, validating and verifying information, processing and maintaining information, and disclosing and providing information; to train personnel and to be able to respond to a collection of information; to search data sources; to complete and review the collection of information; and to transmit or otherwise disclose the information. The total annual burden hours estimated for this ICR are summarized in the table below.

    Total Estimated Annualized burden hours:

    Form name Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Total
  • responses
  • Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • (in hours)
  • Total
  • burden
  • hours
  • Waiver Request 20 1 20 5.5 110 Total 20 1 20 5.5 110

    HRSA specifically requests comments on (1) the necessity and utility of the proposed information collection for the proper performance of the agency's functions, (2) the accuracy of the estimated burden, (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected, and (4) the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology to minimize the information collection burden.

    Jason E. Bennett, Director, Division of the Executive Secretariat.
    [FR Doc. 2016-26408 Filed 11-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4165-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Indian Health Service Organization and Functional Statement; Part GFG; California Area Office; Proposed Functional Statement

    Part G, of the Statement of Organization, Functions, and Delegations of Authority of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), as amended most recently at 63 FR 1486, January 9, 1998, is hereby amended to reflect a realignment of the California Area Indian Health Service.

    The California Area Indian Health Service (CAIHS) provides the healthcare delivery system to the State of California, the home of the largest population of American Indians/Alaska Natives (AI/AN) in the country. According to the 2010 Census, California's Indian population was 333,346 in 2010. The 2010 Census also indicated that there were 294,216 additional people who stated that they were American Indian and a combination of one or more other races. California is home to 107 Federally-recognized Tribes. There are presently 31 California Tribal health programs operating 57 ambulatory clinics under the authority of the Indian Self-Determination Act. The IHS funds ten California Area urban health programs that operate under the authority of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act. In fiscal year 2014, California Tribal health programs had 119,362 registered users and 69,238 active users. Registered users are a cumulative total for all Indian patients ever seen at Tribal facilities, and active users are those that have accessed care during the past three years. None of the Tribal facilities and programs currently operating in California originated as facilities previously operated by the IHS, as is the case in other IHS areas. Population sizes and dispersion of Tribal groups in the CAIHS makes it unlikely that a hospital-based service program will develop within the area, similar to other IHS areas where the Federal government has built, staffed and maintained hospitals and satellite clinics on Indian reservations. Tribal programs will continue to rely on private and public hospitals to meet inpatient and emergency needs. Some Tribal health program physicians have privileges at local hospitals and follow their patients through the local hospital system. Otherwise, the patients are referred to private physicians using Purchased Referred Care (PRC) funding, as well as other alternate resources. Most programs have not developed laboratory, pharmacy or x-ray specialties, so these services are purchased from the private sector through PRC funding or other Tribal resources. The CAIHS is proposed to be organized as follows:

    Office of the Area Director (GFGA)

    Provides overall direction and leadership for the CAIHS by: (1) Encouraging maximum consultation and participation by California area Tribes and Tribal and urban Indian organizations in establishing the goals, objectives and development of policies of the CAIHS; (2) coordinating the CAIHS activities and resources internally and externally with those of other Federal, state, local and privately funded health care programs to maximize quality health care services to Tribal and urban Indians in the State of California; (3) ensuring compliance to the IHS guidelines and administrative procedures pertinent to Indian self-determination contracting processes and Tribal self-governance compacting; (4) assuring that Indian Tribes and Indian organizations are informed regarding pertinent health policy and program management issues and coordinates meetings and other communications with Tribal delegations; (5) advocating for the health needs and concerns of AI/AN; (6) developing and demonstrating methods and techniques for continuous improvement of health services management and delivery by California area Tribes and Tribal and urban Indian organizations; (7) ensuring that the principles of Equal Employment Opportunity laws and the Civil Rights Act are applied in the management of the human resources of the CAIHS; (8) advising the Director, IHS, of issues and potential issues, relevant to the California area, or to the IHS in general, and recommending and participating in actions to prevent or correct problems; (9) providing leadership for the development of emergency preparedness plans, policies, and services, including the continuity of operations plans, deployment, public health infrastructure, and emergency medical services for the CAIHS responsibilities; and (10) advocating and coordinating support for Tribal emergency medical services programs, including training and equipment.

    Office of Management Support (GFGAB)

    (1) Provides advice to the Area Director and functional area managers on CAIHS administrative and management policy and procedures requirements, delegations of authority, documenting the organizations and functions of the CAIHS, personnel administration and management, and agency agreements management; (2) develops, recommends and implements processes for management accountability and the periodic assessment of managerial performance; (3) provides guidance and support to area managers regarding resources, personal property, acquisition management; (4) provides a full complement of administrative services in support of the Area-wide health services delivery and management systems, i.e., forms management, travel management, communications management, supply management, printing, mail management, etc.; (5) advises the Area Director and functional area managers on the civil service and commissioned corps personnel programs' administration and management requirements; (6) directs the personnel security and suitability clearance, and other ethics in employment programs; and (7) provides advice, consultation, and assistance to Tribal officials and Tribal organizations on Tribal health program personnel policy issues.

    Financial Management Division (GFGAB1)

    (1) Performs fund reconciliations and assists in coordination of discrepancies with financial officials; (2) provides support and technical assistance to area operational components in the development of area operations budgets; (3) provides fund certification and maintains commitment registers for area components; (4) supports cost accounting activities in IHS; (5) develops and implements budget, fiscal, and accounting procedures and conducts reviews and analyses to ensure compliance in budget activities in collaboration with Headquarters officials and the Tribes; and (6) participates in cross-cutting issues and processes including, but not limited to emergency preparedness/security, budget formulation, self-determination issues, Tribal shares computations, and resolution of audit findings as may be needed and appropriate.

    Acquisition Management Division (GFGAB2)

    (1) Develops, recommends, and oversees the implementation of policies, procedures and delegations of authority for the acquisition management activities in the CAIHS, consistent with applicable regulations, directives, and guidance from higher echelons in the Department of Health and Human Services and Federal oversight agencies; (2) provides advice, technical consultation, and training to California area managers and staff; (3) reviews and makes recommendations for approval/disapproval of contract-related documents such as: Pre- and post-award documents, unauthorized commitments, procurement planning documents, Justification for Other Than Full and Open Competition, waivers, and deviations; (4) executes and administers contracts for the CAIHS; and (5) reviews, recommends, and issues delegations of acquisition authority in the CAIHS.

    Office of Public Health (GFGAC)

    (1) Provides leadership and consultation to Tribal and urban public health programs on the IHS goals, objectives, policies, program standards, and priorities; (2) serves as the primary source of technical and policy advice to the Area Director, area office staff, and Tribal and urban health program officials on the full scope of clinical health care programs, including their quality assurance and preventive aspects, and tort claims; (3) participates in identifying and articulating the health needs of the AI/AN population in the State of California; (4) coordinates the availability and accessibility of Medicare and Medicaid programs, and other managed care programs' services, to AI/AN in the State of California; (5) provides consultation and technical support to Tribal and urban public health programs including, but not limited to, dental services, diabetes and other chronic disease prevention, nutrition services, and nursing services, alcohol/substance abuse prevention and treatment, including the coordination of the Youth Regional Treatment Center services; (6) provides assistance in the development and implementation of area policy and procedures regarding managed care services, third-party collections and reimbursements, health care facility accreditation, risk management and quality assurance; (7) coordinates the reimbursement of allowable costs for qualified high cost PRC service cases from the IHS Catastrophic Health Emergency Fund to Tribal health care programs in the State of California; (8) serves as project officer on contracts awarded in the State of California for the delivery of health care services, and coordinates activities for monitoring and evaluating contractor performance; (9) provides advice to the Area Director on the activities and issues related to the implementation of Title V of the American Indian Health Care Improvement Act, as amended, in the State of California; (10) provides support to urban Indian health programs and organizations in managing health programs and attending financial and other types of support available from other public and private agencies and organizations, and (11) designs, maintains, and controls the data collection, analysis, and publication of health program information in the activities.

    Information Technology Division (GFGAC1)

    (1) Develops, implements, and maintains policies, procedures and standards for information resource management and technology products and services in the CAIHS; (2) develops and maintains information technology strategic planning documents; (3) develops and maintains the CAIHS enterprise architecture; (4) develops and implements information technology management initiatives; (5) ensures IHS information technology infrastructure resource consolidation and standardization efforts support IHS healthcare delivery and program administration; (6) represents the IHS to Federal, Tribal, state, and other organizations; and (7) participates in cross-cutting issues and processes that involve information technology.

    Office of Environmental Health & Engineering (GFGAD)

    (1) Serves as the principal advisor, advocate, consultant, and technical assistant on all services relating to sanitation facilities construction, environmental health services, operation and maintenance, injury prevention, and facilities management for the CAIHS; (2) plans, coordinates, implements, and evaluates all aspects of Title I contracting and Title V compacting under the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act, as amended; (3) consults with Tribal groups/organizations in the development and implementation of environmental health and engineering policies and initiatives; (4) provides consultation and technical guidance to Tribal health programs including preventive maintenance surveys, personnel training, and fiscal reviews; (5) performs or directs surveys and investigations to determine the condition of Tribal health facilities; (6) serves as the principal advisor regarding the real property management program which oversees owned and leased real property and General Services Administration (GSA) assigned space; interacts with GSA Region IX and Engineering Services to ensure adequacy of facilities; and (7) coordinates property management activities including space assignments, space need determinations, regulatory compliance, and reporting.

    Environmental Health Services Division (GFGAD1)

    (1) Maintains relationships with other Federal agencies and Tribes to maximize responses to environmental health issues and maximize benefits to Tribes by coordinating program efforts; (2) identifies environmental health needs of AI/AN populations and supports efforts to build Tribal capacity; (3) provides personnel support services and advocates for environmental health providers; and (4) performs functions related to environmental health programs such as injury prevention, emergency response, water quality, food sanitation, occupational health and safety, solid and hazardous waste management, environmental health issues in health care and non-health care institutions, and vector control.

    Sanitation Facilities Construction Division (GFGAD2)

    (1) Manages the environmental engineering programs, including the Sanitation Facilities Construction (SFC) program, and compliance activities associated with environmental protection and historic preservation legislation; (2) consults with Tribal groups/organizations in the development and implementation of SFC policies and initiatives, and in the identification of sanitation needs for single family housing and community facilities; and (3) works closely with other Federal agencies to resolve environmental issues and maximize benefits to Tribes by coordinating program efforts.

    OEHE District Offices/Field Offices Redding District Office—GFGAD2A Arcata Field Office—GFGAD2A1 Sacramento District Office—GFGAD2B Ukiah Field Office—GFGAD2B1 Clovis Field Office—GFGAD2B2 Escondido District Office—GFGAD2C

    (1) Implements the SFC and Environmental Health Services responsibilities; (2) serves as the principal advisor to communities, individuals, contractors, and other organizations on all matters pertaining to SFC and Environmental Health Services; (3) implements activities that assist all health programs to attain accreditation by appropriate accrediting agencies; (4) implements the area fluoridation and operation and maintenance activities, and (5) implements the provision of sanitation facilities for new housing projects sponsored by other government agencies and for existing housing.

    Health Facilities Engineering Division (GFGAD3)

    (1) Develops, implements, and manages the programs affecting health care facilities operations, including routine maintenance and improvement, real property asset management, realty, facilities environmental, quarters, and clinical engineering programs; (2) serves as the principal resource for coordination of facilities operations and provides consultation to IHS and the Tribes on health care facilities operations; and (3) monitors the improvement, alteration, and repair of health care facilities.

    Desert Sage Youth Wellness Center—GFGAE

    (1) The Desert Sage Youth Wellness Center in Southern California provides inpatient substance abuse and alcohol treatment to eligible AI/AN youth as a Youth Regional Treatment Center (YRTC) and will help California Tribal youth find healthy directions in life; and (2) in addition to providing treatment services, the YRTC will work with Tribal and urban Indian programs to help provide a continuum of care, including preventive and aftercare services.

    Sacred Oaks Healing Center—GFGAF

    (1) The Sacred Oaks Healing Center in Northern California provides inpatient substance abuse and alcohol treatment to eligible AI/AN youth as a YRTC and will help California Tribal youth find healthy directions in life; and (2) in addition to providing treatment services, the YRTC will work with Tribal and urban Indian programs to help provide a continuum of care, including preventive and aftercare services.

    Dated: October 25, 2016. Elizabeth A. Fowler, Deputy Director for Management Operations, Indian Health Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-26488 Filed 11-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4165-16-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed Meeting

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. App.), notice is hereby given of the following meeting.

    The meeting will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel; PAR 16-218 Provocative Questions in Pediatric Cancer.

    Date: November 8, 2016.

    Time: 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892 (Virtual Meeting).

    Contact Person: Charles Morrow, MD, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 6202, MSC 7804, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-451-4467, [email protected]

    This notice is being published less than 15 days prior to the meeting due to the timing limitations imposed by the review and funding cycle.

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.306, Comparative Medicine; 93.333, Clinical Research, 93.306, 93.333, 93.337, 93.393-93.396, 93.837-93.844, 93.846-93.878, 93.892, 93.893, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: October 28, 2016. Anna Snouffer, Deputy Director, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2016-26452 Filed 11-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed Meetings

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. App.), notice is hereby given of the following meetings.

    The meetings will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel; PAR-16-121 Early-Stage Preclinical Validation of Therapeutic Leads for Diseases of Interest to the NIDDK (R01).

    Date: November 17-18, 2016.

    Time: 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892 (Virtual Meeting).

    Contact Person: Antonello Pileggi, MD, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 6166, Bethesda, MD 20892-7892, (301) 402-6297, [email protected]

    This notice is being published less than 15 days prior to the meeting due to the timing limitations imposed by the review and funding cycle.

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel; PAR-16-121 Early-Stage Preclinical Validation of Therapeutic Leads for Diseases of Interest to the NIDDK (R01).

    Date: November 17, 2016.

    Time: 11:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892 (Virtual Meeting).

    Contact Person: Hui Chen, MD, Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-435-1044, [email protected]

    This notice is being published less than 15 days prior to the meeting due to the timing limitations imposed by the review and funding cycle.

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel; Vasular and Hematology: Molecular and Cellular Hematology.

    Date: November 30, 2016.

    Time: 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892 (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Luis Espinoza, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 4140, MSC 7814, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-435-0952, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel; Small Business: Risk, Prevention and Health Behavior.

    Date: December 1-2, 2016.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Embassy Suites at the Chevy Chase Pavilion, 4300 Military Road NW., Washington, DC 20015.

    Contact Person: Claire E. Gutkin, MPH, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 3106, MSC 7808, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-594-3139, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel; Member Conflict: Digestive Diseases.

    Date: December 1-2, 2016.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892 (Virtual Meeting).

    Contact Person: Jianxin Hu, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 2156, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-827-4417, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel; Member Conflict: Kidney and Urology.

    Date: December 1, 2016.

    Time: 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892 (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Aiping Zhao, MD, Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Rm 2188, MSC 7818, Bethesda, MD 20892-7818, (301) 435-0682, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel; AREA: Immunology.

    Date: December 1, 2016.

    Time: 12:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892 (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Alok Mulky, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review (CSR), National Institutes of Health (NIH), 6701 Rockledge Dr., Room 4203, Bethesda, MD 20817, (301) 435-3566, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel; PAR16-027: Commercialization Readiness Pilot.

    Date: December 2, 2016.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Washington Marriott at Metro Center, 775 12th Street NW., Washington, DC 20005.

    Contact Person: Cristina Backman, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, ETTN IRG, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 5211, MSC 7846, Bethesda, MD 20892, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel; Member Conflict: Topics in Mechanisms of Bacterial Virulence and Pathogenesis.

    Date: December 2, 2016.

    Time: 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892.

    Contact Person: Gagan Pandya, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, National Institutes of Health, Center for Scientific Review, 6701 Rockledge Drive, RM 3200, MSC 7808, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-435-1167, [email protected]

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.306, Comparative Medicine; 93.333, Clinical Research, 93.306, 93.333, 93.337, 93.393-93.396, 93.837-93.844, 93.846-93.878, 93.892, 93.893, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: October 27, 2016. David Clary, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2016-26451 Filed 11-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health Proposed Collection; 60-Day Comment Request; Public Health Service Applications and Pre-Award Reporting Requirements (Office of the Director) AGENCY:

    National Institutes of Health, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the requirement of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 to provide opportunity for public comment on proposed data collection projects, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will publish periodic summaries of proposed projects to be submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval.

    DATES:

    Comments regarding this information collection are best assured of having their full effect if received within 60 days of the date of this publication.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To obtain a copy of the data collection plans and instruments, submit comments in writing, or request more information on the proposed project, contact: Ms. Mikia P. Currie, Program Analyst, Office of Policy for Extramural Research Administration, 6705 Rockledge Drive, Suite 350, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, or call a non-toll-free number 301-435-0941 or Email your request, including your address to [email protected] Formal requests for additional plans and instruments must be requested in writing.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 requires: Written comments and/or suggestions from the public and affected agencies are invited to address one or more of the following points: (1) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the function of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) 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; (3) Ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) Ways to minimizes the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Proposed Collection Title: Public Health Service (PHS) Applications and Pre-Award Reporting Requirements, Revision, OMB 0925-0001, Expiration Date 10/31/2018. Form numbers: PHS 398, PHS 416-1, PHS 416-5, and PHS 6031. This collection represents a consolidation of PHS applications and pre-award reporting requirements into a revised data collection under the PRA. This collection includes the proposed use of a new PHS clinical trial application form.

    Need and Use of Information Collection: This collection includes PHS applications and pre-award reporting requirements: PHS 398 (paper) Public Health Service Grant Application forms and instructions; PHS 398 (electronic) PHS Grant Application component forms and agency specific instructions used in combination with the SF424 (R&R); PHS Fellowship Supplemental Form and agency specific instructions used in combination with the SF424 (R&R) forms/instructions for Fellowships (electronic); PHS 416-1 Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award Individual Fellowship Application Instructions and Forms used only for a change of sponsoring institution application [paper]; Instructions for a Change of Sponsoring Institution for the National Research Service Award (NRSA) Fellowships (F30, F31, F32 and F33) and non-NRSA Fellowships; PHS 416-5 Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award Individual Fellowship Activation Notice; and PHS 6031 Payback Agreement. The PHS 398 (paper and electronic) are currently approved under 0925-0001. All forms expire 10/31/2018. Post-award reporting requirements are simultaneously consolidated under 0925-0002, and include the Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR). The PHS 398 and SF424 applications are used by applicants to request federal assistance funds for traditional investigator-initiated research projects and to request access to databases and other PHS resources. The PHS 416-1 is used only for a change of sponsoring institution application. PHS Fellowship Supplemental Form and agency specific instructions is used in combination with the SF424 (R&R) forms/instructions for Fellowships and is used by individuals to apply for direct research training support. Awards are made to individual applicants for specified training proposals in biomedical and behavioral research, selected as a result of a national competition. The PHS 416-5 is used by individuals to indicate the start of their National Research Service Award (NRSA) awards. The PHS 6031 Payback Agreement is used by individuals at the time of activation to certify agreement to fulfill the payback provisions. Clinical trials are complex and challenging research activities. Oversight systems and tools are critical for the NIH to ensure participant safety, data integrity, and accountability of the use of public funds. The NIH has been engaged in a multi-year effort to examine how clinical trials are supported and the level of oversight needed. The collection of more structured information about proposed clinical trials in the PHS applications and pre-award reporting requirements will facilitate the NIH's oversight of clinical trials as well as assist in understanding where needs in the NIH research portfolio may exist. In addition, some of the data collected here will ultimately be accessible to investigators to pre-populate certain sections of forms when registering their trials with ClinicalTrials.gov.

    Frequency of response: Applicants may submit applications for published receipt dates. For NRSA awards, fellowships are activated and trainees appointed.

    OMB approval is requested for 3 years. There are no costs to respondents other than their time. The total estimated annualized burden hours are 850,756.

    Estimated Annualized Burden Hours Information collection forms Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • (in hours)
  • Total annual burden hours
    PHS 398—Paper 4,247 1 35 148,645 PHS 398/424—Electronic: PHS Assignment Request Form 37,120 1 30/60 18,560 PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement 74,239 1 1 74,239 PHS Inclusion Enrollment Report 54,838 1 1 54,838 PHS 398 Modular Budget 56,693 1 1 56,693 PHS 398 Training Budget 1,122 1 2 2,244 PHS 398 Training Subaward Budget Attachment(s) Form 561 1 90/60 842 PHS 398 Research Plan 70,866 1 3 212,598 PHS 398 Research Training Program Plan 1,122 1 3 3,366 Data Tables 1,515 1 4 6,060 PHS 398 Career Development Award Supplemental Form 2,251 1 3 6,753 PHS Clinical Trial Protocol Form 8,264 1 1 8,264 Biosketch (424 Electronic) 80,946 1 2 161,892 PHS Fellowship—Electronic: PHS Fellowship Supplemental Form (includes F reference letters) 6,707 1 12.5 83,838 PHS Assignment Request Form 3,354 1 30/60 1,677 PHS Inclusion Enrollment Report 3,354 1 1 3,354 Biosketch (Fellowship) 6,707 1 2 13,414 416-1 29 1 10 290 PHS 416-5 6,707 1 5/60 559 PHS 6031 6,217 1 5/60 518 VCOC Certification 6 1 5/60 1 SBIR/STTR Funding Agreement Certification 1,500 1 15/60 375 Total Annual Burden Hours 420,101 850,756
    Dated: October 22, 2016. Lawrence A. Tabak, Deputy Director, National Institutes of Health.
    [FR Doc. 2016-26448 Filed 11-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development; Notice of Closed Meeting

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. App.), notice is hereby given of the following meeting.

    The meeting will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Special Emphasis Panel.

    Date: December 8, 2016.

    Time: 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6705 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20817, (Virtual Meeting).

    Contact Person: Priscah Mujuru, DRPH, COHNS, Scientific Review Officer, Scientific Review Branch, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, NIH, 6100 Executive Boulevard, Suite 5B01, Bethesda, MD 20892-7510, 301-435-6908, [email protected]

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.864, Population Research; 93.865, Research for Mothers and Children; 93.929, Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research; 93.209, Contraception and Infertility Loan Repayment Program, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: October 27, 2016. Michelle Trout, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2016-26386 Filed 11-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health Submission for OMB Review; 30-Day Comment Request, National Institutes of Health Electronic Application System for Certificates of Confidentiality AGENCY:

    National Institutes of Health, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) a request for review and approval of the information collection listed below. This proposed information collection was previously published in the Federal Register on August 18, 2016 (81 FR 55207-55208) and allowed 60-days for public comment. No public comments were received. The purpose of this notice is to allow an additional 30 days for public comment.

    DATES:

    Comments regarding this information collection are best assured of having their full effect if received within 30-days of the date of this publication.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written comments and/or suggestions regarding the item(s) contained in this notice, especially regarding the estimated public burden and associated response time, should be directed to the: Office of Management and Budget, Office of Regulatory Affairs, [email protected] or by fax to 202-395-6974, Attention: Desk Officer for NIH.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To request more information on the proposed project or to obtain a copy of the data collection plans and instruments, contact: Dr. Ann Hardy, NIH Extramural Human Research Protections Officer and NIH Coordinator, Certificates of Confidentiality, 3701 Rockledge Dr. Rm. 3002, Bethesda, MD 20892, or call non-toll-free number (301) 435-2690 or Email your request, including your address to: [email protected] Formal requests for additional plans and instruments must be requested in writing.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Office of Extramural Research (OER), NIH, may not conduct or sponsor, and the respondent is not required to respond to, an information collection that has been extended, revised, or implemented on or after October 1, 1995, unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

    In compliance with Section 3507(a)(1)(D) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the NIH has submitted to the OMB a request for review and approval of the information collection listed below.

    Proposed Collection: Certificate of Confidentiality Electronic Application System, 0925-0689, expiration date 01/31/2017, OER, NIH.

    Need and Use of Information Collection: This application system provides one electronic form to be used by all research organizations that wish to request a Certificate of Confidentiality (CoC) from the NIH. As described in the authorizing legislation (Section 301(d) of the Public Health Service Act, 42 U.S.C. 241(d)), CoCs are issued by the agencies of Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), including the NIH, to authorize researchers conducting sensitive research to protect the privacy of human research subjects by enabling them to refuse to release names and identifying characteristics of subjects to anyone not connected with the research. At the NIH, the issuance of CoCs has been delegated to the individual NIH Institutes and Centers (ICs). To make the application process consistent across the entire agency, OER launched an electronic application system in 2015 that is used by research organizations that wish to request a CoC from any NIH IC. Having one system for all CoC applications to the NIH is more efficient for both applicants and NIH staff who process these requests. The NIH uses the information in the application to determine eligibility for a CoC and to issue the CoC to the requesting organization. It is anticipated that the NIH ICs will issue approximately 1300 new CoCs each year for eligible research projects.

    OMB approval is requested for 3 years. There are no costs to respondents other than their time. The total annualized burden hours estimate is 1,951.

    Estimated Annualized Burden Hours Type of respondents Number of
  • respondents
  • Frequency of
  • response
  • Average
  • time per
  • response
  • (in hours)
  • Total annual burden
  • hours
  • CoC Applicants—Private 455 1 90/60 683 CoC Applicants—State/local 650 1 90/60 975 CoC Applicants—Small business 130 1 90/60 195 CoC Applicants—Federal 65 1 90/60 98
    Dated: October 25, 2016. Lawrence A. Tabak, Deputy Director, National Institutes of Health.
    [FR Doc. 2016-26445 Filed 11-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health Proposed Collection; 60-Day Comment Request; Post-Award Reporting Requirements Including Research Performance Progress Report Collection (Office of the Director) AGENCY:

    National Institutes of Health, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the requirement of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 to provide opportunity for public comment on proposed data collection projects, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will publish periodic summaries of proposed projects to be submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval.

    DATES:

    Comments regarding this information collection are best assured of having their full effect if received within 60 days of the date of this publication.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To obtain a copy of the data collection plans and instruments, submit comments in writing, or request more information on the proposed project, contact: Ms. Mikia P. Currie, Program Analyst, Office of Policy for Extramural Research Administration, 6705 Rockledge Drive, Suite 350, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, or call a non-toll-free number 301-435-0941 or Email your request, including your address to [email protected] Formal requests for additional plans and instruments must be requested in writing.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 requires: written comments and/or suggestions from the public and affected agencies are invited to address one or more of the following points: (1) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the function of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) 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; (3) Ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (4) Ways to minimizes the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Proposed Collection Title: Public Health Service (PHS) Post-award Reporting Requirements, Revision, OMB 0925-0002, Expiration Date 10/31/2018. Form numbers: PHS 2590, PHS 416-7, PHS 2271, PHS 3734, PHS 6031-1, and HHS 568. This collection represents a consolidation of post-award reporting requirements under the PRA, including the Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR). This collection includes the proposed additional reporting requirements for clinical trials.

    Need and Use of Information Collection: The RPPR is now required to be used by all NIH, Food and Drug Administration, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) grantees. Interim progress reports are required to continue support of a PHS grant for each budget year within a competitive segment. The phased transition to the RPPR required the maintenance of dual reporting processes for a period of time. Continued use of the PHS Non-competing Continuation Progress Report (PHS 2590), exists for a small group of grantees. This collection also includes other PHS post-award reporting requirements: PHS 416-7 National Research Service Award (NRSA) Termination Notice, PHS 2271 Statement of Appointment, 6031-1 NRSA Annual Payback Activities Certification, HHS 568 Final Invention Statement and Certification, Final Progress Report instructions, iEdison, and PHS 3734 Statement Relinquishing Interests and Rights in a PHS Research Grant. The PHS 416-7, 2271, and 6031-1 are used by NRSA recipients to activate, terminate, and provide for payback of a NRSA. Closeout of an award requires a Final Invention Statement (HHS 568) and Final Progress Report. iEdison allows grantees and federal agencies to meet statutory requirements for reporting inventions and patents. The PHS 3734 serves as the official record of grantee relinquishment of a PHS award when an award is transferred from one grantee institution to another. Pre-award reporting requirements are simultaneously consolidated under 0925-0001 and the changes to the collection here are related. Clinical trials are complex and challenging research activities. Oversight systems and tools are critical for the NIH to ensure participant safety, data integrity, and accountability of the use of public funds. The NIH has been engaged in a multi-year effort to examine how clinical trials are supported and the level of oversight needed. The collection of more structured information in the PHS applications and pre-award reporting requirements as well as continued monitoring and update during the post-award reporting requirements will facilitate the NIH's oversight of clinical trials. In addition, some of the data reported in the RPPR will ultimately be accessible to investigators to update certain sections of forms when registering or reporting their trials with ClinicalTrials.gov.

    Frequency of response: Applicants may submit applications for published receipt dates. For NRSA awards, fellowships are activated and trainees appointed.

    OMB approval is requested for 3 years. There are no costs to respondents other than their time. The total estimated annualized burden hours are 307,116.

    Estimated Annualized Burden Hours Information collection forms Number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Average
  • burden per
  • response
  • (in hours)
  • Total annual burden
  • hours
  • Reporting: PHS 416-7 12,580 1 30/60 6,290 PHS 6031-1 1,778 1 20/60 593 PHS 568 11,180 1 5/60 932 iEdison 5,697 1 15/60 1,424 PHS 2271 22,035 1 15/60 5,509 PHS 2590 243 1 15 3,645 RPPR—Core Data 32,098 1 8 256,784 Biosketch (Part of RPPR) 2,544 1 2 5,088 Data Tables (Part of RPPR) 758 1 4 3,032 PHS Inclusion Enrollment Report (Part of RPPR) 2,544 1 1 2,544 PHS Clinical Trial Report/Form (Part of RPPR) 8,264 1 1 8,264 Trainee Diversity Report (Part of RPPR) 480 1 15/60 120 Publication Reporting 32,341 3 5/60 8,085 PHS 3734 479 1 30/60 240 Final Progress Report 11,125 1 1 11,125 SBIR/STTR Phase II Final Progress Report 1,330 1 1 1,330 Reporting Burden Total 306,741 Recordkeeping: SBIR/STTR Life Cycle Certification 1,500 1 15/60 375 Grand Total 203,394 307,116
    Dated: October 22, 2016. Lawrence A. Tabak, Deputy Director, National Institutes of Health.
    [FR Doc. 2016-26447 Filed 11-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health Government-Owned Inventions; Availability for Licensing AGENCY:

    National Institutes of Health, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The inventions listed below are owned by an agency of the U.S. Government and are available for licensing in the U.S. in accordance with 35 U.S.C. 209 and 37 CFR part 404 to achieve expeditious commercialization of federally-funded research and development. Foreign patent applications are filed on selected inventions to extend market coverage for companies and may also be available for licensing.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Licensing information and copies of the U.S. patent applications listed below may be obtained by writing to the indicated licensing contact at the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, Office of Technology Transfer and Development, National Institutes of Health, 31 Center Drive Room 4A29, MSC2479, Bethesda, MD 20892-2479; telephone: 301-402-5579. A signed Confidential Disclosure Agreement may be required to receive copies of the patent applications.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Technology descriptions follow.

    Methods for Artificial Oocyte Activation Description of Technology

    Available for licensing and commercial development for both human and veterinary uses is a method of activating mammalian oocytes. These methods include contacting a mammalian oocyte of interest arrested at metaphase II with an effective amount of a Regulator of G-Protein Signaling (RGS)2 inhibitor; and contacting the mammalian oocyte of interest with an effective amount of a G protein coupled receptor activator. In general, RGS proteins stimulate the hydrolysis of GTP bound to activated Gα subunits, leading to signal termination. RGS2, which inhibits both G-αq and G-αs signaling suppresses Ca2+ release in mature mammalian eggs. Regulators of G-Protein Signaling (RGS)2 inhibitor and a G protein coupled receptor activator can be used to artificially activate a mammalian oocyte such that it re-enters the cell cycle. Examples of RGS2 inhibitors can be nucleic acids like siRNAs or dsRNAs. G-protein coupled receptor activators can be acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter such as serotonin, hormones, natural or synthetic G protein coupled receptor ligands or modulator, and acidic pH. The oocyte can be fertilized in vitro to form an embryo, which can be implanted in a subject and developed to term or can be used for the preparation of stem cells.

    Potential Commercial Applications • in vitro fertilization Development Stage • Early Stage

    Inventors: Miranda L. Bernhardt, Carmen J. Williams, Andres Gambini (all of NIEHS), and Lisa M. Mehlmann (University of Connecticut).

    Intellectual Property: HHS Reference No. E-253-2016/0.

    • U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 62/405,803 filed 7 October 2016.

    Licensing Contact: Michael Shmilovich, Esq, CLP; 301-435-5019; [email protected]

    Dated: October 24, 2016. Michael Shmilovich, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, Office of Technology Transfer and Development, National Institutes of Health.
    [FR Doc. 2016-26390 Filed 11-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Cancer Institute; Notice of Meeting

    Pursuant to section 10(a) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. App.), notice is hereby given of the meeting of the President's Cancer Panel.

    The meeting will be open to the public, with attendance limited to space available. Individuals who plan to attend and need special assistance, such as sign language interpretation or other reasonable accommodations, should notify the Contact Person listed below in advance of the meeting.

    Name of Committee: President's Cancer Panel.

    Date: December 9, 2016.

    Time: 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

    Agenda: Emerging Opportunities to Streamline Cancer Drug Development.

    Place: The Ritz Carlton Pentagon City, 1250 S. Hayes Street, Arlington, VA 22202.

    Contact Person: Abby B. Sandler, Ph.D., Executive Secretary, President's Cancer Panel, Special Assistant to the Director, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, NIH, 9000 Rockville Pike, Building 31, Room B2B37, MSC 2590, Bethesda, MD 20892-8349, 301-451-9399, [email protected]

    Any interested person may file written comments with the committee by forwarding the statement to the Contact Person listed on this notice. The statement should include the name, address, telephone number and when applicable, the business or professional affiliation of the interested person.

    Information is also available on the Institute's/Center's home page: https://prescancerpanel.cancer.gov/, where an agenda and any additional information for the meeting will be posted when available.

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.392, Cancer Construction; 93.393, Cancer Cause and Prevention Research; 93.394, Cancer Detection and Diagnosis Research; 93.395, Cancer Treatment Research; 93.396, Cancer Biology Research; 93.397, Cancer Centers Support; 93.398, Cancer Research Manpower; 93.399, Cancer Control, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: October 26, 2016. Natasha M. Copeland, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2016-26389 Filed 11-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed Meetings

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. App.), notice is hereby given of the following meetings.

    The meetings will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel, Member Conflict: Topics in Cell Biology.

    Date: November 29, 2016.

    Time: 12:15 p.m. to 2:15 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892 (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Janet M Larkin, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 1102, MSC 7840, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-806-2765, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel; Member Conflict: Allergy, Autoimmunity, Transplantation, and Tumor Immunology.

    Date: November 29, 2016.

    Time: 12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892 (Virtual Meeting).

    Contact Person: Liying Guo, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 4016F, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-435-0908, [email protected]

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.306, Comparative Medicine; 93.333, Clinical Research, 93.306, 93.333, 93.337, 93.393-93.396, 93.837-93.844, 93.846-93.878, 93.892, 93.893, National Institutes of Health, HHS) Dated: October 28, 2016. Anna Snouffer, Deputy Director, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2016-26450 Filed 11-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed Meetings

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. App.), notice is hereby given of the following meetings.

    The meetings will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel, Member Conflicts—Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience.

    Date: November 17, 2016.

    Time: 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892 (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Brian H Scott, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, National Institutes of Health, Center for Scientific Review, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-435-1730, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel; Program Projects: Mechanisms of Cell Division.

    Date: November 28, 2016.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892 (Virtual Meeting).

    Contact Person: Elena Smirnova, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 5187, MSC 7840, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-435-1236, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel; Member Conflict: Molecular and Cellular Aspects of Nutrition, Obesity and Diabetes.

    Date: November 29, 2016.

    Time: 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892 (Virtual Meeting).

    Contact Person: Raul Rojas, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 6185, Bethesda, MD 20892, (301)451-6319, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: Center for Scientific Review Special Emphasis Panel; PAR-12-251: Behavioral Science Track Award for Rapid Transition Review.

    Date: December 2, 2016.

    Time: 1:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892 (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Wind Cowles, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 3172, Bethesda, MD 20892, [email protected]

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.306, Comparative Medicine; 93.333, Clinical Research, 93.306, 93.333, 93.337, 93.393-93.396, 93.837-93.844, 93.846-93.878, 93.892, 93.893, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: October 27, 2016. Carolyn Baum, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2016-26454 Filed 11-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute Of Child Health & Human Development; Notice of Closed Meetings

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. App.), notice is hereby given of the following meetings.

    The meetings will be closed to the public in accordance with the provisions set forth in sections 552b(c)(4) and 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended. The grant applications and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the grant applications, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Special Emphasis Panel.

    Date: November 4, 2016.

    Time: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: Residence Inn Bethesda, 7335 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, MD 20814.

    Contact Person: Cathy J. Wedeen, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Division of Scientific Review, OD, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, NIH, DHHS, 6710B Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-435-6878, [email protected].

    This notice is being published less than 15 days prior to the meeting due to the timing limitations imposed by the review and funding cycle.

    Name of Committee: National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Special Emphasis Panel; Multivariate Genetics & Genomics of Reading & Comprehension & Related Cognition.

    Date: November 28, 2016.

    Time: 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 6710 B Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892, (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Marita R. Hopmann, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Division of Scientific Review, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, 6710B Rockledge Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892, (301) 435-6911, [email protected]

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.864, Population Research; 93.865, Research for Mothers and Children; 93.929, Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research; 93.209, Contraception and Infertility Loan Repayment Program, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: October 27, 2016. Michelle Trout, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2016-26387 Filed 11-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Institute of Allergy And Infectious Diseases; Notice of Closed Meeting

    Pursuant to section 10(d) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, as amended (5 U.S.C. App.), notice is hereby given of a meeting of the Division of Intramural Research Board of Scientific Counselors, NIAID.

    The meeting will be closed to the public as indicated below in accordance with the provisions set forth in section 552b(c)(6), Title 5 U.S.C., as amended for the review, discussion, and evaluation of individual intramural programs and projects conducted by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, including consideration of personnel qualifications and performance, and the competence of individual investigators, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: Division of Intramural Research Board of Scientific Counselors, NIAID.

    Date: December 12-14, 2016.

    Time: December 12, 2016, 7:45 a.m. to 5:45 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate personal qualifications and performance, and competence of individual investigators.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, Building 50, Louis Stokes Laboratories, Conference Rooms 1227/1233, 50 Center Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892.

    Time: December 13, 2016, 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate personal qualifications and performance, and competence of individual investigators.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, Building 50, Louis Stokes Laboratories, Conference Rooms 1227/1233, 50 Center Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892.

    Time: December 14, 2016, 7:00 a.m. to Adjournment.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate personal qualifications and performance, and competence of individual investigators.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, Building 50, Louis Stokes Laboratories, Conference Rooms 1227/1233, 50 Center Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892.

    Contact Person: Steven M. Holland, MD, Ph.D., Chief, Laboratory of Clinical Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health/NIAID, Hatfield Clinical Research Center, Bethesda, MD 20892-1684, 301-402-7684, [email protected]

    (Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance Program Nos. 93.855, Allergy, Immunology, and Transplantation Research; 93.856, Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Research, National Institutes of Health, HHS)
    Dated: October 26, 2016. Natasha M. Copeland, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2016-26388 Filed 11-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Current List of HHS-Certified Laboratories and Instrumented Initial Testing Facilities Which Meet Minimum Standards To Engage in Urine Drug Testing for Federal Agencies AGENCY:

    Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, HHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) notifies federal agencies of the laboratories and Instrumented Initial Testing Facilities (IITF) currently certified to meet the standards of the Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs (Mandatory Guidelines). The Mandatory Guidelines were first published in the Federal Register on April 11, 1988 (53 FR 11970), and subsequently revised in the Federal Register on June 9, 1994 (59 FR 29908); September 30, 1997 (62 FR 51118); April 13, 2004 (69 FR 19644); November 25, 2008 (73 FR 71858); December 10, 2008 (73 FR 75122); and on April 30, 2010 (75 FR 22809).

    A notice listing all currently HHS-certified laboratories and IITFs is published in the Federal Register during the first week of each month. If any laboratory or IITF certification is suspended or revoked, the laboratory or IITF will be omitted from subsequent lists until such time as it is restored to full certification under the Mandatory Guidelines.

    If any laboratory or IITF has withdrawn from the HHS National Laboratory Certification Program (NLCP) during the past month, it will be listed at the end and will be omitted from the monthly listing thereafter.

    This notice is also available on the Internet at http://www.samhsa.gov/workplace.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Giselle Hersh, Division of Workplace Programs, SAMHSA/CSAP, 5600 Fishers Lane, Room 16N03A, Rockville, Maryland 20857; 240-276-2600 (voice).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Mandatory Guidelines were initially developed in accordance with Executive Order 12564 and section 503 of Public Law 100-71. The “Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs,” as amended in the revisions listed above, requires strict standards that laboratories and IITFs must meet in order to conduct drug and specimen validity tests on urine specimens for federal agencies.

    To become certified, an applicant laboratory or IITF must undergo three rounds of performance testing plus an on-site inspection. To maintain that certification, a laboratory or IITF must participate in a quarterly performance testing program plus undergo periodic, on-site inspections.

    Laboratories and IITFs in the applicant stage of certification are not to be considered as meeting the minimum requirements described in the HHS Mandatory Guidelines. A HHS-certified laboratory or IITF must have its letter of certification from HHS/SAMHSA (formerly: HHS/NIDA), which attests that it has met minimum standards.

    In accordance with the Mandatory Guidelines dated November 25, 2008 (73 FR 71858), the following HHS-certified laboratories and IITFs meet the minimum standards to conduct drug and specimen validity tests on urine specimens:

    HHS-Certified Instrumented Initial Testing Facilities Dynacare, 6628 50th Street NW., Edmonton, AB Canada T6B 2N7, 780-784-1190, (Formerly: Gamma-Dynacare Medical Laboratories). HHS-Certified Laboratories ACM Medical Laboratory, Inc., 160 Elmgrove Park, Rochester, NY 14624, 585-429-2264. Aegis Analytical Laboratories, Inc., 345 Hill Ave., Nashville, TN 37210, 615-255-2400, (Formerly: Aegis Sciences Corporation, Aegis Analytical Laboratories, Inc., Aegis Analytical Laboratories). Alere Toxicology Services, 1111 Newton St., Gretna, LA 70053, 504-361-8989/800-433-3823, (Formerly: Kroll Laboratory Specialists, Inc., Laboratory Specialists, Inc.). Alere Toxicology Services, 450 Southlake Blvd., Richmond, VA 23236, 804-378-9130, (Formerly: Kroll Laboratory Specialists, Inc., Scientific Testing Laboratories, Inc.; Kroll Scientific Testing Laboratories, Inc.). Baptist Medical Center-Toxicology Laboratory, 11401 I-30, Little Rock, AR 72209-7056, 501-202-2783, (Formerly: Forensic Toxicology Laboratory Baptist Medical Center). Clinical Reference Laboratory, Inc., 8433 Quivira Road, Lenexa, KS 66215-2802, 800-445-6917. DrugScan, Inc., 200 Precision Road, Suite 200, Horsham, PA 19044, 800-235-4890. Dynacare*, 245 Pall Mall Street, London, ONT, Canada N6A 1P4, 519-679-1630, (Formerly: Gamma-Dynacare Medical Laboratories). ElSohly Laboratories, Inc., 5 Industrial Park Drive, Oxford, MS 38655, 662-236-2609. Fortes Laboratories, Inc., 25749 SW. Canyon Creek Road, Suite 600, Wilsonville, OR 97070, 503-486-1023. Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings, 7207 N. Gessner Road, Houston, TX 77040, 713-856-8288/800-800-2387. Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings, 69 First Ave., Raritan, NJ 08869, 908-526-2400/800-437-4986, (Formerly: Roche Biomedical Laboratories, Inc.). Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings, 1904 Alexander Drive, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709, 919-572-6900/800-833-3984, (Formerly: LabCorp Occupational Testing Services, Inc., CompuChem Laboratories, Inc.; CompuChem Laboratories, Inc., A Subsidiary of Roche Biomedical Laboratory; Roche CompuChem Laboratories, Inc., A Member of the Roche Group). Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings, 1120 Main Street, Southaven, MS 38671, 866-827-8042/800-233-6339, (Formerly: LabCorp Occupational Testing Services, Inc.; MedExpress/National Laboratory Center). LabOne, Inc. d/b/a Quest Diagnostics, 10101 Renner Blvd., Lenexa, KS 66219, 913-888-3927/800-873-8845, (Formerly: Quest Diagnostics Incorporated; LabOne, Inc.; Center for Laboratory Services, a Division of LabOne, Inc.). MedTox Laboratories, Inc., 402 W. County Road D, St. Paul, MN 55112, 651-636-7466/800-832-3244. MetroLab-Legacy Laboratory Services, 1225 NE 2nd Ave., Portland, OR 97232, 503-413-5295/800-950-5295. Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Forensic Toxicology Laboratory, 1 Veterans Drive, Minneapolis, MN 55417, 612-725-2088, Testing for Veterans Affairs (VA) Employees Only. National Toxicology Laboratories, Inc., 1100 California Ave., Bakersfield, CA 93304, 661-322-4250/800-350-3515. One Source Toxicology Laboratory, Inc., 1213 Genoa-Red Bluff, Pasadena, TX 77504, 888-747-3774, (Formerly: University of Texas Medical Branch, Clinical Chemistry Division; UTMB Pathology-Toxicology Laboratory). Pacific Toxicology Laboratories, 9348 DeSoto Ave., Chatsworth, CA 91311, 800-328-6942, (Formerly: Centinela Hospital Airport Toxicology Laboratory). Pathology Associates Medical Laboratories, 110 West Cliff Dr., Spokane, WA 99204, 509-755-8991/800-541-7891x7. Phamatech, Inc., 15175 Innovation Drive, San Diego, CA 92128, 888-635-5840. Quest Diagnostics Incorporated, 1777 Montreal Circle, Tucker, GA 30084, 800-729-6432, (Formerly: SmithKline Beecham Clinical Laboratories; SmithKline Bio-Science Laboratories). Quest Diagnostics Incorporated, 400 Egypt Road, Norristown, PA 19403, 610-631-4600/877-642-2216, (Formerly: SmithKline Beecham Clinical Laboratories; SmithKline Bio-Science Laboratories). Quest Diagnostics Incorporated, 8401 Fallbrook Ave., West Hills, CA 91304, 818-737-6370, (Formerly: SmithKline Beecham Clinical Laboratories). Redwood Toxicology Laboratory, 3650 Westwind Blvd., Santa Rosa, CA 95403, 800-255-2159. Southwest Laboratories, 4625 E. Cotton Center Boulevard, Suite 177, Phoenix, AZ 85040, 602-438-8507/800-279-0027. STERLING Reference Laboratories, 2617 East L Street, Tacoma, Washington 98421, 800-442-0438. U.S. Army Forensic Toxicology Drug Testing Laboratory, 2490 Wilson St., Fort George G. Meade, MD 20755-5235, 301-677-7085, Testing for Department of Defense (DoD) Employees Only.

    *The Standards Council of Canada (SCC) voted to end its Laboratory Accreditation Program for Substance Abuse (LAPSA) effective May 12, 1998. Laboratories certified through that program were accredited to conduct forensic urine drug testing as required by U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations. As of that date, the certification of those accredited Canadian laboratories will continue under DOT authority. The responsibility for conducting quarterly performance testing plus periodic on-site inspections of those LAPSA-accredited laboratories was transferred to the U.S. HHS, with the HHS' NLCP contractor continuing to have an active role in the performance testing and laboratory inspection processes. Other Canadian laboratories wishing to be considered for the NLCP may apply directly to the NLCP contractor just as U.S. laboratories do.

    Upon finding a Canadian laboratory to be qualified, HHS will recommend that DOT certify the laboratory (Federal Register, July 16, 1996) as meeting the minimum standards of the Mandatory Guidelines published in the Federal Register on April 30, 2010 (75 FR 22809). After receiving DOT certification, the laboratory will be included in the monthly list of HHS-certified laboratories and participate in the NLCP certification maintenance program.

    Charles LoDico, Chemist.
    [FR Doc. 2016-26427 Filed 11-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4160-20-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Federal Emergency Management Agency [Internal Agency Docket No. FEMA-4285-DR; Docket ID FEMA-2016-0001] North Carolina; Amendment No. 3 to Notice of a Major Disaster Declaration AGENCY:

    Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice amends the notice of a major disaster declaration for the State of North Carolina (FEMA-4285-DR), dated October 10, 2016, and related determinations.

    DATES:

    Effective October 13, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dean Webster, Office of Response and Recovery, Federal Emergency Management Agency, 500 C Street SW., Washington, DC 20472, (202) 646-2833.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The notice of a major disaster declaration for the State of North Carolina is hereby amended to include the following areas among those areas determined to have been adversely affected by the event declared a major disaster by the President in his declaration of October 10, 2016.

    Dare and Hyde Counties for Individual Assistance (already designated for assistance for debris removal and emergency protective measures [Categories A and B], including direct federal assistance, under the Public Assistance program).

    Jones County for Individual Assistance and assistance for debris removal and emergency protective measures (Categories A and B), including direct federal assistance, under the Public Assistance program.

    The following Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Numbers (CFDA) are to be used for reporting and drawing funds: 97.030, Community Disaster Loans; 97.031, Cora Brown Fund; 97.032, Crisis Counseling; 97.033, Disaster Legal Services; 97.034, Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA); 97.046, Fire Management Assistance Grant; 97.048, Disaster Housing Assistance to Individuals and Households In Presidentially Declared Disaster Areas; 97.049, Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance—Disaster Housing Operations for Individuals and Households; 97.050 Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance to Individuals and Households—Other Needs; 97.036, Disaster Grants—Public Assistance (Presidentially Declared Disasters); 97.039, Hazard Mitigation Grant.

    W. Craig Fugate, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency.
    [FR Doc. 2016-26478 Filed 11-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-23-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Federal Emergency Management Agency [Internal Agency Docket No. FEMA-4285-DR; Docket ID FEMA-2016-0001] North Carolina; Amendment No. 7 to Notice of a Major Disaster Declaration AGENCY:

    Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice amends the notice of a major disaster declaration for the State of North Carolina (FEMA-4285-DR), dated October 10, 2016, and related determinations.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: October 19, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dean Webster, Office of Response and Recovery, Federal Emergency Management Agency, 500 C Street SW., Washington, DC 20472, (202) 646-2833.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The notice of a major disaster declaration for the State of North Carolina is hereby amended to include the following area among those areas determined to have been adversely affected by the event declared a major disaster by the President in his declaration of October 10, 2016.

    Onslow County for Individual Assistance (already designated for assistance for debris removal and emergency protective measures [Categories A and B], including direct federal assistance, under the Public Assistance program).

    The following Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Numbers (CFDA) are to be used for reporting and drawing funds: 97.030, Community Disaster Loans; 97.031, Cora Brown Fund; 97.032, Crisis Counseling; 97.033, Disaster Legal Services; 97.034, Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA); 97.046, Fire Management Assistance Grant; 97.048, Disaster Housing Assistance to Individuals and Households In Presidentially Declared Disaster Areas; 97.049, Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance—Disaster Housing Operations for Individuals and Households; 97.050 Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance to Individuals and Households—Other Needs; 97.036, Disaster Grants—Public Assistance (Presidentially Declared Disasters); 97.039, Hazard Mitigation Grant.

    W. Craig Fugate, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency.
    [FR Doc. 2016-26472 Filed 11-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-23-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Federal Emergency Management Agency [Internal Agency Docket No. FEMA-4285-DR; Docket ID FEMA-2016-0001] North Carolina; Amendment No. 8 to Notice of a Major Disaster Declaration AGENCY:

    Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice amends the notice of a major disaster declaration for the State of North Carolina (FEMA-4285-DR), dated October 10, 2016, and related determinations.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: October 24, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dean Webster, Office of Response and Recovery, Federal Emergency Management Agency, 500 C Street SW., Washington, DC 20472, (202) 646-2833.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The notice of a major disaster declaration for the State of North Carolina is hereby amended to include the following areas among those areas determined to have been adversely affected by the event declared a major disaster by the President in his declaration of October 10, 2016.

    Lee, Moore, and Wake Counties for Individual Assistance and assistance for debris removal and emergency protective measures (Categories A and B), including direct federal assistance, under the Public Assistance program.

    The following Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Numbers (CFDA) are to be used for reporting and drawing funds: 97.030, Community Disaster Loans; 97.031, Cora Brown Fund; 97.032, Crisis Counseling; 97.033, Disaster Legal Services; 97.034, Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA); 97.046, Fire Management Assistance Grant; 97.048, Disaster Housing Assistance to Individuals and Households In Presidentially Declared Disaster Areas; 97.049, Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance—Disaster Housing Operations for Individuals and Households; 97.050 Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance to Individuals and Households—Other Needs; 97.036, Disaster Grants—Public Assistance (Presidentially Declared Disasters); 97.039, Hazard Mitigation Grant.

    W. Craig Fugate, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency.
    [FR Doc. 2016-26471 Filed 11-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-23-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Federal Emergency Management Agency [Internal Agency Docket No. FEMA-4285-DR; Docket ID FEMA-2016-0001] North Carolina; Amendment No. 6 to Notice of a Major Disaster Declaration AGENCY:

    Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice amends the notice of a major disaster declaration for the State of North Carolina (FEMA-4285-DR), dated October 10, 2016, and related determinations.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: October 17, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dean Webster, Office of Response and Recovery, Federal Emergency Management Agency, 500 C Street SW., Washington, DC 20472, (202) 646-2833.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The notice of a major disaster declaration for the State of North Carolina is hereby amended to include the following area among those areas determined to have been adversely affected by the event declared a major disaster by the President in his declaration of October 10, 2016.

    Craven County for Individual Assistance (already designated for assistance for debris removal and emergency protective measures [Categories A and B], including direct federal assistance, under the Public Assistance program).

    The following Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Numbers (CFDA) are to be used for reporting and drawing funds: 97.030, Community Disaster Loans; 97.031, Cora Brown Fund; 97.032, Crisis Counseling; 97.033, Disaster Legal Services; 97.034, Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA); 97.046, Fire Management Assistance Grant; 97.048, Disaster Housing Assistance to Individuals and Households In Presidentially Declared Disaster Areas; 97.049, Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance—Disaster Housing Operations for Individuals and Households; 97.050 Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance to Individuals and Households—Other Needs; 97.036, Disaster Grants—Public Assistance (Presidentially Declared Disasters); 97.039, Hazard Mitigation Grant.

    W. Craig Fugate, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency.
    [FR Doc. 2016-26474 Filed 11-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-23-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Federal Emergency Management Agency [Internal Agency Docket No. FEMA-4287-DR; Docket ID FEMA-2016-0001] Kansas; Major Disaster and Related Determinations AGENCY:

    Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This is a notice of the Presidential declaration of a major disaster for the State of Kansas (FEMA-4287-DR), dated October 20, 2016, and related determinations.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: October 20, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dean Webster, Office of Response and Recovery, Federal Emergency Management Agency, 500 C Street SW., Washington, DC 20472, (202) 646-2833.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Notice is hereby given that, in a letter dated October 20, 2016, the President issued a major disaster declaration under the authority of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. 5121 et seq. (the “Stafford Act”), as follows:

    I have determined that the damage in certain areas of the State of Kansas resulting from severe storms and flooding during the period of September 2-12, 2016, is of sufficient severity and magnitude to warrant a major disaster declaration under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. 5121 et seq. (the “Stafford Act”). Therefore, I declare that such a major disaster exists in the State of Kansas.

    In order to provide Federal assistance, you are hereby authorized to allocate from funds available for these purposes such amounts as you find necessary for Federal disaster assistance and administrative expenses.

    You are authorized to provide Public Assistance in the designated areas and Hazard Mitigation throughout the State. Consistent with the requirement that Federal assistance be supplemental, any Federal funds provided under the Stafford Act for Hazard Mitigation will be limited to 75 percent of the total eligible costs. Federal funds provided under the Stafford Act for Public Assistance also will be limited to 75 percent of the total eligible costs, with the exception of projects that meet the eligibility criteria for a higher Federal cost-sharing percentage under the Public Assistance Alternative Procedures Pilot Program for Debris Removal implemented pursuant to section 428 of the Stafford Act.

    Further, you are authorized to make changes to this declaration for the approved assistance to the extent allowable under the Stafford Act.

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) hereby gives notice that pursuant to the authority vested in the Administrator, under Executive Order 12148, as amended, Christian M. Van Alstyne, of FEMA is appointed to act as the Federal Coordinating Officer for this major disaster.

    The following areas of the State of Kansas have been designated as adversely affected by this major disaster:

    Cheyenne, Cowley, Ellis, Graham, Greenwood, Kingman, Norton, Rooks, Russell, Sedgwick, and Sumner Counties for Public Assistance.

    All areas within the State of Kansas are eligible for assistance under the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.

    The following Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Numbers (CFDA) are to be used for reporting and drawing funds: 97.030, Community Disaster Loans; 97.031, Cora Brown Fund; 97.032, Crisis Counseling; 97.033, Disaster Legal Services; 97.034, Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA); 97.046, Fire Management Assistance Grant; 97.048, Disaster Housing Assistance to Individuals and Households In Presidentially Declared Disaster Areas; 97.049, Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance—Disaster Housing Operations for Individuals and Households; 97.050, Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance to Individuals and Households—Other Needs; 97.036, Disaster Grants—Public Assistance (Presidentially Declared Disasters); 97.039, Hazard Mitigation Grant.

    W. Craig Fugate, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency.
    [FR Doc. 2016-26476 Filed 11-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-23-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Federal Emergency Management Agency [Internal Agency Docket No. FEMA-4285-DR; Docket ID FEMA-2016-0001] North Carolina; Amendment No. 9 to Notice of a Major Disaster Declaration AGENCY:

    Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice amends the notice of a major disaster declaration for the State of North Carolina (FEMA-4285-DR), dated October 10, 2016, and related determinations.

    DATES:

    Effective October 25, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dean Webster, Office of Response and Recovery, Federal Emergency Management Agency, 500 C Street SW., Washington, DC 20472, (202) 646-2833.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The notice of a major disaster declaration for the State of North Carolina is hereby amended to include the following areas among those areas determined to have been adversely affected by the event declared a major disaster by the President in his declaration of October 10, 2016.

    Camden, Chowan, Currituck, and Pasquotank Counties for Individual Assistance (already designated for assistance for debris removal and emergency protective measures [Categories A and B], including direct federal assistance, under the Public Assistance program).

    Hertford County for assistance for debris removal and emergency protective measures (Categories A and B), including direct federal assistance, under the Public Assistance program.

    The following Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Numbers (CFDA) are to be used for reporting and drawing funds: 97.030, Community Disaster Loans; 97.031, Cora Brown Fund; 97.032, Crisis Counseling; 97.033, Disaster Legal Services; 97.034, Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA); 97.046, Fire Management Assistance Grant; 97.048, Disaster Housing Assistance to Individuals and Households In Presidentially Declared Disaster Areas; 97.049, Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance—Disaster Housing Operations for Individuals and Households; 97.050 Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance to Individuals and Households—Other Needs; 97.036, Disaster Grants—Public Assistance (Presidentially Declared Disasters); 97.039, Hazard Mitigation Grant.

    W. Craig Fugate, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency.
    [FR Doc. 2016-26483 Filed 11-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-23-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Federal Emergency Management Agency [Internal Agency Docket No. FEMA-4285-DR; Docket ID FEMA-2016-0001] North Carolina; Amendment No. 5 to Notice of a Major Disaster Declaration AGENCY:

    Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice amends the notice of a major disaster declaration for the State of North Carolina (FEMA-4285-DR), dated October 10, 2016, and related determinations.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: October 17, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dean Webster, Office of Response and Recovery, Federal Emergency Management Agency, 500 C Street SW., Washington, DC 20472, (202) 646-2833.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The notice of a major disaster declaration for the State of North Carolina is hereby amended to include the following areas among those areas determined to have been adversely affected by the event declared a major disaster by the President in his declaration of October 10, 2016.

    Martin County for Individual Assistance and assistance for debris removal and emergency protective measures (Categories A and B), including direct federal assistance, under the Public Assistance program.

    Tyrrell and Washington Counties for Individual Assistance (already designated for assistance for debris removal and emergency protective measures [Categories A and B], including direct federal assistance, under the Public Assistance program).

    The following Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Numbers (CFDA) are to be used for reporting and drawing funds: 97.030, Community Disaster Loans; 97.031, Cora Brown Fund; 97.032, Crisis Counseling; 97.033, Disaster Legal Services; 97.034, Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA); 97.046, Fire Management Assistance Grant; 97.048, Disaster Housing Assistance to Individuals and Households In Presidentially Declared Disaster Areas; 97.049, Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance—Disaster Housing Operations for Individuals and Households; 97.050 Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance to Individuals and Households—Other Needs; 97.036, Disaster Grants—Public Assistance (Presidentially Declared Disasters); 97.039, Hazard Mitigation Grant.

    W. Craig Fugate, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency.
    [FR Doc. 2016-26475 Filed 11-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-23-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Federal Emergency Management Agency [Internal Agency Docket No. FEMA-4278-DR; Docket ID FEMA-2016-0001] Kentucky; Amendment No. 1 to Notice of a Major Disaster Declaration AGENCY:

    Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice amends the notice of a major disaster declaration for Commonwealth of Kentucky (FEMA-4278-DR), dated August 26, 2016, and related determinations.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: October 24, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dean Webster, Office of Response and Recovery, Federal Emergency Management Agency, 500 C Street SW., Washington, DC 20472, (202) 646-2833.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) hereby gives notice that pursuant to the authority vested in the Administrator, under Executive Order 12148, as amended, Lai Sun Yee, of FEMA is appointed to act as the Federal Coordinating Officer for this disaster.

    This action terminates the appointment of Warren J. Riley as Federal Coordinating Officer for this disaster.

    The following Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Numbers (CFDA) are to be used for reporting and drawing funds: 97.030, Community Disaster Loans; 97.031, Cora Brown Fund; 97.032, Crisis Counseling; 97.033, Disaster Legal Services; 97.034, Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA); 97.046, Fire Management Assistance Grant; 97.048, Disaster Housing Assistance to Individuals and Households In Presidentially Declared Disaster Areas; 97.049, Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance—Disaster Housing Operations for Individuals and Households; 97.050, Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance to Individuals and Households—Other Needs; 97.036, Disaster Grants—Public Assistance (Presidentially Declared Disasters); 97.039, Hazard Mitigation Grant.

    W. Craig Fugate, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency.
    [FR Doc. 2016-26479 Filed 11-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-23-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Federal Emergency Management Agency [Internal Agency Docket No. FEMA-4284-DR; Docket ID FEMA-2016-0001] Georgia; Amendment No. 5 to Notice of a Major Disaster Declaration AGENCY:

    Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice amends the notice of a major disaster declaration for the State of Georgia (FEMA-4284-DR), dated October 8, 2016, and related determinations.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: October 27, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dean Webster, Office of Response and Recovery, Federal Emergency Management Agency, 500 C Street SW., Washington, DC 20472, (202) 646-2833.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The notice of a major disaster declaration for the State of Georgia is hereby amended to include the following area among those areas determined to have been adversely affected by the event declared a major disaster by the President in his declaration of October 8, 2016.

    Ware County for Public Assistance, including direct federal assistance.

    The following Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Numbers (CFDA) are to be used for reporting and drawing funds: 97.030, Community Disaster Loans; 97.031, Cora Brown Fund; 97.032, Crisis Counseling; 97.033, Disaster Legal Services; 97.034, Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA); 97.046, Fire Management Assistance Grant; 97.048, Disaster Housing Assistance to Individuals and Households In Presidentially Declared Disaster Areas; 97.049, Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance—Disaster Housing Operations for Individuals and Households; 97.050 Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance to Individuals and Households—Other Needs; 97.036, Disaster Grants—Public Assistance (Presidentially Declared Disasters); 97.039, Hazard Mitigation Grant.

    W. Craig Fugate, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency.
    [FR Doc. 2016-26484 Filed 11-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-23-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Federal Emergency Management Agency [Internal Agency Docket No. FEMA-4285-DR; Docket ID FEMA-2016-0001] North Carolina; Amendment No. 4 to Notice of a Major Disaster Declaration AGENCY:

    Federal Emergency Management Agency, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice amends the notice of a major disaster declaration for the State of North Carolina (FEMA-4285-DR), dated October 10, 2016, and related determinations.

    DATES:

    Effective Date: October 13, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dean Webster, Office of Response and Recovery, Federal Emergency Management Agency, 500 C Street SW., Washington, DC 20472, (202) 646-2833.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The notice of a major disaster declaration for the State of North Carolina is hereby amended to include the following areas among those areas determined to have been adversely affected by the event declared a major disaster by the President in his declaration of October 10, 2016.

    Duplin and Pender Counties for Individual Assistance (already designated for assistance for debris removal and emergency protective measures [Categories A and B], including direct federal assistance, under the Public Assistance program).

    Gates County for Individual Assistance and assistance for debris removal and emergency protective measures (Categories A and B), including direct federal assistance, under the Public Assistance program.

    The following Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Numbers (CFDA) are to be used for reporting and drawing funds: 97.030, Community Disaster Loans; 97.031, Cora Brown Fund; 97.032, Crisis Counseling; 97.033, Disaster Legal Services; 97.034, Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA); 97.046, Fire Management Assistance Grant; 97.048, Disaster Housing Assistance to Individuals and Households in Presidentially Declared Disaster Areas; 97.049, Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance—Disaster Housing Operations for Individuals and Households; 97.050 Presidentially Declared Disaster Assistance to Individuals and Households—Other Needs; 97.036, Disaster Grants—Public Assistance (Presidentially Declared Disasters); 97.039, Hazard Mitigation Grant.

    W. Craig Fugate, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency.
    [FR Doc. 2016-26477 Filed 11-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9111-23-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Fish and Wildlife Service [FWS-R8-MB-2016-N160; FF08M00000-FXMB12310800000-167] Golden Eagles; Programmatic Take Permit Decision; Finding of No Significant Impact for Final Environmental Assessment; Alta East Wind Project, Kern County, California AGENCY:

    Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability.

    SUMMARY:

    We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, announce the availability of a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for the final Environmental Assessment (FEA) under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) for the issuance of a take permit for golden eagles pursuant to the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (Eagle Act), in association with the operation of the Alta East Wind Project (Alta East) in Kern County, California. The FEA was prepared in response to an application from Alta Wind X, LLC (applicant), an affiliate of NRG Yield, Inc., for a 5-year programmatic take permit for golden eagles (Aquila chrysaetos) under the Eagle Act. The applicant will implement a conservation program to avoid, minimize, and compensate for the project's impacts to eagles, as described in the applicant's Eagle Conservation Plan (ECP). We solicited comments on the draft Environmental Assessment (Draft EA) and have reviewed those comments in the course of preparing our findings for this project. Based on the FEA, the Service concludes that a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) is appropriate. Based on the FONSI and findings we prepared associated with the permit application, we intend to issue the permit after 30 days.

    ADDRESSES:

    Obtaining Documents: You may download copies of the FONSI, FEA, our Response to Comments on the Draft EA and the Final ECP for the Alta East Wind Project on the Internet at: http://www.fws.gov/cno/conservation/MigratoryBirds/EaglePermits.html. Alternatively, you may use one of the methods below to request a CD-ROM of the document.

    Email: [email protected] Include “Alta East Eagle Permit draft EA Comments” in the subject line of the message.

    U.S. Mail: Heather Beeler, Migratory Bird Program, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Pacific Southwest Regional Office, 2800 Cottage Way, W-2605, Sacramento, CA 95825.

    Fax: Heather Beeler, Migratory Bird Program, 916-414-6486; Attn: Alta East Wind Project DEA Comments.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Heather Beeler, Migratory Bird Program, at the address shown in ADDRESSES or at (916) 414-6651 (telephone).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Introduction

    We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, evaluated an application under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act (16 U.S.C. 668a-d; Eagle Act) for a 5-year programmatic golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) take permit from the Alta Wind X, LLC (applicant), affiliate of NRG Yield, Inc. The applicant's Alta East Wind Project is an existing, operational wind facility in the Tehachapi Wind Resource Area (WRA) within Kern County, California. The application includes an Eagle Conservation Plan (ECP) as the foundation of the applicant's permit application. The ECP and the project's Bird and Bat Conservation Strategy describe actions taken and proposed future actions to avoid, minimize, and mitigate adverse effects on eagles, birds, and bats.

    We prepared the FEA and FONSI to evaluate the impacts to the human environment of several alternatives associated with this permit application and evaluated compliance with our Eagle Act permitting regulations in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) at 50 CFR 22.26, as well as impacts of implementation of the supporting ECP, which was included as an appendix to the DEA. The applicant has revised the ECP, and the Final ECP is an attachment to our FONSI (Attachment 3).

    Public Comments on the Draft Environmental Assessment (EA)

    We invited public comment on the Draft EA. In response, we received ten submissions; two submissions from Native American tribes, three from nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), three from the public, one from the electric utility industry and one from the applicant. One of the NGO comment letter combined comments from three different environmental organizations. Our responses to the comments on the Draft EA are presented in Attachment 2 of the FONSI.

    In total, the comment letters contained approximately 36 individual comments. These comments generally fell under one of five main categories: (1) Effects to the species (including number of fatalities, local and cumulative effects, other sources of fatalities, and overall population numbers); (2) advanced conservation practices (ACPs), Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) role, transparency of the process and future ACPs, project siting, and curtailment); (3) mitigation (addressing scientific basis for electric utility retrofits and location of retrofits); (4) monitoring and reporting (addressing project reporting and Tehachapi Wind Resource Area eagle mortality reporting); and (5) general comments about the permitting program (including comments opposing the issuance of an eagle take permit).

    Overall, the comments raised issues regarding the opportunities and challenges associated with issuing eagle take permits. We made changes to three topic areas of the FEA based on these comments. First, we added information on our risk evaluation under the curtailment program. We added more detailed information on the science behind the electric utility pole retrofit process for mitigation. We also expanded our discussion about our National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) Eagle Mitigation Account.

    We made some additional minor changes to the final EA to improve clarity. After considering all the comments, and in light of the record, we determined that neither substantial revisions nor a new analysis are required for the FEA. Detailed responses to specific comments are included in the FONSI (Attachment 2).

    Background

    The Eagle Act allows us to authorize bald eagle and golden eagle programmatic take (take that is recurring, is not caused solely by indirect effects, and that occurs over the long term in a location or locations that cannot be specifically identified). Such take must be incidental to actions that are otherwise lawful. The Eagle Act's implementing regulations define “take” as to “pursue, shoot, shoot at, poison, wound, kill, capture, trap, collect, destroy, molest, or disturb” individuals, their nests and eggs (50 CFR 22.3); and “disturb” is further defined as “to agitate or bother a bald or golden eagle to a degree that causes . . . (1) injury to an eagle, . . . (2) a decrease in its productivity, . . . or (3) nest abandonment” (50 CFR 22.3). The Alta East Wind Project will result in recurring eagle mortalities over the life of the project, so the appropriate type of take permit is the programmatic permit under 50 CFR 22.26.

    We may consider issuance of programmatic eagle take permits if (1) the incidental take is necessary to protect legitimate interests; (2) the take is compatible with the preservation standard of the Eagle Act—providing for stable or increasing breeding populations; (3) the take has been avoided and minimized to the degree achievable through implementation of Advanced Conservation Practices, and the remaining take is unavoidable; and (4) compensatory mitigation will be provided for any remaining take. The Service must determine that the direct and indirect effects of the take and required mitigation, together with the cumulative effects of other permitted take and additional factors affecting eagle populations, are compatible with the preservation of bald eagles and golden eagles.

    Decision

    The Service's Selected Alternative for our issuance of a programmatic eagle take permit to Alta East contains elements of Alternatives 3, 4 and 5 of the EA. Under the Selected Alternative described in our FONSI, we will issue a 5-year programmatic eagle take permit to Alta X Wind, LLC for take of up to 3 golden eagles requiring implementation of the ECP, curtailment when eagles are detected and additional monitoring and mitigation. The Service has determined that a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) is appropriate for this action. Based on the FONSI and findings prepared associated with the permit application, we intend to issue a permit after 30 days.

    Authority

    We provide this notice under Section 668a of the Eagle Act (16 U.S.C. 668-668c) and NEPA regulations (40 CFR 1506.6).

    Dated: October 14, 2016. Alexandra Pitts, Deputy Regional Director, Pacific Southwest, Sacramento, California.
    [FR Doc. 2016-25746 Filed 11-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310-55-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [LLOR936000.L1440000.ET0000.16XL1109AF; HAG 16-0207] Notice of Amended Proposed Withdrawal and Notice of Public Meetings; Oregon; Correction AGENCY:

    Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice; correction.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice corrects a notice that was published in the Federal Register on September 30, 2016 (81 FR 67377), which misidentified the Department of the Interior official who approved an amendment to a previously filed withdrawal application.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jacob Childers, Oregon State Office, Bureau of Land Management, at 503-808-6225 or by email [email protected], or Candice Polisky, USFS Pacific Northwest Region, at 503-808-2479. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Relay Service (FRS) at 1-800-877-8339 to reach either of the above individuals. The FRS is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to leave a message or question with the above individuals. You will receive a reply during normal business hours.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    A notice that was published in the Federal Register on September 30, 2016 (81 FR 67377), misidentified the Department of the Interior official who approved an amendment to a previously filed withdrawal application. Page 67377, line 11, in the SUMMARY section reads:

    The Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Land and Minerals Management has approved an amendment to a previously filed application to withdraw public domain and Revested Oregon California Railroad lands (O&C) managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and National Forest System (NFS) lands managed by the U.S. Forest Service (Forest Service) while Congress considers legislation to permanently withdraw those lands.

    The notice is hereby corrected to read:

    The Deputy Secretary of the Interior has approved an amendment to a previously filed application to withdraw public domain and Revested Oregon California Railroad lands (O&C) managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and National Forest System (NFS) lands managed by the U.S. Forest Service (Forest Service) while Congress considers legislation to permanently withdraw those lands.

    Leslie A. Frewing, Chief, Branch of Land, Minerals, and Energy Resources. Acting.
    [FR Doc. 2016-26459 Filed 11-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310-84-P
    INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION Notice of Receipt of Complaint; Solicitation of Comments; Relating to the Public Interest AGENCY:

    U.S. International Trade Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given that the U.S. International Trade Commission has received a complaint entitled Certain High-Potency Sweeteners, Processes for Making Same, and Products Containing Same, DN 3180; the Commission is soliciting comments on any public interest issues raised by the complaint or complainant's filing under § 210.8(b) of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (19 CFR 210.8(b)).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Lisa R. Barton, Secretary to the Commission, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW., Washington, DC 20436, telephone (202) 205-2000. The public version of the complaint can be accessed on the Commission's Electronic Document Information System (EDIS) at https://edis.usitc.gov, and will be available for inspection during official business hours (8:45 a.m. to 5:15 p.m.) in the Office of the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW., Washington, DC 20436, telephone (202) 205-2000.

    General information concerning the Commission may also be obtained by accessing its Internet server at United States International Trade Commission (USITC) at https://www.usitc.gov. The public record for this investigation may be viewed on the Commission's Electronic Document Information System (EDIS) at https://edis.usitc.gov. Hearing-impaired persons are advised that information on this matter can be obtained by contacting the Commission's TDD terminal on (202) 205-1810.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Commission has received a complaint and a submission pursuant to § 210.8(b) of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure filed on behalf of Celanese International Corporation, Celanese Sales U.S. Ltd. and Celanese IP Hungary Bt on October 26, 2016. The complaint alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 (19 U.S.C. 1337) in the importation into the United States, the sale for importation, and the sale within the United States after importation of certain high-potency sweeteners, processes for making same, and products containing same. The complaint names as respondents Suzhou Hope Technology Co., Ltd. of China; Anhui Jinhe Industrial Co., Ltd. of China; and Vitasweet Co., Ltd. of China. The complainant requests that the Commission issue a general exclusion order, or in the alternative a limited exclusion order, issue cease and desist orders and impose a bond upon respondents' alleged infringing articles during the 60-day Presidential review period pursuant to 19 U.S.C. 1337(j).

    Proposed respondents, other interested parties, and members of the public are invited to file comments, not to exceed five (5) pages in length, inclusive of attachments, on any public interest issues raised by the complaint or § 210.8(b) filing. Comments should address whether issuance of the relief specifically requested by the complainant in this investigation would affect the public health and welfare in the United States, competitive conditions in the United States economy, the production of like or directly competitive articles in the United States, or United States consumers.

    In particular, the Commission is interested in comments that:

    (i) Explain how the articles potentially subject to the requested remedial orders are used in the United States;

    (ii) identify any public health, safety, or welfare concerns in the United States relating to the requested remedial orders;

    (iii) identify like or directly competitive articles that complainant, its licensees, or third parties make in the United States which could replace the subject articles if they were to be excluded;

    (iv) indicate whether complainant, complainant's licensees, and/or third party suppliers have the capacity to replace the volume of articles potentially subject to the requested exclusion order and/or a cease and desist order within a commercially reasonable time; and

    (v) explain how the requested remedial orders would impact United States consumers.

    Written submissions must be filed no later than by close of business, eight calendar days after the date of publication of this notice in the Federal Register. There will be further opportunities for comment on the public interest after the issuance of any final initial determination in this investigation.

    Persons filing written submissions must file the original document electronically on or before the deadlines stated above and submit 8 true paper copies to the Office of the Secretary by noon the next day pursuant to § 210.4(f) of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (19 CFR 210.4(f)). Submissions should refer to the docket number (“Docket No. 3180”) in a prominent place on the cover page and/or the first page. (See Handbook for Electronic Filing Procedures, Electronic Filing Procedures.1 ) Persons with questions regarding filing should contact the Secretary (202-205-2000).

    1 Handbook for Electronic Filing Procedures: https://www.usitc.gov/documents/handbook_on_filing_procedures.pdf.

    Any person desiring to submit a document to the Commission in confidence must request confidential treatment. All such requests should be directed to the Secretary to the Commission and must include a full statement of the reasons why the Commission should grant such treatment. See 19 CFR 201.6. Documents for which confidential treatment by the Commission is properly sought will be treated accordingly. All such requests should be directed to the Secretary to the Commission and must include a full statement of the reasons why the Commission should grant such treatment. See 19 CFR 201.6. Documents for which confidential treatment by the Commission is properly sought will be treated accordingly. All information, including confidential business information and documents for which confidential treatment is properly sought, submitted to the Commission for purposes of this Investigation may be disclosed to and used: (i) By the Commission, its employees and Offices, and contract personnel (a) for developing or maintaining the records of this or a related proceeding, or (b) in internal investigations, audits, reviews, and evaluations relating to the programs, personnel, and operations of the Commission including under 5 U.S.C. Appendix 3; or (ii) by U.S. government employees and contract personnel,2 solely for cybersecurity purposes. All nonconfidential written submissions will be available for public inspection at the Office of the Secretary and on EDIS.3

    2 All contract personnel will sign appropriate nondisclosure agreements.

    3 Electronic Document Information System (EDIS): http://edis.usitc.gov.

    This action is taken under the authority of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1337), and of §§ 201.10 and 210.8(c) of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (19 CFR 201.10, 210.8(c)).

    By order of the Commission.

    Issued: October 27, 2016. Lisa R. Barton, Secretary to the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2016-26385 Filed 11-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7020-02-P
    INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION [Investigation No. 337-TA-1016] Certain Access Control Systems and Components Thereof; Commission Determination Not To Review an Initial Determination Granting Complainant's Motion To Amend the Complaint and Notice of Investigation AGENCY:

    U.S. International Trade Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given that the U.S. International Trade Commission has determined not to review an initial determination (“ID”) (Order No. 4) of the presiding administrative law judge (“ALJ”), granting complainant's motion to amend the complaint and notice of investigation in the above-captioned investigation.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Clint Gerdine, Esq., Office of the General Counsel, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW., Washington, DC 20436, telephone (202) 708-2310. Copies of non-confidential documents filed in connection with this investigation are or will be available for inspection during official business hours (8:45 a.m. to 5:15 p.m.) in the Office of the Secretary, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW., Washington, DC 20436, telephone (202) 205-2000. General information concerning the Commission may also be obtained by accessing its Internet server at https://www.usitc.gov. The public record for this investigation may be viewed on the Commission's electronic docket (EDIS) at https://edis.usitc.gov. Hearing-impaired persons are advised that information on this matter can be obtained by contacting the Commission's TDD terminal on (202) 205-1810.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Commission instituted this investigation on August 9, 2016, based on a complaint filed on behalf of The Chamberlain Group, Inc. of Elmhurst, Illinois. 81 FR 52713. The complaint, as supplemented, alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended, 19 U.S.C. 1337, by reason of infringement of the following U.S. Patent Nos.: 7,161,319; 7,196,611; and 7,339,336. The complaint further alleges that a domestic industry exists. The Commission's notice of investigation named six respondents. The Office of Unfair Import Investigations is not participating in the investigation.

    On September 23, 2016, complainant filed an unopposed motion to amend the complaint and notice of investigation (“NOI”) to add two entities as respondents: (1) Techtronic Trading Limited of Kwai Chung, Hong Kong; and (2) Techtronic Industries Factory Outlets Inc., d/b/a Direct Tools Factory Outlet of Anderson, South Carolina.

    The ALJ issued the subject ID on September 28, 2016, granting complainant's motion to amend the complaint and NOI. He found that good cause exists to grant the motion to amend under Commission Rule 210.14(b)(1) (19 CFR 210.14(b)(1)). No petitions for review were filed.

    The Commission has determined not to review the ID.

    The authority for the Commission's determination is contained in section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended, 19 U.S.C. 1337, and in part 210 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure, 19 CFR part 210.

    By order of the Commission.

    Issued: October 27, 2016. Lisa R. Barton, Secretary to the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2016-26397 Filed 11-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7020-02-P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Foreign Claims Settlement Commission [F.C.S.C. Meeting and Hearing Notice No. 9-16] Sunshine Act Meeting

    The Foreign Claims Settlement Commission, pursuant to its regulations (45 CFR part 503.25) and the Government in the Sunshine Act (5 U.S.C. 552b), hereby gives notice in regard to the scheduling of open meetings as follows:

    Wednesday, November 16, 2016: 10:00 a.m.—Oral hearing on Objection to Commission's Proposed Decision in Claim No. IRQ-II-318.

    10:30 a.m.—Issuance of Proposed Decisions in claims against Iraq.

    Status: Open.

    All meetings are held at the Foreign Claims Settlement Commission, 600 E Street NW., Washington, DC. Requests for information, or advance notices of intention to observe an open meeting, may be directed to: Patricia M. Hall, Foreign Claims Settlement Commission, 600 E Street NW., Suite 6002, Washington, DC 20579. Telephone: (202) 616-6975.

    Brian M. Simkin, Chief Counsel.
    [FR Doc. 2016-26534 Filed 10-31-16; 11:15 am] BILLING CODE 4410-BA-P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE [OMB Number 1117-0013] Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection, eComments Requested; Extension Without Change of a Previously Approved Collection, Application for Permit To Import Controlled Substances for Domestic and/or Scientific Purposes AGENCY:

    Drug Enforcement Administration, Department of Justice.

    ACTION:

    30-Day notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Justice (DOJ), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), will be submitting the following information collection request to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. This proposed information collection was previously published in the Federal Register at 81 FR page 56703, August 22, 2016, allowing for a 60 day comment period.

    DATES:

    Comments are encouraged and will be accepted for 30 days until December 2, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have comments on the estimated public burden or associated response time, suggestions, or need a copy of the proposed information collection instrument with instructions or additional information, please contact Michael J. Lewis, Office of Diversion Control, Drug Enforcement Administration; Mailing Address: 8701 Morrissette Drive, Springfield, Virginia 22152; Telephone: (202) 598-6812 or sent to [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Written comments and suggestions from the public and affected agencies concerning the proposed collection of information are encouraged. Your comments should address one or more of the following four points:

    —Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; —Evaluate 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; —Evaluate whether and if so how the quality, utility, and clarity of the information proposed to be collected can be enhanced; and —Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses. Overview of This Information Collection

    1. Type of Information Collection: Extension of a currently approved collection.

    2. Title of the Form/Collection: Application for Permit to Import Controlled Substances for Domestic and/or Scientific Purposes pursuant to 21 U.S.C. 952.

    3. The agency form number, if any, and the applicable component of the Department sponsoring the collection: DEA Form: 357. The applicable component within the Department of Justice is the Drug Enforcement Administration, Office of Diversion Control.

    4. Affected public who will be asked or required to respond, as well as a brief abstract:

    Affected public (Primary): Business or other for-profit.

    Affected public (Other): None.

    Abstract: Section 1002 of the Controlled Substances Import and Export Act (CSIEA) (21 U.S.C. 952) and Title 21, Code of Federal Regulations (21 CFR), Sections 1312.11, 1312.12 and 1312.13 requires any person who desires to import controlled substances listed in schedules I or II, any narcotic substance listed in schedules III or IV, or any non-narcotic substance in schedule III which the Administrator has specifically designated by regulation in § 1312.30, or any nonnarcotic substance in schedule IV or V which is also listed in schedule I or II of the Convention on Psychotropic Substances, must have an import permit. To obtain the permit to import controlled substances for domestic and or scientific purposes, an application for the permit must be made to the DEA on DEA Form 357.

    5. An estimate of the total number of respondents and the amount of time estimated for an average respondent to respond: The DEA estimates that 151 registrants participate in this information collection, taking an estimated 0.25 hours per registrant annually.

    6. An estimate of the total public burden (in hours) associated with the proposed collection: The DEA estimates the total public burden (in hours) associated with this collection: 333 annual burden hours.

    If additional information is required please contact: Jerri Murray, Department Clearance Officer, United States Department of Justice, Justice Management Division, Policy and Planning Staff, Two Constitution Square, 145 N Street NE., Suite 3E.405B, Washington, DC 20530.

    Dated: October 27, 2016. Jerri Murray, Department Clearance Officer for PRA, U.S. Department of Justice.
    [FR Doc. 2016-26415 Filed 11-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410-09-P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Notice of Lodging of Proposed Amended Consent Decree Under the Clean Water Act

    On October 27, 2016, the Department of Justice lodged a proposed amended consent decree with the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania in the lawsuit entitled United States v. Sewer Authority of the City of Scranton, Civil Action No. 3:09-cv-1873.

    The United States filed this lawsuit under the Clean Water Act in 2009, seeking injunctive relief and civil penalties for violations of the Clean Water Act relating to the municipal wastewater treatment plant and collection system owned and operated by the Scranton Sewer Authority. The litigation was resolved on January 31, 2013 when the court entered a consent decree that requires the Scranton Sewer Authority to implement a long term control plan to address combined sewer overflows by December 1, 2037. The Scranton Sewer Authority now proposes to sell its wastewater treatment plant and collection system, and to transfer the remaining obligations under the consent decree, to Pennsylvania American Water Company. The proposed amended consent decree would substitute Pennsylvania American Water Company as the defendant to the consent decree, and release the Scranton Sewer Authority from its obligations, in the event that the proposed sale of the treatment plant and collection system proceeds to closing on or before March 31, 2017.

    The publication of this notice opens a period for public comment on the amended consent decree. Comments should be addressed to the Assistant Attorney General, Environment and Natural Resources Division, and should refer to United States v. Scranton Sewer Authority, D.J. Ref. No. 90-5-1-1-08778. All comments must be submitted no later than thirty (30) days after the publication date of this notice. Comments may be submitted either by email or by mail:

    To submit comments: Send them to: By email [email protected] By mail Assistant Attorney General, U.S. DOJ—ENRD, P.O. Box 7611, Washington, DC 20044-7611.

    During the public comment period, the consent decree may be examined and downloaded at this Justice Department Web site: https://www.justice.gov/enrd/consent-decrees. We will provide a paper copy of the amended consent decree upon written request and payment of reproduction costs. Please mail your request and payment to: Consent Decree Library, U.S. DOJ—ENRD, P.O. Box 7611, Washington, DC 20044-7611.

    Please enclose a check or money order for $49.75 (25 cents per page reproduction cost) payable to the United States Treasury. For a paper copy without the exhibits and signature pages, the cost is $12.00.

    Robert Brook, Assistant Section Chief, Environmental Enforcement Section, Environment and Natural Resources Division.
    [FR Doc. 2016-26430 Filed 11-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410-15-P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE [OMB Number 1190-NEW] Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed eCollection; eComments Requested; Assessing the Potential Monetized Benefits of Captioning Web Content for Individuals Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing AGENCY:

    Civil Rights Division, Department of Justice.

    ACTION:

    30-Day notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of Justice (DOJ), Civil Rights Division, Disability Rights Section (DRS), will be submitting the following information collection request to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. This proposed information collection was previously published in the Federal Register at 81 FR 29577 on May 12, 2016, allowing for a 60-day comment period.

    DATES:

    Comments are encouraged and will be accepted for an additional 30 days until December 2, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have additional comments (especially on the estimated public burden or associated response time), suggestions, need a copy of the proposed information collection instrument with instructions, or need additional information, please contact Rebecca B. Bond, Chief, Disability Rights Section, Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice, by any one of the following methods: By email at [email protected]; by regular U.S. mail to Disability Rights Section, Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice, P.O. Box 2885, Fairfax, VA 22031-0885; by overnight mail, courier, or hand delivery to Disability Rights Section, Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice, 1425 New York Avenue NW., Suite 4039, Washington, DC 20005; or by phone at (800) 514-0301 (voice) or (800) 514-0383 (TTY) (the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Information Line). Include in the subject line of all written comments the title of this proposed collection: “Assessing the Potential Monetized Benefits of Captioning Web Content for Individuals Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing.” Written comments or suggestions can also be directed to the Office of Management and Budget, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Attention Department of Justice Desk Officer, Washington, DC 20530 or sent to [email protected]

    You may obtain copies of this notice in an alternate format by calling the ADA Information Line at (800) 514-0301 (voice) or (800) 514-0383 (TTY).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Written comments and suggestions from the public and affected agencies concerning the proposed collection of information are encouraged. Your comments should address one or more of the following four points:

    • Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility;

    • Evaluate 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;

    • Evaluate whether, and if so, how, the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected can be enhanced; and/or;

    • Minimize the burden of the collection of 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, e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses.

    Overview of this Information Cl:

    1. Type of information collection: New information collection.

    2. The title of the form/collection: Assessing the Potential Monetized Benefits of Captioning Web Content for Individuals Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing.

    3. The agency form number, if any, and the applicable component of the Department sponsoring the collection:

    Form Number: None.

    Component: The applicable component within the Department of Justice is the Disability Rights Section (DRS) in the Civil Rights Division.

    4. Affected public who will be asked or required to respond, as well as a brief abstract:

    Affected Public (Primary): Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing will be asked to respond.

    Affected Public (Other): None.

    Abstract: DOJ's Civil Rights Division, Disability Rights Section (DRS) is requesting PRA approval of a new collection that would request information about the perceived monetary value of captioning on Web sites from individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing for the purpose of estimating the potential monetized benefits of captioning audio and video content on the Web. DRS is not suggesting that people with disabilities should be asked to pay for captioning; rather, it intends to ask individuals about the theoretical monetary value that they place on the captioning of audio and video Web content in order to estimate how highly they value captioning. The collection will also request additional information about how frequently individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing access audio content on Web sites, what type of audio content they access, how often this content is not captioned, how much additional time (if any) they spend trying to access content or information when the content is not captioned, and whether lack of captioning makes using the Internet more difficult. This information will enhance DRS's ability to monetize the benefits of any captioning requirements imposed by future rulemaking under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing.

    5. An estimate of the total number of respondents and the amount of time estimated for an average respondent to respond: An estimated 1,070 respondents will complete the questions. It is estimated that an average of 10 minutes per respondent is needed to complete the questions. DRS estimates that nearly all of the approximately 1,070 respondents will fully complete the questions.

    6. An estimate of the total public burden (in hours) associated with the collection: The estimated public burden associated with this collection is 178 hours. It is estimated that respondents will take an average of 10 minutes (1/6 of an hour) to complete the questions. The burden hours for collecting respondent data sum to 178.33 hours (1,070 respondents × 1/6 hours = 178 and 1/3 hours).

    If additional information is required contact: Jerri Murray, Department Clearance Officer, United States Department of Justice, Justice Management Division, Policy and Planning Staff, Two Constitution Square, 145 N Street NE., 3E.405B, Washington, DC 20530.

    Dated: October 27, 2016. Jerri Murray, Department Clearance Officer for PRA, U.S. Department of Justice.
    [FR Doc. 2016-26400 Filed 11-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410-13-P
    OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET Office of Federal Procurement Policy Improving the Management and Use of Government Aircraft AGENCY:

    Office of Federal Procurement Policy, Office of Management and Budget

    ACTION:

    Proposed Revision to Office of Management and Budget Circular No. A-126, “Improving the Management and Use of Government Aircraft.”

    SUMMARY:

    The Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP) in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is proposing to revise OMB Circular A-126 “Improving the Management and Use of Government Aircraft” to update policies associated with the management and use of Government aircraft, including General Services Administration (GSA) and agency roles in regulating and managing the Federal aviation programs that have evolved since the Circular was last revised in 1992. The proposed changes also address recommendations from the Interagency Committee for Aviation Policy (ICAP) to make a clearer distinction between polices that apply to the management of aircraft and policies that apply to travel on Government aircraft.

    DATES:

    Interested parties should submit comments in writing to the address below on or before 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments may be submitted online at www.regulations.gov.

    Instructions: All comments received will be posted, without change or redaction, to www.regulations.gov, so commenters should not include information that they do not wish to be posted (for example because they consider it personal or business confidential).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jim Wade, OFPP, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Overview

    Federal agencies own more than 1,200 operational aircraft to support a wide range of missions, including fire-fighting, law enforcement, research and development, and other activities. Federal aircraft are also used in various situations to transport certain executives. OMB Circular A-126 sets forth requirements to help ensure the appropriate agency use of Government aircraft.

    Traditionally, the Circular has focused primarily on travel policy. When the Circular was last updated in 1992, coverage was strengthened to restrict the operation of aircraft to defined official purposes, restrict travel on such aircraft, require special review of such travel by senior officials or non-Federal travelers, and codify policies for reimbursement. The proposed revisions to A-126 would retain these policies but make several refinements to address recommendations made by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) in a 2014 report (GAO-14-151) recommending clarification on reporting exemptions for the Intelligence Community. Currently, the Circular exempts the reporting of classified trips, but the reporting of unclassified data is not explicitly addressed. To resolve this ambiguity, the proposed revisions to the Circular would include a clear statement that the Intelligence Community must maintain information on trips by senior Federal officials and non-Federal travelers, but agencies included in the community would not be required to report the data to the General Services Administration (GSA). Similarly, other agencies must maintain information on the required use of Government aircraft, but they are not required to report the data to GSA.

    Other proposed revisions would clarify the requirements for contractors traveling on Government aircraft and expand the guidance for determining whether Government aircraft is the most cost-effective alternative for meeting travel requirements.

    Further revisions are proposed to enhance the Circular's coverage on aircraft management. These changes are designed to integrate a number of policies and practices that have been developed or refined since the Circular was last updated that strengthen investment and management practices associated with capital assets. For example, the Circular adds references to long-standing requirements in OMB Circular A-11 to prepare a business case that justifies the acquisition and operation of a capital asset; requires agencies to maintain an office dedicated to aircraft management; establishes flight program standards and performance indicators; and encourages the use of the Exchange/Sale program for replacing and disposing of aircraft. Other changes include broadening the definition of Government aircraft to include unmanned aircraft systems and the addition of definitions of Commercial Aviation Services (CAS), fixed costs, variable costs, performance indicator, and Senior Aviation Management Official (SAMO). Finally, for clarification and ease of use, the Circular is reorganized into separate parts for management, travel, and cost accounting.

    OMB requests comments on these proposals as well as on other aspects of the Circular.

    Lesley A. Field, Acting Administrator for Federal Procurement Policy. To the Heads of Executive Departments and Establishments Subject: Improving the Management and Use of Government Aircraft

    1. Purpose. This Circular is issued to minimize cost and improve the management, safety and efficiency of Government aviation activities. It prescribes policies to be followed by Executive Agencies in acquiring, managing, using, disposing of, and accounting for costs of aircraft.

    2. Supersession Information. This Circular rescinds and supersedes OMB Circular No. A-126, Improving the Management and Use of Government Aircraft, dated May 22, 1992.

    3. Authority. This Circular is issued pursuant to 41 U.S.C. 1121 and 31 U.S.C. 1344.

    4. Overview. In general, Government-wide policy guidance for use of Government aircraft restricts the operation to official purposes, i.e., mission requirements, required-use, and other official travel; restricts travel on such aircraft; requires special review of such travel by senior officials or Non-Federal Travelers; and codifies policies for reimbursement. This Circular is being revised to respond to recommendations from the Federal aviation community that OMB's aviation guidance make a clearer distinction between policies that apply to the management of Government aircraft and policies that apply to travel on Government aircraft. This revision also formalizes General Services Administration (GSA) and agency roles in regulating and managing the Federal aviation programs that have evolved since the Circular was last revised in 1992.

    This Circular applies to all Executive Agencies and to all Government aircraft except for aircraft used by or in support of the President or Vice President.

    5. Definitions. For purposes of this Circular, the following definitions apply.

    a. Acquire means to procure or otherwise obtain personal property, including by lease or rent (FMR 102-33.20).

    b. Aircraft means any contrivance invented, used, or designed to navigate, or fly in, the air (49 U.S.C. 40102(a)(6)).

    c. Commercial Aviation Services (CAS) include aircraft that are leased, lease-purchased, rented, chartered, hired under full service contracts, or hired under inter-service support agreements, and related support services.

    d. Crew Member means a person assigned to perform duty in an aircraft during flight time (14 CFR part 1.1).

    e. Federal Traveler means a person who travels as a Passenger, a Crew Member, or a Qualified Non-Crew Member, on a Government aircraft and who is either (1) a civilian employee of an Executive Agency including invitational travelers per 5 U.S.C. 5703; (2) a member of a uniformed or a foreign service of the United States Government; or (3) a contractor working under a contract with an Executive Agency.

    f. Fixed Costs of operating aircraft are those that result from owning and supporting the aircraft and that do not vary according to aircraft usage. The specific fixed cost elements are defined in GSA's Aircraft Cost Accounting Guide and include, but are not limited to: Crew, maintenance, labor, parts, contracts, lease costs, operations overhead, administrative overhead, self-insurance costs, and depreciation.

    g. Full Coach Fare means city pairs capacity-controlled fare. In the absence of availability of capacity-controlled city pairs, it is a city pairs unrestricted coach fare. If no city pair fare is available for that route, full coach fare is the lowest available coach fare available to the general public from any source between the day that the travel was planned and the day the travel occurred.

    h. Government Aircraft means manned or unmanned aircraft operated for the exclusive use of an Executive Agency. Government aircraft include (1) Federal aircraft as defined in FMR 102-33.20; and (2) Aircraft hired as commercial aviation services (CAS).

    i. Governmental Function means an activity undertaken by a government, such as national defense, intelligence missions, firefighting, search and rescue, law enforcement (including transport of prisoners, detainees, and illegal aliens), aeronautical research, or biological or geological resource management, which is a partial qualification for a Public Aircraft Operation as defined in 49 U.S.C. 40125.

    j. Mission Requirements mean activities that constitute the discharge of an agency's Governmental functions. Such activities include, but are not limited to, the transport of troops and/or equipment, training related to the operation of or duties on board the aircraft, evacuation (including medical evacuation), intelligence and counter-narcotics activities, search and rescue, transportation of prisoners, use of defense attaché-controlled aircraft, aeronautical research and space and science applications, and other such activities. For purposes of this Circular, mission requirements do not include official travel to give speeches, to attend conferences or meetings, to make routine site visits, or to attend training not related to the operation of the aircraft.

    k. Non-Federal Traveler means an individual who travels on a Government aircraft, but is not a Federal traveler. Dependents and other family members of Federal travelers who travel on Government aircraft are considered to be Non-Federal Travelers within this Circular.

    l. Official Travel means (1) travel to meet mission requirements, (2) required-use travel, and (3) other travel to conduct non-mission agency business, either departure and return from one location, or between locations.

    m. Passenger means a traveler who is not a Crew Member or a Qualified Non-Crew Member.

    n. Performance Indicator means a numerical or qualitative term or value for reporting organizational activities and results, generally with respect to achieving specific goals related to outcomes, outputs, efficiency, and inputs. When applied to aircraft, performance indicators typically measure the effectiveness and efficiency of the processes involved with safely delivering aircraft services. Examples are Operations Scheduling Effectiveness; Aircraft Availability Rates; Non-Availability Rates; Mission Capable and Non-mission Rates; Non-airworthy Maintenance Rates; and Non-airworthy Supply Rates.

    o. Public Aircraft Operation means the same as the term defined in 49 U.S.C. 40102 and 49 U.S.C. 40125.

    p. Qualified Non-Crew Member means an individual, other than a member of the crew, aboard an aircraft (1) operated by the armed forces or an intelligence agency of the United States Government; or (2) whose presence is required to perform, or is associated with the performance of, a governmental function (49 U.S.C. 40125).

    q. Required-Use means use of a Government aircraft for the travel of an Executive Agency officer or employee, where the use of the Government aircraft is required because of bona fide communications or security needs of the agency or exceptional scheduling requirements.

    r. Senior Aviation Management Official (SAMO) means the person in an Executive Agency who is the agency's primary member of the Interagency Committee for Aviation Policy (ICAP). This person must be of appropriate grade and position to represent the agency and promote flight safety and adherence to standards.

    s. Senior Federal Officials are individuals who are paid according to the Executive Schedule, including Presidential appointees who are confirmed by the Senate; employed in the U.S. Government's Senior Executive Service or an equivalent senior service; who is a civilian employee of the Executive Office of the President; who is appointed by the President to a position under section 105(a)(2)(A), (B), or (C) of title 3 U.S.C. or by the Vice President to a position under section 106(a)(1)(A), (B), or (C) of title 3 U.S.C.; or a contractor working under a contract with an Executive Agency who is paid at a rate equal to or more than the minimum rate for the Senior Executive Service, and has senior executive responsibilities. The term Senior Federal Official does not mean an active duty military officer.

    t. Transportation means, for the purpose of this Circular, the act of moving personnel or passengers engaged in travel onboard a Government aircraft.

    u. Travel, for purposes of reporting Senior Federal Travel, means on or in an aircraft while it is in flight. The origin and the destination may be different or the same. An example of the origin and the destination being the same is when the aircraft was used for observation from the air, i.e., for storm evaluation.

    v. Variable costs are the costs of operating aircraft that vary depending on how much the aircraft are used. The specific variable cost elements are defined in GSA's Aircraft Cost Accounting Guide and include, but are not limited to: crew costs; maintenance costs, labor, parts and contracts; engine overhaul; aircraft refurbishment; major component repairs; fuel, oxidants, and lubricants; lease costs and flight support.

    6. Policy.

    a. Managing Government Aircraft

    i. Acquiring Government Aircraft

    1. Executive Agencies must be authorized to acquire aircraft in accordance with 31 U.S.C. 1343.

    2. An Executive Agency may not acquire more, larger, or more capable aircraft than it needs to carry out its official Government business.

    3. Executive Agencies must choose the most cost-effective alternatives for acquiring aircraft and CAS. Aircraft selection should be based on need, a strong business case, and life-cycle cost analyses, which conform to the requirements in OMB Circular A-11, Preparation, Submission and Execution of the Budget, and its supplement, the Capital Programming Guide. Where performance of work by Federal employees may be involved, such as for aircraft maintenance, agencies shall also consider any other applicable policies used to compare the cost of Government and contractor performance.

    ii. Operating Government Aircraft

    1. Executive Agencies that operate Government aircraft (i.e., both owned and hired aircraft) must:

    a. Use them only for official purposes, i.e., mission requirements, required-use, and other official travel.

    b. Use them in the most operationally efficient and effective manner to accomplish these purposes.

    c. Document all uses of such aircraft and retain that documentation for at least two years. At a minimum, the documentation of each use of Government aircraft must include:

    i. The tail number of the aircraft;

    ii. The date(s) used;

    iii. The name(s) of the crew members and qualified non-crew members;

    iv. The purpose(s) of the flight;

    v. The cost(s) of flights conducted on Government aircraft used for political activities or required-use travel as identified in section 6.b.iii that require reimbursement. Cost(s) of flights for Senior Federal Officials and Non-Federal Travelers are also required for potential reporting to GSA;

    vi. The route(s) flown and flight time; and

    vii. The name(s) of all passengers, and an indication if any passenger is either a Senior Federal Official or a Non-Federal Traveler.

    d. Unless otherwise exempt from reporting in accordance with FMR 102-33, provide any information requested by GSA on a routine or ad hoc basis on their aircraft inventory, costs, and utilization (flight hours).

    2. Executive Agencies that only hire aircraft occasionally for specific flights, must either:

    a. Establish an aviation program that complies with the requirements in paragraph 3 of this section (i.e., a “policy-compliant aviation program”), or

    b. Hire those aircraft through an agency with a policy-compliant aviation program to assure that safety and other critical aviation program requirements are satisfied.

    3. Executive Agencies or their components that own and/or operate aircraft, except agencies that only hire aircraft occasionally for specific flights, must:

    a. Designate a Senior Aviation Management Official (SAMO) to serve as the primary member of the GSA Interagency Committee for Aviation Policy (ICAP) and provide an alternate for the primary member.

    b. Maintain an office to carry out the agency's aircraft management responsibilities.

    c. Periodically review the continuing need for each of their aircraft and the cost-effectiveness of their aircraft operations as directed by OMB Circular A-11 as well as other applicable policies used to compare the cost of Government and contractor performance.

    d. Develop performance indicators that measure the impact on mission accomplishment contributed by the aviation program and provide a tool for measuring the impact of future aviation program investments. Such information will be utilized in supporting budget requests and periodic agency reviews of the effectiveness of the aviation program's performance.

    e. Comply with the internal control requirements of OMB Circular A-123 and assure that the appropriate internal controls for aviation management are included in the agency's Management Control Plan. Any material weaknesses in aviation programs are to be reported in the annual internal control reports to the President and the Congress.

    f. Establish and enforce agency-specific flight program standards that include, but are not limited to, the following topics:

    i. Management/administration ii. Acquisition and disposal iii. Operations iv. Maintenance v. Training vi. Safety

    g. Ensure that their flight program standards comply with all statutes required to qualify for Public Aircraft Operations status including 49 U.S.C. 40102(a)(41) and 49 U.S.C. 40125 and regulations that apply to Federal aviation activities, including GSA regulations and applicable Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations. Also—

    i. When using a Government aircraft to transport a Passenger or to transport Passengers or property for compensation or hire, the activity would not qualify as a Public Aircraft Operation, and the Executive Agency flight program standards must comply with the applicable FAA regulations for civil aircraft;

    ii. When using Government aircraft to perform a Governmental Function, in accordance with 49 U.S.C. 40125, the Executive Agency flight program need only comply with agency-specific safety standards and with the applicable FAA regulations for all aircraft operating within the National Airspace System and not the safety standards and FAA regulations that apply only to civil aircraft (reference Pub.L. 85-726, Federal Aviation Act of 1958).

    h. Use automated aircraft management information systems that comply with data standards and reporting requirements prescribed by GSA, as well as with the agency's internal information requirements, to:

    i. Accumulate costs into the standard aircraft program cost elements prescribed in GSA regulations. The uses of these cost elements for various purposes are discussed in section 6.c Accounting for Aircraft Costs.

    ii. Unless otherwise exempt from reporting in accordance with FMR 102-33, accumulate and report to GSA information on their Government aircraft inventory, costs, and utilization according to GSA's guidance.

    iii. Accumulate data to support aviation performance indicators that measure the effectiveness of their operations, maintenance and logistics programs and the impact of the aviation program on mission performance.

    i. Develop agency specific fleet management and modernization plans to optimize the use of Government aircraft through:

    i. Sharing common aircraft, transferring, or disposing of underutilized aircraft;

    ii. Reducing excessive aircraft operations and maintenance costs; and

    iii. Disposing of aircraft that are no longer cost effective or no longer meet agency needs and acquiring replacement aircraft.

    iii. Providing Government Aircraft Services to Other Activities

    1. In general, agencies that own or operate aircraft are authorized in statute to use those aircraft to serve specific missions and/or agency components and are funded in appropriations acts to provide those services.

    2. In a few cases, one agency may be authorized to provide aviation services to another agency without requiring reimbursement for those services, e.g., the FAA is authorized to provide aviation support to the National Transportation Safety Board.

    3. In most cases, however, servicing agencies that provide aviation services to requesting agencies under the Economy Act (31 U.S. Code 1535) are required to recover the actual costs from those entities receiving the service. This is typically handled as an Interagency Acquisition under the Economy Act.

    iv. Replacing and Disposing of Government Aircraft

    Agencies that want to replace aircraft are encouraged to use the Exchange/Sale Authority to do so. Under this authority, agencies are permitted to exchange or sell aircraft or aircraft parts that need to be replaced and apply the Exchange allowance or the Sale proceeds to the cost of the replacement aircraft or aircraft parts. Agencies that determine that their aircraft or aircraft parts are excess property and do not need replacement property may dispose of the aircraft or aircraft parts via donation, transfer, or sale. Guidance for using the Exchange/Sale Authority to replace aircraft or aircraft parts or for disposing of excess property is provided in regulations issued by the GSA.

    b. Traveling on Government Aircraft

    i. Who May Travel on Government Aircraft

    Federal travelers who, for purposes of this Circular, include contractors traveling on official agency business, invitational travelers, Non-Federal Travelers and any other passengers, crewmembers, and qualified non-crewmembers may travel on Government aircraft, but only if they have authorization from an Executive Agency to do so.

    ii. Approving Travel on Government Aircraft

    1. Who may approve travel on Government Aircraft. All travel on Government aircraft must be authorized by the agency sponsoring the travel in accordance with its travel policies and this Circular and, when applicable, documented on an official travel authorization. Where possible, such travel must be approved by at least one organizational level above the person(s) traveling (i.e., passengers, crewmembers, or qualified non-crewmembers) in advance and in writing. If review by a higher organizational level is not possible, or not applicable as in the case of non-Federal or invitational travelers, another appropriate approval is required. In an emergency situation, prior verbal approval with an after-the-fact written authorization by the agency's designated travel approving official is permitted.

    2. Special approval requirements for travel to meet Mission Requirements. Each agency may establish its own approval requirements for travel to meet mission requirements.

    3. Special approval requirements for required-use travel.

    a. Use of Government aircraft may be required because of bona fide communications needs (e.g., 24-hour secure communications are required), security reasons (e.g., circumstances that present a clear and present danger to the traveler), or exceptional scheduling requirements (e.g., a national emergency or other compelling operational considerations). This requirement may apply to travel for official, personal, or political purposes.

    b. Required-use of Government aircraft for travel (i.e., required-use travel) must be approved in advance and in writing by one of the following:

    i. The President may determine that all travel, or travel in specified categories, by an agency head or other Federal official satisfies the criteria to qualify as required-use travel, or

    ii. The agency head may determine in writing that all travel, or travel in specified categories, by an officer or employee within the agency satisfies the criteria to qualify as required-use travel. This determination must also conform to written standards established by the agency head.

    iii. If neither of the two preceding determinations applies, a Federal officer or employee must obtain written approval for all required-use travel on a trip-by-trip basis from the agency's senior legal official or his/her principal deputy. In special emergency situations, an after-the-fact written approval by an agency is permitted, but in either case, the approval must certify that the travel satisfies the criteria to qualify as required-use travel.

    4. Special approval requirements for other official travel. An agency may approve other official travel on a Government aircraft under one or more of the following circumstances:

    a. Sufficient capacity exists on a Government aircraft that will meet the traveler's flight requirements (i.e., space-available). Agencies authorizing space available justification must ensure—

    i. The aircraft is already scheduled for use for an official purpose;

    ii. Such space-available use does not require a larger aircraft than needed for the official purpose;

    iii. Such space-available use results only in minor additional cost to the Government; and either

    iv. The Federal traveler or the dependent of a Federal traveler is stationed by the Government in a remote location that is not accessible to scheduled commercial airline service; or

    v. The traveler is authorized to travel space-available under 10 U.S.C. 2648 Persons and supplies: Sea, land, and air transportation.

    b. Use of a Government aircraft is the most cost-effective alternative that will meet the travel requirements. To ensure that a Government aircraft is the most cost-effective alternative for travel, the traveler's designated travel-approving official must—

    i. Compare the cost of all reasonable travel alternatives, including:

    1. The cost of the city-pair fare for scheduled commercial airline service or the cost of the lowest available full coach fare, if a city-pair fare is not available to the traveler.

    2. The cost of using Government aircraft, whether owned or hired as a CAS.

    3. Travel by other available modes of transportation that are capable of meeting the travel requirements.

    ii. Consider the cost of non-productive or lost-work time while in travel status and other relevant costs (e.g., landing fees, tolls, parking, etc.) when comparing the costs of using Government aircraft in lieu of scheduled commercial airline service and other available modes of transportation. NOTE: The cost of non-productive or lost-work time must be computed based on gross actual hourly costs to the Government. These hourly costs should include benefits, but may not include the use of multipliers based on salary, position, or any other factor.

    iii. Approve the most cost-effective alternative that meets the agency's needs.

    c. Scheduled commercial airline service is less expensive than Government aircraft, but no such service is reasonably available (i.e., able to meet the traveler's departure and/or arrival requirements within a 24 hour period, unless the traveler demonstrates that extraordinary circumstances require a shorter period) to effectively fulfill the agency requirement.

    5. Special approval requirements for Senior Federal Officials and Non-Federal Travelers. Use of Government aircraft for all official travel by Senior Federal Officials and Non-Federal Travelers (including members of families of such Senior Federal Officials) must be in conformance with an agency review and approval system that has been approved by OMB, or authorized in advance and in writing, on a trip-by-trip basis, by the senior legal official of the agency sponsoring the travel or his/her principal deputy, except for required-use travel authorized under paragraph 6.b.ii.3 Special Approval Requirements For Required-Use Travel. This special approval requirement also applies to Senior Federal Officials traveling space-available or as crewmembers or qualified non-crewmembers on a flight (i.e., being transported from point to point). In an emergency situation, neither prior written nor prior verbal approval is required.

    iii. Reimbursement for Use of Government Aircraft

    1. For travel other than required-use or space-available travel:

    a. Any incidental private activities (personal or political) of an employee undertaken on an employee's own time while on official travel must not result in any increase in the actual costs to the Government of operating the aircraft.

    b. The Government must be reimbursed the appropriate share of the full coach fare for any portion of the time on the trip spent on political activities (except as provided in paragraph 6.b.iii.4. For Any Political Travel).

    2. For required-use travel. The Government must be reimbursed as follows (except as may otherwise be required in paragraph 6.b.iii.4. For Any Political Travel) for required-use travel;

    a. For a wholly personal or political trip, the full coach fare for the trip;

    b. For an official trip during which the employee engages in political activities, the appropriate share of the full coach fare for the entire trip;

    c. For an official trip during which the employee flies to one or more locations for personal reasons, the excess of the full coach fare of all flights taken by the employee on the trip over the full coach fare of the flights that would have been taken by the employee had there been no personal activities on the trip.

    3. For space-available travel. For space-available travel other than for the conduct of agency business, whether on mission or other flights, the Government must be reimbursed at the full coach fare except (1) as authorized under 10 U.S.C. 2648 and regulations implementing the statute; and (2) by civilian personnel and their dependents in remote locations (i.e., locations not reasonably accessible to regularly-scheduled commercial airline service). No reimbursement is required for space-available travel for the conduct of agency business.

    4. For any political travel. Reimbursement must be made in the amount required by law or regulation (e.g., 11 CFR 106.3) if greater than the amount otherwise required by the foregoing reimbursement rules.

    iv. Documenting Travel on Government Aircraft.

    In addition to the usual information provided on an official travel authorization (e.g., the purpose of the travel, name and title of the approving official, date approved, funding source, etc.), authorizations for travel on Government aircraft should also document the justification for such travel as well as any special approvals required.

    1. Travel to meet mission requirements must be noted as such and identify the mission(s).

    2. Required-use travel must be noted as such, the criteria for its use cited, and any required approvals documented.

    3. Other official travel must be noted as such and the justification for using Government aircraft documented, i.e.:

    a. Space-available—Space is available on a Government aircraft that meets the traveler's flight requirements.

    b. Cost—Use of Government aircraft is the most cost-effective alternative that will meet the travel requirements. If this justification is cited, the estimated cost of the travel alternatives considered must be provided.

    c. Lack of reasonable alternatives—For example, scheduled commercial airline service may be less expensive, but not reasonably available to meet the traveler's schedule requirements.

    4. All travel authorizations for the use of Government aircraft by Senior Federal Officials and Non-Federal Travelers for mission requirements and other official travel must document all special approvals required.

    v. Reporting Travel on Government Aircraft

    1. Agencies that use Government aircraft for travel must report semi-annually to GSA each use of such aircraft for non-mission travel by Senior Federal Officials and any Non-Federal Travelers (except for travel authorized under 10 U.S.C. 2648 and regulations implementing that statute). This includes travel as a passenger, crewmember, or qualified non-crewmember.

    2. Agencies that are included in the Intelligence Community, as identified in the National Security Act, 50 U.S.C. 3003, must maintain information on trips by Senior Federal Officials and Non-Federal Travelers, but the agencies are not required to report this information to GSA. The information must be made available to Congress or any other organization with the appropriate security clearance and oversight responsibility upon request.

    3. Agencies must maintain data on required-use of Government aircraft, but are not required to submit this information to GSA. The information must be made available to Congress or any other organization with oversight responsibility upon request.

    4. GSA will provide policies and reporting criteria to agencies that authorize travel on Government aircraft and administer the annual submission of a Senior Federal Travel Report to OMB.

    c. Accounting for Aircraft Costs

    The costs associated with agency aircraft programs must be accumulated to: (1) Justify acquisitions needed to support the agency's aviation program; (2) justify the use of Government aircraft in lieu of commercially available aircraft, and the use of one Government aircraft in lieu of another; (3) recover the costs of operating Government aircraft when appropriate; and (4) determine the cost effectiveness of various aspects of agency aircraft programs. To accomplish these purposes, agencies must accumulate their aircraft program costs in accordance with GSA's Aircraft Cost Accounting Guide. The remainder of this section presents guidance for accomplishing each of these purposes.

    i. Justifying Aviation Program Acquisitions

    When the Circular was revised in 1992, the principal OMB guidance affecting agencies' aviation program acquisition choices was OMB Circular A-76, “Performance of Commercial Activities.” Since that time, OMB has developed more comprehensive guidance for agency use in planning and justifying investments in capital assets, including capital assets needed to support aviation programs. This guidance is contained in OMB Circular A-11 and its supplement, the Capital Programming Guide. Taken together, these two documents provide the broad principles that agencies should use to establish capital planning processes for their aviation programs. It is critical that agencies be able to collect accurate costs for the acquisition and operation of all assets that comprise their aviation programs, including non-aircraft assets, where appropriate. These costs will be aggregated and presented for budget justification purposes in formats that meet the overall requirements of OMB Circular A-11 and are acceptable to the agencies' OMB Resource Management Offices (RMOs). The Capital Programming Guide requires agencies to consider OMB Circular A-76, as appropriate, when evaluating investment alternatives; e.g., determining whether any aviation program activities qualify as inherently Governmental functions and justifying in-house operation of Government aircraft versus procurement of CAS.

    ii. Justifying Use of Government Aircraft.

    Agencies that use Government aircraft to support recurring travel between locations are encouraged to develop standard trip cost justification schedules, and must ensure that the costs used for such schedules are kept current. These schedules should summarize and compare the projected costs of using one or more specific types of agency aircraft (both owned and hired, as applicable) for travel between selected locations to the costs of using commercial airline service between those locations. Comparative costs for varying passenger loads should also be shown. Agencies that choose to use this approach should be able to see the minimum number of official travelers needed to justify the use of a particular aircraft or aircraft type for a trip between locations on the schedule. Agencies that are not able to use such schedules are required to do a cost justification on a case by case basis.

    To make the cost comparisons necessary to justify the use of a Government aircraft, the agency must compare the actual cost of using a Government aircraft to the cost of using a commercial airline service. The actual cost of using a Government aircraft is either: (a) The amount that the agency will be charged by the organization (e.g., another agency or a CAS provider) that provides the aircraft, (b) the variable cost of using the aircraft, if the agency operates its own aircraft; or (c) the variable cost of using the aircraft as reported to it by the owning agency, if the owning agency is not required to charge for the use of its aircraft.

    Agencies should develop a variable cost rate for each aircraft or aircraft type (i.e., make and model) in their inventories before the beginning of each fiscal year. These rates should be developed as follows:

    1. Accumulate or allocate to the aircraft or aircraft type all historical costs (for the previous 12 months, or longer periods, as appropriate) grouped under the variable cost category defined in GSA regulations. These costs should be obtained from the agency's accounting system.

    2. Reduce or eliminate short-term data volatilities, as needed, by factoring in or out seasonal, cyclic, and infrequent variable cost components, such as engine overhauls and accident repairs, and allocating those costs over time as appropriate.

    3. Adjust the historical variable costs from Step 1 for inflation and for any known upcoming cost changes to project the new variable cost total. The inflation and escalation factors used must conform to OMB Circulars A-11 and A-76, as appropriate.

    4. Divide the total variable costs of the aircraft or aircraft type by the flying hours corresponding to the historical data timeframe for the aircraft or aircraft type to compute the projected variable cost or usage rate (per flying hour).

    To compute the variable cost of using an agency's own aircraft for a proposed trip, multiply the variable cost rate computed in Step 4 (above) by the estimated number of flying hours for the trip. The variable cost of using a Government aircraft for a trip should include, as appropriate, all time required to position or reposition the aircraft prior to and after the trip, if no follow-on trip is scheduled. If a follow-on trip requires any repositioning time, it should be charged with that time. If one aircraft mission (i.e., a series of flights scheduled sequentially) supports multiple trips, the use of the aircraft for the total mission may be justified by comparing the actual cost of the entire mission to the commercial airline costs for all the component trips.

    The cost of using commercial airline services for the purpose of justifying the use of Government aircraft must:

    1. Be the current Government contract fare or price or the lowest fare or price known to be available for the trip(s) in question;

    2. include, as appropriate, any differences in the costs of any additional ground or air travel, per diem and miscellaneous travel (e.g., taxis, parking, etc.), and lost employees' work time (computed at gross hourly costs to the Government, including benefits) between the two options; and

    3. only include costs associated with passengers on official business. Costs associated with passengers traveling on a space-available basis may not be used in the cost comparison.

    iii. Recovering Cost of Operation

    Under the Economy Act of 1932, as amended, (31 U.S.C. 1535), and various acts appropriating funds or establishing working funds to operate aircraft, agencies are required to recover the costs of operating their aircraft for use by other agencies, other governments (e.g., state, local, or foreign), or non-official travelers. Depending on the statutory authorities under which its aircraft were obtained or are operated, an agency may use either of two methods for establishing the rates charged for using its aircraft: (1) The full cost recovery rate or (2), the variable cost recovery rate.

    The full cost recovery rate for an aircraft is the sum of the variable and fixed cost rates for that aircraft. The computation of the variable cost rate for an aircraft or aircraft type is described under paragraph 6.c.ii. Justifying Use of Government Aircraft. The fixed cost rate for an aircraft or aircraft type is computed as follows:

    1. Accumulate from the agency's accounting system (for the previous 12 months or longer, as appropriate) the fixed costs listed in GSA Regulations that are directly attributable to the aircraft or aircraft type (e.g., crew costs-fixed, maintenance costs-fixed, and aircraft lease-fixed).

    2. Adjust the historical fixed costs from Step 1 for inflation and for any known upcoming cost changes, including contract price adjustments, to project the new fixed cost total. The inflation and escalation factors used must conform to OMB Circulars A-11 and A-76, as appropriate.

    3. Add to the adjusted historical fixed costs amounts representing self-insurance costs and the annual depreciation or replacement costs, as described in GSA regulations.

    4. Allocate operations and administrative overhead costs to the aircraft or aircraft type based on the percentage of total aircraft program flying hours attributable to that aircraft or aircraft type.

    5. Compute a fixed cost recovery rate for the aircraft or aircraft type by dividing the sum of the projected directly attributable fixed costs (from Step 3) and the allocated fixed costs (from Step 4) by the annual flying hours projected for the aircraft or aircraft type.

    6. To compute the full cost recovery rate of using a Government aircraft for a trip, add the variable cost rate for the aircraft or aircraft type to the corresponding fixed cost rate (computed in Step 5 above) and multiply the result by the estimated number of flying hours for the trip using the proposed aircraft.

    The variable cost recovery rate for an aircraft or aircraft type is usually the same as the variable cost or usage rate described under paragraph 6.c.ii. Justifying Use of Government Aircraft. In the event that the requesting agency covers some of the costs included in the variable cost recovery rate, e.g., fuel or crew costs, such costs are not incurred by the servicing agency and should be subtracted from cost recovery rate for that flight. If an agency decides to base the charge for using its aircraft solely on the variable cost recovery rate, it must recover the fixed costs of those aircraft from the appropriation which supports the mission for which the procurement of the aircraft was justified. In such cases, the fixed cost recovery rate may be expressed on an annual, monthly or flying hour basis.

    iv. Determining Aircraft Program Cost Effectiveness

    Although cost effectiveness measures are not the only performance indicators of the effectiveness of an agency's aircraft program, they can be very useful in identifying opportunities to reduce aircraft operational costs. These opportunities might include changing maintenance practices, purchasing fuel at lower costs, and the replacement of old, inefficient aircraft with aircraft that are more fuel efficient and have lower operations and maintenance costs.

    The most common measures used to evaluate the cost effectiveness of various aspects of an aircraft program are expressed as the cost per flying hour or per passenger mile for certain types of aircraft costs. These measures may be developed using the Standard Aircraft Program Cost Elements and include, but are not limited to: Maintenance costs/flying hour, fuel and other fluids cost/flying hour, accident repair costs/flying hour (or per aircraft), and variable cost/passenger mile.

    In coordination with the Interagency Committee for Aviation Policy (ICAP), GSA should assist in the development of aviation performance indicators that agencies can use, within the context of their various missions and unique operating environments, to assess the cost-effective management of their aircraft.

    7. Agency Responsibilities.

    a. The head of each Executive Agency must issue the appropriate internal agency directives to implement this Circular within 180 days of its publication. These internal agency directives must include all policies contained in this Circular that apply to the agency's use of Government aircraft, and may contain additional policies unique to the agency.

    i. Agencies that own or hire aircraft must assure that their internal directives comply with section 6.a. of this Circular.

    ii. Agencies that use Government aircraft to support their travel requirements must assure that their internal travel policies are consistent with section 6.b. of this Circular.

    b. The Secretaries of Defense and the uniformed services, the Secretary of State and GSA must incorporate the applicable policies of this Circular into the travel regulations that they publish for uniformed service, foreign service, and civilian employees, respectively. The necessary changes to these regulations should be issued no later than 180 days from the date of this Circular.

    c. GSA shall maintain an office to implement Government-wide responsibilities for Government aviation program management that include, but are not limited to, the following:

    i. Organizing and maintaining an interagency committee composed of Federal agency senior aviation management officials who advise the Administrator of General Services on Government aircraft policy and management.

    ii. Coordinating the development of effectiveness measures, policy recommendations, and guidance for the procurement, operation, safety, and disposal of Government aircraft consistent with section 6.a. of this Circular.

    iii. Providing policy recommendations and guidance on the use of Government aircraft to conduct official business.

    iv. Operating a Government-wide information system to collect, analyze, and report agency information on Government aircraft.

    v. Developing and maintaining common, generic aircraft information system standards (i.e., data definitions and software specifications) for agencies' use in developing their own internal aircraft information systems and for routine and ad hoc reporting of their information to GSA. These data definitions will also include aircraft program cost element definitions and standards to account for aircraft costs consistent with section 6.c. of this Circular.

    vi. Providing to OMB and, upon request to Congress and other official requestors, analytical reports of the information collected and maintained in the Government-wide aircraft management information system as well as information collected from agencies on an ad hoc basis. Such reports should include, but not be limited to:

    1. Aviation related reports that may be required by OMB and other Executive guidance.

    2. An annual aviation data set that includes an inventory of agency-owned aircraft and the costs and flight hours associated with each agency's flight operations performed by both agency-owned and CAS aircraft.

    3. Periodic reports on the utilization of the Exchange/Sale Authority for aircraft and aircraft parts.

    vii. Upon a Federal agency's request, conduct external audits, surveys or reviews of Federal agency aviation programs to identify weaknesses and/or to recommend improvements as needed to increase the efficiency and the effectiveness, as well as to improve the safety culture of Federal agency aviation programs.

    viii. Reviewing agency aircraft policies for compliance with Federal regulation and guidance as needed.

    ix. Developing, coordinating and providing training, through workshops and other means, to agency aviation professionals on aviation safety, fleet modernization, and any other subjects approved by the ICAP.

    8. Reports to OMB. GSA will submit a Senior Federal Travel Report to OMB annually. GSA will also submit the following items to OMB upon request:

    a. Aviation related reports.

    b. Annual aviation data sets.

    c. Exchange/Sale authority utilization reports.

    9. Related Guidance. OMB Circular A-11 and its supplement the Capital Programming Guide.

    10. Effective Date. This Circular is effective upon publication.

    11. Information Contact. All inquiries should be addressed to the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, Office of Management and Budget, telephone number (202) 395-1158.

    [FR Doc. 2016-26464 Filed 11-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [Docket Nos. 52-040 and 52-041; NRC-2009-0337] Combined License Application for Turkey Point Nuclear Plant, Units 6 and 7 AGENCY:

    Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    ACTION:

    Final environmental impact statement; issuance.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Jacksonville District, are issuing the final environmental impact statement (EIS), NUREG-2176, “Environmental Impact Statement for Combined Licenses (COLs) for Turkey Point Nuclear Plant, Units 6 and 7,” to support the environmental review for the combined license application Florida Power and Light Company (FPL) submitted an application for COLs to construct and operate two new nuclear power plants at its Turkey Point site near Homestead, Florida.

    DATES:

    The final EIS is available as of October 28, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2009-0337, when contacting the NRC about the availability of information regarding this document. You may obtain publicly-available information related to this action by the following methods:

    Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2009-0337. Address questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-415-3463; email: [email protected] For technical questions, contact the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document.

    NRC'S Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS): You may obtain publicly-available documents online in the ADAMS Public Documents collection at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. To begin the search, select “ADAMS Public Documents,” and then select “Begin Web-based ADAMS Search.” For problems with ADAMS, please contact the NRC's Public Document Room (PDR) reference staff at 1-800-397-4209, 301-415-4737, or by email to [email protected] The final EIS is available in ADAMS under Accession Nos. ML16300A104, ML16300A137, ML16301A018, and ML16300A312, respectively.

    NRC's PDR: You may examine and purchase copies of public documents at the NRC's PDR, Room O1-F21, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852.

    Project Web site: The final EIS can be accessed online at the Turkey Point COL specific Web page at http://www.nrc.gov/reactors/new-reactors/col/turkey-point.html.

    South Dade Regional Library and Homestead Branch Library: The final EIS is available for public inspection at 10750 SW 211th Street, Cutler Bay, Florida 33189; 700 N. Homestead Blvd., Homestead, Florida 33030.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Alicia Williamson Dickerson, Office of New Reactors, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001, telephone: 301-415-1878, email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    In accordance with section 51.118 of title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations, the NRC is issuing NUREG-2176, “Environmental Impact Statement for Combined Licenses (COLs) for Turkey Point Nuclear Plant, Units 6 and 7.” A notice of availability of the draft EIS was published by the NRC in the Federal Register on March 5, 2015 (80 FR 12043) and also noticed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on March 6, 2015 (80 FR 12172). The public comment period closed on May 22, 2015. During the course of the comment period, the NRC received requests from members of the public, a Tribal government and Federal agencies to extend the comment period. The NRC reopened the comment period on the draft EIS from May 28, 2015, until July 17, 2015 (80 FR 30501); public comments are addressed in Appendix E in the final EIS. The final EIS is available for public inspection as indicated in the ADDRESSES section of this document.

    The final EIS also supports the USACE's review and was prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, as amended. The final EIS also supports the Department of the Army's permit application for certain construction activities at the proposed Turkey Point, Units 6 and 7 site. The USACE's Department of the Army permit application number for Turkey Point, Units 6 and 7 project is (SAJ-2009-02417). The USACE's Public Interest Review will be part of its Record of Decision and is not addressed in the final EIS.

    II. Discussion

    As discussed in the final EIS, the NRC staff's recommendation related to the environmental aspects of the proposed action is that the COLs should be issued. This recommendation is based on: (1) The Environmental Report (ER) submitted by FPL, as revised; (2) consultation with Federal, State, Tribal, and local agencies; (3) the NRC staff's independent review; (4) the NRC staff's consideration of comments received during the environmental review; and (5) the assessments summarized in the final EIS, including the potential mitigation measures identified in the ER and in the final EIS. In addition, in making its recommendation, the NRC staff has concluded that there are no environmentally preferable or obviously superior sites in the region of interest.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 27th day of October, 2016.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    Francis M. Akstulewicz, Director, Division of New Reactor Licensing, Office of New Reactors.
    [FR Doc. 2016-26456 Filed 11-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590-01-P
    NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [NRC-2016-0214] Biweekly Notice; Applications and Amendments to Facility Operating Licenses and Combined Licenses Involving No Significant Hazards Considerations; Correction AGENCY:

    Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice; correction.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is correcting a notice that was published in the Federal Register (FR) on October 25, 2016, regarding notice of issuance of amendments to facility operating licenses and combined licenses. This action is necessary to correct an administrative error.

    DATES:

    The correction is effective November 2, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2016-0214 when contacting the NRC about the availability of information regarding this document. You may obtain publicly-available information related to this document using any of the following methods:

    Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2016-0214. Address questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-415-3463; email: [email protected] For technical questions, contact the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document.

    NRC's Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS): You may obtain publicly-available documents online in the ADAMS Public Documents collection at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/adams.html. To begin the search, select “ADAMS Public Documents” and then select “Begin Web-based ADAMS Search.” For problems with ADAMS, please contact the NRC's Public Document Room (PDR) reference staff at 1-800-397-4209, 301-415-4737, or by email to [email protected] The ADAMS accession number for each document referenced (if it is available in ADAMS) is provided the first time that it is mentioned in this document.

    NRC's PDR: You may examine and purchase copies of public documents at the NRC's PDR, Room O1-F21, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Janet Burkhardt, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001; telephone: 301-415-1384, email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    In the Federal Register on October 25, 2016, in FR Doc. 2016-25641, on page 73445, second column, line 33, correct “enclosed with the amendments” to read “enclosed with the letter dated May 6, 2016 (ADAMS Accession No. ML16096A266).”

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 27th day of October 2016.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    George A. Wilson, Jr., Deputy Director, Division of Operating Reactor Licensing, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.
    [FR Doc. 2016-26461 Filed 11-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590-01-P
    POSTAL SERVICE Product Change—Priority Mail and Parcel Select Negotiated Service Agreement AGENCY:

    Postal ServiceTM.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Postal Service gives notice of filing a request with the Postal Regulatory Commission to add a domestic shipping services contract to the list of Negotiated Service Agreements in the Mail Classification Schedule's Competitive Products List.

    DATES:

    Effective date: November 2, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Elizabeth A. Reed, 202-268-3179.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The United States Postal Service® hereby gives notice that, pursuant to 39 U.S.C. 3642 and 3632(b)(3), on October 26, 2016, it filed with the Postal Regulatory Commission a Request of the United States Postal Service to Add Priority Mail & Parcel Select Contract 2 to Competitive Product List. Documents are available at www.prc.gov, Docket Nos. MC2017-13, CP2017-29.

    Stanley F. Mires, Attorney, Federal Compliance.
    [FR Doc. 2016-26409 Filed 11-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7710-12-P
    SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [Release No. 34-79174; File No. SR-NSX-2016-14] Self-Regulatory Organizations; National Stock Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing of a Proposed Rule Change To Amend Exchange Rule 11.26 To Correct Defective Numbering in the Interpretations and Policies of the Rule October 27, 2016.

    Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Act”) 1 and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,2 notice is hereby given that on October 13, 2016, National Stock Exchange, Inc. (“NSX” or the “Exchange”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC” or “Commission”) the proposed rule change, as described in Items I and II below, which Items have been prepared by the Exchange. The Commission is publishing this notice to solicit comment on the proposed rule change from interested persons.

    1 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(1).

    2 17 CFR 240.19b-4.

    I. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Terms of Substance of the Proposed Rule Change

    The Exchange is proposing to amend Exchange Rule 11.26, Compliance with Regulation NMS Plan to Implement a Tick Size Pilot to correct defective numbering under the Interpretations and Policies of the rule. The Exchange is not proposing any substantive amendments to the rule text.

    The Exchange has designated this proposal as a “non-controversial” proposed rule change pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A) of the Act 3 and provided the Commission with the notice required by Rule 19b-4(f)(6)(iii) under the Act.4

    3 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(3)(A).

    4 17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(6)(iii).

    The text of the proposed rule change is available on the Exchange's Web site at http://www.nsx.com, at the principal office of the Exchange, and at the Commission's public reference room.

    II. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change

    In its filing with the Commission, the Exchange included statements concerning the purpose of and basis for the proposed rule change and discussed any comments it received on the proposed rule change. The text of these statements may be examined at the places specified in Item IV below. The Exchange has prepared summaries, set forth in sections A, B, and C below, of the most significant parts of such statements.

    A. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change 1. Purpose

    The Exchange is proposing to make ministerial non-substantive changes to the numbering of the Interpretations and Policies sections of Rule 11.26. The changes are intended to address incorrect numbering that resulted from two recent amendments [sic] the rule filed by the Exchange. On September 28, 2016 the Commission noticed a proposed rule change filed by the Exchange to amend Rule 11.26, including certain sections of the Interpretations and Policies.5 As part of these amendments, the Exchange proposed new text for section .09, which resulted a renumbering of former section .09 as .10. Section .10, with certain text proposed to be amended, was renumbered to .11; former .11 was renumbered as section .12, with no changes proposed to the text.

    5See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 78960 (September 28, 2016), 81 FR 68476 (October 4, 2016) (SR-NSX-2016-12).

    On September 29, 2016, the SEC noticed a proposed rule change filed by the Exchange to make further rule changes in connection with the Regulation NMS Plan to Implement a Tick Size Pilot, including an amendment to Rule 11.26, Interpretations and Policies.6 The filing should have reflected that the language of Interpretations and Polices .12 was being replaced and that the former language of Interpretations and Policies .12 was being added as Interpretations and Policies .13. However, the Exchange, in its filing incorrectly assigned the number .11 where it should have used .12 and incorrectly assigned the number .12 where it should have used .13. As a result, two separate sections of the Interpretations and Policies are designated as number .11. The Exchange proposes to correct this error by amending the numbering associated with these sections. The section that was incorrectly numbered .11 will become .12 and the section previously incorrectly numbered .12 will become .13.

    6See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 78987 (September 29, 2016), 81 FR 69123 (October 5, 2016) (SR-NSX-2016-13).

    2. Statutory Basis

    The Exchange believes that its proposal is consistent with Section 6(b) of the Act 7 in general, and furthers the objectives of Section 6(b)(5) of the Act 8 in particular, in that it is designed to promote just and equitable principles of trade, to foster cooperation and coordination with persons engaged in facilitating transactions in securities, to remove impediments to and perfect the mechanism of a free and open market and a national market system and, in general, to protect investors and the public interest.

    7 15 U.S.C. 78f(b).

    8 15 U.S.C. 78f(b)(5).

    Specifically, the proposal is designed to correct an administrative error from a previous filing that resulted in incorrect numbering of certain sections of Rule 11.26, Interpretations and Policies. Correcting these errors will avoid confusion and will promote clarity and ease of reference in the Exchange's rules and is consistent with Section 6(b)(5) of the Act in that it will promote just and equitable principles of trade and the protection of investors and the public interest.

    B. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Burden on Competition

    The Exchange does not believe that the proposed rule change will result in any burden on competition that is not necessary or appropriate in furtherance of the purposes of the Act. The proposed rule change is intended to correct defective numbering in the Interpretations and Policies of Rule 11.26 and raises no competitive issues.

    C. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Comments on the Proposed Rule Change Received From Members, Participants, or Others

    The Exchange has neither solicited nor received comments on the proposed rule change.

    III. Date of Effectiveness of the Proposed Rule Change and Timing for Commission Action

    Because the foregoing proposed rule change does not: (i) Significantly affect the protection of investors or the public interest; (ii) impose any significant burden on competition; and (iii) become operative for 30 days from the date on which it was filed, or such shorter time as the Commission may designate, it has become effective pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A) 9 of the Act and Rule 19b-4(f)(6) thereunder.10

    9 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(3)(A).

    10 17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(6). As required under Rule 19b-4(f)(6)(iii), the Exchange provided the Commission with written notice of its intent to file the proposed rule change, along with a brief description and the text of the proposed rule change, at least five business days prior to the date of filing of the proposed rule change, or such shorter time as designated by the Commission.

    A proposed rule change filed pursuant to Rule 19b-4(f)(6) under the Act 11 normally does not become operative for 30 days after the date of its filing. However, Rule 19b-4(f)(6)(iii) 12 permits the Commission to designate a shorter time if such action is consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest. The Exchange has asked the Commission to waive the 30-day operative delay so that the proposal may become operative upon filing. The Exchange believes that waiver of the 30-day operative delay is consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest because the proposed changes are ministerial and the Commission granted a similar waiver of the 30-day operative delay in its notice of the rule changes that contained the original incorrect numbering.13 The Commission believes that waiving the 30-day operative delay is consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest because the proposed changes are non-substantive and will provide clarity to the Exchange's rules. Therefore, the Commission hereby waives the operative delay and designates the proposed rule change operative upon filing.14

    11 17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(6).

    12 17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(6)(iii).

    13See supra notes 5 and 6.

    14 For purposes only of waiving the 30-day operative delay, the Commission has considered the proposed rule's impact on efficiency, competition, and capital formation. See 15 U.S.C. 78c(f).

    At any time within 60 days of the filing of the proposed rule change, the Commission summarily may temporarily suspend such rule change if it appears to the Commission that such action is necessary or appropriate in the public interest, for the protection of investors, or otherwise in furtherance of the purposes of the Act. If the Commission takes such action, the Commission shall institute proceedings to determine whether the proposed rule should be approved or disapproved.

    IV. Solicitation of Comments

    Interested persons are invited to submit written data, views, and arguments concerning the foregoing, including whether the proposed rule change is consistent with the Act. Comments may be submitted by any of the following methods:

    Electronic Comments

    • Use the Commission's Internet comment form (http://www.sec.gov/rules/sro.shtml); or

    • Send an email to [email protected] Please include File Number SR-NSX-2016-14 on the subject line.

    Paper Comments

    • Send paper comments in triplicate to Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549-1090.

    All submissions should refer to File No. SR-NSX-2016-14. This file number should be included in the subject line if email is used. To help the Commission process and review comments more efficiently, please use only one method. The Commission will post all comments on the Commission's Internet Web site (http://www.sec.gov/rules/sro.shtml). Copies of the submission, all subsequent amendments, all written statements with respect to the proposed rule change that are filed with the Commission, and all written communications relating to the proposed rule change between the Commission and any person, other than those that may be withheld from the public in accordance with the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552, will be available for Web site viewing and printing in the Commission's Public Reference Room, 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549, on official business days between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. eastern time. Copies of such filings also will be available for inspection and copying at the principal office of the Exchange. All comments received will be posted without change; the Commission does not edit personal identifying information from submissions. You should submit only information that you wish to make available publicly. All submissions should refer to file number SR-NSX-2016-14 and should be submitted on or before November 23, 2016.

    15 17 CFR 200.30-3(a)(12).

    For the Commission by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to the delegated authority.15

    Brent J. Fields, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-26403 Filed 11-1-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8011-01-P
    SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [Release No. IC-32340; File No. 812-14472] NF Investment Corp., et al.; Notice of Application October 27, 2016. AGENCY:

    Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”).

    ACTION:

    Notice of application for an order to amend a prior order under sections 17(d), 57(a)(4) and 57(i) of the Investment Company Act of 1940 (the “Act”) and rule 17d-1 under the Act to permit certain joint transactions otherwise prohibited by sections 17(d), 57(a)(4) and 57(i) of the Act and rule 17d-1 under the Act.

    Summary of Application:

    Applicants request an order (“Order”) to amend a prior order to permit certain business development companies (“BDCs”) and closed-end investment companies to co-invest in portfolio companies with each other and with certain other affiliated investment funds and broker-dealers. The Order would supersede the prior order.1

    1 NF Investment Corp., et al., Investment Company Act Rel. Nos. 30900 (Jan. 31, 2014) (notice) and 30968 (Feb. 26, 2014) (order).

    Applicants:

    NF Investment Corp. (“NFIC”); Carlyle GMS Finance, Inc. (“CGMSF,” and together with NFIC, the “Existing Regulated Funds”); NFIC SPV LLC (“NFIC Sub”); Carlyle GMS Finance SPV LLC (“CGMSF Sub”'); Carlyle GMS Finance MM CLO 2015-1 LLC (“2015-1 Issuer,” and together with CFMSF Sub and NFIC Sub, the “Existing SPV Subs”) (collectively, the “Existing Co-Investment Affiliates”); Carlyle GMS Investment Management L.L.C. (“CGMSIM”) on behalf of itself and its successors; 2 and TCG Securities, L.L.C. (“TCG”).

    2 The term “successor” as applied to CGMSIM means an entity that results from a reorganization into another jurisdiction or change in the type of business organization.

    Filing Dates:

    The application was filed on May 22, 2015, and amended on October 8, 2015, March 30, 2016, and August 4, 2016.

    Hearing or Notification of Hearing:

    An order granting the requested relief will be issued unless the Commission orders a hearing. Interested persons may request a hearing by writing to the Commission's Secretary and serving applicants with a copy of the request, personally or by mail. Hearing requests should be received by the Commission by 5:30 p.m. on November 21, 2016, and should be accompanied by proof of service on applicants, in the form of an affidavit or, for lawyers, a certificate of service. Pursuant to Rule 0-5 under the Act, hearing requests should state the nature of the writer's interest, any facts bearing upon the desirability of a hearing on the matter, the reason for the request, and the issues contested. Persons who wish to be notified of a hearing may request notification by writing to the Commission's Secretary.

    ADDRESSES:

    The Commission: Brent J. Fields, Secretary, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F St. NE., Washington, DC 20549-1090. Applicants: Carlyle GMS Finance, Inc., 520 Madison Avenue, 38th Floor, New York, NY 10022.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jean E. Minarick, Senior Counsel, at (202) 551-6811 or Daniele Marchesani, Branch Chief, at (202) 551-6821 (Chief Counsel's Office, Division of Investment Management).

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The following is a summary of the application. The complete application may be obtained via the Commission's Web site by searching for the file number, or for an applicant using the Company name box, at http://www.sec.gov/search/search.htm or by calling (202) 551-8090.

    Applicants' Representations

    1. CGMSF and NFIC are both Maryland corporations organized as non-diversified, closed-end management investment companies that have elected to be regulated as BDCs under Section 54(a) of the Act.3 The Objectives and Strategies 4 of both CGMSF and NFIC are to generate current income and capital appreciation primarily through debt investments in U.S. middle market companies. The board of directors of NFIC and CGMSF (each a “Board”) will be comprised of directors, a majority of whom will not be “interested persons,” within the meaning of section 2(a)(19) of the Act (the “Non-Interested Directors”) of NFIC or CGMSF. The Existing SPV Subs are each an SPV Sub (defined below) of either NFIC or CGMSF.

    3 Section 2(a)(48) defines a BDC to be any closed-end investment company that operates for the purpose of making investments in securities described in sections 55(a)(1) through 55(a)(3) of the Act and makes available significant managerial assistance with respect to the issuers of such securities.

    4 “Objectives and Strategies” means the investment objectives and strategies of a Regulated Fund (as defined below), as described in the filings made with the Commission by the Regulated Fund under the Exchange Act or under the Securities Act of 1933 (the “Securities Act”) and the Act, and the Regulated Fund's reports to shareholders.

    2. CGMSIM is registered as an investment adviser under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (the “Advisers Act”) and serves as the investment adviser to the Existing Regulated Funds. CGMSIM is a Delaware corporation and a wholly owned subsidiary of The Carlyle Group L.P. (“Carlyle”).

    3. TCG, a wholly owned subsidiary of Carlyle, is registered as a limited purpose broker-dealer under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Exchange Act”) and is a Delaware limited liability company that, from time to time, may hold various assets in a principal capacity. When acting in this capacity, TCG, and any other future wholly or majority owned broker-dealer subsidiaries of Carlyle and any future wholly owned subsidiaries of such broker-dealer subsidiaries who intend to participate in the Co-Investment Program are collectively referred to as the “Capital Markets Affiliates.”

    4. Applicants seek an Order to permit a Regulated Fund 5 (or any SPV Sub, as defined below), on the one hand, and one or more Co-Investment Affiliates,6 on the other hand, to participate in the same investment opportunities through a co-investment program (the “Co-Investment Program”) where such participation would otherwise be prohibited under sections 17(d) and 57(a)(4) of the Act and rule 17d-1 under the Act by (a) co-investing with each other in securities issued by issuers in private placement transactions in which an Investment Adviser negotiates terms in addition to price; 7 and (b) making additional investments in securities of such issuers, including through the exercise of warrants, conversion privileges, and other rights to purchase securities of the issuers (“Follow-On Investments”). “Co-Investment Transaction” means any transaction in which any of the Regulated Funds (or any SPV Sub) participated together with one or more Co-Investment Affiliates in reliance on the Order. “Potential Co-Investment Transaction” means any investment opportunity in which any of the Regulated Funds (or any SPV Sub) could not participate together with one or more Co-Investment Affiliates without obtaining and relying on the Order.8

    5 “Regulated Fund” means any of the Existing Regulated Funds and any Future Regulated Fund. “Future Regulated Fund” means any future closed-end management investment company that (a) has elected to be regulated as a BDC or is registered under the Act; (b) will be advised by an Investment Adviser and (c) that intends to participate in the Co-Investment Program (as defined below). The term “Investment Adviser” means (a) CGMSIM and (b) any future investment adviser controlling, controlled by, or under common control with CGMSIM and is registered as an investment adviser under the Advisers Act.

    6 “Co-Investment Affiliates” means (a) the Existing Co-Investment Affiliates, (b) any Capital Markets Affiliate, or (c) any Regulated Fund, SPV Sub, or Private Fund. “Private Fund” means any entity (a) whose investment adviser is an Investment Adviser; (b) that would be an investment company but for section 3(c)(1) or 3(c)(7) of the Act; and (c) that intends to participate in the Co-Investment Program.

    7 The term “private placement transactions” means transactions in which the offer and sale of securities by the issuer are exempt from registration under the Securities Act.

    8 All existing entities that currently intend to rely upon the Order have been named as applicants. Any other existing or future entity that relies on the Order in the future will comply with the terms and conditions of the application.

    5. Applicants state that a Regulated Fund may, from time to time, form one or more SPV Subs.9 Such a subsidiary would be prohibited from investing in a Co-Investment Transaction with any Co-Investment Affiliate because it would be a company controlled by its parent Regulated Fund for purposes of sections 17(d) and 57(a)(4) and rule 17d-1. Applicants request that each SPV Sub be permitted to participate in Co-Investment Transactions in lieu of its parent Regulated Fund and that the SPV Sub's participation in any such transaction be treated, for purposes of the Order, as though the parent Regulated Fund were participating directly. Applicants represent that this treatment is justified because a SPV Sub would have no purpose other than serving as a holding ve