Federal Register Vol. 81, No.95,

Federal Register Volume 81, Issue 95 (May 17, 2016)

Page Range30483-31159
FR Document

81_FR_95
Current View
Page and SubjectPDF
81 FR 30530 - Applications for New Awards; Charter Schools Program (CSP) Grants for Replication and Expansion of High-Quality Charter Schools; CorrectionPDF
81 FR 30597 - 30-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Reporting Requirements on Responsible Investment in BurmaPDF
81 FR 30572 - Sunshine Act MeetingPDF
81 FR 30483 - Rules of Practice and Procedure; Adjusting Civil Money Penalties for InflationPDF
81 FR 30610 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 30521 - Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 30597 - Section 7058(c) Determination for Zika VirusPDF
81 FR 30599 - 60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: U.S. Passport Renewal Application for Eligible IndividualsPDF
81 FR 30535 - Notification of Two Public Teleconferences of the Science Advisory Board; Environmental Economics Advisory CommitteePDF
81 FR 30599 - 60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Technology Security/Clearance Plans, Screening Records, and Non-Disclosure AgreementsPDF
81 FR 30541 - Submission for OMB Review; 30-Day Comment Request; National Institutes of Health (NIH) Loan Repayment Programs; Office of the Director (OD)PDF
81 FR 30519 - Determination Under the Textile and Apparel Commercial Availability Provision of the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement (“CAFTA-DR Agreement”)PDF
81 FR 30545 - Notice of Aged Delinquent Portfolio Loan Sale (ADPLS)PDF
81 FR 30595 - Texas Disaster Number TX-00468PDF
81 FR 30520 - Academic Research Council MeetingPDF
81 FR 30505 - Mandatory Deposit of Electronic Books and Sound Recordings Available Only OnlinePDF
81 FR 30565 - 181st Meeting of the Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension Benefit Plans Notice of MeetingPDF
81 FR 30569 - Records Schedules; Availability and Request for CommentsPDF
81 FR 30518 - Input on Proposals and Positions for 2016 World Telecommunication Standardization AssemblyPDF
81 FR 30531 - Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board, Northern New MexicoPDF
81 FR 30523 - Applications for New Awards; Indian Education Discretionary Grants Programs-Professional Development Grants ProgramPDF
81 FR 30533 - Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board, Oak Ridge ReservationPDF
81 FR 30596 - New York Disaster #NY-00167PDF
81 FR 30531 - Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board, HanfordPDF
81 FR 30532 - Application To Export Electric Energy; Termoelectrica U.S., LLCPDF
81 FR 30596 - IDAHO Disaster #ID-00062 Declaration of Economic InjuryPDF
81 FR 30571 - Disposition of Information Related to the Time Period That Safety-Related Structures, Systems, or Components Are InstalledPDF
81 FR 30571 - Southern Nuclear Operating Company, Inc.; Establishment of Atomic Safety and Licensing BoardPDF
81 FR 30548 - Notice on Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Lease SalesPDF
81 FR 30566 - Nemko-CCL, Inc.: Applications for Expansion of RecognitionPDF
81 FR 30529 - Reopening; Application Deadline for Fiscal Year 2016; Small, Rural School Achievement ProgramPDF
81 FR 30607 - Chrysler Group, LLC, Grant of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential NoncompliancePDF
81 FR 30609 - Open Meeting of the Advisory Committee on Risk-Sharing MechanismsPDF
81 FR 30568 - Susan Harwood Training Grant Program, FY 2016PDF
81 FR 30530 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request; Survey on the Use of Funds Under Title II, Part A (SEA Uses of Funds)PDF
81 FR 30522 - Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request; Impact Aid Program Application for Section 7002 AssistancePDF
81 FR 30607 - Reports, Forms, and Record Keeping Requirements Agency Information Collection Activity Under OMB ReviewPDF
81 FR 30605 - Compendium of Public Transportation Safety StandardsPDF
81 FR 30536 - Information Collection Being Submitted for Review and Approval to the Office of Management and BudgetPDF
81 FR 30538 - Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications CommissionPDF
81 FR 30537 - Information Collection Being Submitted for Review and Approval to the Office of Management and BudgetPDF
81 FR 30604 - Contact Rail (Third Rail) System HazardsPDF
81 FR 30601 - Buy America Waiver NotificationPDF
81 FR 30602 - Buy America Waiver NotificationPDF
81 FR 30596 - Public Availability of Social Security Administration Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 Service Contract InventoryPDF
81 FR 30517 - Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico; Amendment 41PDF
81 FR 30600 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Requests for Comments; Clearance of Renewed Approval of Information Collection: Application for Employment With the Federal Aviation Administration; WithdrawalPDF
81 FR 30547 - Notice of Public Meetings: Sierra Front-Northwestern Great Basin Resource Advisory Council, NevadaPDF
81 FR 30602 - Notice of Proposed Buy America Waiver for MinivansPDF
81 FR 30521 - U.S. Air Force Academy Board of Visitors Notice of MeetingPDF
81 FR 30571 - Proposal Review Panel for Physics; Notice of MeetingPDF
81 FR 30570 - Advisory Committee for Mathematical and Physical Sciences; Notice of MeetingPDF
81 FR 30570 - Advisory Committee on the Records of CongressPDF
81 FR 30540 - Use of Electronic Health Record Data in Clinical Investigations; Draft Guidance for Industry; AvailabilityPDF
81 FR 30548 - Certain Lithium Metal Oxide Cathode Materials, Lithium-Ion Batteries for Power Tool Products Containing Same, and Power Tool Products With Lithium-Ion Batteries Containing Same; Commission Determination To Review in Part a Final Initial Determination; Deny Certain Motions; and Grant a Request for a Commission Hearing; Request for Written Submissions on the Issues Under Review and on Remedy, the Public Interest and BondingPDF
81 FR 30550 - United States v. Charter Communications, Inc., et al.; Proposed Final Judgment and Competitive Impact StatementPDF
81 FR 30568 - Distribution of the 2012-2013 Digital Audio Recording Technology Musical Works Royalty FundsPDF
81 FR 30545 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment RequestPDF
81 FR 30515 - Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request-Information Collection for the Child and Adult Care Food ProgramPDF
81 FR 31126 - Regulations Under the Americans With Disabilities ActPDF
81 FR 31143 - Genetic Information Nondiscrimination ActPDF
81 FR 30543 - Government-Owned Inventions; Availability for LicensingPDF
81 FR 30541 - National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
81 FR 30544 - National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; Notice of Closed MeetingsPDF
81 FR 30533 - Nicatous Lake Lodge and Cabins, LLC; Notice of Declaration of Intention and Soliciting Comments, Protests, and Motions To IntervenePDF
81 FR 30534 - Competitive Transmission Development, Technical Conference; Supplemental Notice of Technical Conference and Request for SpeakersPDF
81 FR 30517 - Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 121-Albany, New York; Notification of Proposed Production Activity; Townsend Leather Company, Inc., (Finished Upholstery Grade Leather, Cut Parts and Product Samples); Johnstown, New YorkPDF
81 FR 30517 - Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 281-Miami, Florida, Notification of Proposed Production Activity, Alpha Marketing Network, Inc. d/b/a AMN Distributors, (Kitting-Wine Gift Sets), Miami, FloridaPDF
81 FR 30516 - Foreign-Trade Zone 110-Albuquerque, New Mexico; Application for Reorganization Under Alternative Site FrameworkPDF
81 FR 30583 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE MKT LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Change Modifying the NYSE Amex Options Fee SchedulePDF
81 FR 30580 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Bats EDGX Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Related to Fees as They Apply to the Equity Options PlatformPDF
81 FR 30594 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; New York Stock Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Amending Its Price List To Make a Clarifying Change Regarding the Rebate Program Recently Implemented by the Exchange for the NYSE Bonds SystemPDF
81 FR 30573 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NASDAQ PHLX LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Related to Customer RebatesPDF
81 FR 30578 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; Bats EDGA Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change to Rule 11.11, Routing to Away Trading Centers, To Delete the IOCM and ICMT Routing OptionsPDF
81 FR 30575 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; ICE Clear Europe Limited; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Relating to Accounts Categories for Positions of Clearing Member AffiliatesPDF
81 FR 30589 - Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE MKT LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Amend Rule 98-EquitiesPDF
81 FR 30585 - TCW Alternative Funds, et al.; Notice of ApplicationPDF
81 FR 30484 - Approval of California Air Plan Revisions, Eastern Kern Air Pollution Control DistrictPDF
81 FR 30503 - Safety Zone; Annual Roy Webster Cross-Channel Swim, Columbia River, Hood River, ORPDF
81 FR 30509 - Approval of California State Air Plan Revisions, Eastern Kern Air Pollution Control DistrictPDF
81 FR 30610 - Advisory Committee on Cemeteries and Memorials, Notice of MeetingPDF
81 FR 30510 - Rules Relating to Board-Initiated InvestigationsPDF
81 FR 30495 - Retrospective Review-Improving the Previous Participation Reviews of Prospective Multifamily Housing and Healthcare Programs Participants; Supplemental Notice of Proposed RulemakingPDF
81 FR 30487 - Medicare Program; Obtaining Final Medicare Secondary Payer Conditional Payment Amounts via Web PortalPDF
81 FR 30614 - Joint Industry Plan; Notice of Filing of the National Market System Plan Governing the Consolidated Audit TrailPDF

Issue

81 95 Tuesday, May 17, 2016 Contents Agriculture Agriculture Department See

Food and Nutrition Service

AIRFORCE Air Force Department NOTICES Meetings: U.S. Air Force Academy Board of Visitors, 30521 2016-11568 Antitrust Division Antitrust Division NOTICES Proposed Final Judgments and Competitive Impact Statements: United States v. Charter Communications, Inc., et al., 30550-30565 2016-11562 Consumer Financial Protection Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection NOTICES Meetings: Academic Research Council, 30520-30521 2016-11614 Centers Medicare Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services RULES Medicare Program: Obtaining Final Medicare Secondary Payer Conditional Payment Amounts via Web Portal, 30487-30494 2016-11270 Coast Guard Coast Guard PROPOSED RULES Safety Zones: Annual Roy Webster Cross-Channel Swim, Columbia River, Hood River, OR, 30503-30505 2016-11515 Commerce Commerce Department See

Foreign-Trade Zones Board

See

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

See

National Telecommunications and Information Administration

Committee Implementation Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements NOTICES Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Textile and Apparel Commercial Availability Provision of the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement, 30519-30520 2016-11617 Copyright Office Copyright Office, Library of Congress PROPOSED RULES Mandatory Deposit of Electronic Books and Sound Recordings Available Only Online, 30505-30509 2016-11613 Copyright Royalty Board Copyright Royalty Board NOTICES Distribution of the 2012-2013 Digital Audio Recording Technology Musical Works Royalty Funds, 30568-30569 2016-11561 Defense Department Defense Department See

Air Force Department

NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 30521-30522 2016-11625
Education Department Education Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Impact Aid Program Application for Section 7002 Assistance, 30522-30523 2016-11589 Survey on the Use of Funds under Title II, Part A, 30530 2016-11590 Application Deadline for Fiscal Year 2016; Small, Rural School Achievement Program; Reopening, 30529-30530 2016-11594 Applications for New Awards: Charter Schools Program Grants for Replication and Expansion of High-Quality Charter Schools; Correction, 30530-30531 2016-11717 Indian Education Discretionary Grants Programs—Professional Development Grants Program, 30523-30529 2016-11606 Employee Benefits Employee Benefits Security Administration NOTICES Meetings: Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension Benefit Plans, 30565-30566 2016-11612 Energy Department Energy Department See

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

NOTICES Application to Export Electric Energy: Termoelectrica U.S., LLC, 30532-30533 2016-11601 Meetings: Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board, Hanford, 30531 2016-11603 Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board, Northern New Mexico, 30531-30532 2016-11607 Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board, Oak Ridge Reservation, 30533 2016-11605
Environmental Protection Environmental Protection Agency RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: California: Eastern Kern Air Pollution Control District, 30484-30486 2016-11516 PROPOSED RULES Air Quality State Implementation Plans; Approvals and Promulgations: California: Eastern Kern Air Pollution Control District, 30509-30510 2016-11513 NOTICES Meetings: Environmental Economics Advisory Committee, 30535-30536 2016-11622 Equal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission RULES Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, 31143-31159 2016-11557 Regulations under the Americans with Disabilities Act, 31126-31143 2016-11558 Farm Credit System Insurance Farm Credit System Insurance Corporation RULES Rules of Practice and Procedure; Adjusting Civil Money Penalties for Inflation, 30483-30484 2016-11675 Federal Aviation Federal Aviation Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Application for Employment with the Federal Aviation Administration; Withdrawal, 30600-30601 2016-11573 Federal Communications Federal Communications Commission NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 30536-30540 2016-11582 2016-11583 2016-11584 Federal Energy Federal Energy Regulatory Commission NOTICES Declaration of Intention Applications: Nicatous Lake Lodge and Cabins, LLC, 30533-30534 2016-11552 Meetings: Competitive Transmission Development; Technical Conference, 30534-30535 2016-11551 Federal Highway Federal Highway Administration NOTICES Buy America Waivers, 30601-30602 2016-11578 2016-11579 Federal Transit Federal Transit Administration NOTICES Buy America Waivers, 30602-30604 2016-11571 Compendium of Public Transportation Safety Standards, 30605-30606 2016-11585 Contact Rail (Third Rail) System Hazards, 30604-30605 2016-11580 Food and Drug Food and Drug Administration NOTICES Guidance: Use of Electronic Health Record Data in Clinical Investigations, 30540-30541 2016-11564 Food and Nutrition Food and Nutrition Service NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Child and Adult Care Food Program, 30515-30516 2016-11559 Foreign Trade Foreign-Trade Zones Board NOTICES Applications for Reorganization under Alternative Site Framework: Foreign-Trade Zone 110; Albuquerque, NM, 30516 2016-11546 Proposed Production Activities: Alpha Marketing Network, Inc. d/b/a AMN Distributors; Foreign-Trade Zone 281; Miami, FL, 30517 2016-11547 Townsend Leather Co., Inc.; Foreign-Trade Zone 121, Albany, NY, 30517 2016-11549 Health and Human Health and Human Services Department See

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

See

Food and Drug Administration

See

National Institutes of Health

See

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Homeland Homeland Security Department See

Coast Guard

Housing Housing and Urban Development Department PROPOSED RULES Retrospective Review: Improving the Previous Participation Reviews of Prospective Multifamily Housing and Healthcare Programs Participants, 30495-30503 2016-11346 NOTICES Aged Delinquent Portfolio Loan Sale, 30545-30547 2016-11616 Interior Interior Department See

Land Management Bureau

See

Ocean Energy Management Bureau

International Trade Com International Trade Commission NOTICES Investigations; Determinations, Modifications, and Rulings, etc.: Certain Lithium Metal Oxide Cathode Materials, Lithium-Ion Batteries for Power Tool Products Containing Same, and Power Tool Products with Lithium-Ion Batteries Containing Same, 30548-30550 2016-11563 Justice Department Justice Department See

Antitrust Division

Labor Department Labor Department See

Employee Benefits Security Administration

See

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

Land Land Management Bureau NOTICES Meetings: Sierra Front-Northwestern Great Basin Resource Advisory Council, NV, 30547 2016-11572 Library Library of Congress See

Copyright Office, Library of Congress

See

Copyright Royalty Board

National Archives National Archives and Records Administration NOTICES Meetings: Advisory Committee on the Records of Congress, 30570 2016-11565 Records Schedules, 30569-30570 2016-11610 National Highway National Highway Traffic Safety Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 30607 2016-11586 Petitions for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance: Chrysler Group, LLC, 30607-30609 2016-11593 National Institute National Institutes of Health NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 30541-30543 2016-11618 Government-Owned Inventions; Availability for Licensing, 30543-30544 2016-11555 2016-11556 Meetings: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, 30541, 30544 2016-11553 2016-11554 National Oceanic National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration NOTICES Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic: Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico; Amendment 41, 30517-30518 2016-11574 National Science National Science Foundation NOTICES Meetings: Advisory Committee for Mathematical and Physical Sciences, 30570-30571 2016-11566 Proposal Review Panel for Physics, 30571 2016-11567 National Telecommunications National Telecommunications and Information Administration NOTICES Input on Proposals and Positions for 2016 World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly, 30518-30519 2016-11609 Nuclear Regulatory Nuclear Regulatory Commission NOTICES Board Establishments: Atomic Safety And Licensing Board, 30571 2016-11597 Disposition of Information Related to the Time Period that Safety-Related Structures, Systems, or Components are Installed, 30571-30572 2016-11598 Occupational Safety Health Adm Occupational Safety and Health Administration NOTICES Applications for Expansion of Recognition: Nemko-CCL, Inc., 30566-30568 2016-11595 Availability of Funds, Funding Opportunites: Susan Harwood Training Grant Program, 30568 2016-11591 Ocean Energy Management Ocean Energy Management Bureau NOTICES Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Lease Sales, 30548 2016-11596 Securities Securities and Exchange Commission NOTICES Applications: TCW Alternative Funds, et al., 30585-30589 2016-11534 Joint Industry Plan: National Market System Plan Governing the Consolidated Audit Trail, 30614-31124 2016-10461 Meetings; Sunshine Act, 30572-30573 2016-11704 Self-Regulatory Organizations; Proposed Rule Changes: Bats EDGA Exchange, Inc., 30578-30579 2016-11540 Bats EDGX Exchange, Inc., 30580-30583 2016-11543 ICE Clear Europe Ltd., 30575-30577 2016-11539 NASDAQ PHLX LLC, 30573-30575 2016-11541 New York Stock Exchange LLC, 30594-30595 2016-11542 NYSE MKT LLC, 30583-30585, 30589-30594 2016-11538 2016-11544 Small Business Small Business Administration NOTICES Disaster Declarations: Idaho, 30596 2016-11600 New York, 30596 2016-11604 Texas; Amendment 2, 30595-30596 2016-11615 Social Social Security Administration NOTICES Fiscal Year 2015 Service Contract Inventories, 30596-30597 2016-11576 State Department State Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals: Reporting Requirements on Responsible Investment in Burma, 30597-30598 2016-11707 Technology Security/Clearance Plans, Screening Records, and Non-Disclosure Agreements, 30599 2016-11620 U.S. Passport Renewal Application for Eligible Individuals, 30599-30600 2016-11623 Determination for Zika Virus, 30597 2016-11624 Substance Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 30545 2016-11560 Surface Transportation Surface Transportation Board PROPOSED RULES Rules Relating to Board-Initiated Investigations, 30510-30514 2016-11382 Transportation Department Transportation Department See

Federal Aviation Administration

See

Federal Highway Administration

See

Federal Transit Administration

See

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Treasury Treasury Department NOTICES Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals, 30610 2016-11629 Meetings: Advisory Committee on Risk-Sharing Mechanisms, 30609-30610 2016-11592 Veteran Affairs Veterans Affairs Department NOTICES Meetings: Advisory Committee on Cemeteries and Memorials, 30610-30611 2016-11506 Separate Parts In This Issue Part II Securities and Exchange Commission, 30614-31124 2016-10461 Part III Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 31126-31159 2016-11557 2016-11558 Reader Aids

Consult the Reader Aids section at the end of this issue for phone numbers, online resources, finding aids, and notice of recently enacted public laws.

To subscribe to the Federal Register Table of Contents LISTSERV electronic mailing list, go to http://listserv.access.thefederalregister.org and select Online mailing list archives, FEDREGTOC-L, Join or leave the list (or change settings); then follow the instructions.

81 95 Tuesday, May 17, 2016 Rules and Regulations FARM CREDIT SYSTEM INSURANCE CORPORATION 12 CFR Part 1411 RIN 3055-AA11 Rules of Practice and Procedure; Adjusting Civil Money Penalties for Inflation AGENCY:

Farm Credit System Insurance Corporation.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This rule implements inflation adjustments to civil money penalties (CMPs) that the Farm Credit System Insurance Corporation (FCSIC) may impose under the Farm Credit Act of 1971, as amended. These adjustments are required by 2015 amendments to the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990.

DATES:

This rule is effective on August 1, 2016.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Howard Rubin, General Counsel, Farm Credit System Insurance Corporation, 1501 Farm Credit Drive, McLean, Virginia 22102, (703) 883-4380, TTY (703) 883-4390.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: A. Background

The Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 (the 2015 Act) amended the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990 (the Inflation Adjustment Act) 1 to improve the effectiveness of civil monetary penalties and to maintain their deterrent effect. The Inflation Adjustment Act provides for the regular evaluation of CMPs and requires FCSIC, and every other Federal agency with authority to impose CMPs, to ensure that CMPs continue to maintain their deterrent values.2

1 Public Law 101-410, Oct. 5, 1990, 104 Stat. 890, as amended by Public Law 104-134, title III, sec. 31001(s)(1), Apr. 26, 1996, 110 Stat. 1321-373; Public Law 105-362, title XIII, sec. 1301(a), Nov. 10, 1998, 112 Stat. 3293; Public Law 114-74, title VII, sec. 701(b), Nov. 2, 2015, 129 Stat. 599.

2 Under the amended Inflation Adjustment Act, a CMP is defined as any penalty, fine, or other sanction that: (1) Either is for a specific monetary amount as provided by Federal law or has a maximum amount provided for by Federal law; (2) is assessed or enforced by an agency pursuant to Federal law; and (3) is assessed or enforced pursuant to an administrative proceeding or a civil action in the Federal courts. All three requirements must be met for a fine to be considered a CMP.

FCSIC must enact regulations that adjust its CMPs pursuant to the inflation adjustment formula of the amended Inflation Adjustment Act and rounded using a method prescribed by the Inflation Adjustment Act. The new amounts will apply to penalties assessed on or after the effective date of this rule. Agencies do not have discretion in choosing whether to adjust a CMP, by how much to adjust a CMP, or the methods used to determine the adjustment.

B. CMPs Imposed Pursuant to Section 5.65 of the Farm Credit Act

First, section 5.65(c) of the Farm Credit Act, as amended (Act), provides that any insured Farm Credit System bank that willfully fails or refuses to file any certified statement or pay any required premium shall be subject to a penalty of not more than $100 for each day that such violations continue, which penalty FCSIC may recover for its use.3 Second, section 5.65(d) of the Act provides that, except with the prior written consent of the Farm Credit Administration, it shall be unlawful for any person convicted of any criminal offense involving dishonesty or a breach of trust to serve as a director, officer, or employee of any System institution.4 For each willful violation of section 5.65(d), the institution involved shall be subject to a penalty of not more than $100 for each day during which the violation continues, which FCSIC may recover for its use.

3 12 U.S.C. 2277a-14(c).

4 12 U.S.C. 2277a-14(d).

FCSIC's current § 1411.1, promulgated in 2001 pursuant to the Inflation Adjustment Act as then in effect, provides that FCSIC can impose a maximum penalty of $117 per day for a violation under section 5.65(c) and (d) of the Act. FCSIC has not been required to make adjustments under the Inflation Adjustment Act since 2001.5

5 FCSIC's most recent notice assessing the need for cost-of-living adjustments to CMPs was published on October 24, 2013 (78 FR 63465).

C. Required Adjustments

The 2015 Act requires agencies to (1) adjust the level of civil monetary penalties with an initial “catch-up” adjustment through an interim final rulemaking (IFR) and (2) make subsequent annual adjustments for inflation. Catch-up adjustments are based on the percent change between the Consumer Price Index for all Urban Consumers (CPI-U) for the month of October of the year in which the CMP was established or adjusted (other than through Inflation Adjustment Act adjustments), and the October 2015 CPI-U. Annual inflation adjustments will be based on the percent change between the October CPI-U preceding the date of the adjustment and the prior year's October CPI-U. CMPs provided for in section 5.65 of the Act were enacted in 1988 and not subsequently changed (other than through Inflation Adjustment Act adjustments). In accordance with guidance issued by the Office of Management and Budget (pursuant to a directive in the 2015 Act), FCSIC must multiply the maximum amount of civil money penalty provided for in section 5.65(c) and (d) of the Farm Credit Act ($100) by 1.97869.6 This results in a revised penalty amount of $198, after rounding to the nearest dollar as required by the 2015 Act.

6 OMB Memorandum M-16-06 (Feb. 24, 2015).

D. Notice and Comment Not Required by Administrative Procedure Act

The 2015 Act specifically directs Federal agencies to “adjust civil money penalties through an interim final rulemaking” and the Inflation Adjustment Act gives agencies no discretion in the calculation of the adjustment. Therefore, FCSIC concludes that public notice and an opportunity to comment are not necessary or appropriate under the Administrative Procedure Act and adopts this rule in final form.

E. Regulatory Flexibility Act

Pursuant to section 605(b) of the Regulatory Flexibility Act,7 FCSIC hereby certifies that this final rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Each of the banks of the Farm Credit System, together with their affiliated associations, has assets and annual income in excess of amounts that would qualify them as “small entities” under the Regulatory Flexibility Act.

7 5 U.S.C. 601, et seq.

List of Subjects in 12 CFR Part 1411

Banks, Banking, Civil money penalties, Penalties.

For the reasons stated in the preamble, part 1411 of chapter XIV, title 12 of the Code of Federal Regulations is amended as follows:

PART 1411—RULES OF PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE 1. The authority citation for part 1411 continues to read as follows: Authority:

Secs. 5.58(10), 5.65(c) and (d) of the Farm Credit Act (12 U.S.C. 2277a-7(10), 2277a-14(c) and (d)); 28 U.S.C. 2461 note.

2. Revise § 1411.1 to read as follows:
§ 1411.1 Inflation adjustment of civil money penalties for failure to file a certified statement, pay any premium required or obtain approval before employment of persons convicted of criminal offenses.

In accordance with the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990, as amended, a civil money penalty imposed pursuant to section 5.65(c) or (d) of the Farm Credit Act of 1971, as amended, for a violation occurring on or after August 1, 2016 shall not exceed $198 per day for each day the violation continues.

Dated: May 12, 2016. Dale L. Aultman, Secretary to the Board, Farm Credit System Insurance Corporation.
[FR Doc. 2016-11675 Filed 5-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6710-01-P
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R09-OAR-2016-0070; FRL-9945-24-Region 9] Approval of California Air Plan Revisions, Eastern Kern Air Pollution Control District AGENCY:

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION:

Direct final rule.

SUMMARY:

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking direct final action to approve revisions to the Eastern Kern Air Pollution Control District (EKAPCD) portion of the California State Implementation Plan (SIP). These revisions concern administrative changes of a previously approved regulation and emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in aerospace assembly and coating operations and in metal, plastic and pleasure craft parts and products coating operations. We are approving local rules that regulate these activities under the Clean Air Act (CAA or the Act).

DATES:

This rule is effective on July 18, 2016 without further notice, unless the EPA receives adverse comments by June 16, 2016. If we receive such comments, we will publish a timely withdrawal in the Federal Register to notify the public that this direct final rule will not take effect.

ADDRESSES:

Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R09-OAR-2016-0070 at http://www.regulations.gov, or via email to [email protected]. For comments submitted at Regulations.gov, follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. For either manner of submission, the EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. The EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e., on the web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, please contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. For the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Vanessa Graham, EPA Region IX, (415) 947-4120, [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Throughout this document, “we,” “us,” and “our” refer to the EPA.

Table of Contents I. The State's Submittal A. What rules did the State submit? B. Are there other versions of these rules? C. What is the purpose of the submitted rules and rule revisions? II. The EPA's Evaluation and Action A. How is the EPA evaluating the rules? B. Do the rules meet the evaluation criteria? C. EPA recommendations to further improve the rules and rule revisions? D. Public Comment and Final Action III. Incorporation by Reference IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews I. The State's Submittal A. What rules did the State submit?

Table 1 lists the rules addressed by this action with the dates that they were adopted by the local air agency and submitted by the California Air Resources Board (CARB).

Table 1—Submitted Rules Local agency Rule # Rule title Adopted Amended Submitted EKAPCD 103.1 Inspection of Public Records 05/02/96 07/23/96 EKAPCD 410.4 Metal, Plastic, and Pleasure Craft Parts and Products Coating Operations 03/13/14 07/25/14 EKAPCD 410.8 Aerospace Assembly and Coating Operations 03/13/14 07/25/14

On October 30, 1996, the EPA determined that the submittal for EKAPCD Rule 103.1 met the completeness criteria in 40 CFR part 51 Appendix V, which must be met before formal EPA review. On September 11, 2014, the EPA determined that the submittal for EKAPCD Rules 410.4 and 410.8 met the completeness criteria as well.

B. Are there other versions of these rules?

EKAPCD adopted an earlier version of Rule 103.1 on August 31, 1976, which CARB submitted to us on November 10, 1976. This rule was approved into the SIP on March 22, 1978 (43 FR 11816). EKAPCD adopted revisions to the SIP-approved version of Rule 103.1 on May 2, 1996, and CARB submitted the revised rule to us on July 23, 1996.

EKAPCD amended an earlier version of Rule 410.4 on March 7, 1996, and CARB submitted it to us on May 10, 1996. We approved the earlier version of 410.4 into the SIP on January 13, 2000 (65 FR 2046). EKAPCD adopted revisions to the SIP-approved version of Rule 410.4 on March 13, 2014, and CARB submitted it to us on July 25, 2014.

There are no previous versions of Rule 410.8 in the SIP. EKAPCD adopted Rule 410.8 on March 13, 2014, and submitted it to us on July 25, 2014.

While we can act on only the most recently submitted version, we have reviewed materials provided with previous submittals.

C. What is the purpose of the submitted rules and rule revisions?

VOCs help produce ground-level ozone, smog and particulate matter (PM), which harm human health and the environment. Section 110(a) of the CAA requires States to submit regulations that control VOC emissions.

Rule 103.1 supports some of the basic infrastructure SIP requirements described in section 110(a) of the CAA with respect to public records access. The submitted version of Rule 103.1 contains only minor typographical changes from the version that we previously approved into the SIP in 1978, and is identical in substance to the SIP-approved version.

Rule 410.4 limits the VOC content and establishes related requirements for the coating of metal parts or products, large appliance parts or products, metal furniture, and plastic parts or products. EKAPCD revised the rule largely to be consistent with national guidance and with the rules of neighboring air districts.

Rule 410.8 limits VOC emissions from aerospace primers, coatings, adhesives, maskants and lubricants, as well as from cleaning, stripping, storing and disposal of organic solvents and waste materials associated with the use of the abovementioned aerospace products. This rule also provides for administrative requirements including those for recordkeeping and measurement of VOC emissions.

The EPA's technical support documents (TSDs) have more information about these rules.

II. The EPA's Evaluation and Action A. How is the EPA evaluating the rules?

SIP rules must be enforceable (see CAA section 110(a)(2)), must not interfere with applicable requirements concerning attainment and reasonable further progress or other CAA requirements (see CAA section 110(l)), and must not modify certain SIP control requirements in nonattainment areas without ensuring equivalent or greater emissions reductions (see CAA section 193).

Generally, SIP rules must require Reasonably Available Control Technology (RACT) for each category of sources covered by a Control Techniques Guidelines (CTG) document as well as each major source of VOCs in ozone nonattainment areas classified as moderate or above (see CAA sections 182(b)(2)). EKAPCD regulates an ozone nonattainment area classified as Marginal 1 for the 2008 8-hour ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS). In addition, EKAPCD is classified as Moderate for the 1997 8-hour ozone NAAQS (40 CFR 81.305). Since Rules 410.4 and 410.8 regulate sources subject to a CTG in a nonattainment area, they must implement RACT.

1 See 80 FR 51992, August 27, 2015.

Guidance and policy documents that we used to evaluate enforceability, revision/relaxation and rule stringency requirements for the applicable criteria pollutants include the following:

1. “State Implementation Plans; General Preamble for the Implementation of Title I of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990,” (57 FR 13498, April 16, 1992, and 57 FR 18070, April 28, 1992).

2. “Issues Relating to VOC Regulation Cutpoints, Deficiencies, and Deviations” (“the Bluebook,” U.S. EPA, May 25, 1988; revised January 11, 1990).

3. “Guidance Document for Correcting Common VOC & Other Rule Deficiencies” (“the Little Bluebook,” EPA Region 9, August 21, 2001).

4. “Control of Volatile Organic Compound Emissions from Coating Operations at Aerospace Manufacturing and Rework Operations” (EPA 453/R-97-004, December 1997).

5. Guidance Memorandum for “Control Technique Guidelines for Miscellaneous Metal and Plastic Parts Coating” (EPA 453/R-08-003, June 2010).

6. “Control Technique Guidelines for Miscellaneous Metal and Plastic Parts Coating” (EPA 453/R-08-003, September 2008).

7. “Guidance on Infrastructure State Implementation Plan (SIP) Elements under Clean Air Act Sections 110(a)(1) and 110(a)(2),” USEPA Memorandum dated September 13, 2013.

8. “Review of State Regulation Recodifications,” USEPA Memorandum dated February 12, 1990.

B. Do the rules meet the evaluation criteria?

We believe these rules are consistent with the relevant policy and guidance regarding enforceability, RACT and SIP relaxations. The TSDs have more information on our evaluation.

C. EPA recommendations to further improve the rules and rule revisions?

The TSDs describe additional rule revisions that we recommend for the next time the local agency modifies the rules but are not currently the basis for rule disapproval.

D. Public Comment and Final Action

As authorized in section 110(k)(3) of the Act, the EPA is fully approving the submitted rules because we believe they fulfill all relevant requirements. We do not think anyone will object to this approval, so we are finalizing it without proposing it in advance. However, in the Proposed Rules section of this Federal Register, we are simultaneously proposing approval of the same submitted rules. If we receive adverse comments by June 16, 2016, we will publish a timely withdrawal in the Federal Register to notify the public that the direct final approval will not take effect and we will address the comments in a subsequent final action based on the proposal. If we do not receive timely adverse comments, the direct final approval will be effective without further notice on July 18, 2016. This will incorporate these rules into the federally enforceable SIP.

Please note that if the EPA receives adverse comment on an amendment, paragraph, or section of this rule and if that provision may be severed from the remainder of the rule, the EPA may adopt as final those provisions of the rule that are not the subject of an adverse comment.

III. Incorporation by Reference

In this rule, the EPA is finalizing regulatory text that includes incorporation by reference. In accordance with requirements of 1 CFR 51.5, the EPA is finalizing the incorporation by reference of the EKAPCD rules described in the amendments to 40 CFR part 52 set forth below. The EPA has made, and will continue to make, these documents available electronically through www.regulations.gov and in hard copy at the appropriate EPA office (see the ADDRESSES section of this preamble for more information).

IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

Under the Clean Air Act, the Administrator is required to approve a SIP submission that complies with the provisions of the Act and applicable federal regulations. 42 U.S.C. 7410(k); 40 CFR 52.02(a). Thus, in reviewing SIP submissions, the EPA's role is to approve state choices, provided that they meet the criteria of the Clean Air Act. Accordingly, this action merely approves state law as meeting federal requirements and does not impose additional requirements beyond those imposed by state law. For that reason, this action:

• Is not a significant regulatory action subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget under Executive Orders 12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993) and 13563 (76 FR 3821, January 21, 2011);

• does not impose an information collection burden under the provisions of the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.);

• is certified as not having a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities under the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601 et seq.);

• does not contain any unfunded mandate or significantly or uniquely affect small governments, as described in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (Pub. L. 104-4);

• does not have Federalism implications as specified in Executive Order 13132 (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999);

• is not an economically significant regulatory action based on health or safety risks subject to Executive Order 13045 (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997);

• is not a significant regulatory action subject to Executive Order 13211 (66 FR 28355, May 22, 2001);

• is not subject to requirements of Section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act of 1995 (15 U.S.C. 272 note) because application of those requirements would be inconsistent with the Clean Air Act; and

• does not provide the EPA with the discretionary authority to address, as appropriate, disproportionate human health or environmental effects, using practicable and legally permissible methods, under Executive Order 12898 (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994).

In addition, the SIP is not approved to apply on any Indian reservation land or in any other area where the EPA or an Indian tribe has demonstrated that a tribe has jurisdiction. In those areas of Indian country, the rule does not have tribal implications and will not impose substantial direct costs on tribal governments or preempt tribal law as specified by Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000).

The Congressional Review Act, 5 U.S.C. 801 et seq., as added by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, generally provides that before a rule may take effect, the agency promulgating the rule must submit a rule report, which includes a copy of the rule, to each House of the Congress and to the Comptroller General of the United States. The EPA will submit a report containing this action and other required information to the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives, and the Comptroller General of the United States prior to publication of the rule in the Federal Register. A major rule cannot take effect until 60 days after it is published in the Federal Register. This action is not a “major rule” as defined by 5 U.S.C. 804(2).

Under section 307(b)(1) of the Clean Air Act, petitions for judicial review of this action must be filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the appropriate circuit by July 18, 2016. Filing a petition for reconsideration by the Administrator of this final rule does not affect the finality of this action for the purposes of judicial review nor does it extend the time within which a petition for judicial review may be filed, and shall not postpone the effectiveness of such rule or action. Parties with objections to this direct final rule are encouraged to file a comment in response to the parallel notice of proposed rulemaking for this action published in the Proposed Rules section of today's Federal Register, rather than file an immediate petition for judicial review of this direct final rule, so that the EPA can withdraw this direct final rule and address the comment in the proposed rulemaking. This action may not be challenged later in proceedings to enforce its requirements (see section 307(b)(2)).

List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 52

Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Incorporation by reference, Intergovernmental relations, Ozone, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, and Volatile organic compounds.

Dated: April 4, 2016. Jared Blumenfeld, Regional Administrator, Region IX.

Part 52, Chapter I, Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations is amended as follows:

PART 52 [AMENDED] 1. The authority citation for Part 52 continues to read as follows: Authority:

42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.

Subpart F—California 2. Section 52.220 is amended by adding paragraphs (c)(35)(xiii)(F), (c)(231)(i)(B)(8), (c)(239)(i)(C)(6), and (c)(447)(i)(D)(2) and (3) to read as follows:
§ 52.220 Identification of plan.

(c) * * *

(35) * * *

(xiii) * * *

(F) Previously approved on March 22, 1978, in paragraph (c)(35)(xiii)(A) of this section and now deleted with replacement in paragraph (c)(239)(i)(C)(6) of this section, Rule 103.1, “Inspection of Public Records,” adopted on August 31, 1976.

(231) * * *

(i) * * *

(B) * * *

(8) Previously approved on January 13, 2000, in paragraph (c)(231)(i)(B)(6) of this section and now deleted with replacement in paragraph (c)(447)(i)(D)(2) of this section, Rule 410.4, “Surface Coating of Metal Parts and Products,” amended on March 7, 1996.

(239) * * *

(i) * * *

(C) * * *

(6) Rule 103.1, Inspection of Public Records,” amended on May 2, 1996.

(447) * * *

(i) * * *

(D) * * *

(2) Rule 410.4, “Metal, Plastic, and Pleasure Craft Parts and Products Coating Operations,” amended on March 13, 2014.

(3) Rule 410.8, “Aerospace Assembly and Coating Operations,” adopted on March 13, 2014.

[FR Doc. 2016-11516 Filed 5-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services 42 CFR Part 411 [CMS-6054-F] RIN 0938-AR90 Medicare Program; Obtaining Final Medicare Secondary Payer Conditional Payment Amounts via Web Portal AGENCY:

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), HHS.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

This final rule specifies the process and timeline for expanding CMS' existing Medicare Secondary Payer (MSP) Web portal to conform to section 201 of the Medicare IVIG and Strengthening Medicare and Repaying Taxpayers Act of 2012 (the SMART Act). The final rule specifies a timeline for developing a multifactor authentication solution to securely permit authorized users other than the beneficiary to access CMS' MSP conditional payment amounts and claims detail information via the MSP Web portal. It also requires that we add functionality to the existing MSP Web portal that permits users to: Notify us that the specified case is approaching settlement; obtain time and date stamped final conditional payment summary statements and amounts before reaching settlement; and ensure that relatedness disputes and any other discrepancies are addressed within 11 business days of receipt of dispute documentation.

DATES:

These regulations are effective June 16, 2016.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Suzanne Mattes, (410) 786-2536.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

The Medicare IVIG and Strengthening Medicare and Repaying Taxpayers Act of 2012 (the SMART Act) was enacted on January 10, 2013. Section 201 of the SMART Act amends section 1862(b)(2)(B) of the Social Security Act (the Act) and requires the establishment of an internet Web site (referred to as the “Web portal”) through which beneficiaries, their attorneys or other representatives, and authorized applicable plans (as defined in section 1862(b)(8)(F) of the Act (42 U.S.C. 1395y(b)(8)(F)) who have pending liability insurance (including self-insurance), no-fault insurance, or workers' compensation settlements, judgments, awards, or other payments, may access related CMS' MSP conditional payment amounts and claims detail information.

The existing MSP Web portal currently permits authorized users (including beneficiaries, attorneys, or other representatives) and applicable plans to register through the Web portal in order to access MSP conditional payment amounts electronically and update certain case-specific information online.

Beneficiaries are able to log into the existing Web portal by logging into their MyMedicare.gov accounts. The Web portal provides detailed data on claims that Medicare paid conditionally that are related to the beneficiary's liability insurance (including self-insurance), no-fault insurance, or workers' compensation settlement, judgment, award, or other payment (hereinafter, for ease of reference, referred to as “settlement(s)”). This detailed claims data for each claim includes dates of service, provider information, total charges, conditional payment amounts, and diagnosis codes.

Beneficiaries' attorneys or other representatives, as well as applicable plans, may register through the Web portal to access conditional payment information. In order to comply with federal privacy and security requirements, including the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA), we have implemented a multifactor authentication tool that will permit authorized individuals, other than the beneficiary, to securely access detailed conditional payment information through the Web portal.

Once the beneficiary's attorney or other representative is designated as an authorized user, he or she may log into the Web portal to view the conditional payment amount and perform certain actions, which include addressing discrepancies by disputing claims and uploading settlement information. It is important to note that, in situations where there is a pending insurance or workers' compensation settlement, the beneficiary is designated as the “identified debtor”. This means that only the beneficiary and his or her attorney or other representative have the authority to take action on the beneficiary's MSP recovery case. This includes disputing claims and requesting a final conditional payment amount through the Web portal. An applicable plan is only able to take these actions if it submits proper proof of representation. The applicable plan cannot take action on a beneficiary's case unless it has obtained proof of representation that authorizes it to act on behalf of the beneficiary.

In keeping with the requirements of the SMART Act, we have added functionality to the existing Web portal that permits users to notify us when the specified case is approaching settlement, download or otherwise obtain time and date stamped final conditional payment summary statements and amounts before reaching settlement, and ensure that relatedness disputes and any other discrepancies are addressed within 11 business days of receipt of dispute documentation.

II. Provisions of the Interim Final Rule With Comment and Analysis of and Response to Public Comments A. Introduction

In the September 20, 2013 Federal Register (78 FR 57800), we published an interim final rule with comment period (IFC) that specified a timeline for developing a multifactor authentication solution to securely permit authorized users other than the beneficiary to access CMS' MSP conditional payment amounts and claims detail information via the MSP Web portal. It also required that we add functionality to the existing MSP Web portal that permits users to: Notify us that the specified case is approaching settlement; obtain time and date stamped final conditional payment summary statements and amounts before reaching settlement; and ensure that relatedness disputes and any other discrepancies are addressed within 11 business days of receipt of dispute documentation. We received 21 timely public comments. In this final rule, we provide a general overview of the public comments received by subject area, with a focus on the most common issues and suggestions raised.

B. Definitions

In the September 2013 IFC (78 FR 57804), we defined “Applicable plan” as the following laws, plans, or other arrangements, including the fiduciary or administrator for such law, plan or arrangement:

• Liability insurance (including self-insurance).

• No fault insurance.

• Workers' compensation laws or plans.

We also defined “Medicare Secondary Payer conditional payment information” as a term that means all of the following:

• Dates of service.

• Provider names.

• Diagnosis codes.

• Conditional payment amounts.

• Claims detail information.

Comment: Many commenters requested that we define certain terms in the regulation.

Response: We note we have defined “applicable plan” in § 411.39(a) of the regulation text.

We note that we are removing the definition of “Medicare Secondary Payer conditional payment information” to avoid redundancy and confusion. The language of the rule, itself, specifies which pieces of conditional payment information will be available via Web portal, based upon the level of authorization the user has when he or she accesses the Web portal.

C. Accessing Conditional Payment Information Through the Medicare Secondary Payer Web Portal

In the September 2013 IFC (78 FR 57801), we noted that we will continue to provide beneficiaries with access to details on claims related to their pending settlements through the Web portal. This will include dates of service, provider names, diagnosis codes, and conditional payment amounts. Beneficiaries and their attorneys or other representatives will continue to be able to dispute the relatedness of claims and submit a notice of settlement and other types of documentation through the Web portal. We have added functionality that will permit beneficiaries to download or otherwise electronically obtain time and date stamped payment summary statements, and exchange other information securely with Medicare's contractor via the Web portal.

A beneficiary's attorney or other representative and the applicable plan will continue to be able to register to use the Web portal and access conditional payment amounts. To access more detailed information related to a beneficiary's pending settlement, users will register to use a multifactor authentication process, as defined in and required by the most recent version of the CMS Enterprise Information Security Group Risk Management Handbook, Volume III, Standard 3.1, CMS Authentication Standards, developed in accordance with FISMA and regulations promulgated by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The most recent version of CMS' Risk Management Handbook can be found at http://www.cms.gov/Research-Statistics-Data-and-Systems/CMS-Information-Technology/InformationSecurity/Downloads/RMH_VIII_3-1_Authentication.pdf.

With this tool, a beneficiary's authorized attorney or other representatives or an authorized applicable plan that has appropriately registered to access the Web portal, and has registered to use the multifactor authentication tool, has access to more detailed MSP conditional payment information for a specified MSP recovery case. This additional information includes dates of services, provider names, diagnosis codes, as well as the conditional payment amounts already available through the Web portal. If an authorized user does not register to use the multifactor authentication tool, he or she will continue to have access to the conditional payment amounts and he or she will continue to be able to perform certain functions, but details, including dates of service, provider names, diagnosis codes, will not be visible to that user.

Comment: Many commenters stated that beneficiaries should not be required to set up separate accounts to access the Web portal because they can already access the information on the Web portal through their MyMedicare.gov accounts.

Response: The provisions of the September 2013 IFC do not require that beneficiaries set up separate accounts. Beneficiaries who access the existing Web portal are instructed to login to their MyMedicare.gov accounts. Beneficiaries will continue to access information on the Web portal through their MyMedicare.gov accounts.

Comment: Many commenters stated that “pre-registration” to use the Web portal negates its utility and pre-registration should not be required.

Response: To clarify, registration is already required when accessing the existing Web portal for the first time. Once an authorized user has access to the portal, the user may, at any time, elect to register to use the multifactor authentication tool to access more detailed information. We note that authorized users will be able to view information on the Web portal, regardless of whether the beneficiary has accessed the portal or logged in through MyMedicare.gov.

Comment: Many commenters stated that multifactor authentication is not needed because CMS already provides this information by mail and it will delay development of the Web portal solution.

Response: We require written proof of representation or consent to release (depending on the nature of the relationship between the beneficiary and the individual or entity requesting the beneficiary's information) before we provide privacy protected information, by mail or by phone, to authorized representatives or other authorized individuals or entities. To provide information that is categorized as personally identifiable information via the internet, all government agencies, including CMS, are bound by statutory requirements imposed by the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA), as well as security regulations promulgated by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. For more information on security requirements, see section II.D. of this final rule.

D. Obtaining a Final Conditional Payment Amount

In the September 2013 IFC (78 FR 57801), we noted that once the beneficiary, his or her attorney or other representative, or an applicable plan provides notice of pending liability insurance (including self-insurance), no-fault insurance, and workers' compensation settlements, judgments, awards, or other payments to the appropriate Medicare contractor, the Medicare contractor will compile and post claims that are related to the pending settlement for which Medicare has paid conditionally. Once a recovery case is established and posted on the Web portal, the beneficiary, or his or her attorney, other representative, or authorized applicable plan may access the recovery case through the Web portal, and notify CMS once—and only once—that a settlement is expected to occur in 120 days or less. Conditional payment information will be posted to the Web portal within 65 days or less of receipt of the notice of the pending settlement.

Section 1862(b)(2)(B)(vii)(V) of the Act permits us to extend our response timeframe by an additional 30 days if we determine that additional time is required to address related claims that Medicare has paid conditionally. We anticipate that such situations would include, but are not limited to, the following:

• A recovery case that requires CMS' contractor to review the systematic filtering of associated claims for a case and subsequently adjust those filters manually to ensure that claims are related to the pending settlement.

• CMS' systems failures that do not otherwise fall within the definition of exceptional circumstances.

Section 1862(b)(2)(B)(vii)(V) of the Act also permits us to further extend our claims compilation response timeframe by the number of days required to address the issue(s) that result from “exceptional circumstances” pertaining to a failure in the claims and payment posting system. Per the statute, such situations must be defined in regulations in a manner such that “not more than 1 percent of the repayment obligations . . . would qualify as exceptional circumstances.” Therefore, we are adding new regulations at 42 CFR 411.39 that define exceptional circumstances to include, but not be limited to: System failure(s) due to consequences of extreme adverse weather (loss of power, flooding, etc.); security breaches of facilities or network(s); terror threats; strikes and similar labor actions; civil unrest, uprising or riot; destruction of business property (as by fire, etc.); sabotage; workplace attack on personnel; and similar circumstances beyond the ordinary control of government or private sector officers or management.

If the beneficiary, or his or her authorized attorney or other representative, believes that claims included in the most up-to-date conditional payment summary statement are unrelated to the pending liability insurance (including self-insurance), no-fault insurance, or workers' compensation settlement, he or she may address discrepancies through the dispute process available through the Web portal. The beneficiary, or his or her authorized attorney or other representative, may dispute the relatedness of an individual conditional payment once and only once. The beneficiary or his or her authorized attorney or other representative may be required to submit additional supporting documentation in a form and manner specified by the Secretary to support the assertion that the disputed conditional payment is unrelated to the settlement. If the Medicare contractor does not accept a dispute for a particular conditional payment, that conditional payment will remain part of the total conditional payment amount and may not be disputed through this process again.

Once CMS has been notified that a pending settlement is 120 days or less from settlement, disputes submitted through the Web portal will be resolved within 11 business days of receipt of the dispute, including any required supporting documentation, as per section 1862(b)(2)(B)(vii)(IV) of the Act.

After disputes have been fully resolved, the beneficiary, or his or her attorney or other representative, may download or otherwise request a time and date stamped final conditional payment summary statement through the Web portal. This statement will constitute the final conditional payment amount if settlement is reached within 3 days of the date on the conditional payment summary statement. If the beneficiary or his or her attorney is approaching settlement and any disputes have not been fully resolved, he or she may not download or otherwise request a final conditional payment summary statement until the dispute has been resolved.

It is important to note that, per section 1862(b)(2)(B)(vii)(IV) of the Act, this dispute process is not an appeals process, nor does it establish a right of appeal regarding that dispute. There will be no administrative or judicial review related to this dispute process. However, the beneficiary will maintain his or her appeal rights regarding CMS' MSP recovery determination, once CMS issues its final demand. Those appeal rights are explained in the final demand letter issued by CMS, and more information may be found in 42 CFR 405, subpart I.

The beneficiary or his or her attorney or other representative may obtain the recovery demand letter by submitting settlement information specified by the Secretary through the Web portal in 30 days or less from date of settlement. The amount and type of settlement information required will be the same information that CMS typically collects to calculate its recovery demand amount. This information will include, but is not limited to: The date of settlement, the total settlement amount, the attorney fee amount or percentage, and additional costs borne by the beneficiary to obtain his or her settlement. This information must be provided within 30 days or less of the date of settlement. Otherwise, the final conditional payment amount obtained through the Web portal will expire and any additional conditional payments with dates of service through and including the date of settlement will be included in the recovery demand letter. Once settlement information is received, we will apply a pro rata reduction to the final conditional payment amount in accordance with 42 CFR 411.37 and issue a MSP recovery demand letter. We expect to incorporate a method into the Web portal that will allow settlement information to be entered directly through the Web portal and/or uploaded directly through the Web portal.

If the underlying liability insurance (including self-insurance), no-fault insurance, or workers' compensation claim derives from alleged exposure to a toxic substance or environmental hazard, ingestion of pharmaceutical drug or other product or substance, or implantation of a medical device, joint replacement or something similar, the beneficiary or his or her attorney or other representative must provide notice to the CMS contractor via the Web portal before beginning the process to obtain a final conditional payment summary statement and amount through the Web portal. Many of these types of recovery cases require additional manual filtering and review to ensure that the claims included in the payment summary statement are related to the pending settlement.

An applicable plan may only obtain a final conditional payment amount related to a pending liability insurance (including self-insurance), no-fault insurance, or workers' compensation settlement, in the form and manner described in 42 CFR 411.39(c), if the applicable plan has properly registered to use the Web portal and has obtained from the beneficiary, and submitted to the appropriate Medicare contractor, proper proof of representation. The applicable plan may obtain read only access if the applicable plan obtains from the beneficiary proper consent to release and submits it to the appropriate Medicare contractor.

The final conditional payment amount obtained via the Web portal represents Medicare covered and otherwise reimbursable items and services that are related to the beneficiary's settlement and that are furnished prior to the time and date stamped on the final conditional payment summary statement. Systems and process changes to provide final conditional payment summary statements and amounts via the Web portal were implemented on January 1, 2016.

BILLING CODE 4120-01-P ER17MY16.336 BILLING CODE 4120-01-C

Comment: Many commenters requested clarity on what it means to dispute a claim “once and only once.”

Response: We have clarified the language in the final rule to reflect that a claim, meaning an individual conditional payment amount, or line item, on a payment summary statement, may be disputed once and only once. An individual or entity may submit disputes more than once, but never for the same conditional payment or line item.

Comment: Many commenters requested clarity on what it means to provide initial notice and why notice about the impending settlement must be supplied separately.

Response: In order for us to establish an MSP recovery case and initiate claims compilation in our system, we must know that there is a pending insurance or workers' compensation claim. This means that a beneficiary, his or her attorney or other representative, or the insurer or workers' compensation entity must call or write to us. This type of notice does not necessarily mean that the reported insurance or workers' compensation claim is 120 days (or less) from settlement. If the insurance or workers' compensation claim is, in fact, 120 days or less from settlement, that notice may be provided through the Web portal, once a recovery case has been posted on the Web portal.

Comment: Many commenters requested clarification regarding whether Medicare continues to make conditional payments after the initial claims compilation is complete, how the claims refresh interacts with the dispute process, and whether the concept of the claims refresh is consistent with what the SMART Act requires.

Response: Medicare pays conditionally up through and including the date of settlement. In this final rule, we have removed the claims refresh requirement.

Comment: Many commenters requested that we remove the limitation that an anticipated settlement may be reported to CMS once and only once, via the Web portal, after we have completed the initial claims compilation.

Response: We recognize that it can often be difficult to project exactly when a settlement will occur. However, the SMART Act imposed workload timeframes on CMS related to the processing of cases that expect to settle within 120 days. Where we fail to comply with such timeframes, the SMART Act requires us to relinquish certain rights related to recovery. As a result, we have developed the ”once and only once” requirement to encourage conscious decision-making by identified debtors and to promote our ability to provide timely and responsive service.

Comment: Many commenters requested clarification regarding the timeframe in which settlement information must be provided and specifically requested that CMS utilize a 90-day timeframe, rather than a 30-day timeframe. A few commenters requested that the 30-day timeframe remain optional because this timeframe is not in the SMART Act. They further asserted that there is no need for such a timeframe because many beneficiaries do not have attorneys, thereby negating the need to apply a pro rata reduction.

Response: In this final rule, we clarify that settlement information must be submitted within no more than 30 days of reaching settlement in order for CMS to remain bound by any final conditional payment amount it provided through the Web portal.

We recognize that the intent of the final conditional payment process is to expedite Medicare reimbursement and promote timely settlement. However, we are required to apply a pro rata reduction, in accordance with to 42 CFR 411.37, to account for attorney fees and costs borne by the beneficiary to obtain his or her settlement. In order to comply with this regulatory requirement and comport with the aforementioned intent of the final conditional payment process, we have imposed a requirement that settlement information must be submitted within no more than 30 days of reaching settlement.

Comment: Many commenters expressed concern that being required to reach a settlement within 3 days of obtaining a final conditional payment amount is not a reasonable timeframe.

Response: The SMART Act specifically established this 3-day timeframe. As a result, we maintain this requirement in this final rule. If settlement is not reached within 3 days of obtaining the final conditional payment amount, we are not bound by the final conditional payment amount. This means that, once settlement information is submitted, we will review any conditional payments it made for dates of service up through and including the date of settlement and issue our demand letter.

Comment: Many commenters raised concerns regarding the IFC's reference to future medical obligations.

Response: We recognize that the SMART Act did not specifically reference future medical care, but medical care related to the insurance or workers' compensation claim may continue to be provided after the date of settlement. As a result, we have retained the language referencing future medical items and services.

E. Discussion of Additional Comments by Public Comment Topic 1. Publication of an IFC Versus a Proposed Rule

Comment: Many commenters requested that CMS retract the IFC and issue a proposed rule before finalizing a rule related to the MSP Web portal.

Response: Section 201of the SMART Act imposed an obligation on the Secretary to promulgate final regulations not later than 9 months after the date of the enactment of this clause. In order to promulgate a final rule in such a short timeframe, we were required to forego the more traditional rulemaking process, which would have resulted in significant delay, and publish an IFC that simply reflected the addition of key process components that the SMART Act requires CMS to include in existing recovery program.

2. Timeframes of the IFC

Comment: Many commenters questioned whether certain timeframes stipulated in the IFC comported with the requirements in the SMART Act.

Response: We recognize that there is some confusion regarding the 65-day Secretarial response timeframe and 120-day protected period. We have clarified the language in this final rule to establish that a final conditional payment amount may be requested at any time after a recovery case has been posted on the Web portal. Additionally, there is no requirement that 120 days must elapse before a final conditional payment amount may be requested.

Comment: Many commenters raised concerns that beneficiaries will be unable to meet timeframes specified in the IFC because they do not have or use computers or because they do not access the Internet.

Response: We understand these concerns, but pursuing a final conditional payment amount before settlement is not required. Information will be available on the Web portal, regardless of whether the Final conditional Payment process is used. Further, the existing process that CMS' contractor uses to provide conditional payment information and demand letters via mail will continue to be available.

III. Provisions of the Final Regulations

After consideration of all of the comments received, we are finalizing the provisions included in the September 2013 IFC (78 FR 57800) with the following modifications to § 411.39:

• Paragraph (a), we are removing the definition of “Medicare Secondary Payer conditional payment information” to avoid redundancy and confusion.

• Paragraph (b), we removed language related to Web portal functionality before January 1, 2016.

• Paragraph (c)(1)(iii), we removed the claims refresh requirement.

• Paragraphs (c)(1)(iv) and (v), we revised the language to clarify that a claim, meaning an individual conditional payment amount, or line item, on a payment summary statement, may be disputed once and only once. An individual or entity may submit disputes more than once, but never for the same conditional payment or line item.

• Paragraph (c)(1)(viii), we revised the language to clarify that settlement information must be submitted within no more than 30 days of reaching settlement in order for CMS to remain bound by any final conditional payment amount it provided through the Web portal.

• Paragraph (c)(2), we revised the language to clarify that a final conditional payment amount may be requested at any time after a recovery case has been posted on the Web portal.

IV. Collection of Information Requirements

This document does not impose information collection and recordkeeping requirements. Consequently, it need not be reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget under the authority of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.

V. Regulatory Impact Statement

We have examined the impact of this rule as required by Executive Order 12866 on Regulatory Planning and Review (September 30, 1993), Executive Order 13563 on Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review (February 2, 2011), the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) (September 19, 1980, Pub. L. 96-354), section 1102(b) of the Social Security Act, section 202 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (March 22, 1995; Pub. L. 104-4), Executive Order 13132 on Federalism (August 4, 1999) and the Congressional Review Act (5 U.S.C. 804(2)). Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 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, distributive impacts, and equity). A regulatory impact analysis (RIA) must be prepared for major rules with economically significant effects ($100 million or more in any 1 year). We have determined that the effect of this final rule on the economy and the Medicare program is not economically significant, since it imposes certain requirements on the Agency to merely improve its current mechanism for providing conditional payment information to beneficiaries, their attorneys or other representatives, and authorized applicable plans.

The RFA requires agencies to analyze options for regulatory relief of small entities. For purposes of the RFA, small entities include small businesses, nonprofit organizations, and small governmental jurisdictions. Most hospitals and most other providers and suppliers are small entities, either by nonprofit status or by having revenues of less than $7.5 million to less than $38.5 million in any 1 year. Individuals and states are not included in the definition of a small entity. We have determined that this final rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities because there is and will be no change in the administration of the MSP provisions. Therefore, we are not preparing an analysis for the RFA.

In addition, section 1102(b) of the Act requires us to prepare an RIA if a rule may have a significant impact on the operations of a substantial number of small rural hospitals. This analysis must conform to the provisions of section 604 for proposed rules of the RFA. For purposes of section 1102(b) of the Act, we define a small rural hospital as a hospital that is located outside of a Metropolitan Statistical Area for Medicare payment regulations and has fewer than 100 beds. We have determined that this final rule will not have a significant effect on the operations of a substantial number of small rural hospitals because there is and would be no change in the administration of the MSP provisions. Therefore, we are not preparing an analysis for section 1102(b) of the Act.

Section 202 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 also requires that 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 2015, that threshold is approximately $146 million. This final rule has no consequential effect on state, local, or tribal governments or on the private sector because there is and will be no change in the administration of the MSP provisions.

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. Since this final rule does not impose any costs on state or local governments, the requirements of Executive Order 13132 are not applicable. In accordance with the provisions of Executive Order 12866, this final rule was not reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget.

List of Subjects in 42 CFR Part 411

Kidney diseases, Medicare, Physician referral, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

For the reasons set forth in the preamble, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services adopts as final, the interim rule amending 42 CFR part 411 which was published on September 20, 2013 (78 FR 57800) with the following changes:

PART 411—EXCLUSIONS FROM MEDICARE AND LIMITATIONS ON MEDICARE PAYMENT 1. The authority citation for part 411 continues to read as follows: Authority:

Secs. 1102, 1860D-1 through 1860D-42, 1871, and 1877 of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1302, 1395w-101 through 1395w-152, 1395hh, and 1395nn).

2. Amend § 411.39 by: A. In paragraph (a) removing the definition of “Medicare Secondary Payer conditional payment information”. B. Revising paragraph (b)(1)(ii). C. Removing paragraph (b)(2). D. Redesignating paragraph (b)(3) as (b)(2). E. Revising newly redesignated paragraph (b)(2). F. Revising paragraph (c).

The revisions read as follows:

§ 411.39 Automobile and liability insurance (including self-insurance), no-fault insurance, and workers' compensation: Final conditional payment amounts via Web portal.

(b) * * *

(1) * * *

(ii) The appropriate Medicare contractor has received initial notice of a pending liability insurance (including self-insurance), no-fault insurance, or workers' compensation settlement, judgment, award, or other payment and has posted the recovery case on the Web portal.

(2) Beneficiary's attorney or other representative or applicable plan's access using the multifactor authentication process. A beneficiary's attorney or other representative or an applicable plan may do the following:

(i) Access conditional payment information via the MSP Recovery Portal (Web portal).

(ii) Dispute claims.

(iii) Upload settlement information via the Web portal using multifactor authentication.

(c) Obtaining a final conditional payment amount. (1) A beneficiary, or his or her attorney or other representative, or an authorized applicable plan, may obtain a final conditional payment amount related to a pending liability insurance (including self-insurance), no-fault insurance, or workers' compensation settlement, judgment, award, or other payment using the following process:

(i) The beneficiary, his or her attorney or other representative, or an applicable plan, provides initial notice of a pending liability insurance (including self-insurance), no-fault insurance, and workers' compensation settlement, judgment, award, or other payment to the appropriate Medicare contractor before accessing information via the Web portal.

(ii) The Medicare contractor compiles claims for which Medicare has paid conditionally that are related to the pending settlement, judgment, award, or other payment within 65 days or less of receiving the initial notice of the pending settlement, judgment, award, or other payment and posts a recovery case on the Web portal.

(iii) If the underlying liability insurance (including self-insurance), no-fault insurance, or workers' compensation claim derives from one of the following, the beneficiary, or his or her attorney or other representative, must provide notice to CMS' contractor via the Web portal in order to obtain a final conditional payment summary statement and amount through the Web portal:

(A) Alleged exposure to a toxic substance.

(B) Environmental hazard.

(C) Ingestion of pharmaceutical drug or other product or substance.

(D) Implantation of a medical device, joint replacement, or something similar.

(iv) Up to 120 days before the anticipated date of a settlement, judgment, award, or other payment, the beneficiary, or his or her attorney, other representative, or authorized applicable plan may notify CMS, once and only once, via the Web portal, that a settlement, judgment, award or other payment is expected to occur within 120 days or less from the date of notification.

(A) CMS may extend its response timeframe by an additional 30 days when it determines that additional time is required to address claims that Medicare has paid conditionally that are related to the settlement, judgment, award, or other payment in situations including, but not limited to, the following:

(1) A recovery case that requires manual filtering to ensure that associated claims are related to the pending settlement, judgment, award, or other payment.

(2) Internal CMS systems failures not otherwise considered caused by exceptional circumstances.

(B) In exceptional circumstances, CMS may further extend its response timeframe by the number of days required to address the issue that resulted from such exceptional circumstances. Exceptional circumstances include, but are not limited to the following:

(1) Systems failure(s) due to consequences of extreme adverse weather (loss of power, flooding, etc.).

(2) Security breaches of facilities or network(s).

(3) Terror threats; strikes and similar labor actions.

(4) Civil unrest, uprising, or riot.

(5) Destruction of business property (as by fire, etc.).

(6) Sabotage.

(7) Workplace attack on personnel.

(8) Similar circumstances beyond the ordinary control of government, private sector officers or management.

(v) The beneficiary, or his or her attorney, or other representative may then address discrepancies by disputing individual conditional payments, once and only once, if he or she believes that the conditional payment included in the most up-to-date conditional payment summary statement is unrelated to the pending liability insurance (including self-insurance), no-fault insurance, or workers' compensation settlement, judgment, award, or other payment.

(A) The dispute process is not an appeals process, nor does it establish a right of appeal regarding that dispute. There will be no administrative or judicial review related to this dispute process.

(B) The beneficiary, or his or her attorney or other representative may be required to submit supporting documentation in the form and manner specified by the Secretary to support his or her dispute.

(vi) Disputes submitted through the Web portal and after the beneficiary, or his or her attorney, other representative, or authorized applicable plan has notified CMS that he or she is 120 days or less from the anticipated date of a settlement, judgment, award, or other payment, are resolved within 11 business days of receipt of the dispute and any required supporting documentation.

(vii) When any disputes have been fully resolved, the beneficiary, or his or her attorney or other representative, may download or otherwise request a time and date stamped conditional payment summary statement through the Web portal.

(A) If the download or request is within 3 days of the date of settlement, judgment, award, or other payment, that conditional payment summary statement will constitute Medicare's final conditional payment amount.

(B) If the beneficiary, or his or her attorney or other representative, is within 3 days of the date of settlement, judgment, award, or other payment and any claim disputes have not been fully resolved, he or she may not download or otherwise request a final conditional payment summary statement.

(viii) Within 30 days or less of securing a settlement, judgment, award, or other payment, the beneficiary, or his or her attorney or other representative, must submit through the Web portal documentation specified by the Secretary, including, but not limited to the following:

(A) The date of settlement, judgment, award, or other payment, including the total settlement amount, the attorney fee amount or percentage.

(B) Additional costs borne by the beneficiary to obtain his or her settlement, judgment, award, or other payment.

(1) If settlement information is not provided within 30 days or less of securing the settlement, the final conditional payment amount obtained through the Web portal is void.

(2) [Reserved]

(ix) Once settlement, judgment, award, or other payment information is received, CMS applies a pro rata reduction to the final conditional payment amount in accordance with § 411.37 and issues a final MSP recovery demand letter.

(2) An applicable plan may only obtain a final conditional payment amount related to a pending liability insurance (including self-insurance), no-fault insurance, or workers' compensation settlement, judgment, award, or other payment in the form and manner described in § 411.38(b) if the applicable plan has properly registered to use the Web portal and has obtained from the beneficiary, and submitted to the appropriate CMS contractor, proper proof of representation. The applicable plan may obtain read only access if the applicable plan obtains from the beneficiary, and submits to the appropriate CMS contractor, proper consent to release.

Dated: April 25, 2016. Andrew M. Slavitt, Acting Administrator, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Dated: April 29, 2016. Sylvia M. Burwell, Secretary, Department of Health and Human Services.
[FR Doc. 2016-11270 Filed 5-13-16; 11:15 am] BILLING CODE 4120-01-P
81 95 Tuesday, May 17, 2016 Proposed Rules DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT 24 CFR Part 200 [Docket No. FR-5850-N-03] RIN 2502-AJ28 Retrospective Review—Improving the Previous Participation Reviews of Prospective Multifamily Housing and Healthcare Programs Participants; Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking AGENCY:

Office of the Assistant Secretary for Housing, HUD.

ACTION:

Supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking.

SUMMARY:

On August 10, 2015, HUD published in the Federal Register, a proposed rule that would revise HUD's regulations for reviewing the previous participation of Federal programs of certain participants seeking to take part in multifamily housing and healthcare programs administered by HUD's Office of Housing. Specifically, the rulemaking proposed to clarify and simplify the process by which HUD reviews the previous participation of participants that have decision-making authority over their projects as one component of HUD's responsibility to assess financial and operational risk to the projects in these programs. The approach offered by the proposed rule was to not only bring greater certainty and clarity to the process but greater flexibility, avoiding a one-size fits all approach.

This document opens the public comment period solely for the provisions addressed in this document to address concerns that while the proposed rule provided greater flexibility, it lacked the greater certainty to which HUD committed, and how HUD would provide such certainty.

DATES:

Comment Due Date: June 16, 2016.

ADDRESSES:

Interested persons are invited to submit comments regarding this notice to the Regulations Division, Office of General Counsel, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW., Room 10276, Washington, DC 20410-0500. Communications must refer to the above docket number and title. There are two methods for submitting public comments. All submissions must refer to the above docket number and title.

1. Submission of Comments by Mail. Comments may be submitted by mail to the Regulations Division, Office of General Counsel, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW., Room 10276, Washington, DC 20410-0001.

2. Electronic Submission of Comments. Interested persons may submit comments electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at www.regulations.gov. HUD strongly encourages commenters to submit comments electronically. Electronic submission of comments allows the commenter maximum time to prepare and submit a comment, ensures timely receipt by HUD, and enables HUD to make them immediately available to the public. Comments submitted electronically through the www.regulations.gov Web site can be viewed by other commenters and interested members of the public. Commenters should follow the instructions provided on that site to submit comments electronically.

Note:

To receive consideration as public comments, comments must be submitted through one of the two methods specified above. Again, all submissions must refer to the docket number and title of the document. No Facsimile Comments. Facsimile (FAX) comments are not acceptable.

Public Inspection of Public Comments. All properly submitted comments and communications submitted to HUD will be available for public inspection and copying between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays at the above address. Due to security measures at the HUD Headquarters building, an advance appointment to review the public comments must be scheduled by calling the Regulations Division at 202-708-3055 (this is not a toll-free number). Individuals with speech or hearing impairments may access this number via TTY by calling the toll-free Federal Relay Service at 800-877-8339. Copies of all comments submitted are available for inspection and downloading at www.regulations.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Aaron Hutchinson, Office of Housing, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 7th Street SW., Room 6178, Washington, DC 20410; telephone number 202-708-3994 (this is not a toll- free number). Individuals with speech or hearing impairments may access this number through TTY by calling the toll- free Federal Relay Service at 800-877- 8339 (this is not a toll-free number).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background

On August 10, 2015, at 80 FR 47874, HUD published a document that proposed to amend its regulations, at 24 CFR part 200, subpart H, that govern the process by which HUD reviews the previous participation and performance of applicants seeking to participate in HUD's multifamily and healthcare programs. Currently, all principals seeking to participate in HUD's multifamily housing and healthcare programs must certify that all principals involved in a proposed project have acted responsibly and have honored their legal, financial, and contractual obligations in their previous participation in HUD programs, in certain programs administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and in projects assisted or insured by state and local government housing finance agencies. HUD's regulations require applicants to complete a very detailed and lengthy certification form (HUD Form 2530) 1 of participants that have decision-making authority over their projects as one component of HUD's responsibility to assess financial and operational risk to the projects in these programs.

1 See http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/documents/huddoc?id=2530.pdf.

The August 10, 2015, proposed rule proposed to clarify which individuals and entities will be reviewed, the purpose of the review, and the review to be undertaken. HUD proposed by targeting more closely the individuals and actions that would be subject to prior participation review, HUD would not only bring greater certainty and clarity to the process but would provide HUD with flexibility as to the necessary previous participation review for entities and individuals that is not possible in a one-size fits all approach.

The public comment period on the proposed rule closed on October 9, 2015, and HUD received 33 sets of public comments. The commenters were from real estate organizations, affordable housing nonprofit organizations, consulting firms, non-profit organizations, and law firms. Overall the commenters were very supportive and appreciative of HUD's efforts to reform the regulations. Commenters stated that, in addition to reforms to the regulations, reforms to the review process, additional guidance and training materials were also needed.

Several comments expressed concern that the proposed regulations were overly broad and therefore would be open to various interpretations, which would complicate the review process for applicants and participants rather than simplify the process. The commenters suggested that in order to obtain flexibility in the review process, which the commenters supported, the approach in the proposed rule sacrificed specificity and certainty. Commenters suggested that HUD revise the proposed regulations to provide the greater certainty and specificity they need. Other commenters suggested that HUD issue guidance when HUD issues the final regulations to provide the specificity and certainty that the proposed regulations lack according to the commenters.

II. Proposed Approach To Provide Certainty and Specificity and Retain Flexibility

Through this document, HUD proposes to use an approach that HUD has taken in certain of its other regulations and that is to provide regulations that clearly document the regulatory requirements imposed, but provide in a supplemental document, a document referenced in the regulations, that will address the specific procedures to be followed.2 When HUD has taken this approach, HUD commits to provide notice and opportunity for comment for any significant changes made to the document. HUD submits that this approach is particularly suitable for the 2530 process.

2 See 24 CFR 207.254, pertaining to mortgage insurance premiums; 24 CFR 203.605, pertaining to tier ranking systems and methodology applicable to loss mitigation performance; 24 CFR 290.9, pertaining to setting rental rates for certain multifamily housing projects; 24 CFR 570.712(b) pertaining to setting a fee for the Section 108 Loan Guarantee Program; and 24 CFR part 902, pertaining to scoring notices for HUD's Public Housing Assessment System.

For the previous participation review process, HUD proposes to issue with its final regulations a “Processing Guide for Previous Participation Reviews of Prospective Multifamily Housing and Healthcare Programs' Participants” (Guide). This Guide, which will be posted on HUD's Web site, will provide the details on procedures which commenters are seeking and which HUD submits is more appropriate for a process guide than for regulatory text. The Guide will provide applicants for and participants in HUD's multifamily housing and healthcare programs the detailed information desired on the previous participation review process, and provide HUD with the ability to make changes as may be needed to address specific circumstances that may arise in the previous participation process and to keep up-to-date with changes that may arise in the housing market. One of the longstanding complaints about HUD's previous participation review process is that the process and the regulations that govern the process are very outdated and do not keep up with the times. HUD submits that a lean set of regulations supplemented by a detailed processing Guide that is subject to notice and comment for any significant changes is the best approach for this process and one that will endure successfully for some time. The appendix to this document provides the proposed Guide for which HUD is seeking public comment for a period of 30 days. The Guide, in addition to elaborating upon terms and provisions in the proposed rule, also addresses “flags,” which are not addressed in either the existing regulations or proposed regulations. Flags refer to an issue or issues in a prospective participant's application for which further review is necessary. The Guide also includes certain information collection requirements but those requirements are ones which are already included in HUD's 2530 form and which already have an approval number assigned by the Office of Management and Budget under the Paperwork Reduction Act. For example, the Guide requires organizational information to be presented in an organizational chart instead of merely listed. However, the Guide makes clear that not every entity identified in the organizational chart will be considered a Controlling Participant, as defined in the regulation.

In addition to publication in the Federal Register, this document and Guide can be found at http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/housing/mfh.

III. Description of Proposed Revisions to Regulations

In addition to issuance of the proposed Guide for comment, HUD also seeks comment on the following additional provisions that are proposed to be included or revised in the regulation.

A. Inclusion of Applicability of Processing Guide in Regulations

HUD proposes to revise § 200.210 (Policy) to clarify that it is HUD's policy, in accordance with the intent of the National Housing Act, and with other applicable federal statutes, participants in HUD's housing and healthcare programs be responsible individuals and organizations who will honor their legal, financial and contractual obligations. HUD would further clarify that it will review the prior participation of Controlling Participants, as defined in the August 10, 2015, proposed rule, as a prerequisite to participation in HUD's multifamily housing and healthcare programs listed in § 200.214.

HUD would further revise the policy language in § 200.210 to advise that the regulations in 24 CFR part 200, subpart H, as proposed to be amended by the August 10, 2015, proposed rule would be supplemented by the Processing Guide for Previous Participation Reviews of Prospective Multifamily Housing and Healthcare Programs' Participants (Guide), which would be made available on HUD's Web site at www.hud.gov. HUD would advise that the Guide elaborates on the basic procedures involved in the previous participation review process. HUD would also advise that for any significant changes made to the Guide, HUD would provide advance notice and the opportunity to comment, providing a comment period of no less than 30 days.

B. Description of Definition of “Risk”

In § 200.212, the Definition section, HUD proposes to include a definition of “Risk.” While § 200.220 of the proposed rule addresses “risk,” HUD is proposing to add a definition of this term that would clarify that in order to determine whether a Controlling Participant's participation in a project would constitute an unacceptable risk, HUD's FHA Commissioner must determine whether the Controlling Participant could be expected to participate in the Covered Project (as defined in the August 10, 2015, proposed rule) in a manner consistent with furthering HUD's purpose of supporting and providing decent, safe and affordable housing for the public. The Commissioner's review of Previous Participation shall consider compliance with applicable statutes, regulations and program requirements. HUD would clarify that the FHA Commissioner must consider the Controlling Participant's previous financial and operational performance in HUD programs that may indicate a financial or operating risk in approving the Controlling Participant's participation in the subject Triggering Event. HUD would further provide that at the FHA Commissioner's discretion, as necessary to determine financial or operating risk and to the extent the FHA Commissioner determines such information to be reliably available, the FHA Commissioner may consider the Controlling Participant's participation and performance in any federal, state or local government program. In addition, HUD would provide that the FHA Commissioner may exclude any previous participation the FHA Commissioner determines to be irrelevant in evaluating risk and/or any previous participation in which the Controlling Participant did not exercise, actually or constructively, control. Finally, the definition would provide that any information collection in connection with review of previous participation must follow all applicable requirements for information collection.

Dated: May 9, 2016. Edward L. Golding, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Housing. Appendix Processing Guide for Previous Participation Reviews of Prospective Multifamily Housing and Healthcare Programs' Participants Purpose

This Processing Guide (Guide) supplements HUD's Previous Participation Review regulations in 24 CFR part 200, subpart H. The Guide defines controlling participants for previous participation review, new flag approval, and rejection guidance and flag protocols in federal programs of certain participants seeking to take part in multifamily housing and healthcare programs administered by HUD's Office of Housing. The Guide aids in clarifying and simplifying the process by which HUD reviews previous participation of participants that have decision making authority over their projects as one component of HUD's responsibility to assess financial and operational risk to projects in these programs.

This Guide updates and clarifies previous procedures and supersedes outstanding policy and guidance concerning previous participation review found in the following: Multifamily Accelerated Processing (MAP) Guide Handbook 4430.G, Multifamily Asset Management and Project Servicing Handbook 4350.1, Healthcare Mortgage Insurance Program Handbook 4232.1, and Mortgage Insurance for Hospitals 4615.1. HUD will incorporate elements of this Guide into these handbooks. In addition, the Guide supersedes the Previous Participation (HUD-2530) Handbook 4065.1.

Applicability of the Previous Participation Review

This Guide applies to Covered Projects administered by the Office of Multifamily Housing, the Office of Grant Administration and the Office of Healthcare Programs, as listed in HUD's regulations in 24 CFR part 200 subpart H.

The Covered Projects are those that are insured under the following sections of the National Housing Act: Sections 213, 220, 231, 223(d), 221(d)(4), 241(a), 223(f), 232/223(f), 242/223(f), 223(a)(7), 232, 232(i), 242, 542(b) and 542(c).

The Guide also applies to non-insured projects that include Section 202 or Section 811 Capital Advances or Direct Loans, Section 236 loans, or Subsidized Projects in which 20 percent or more of the units now receive or will receive a subsidy in the form of:

• Interest reduction payments under section 236 of the National Housing Act (12 U.S.C. 1715z-1);

• Rental Assistance Payments under section 236 of the National Housing Act (12 U.S.C. 1715z-1); Rent Supplement payments under section 101 of the Housing and Urban Development Act of 1965 (12 U.S.C. 1701s); or

• Project based rental assistance pursuant to housing assistance payment contracts under Section 8 of the Housing Act of 1937 (but not including project-based assistance provided under the Housing Choice Voucher program administered by HUD's Office of Public and Indian Housing).

For the Sections 223(a)(7), 223(f), 241(a), 232(i) and 223(d) programs Controlling Participants are only subject to previous participation review if they were not previously approved to participate in that project.

Change in Controlling Participants

Any new Controlling Participant of a Covered Project requires consent by HUD.

Waiver Authority

Program offices may waive any portion of this Guide that is not regulatory subject, however, to a good cause justification as required by HUD for all waivers. HUD expects waivers to be rare and in response to unique circumstances meeting the intent of HUD's Previous Participation Review regulations.

Program Requirements

The below sections outline who is subject to a previous participation review, submission requirements, review procedures, approval and rejection processes as well as participant flagging.

A. Controlling Participants for Previous Participation Review Purposes

Previous Participation Review is required for Controlling Participants. In connection with each Triggering Event, Mortgagees in insured projects and entities serving in the Specified Capacities listed below in non-insured projects shall provide to HUD a list of all Controlling Participants. Controlling Participants are those entities and individuals (i) serving as a Specified Capacity with respect to a Covered Project and (ii) the entities and individuals in control of the Specified Capacities. At least one natural person must be identified as a Controlling Participant for each Specified Capacity. The chart below shows the Specified Capacities for the listed programs.

Specified Capacities Multifamily
  • housing
  • Office of
  • residential care
  • facilities
  • Office of
  • hospital
  • facilities
  • Borrower or Owner X X X Management Agent X X Operator X X General Contractor X X X Construction Manager X Master Tenant/Landlord X

    Controlling Participants. The entities serving as a Specified Capacity are Controlling Participants of the Covered Project for the programs listed. In addition, the individuals and entities determined by HUD to exercise financial or operational control over these entities are also Controlling Participants. Controlling Participants require Previous Participation Review and must complete Previous Participation Review submissions. Any individual or entity who exercises financial or operational control of a Specified Capacity is considered to be a Controlling Participant and required to complete a Previous Participation Review submission, unless excluded below. Controlling Participants include both entities and natural persons. If a Controlling Participant is an entity, the submission must include the people who exercise the day-to-day control for that entity. Notwithstanding the foregoing or anything else in this Guide, if HUD determines that an individual or entity does not actually exercise financial or operational control of a Covered Project or Specified Capacity, such individual or entity shall not be considered a Controlling Participant.

    List of Controlling Participants: For purposes of Previous Participation Review, unless excluded below or otherwise determined by HUD not to be a Controlling Participant, the following shall be considered Controlling Participants:

    1. Entities and individuals owning, directly or indirectly, 25% or more of a Specified Capacity.

    2. Any officers and other executive management (including Executive Director and other similar capacities) of the Specified Capacity.

    3. The controlling owners (entities and/or individuals) of the entity that controls the Specified Capacity.

    4. Managers or managing members of Limited Liability Companies (LLCs).

    5. General partners of limited partnerships, including “administrative” general partners or other general partners if they exercise day-to-day control over the entity.

    6. Partners in a general partnership.

    7. Executive Director (or equivalent position) of a non-profit sponsor of a Specified Capacity.

    8. With respect to non-profit Borrowers under the Section 242 program, the executive management of the Borrower and the members of the Board of Directors that HUD determines have control over the finances or operation of the hospital.

    9. Officers of a for-profit corporation's Board of Directors.

    10. Controlling stockholders of a corporation.

    11. Trustees of a trust.

    12. For real estate investment trusts (REITs), the REIT itself, the chief executive officer (or equivalent position) and all company officers (except those officers determined by HUD not to exercise day-to-day control over the REIT, the Specified Capacity or the Covered Project) must file.

    13. For insured projects, if applicable, the person (people) and/or entity (entities) to be listed on the Regulatory Agreement Non-Recourse Debt section.

    14. Any other person or entity determined by HUD to exercise day-to-day control over a Specified Capacity. This may include any officers, directors or members of an executive management team (even of excluded entities) who would otherwise not be required to make a submission if they are exercising control over the Specified Capacity.

    If the applicant or Mortgagee has any reason to believe that any Controlling Participant is not of sound mind or body or is otherwise incapacitated, such information must be disclosed to HUD to review and determine whether another individual is acting as a Controlling Participant.

    List of Exclusions: Except that any Specified Capacity is a Controlling Participant, and unless otherwise determined in writing by HUD in a specific transaction to exercise day-to-day control of a Covered Project or Specified Capacity, Controlling Participants do not include the following:

    1. Wholly-owned entities. Any entity that is 100% owned or controlled by one individual or entity is excluded. Such entities are not exercising control; the individual or entity that wholly owns them is exercising control. An organizational chart may include one or more tiers of wholly-owned entities. All wholly-owned entities in all tiers are excluded.

    2. Shell entities. Entities that do not take actions themselves but only serve as legal vehicles through which the partners, members or owners of such entity take actions are excluded. These entities are not exercising control, the partners, members or owners of such entity are controlling. The “middle tiers” of an organizational chart are often shell entities. For example, if a Borrower LLC's managing member (“MM A”) is a joint venture partnership (“JV B”) of two entities (“P 1” and “P 2”) and that joint venture's organizational documents indicate that the day-to-day control of the joint venture is exercised by one of the two partners (P 1), then all of those entities, except P 1 is excluded. None of MM A, JV B or P 2 are Controlling Participants of the Borrower.

    3. Tax credit investors. Syndicator and direct investor entities in Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, Historic Tax Credits, New Markets Tax Credits or other tax credits (if HUD determines such credits are substantially similar to the listed tax credits) are excluded unless such entities exercise day-to-day control or seek other involvement that would trigger the need for previous participation review. HUD may still require a so-called “LLCI certification,” an “Identification and Certification of Eligible Limited Liability Investor Entities,” “Passive Investor Certification” or any other such certification.

    4. Passive participants. If an entity's organizational documents specify which members, partners or owners are authorized to exercise day-to-day control of that entity, then any other members, partners or owners who are not authorized to exercise state day-to-day control of an entity are excluded.

    5. Minor officers. If HUD determines that an officer of a corporation or other entity does not have significant involvement in a Covered Project, such officers are excluded. If all the officers of the entity certify as to who have significant and insignificant involvement, this certification shall be evidence of the significant and insignificant involvement.

    6. Members of a Board of Directors. Members of a non-profit or for-profit corporation's board of directors who do not exercise control over the corporation in another capacity (for example, as Executive Director or other manager or officer of the non-profit corporation) are excluded. This exclusion does not apply to the members of boards of directors of hospitals, the rule for which is specified in the Regulation and captured in #8 within the Listing of Controlling Participants above.

    7. Less than 25% ownership interest. Unless exercising control through another capacity, members, partners, stakeholders and owners of entities with less than a 25% interest in an entity are excluded. This exclusion does not apply to any such member, partner, stakeholder or other owner of an entity (“Proposed Excluded Member”) who would have an interest greater than 25% if the combined percentages of all other members, partners, stakeholders or other owners (including beneficial interests in trusts) with whom the Proposed Excluded Member has an “Identity of Interest” or other conflict of interest because of familial relation or common financial interest exceeds 25%. Whether an Identity of Interest or other conflict of interest exists is determined by HUD. If the program requirements of the applicable program in which the Covered Project is participating speak to Identify of Interest or other conflict of interest, those program requirements control.

    8. Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Facilities. With respect to projects under the Section 232 program, the nursing home administrator of nursing homes and equivalent positions in assisted living facilities are excluded.

    9. Publicly Held Companies. For publicly held companies, the chief executive officer (or equivalent position), the controlling shareholder (if any), and project manager(s) or other individual(s), if any, identified as must having day-to-day control over a Specified Capacity or Covered Project must file but the publicly held company shall otherwise treated as an individual without need for other individual shareholders to file certifications in their individual capacity or identify their social security or tax identification numbers.

    10. No Exercise of Financial or Operational Control. Any individual or entity determined by HUD not to exercise financial or operational control of a Covered Project or Specified Capacity shall not be considered a Controlling Participant.

    B. Organization Charts

    An organization chart must be submitted for each Specified Capacity and for any entity within the organization chart if requested by HUD. Organization charts are visual representations of the ownership structure of an organization. All organization charts submitted in connection with a Triggering Event are considered part of the application for HUD review and subject to the certifications stating that the application is true and complete. The organization chart must be clear enough so that a person unfamiliar with the Covered Project and the entities involved can understand the ownership and control structure. The organization chart must include the following:

    1. Clearly show all tiers of the ownership structure, including the members or owners of the entities listed.

    2. Show all participants, not just those who the Lender or Applicant considers to be principals or Controlling Participants. To the extent ownership interests are identified as widely held, the Applicant must provide any information requested by HUD regarding such interests.

    3. Shows percentages of ownership and role in the entity (e.g. Limited Partner, General Partner, Managing Member, Tax Credit Syndicator/Investor, etc.).

    4. At least one natural person, and not just entities.

    5. Each Specified Capacity must be shown on a separate organization chart (e.g. Borrower, Operator, Management Agent, Master Tenant, etc.).

    6. Anyone on an organizational chart that is debarred, suspended, or is subject to a Limited Denial of Participation (LDP), a voluntary abstention or a voluntary exclusion may not participate in the Covered Project.

    7. With respect to each entity on the organization chart, the executive management teams (for example, all officers such as CEO, CFO, President, Executive Director, etc., but not department heads or lower level management) and any members of a Board of Directors must be disclosed to HUD even if such individuals are not considered to be Controlling Participants and do not need to file Previous Participation Review submissions.

    C. Filing the Previous Participation Certification

    To fulfill the Previous Participation Review requirements, applicable controlling participants must file a Previous Participation Certification. Participants may utilize either the electronic Active Partners Performance System (APPS) or a paper alternative. Participants should not file both an APPS submission and a paper form. HUD strongly encourages participants to utilize the APPS system. As part of the Previous Participation Certification, participants are only required to list all projects which they have participated in over the previous 10 year period. However, HUD reserves the right to review and consider a participant's previous participation in a federal project beyond the 10 year period when determining whether to approve participation in the project associated with an application.

    The following chart indicates which filing options are available for which programs.

    3 Consolidated Certifications are the following forms: HUD 90013-ORCF, Consolidated Certification-Borrower, HUD 90014-ORCF, Consolidated Certification-Principal of the Borrower, HUD 90015-ORCF, Consolidated Certification-Operator, HUD 90017-ORCF, Consolidated Certification-Management Agent, and HUD 90018-ORCF, Consolidated Certification-General Contractor.

    Filing method Multifamily
  • housing & grant
  • administration
  • projects
  • Office of
  • residential care
  • facilities
  • Office of
  • hospital
  • facilities
  • Active Partners Performance System (APPS) Submission X X X OR Form HUD-2530 (paper) X X Consolidated Certification 3 Previous Participation Section (paper) X
    Active Partners Performance System (APPS) Submission Instructions HUD has made several upgrades to the system to improve the applicant submission process. For example, HUD now allows for electronic signatures of APPS submissions, ability to upload submission packages, and has improved the baseline submission to allow for edits. HUD encourages participants to utilize the APPS system when filing the Previous Participation Certification as it saves a substantial amount of time and allows for faster review of submissions by HUD reviewers.
  • Here is a link to the APPS resources: http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/program_offices/housing/mfh/apps/appsmfhm.
  • For questions about the APPS system contact the Multifamily Housing Systems Help Desk by phone at (800) 767-7588 or [email protected] Step 1: System Registration This step registers Controlling Participants in the APPS system. See the APPS Quick Tips for detailed instructions on the registration process: http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/documents/huddoc?id=appsquicktips.pdf. Step 2: Create a Baseline This step establishes the organization structure and previous participation of Controlling Participants. See Chapter 2 of the APPS Userguide for specific instructions and screen shots: http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/documents/huddoc?id=chapter2.pdf. Step 3: Create a Property Submission This step creates a submission for a Controlling Participant's role in a specific project. See Chapter 3 of the APPS Userguide for specific instructions and screen shots: http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/documents/huddoc?id=chapter3.pdf. Step 4: Complete the Certification and Submit to HUD In this step Controlling Participants electronically certify to previous participation certifications and send the submission to HUD for review. See Chapter 7 of the APPS Userguide for specific instructions and screen shots: http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/documents/huddoc?id=CHAPTER7.PDF. Step 5: Upload the Organization Chart with the Signature Pages The user uploads the Organization Chart and Signature Pages into the APPS system. See Section B for a description of what the organization chart must include.
    Form HUD-2530 Completion Instructions 4 [It is the participant's responsibility to assure that the Form HUD-2530 is correct, complete and accurate.] Form section Instructions Review certification language The participant should assure that compliance with the certification is met. If there is a certification that a controlling participant cannot certify to, the participant must strikethrough that particular certification, initial the strikethrough and attach a signed letter of explanation. This situation should be rare. Block 2 List Project Name and Number. Block 7 Controlling Participants on the organization chart must match Block 7. Blocks 8 and 9 Write “See Organization Chart.” Block 10 Insert Social Security Number or Tax ID Number for each Controlling Participant. Bottom of Page 1 The Controlling Participants listed in Block 7 must also be listed in the signature block at the bottom of Page 1. The Controlling Participants must sign and date the submission.
  • Authorized person(s) may sign on behalf of other person(s) or entities. It is the signer's responsibility to assure that they are authorized to sign on behalf of others. Each signature block must include a signature.
  • Schedule A All principals listed in Block 7 must be listed in Column 1 Column 2 must include all previous participation from the past 10 years in: (a) Covered Projects, (b) housing projects with current flags under the U.S. Department of Agriculture's previous participation review system and (c) any other housing project participating in a federal, state or local or government program if during the Controlling Participant's participation in the housing project (i) the housing project was foreclosed upon; (ii) the housing project was transferred by a deed in lieu of foreclosure; or (iii) an event of default, or similarly termed event, was declared against the housing project or the Controlling Participant pursuant to the government program's project documents. Controlling Participants with No Previous Participation should write “No Previous Participation, First Experience.” Principal roles must be included in Column 3 The Status of the Loan must be listed in Column 4. Note: This section is not applicable for General Contractors that did not have ownership interest in the project. Identify (checkbox) whether the project was ever in default during the participant's participation in Column 5. If the “yes” box is checked a detailed explanation of the circumstances (including mitigating factors) must be provided. Note: This section is not applicable for General Contractors that did not have ownership interest in the project. List the latest Management Review and Physical Inspection dates and scores in Column 6. If there are no scores, write “None.” Note: This section is not applicable for General Contractors that did not have ownership interest in the project. Business Partner Registration System (BPRS) Registration Each Controlling Participant must be registered in the BPRS System. Here is a link: https://hudapps2.hud.gov/apps/part_reg/apps040.cfm Organization Chart Attach an organization chart. See Section B for a description of what the organization chart must include.
    Consolidated Certification Completion Instructions [It is the participant's responsibility to assure that the Consolidated Certification is correct, complete and accurate.] Form Section Instructions Review certification language in the Consolidated Certification 5 The participant should assure that compliance with the certification is met. Attachment 1 Participants with Previous Participation must complete Attachment 1 of the Consolidated Certification for projects participated in over the past 10 years. Include all previous participation from the past 10 years in: (a) Covered Projects, (b) housing projects with current flags under the U.S. Department of Agriculture's previous participation review system and (c) any other housing project participating in a federal, state or local or government program if during the Controlling Participant's participation in the housing project (i) the housing project was foreclosed upon; (ii) the housing project was transferred by a deed in lieu of foreclosure; or (iii) an event of default, or similarly termed event, was declared against the housing project or the Controlling Participant pursuant to the government program's project documents. Business Partner Registration System (BPRS) Registration Each Controlling Participant must be registered in the BPRS System. Here is a link: https://hudapps2.hud.gov/apps/part_reg/apps040.cfm. Organization Chart Attach an organization chart with Social Security Numbers or Tax ID numbers for Controlling Participants. See Section B for a description of additional items the organization chart must include. D. Approval of Participants

    If there are no flags in the system and the applicant is able to make all the certifications or HUD has approved any reason why a certification cannot be made, the Previous Participation Review is considered complete and the submission will be approved.

    4 Until further notice, if using the paper Form HUD-2530, use these instructions.

    5 If there is a certification that a controlling participant cannot certify to, the participant must strikethrough that particular certification, initial the strikethrough and attach a signed letter of explanation. This situation should be rare.

    If there are current flags in the system, HUD staff will review:

    • The comments in the system related to the flag

    • The lender or participant's explanation of the flag and any mitigation of risk associated with the flag.

    • Whether flags need to be resolved.

    • The flag history in the system to assess patterns of misconduct and risk to the Department.

    Based upon this review, including review of the certifications, HUD will determine whether or not the Controlling Participant poses an unacceptable Risk to the Covered Project, in accordance with the definition in 24 CFR 200.212, namely whether the Controlling Participant could be expected to participate in the Covered Project in a manner consistent with furthering the Department's purpose of supporting and providing decent, safe and affordable housing for the public. Based on this determination, HUD may approve, disapprove, limit, or otherwise condition the continued participation of the Controlling Participant in the Triggering Event. HUD will disapprove a Controlling Participant if the Controlling Participant is suspended, debarred or subject to other restriction pursuant to 2 CFR part 180 or 2 CFR part 2424. HUD may disapprove a Controlling Participant if HUD determines: (i) The Controlling Participant is materially restricted, including voluntarily, from doing business with HUD (other than the restrictions listed above) or any other department or agency of the federal government if the Commissioner determines that such restriction demonstrates a significant risk to proceeding with the Triggering Event; or (ii) HUD determines that the Controlling Participant's record of Previous Participation reveals significant risk to proceeding with the Triggering Event. In lieu of disapproval, HUD may (1) condition or limit the Controlling Participant's participation; (2) temporarily withhold issuing a determination in order to gather more necessary information; or (3) require the Controlling Participant to remedy or mitigate outstanding violations of HUD requirements to the Commissioner's satisfaction in order to participate in the Triggering Event. A remedy or mitigation may include resolving any underlying issues that caused the existing flags or other measures that demonstrate to HUD's satisfaction that that the Controlling Participant could be expected to participate in the Covered Project in a manner consistent with furthering the Department's purpose of supporting and providing decent, safe and affordable housing for the public.

    Approval of Participants With Flags Office of Multifamily Housing & Assisted Housing
  • Oversight Division, 220, 221(d)(4), 223(a)(7), 223(f), 231, 241(a) Programs
  • Production Asset management Office of Residential Healthcare Facilities Office of Hospital Facilities
    Participants with Tier 1 Flags Director of Multifamily Housing Production (HQ) Director of Asset Management Division (HQ) Director, Office of Residential Care Facilities or Delegate Director, Office of Hospital Facilities. Participants with Tier 2 Flags Production Division Director Asset Management Division Director Supervisory Account Executive Director, Office of Hospital Facilities. Participants with Tier 3 Flags Branch Chief Supervisory Account Executive Director, Office of Hospital Facilities.
    E. Rejection of Participants

    If a recommendation for rejection is proposed, HUD staff will notify the participant, or lender, if applicable, in advance of the recommendation. This notification will allow an opportunity for the participant to provide additional arguments for HUD's consideration to preserve processing efficiency and cut down on requests for reconsideration.

    Rejection of Participants With Flags Office of Multifamily Housing & Assisted Housing
  • Oversight Division, 220, 221(d)(4), 223(a)(7), 223(f), 231, 241(a) Programs
  • Production Asset management Office of Residential Healthcare Facilities Office of Hospital Facilities
    Participants with Tier 1, Tier 2 or Tier 3 Flags Regional Director or Delegate Division Director, Office of Residential Care Facilities or Delegate Division Director, Office of Hospital Facilities.
    F. Reconsideration of a Rejection

    Participants have the right to request a reconsideration of HUD decisions rejecting participants. Requests for reconsideration must be filed in writing. Participants may provide support for their reconsideration or additional information that was not previously provided. Please see the below table for the officials responsible for rendering reconsideration decisions applicable to each program area. The decision rendered by the officials below is final agency action.

    Reconsideration of a Rejection Office of Multifamily Housing & Assisted Housing Oversight Division Office of Healthcare Programs Office of Residential Healthcare Facilities Office of Hospital Facilities Director, Office of Asset Management and Portfolio Oversight or Delegate Director, Office of Residential Care Facilities or Delegate Director, Office of Hospital Facilities or Delegate. G. Flag Placement and Resolution

    HUD utilizes flags in the APPS system as a way to assess risk associated with participants in Office of Multifamily Housing and Office of Healthcare Programs projects. A flag does not automatically exclude an applicant from participation in HUD's programs; however, flags are considered risk factors that require appropriate mitigation, where possible. Flags are to be a meaningful representation of risk, and therefore, they should not be placed for minor infractions that do not pose a risk to HUD. HUD will notify participants in writing when flags are placed.

    H. Types of Flags

    HUD has developed three flag tiers, which provide for varying levels of risk to HUD. Tier 1 flags are elevated risk to HUD. HUD considers Tier 1 flags to be a significant long-term risk to HUD and warrant significant mitigation in new transactions. Tier 2 flags are considered an ongoing risk to HUD. For Tier 2 flags that have a resolution date (as listed in the chart below), flags will not be removed until the time period has expired even if the action has been resolved earlier. This is considered a risk factor in production and asset management transactions. Tier 3 flags are considered a single risk to HUD and will be removed when the reason for the flag is corrected.

    Tier 1 Flags: Elevated Risk to the Department

    Tier 1 flags warrant permanent consideration when reviewing Controlling Participants for their participation in triggering events.

    Flag type Reason Duration of flag Mortgage Assignment/Conveyance of Title Mortgage assigned title or conveyed property to HUD Permanent flag. * FHA Claim Claim payment by HUD Permanent flag. * HUD Property Disposition Foreclosure, loan sale, or other property disposition effort by HUD Permanent flag. * Mortgagee in Possession (MIP) HUD becomes the MIP Permanent flag. * Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure HUD receives a deed in lieu of foreclosure Permanent flag. * Limited Denial of Participation (LDP)—Current or Past Participant is currently or has previously been placed on the LDP list Permanent flag. Suspension or Debarment—Current or Past Participant is currently or has previously been placed on the Debarment list or the participant is or was temporarily suspended from participation in HUD programs Permanent flag. Voluntary Abstention or Exclusion—Current or Past Participant is currently or has previously been subject to a voluntary abstention Permanent flag. Conviction for fraud or embezzlement of funds Participant has been convicted of fraud or embezzlement of funds Permanent flag. * Unless otherwise determined by HUD due to mitigating circumstances. Tier 2 Flags: Ongoing Risk to the Department

    Tier 2 flags warrant consideration for an extended period of time when reviewing Controlling Participants for their participation in Triggering Events, even after the underlying reason for the flag is resolved. A “Repeated” Offense means there are three or more occurrences.

    Flag type Reason Duration of flag Violation of Business Agreements-Unauthorized Distributions Repeated incidents of Unauthorized Distributions Retained for five (5) years after the placement date of the flag. Violation of Business Agreements-Unacceptable Physical Condition Below 30 Real Estate Assessment Center (REAC) score, two consecutive REAC scores below 60, Repeated REAC scores below 60, or other Repeated failures to maintain decent, safe and sanitary conditions Retained for five (5) years after placement of the flag, so long as the most recent REAC score is greater than 59 or the failure to maintain decent, safe and sanitary housing is deemed cured by HUD. Violation of Business Agreements-Repeated Failure to File Financial Statements Repeated Failure to File Financial Statements for three or more occurrences Retained for five (5) years after the placement date of the flag. Violation of Business Agreements-Conversion to Unapproved Use Project was converted to a use that is not permitted under the program obligations Retained for five (5) years after the placement date of the flag. Violation of Business Agreements-Unauthorized Alteration to Facility Project or part of the project completed a significant addition/alteration/construction/licensure status without prior approval Retained for five (5) years after the placement date of the flag. Violation of Business Agreements-Repeated Unresolved Audit Findings Repeated Unresolved Audit Findings Retained for five (5) years after the placement date of the flag provided that audit findings have been resolved. Violation of Business Agreements-Miscellaneous Repeated violations of business agreements (e.g., breaking use agreement or affordability restrictions, non-compliance with program requirements, non-responsive to HUD requests) Retained for five (5) years after the placement date of the flag. Default-Financial 60 days or more behind on loan payments Retained for five (5) years after the placement date of the flag. Unauthorized Transfer of Physical Assets (TPA) When a TPA is completed without prior HUD approval Retained for five (5) years after the placement date of the flag. Suspension/Termination of Payments When HUD suspends subsidy payments due to non-compliance with Program Obligations Retained for five (5) years after the placement date of the flag. Unauthorized Secondary Financing When Secondary Financing is utilized without prior HUD approval Retained for five (5) years after the placement date of the flag. General Contractor Performance—Construction Compliance Material failure to build project in accordance with approved Plans and Specifications (During Construction Period) Retained for five (5) years after the placement date of the flag provided that noncompliance has been cured to HUD's satisfaction. General Contractor Performance—One Year Warranty Failure to correct material warranty issues identified in HUD's Nine-Month and 12-Month Warranty Inspections (After Construction Period) Retained for five (5) years after the placement date of the flag provided that noncompliance has been cured to HUD's satisfaction. Tier 3 Flags: Temporary Risk to the Department

    Tier 3 flags relate to a single and/or less serious incident of non-compliance and can be resolved and removed.

    Flag type Reason Duration of flag Failure to File Financial Statements Automatically Flagged when the Annual Financial Statements are overdue Removed when the missing Annual Financial Statements are filed or five (5) years after the placement date of the flag, whichever is sooner. Delinquent three or more times in the last year Flagged when borrower fails to remit mortgage payment by the fifteenth of the month, three or more times in a given one-year period Removed when there is a one-year period of time in which borrower has made all mortgage payments by the fifteenth of each respective month, or five (5) years after the placement date of the flag, whichever is sooner. Unacceptable Physical Condition Most recent REAC score is below 60, and additional (does not need to be consecutive) REAC score(s) below 60 over the past five years. Removed when the most recent REAC score is above 59. Unsatisfactory Management Review Flagged when there is an Unsatisfactory Management Review Removed when there is a Satisfactory Management Review, or five (5) years after the placement date of the flag whichever is sooner. Violation of Business Agreements-Unauthorized Distributions One incident of Unauthorized Distributions Removed when the unauthorized distribution is repaid or five (5) years after the placement date of the flag whichever is sooner. Violation of Business Agreements-Material Unresolved Audit Findings Material Unresolved Audit Findings Removed when the finding is resolved or five (5) years after the placement date of the flag whichever is sooner. Failure to Provide or Comply with Action Plan Failure to provide or comply with a HUD required action plan and/or certification in a timely manner. Removed when the action plan is received and in good standing or five (5) years after the placement date of the flag whichever is sooner. Significant Changes to the Guide

    HUD will not make any significant changes to the Guide without first offering advance notice and the opportunity for comment for a period of not less than 30 days.

    [FR Doc. 2016-11346 Filed 5-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4210-67-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY Coast Guard 33 CFR Part 165 [Docket Number USCG-2016-0370] RIN 1625-AA00 Safety Zone; Annual Roy Webster Cross-Channel Swim, Columbia River, Hood River, OR AGENCY:

    Coast Guard, DHS.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    The Coast Guard proposes to establish a safety zone on the Columbia River in Hood River, OR. This action is necessary to help ensure the safety of the maritime public during a cross-channel swimming event and would do so by prohibiting unauthorized persons and vessels from entering the safety zone unless authorized by the Sector Columbia River Captain of the Port or a designated representative. We invite your comments on this proposed rulemaking.

    DATES:

    Comments and related material must be received by the Coast Guard on or before June 16, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG-2016-0370 using the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. See the “Public Participation and Request for Comments” portion of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section for further instructions on submitting comments.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    If you have questions about this proposed rulemaking, call or email Ken Lawrenson, Waterways Management Division, Marine Safety Unit Portland, Coast Guard; telephone 503-240-9319, email [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Table of Abbreviations CFR Code of Federal Regulations DHS Department of Homeland Security FR Federal Register NPRM Notice of proposed rulemaking § Section U.S.C. United States Code II. Background, Purpose, and Legal Basis

    The Roy Webster Cross-Channel Swim is an annual event that has been occuring for the last 74 years on the Columbia River in the vicinity of Hood River, OR. Registered participants attend the event on Labor Day each year and are ferried across the Columbia River from the Hood River Marina to the Washington shore to start the event. From there the swimmers jump off the ferry and swim back across the river, following a swim lane that is lined with volunteers in sailboats, kayaks and paddleboards. Approximately 300 swimmers participate in this event annually.

    The Captain of the Port, Columbia River (COTP) has determined that potential hazards associated with cross-channel swims could be a safety concern for the event participants, any other mariners transiting the area during the event hours, and a potential threat to the marine environment.

    The purpose of this rulemaking is to ensure the safety of event participants, the marine environment and the protection of the navigable waterway during the scheduled event. The Coast Guard proposes this rulemaking under authority in 33 U.S.C. 1231.

    III. Discussion of Proposed Rule

    The COTP proposes to establish a safety zone on Labor Day of each year between 6 a.m. and noon. As the event consists of swimmers crossing the navigable channel, the Coast Guard feels that it would be necessary to establish a safety zone that would cover all waters of the Columbia River between river mile 169 and river mile 170. Vessels needing to transit through the safety zone during the event would be permitted to enter the safety zone only by obtaining permission from the COTP or a designated representative. The regulatory text the Coast Guard is proposing appears at the end of this document.

    IV. Regulatory Analyses

    We developed this proposed rule after considering numerous statutes and Executive orders related to rulemaking. Below we summarize our analyses based on a number of these statutes and Executive orders and we discuss First Amendment rights of protestors.

    A. Regulatory Planning and Review

    Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess the costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives and, if regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize net benefits. Executive Order 13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. This NPRM has not been designated a “significant regulatory action,” under Executive Order 12866. Accordingly, the NPRM has not been reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget.

    This regulatory action determination is based on the size, location, short duration, and the event's long history. Commercial vessel traffic would be able to transit the area with permission from the COTP or a designated representative. Moreover, the Coast Guard would issue a Broadcast Notice to Mariners via VHF-FM marine channel 16 about the zone, and the rule would allow vessels to seek permission to enter the zone.

    B. Impact on Small Entities

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, 5 U.S.C. 601-612, as amended, requires Federal agencies to consider the potential impact of regulations on small entities during rulemaking. The term “small entities” comprises small businesses, not-for-profit organizations that are independently owned and operated and are not dominant in their fields, and governmental jurisdictions with populations of less than 50,000. The Coast Guard certifies under 5 U.S.C. 605(b) that this proposed rule would not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

    While some owners or operators of vessels intending to transit the safety zone may be small entities, for the reasons stated in section IV.A above this proposed rule would not have a significant economic impact on any vessel owner or operator.

    If you think that your business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction qualifies as a small entity and that this rule would have a significant economic impact on it, please submit a comment (see ADDRESSES) explaining why you think it qualifies and how and to what degree this rule would economically affect it.

    Under section 213(a) of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (Pub. L. 104-121), we want to assist small entities in understanding this proposed rule. If the rule would affect your small business, organization, or governmental jurisdiction and you have questions concerning its provisions or options for compliance, please contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. The Coast Guard will not retaliate against small entities that question or complain about this proposed rule or any policy or action of the Coast Guard.

    C. Collection of Information

    This proposed rule would not call for a new collection of information under the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520).

    D. Federalism and Indian Tribal Governments

    A rule has implications for federalism under Executive Order 13132, Federalism, if it has a substantial direct effect on the States, on the relationship between the national government and the States, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of government. We have analyzed this proposed rule under that Order and have determined that it is consistent with the fundamental federalism principles and preemption requirements described in Executive Order 13132.

    Also, this proposed rule does not have tribal implications under Executive Order 13175, Consultation and Coordination with Indian Tribal Governments, because it would not have a substantial direct effect on one or more Indian tribes, on the relationship between the Federal Government and Indian tribes, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal Government and Indian tribes. If you believe this proposed rule has implications for federalism or Indian tribes, please contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section.

    E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1531-1538) requires Federal agencies to assess the effects of their discretionary regulatory actions. In particular, the Act addresses actions that may result in the expenditure by a State, local, or tribal government, in the aggregate, or by the private sector of $100,000,000 (adjusted for inflation) or more in any one year. Though this proposed rule would not result in such an expenditure, we do discuss the effects of this rule elsewhere in this preamble.

    F. Environment

    We have analyzed this proposed rule under Department of Homeland Security Management Directive 023-01 and Commandant Instruction M16475.lD, which guide the Coast Guard in complying with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321-4370f), and have made a preliminary determination that this action is one of a category of actions that do not individually or cumulatively have a significant effect on the human environment. This proposed rule involves a safety zone lasting approximately six hours that would prohibit entry within a specified section of the Columbia River in the vicinity of Hood River, OR. Normally such actions are categorically excluded from further review under paragraph 34(g) of Figure 2-1 of Commandant Instruction M16475.lD. A preliminary environmental analysis checklist and Categorical Exclusion Determination are available in the docket where indicated under ADDRESSES. We seek any comments or information that may lead to the discovery of a significant environmental impact from this proposed rule.

    G. Protest Activities

    The Coast Guard respects the First Amendment rights of protesters. Protesters are asked to contact the person listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section to coordinate protest activities so that your message can be received without jeopardizing the safety or security of people, places, or vessels.

    V. Public Participation and Request for Comments

    We view public participation as essential to effective rulemaking, and will consider all comments and material received during the comment period. Your comment can help shape the outcome of this rulemaking. If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this rulemaking, indicate the specific section of this document to which each comment applies, and provide a reason for each suggestion or recommendation.

    We encourage you to submit comments through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov. If your material cannot be submitted using http://www.regulations.gov, contact the person in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document for alternate instructions.

    We accept anonymous comments. All comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov and will include any personal information you have provided. For more about privacy and the docket, you may review a Privacy Act notice regarding the Federal Docket Management System in the March 24, 2005, issue of the Federal Register (70 FR 15086).

    Documents mentioned in this NPRM as being available in the docket, and all public comments, will be in our online docket at http://www.regulations.gov and can be viewed by following that Web site's instructions. Additionally, if you go to the online docket and sign up for email alerts, you will be notified when comments are posted or a final rule is published.

    List of Subjects in 33 CFR Part 165

    Harbors, Marine safety, Navigation (water), Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Security measures, Waterways.

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Coast Guard proposes to amend 33 CFR part 165 as follows:

    PART 165—REGULATED NAVIGATION AREAS AND LIMITED ACCESS AREAS 1. The authority citation for part 165 continues to read as follows: Authority:

    33 U.S.C. 1231; 50 U.S.C. 191; 33 CFR 1.05-1, 6.04-1, 6.04-6, 160.5; Department of Homeland Security Delegation No. 0170.1.

    2. Add § 165.1342 to read as follows:
    §165.1342 Annual Roy Webster Cross-Channel Swim, Columbia River, Hood River, OR.

    (a) Regulated area. The following regulated area is a safety zone. The safety zone will encompass all waters of the Columbia River between River Mile 169 and River Mile 170.

    (b) Definition. As used in this section—

    Designated representative means Coast Guard Patrol Commanders, including Coast Guard coxswains, petty officers, and other officers operating Coast Guard vessels, and Federal, state, and local officers designated by or assisting the Captain of the Port Sector Columbia River in the enforcement of the regulated area.

    Non-participant person means a person not registered as a swimmer in the Roy Webster Cross-Channel Swim held on the Columbia River in the vicinity of Hood River, OR, each Labor Day.

    (c) Regulations. In accordance with the general regulations in 33 CFR part 165, subpart C, non-participant persons and vessels are prohibited from entering, transiting through, anchoring in, or remaining within the regulated area unless authorized by Captain of the Port Sector Columbia River or a designated representative.

    (1) Non-participant persons and vessels may request authorization to enter, transit through, anchor in, or remain within the regulated area by contacting the Captain of the Port Sector Columbia River or a designated representative via VHF radio on channel 16. If authorization is granted by the Captain of the Port Sector Columbia River or a designated representative, all persons and vessels receiving such authorization must comply with the instructions of the Captain of the Port Sector Columbia River or a designated representative.

    (2) The Coast Guard will provide notice of the safety zone by Local Notice to Mariners, Broadcast Notice to Mariners and on-scene designated representatives.

    (d) Enforcement period. This safety zone will be enforced on Labor Day of each year, between the hours of 6 a.m. and Noon.

    Dated: May 9, 2016. D.F. Berliner, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard, Acting Captain of the Port, Sector Columbia River.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11515 Filed 5-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 9110-04-P
    LIBRARY OF CONGRESS U.S. Copyright Office 37 CFR Part 202 [Docket No. 2016-3] Mandatory Deposit of Electronic Books and Sound Recordings Available Only Online AGENCY:

    U.S. Copyright Office, Library of Congress.

    ACTION:

    Notice of inquiry.

    SUMMARY:

    In 2010, the U.S. Copyright Office, acting pursuant to section 407 of title 17 and following a public rulemaking process, adopted an interim rule governing mandatory deposit of electronic works that are not available in a physical format. The interim rule refers to such works as “electronic works published in the United States and available only online” (or “online-only works”). The interim rule created a limited exception to the Register's longstanding regulatory exemption that online-only works are not subject to mandatory deposit requirements. It also established best edition criteria and regulations as to electronic serials requested pursuant to section 407. The Library has adopted policies for the use of such materials, including limiting public access to deposited works to dedicated terminals located at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. These policies were anticipated and discussed during the rulemaking process, but are not memorialized in the regulations.

    The Library of Congress is now interested in extending the interim rule to apply to online-only books and sound recordings. Because over six years have passed since the interim rule was adopted, and because the interim rule was intended to inform a more permanent solution and rule, the Copyright Office is initiating a notice of inquiry to further guide its work in this area. The Copyright Office seeks feedback from affected communities regarding the experience with mandatory deposit of electronic serials, generally, as well as comments pertaining to the potential application of mandatory deposit to online-only books and sound recordings, specifically. Based on this feedback, the Office will solicit further written comments and/or invite stakeholder meetings before moving to a rulemaking process.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received no later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on July 18, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    For reasons of government efficiency, the Copyright Office is using the regulations.gov system for the submission and posting of public comments in this proceeding. All comments are therefore to be submitted electronically through regulations.gov. Specific instructions for submitting comments are available on the Copyright Office Web site at http://copyright.gov/policy/mandatorydeposit/comment-submission/. If electronic submission of comments is not feasible due to lack of access to a computer and/or the internet, please contact the Office, using the contact information below, for special instructions.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jacqueline C. Charlesworth, General Counsel and Associate Register of Copyrights, [email protected]; or Sarang V. Damle, Deputy General Counsel, [email protected] Both can be reached by telephone at 202-707-8350.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background A. Mandatory Deposit Under the Copyright Act Generally

    Mandatory deposit provisions, sometimes called “legal deposit” in foreign countries, permit national libraries to demand creative works for their respective collections pursuant to applicable laws, rights, restrictions, regulations, and fines. In the United States, the authority to demand, exempt, and otherwise regulate such works vests with the Register of Copyrights, who administers section 407 of title 17 of the United States Code, part of the Copyright Act.

    Section 407 provides that the owner of copyright, or of the exclusive right of publication, in a work published in the United States is required to deposit two complete copies (or, in the case of sound recordings, two phonorecords) of the “best edition” of the work with the Copyright Office 1 for the use or disposition of the Library of Congress.2 The Library is not entitled to works that fall outside of the statutory framework, e.g., editions not published in the United States.

    1 17 U.S.C. 407(a).

    2Id. at 407(b).

    Section 202.19 of title 37 of the Code of Federal Regulations sets forth a number of rules governing the mandatory deposit of copies and phonorecords under section 407, including certain best edition requirements. Appended to part 202 is a list, entitled “ `Best Edition' of Published Copyrighted Works for the Collection of the Library of Congress” (referred to as the “Best Edition Statement”), which sets forth the best edition criteria for particular categories of works.3 The same appendix specifies which published version must be deposited in instances where “two or more editions of the same version of a work have been published.” 4 The term “best edition of a work” is defined by statute as the “edition, published in the United States at any time before the date of deposit, that the Library of Congress determines to be most suitable for its purpose.” 5 The Register has observed that it is really a preservation copy, rather than the best published copy, that is of interest to the Library, and has suggested that section 407 may need to be updated accordingly.6

    3 37 CFR pt. 202 app. B.

    4Id.

    5 17 U.S.C. 101.

    6 Maria A. Pallante, The Next Great Copyright Act, 36 Columbia J. of L. & the Arts 316, 336 (2013).

    Section 407 further provides that deposit is to be made within three months after such publication.7 If mandatory deposit is not satisfied, the Register of Copyrights may issue a demand for the work.8 The copyright owner may be subject to fines and other monetary liability if the owner fails to comply after a demand for deposit is made by the Register.9

    7 17 U.S.C. 407(a).

    8Id. at 407(d).

    9Id.

    These general provisions, however, are subject to limitations. Section 407 provides that the Register of Copyrights may by regulation “exempt any categories of material from the deposit requirements of [that] section, or require deposit of only one copy or phonorecord with respect to any categories.” 10 Thus, in carrying out the authority provided under section 407, the Register seeks to fulfill the stated needs of the Library of Congress while balancing any competing concerns or requirements of the copyright system and affected parties. Such concerns are considered through a public rulemaking process carried out under the Administrative Procedure Act.11

    10Id. at 407(c). With respect to certain pictorial, graphic and sculptural works that are published in limited numbers, the statute requires the Register to issue regulations that “provide either for complete exemption from the deposit requirements” of section 407 or “for alternative forms of deposit aimed at providing a satisfactory archival record of a work without imposing practical or financial hardships on the depositor.” Id. These regulations can be found in 37 CFR 202.19.

    11See 17 U.S.C. 701(e).

    Finally, the registration and deposit provisions of section 408 as to published works generally require the submission for examination of two complete copies of the best edition.12 And section 408 further states that deposits made under section 407 may be used to satisfy the deposit requirements of section 408 if application, fee and regulatory conditions are met.13 As such, the extension of mandatory deposit to new categories of online-only works under section 407, and the particular deposit requirements that may be adopted, will necessarily affect registration practices as to works that are typically, or frequently, registered.

    12 17 U.S.C. 408(b)(2).

    13Id. at 408(b).

    B. Mandatory Deposit of Electronic Materials Available Only Online

    When regulations implementing section 407 were first promulgated by the Copyright Office in 1978, the Office adopted a broad exemption from the mandatory deposit requirements for “[l]iterary works, including computer programs and automated databases, published in the United States only in the form of machine readable copies (such as magnetic tape or disks, punch cards, or the like) from which the work cannot ordinarily be visually perceived except with the aid of a machine or device.” 14 Over time, the Office narrowed this exemption to require the deposit of certain electronic materials if they are made available in a physical medium, such as electronic databases that are published in CD-ROM copies.15 Until 2010, however, Copyright Office practice exempted from mandatory deposit requirements all electronic works not made available in physical format.16

    14 37 CFR 202.19(c)(5) (1978).

    15 In 1989, the Copyright Office amended the machine-readable copies exemption to require the deposit of machine-readable works published in physical form, exempting only “automated databases available only in the United States.” 54 FR 42295, 42296, Oct. 16, 1989. Two years later, the Copyright Office amended its regulation to clarify that CD-ROM packages were the preferred form of deposit for machine-readable works published in physical form. 56 FR 47402, Sept. 19, 1991.

    16See 74 FR 34286, 34287, Jan. 15, 2009 (explaining that the established Office practice was to interpret the exclusion for “automated databases available only online in the United States” to refer to all online-only publications). By contrast, works that are published both in an electronic and physical format are subject to the mandatory deposit requirement. 37 CFR 202.19(c)(5).

    On January 25, 2010, after a period of notice and public comment, the Copyright Office adopted a new interim rule to address the mandatory deposit requirements for published electronic works that are only made available online.17 For purposes of the interim rule, “electronic works” are defined as “works fixed and published solely in an electronic format.” 18 “Online-only works” thus encompasses works that are not published in physical formats and are made available via a live internet connection or downloaded from the internet onto a device and viewed, heard, or used offline. In this regard, it should be noted that the interim rule covers only works that are published online, not online works that are only publicly displayed or publicly performed online.19

    17 75 FR 3863, Jan. 25, 2010; see also 74 FR 34286, Jul. 15, 2009.

    18 37 CFR 202.24(c)(3).

    19See 17 U.S.C. 101 (“A public performance or display of a work does not in itself constitute publication.”).

    The interim rule did two key things. First, it codified the Office's longstanding practice of exempting online-only works from the requirements of mandatory deposit as a general matter.20 Second, notwithstanding the general exemption, the interim rule provided, for the first time, a mechanism by which the Office could demand one particular type of online-only work for the Library—namely, “electronic serials.” An “electronic serial” is defined as “an electronic work published in the United States and available only online, issued or intended to be issued on an established schedule in successive parts bearing numerical or chronological designations, without subsequent alterations, and intended to be continued indefinitely.” 21 The interim rule states that this class include “periodicals, newspapers, annuals, and the journals, proceedings, transactions, and other publications of societies.” 22

    20 37 CFR 202.19(c)(5) (exempting “[e]lectronic works published in the United States and available only online”).

    21Id. at 202.19(b)(4).

    22Id.

    In extending mandatory deposit requirements to online-only serials, the Office observed that “the Internet has grown to become a fundamental tool for the publication and dissemination of millions of works of authorship.” 23 The Office noted that there were then “more than five thousand scholarly electronic serials available exclusively online, with no print counterparts.” 24 Even where the Library purchased a subscription to such a work, it would rarely be able to acquire a permanent copy for its collections, placing the “long-term preservation of the works at risk.” 25

    23 75 FR at 3864.

    24Id.

    25Id. at 3864-65.

    Under the interim rule, a publisher does not need to proactively deposit copies of electronic serials with the Copyright Office.26 An electronic serial is subject to mandatory deposit only if the Register of Copyrights specifically demands a copy of the online-only serial for the Library; or, put another way, the longstanding exemption continues to apply until overtaken by a demand for a specific work.27 A publisher receiving such a demand must deposit “one complete copy or a phonorecord” of “the demanded work within three months of the date the demand notice is received.” 28 The interim rule also amended the “Best Edition Statement” in appendix B of part 202 of title 37, Code of Federal Regulations, to specify the criteria that should be applied in cases where a publisher has distributed two or more editions of a particular serial.29 In such a case, for example, the statement indicates that the Library prefers to receive the edition that was published in a “[s]erials-specific structured/markup format,” namely, “[c]ontent compliant with the NLM Journal Archiving (XML) Document Type Definition (DTD), with presentation stylesheet(s), rather than without.” 30 If the serial was published with metadata elements, the statement also notes that “descriptive data (metadata) should accompany the deposited material,” such as “serial or journal title,” “volume(s), numbers, issue dates,” and “article author(s).” 31 If the serial was published with technological protection measures, the statement also notes that the Library prefers that “[t]echnological measures that control access to or use of the work should be removed.” 32

    26 37 CFR 201.19(c)(5) (providing that the exemption from mandatory deposit for online-only works “includes electronic serials available only online only until such time as a demand is issued by the Copyright Office under the regulations set forth in § 202.24 of these regulations”).

    27See 37 CFR 202.24(a).

    28 37 CFR 202.24(a), (a)(3).

    29 37 CFR pt. 202, app. B, sec. IX.

    30Id. at sec. IX.A.1.a(i).

    31Id. at sec. IX.A.2.

    32Id. at sec. IX.A.3.

    The interim rule also provides for public access to deposited works, stating that “[c]opies or phonorecords deposited in response to a demand must be able to be accessed and reviewed by the Copyright Office, Library of Congress, and the Library's authorized users on an ongoing basis.” 33 More specifically, in response to stakeholders seeking clarification regarding the Library's downloading, distribution, and interlibrary loan practices with respect to electronically deposited works, the Federal Register notice announcing the interim rule explained that access to such works would be available only to “authorized users at the Library of Congress” in accordance with the following policies:

    33 37 CFR 202.24(a)(4).

    • Access to electronic works received through mandatory deposit will be as similar as possible to the access provided to analog works.

    • Access to electronic works received through mandatory deposit will be limited, at any one time, to two Library of Congress authorized users.

    • Library of Congress authorized users will access the electronic works via a secure server over a secure network that serves Capitol Hill facilities and remote Library of Congress locations. The term “Library of Congress authorized users” includes Library staff, contractors, and registered researchers, and Members, staff and officers of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. The Library will not make the copyrighted works available to the public over the Internet without rights holders' permissions.

    • Authorized users may print from electronic works to the extent allowed by the fair use provisions of the copyright law (17 U.S.C. 107 and 108(f)), as is the case with traditional publications. However, users may not reproduce or distribute (i.e., download or email) copies of deposited electronic works until the Library has explored the advisability of permitting these options and the security and feasibility of the implementing technologies. As part of this process, the Library will seek comment from the public, including copyright owners and publishers, before adopting additional policies governing electronic copying or distribution by electronic transmission.34

    34 75 FR at 3867-68.

    The Library instituted these policies in recognition of the fact that “electronic works, because of their ease of reproduction and distribution, present special security concerns.” 35

    35 75 FR at 3867.

    In accordance with these policies, the Library developed a system for providing and controlling access to electronic serials collected under the interim rule. The serials are stored on a server located in the Library's Capitol Hill facilities. The electronic files can be viewed on two secure terminals located in the Microform & Electronic Resources Center (“MERC”), located in the Library of Congress's Jefferson Building, which together constitute the sole point of public access to the files. The terminals have a web-based interface for searching and browsing the electronic serials collected by the Library. Individual articles are opened and read using customized viewing software that prevents users from being able to save or download a copy.36 The software also allows users to print the entire article to a color printer attached to the terminals, without charge. To help guide their printing activities, users are presented with a set of fair use criteria in a short training manual stored next to the terminal. While users may browse, read, and print articles on the terminals, the Library has disabled access to the terminals' USB ports to prevent users from making electronic copies. Internet access on the terminals has also been disabled.

    36 It appears that, as a technical matter, the article is copied to a temporary location on the terminal's hard drive before it is opened by the viewing software.

    In adopting the interim rule in 2010, the Copyright Office emphasized that “[t]he rule is interim, and not final, because the Office anticipates that the experience of issuing and responding to demands for online-only works will raise additional issues that should be considered before the regulation becomes final, e.g., the technical details of how an online-only work should be transmitted to the Copyright Office.” 37 After issuing the interim rule, the Office met with members of the publishing community on May 24, 2011 to further discuss the Library's expectations and submission questions, but has not further sought or received public comment on the qualified exemption and demand-based deposit system for online-only works through an additional rulemaking process. Since the promulgation of the interim rule, the Library has collected over 400 electronic serial titles that are now available through the two dedicated computer terminals in the MERC.38

    37 75 FR at 3864.

    38 Nonetheless, there is some agreement that the underlying provisions of the Copyright Act, codified in 1976, can only accomplish so much. As a general observation, the Office of the Inspector General of the Library of Congress recently commented that mandatory deposit may be one of several means of obtaining electronic deposits, but that in some cases “negotiated arrangements with private and public entities may be the only way forward.” Office of the Inspector General, The Library Needs to Determine an eDeposit and eCollections Strategy 11 (2015), available at https://www.loc.gov/portals/static/about/documents/edeposit-and-ecollections-strategy-april-2015.pdf. More specifically, the Register has testified that the mandatory deposit provisions in title 17 are “out of date and require attention” from Congress, and that issues include the “operation and relationship of mandatory deposit requirements to copyright registration requirements, the viability of `best edition' requirements in the digital age, security of electronic works, and consideration of the Library's stated goals.” Register's Perspective on Copyright Review: Hearing Before the H. Comm. on Judiciary, 114th Cong. 37-38 (2015) (statement of Maria A. Pallante, Register of Copyrights).

    II. Proposed Expansion of Mandatory Deposit Requirements To Include Online-Only Books and Sound Recordings

    Although the 2010 interim rule requires publishers to deposit only electronic serials—and only when the Office issues a demand for such a work—in promulgating that rule, the Register noted that mandatory deposit might be expanded over time to encompass new categories of online-only works.39 At this time, the Library has communicated to the Copyright Office its interest in obtaining online-only books and online-only sound recordings via mandatory deposit. Accordingly, the Office requests public comment regarding the imposition of a demand-based deposit system, akin to that provided under the interim rule for electronic serials, to these new categories of online-only works.

    39 75 FR at 3864.

    A. Online-Only Books

    The Library has requested that the Copyright Office issue demands for electronic books that have been published solely through online channels. To be clear, in the case of a book published in both physical and electronic formats, the publisher would still be required to deposit the physical format as the “best edition” under section 407, rather than the electronic format.40

    40See 37 CFR 202.19(c)(5).

    The Library has some experience in collecting, preserving and providing limited access to electronic deposits of text-based works under the existing interim rule for electronic serials. But there are some notable differences between online-only books and electronic serials. For example, many electronic serials, such as those in certain commercial journal databases, are accessed on a subscription basis and viewed via a live internet connection. Indeed, it was this fact that originally led the Office to adopt mandatory deposit requirements for electronic serials. As the Office noted in the 2010 interim rule, “subscriptions are typically `access only,' and rarely allow the Library to acquire a `best edition' copy for its collections.” The lack of mandatory deposit in this context thus “place[d] the long-term preservation of the works at risk.” 41

    41 75 FR at 3864.

    Under any rule requiring mandatory deposit of online-only books, the Library proposes to provide public access to such books under the same policies adopted in the 2010 interim rule (which could be included in the regulatory provision itself), which, as noted above, are as follows:

    • Access to electronic works received through mandatory deposit will be as similar as possible to the access provided to analog works.

    • Access to electronic works received through mandatory deposit will be limited, at any one time, to two Library of Congress authorized users.

    • Library of Congress authorized users will access the electronic works via a secure server over a secure network that serves Capitol Hill facilities and remote Library of Congress locations. The term “Library of Congress authorized users” includes Library staff, contractors, and registered researchers, and Members, staff and officers of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. The Library will not make the copyrighted works available to the public over the Internet without rights holders' permissions.

    • Authorized users may print from electronic works to the extent allowed by the fair use provisions of the copyright law (17 U.S.C. 107 and 108(f)), as is the case with traditional publications. However, users may not reproduce or distribute (i.e., download or email) copies of deposited electronic works until the Library has explored the advisability of permitting these options and the security and feasibility of the implementing technologies. As part of this process, the Library will seek comment from the public, including copyright owners and publishers, before adopting additional policies governing electronic copying or distribution by electronic transmission.

    Although the above policies are identical to those articulated in the 2010 interim rule, the Library believes that in the future it may be able to comply with these policies using different technical means than are currently available. In addition, as noted above, the “Best Edition Statement” specifies the criteria that should be applied in cases where a publisher issues two or more editions of the same electronic serial. But these criteria, listed in 37 CFR, part 202, appendix B, do not appear to readily extend to electronic books. To this end, the Library believes it is possible that the criteria specified in the Library's “Recommended Formats Statement” 42 for digital textual works could be adapted for this purpose.

    42https://www.loc.gov/preservation/resources/rfs/TOC.html.

    B. Online-Only Sound Recordings

    The Library has also communicated to the Copyright Office its interest in acquiring online-only sound recordings under section 407. Demands would issue only for sound recordings that are fixed and published solely in online-only electronic format. In the case of a sound recording published in both physical and electronic form, the publisher would be required to deposit the physical format as the “best edition,” rather than the electronic version.43

    43See 37 CFR 202.19(c)(5).

    As with online-only books, it seems that many, if not most, published sound recordings are available not only via subscription services, but also for purchase and download. As explained above, this is distinct from electronic serials, many of which are accessible to end users only through a subscription service. The Office invites comment on this difference as it may relate to the advisability of extending on-demand deposit requirements to online-only sound recordings, including the need for such mandatory deposit to further the Library's collection and preservation goals.

    Under any rule requiring mandatory deposit of online-only sound recordings, the Library would provide public access to such recordings. The Library currently has a system by which authorized users can access and listen to digitized copies of physical sound recordings collected through other means at the Madison Building of the Library of Congress. Currently, users may access such recordings through six dedicated computer terminals.44 The Library, however, expects to modify this system to bring it into compliance with the policies identified in the 2010 interim rule before it is used to provide access to any online-only sound recordings obtained via mandatory deposit. Those policies are:

    44 The Library's Motion Picture, Broadcasting, and Recorded Sound Division currently allows Library patrons to listen to digitized versions of sound recordings in its Recorded Sound Collection via either one of five dedicated computers located in the Recorded Sound Reference Center's main listening room in the Madison Building, or at an additional terminal located in a private listening room set off from the main listening room. See generally Guidelines for Listening to Sound Recordings, Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/rr/record/rrinstructions.html. Public use of these facilities is by appointment only; in advance of the appointment, the Library digitizes any requested materials and copies those materials onto a server located at the Packard Campus of the National Audio-Visual Conservation Center of the Library, located in Culpeper, Virginia. The content is then downloaded to the Madison Building terminals via a 75-mile dedicated fiber optic cable network that connects the Packard Campus to the Library's Capitol Hill facilities. In describing this arrangement, the Copyright Office does not mean to suggest an opinion on the copyright implications of such a system.

    • Access to electronic works received through mandatory deposit will be as similar as possible to the access provided to analog works.

    • Access to electronic works received through mandatory deposit will be limited, at any one time, to two Library of Congress authorized users.

    • Library of Congress authorized users will access the electronic works via a secure server over a secure network that serves Capitol Hill facilities and remote Library of Congress locations. The term “Library of Congress authorized users” includes Library staff, contractors, and registered researchers, and Members, staff and officers of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. The Library will not make the copyrighted works available to the public over the Internet without rights holders' permissions.

    • Users may not reproduce or distribute (i.e., download or email) copies of deposited electronic works until the Library has explored the advisability of permitting these options and the security and feasibility of the implementing technologies. As part of this process, the Library will seek comment from the public, including copyright owners and publishers, before adopting additional policies governing electronic copying or distribution by electronic transmission.

    Again, although, with the exception of the policy regarding printing of electronic works, the above policies are identical to those articulated in the 2010 interim rule, the Library believes that in the future it may be able to comply with these policies using different technical means than are currently available. In addition, no “best edition” criteria exist yet for online-only sound recordings. Here too, however, the Library is proposing that the criteria specified in the Library's “Recommended Formats Statement” 45 for digital audio works could be adapted for this purpose.

    45https://www.loc.gov/preservation/resources/rfs/TOC.html.

    III. Subjects of Inquiry

    The Office invites written comments on the general subjects below. A party choosing to respond to this notice of inquiry need not address every subject, but the Office requests that responding parties clearly identify and separately address each subject for which a response is submitted. In responding, please identify your particular interest in and experience with these issues.

    1. Please comment on the efficacy of the 2010 interim rule, including whether it adequately addresses the digital collection and preservation needs of the Library of Congress, whether it has adequately addressed the concerns of affected parties, and whether it is a good framework for further developing section 407.

    2. Please comment on the Library's adopted policies as to the interim rule and/or their application to online-only books and/or sound recordings.

    3. Please comment on the information technology, security, and/or other requirements that should apply to the Library's receipt and storage of, and public access to, any online-only books and/or sound recordings collected under section 407.

    4. Please provide comments and observations regarding the application of “best edition” requirements to online-only books and/or sound recordings, including whether and how the “best edition” criteria for electronic serials found in part 202 of 37 CFR, appendix B, or the guidelines from the Library's Recommended Formats Statement, might or might not be adapted to address these additional categories of online-only works.

    Dated: May 11, 2016. Maria A. Pallante, Register of Copyrights, U.S. Copyright Office.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11613 Filed 5-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 1410-30-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 52 [EPA-R09-OAR-2016-0070 FRL-9945-23-Region 9] Approval of California State Air Plan Revisions, Eastern Kern Air Pollution Control District AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Proposed rule.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve revisions to the Eastern Kern Air Pollution Control District (EKAPCD) portion of the California State Implementation Plan (SIP). These revisions concern administrative changes of a previously approved regulation and emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from aerospace coating assembly and coating operations and metal, plastic and pleasure craft parts and products coating operations. We are proposing to approve local rules to regulate these activities under the Clean Air Act (CAA or the Act).

    DATES:

    Any comments on this proposal must arrive by June 16, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-R09-OAR-2016-0070 at http://www.regulations.gov, or via email to [email protected] For comments submitted at Regulations.gov, follow the online instructions for submitting comments. Once submitted, comments cannot be edited or removed from Regulations.gov. For either manner of submission, the EPA may publish any comment received to its public docket. Do not submit electronically any information you consider to be Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Multimedia submissions (audio, video, etc.) must be accompanied by a written comment. The written comment is considered the official comment and should include discussion of all points you wish to make. The EPA will generally not consider comments or comment contents located outside of the primary submission (i.e., on the Web, cloud, or other file sharing system). For additional submission methods, please contact the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section. For the full EPA public comment policy, information about CBI or multimedia submissions, and general guidance on making effective comments, please visit http://www2.epa.gov/dockets/commenting-epa-dockets.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Vanessa Graham, EPA Region IX, (415) 947-4120, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Throughout this document, “we,” “us” and “our” refer to the EPA. This proposal addresses the following EKAPCD rules: Rule 103.1, “Inspection of Public Records,” Rule 410.4, “Metal, Plastic, and Pleasure Craft Parts and Products Coating Operations,” and Rule 410.8, “Aerospace Assembly and Coating Operations.” In the Rules and Regulations section of this Federal Register, we are approving these local rules in a direct final action without prior proposal because we believe these SIP revisions are not controversial. If we receive adverse comments, however, we will publish a timely withdrawal of the direct final rule and address the comments in subsequent action based on this proposed rule. Please note that if we receive adverse comment on a particular rule, we may adopt as final those rules that are not the subject of an adverse comment.

    We do not plan to open a second comment period, so anyone interested in commenting should do so at this time. If we do not receive adverse comments, no further activity is planned. For further information, please see the direct final action.

    Dated: April 4, 2016. Jared Blumenfeld, Regional Administrator, Region IX.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11513 Filed 5-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Surface Transportation Board 49 CFR Part 1122 [Docket No. EP 731] Rules Relating to Board-Initiated Investigations AGENCY:

    Surface Transportation Board.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed rulemaking.

    SUMMARY:

    Through this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, the Surface Transportation Board (Board or STB) is proposing rules for investigations conducted on the Board's own initiative pursuant to the Surface Transportation Board Reauthorization Act of 2015.

    DATES:

    Comments are due by June 15, 2016. Replies are due by July 15, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments and replies may be submitted either via the Board's e-filing format or in the traditional paper format. Any person using e-filing should attach a document and otherwise comply with the instructions at the E-FILING link on the Board's Web site, at http://www.stb.dot.gov. Any person submitting a filing in the traditional paper format should send an original and 10 copies to: Surface Transportation Board, Attn: EP 731, 395 E Street SW., Washington, DC 20423-0001. Copies of written comments and replies will be available for viewing and self-copying at the Board's Public Docket Room, Room 131, and will be posted to the Board's Web site.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Scott M. Zimmerman at (202) 245-0386. [Assistance for the hearing impaired is available through the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339.]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Section 12 of the STB Reauthorization Act authorizes the Board to investigate, on its own initiative, issues that are “of national or regional significance” and are subject to the Board's jurisdiction under 49 U.S.C. Subtitle IV, Part A. Under the statute, the Board must issue rules implementing this investigative authority not later than one year after the date of enactment of the STB Reauthorization Act (by December 18, 2016).

    The Board accordingly proposes regulations, to be set forth at 49 CFR part 1122, establishing procedures for investigations conducted on the Board's own initiative pursuant to Section 12 of the STB Reauthorization Act. The proposed regulations would not apply to other types of investigations that the Board may conduct.

    Introduction

    The STB Reauthorization Act provides a basic framework for conducting investigations on the Board's own initiative, as follows:

    Within 30 days after initiating an investigation, the Board must provide notice to parties under investigation stating the basis for such investigation. The Board may only investigate issues that are of national or regional significance. Parties under investigation have a right to file a written statement describing all or any facts and circumstances concerning a matter under investigation, and the Board has an obligation to separate the investigative and decisionmaking functions of Board staff to the extent practicable.

    Investigations must be dismissed if they are not concluded with “administrative finality within one year after commencement.” 1 In any such investigation, Board staff must make available to the parties under investigation and the Board Members any recommendations made as a result of the investigation and a summary of the findings that support such recommendations. Within 90 days of receiving the recommendations and summary of findings, the Board must either dismiss the investigation if no further action is warranted, or initiate a proceeding to determine whether a provision of 49 U.S.C. Subtitle IV, Part A has been violated. Any remedy that the Board may order as a result of such a proceeding may only be applied prospectively.

    1 S. Rep. No. 114-52, 12 (2015) (explaining that the one-year deadline for investigations conducted on the Board's own initiative does not include any Board proceeding conducted subsequent to the investigation).

    The STB Reauthorization Act further requires that the rules issued under Section 12 must comply with the requirements of 49 U.S.C. 11701(d) (as amended by the STB Reauthorization Act), satisfy due process requirements, and take into account ex parte constraints.

    Summary of Proposed Rules

    To implement this statutory framework for investigations, the Board is proposing a three-stage process, consisting of (1) Preliminary Fact-Finding, (2) Board-Initiated Investigations, and (3) Formal Board Proceedings. Each of these stages is described below and defined in § 1122.1 of the proposed regulations provided in this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. Section 1122.2 defines the scope and applicability of the proposed regulations, stating that they would apply only to Board matters subject to Section 12 of the STB Reauthorization Act.

    1. Preliminary Fact-Finding

    During the Preliminary Fact-Finding stage, Board staff would conduct a nonpublic inquiry regarding an issue to determine if there is a potential violation of 49 U.S.C. Subtitle IV, Part A, of national or regional significance that warrants a Board-Initiated Investigation. Information identifying a potential violation of national or regional significance could come from a variety of sources, including, but not limited to, third party tips, referrals from other agencies or Congress, reports submitted to the Board, or news articles.

    The goal of Preliminary Fact-Finding would be for Board staff to decide whether to close its fact-gathering or request authorization to open a Board-Initiated Investigation and determine if a violation has in fact occurred. See § 1122.3 (describing the Preliminary Fact-Finding process). To assist in making this determination, Board staff may request that parties voluntarily provide testimony, information, or documents. (As an investigation will not have been formally initiated, Board staff would not have authority to issue subpoenas to compel testimony or the production of information or documents during Preliminary Fact-Finding. Cf. §§ 1122.3 & 1122.9.) Under the proposed rules, Board staff would terminate Preliminary Fact-Finding if it becomes evident from information available to Board staff that (1) the potential violation was not of national or regional significance or was not subject to the Board's jurisdiction under 49 U.S.C. Subtitle IV, Part A, or (2) no violation likely occurred. However, if Board staff were to decide that (1) a violation of Part A subject to the Board's jurisdiction may have occurred and (2) that the potential violation may be of national or regional significance warranting the opening of a staff investigation, staff would seek authorization from the Board to pursue a Board-Initiated Investigation.

    As a matter of policy, Preliminary Fact-Finding generally would be nonpublic and confidential, subject to the provisions found in § 1122.6,2 in order to protect the integrity of any subsequent investigation and to protect parties involved from possibly unwarranted reputational or other harm.

    2 Section 1122.6 allows the public disclosure of information and documents obtained during Preliminary Fact-Finding or a Board-Initiated Investigation, and the existence of Preliminary Fact-Finding or a Board-Initiated Investigation, under certain circumstances.

    2. Board-Initiated Investigation

    To commence a Board-Initiated Investigation (which statutorily must conclude with administrative finality within one year), the Board would issue an Order of Investigation and provide a copy of the order to the parties under investigation within 30 days of issuance. See §§ 1122.4 & 1122.5. The Board may commence a Board-Initiated Investigation with or without Board staff having conducted Preliminary Fact-Finding. The Order of Investigation would state the basis for the investigation and identify the Investigating Officer(s) who would be conducting the investigation for the Board. See § 1122.4.

    As with Preliminary Fact-Finding, Board-Initiated Investigations generally would be nonpublic and confidential, except as provided by § 1122.6, in order to protect the integrity of the process and to protect parties under investigation from possibly unwarranted reputational damage or other harm. Parties who are not the subject of the investigation would not be able to intervene or participate as a matter of right in Board-Initiated Investigations. Section 1122.8.

    The goal of the Board-Initiated Investigation would be for the Investigating Officer(s) to decide whether to recommend to the Board that it dismiss the investigation or open a proceeding to determine if a violation of 49 U.S.C. Subtitle IV, Part A occurred. To assist in making this determination, the Investigating Officer(s) would be able to interview or depose witnesses, inspect property and facilities, and request the production of any information, documents, books, papers, correspondence, memoranda, agreements or other records, in any form or media, potentially relevant or material to the basis for the Board-Initiated Investigation, with the power of subpoena to compel the production of documents or testimony of witnesses, if necessary. See § 1122.9. Any persons or entities producing such information or documents to the Board would be required to follow the procedures set forth at § 1122.7 in order to preserve any relevant confidentiality claims and to submit the certifications required in § 1122.11(a), regarding the diligence of any search, and (b) regarding responsive documents withheld based on claims of privilege. Persons or entities providing testimony or producing information or documents to the Board would be subject to the provisions of § 1122.11(c) concerning false statements.

    Under the proposed regulations, the Investigating Officer(s) would be required to conclude the Board-Initiated Investigation no later than 275 days after issuance of the Order of Investigation and, at that time, submit to the Board and the parties under investigation any recommendations made as a result of the Board-Initiated Investigation and a summary of the findings that support such recommendations. See § 1122.5(b). The proposed 275-day timeline would provide Board Members the maximum statutory time allotted (i.e., 90 days) to review the Investigating Officer(s)' recommendations and summary of findings and decide whether to dismiss the Board-Initiated Investigation or open a Formal Board Proceeding, while still concluding the Board-Initiated Investigation with administrative finality within one year of its commencement. See § 1122.5(b) & (c).

    The Board recognizes that potential violations that are “of national or regional significance” could have serious and far-reaching consequences. The Board, therefore, will endeavor to resolve Board-Initiated Investigations as soon as possible. To be clear, 275 days would be the maximum amount of time for the Investigating Officer(s) to submit the recommendations and summary of findings to the Board Members and parties under investigation.

    Investigating Officer(s), in their discretion and time permitting, would have the option of presenting (orally or in writing) their recommendations and/or summary of findings to parties under investigation prior to submitting this information to the Board Members. In such cases, the Investigating Officer(s) would be required to permit the parties under investigation to submit a written response to their recommendations and/or summary of findings. The Investigating Officer(s) would then submit their recommendations and summary of findings, as well as any response from the parties under investigation, to the Board members and parties under investigation.

    If the Investigating Officer(s) were to decide not to use the optional provisions described above, parties subject to investigation would still be allowed to submit written statements to the Board at any time pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 11701(d)(3). See § 1122.12.

    3. Formal Board Proceeding

    Upon receipt of the recommendations and summary of findings from the Investigating Officers, the Board would decide whether to open a public Formal Board Proceeding to determine whether a provision of 49 U.S.C. Subtitle IV, Part A had been violated. If so, the Board would issue a public Order to Show Cause as described in § 1122.5(c) and (d). The Order to Show Cause would state the basis for the proceeding and set forth a procedural schedule. See § 1122.5(d).

    4. Other Related Issues

    Separation of Investigation and Decisionmaking Functions. In all matters governed by the regulations proposed at 49 CFR part 1122, the Board would separate the investigative and decisionmaking functions of Board staff, to the extent practicable. See 49 U.S.C. 11701(d)(5); § 1122.4.

    Ex Parte Communications. Section 12(c)(3) of the STB Reauthorization Act requires the Board, in issuing these rules, to take into account ex parte constraints. Consistent with analogous ex parte constraints in other procedures at the Board, the Board Members, as a matter of policy, would not engage in off-the-record verbal communications concerning the matters under investigation with parties subject to Board-Initiated Investigations. However, as provided in § 1122.12, parties under investigation would have the right to submit written statements to the Board at any time.

    Settlement. During Board-Initiated Investigations, the Investigating Officer(s) would be able to engage in settlement negotiations with parties under investigation. If, at any time during the investigation, the Investigating Officer(s) and parties under investigation reach a tentative settlement agreement, the Investigating Officer(s) would submit the settlement agreement as part of their proposed recommendations to the Board Members for approval or disapproval, along with the summary of findings supporting the proposed agreement. The Board would then decide, in accordance with § 1122.5, whether to approve the agreement and/or dismiss the investigation or open a Formal Board Proceeding.

    Conclusion

    The proposed regulations described above and set forth below implement the investigative authority conferred to the Board in the STB Reauthorization Act, in conformance with the requirements of Section 12. The Board invites public comment on the proposed regulations described herein.

    Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (RFA), 5 U.S.C. 601-612, generally requires a description and analysis of new rules that would have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. In drafting a rule, an agency is required to: (1) Assess the effect that its regulation will have on small entities; (2) analyze effective alternatives that may minimize a regulation's impact; and (3) make the analysis available for public comment. Sections 601-604. In its notice of proposed rulemaking, the agency must either include an initial regulatory flexibility analysis, Section 603(a), or certify that the proposed rule would not have a “significant impact on a substantial number of small entities.” Section 605(b). The impact must be a direct impact on small entities “whose conduct is circumscribed or mandated” by the proposed rule. White Eagle Coop. v. Conner, 553 F.3d 467, 480 (7th Cir. 2009).

    The proposed regulations here only specify procedures related to investigations of matters of regional or national significance conducted on the Board's own initiative and do not mandate or circumscribe the conduct of small entities. Therefore, the Board certifies under 5 U.S.C. 605(b) that this rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities as defined by the RFA. A copy of this decision will be served upon the Chief Counsel for Advocacy, Office of Advocacy, U.S. Small Business Administration, Washington, DC 20416.

    List of Subjects in 49 CFR part 1122

    Investigations.

    It is ordered:

    1. Comments are due by June 15, 2016. Replies are due by July 15, 2016.

    2. A copy of this decision will be served upon Chief Counsel for Advocacy, Office of Advocacy, U.S. Small Business Administration.

    3. Notice of this decision will be published in the Federal Register.

    4. This decision is effective on its service date.

    Decided: May 6, 2016.

    By the Board, Chairman Elliott, Vice Chairman Miller, and Commissioner Begeman.

    Kenyatta Clay, Clearance Clerk.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, the Surface Transportation Board proposes to amend title 49, chapter X, subchapter B, of the Code of Federal Regulations by adding part 1122 to read as follows:

    PART 1122—BOARD-INITIATED INVESTIGATIONS Sec. 1122.1 Definitions. 1122.2 Scope and applicability of this part. 1122.3 Preliminary Fact-Finding. 1122.4 Board-Initiated Investigations. 1122.5 Procedural rules. 1122.6 Confidentiality. 1122.7 Request for confidential treatment. 1122.8 Limitation on participation. 1122.9 Power of persons conducting Board-Initiated Investigations. 1122.10 Transcripts. 1122.11 Certifications and false statements. 1122.12 Right to submit statements. Appendix A to Part 1122—Informal Procedure Relating to Recommendations and Summary of Findings From the Board-Initiated Investigation Authority:

    49 U.S.C. 1321, 11144, 11701.

    § 1122.1 Definitions.

    (a) Board-Initiated Investigation means an investigation instituted by the Board pursuant to an Order of Investigation and conducted in accordance with Section 12 of the Surface Transportation Board Reauthorization Act of 2015, now incorporated and codified at 49 U.S.C. 11701.

    (b) Formal Board Proceeding means a public proceeding instituted by the Board pursuant to an Order to Show Cause after a Board-Initiated Investigation has been conducted.

    (c) Investigating officer(s) means the individual(s) designated by the Board in an Order of Investigation to conduct a Board-Initiated Investigation.

    (d) Preliminary fact-finding means an inquiry conducted by Board staff prior to the opening of a Board-Initiated Investigation.

    § 1122.2 Scope and applicability of this part.

    This part applies only to matters subject to Section 12 of the Surface Transportation Board Reauthorization Act of 2015, 49 U.S.C. 11701.

    § 1122.3 Preliminary Fact-Finding.

    The Board staff may, in its discretion, conduct nonpublic Preliminary Fact-Finding, subject to the provisions of § 1122.6, to determine if an alleged violation could be of national or regional significance and subject to the Board's jurisdiction under 49 U.S.C. Subtitle IV, Part A, and warrants a Board-Initiated Investigation. Where it appears from Preliminary Fact-Finding that a Board-Initiated Investigation is appropriate, staff shall so recommend to the Board. Where it appears from the Preliminary Fact-Finding that a Board-Initiated Investigation is not appropriate, staff shall conclude its Preliminary Fact-Finding and notify any parties involved that the process has been terminated.

    § 1122.4 Board-Initiated Investigations.

    The Board may, in its discretion, commence a nonpublic Board-Initiated Investigation of any matter of national or regional significance that is subject to the jurisdiction of the Board under 49 U.S.C. Subtitle IV, Part A, subject to the provisions of § 1122.6, by issuing an Order of Investigation. Orders of Investigation shall state the basis for the Board-Initiated Investigation and identify the Investigating Officer(s). The Board may add or remove Investigating Officer(s) during the course of a Board-Initiated Investigation. To the extent practicable, an Investigating Officer shall not participate in any decisionmaking functions in any Formal Board Proceeding(s) opened as a result of any Board-Initiated Investigation(s) that he or she conducted.

    § 1122.5 Procedural rules.

    (a) Not later than 30 days after commencing a Board-Initiated Investigation, the Investigating Officer(s) shall provide the parties under investigation a copy of the Order of Investigation. If the Board adds or removes Investigating Officer(s) during the course of the Board-Initiated Investigation, it shall provide written notification to the parties under investigation.

    (b) Not later than 275 days after issuance of the Order of Investigation, the Investigating Officer(s) shall submit to the Board and the parties under investigation:

    (1) Any recommendations made as a result of the Board-Initiated Investigation; and

    (2) A summary of the findings that support such recommendations.

    (c) Not later than 90 days after receiving the recommendations and summary of findings, the Board shall decide whether to dismiss the Board-Initiated Investigation if no further action is warranted or initiate a Formal Board Proceeding to determine whether any provision of 49 U.S.C. Subtitle IV, Part A, has been violated in accordance with Section 12 of the Surface Transportation Board Reauthorization Act of 2015. The Board shall dismiss any Board-Initiated Investigation that is not concluded with administrative finality within one year after the date on which it was commenced.

    (d) A Formal Board Proceeding commences upon issuance of a public Order to Show Cause. The Order to Show Cause shall state the basis for the Formal Board Proceeding and set forth a procedural schedule.

    § 1122.6 Confidentiality.

    (a) All information and documents obtained under § 1122.3 or § 1122.4, whether or not obtained pursuant to a Board request or subpoena, and all activities conducted by the Board under this part prior to the opening of a Formal Board Proceeding, shall be treated as nonpublic by the Board and its staff except to the extent that:

    (1) The Board directs or authorizes the public disclosure of activities conducted under this part prior to the opening of a Formal Board Proceeding;

    (2) The information or documents are made a matter of public record during the course of an administrative proceeding; or

    (3) Disclosure is required by the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552 or other relevant provision of law.

    (b) Procedures by which persons submitting information to the Board pursuant to this part of title 49, chapter X, subchapter B, of the Code of Federal Regulations may specifically seek confidential treatment of information for purposes of the Freedom of Information Act disclosure are set forth in § 1122.7. A request for confidential treatment of information for purposes of Freedom of Information Act disclosure shall not, however, prevent disclosure for law enforcement purposes or when disclosure is otherwise found appropriate in the public interest and permitted by law.

    § 1122.7 Request for confidential treatment.

    Any person that produces documents to the Board pursuant to § 1122.3 or § 1122.4 may claim that some or all of the information contained in a particular document or documents is exempt from the mandatory public disclosure requirements of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552, is information referred to in 18 U.S.C. 1905, or is otherwise exempt by law from public disclosure. In such case, the person making such a claim shall, at the time the person produces the document to the Board, indicate on the document that a request for confidential treatment is being made for some or all of the information in the document. In such case, the person making such a claim also shall file a brief statement specifying the specific statutory justification for non-disclosure of the information in the document for which confidential treatment is claimed. If the person states that the information comes within the exception in 5 U.S.C. 552(b)(4) for trade secrets and commercial or financial information, and the information is responsive to a subsequent FOIA request to the Board, 49 CFR 1001.4 shall apply.

    § 1122.8 Limitation on participation.

    No party who is not the subject of a Board-Initiated Investigation may intervene or participate as a matter of right in any such Board-Initiated Investigation under this part.

    § 1122.9 Power of persons conducting Board-Initiated Investigations.

    (a) The Investigating Officer(s), in connection with any Board-Initiated Investigation, may interview or depose witnesses, inspect property and facilities, and request and require the production of any information, documents, books, papers, correspondence, memoranda, agreements, or other records, in any form or media, potentially relevant or material to the issues related to the Board-Initiated Investigation. The Investigating Officer(s), in connection with a Board-Initiated Investigation, also may issue subpoenas, in accordance with 49 U.S.C. 1321, to compel the attendance of witnesses, the production of any of the records and other documentary evidence listed above, and access to property and facilities.

    (b) With regard for due process, the Board may for good cause exclude a particular attorney from further participation in any Board-Initiated Investigation in which the attorney is obstructing the Board-Initiated Investigation.

    § 1122.10 Transcripts.

    Transcripts, if any, of investigative testimony shall be recorded solely by the official reporter or other person or by means authorized by the Board or by the Investigating Officer(s).

    § 1122.11 Certifications and false statements.

    (a) When producing documents under this part, the producing party shall submit a statement certifying that such person has made a diligent search for the responsive documents and is producing all the documents called for by the Investigating Officer(s). If any responsive document(s) are not produced for any reason, the producing party shall state the reason therefor.

    (b) If any responsive documents are withheld because of a claim of the attorney-client privilege, work product privilege, or other applicable privilege, the producing party shall submit a list of such documents which shall, for each document, identify the attorney involved, the client involved, the date of the document, the person(s) shown on the document to have prepared and/or sent the document, and the person(s) shown on the document to have received copies of the document.

    (c) Under this part, any person making false statements under oath is subject to criminal penalties for perjury under 18 U.S.C. 1621. Any person who knowingly and willfully makes false or fraudulent statements, whether under oath or otherwise, or who falsifies, conceals, or covers up a material fact, or submits any false writing or document, knowing it to contain false, fictitious, or fraudulent information is subject to the criminal penalties set forth in 18 U.S.C. 1001.

    § 1122.12 Right to submit statements.

    Any party subject to a Board-Initiated Investigation may, at any time during the course of a Board-Initiated Investigation, submit to the Board written statements of facts or circumstances, with any relevant supporting evidence, concerning the subject of that investigation.

    Appendix A to Part 1122—Informal Procedure Relating to Recommendations and Summary of Findings From the Board-Initiated Investigation

    (a) After conducting sufficient investigation and prior to submitting recommendations and a summary of findings to the Board, the Investigating Officer, in his or her discretion, may inform the parties under investigation (orally or in writing) of the proposed recommendations and summary of findings that may be submitted to the Board. If the Investigating Officer so chooses, he or she shall also advise the parties under investigation that they may submit a written statement, as explained below, to the Investigating Officer prior to the consideration by the Board of the recommendations and summary of findings. This optional process is in addition to, and does not limit in any way, the rights of parties under investigation otherwise provided for in this part.

    (b) Unless otherwise provided for by the Investigating Officer, parties under investigation may submit written statement(s) described above within 14 days after of being informed by the Investigating Officer of the proposed recommendation(s) and summary of findings, and such statements shall be no more than 15 pages, double spaced on 81/2 by 11 inch paper, setting forth the views of the parties under investigation of factual or legal matters relevant to the commencement of a Formal Board Proceeding. Any statement of fact included in the submission must be sworn to by a person with personal knowledge of such fact.

    (c) Such written statements, if the parties under investigation choose to submit, shall be submitted to the Investigating Officer. The Investigating Officer shall provide any written statement(s) from the parties under investigation to the Board at the same time that he or she submits his or her recommendations and summary of findings to the Board.

    [FR Doc. 2016-11382 Filed 5-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4915-01-P
    81 95 Tuesday, May 17, 2016 Notices DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Food and Nutrition Service Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request—Information Collection for the Child and Adult Care Food Program AGENCY:

    Food and Nutrition Service, USDA.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice invites the general public and other public agencies to comment on the Agency's proposed information collection for the Child and Adult Care Food Program. This collection is a revision of a currently approved information collection.

    DATES:

    Written comments must be received on or before July 18, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments are invited on: (1) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the Agency's functions, including whether the information will have practical utility; (2) the accuracy of the Agency's estimate of the proposed information collection burden, 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 minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Comments may be sent to Andrea Farmer, Policy and Program Development Division, Child Nutrition Programs, 3101 Park Center Drive, Alexandria, VA 22302. Comments will also be accepted through the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Go to http://www.regulations.gov, and follow the online instructions for submitting comments electronically.

    All responses to this notice will be summarized and included in the request for Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval. All comments will also become a matter of public record.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Requests for additional information or copies of this information collection should be directed to Andrea Farmer, Policy and Program Development Division, Child Nutrition Programs, 3101 Park Center Drive, Alexandria, VA 22302.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: 7 CFR part 226, Child and Adult Care Food Program.

    OMB Number: 0584-0055.

    Expiration Date: September 30, 2016.

    Type of Request: Revision of a currently approved collection.

    Abstract: Section 17 of the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act (NSLA), as amended, (42 U.S.C. 1766), authorizes the CACFP to provide cash reimbursement and commodity assistance, on a per meal basis, for food service to children in nonresidential child care centers and family day care homes, and to eligible adults in nonresidential adult day care centers. The U.S. Department of Agriculture, through the Food and Nutrition Service, has established application, monitoring, and reporting requirements to manage the CACFP effectively. The purpose of this submission to OMB is to obtain approval to continue the discussed information collection. States and service institutions participating in the CACFP will submit to FNS account and record information reflecting their efforts to comply with statutory and regulatory Program requirements. Examples of data collected and reported with this collection include, but are not limited to: applications and supporting documents; records of enrollment; records supporting the free and reduced price eligibility determinations; daily records indicating numbers of program participants in attendance and the number of meals served by type and category; and receipts, invoices and other records of CACFP costs and documentation of non-profit operation of food service.

    This is a revision of a currently approved collection. It revises reporting burden as a result of increases in the number of sponsoring organizations and facilities, and an increase in the number of enrolled participants, who are required to submit information. It also adds a new requirement for written documentation when requesting substitutions for fluid milk or food components for participants with special non-disability, dietary needs. This requirement is added by the regulation Child and Adult Care Food Program: Meal Pattern Revisions Related to the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, published April 25, 2016 to 7 CFR 226.20 (g) Exceptions and variations in reimbursable meals.

    This revision removes two reporting requirements that had been duplicated in the current burden estimate (i.e. counted twice), and one typed error in the number of day care home sponsors, which reduce the burden. Current OMB inventory for this collection consists of 2,234,840 hours. As a result of program changes and adjustments, program burden was increased slightly by 236,715 hours since last renewal. The average burden per response and the annual burden hours for reporting and recordkeeping are explained below and summarized in the charts which follow.

    Affected Public: 56 State agencies, 21,052 Institutions, 180,740 facilities (includes 113,847, family day care homes and 66,893 sponsored center facilities) and 4,055,172 households.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 4,257,020.

    Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: 1.824365.

    Estimated Total Annual Responses: 7,766,360.

    Estimate Time per Response: 0.318238 hrs.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden: 2,471,555 hrs.

    Current OMB Inventory for Part 226: 2,234,840 hrs.

    Difference (change in burden with this renewal): 236,715 hrs.

    Refer to the table below for estimated total annual burden.

    Affected public Estimated number of
  • respondents
  • Number of
  • responses per respondent
  • Total annual
  • responses
  • Estimated total hours per
  • response
  • Estimated total burden
    Reporting State Agencies 56 564.16 31,593 0.176 5,544.92 Sponsor/Institution 21,052 26.31 553,808 1.1136 616,697.18 Facility 180,740 12.00 2,168,880 0.407 883,761.00 Individual/Household 4,055,172 1.05 4,274,151 0.0830 354,827.55 Total Estimated Reporting Burden 4,257,020 7,028,432 1,860,830.66 Recordkeeping State Agencies 56 27.00 1,512 1.3704 2,072 Sponsor/Institution 21,052 9.22 194,196 0.3421 66,432 Facility 180,740 3.00 542,220 1.000 542,220 Total Estimated Recordkeeping Burden 201,848 737,928 610,724 Total of Reporting and Recordkeeping CACFP Reporting 4,257,020 1.6510 7,028,432 0.2647 1,860,831 Recordkeeping 201,848 3.6559 737,928 0.8276 610,724 Total 4,257,020 7,766,360 2,471,555
    Dated: May 9, 2016. Audrey Rowe, Administrator, Food and Nutrition Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11559 Filed 5-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-30-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [B-32-2016] Foreign-Trade Zone 110—Albuquerque, New Mexico; Application for Reorganization Under Alternative Site Framework

    An application has been submitted to the Foreign-Trade Zones (FTZ) Board by the City of Albuquerque, New Mexico, grantee of FTZ 110, requesting authority to reorganize the zone under the alternative site framework (ASF) adopted by the FTZ Board (15 CFR 400.2(c)). The ASF is an option for grantees for the establishment or reorganization of zones and can permit significantly greater flexibility in the designation of new subzones or “usage-driven” FTZ sites for operators/users located within a grantee's “service area” in the context of the FTZ Board's standard 2,000-acre activation limit for a zone. The application was submitted pursuant to 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 May 10, 2016.

    FTZ 110 was approved by the FTZ Board on October 30, 1984 (Board Order 279, 49 FR 44516, November 7, 1984) and expanded on March 29, 2002 (Board Order 1214, 67 FR 17048-17049, April 9, 2002).

    The current zone includes the following site: Site 1 (62 acres)—Albuquerque International Sunport Airport Complex, University and Spirit Drive, Albuquerque.

    The grantee's proposed service area under the ASF would include all of Bernalillo, Sandoval, Santa Fe, Torrance, Socorro and Valencia Counties, New Mexico, as described in the application. If approved, the grantee would be able to serve sites throughout the service area based on companies' needs for FTZ designation. The application indicates that the proposed service area is within and adjacent to the Albuquerque, New Mexico U.S. Customs and Border Protection port of entry.

    The applicant is requesting authority to reorganize its existing zone to include the existing site as a “magnet” site. The ASF allows for the possible exemption of one magnet site from the “sunset” time limits that generally apply to sites under the ASF, and the applicant proposes that Site 1 be so exempted. No subzones/usage-driven sites are being requested at this time. The application would have no impact on FTZ 110's previously authorized subzones.

    In accordance with the FTZ Board's regulations, Christopher Kemp of the FTZ Staff is designated examiner to evaluate and analyze the facts and information presented in the application and case record and to report findings and recommendations to the FTZ Board.

    Public comment is invited from interested parties. Submissions shall be addressed to the FTZ Board's Executive Secretary at the address below. The closing period for their receipt is July 18, 2016. Rebuttal comments in response to material submitted during the foregoing period may be submitted during the subsequent 15-day period to August 1, 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 FTZ Board's Web site, which is accessible via www.trade.gov/ftz. For further information, contact Christopher Kemp at [email protected] or (202) 482-0862.

    Dated: May 10, 2016. Andrew McGilvray, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11546 Filed 5-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [B-33-2016] Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 281—Miami, Florida, Notification of Proposed Production Activity, Alpha Marketing Network, Inc. d/b/a AMN Distributors, (Kitting—Wine Gift Sets), Miami, Florida

    Miami-Dade County, grantee of FTZ 281, submitted a notification of proposed production activity to the FTZ Board on behalf of Alpha Marketing Network, Inc. d/b/a AMN Distributors (AMN), located in Miami, Florida. The notification conforming to the requirements of the regulations of the FTZ Board (15 CFR 400.22) was received on May 3, 2016.

    The AMN facility is located within Site 41 of FTZ 281. The facility is used for the kitting of Irish cream wine gift sets. Pursuant to 15 CFR 400.14(b), FTZ activity would be limited to the specific foreign-status materials and components and specific finished products described in the submitted notification (as described below) and subsequently authorized by the FTZ Board.

    Production under FTZ procedures could exempt AMN from customs duty payments on foreign status materials used in export production. On its domestic sales, AMN would be able to choose the duty rate during customs entry procedures that applies to finished Irish cream wine gift sets (4.2¢/liter) for the inputs noted below. Customs duties also could possibly be deferred or reduced on foreign status production equipment.

    The components sourced from abroad include: Irish cream gift boxes/paper/master; drinking glasses; and, Irish cream wine (duty rate ranges from free to 28.5%; 4.2¢/liter).

    Public comment is invited from interested parties. Submissions shall be addressed to the FTZ Board's Executive Secretary at the address below. The closing period for their receipt is June 27, 2016.

    A copy of the notification 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 FTZ Board's Web site, which is accessible via www.trade.gov/ftz.

    For further information, contact Pierre Duy at [email protected] or (202) 482-1378.

    Dated: May 10, 2016. Andrew McGilvray, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11547 Filed 5-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Foreign-Trade Zones Board [B-34-2016] Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 121—Albany, New York; Notification of Proposed Production Activity; Townsend Leather Company, Inc., (Finished Upholstery Grade Leather, Cut Parts and Product Samples); Johnstown, New York

    The Capital District Regional Planning Commission, grantee of FTZ 121, submitted a notification of proposed production activity to the FTZ Board on behalf of Townsend Leather Company, Inc. (Townsend), located in Johnstown, New York. The notification conforming to the requirements of the regulations of the FTZ Board (15 CFR 400.22) was received on May 9, 2016.

    The Townsend facility is located within Site 7 of FTZ 121. The facility is used to produce finished upholstery grade leather, cut parts and product samples. The products are used in aviation/motor vehicle/yacht interiors, interior design and fashion accessories. Pursuant to 15 CFR 400.14(b), FTZ activity would be limited to the specific foreign-status material and specific finished products described in the submitted notification (as described below) and subsequently authorized by the FTZ Board.

    Production under FTZ procedures could exempt Townsend from customs duty payments on the foreign-status components used in export production. On its domestic sales, Townsend would be able to choose the duty rates during customs entry procedures that apply to finished upholstery grade leather, cut parts and product samples (duty rates range from free to 2.9%) for the foreign-status upholstery grade pearl crust leather hides (duty rate, 2.8%). Customs duties also could possibly be deferred or reduced on foreign-status production equipment.

    Public comment is invited from interested parties. Submissions shall be addressed to the FTZ Board's Executive Secretary at the address below. The closing period for their receipt is June 27, 2016.

    A copy of the notification 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 FTZ Board's Web site, which is accessible via www.trade.gov/ftz.

    For further information, contact Diane Finver at [email protected] or (202) 482-1367.

    Dated: May 10, 2016. Andrew McGilvray, Executive Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11549 Filed 5-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DS-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration RIN 0648-XE612 Fisheries of the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and South Atlantic; Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico; Amendment 41 AGENCY:

    National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice of Intent (NOI) to prepare a draft environmental impact statement (DEIS); request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The NMFS Southeast Region in collaboration with the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) intends to prepare a DEIS to describe and analyze a range of alternatives for management actions to be included in Amendment 41 to the Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for the Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico (Amendment 41). Amendment 41 will consider management approaches for the harvest of red snapper from vessels with a Gulf Charter Vessel/Headboat Permit for Reef Fish that do not participate in the Southeast Region Headboat Survey. The purpose of this NOI is to solicit public comments on the scope of issues to be addressed in the DEIS.

    DATES:

    Written comments on the scope of issues to be addressed in the DEIS will be accepted until June 16, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by NOAA-NMFS-2016-0057, by either of the following methods:

    Electronic submission: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2016-0057, click the “Comment Now!” icon, complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments.

    Mail: Submit written comments to Cynthia Meyer, NMFS Southeast Regional Office, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701.

    Instructions: Comments sent by any other method, to any other address or individual, or received after the end of the comment period, may not be considered by NMFS. All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted for public viewing on www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying information (e.g., name, address, etc.), confidential business information, or otherwise sensitive information submitted voluntarily by the sender will be publicly accessible. NMFS will accept anonymous comments (enter “N/A” in the required fields if you wish to remain anonymous).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Cynthia Meyer, NMFS Southeast Regional Office, telephone: 727-824-5305; or email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Council recently took action to provide more flexibility in managing the harvest of red snapper by the various components of the Gulf reef fish recreational sector. In 2014, the Council established separate private angling and Federal charter vessel/headboat (for-hire) components of the red snapper recreational sector. There has been a decrease over time in the proportion of red snapper harvested by anglers fishing from Federal for-hire vessels and differences in regulatory environments faced by Federal for-hire operators and private anglers. These factors contributed to the Council's decision to restructure the red snapper recreational sector to increase flexibility for each component.

    The purpose of Amendment 41 is to develop a management approach for federally permitted Gulf reef fish charter vessels that reduces management uncertainty, provides flexibility and improves economic conditions for the owners and operators of Federal charter vessels, and increases opportunities for anglers who fish from Federal charter vessels to harvest red snapper.

    NMFS, in collaboration with the Council, will develop a DEIS for Amendment 41 to describe and analyze alternatives to address the management needs described above, including the “no action” alternative. In accordance with the regulations issued by the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) for implementing the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA; 40 CFR parts 1500-1508), NMFS, in collaboration with the Council, has identified preliminary environmental issues as a means to initiate discussion for scoping purposes only. These preliminary issues may not represent the full range of issues that eventually will be evaluated in the DEIS. A copy of the Amendment 41 draft options paper is available at: http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sustainable_fisheries/gulf_fisheries/reef_fish/index.html.

    Comments on the scope of the DEIS may be submitted in writing to NMFS (see ADDRESSES) during the 30-day scoping period. After the scoping period and throughout the development of Amendment 41, the Council will accept written comments on the action, and oral comments may be made during the public testimony portion of any Council meeting. The upcoming Council meetings will be in Clearwater Beach, Florida on June 20-24, 2016, and New Orleans, Louisiana on August 15-19, 2016.

    After the DEIS associated with Amendment 41 is completed, it will be filed with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). After filing, the EPA will publish a notice of availability of the DEIS for public comment in the Federal Register. Consistent with the CEQ regulations, the DEIS will have a 45-day public comment period.

    The Council and NMFS will consider public comments received on the DEIS in developing the final environmental impact statement (FEIS) and before adopting final management measures for the amendment. NMFS will submit the consolidated final amendment and supporting FEIS to the Secretary of Commerce (Secretary) for review as required by the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.

    NMFS will announce, through a notification in the Federal Register, the availability of the final amendment for public review during the Department of Commerce Secretarial review period and will consider all public comments. During Secretarial review, NMFS will also file the FEIS with the EPA, and the EPA will publish a notice of availability for the FEIS in the Federal Register. This public comment period is expected to be concurrent with the Secretarial review period and will end prior to final agency action to approve, disapprove, or partially approve the Amendment 41.

    NMFS will announce, through a document published in the Federal Register, all public comment periods on the final amendment, its proposed implementing regulations, and the availability of its associated FEIS. NMFS will consider all public comments received during the Secretarial review period, whether they are on the final amendment, the proposed regulations, or the FEIS, prior to final agency action.

    Authority:

    16 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.

    Dated: May 11, 2016. Emily H. Menashes, Acting Director, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, National Marine Fisheries Service.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11574 Filed 5-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE National Telecommunications and Information Administration [Docket No. 160509408-6408-01] RIN 0660-XC026 Input on Proposals and Positions for 2016 World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly AGENCY:

    National Telecommunications and Information Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for public comment.

    SUMMARY:

    The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) seeks input from stakeholders and interested parties to help develop its proposals and positions regarding matters that will be addressed at the upcoming 2016 World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA-2016) of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), being held from October 25 to November 3, 2016. The results of this Notice and Request for Public Comment will be reflected in NTIA's recommendations for U.S. proposals and positions to the U.S. Department of State, which is coordinating the WTSA-2016 preparatory process.

    DATES:

    Comments are due on or before June 16, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Written comments may be submitted by mail to Vernita D. Harris, Deputy Associate Administrator, Office of International Affairs, National Telecommunications and Information Administration, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Room 4701, Washington, DC 20230. Comments may also be submitted electronically to [email protected] or to [email protected] Comments provided electronically should be submitted in a text searchable format using standard Microsoft Word or Adobe PDF. Comments will be posted to NTIA's Web site at https://www.ntia.doc.gov/federal-register-notice/2016/wtsa16-rfc-comments.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For questions about this Notice contact: Vernita D. Harris, Deputy Associate Administrator, Office of International Affairs, National Telecommunications and Information Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, 1401 Constitution Avenue NW., Room 4701, Washington, DC 20230; telephone: (202) 482-4686; email: [email protected] Please direct media inquiries to the Office of Public Affairs, NTIA, at (202) 482-7002.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background: The WTSA, which occurs every four years, sets the overall strategic direction and activities for upcoming ITU Telecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU-T) work; defines the general policy for the ITU-T; approves, modifies or rejects ITU-T Standards (known as “recommendations”); and establishes the structure for the ITU-T study groups, approves their expected work program for the next four-year period, and appoints their Chairmen and Vice-Chairmen. The next WTSA conference will be held from October 25 to November 3, 2016, in Yasmine Hammamet, Tunisia. Participants historically include ministers, ambassadors, government delegates, regional and international organizations, and representatives from academia, civil society, and the private sector.

    The U.S. Department of State initiated U.S. preparations for WTSA-2016 in January 2016, which are focused on developing formal U.S. priorities for WTSA-2016.1

    1See Department of State, Notice of Meeting of the International Telecommunication Advisory Committee and Preparations for Upcoming International Communications and Information Policy Meetings, Public Notice: 9399, 81 FR 847 (Jan. 7, 2016).

    NTIA, as the principal adviser to the President on telecommunications and information policy, seeks input from stakeholders and other interested parties to develop its recommendations to the U.S. Department of State and to inform any NTIA delegates who will attend the WTSA. NTIA's participation in the U.S. WTSA-2016 preparatory process is intended to ensure that U.S. proposals and positions support the nation's telecommunications, converged communications infrastructure, information and technology policies to promote economic growth and digital innovation, and do not duplicate the standards development processes of other bodies.

    Discussion: There are numerous standards organizations and fora around the globe focused on various aspects of telecommunication and information policies. No single organization can cover all ground, nor should it try or claim to do so.

    The purpose of this Notice and Request for Public Comment is to seek input from stakeholders and other interested parties to share their perspectives as to whether and how the work of the ITU-T results in standards that meet their needs. We are interested in particular on input related to ITU-T restructuring and work methods and rules of procedure.

    Questions for Public Comment

    NTIA requests comment on the questions below. NTIA also welcomes input and comments on any specific issues being advanced by other countries, private sector organizations, and stakeholders for WTSA-2016.

    (1) Are there overarching objectives and priorities that the U.S. delegation should adopt for WTSA-2016 and the ITU-T? What is the best way for the U.S. delegation to advance and ultimately achieve these objectives and priorities?

    (2) In an environment with a wide range of industry led, multistakeholder standards development organization (SDOs) leading the development of telecommunications and information standards, does an intergovernmental organization, such as the ITU, provide any unique value? How does ITU involvement in global standards development influence, or affect U.S. industry interests in engaging in and promoting the international digital economy?

    (3) What do you believe is the percentage of participation of relevant organizations or companies in the ITU-T study groups? What is the value of this participation in the ITU-T study groups? Does this participation meeting the needs of relevant organizations or companies?

    (4) Is there a wide implementation of the ITU-T recommendations in the United States or elsewhere by relevant organizations or companies? Why or why not? Can you provide examples of these implementations, if any?

    (5) The WTSA-12 Action Plan (see https://www.ntia.doc.gov/files/ntia/WTSA16/WTSA-12-Action-Plan.pdf) identified issues that will be discussed during WTSA-2016. Which of these issues are the most important to focus on in the upcoming WTSA-2016? What positions should be taken with respect to these issues?

    (6) Are the ITU-T work methods and/or rules of procedure effective? Why or why not? What, if any, modifications to ITU-T Resolutions and Recommendations (see https://www.ntia.doc.gov/page/wtsa-12-resolutions-and-opinions) or to the ITU-T working methods or rules of procedure would you recommend to improve efficiency and effectiveness? Are there structural changes to the ITU-T that could make the organization more relevant?

    (7) What are the most important international standardization public policy issues and topics? And why? In what areas or subjects do you believe the ITU-T has a particular role or expertise?

    (8) Assuming the ITU-T study group structure remains as it is today, in which study groups and activities should NTIA prioritize its participation and why?

    (9) How could cooperation and collaboration between ITU-T and other SDOs be strengthened? How could cooperation and collaboration among the three ITU sectors be strengthened?

    (10) The ITU and its membership have identified a standardization gap between developed and developing countries and a need to bridge that gap to ensure greater participation by all countries in the work of the ITU-T. What is the best way to address this gap? Would ITU programs on this topic be better placed within the ITU-D or the ITU-T? What other steps can be taken to bridge this gap?

    NTIA invites comment on the questions set forth in this Notice and Request for Public Comment as well as input on any other issues relevant to NTIA's participation in the ITU-T that will assist NTIA in its consultations with the U.S. Department of State and other U.S. government agencies in preparation for WTSA-2016.

    Dated: May 12, 2016. Lawrence E. Strickling, Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11609 Filed 5-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-60-P
    COMMITTEE FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF TEXTILE AGREEMENTS Determination Under the Textile and Apparel Commercial Availability Provision of the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement (“CAFTA-DR Agreement”) AGENCY:

    The Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements.

    ACTION:

    Determination to add a product in unrestricted quantities to Annex 3.25 of the CAFTA-DR Agreement.

    SUMMARY:

    The Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements (“CITA”) has determined that certain warp stretch woven rayon blend fabrics, as specified below, are not available in commercial quantities in a timely manner in the CAFTA-DR countries. The product will be added to the list in Annex 3.25 of the CAFTA-DR Agreement in unrestricted quantities.

    DATES:

    Effective May 17, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Maria Goodman, Office of Textiles and Apparel, U.S. Department of Commerce, (202) 482-3651.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION ON-LINE:

    http://web.ita.doc.gov/tacgi/CaftaReqTrack.nsf under “Approved Requests,” Reference number: 199.2016.04.12.Fabric.GDLSKforTangTextiles.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Authority:

    The CAFTA-DR Agreement; Section 203(o)(4) of the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act (“CAFTA-DR Implementation Act”), Public Law 109-53; the Statement of Administrative Action, accompanying the CAFTA-DR Implementation Act; and Presidential Proclamations 7987 (February 28, 2006) and 7996 (March 31, 2006).

    Background: The CAFTA-DR Agreement provides a list in Annex 3.25 for fabrics, yarns, and fibers that the Parties to the CAFTA-DR Agreement have determined are not available in commercial quantities in a timely manner in the territory of any Party. The CAFTA-DR Agreement provides that this list may be modified pursuant to Article 3.25.4 and 3.25.5, when the President of the United States determines that a fabric, yarn, or fiber is not available in commercial quantities in a timely manner in the territory of any Party. See Annex 3.25 of the CAFTA-DR Agreement; see also section 203(o)(4)(C) of the CAFTA-DR Implementation Act.

    The CAFTA-DR Implementation Act requires the President to establish procedures governing the submission of a request and providing opportunity for interested entities to submit comments and supporting evidence before a commercial availability determination is made. In Presidential Proclamations 7987 and 7996, the President delegated to CITA the authority under section 203(o)(4) of CAFTA-DR Implementation Act for modifying the Annex 3.25 list. Pursuant to this authority, on September 15, 2008, CITA published modified procedures it would follow in considering requests to modify the Annex 3.25 list of products determined to be not commercially available in the territory of any Party to CAFTA-DR (Modifications to Procedures for Considering Requests Under the Commercial Availability Provision of the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement, 73 FR 53200) (“CITA's procedures”).

    On April 12, 2016, the Chairman of CITA received a request for a Commercial Availability determination (“Request”) from Grunfeld, Desiderio, Lebowitz, Silverman, & Klestadt, LLC, on behalf of Tang Textiles & Apparel, for certain warp stretch woven rayon blend fabrics. On April 14, 2016, in, in accordance with CITA's procedures, CITA notified interested parties of the Request, which was posted on the dedicated Web site for CAFTA-DR Commercial Availability proceedings. In its notification, CITA advised that any Response with an Offer to Supply (“Response”) must be submitted by April 26, 2016, and any Rebuttal Comments to a Response must be submitted by May 2, 2016, in accordance with sections 6 and 7 of CITA's procedures. No interested entity submitted a Response to the Request advising CITA of its objection to the Request and its ability to supply the subject product.

    In accordance with section 203(o)(4)(C) of the CAFTA-DR Implementation Act, and section 8(c)(2) of CITA's procedures, as no interested entity submitted a Response objecting to the Request and providing an offer to supply the subject product, CITA has determined to add the specified fabric to the list in Annex 3.25 of the CAFTA-DR Agreement.

    The subject product has been added to the list in Annex 3.25 of the CAFTA-DR Agreement in unrestricted quantities. A revised list has been posted on the dedicated Web site for CAFTA-DR Commercial Availability proceedings.

    Specifications: Certain Warp Stretch Woven Rayon Blend Fabrics Fabric #1: Warp Stretch Woven Rayon/Nylon/Spandex Fabric HTS classifications: 5516.22.00, 5516.23.00, 5516.24.00 Fiber Content: Rayon: 67-80%; Nylon: 15-35%; Spandex: 2-6% Yarn Configuration: Warp—Nylon filament combined with Spandex filament; Filling—Rayon staple Yarn Denier: Nylon and Spandex of various deniers. Width: Metric: 139-153cm; (English: 55-60 inches) Weight: Metric: 220-315 grams per square meter Thread Count (Density): Metric: 30-74 ends per cm (warp) x 27-38 picks per cm (filling) English: 76-185 ends per inch (warp) x 70-95 picks per inch (filling) Weave type: Various weaves Finish/Processing: Of yarns of different colors and/or piece dyed and/or printed. Fabric # 2: Warp Stretch Woven Rayon/Polyester/Nylon/Spandex Fabric HTS classifications: 5407.10.00, 5407.92.20, 5407.93.20, 5407.94.20, 5516.22.00, 5516.23.00, 5516.24.00; Fiber Content: Rayon: 30-70%; Polyester: 20-52%; Nylon: 9-35%; Spandex: 2-6% Yarn Configuration: Warp—Nylon filament, Polyester filament & Spandex filament; Filling—Rayon staple combined with Polyester filament Yarn Denier: Nylon, Polyester and Spandex of various deniers. Width: Metric: 139-153cm; (English: 55-60 inches) Weight: Metric: 220-315 grams per squar1e meter Thread Count (Density): Metric: 30-48 ends per cm (warp) x 27-40 picks per cm (filling) English: 76-120 ends per inch (warp) x 70-100 picks per inch (filling) Weave type: Various weaves Finish/Processing: Of yarns of different colors and/or piece dyed and/or printed. Joshua Teitelbaum, Chairman, Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11617 Filed 5-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3510-DR-P
    BUREAU OF CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION Academic Research Council Meeting AGENCY:

    Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.

    ACTION:

    Notice of public meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice sets forth the announcement of a public meeting of the Academic Research Council (ARC or Council) of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Bureau). The notice also describes the functions of the Council. Notice of the meeting is permitted by section 8 of the ARC Charter. Specifically, section 8(d) of the ARC Charter states:

    The Council will convene in person from time to time at the call of the Assistant Director or the Assistant Director's designee, but at a minimum shall meet annually. Council members may also make additional visits to the Bureau or participate in additional meetings for educational or other research-related purposes.

    DATES:

    The meeting date is Friday, May 20, 2016, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. eastern time.

    ADDRESSES:

    The meeting location is Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, 1275 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20002.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Jassmine Okiemen, Research Assistant, Academic Research Council, Office of Research, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, at [email protected], or 202-435-9607.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    Section 1013(b)(1) of the Consumer Financial Protection Act, 12 U.S.C. 5493(b)(1) establishes the Office of Research (OR) and assigns to it the responsibility of researching, analyzing, and reporting on topics relating to the Bureau's mission, including developments in markets for consumer financial products and services, consumer awareness, and consumer behavior.

    The Academic Research Council is a consultative body comprised of scholars that help the Office of Research perform these responsibilities. Section 3 of the ARC Charter states: “The Council will provide the Office of Research advice and feedback on research methodologies, framing research questions, data collection, and analytic strategies. Additionally, the Council will provide both backward- and forward-looking feedback on the Office of Research's research work and will offer input into its research strategic planning process and research agenda.”

    II. Agenda

    The Academic Research Council will discuss methodology and direction for consumer finance research at the Bureau.

    Persons who need a reasonable accommodation to participate should contact [email protected], 202-435-9EEO, 1-855-233-0362, or 202-435-9742 (TTY) prior to the meeting or event to request assistance. The request must identify the date, time, location, and title of the meeting or event, the nature of the assistance requested, and contact information for the requester. CFPB will strive to provide but cannot guarantee that accommodation will be provided for late requests.

    Individuals who wish to attend the Academic Research Council meeting must RSVP to [email protected] by noon, May 18, 2016. Members of the public must RSVP by the due date and must include “ARC” in the subject line of the RSVP.

    III. Availability

    The Council's agenda will be made available to the public on May 10, 2016, via www.consumerfinance.gov. Individuals should express in their RSVP if they require a paper copy of the agenda.

    Dated: May 4, 2016. Christopher D'Angelo, Chief of Staff, Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11614 Filed 5-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4810-AM-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Department of the Air Force U.S. Air Force Academy Board of Visitors Notice of Meeting AGENCY:

    U.S. Air Force Academy Board of Visitors.

    ACTION:

    Meeting notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with 10 U.S.C. Section 9355, the U.S. Air Force Academy (USAFA) Board of Visitors (BoV) will hold a meeting at the Rayburn House Office Building, Gold Room 2168, Washington, DC, on June 9, 2016. On Thursday, the meeting will begin at 8:30 a.m. and will conclude at 3:45 p.m. The purpose of this meeting is to review morale and discipline, social climate, strategic communications, and other matters relating to the Academy. Specific topics for this meeting include a Superintendent's Update; USAFA Diversity Update; and Strategic Communications. Public attendance at this USAFA BoV meeting shall be accommodated on a first-come, first-served basis up to the reasonable and safe capacity of the meeting room. In addition, any member of the public wishing to provide input to the USAFA BoV should submit a written statement in accordance with 41 CFR Section 102-3.140(c) and section 10(a)(3) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act and the procedures described in this paragraph. Written statements must address the following details: The issue, discussion, and a recommended course of action. Supporting documentation may also be included as needed to establish the appropriate historical context and provide any necessary background information. Written statements can be submitted to the Designated Federal Officer (DFO) at the Air Force address detailed below at any time. However, if a written statement is not received at least 10 calendar days before the first day of the meeting which is the subject of this notice, then it may not be provided to or considered by the BoV until its next open meeting. The DFO will review all timely submissions with the BoV Chairman and ensure they are provided to members of the BoV before the meeting that is the subject of this notice. If after review of timely submitted written comments and the BoV Chairman and DFO deem appropriate, they may choose to invite the submitter of the written comments to orally present the issue during an open portion of the BoV meeting that is the subject of this notice. Members of the BoV may also petition the Chairman to allow specific personnel to make oral presentations before the BoV. In accordance with 41 CFR Section 102-3.140(d), any oral presentations before the BoV shall be in accordance with agency guidelines provided pursuant to a written invitation and this paragraph. Direct questioning of BoV members or meeting participants by the public is not permitted except with the approval of the DFO and Chairman. For the benefit of the public, rosters that list the names of BoV members and any releasable materials presented during the open portions of this BoV meeting shall be made available upon request.

    Contact Information: For additional information or to attend this BoV meeting, contact Lt Col Veronica Senia, Chief, Officer Accessions and Training, AF/A1PT, 1040 Air Force Pentagon, Washington, DC 20330, (703) 692-5577, [email protected]

    Henry Williams, Acting Air Force Federal Register Liaison Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11568 Filed 5-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-10-P
    DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE Office of the Secretary [Docket ID: DOD-2016-OS-0058] Proposed Collection; Comment Request AGENCY:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower and Reserve Affairs, DoD.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower and Reserve Affairs announces a proposed public information collection and seeks public comment on the provisions thereof. Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed information collection; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the information collection on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    DATES:

    Consideration will be given to all comments received by July 18, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments, identified by docket number and title, by any of the following methods:

    Federal eRulemaking 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, 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.

    Any associated form(s) for this collection may be located within this same electronic docket and downloaded for review/testing. Follow the instructions at http://www.regulations.gov for submitting comments. Please submit comments on any given form identified by docket number, form number, and title.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    To request more information on this proposed information collection or to obtain a copy of the proposal and associated collection instruments, please write to Rajeev Ramchand, RAND Corporation, 1100 South Hayes Street, Arlington, VA 22202, or call (703) 413-1100 ext. 5096.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title; Associated Form; and OMB Number: Improving Caregiver Outcomes through Structured Support Via Military Caregiver Peer Forums; OMB Control Number 0704-XXXX.

    Needs and Uses: The information collection requirement is necessary to assess how participants are using the Military Caregiver PEER (Personalized Experiences, Engagement and Resources) Forums, how participating in the PEER Forums benefits them, and the role that PEER Forums play in the landscape of social support services available to caregivers. Military Caregiver PEER Forums are located on military bases across the country where caregivers can convene, converse among their peers, share resources and best practices, and provide support for the challenges they face. The results will be used to determine how the PEER Forums are currently improving and might better continue to improve caregiver well-being by reducing caregiver burden and addressing caregiver isolation. DoD will use the information gathered by this project to assess the implementation of PEER Forums and implement improvements, if needed. A complementary objective is to use the information gathered by this project to provide DoD with a framework for ongoing monitoring and evaluation of PEER Forums.

    Affected Public: Business or other for profit; Not-for-profit institutions.

    Annual Burden Hours: 95.

    Number of Respondents: 95.

    Responses per Respondent: 1.

    Annual Responses: 95.

    Average Burden per Response: 60 minutes.

    Frequency: One-time.

    Respondents are: Administrators who oversee the PEER forums, Recovery Care Coordinators who refer caregivers to the PEER forums, Military and Family Life Counselors who run the PEER forums, and caregivers who have been referred to participate in the PEER forums.

    Dated: May 12, 2016. Aaron Siegel, Alternate OSD Federal Register Liaison Officer, Department of Defense.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11625 Filed 5-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION [Docket No.: ED-2016-ICCD-0058] Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request; Impact Aid Program Application for Section 7002 Assistance AGENCY:

    Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE), Department of Education (ED).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. chapter 3501 et seq.), ED is proposing an extension of an existing information collection.

    DATES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before July 18, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    To access and review all the documents related to the information collection listed in this notice, please use http://www.regulations.gov by searching the Docket ID number ED-2016-ICCD-0058. Comments submitted in response to this notice should be submitted electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov by selecting the Docket ID number or via postal mail, commercial delivery, or hand delivery. Please note that comments submitted by fax or email and those submitted after the comment period will not be accepted. Written requests for information or comments submitted by postal mail or delivery should be addressed to the Director of the Information Collection Clearance Division, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., LBJ, Room 2E-115, Washington, DC 20202-4537.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For specific questions related to collection activities, please contact Amanda Ognibene, 202-453-6637.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Department of Education (ED), in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)), provides the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed, revised, and continuing collections of information. This helps the Department assess the impact of its information collection requirements and minimize the public's reporting burden. It also helps the public understand the Department's information collection requirements and provide the requested data in the desired format. ED is soliciting comments on the proposed information collection request (ICR) that is described below. The Department of Education is especially interested in public comment addressing the following issues: (1) Is this collection necessary to the proper functions of the Department; (2) will this information be processed and used in a timely manner; (3) is the estimate of burden accurate; (4) how might the Department enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (5) how might the Department minimize the burden of this collection on the respondents, including through the use of information technology. Please note that written comments received in response to this notice will be considered public records.

    Title of Collection: Impact Aid Program Application for Section 7002 Assistance.

    OMB Control Number: 1810-0036.

    Type of Review: An extension of an existing information collection.

    Respondents/Affected Public: State, Local, and Tribal Governments.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 250.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 375.

    Abstract: The U.S. Department of Education is requesting an extension for the Application for Assistance under section 7002 of title VII of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). This application is for a grant program otherwise known as Impact Aid Payments for Federal Property. Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) that have lost taxable property due to Federal activities request financial assistance by completing an annual application. Please note that this formula grant program was previously authorized under title VIII of the ESEA (as amended), but will move to title VII under the Every Student Succeeds Act, which reauthorized the ESEA, effective for FY 2017. Regulations for section 7002 of the Impact Aid Program are found at 34 CFR 222, subpart B.

    Dated: May 12, 2016. Tomakie Washington, Acting Director, Information Collection Clearance Division, Office of the Chief Privacy Officer, Office of Management.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11589 Filed 5-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Applications for New Awards; Indian Education Discretionary Grants Programs—Professional Development Grants Program AGENCY:

    Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, Department of Education.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    Overview Information

    Indian Education Discretionary Grants Programs—Professional Development Grants Program.

    Notice inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 2016.

    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.299B. DATES:

    Applications Available: May 17, 2016.

    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: July 1, 2016.

    Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: August 30, 2016.

    Full Text of Announcement I. Funding Opportunity Description

    Purpose of Program: The purposes of the Indian Education Professional Development Grants program are to (1) increase the number of qualified Indian individuals in professions that serve Indians; (2) provide training to qualified Indian individuals to become teachers, administrators, teacher aides, social workers, and ancillary educational personnel; and (3) improve the skills of qualified Indian individuals who serve in the education field.

    Priorities: This competition contains two absolute priorities and three competitive preference priorities. In accordance with 34 CFR 75.105(b)(2)(ii), these priorities are from the regulations for this program (34 CFR 263.5).

    Absolute Priorities: For FY 2016 and any subsequent year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applications from this competition, these priorities are absolute priorities. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(3) we consider only applications that meet one or both of these priorities.

    These priorities are:

    Absolute Priority 1: Pre-Service Training for Teachers

    Projects that—

    (i) Provide support and training to Indian individuals to complete a pre-service education program before the end of the award period that enables the individuals to meet the requirements for full State certification or licensure as a teacher through—

    (A) Training that leads to a degree in education;

    (B) For States allowing a degree in a specific subject area, training that leads to a degree in the subject area; or

    (C) Training in a current or new specialized teaching assignment that requires a degree and in which a documented teacher shortage exists;

    (ii) Provide one year of induction services, during the award period, to participants after graduation, certification, or licensure, while they are completing their first year of work as teachers in schools with significant Indian student populations; and

    (iii) Include goals for the—

    (A) Number of participants to be recruited each year;

    (B) Number of participants to continue in the project each year;

    (C) Number of participants to graduate each year; and

    (D) Number of participants to find qualifying jobs within twelve months of completion.

    Absolute Priority 2: Pre-Service Administrator Training

    Projects that—

    (i) Provide support and training to Indian individuals to complete a graduate degree in education administration that is provided before the end of the award period and that allows participants to meet the requirements for State certification or licensure as an education administrator;

    (ii) Provide one year of induction services, during the award period, to participants after graduation, certification, or licensure, while they are completing their first year of work as administrators in schools with significant Indian student populations; and

    (iii) Include goals for the—

    (A) Number of participants to be recruited each year;

    (B) Number of participants to continue in the project each year;

    (C) Number of participants to graduate each year; and

    (D) Number of participants to find qualifying jobs within twelve months of completion.

    Competitive Preference Priorities: For FY 2016 and any subsequent year in which we make awards from the list of unfunded applications from this competition, these priorities are competitive preference priorities. Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(2)(ii) we award an additional five points to an application that meets Competitive Preference Priority 1, an additional five points to an application that meets Competitive Preference Priority 2, and an additional three points to an application that meets Competitive Preference Priority 3.

    These priorities are:

    Competitive Preference Priority 1 (Five Additional Points)

    An application that includes a letter of support signed by the authorized representative of a local educational agency (LEA) or Department of the Interior Bureau of Indian Education-funded school or other entity in the applicant's service area that agrees to consider program graduates for qualifying employment.

    Competitive Preference Priority 2 (Five Additional Points)

    An application submitted by an Indian tribe, Indian organization, or Indian institution of higher education (Indian IHE) that is eligible to participate in the Professional Development program. A consortium application of eligible entities that meets the requirements of 34 CFR 75.127 through 75.129 and includes an Indian tribe, Indian organization, or Indian IHE will be considered eligible to receive preference under this priority only if the lead applicant for the consortium is the Indian tribe, Indian organization, or Indian IHE. In order to be considered a consortium application, the application must include the consortium agreement, signed by all parties.

    Competitive Preference Priority 3 (Three Additional Points)

    A consortium application of eligible entities whose lead is non-tribal that—

    (i) Meets the requirements of 34 CFR 75.127 through 75.129 and includes an Indian tribe, Indian organization, or Indian IHE; and

    (ii) Is not eligible to receive a preference under Competitive Preference Priority 2.

    Statutory Hiring Preference

    (a) Awards that are primarily for the benefit of Indians are subject to the provisions of section 7(b) of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act (Pub. L. 93-638). That section requires that, to the greatest extent feasible, a grantee—

    (1) Give to Indians preferences and opportunities for training and employment in connection with the administration of the grant; and

    (2) Give to Indian organizations and to Indian-owned economic enterprises, as defined in section 3 of the Indian Financing Act of 1974 (25 U.S.C. 1452(e)), preference in the award of contracts in connection with the administration of the grant.

    (b) For purposes of this section, an Indian is a member of any federally recognized Indian tribe.

    Program Authority:

    20 U.S.C. 7442.

    Applicable Regulations: (a) The Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR) in 34 CFR parts 75, 77, 79, 81, 82, 84, 86, 97, 98, and 99. (b) The Office of Management and Budget Guidelines to Agencies on Governmentwide Debarment and Suspension (Non-procurement) in 2 CFR part 180, as adopted and amended as regulations of the Department in 2 CFR part 3485. (c) The Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards in 2 CFR part 200, as adopted and amended as regulations of the Department in 2 CFR part 3474. (d) The regulations for this program in 34 CFR part 263.

    Note:

    The regulations in 34 CFR part 79 apply to all applicants except federally recognized Indian tribes.

    Note:

    The regulations in 34 CFR part 86 apply to institutions of higher education only.

    Note:

    On April 22, 2015, the Department amended regulations including 34 CFR 263.1 through 263.12 (80 FR 22403). We encourage applicants to read closely the amended regulations, particularly as they relate to payback requirements, payback reporting requirements, and grantee post-award requirements. We also have included the text of these regulations in the application package.

    II. Award Information

    Type of Award: Discretionary grants.

    Estimated Available Funds: $6,000,000.

    Contingent upon the availability of funds and the quality of applications, we may make additional awards in FY 2017 from the list of unfunded applications from this competition.

    Estimated Range of Awards: $300,000-$400,000.

    Estimated Average Size of Awards: $350,000.

    Maximum Award: We will reject any application that proposes a budget exceeding $400,000 for the first, second, or third 12-month budget period. The last 12-month budget period of a 48-month award will be limited to induction services only, at a cost not to exceed $90,000.

    Estimated Number of Awards: 18.

    Note:

    The Department is not bound by any estimates in this notice.

    Project Period: Up to 48 months.

    III. Eligibility Information 1. Eligible Applicants

    (a) An applicant must be an eligible entity which means—

    (1) An institution of higher education, including an Indian IHE;

    (2) A State educational agency in consortium with an institution of higher education;

    (3) An LEA in consortium with an institution of higher education;

    (4) An Indian tribe or Indian organization in consortium with an institution of higher education; or

    (5) A Bureau of Indian Education (Bureau)-funded school.

    (b) Bureau-funded schools are eligible applicants for—

    (1) An in-service training program; and

    (2) A pre-service training program when the Bureau-funded school applies in consortium with an institution of higher education that is accredited to provide the coursework and level of degree required by the project.

    (c) Eligibility of an applicant requiring a consortium with an institution of higher education, including Indian IHEs, requires that the institution of higher education be accredited to provide the coursework and level of degree required by the project.

    An applicant applying as an Indian organization must demonstrate that the entity meets the definition of “Indian organization” in 34 CFR 263.3. “Indian organization” means an organization that—

    (1) Is legally established—

    (i) By tribal or inter-tribal charter or in accordance with State or tribal law; and

    (ii) With appropriate constitution, by-laws, or articles of incorporation;

    (2) Includes in its purposes the promotion of the education of Indians;

    (3) Is controlled by a governing board, the majority of which is Indian;

    (4) If located on an Indian reservation, operates with the sanction or by charter of the governing body of that reservation;

    (5) Is neither an organization or subdivision of, nor under the direct control of, any institution of higher education; and

    (6) Is not an agency of State or local government.

    The term “Indian institution of higher education” means an accredited college or university within the United States cited in section 532 of the Equity in Educational Land-Grant Status Act of 1994 (7 U.S.C. 301 note), any other institution that qualifies for funding under the Tribally Controlled College or University Assistance Act of 1978 (25 U.S.C. 1801 et seq.), and Diné College (formerly Navajo Community College) authorized in the Navajo College Assistance Act of 1978 (25 U.S.C. 640a et seq.).

    2. Cost Sharing or Matching: This program does not require cost sharing or matching.

    3. Other: Projects funded under this competition are encouraged to budget for a two-day Project Directors' meeting in Washington, DC during each year of the project period.

    IV. Application and Submission Information

    1. Address to Request Application Package: You can obtain an application package via the Internet or from the Education Publications Center (ED Pubs). To obtain a copy via the Internet, use the following address: www.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/grantapps/index.html. To obtain a copy from ED Pubs, write, fax, or call the following: ED Pubs, U.S. Department of Education, P.O. Box 22207, Alexandria, VA 22304. Telephone, toll free: 1-877-433-7827. FAX: (703) 605-6794. If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a text telephone (TTY), call, toll free: 1-877-576-7734.

    You can contact ED Pubs at its Web site, also: www.EDPubs.gov or at its email address: [email protected]

    If you request an application from ED Pubs, be sure to identify this program or competition as follows: CFDA number 84.299B.

    Individuals with disabilities can obtain a copy of the application package in an accessible format (e.g., braille, large print, audiotape, or compact disc) by contacting the person listed under Accessible Format in section VIII of this notice.

    2. a. Content and Form of Application Submission: Requirements concerning the content of an application, together with the forms you must submit, are in the application package for this competition.

    Page Limit: The application narrative is where you, the applicant, address the selection criteria that reviewers use to evaluate your application. The suggested page limit for the application narrative is no more than 35 pages, using the following standards:

    • A “page” is 8.5″ x 11″, on one side only, with 1″ margins at the top, bottom, and both sides.

    • Double space all text in the application narrative, including titles, headings, footnotes, quotations, references, and captions, as well as all text in charts, tables, figures, and graphs.

    • Use a font that is either 12 point or larger or no smaller than 10 pitch (characters per inch).

    • Use one of the following fonts: Times New Roman, Courier, Courier New, or Arial.

    The suggested page limit does not apply to the cover sheet; the budget section, including the budget narrative justification; the assurances and certifications; or the abstract, table of contents, the resumes, the bibliography, letters of support, or the signed consortium agreement, if applicable.

    b. Submission of Proprietary Information: Given the types of projects that may be proposed in applications for the Indian Education Professional Development Grants program, your application may include business information that you consider proprietary. In 34 CFR 5.11 we define “business information” and describe the process we use in determining whether any of that information is proprietary and, thus, protected from disclosure under Exemption 4 of the Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C. 552, as amended).

    Because we plan to make successful applications available to the public by posting them on our Web site, you may wish to request confidentiality of business information. Consistent with Executive Order 12600, please designate in your application any information that you believe is exempt from disclosure under Exemption 4. In the appropriate Appendix section of your application, under “Other Attachments Form,” please list the page number or numbers on which we can find this information. For additional information please see 34 CFR 5.11(c).

    3. Submission Dates and Times:

    Applications Available: May 17, 2016.

    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: July 1, 2016.

    Applications for grants under this competition must be submitted electronically using Grants.gov. For information (including dates and times) about how to submit your application electronically, or in paper format by mail or hand delivery if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, please refer to Other Submission Requirements in section IV of this notice.

    We do not consider an application that does not comply with the deadline requirements.

    Individuals with disabilities who need an accommodation or auxiliary aid in connection with the application process should contact the person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII of this notice. If the Department provides an accommodation or auxiliary aid to an individual with a disability in connection with the application process, the individual's application remains subject to all other requirements and limitations in this notice.

    Deadline for Intergovernmental Review: August 30, 2016.

    4. Intergovernmental Review: This competition is subject to Executive Order 12372 and the regulations in 34 CFR part 79. Information about Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs under Executive Order 12372 is in the application package for this competition.

    5. Funding Restrictions: We specify allowable costs in 34 CFR 263.4.

    A Professional Development program may include, as training costs, assistance to—

    (1) Fully finance a student's educational expenses including tuition, books, and required fees; health insurance required by the institution of higher education; stipend; dependent allowance; technology costs; program required travel; and instructional supplies; or

    (2) Supplement other financial aid, including Federal funding other than loans, for meeting a student's educational expenses.

    The maximum stipend amount is $1,800 per month for full-time students; grantees may also provide participants with a $300 allowance per month per dependent during an academic term. The Department will reduce any stipends in excess of this amount. The terms “stipend,” “full-time student,” and “dependent allowance” are defined in 34 CFR 263.3. Stipends may be paid only to full-time students.

    Other costs that a Professional Development program may include, but that must not be included as training costs, include costs for—

    (1) Collaborating with prospective employers within the grantees' local service area to create a pool of potentially available qualifying employment opportunities;

    (2) In-service training activities such as providing mentorship linking experienced teachers at job placement sites with program participants; and

    (3) Assisting participants in identifying and securing qualified employment opportunities in their fields of study following completion of the program.

    We reference additional regulations outlining funding restrictions in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.

    6. Data Universal Numbering System Number, Taxpayer Identification Number, and System for Award Management: To do business with the Department of Education, you must—

    a. Have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN);

    b. Register both your DUNS number and TIN with the System for Award Management (SAM) (formerly the Central Contractor Registry), the Government's primary registrant database;

    c. Provide your DUNS number and TIN on your application; and

    d. Maintain an active SAM registration with current information while your application is under review by the Department and, if you are awarded a grant, during the project period.

    You can obtain a DUNS number from Dun and Bradstreet at the following Web site: http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform. A DUNS number can be created within one to two business days.

    If you are a corporate entity, agency, institution, or organization, you can obtain a TIN from the Internal Revenue Service. If you are an individual, you can obtain a TIN from the Internal Revenue Service or the Social Security Administration. If you need a new TIN, please allow two to five weeks for your TIN to become active.

    The SAM registration process can take approximately seven business days, but may take upwards of several weeks, depending on the completeness and accuracy of the data you enter into the SAM database. Thus, if you think you might want to apply for Federal financial assistance under a program administered by the Department, please allow sufficient time to obtain and register your DUNS number and TIN. We strongly recommend that you register early.

    Note:

    Once your SAM registration is active, it may be 24 to 48 hours before you can access the information in, and submit an application through, Grants.gov.

    If you are currently registered with SAM, you may not need to make any changes. However, please make certain that the TIN associated with your DUNS number is correct. Also note that you will need to update your registration annually. This may take three or more business days.

    Information about SAM is available at www.SAM.gov. To further assist you with obtaining and registering your DUNS number and TIN in SAM or updating your existing SAM account, we have prepared a SAM.gov Tip Sheet, which you can find at: http://www2.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/sam-faqs.html.

    In addition, if you are submitting your application via Grants.gov, you must (1) be designated by your organization as an Authorized Organization Representative (AOR); and (2) register yourself with Grants.gov as an AOR. Details on these steps are outlined at the following Grants.gov Web page: www.grants.gov/web/grants/register.html.

    7. Other Submission Requirements: Applications for grants under this competition must be submitted electronically unless you qualify for an exception to this requirement in accordance with the instructions in this section.

    a. Electronic Submission of Applications

    Applications for grants under the Indian Education—Professional Development Grants program, CFDA number 84.299B, must be submitted electronically using the Governmentwide Grants.gov Apply site at www.Grants.gov. Through this site, you will be able to download a copy of the application package, complete it offline, and then upload and submit your application. You may not email an electronic copy of a grant application to us.

    We will reject your application if you submit it in paper format unless, as described elsewhere in this section, you qualify for one of the exceptions to the electronic submission requirement and submit, no later than two weeks before the application deadline date, a written statement to the Department that you qualify for one of these exceptions. Further information regarding calculation of the date that is two weeks before the application deadline date is provided later in this section under Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement.

    You may access the electronic grant application for the Indian Education—Professional Development Grants program at www.Grants.gov. You must search for the downloadable application package for this program by the CFDA number. Do not include the CFDA number's alpha suffix in your search (e.g., search for 84.299, not 84.299B).

    Please note the following:

    • When you enter the Grants.gov site, you will find information about submitting an application electronically through the site, as well as the hours of operation.

    • Applications received by Grants.gov are date and time stamped. Your application must be fully uploaded and submitted and must be date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system no later than 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. Except as otherwise noted in this section, we will not accept your application if it is received—that is, date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system—after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. We do not consider an application that does not comply with the deadline requirements. When we retrieve your application from Grants.gov, we will notify you if we are rejecting your application because it was date and time stamped by the Grants.gov system after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date.

    • The amount of time it can take to upload an application will vary depending on a variety of factors, including the size of the application and the speed of your Internet connection. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you do not wait until the application deadline date to begin the submission process through Grants.gov.

    • You should review and follow the Education Submission Procedures for submitting an application through Grants.gov that are included in the application package for this competition to ensure that you submit your application in a timely manner to the Grants.gov system. You can also find the Education Submission Procedures pertaining to Grants.gov under News and Events on the Department's G5 system home page at www.G5.gov. In addition, for specific guidance and procedures for submitting an application through Grants.gov, please refer to the Grants.gov Web site at: www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/apply-for-grants.html.

    • You will not receive additional point value because you submit your application in electronic format, nor will we penalize you if you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, as described elsewhere in this section, and submit your application in paper format.

    • You must submit all documents electronically, including all information you typically provide on the following forms: The Application for Federal Assistance (SF 424), the Department of Education Supplemental Information for SF 424, Budget Information—Non-Construction Programs (ED 524), and all necessary assurances and certifications.

    • You must upload any narrative sections and all other attachments to your application as files in a read-only, non-modifiable Portable Document Format (PDF). Do not upload an interactive or fillable PDF file. If you upload a file type other than a read-only, non-modifiable PDF (e.g., Word, Excel, WordPerfect, etc.) or submit a password-protected file, we will not review that material. Please note that this could result in your application not being considered for funding because the material in question—for example, the project narrative—is critical to a meaningful review of your proposal. For that reason it is important to allow yourself adequate time to upload all material as PDF files. The Department will not convert material from other formats to PDF.

    • Your electronic application must comply with any page-limit requirements described in this notice.

    • After you electronically submit your application, you will receive from Grants.gov an automatic notification of receipt that contains a Grants.gov tracking number. This notification indicates receipt by Grants.gov only, not receipt by the Department. Grants.gov will also notify you automatically by email if your application met all the Grants.gov validation requirements or if there were any errors (such as submission of your application by someone other than a registered Authorized Organization Representative, or inclusion of an attachment with a file name that contains special characters). You will be given an opportunity to correct any errors and resubmit, but you must still meet the deadline for submission of applications.

    Once your application is successfully validated by Grants.gov, the Department will retrieve your application from Grants.gov and send you an email with a unique PR/Award number for your application.

    These emails do not mean that your application is without any disqualifying errors. While your application may have been successfully validated by Grants.gov, it must also meet the Department's application requirements as specified in this notice and in the application instructions. Disqualifying errors could include, for instance, failure to upload attachments in a read-only, non-modifiable PDF; failure to submit a required part of the application; or failure to meet applicant eligibility requirements. It is your responsibility to ensure that your submitted application has met all of the Department's requirements.

    • We may request that you provide us original signatures on forms at a later date.

    Application Deadline Date Extension in Case of Technical Issues with the Grants.gov System: If you are experiencing problems submitting your application through Grants.gov, please contact the Grants.gov Support Desk, toll free, at 1-800-518-4726. You must obtain a Grants.gov Support Desk Case Number and must keep a record of it.

    If you are prevented from electronically submitting your application on the application deadline date because of technical problems with the Grants.gov system, we will grant you an extension until 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, the following business day to enable you to transmit your application electronically or by hand delivery. You also may mail your application by following the mailing instructions described elsewhere in this notice.

    If you submit an application after 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date, please contact the person listed under For Further Information Contact in section VII of this notice and provide an explanation of the technical problem you experienced with Grants.gov, along with the Grants.gov Support Desk Case Number. We will accept your application if we can confirm that a technical problem occurred with the Grants.gov system and that the problem affected your ability to submit your application by 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, on the application deadline date. We will contact you after we determine whether your application will be accepted.

    Note:

    The extensions to which we refer in this section apply only to the unavailability of, or technical problems with, the Grants.gov system. We will not grant you an extension if you failed to fully register to submit your application to Grants.gov before the application deadline date and time or if the technical problem you experienced is unrelated to the Grants.gov system.

    Exception to Electronic Submission Requirement: You qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, and may submit your application in paper format, if you are unable to submit an application through the Grants.gov system because—

    • You do not have access to the Internet; or

    • You do not have the capacity to upload large documents to the Grants.gov system;

    and

    • No later than two weeks before the application deadline date (14 calendar days or, if the fourteenth calendar day before the application deadline date falls on a Federal holiday, the next business day following the Federal holiday), you mail or fax a written statement to the Department, explaining which of the two grounds for an exception prevents you from using the Internet to submit your application.

    If you mail your written statement to the Department, it must be postmarked no later than two weeks before the application deadline date. If you fax your written statement to the Department, we must receive the faxed statement no later than two weeks before the application deadline date.

    Address and mail or fax your statement to: John Cheek, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 3W207, Washington, DC 20202-6335. FAX: (202) 205-0606.

    Your paper application must be submitted in accordance with the mail or hand delivery instructions described in this notice.

    b. Submission of Paper Applications by Mail

    If you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, you may mail (through the U.S. Postal Service or a commercial carrier) your application to the Department. You must mail the original and two copies of your application, on or before the application deadline date, to the Department at the following address: U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: (CFDA Number 84.299B), LBJ Basement Level 1, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20202-4260.

    You must show proof of mailing consisting of one of the following:

    (1) A legibly dated U.S. Postal Service postmark.

    (2) A legible mail receipt with the date of mailing stamped by the U.S. Postal Service.

    (3) A dated shipping label, invoice, or receipt from a commercial carrier.

    (4) Any other proof of mailing acceptable to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education.

    If you mail your application through the U.S. Postal Service, we do not accept either of the following as proof of mailing:

    (1) A private metered postmark.

    (2) A mail receipt that is not dated by the U.S. Postal Service.

    Note:

    The U.S. Postal Service does not uniformly provide a dated postmark. Before relying on this method, you should check with your local post office.

    We will not consider applications postmarked after the application deadline date.

    c. Submission of Paper Applications by Hand Delivery

    If you qualify for an exception to the electronic submission requirement, you (or a courier service) may deliver your paper application to the Department by hand. You must deliver the original and two copies of your application by hand, on or before the application deadline date, to the Department at the following address: U.S. Department of Education, Application Control Center, Attention: (CFDA Number 84.299B), 550 12th Street SW., Room 7039, Potomac Center Plaza, Washington, DC 20202-4260.

    The Application Control Center accepts hand deliveries daily between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time, except Saturdays, Sundays, and Federal holidays.

    Note for Mail or Hand Delivery of Paper Applications:

    If you mail or hand deliver your application to the Department—

    (1) You must indicate on the envelope and—if not provided by the Department—in Item 11 of the SF 424 the CFDA number, including suffix letter, if any, of the competition under which you are submitting your application; and

    (2) The Application Control Center will mail to you a notification of receipt of your grant application. If you do not receive this notification within 15 business days from the application deadline date, you should call the U.S. Department of Education Application Control Center at (202) 245-6288.

    V. Application Review Information

    1. Selection Criteria: The selection criteria for this competition include general selection criteria in 34 CFR 75.210 and selection criteria in 34 CFR 263.6 and are also listed in the application package. We will award up to 100 points to an application under each selection criteria; the total possible points for each selection criterion are noted in parentheses.

    (a) Need for project (Maximum 15 points). The Secretary considers the need for the proposed project. In determining the need for the proposed project, the Secretary considers the following factors:

    (1) The extent to which specific gaps or weaknesses in services, infrastructure, or opportunities have been identified and will be addressed by the proposed project, including the nature and magnitude of those gaps or weaknesses.

    (2) The extent to which employment opportunities exist in the project's service area, as demonstrated through a job market analysis.

    (b) Quality of the project design (Maximum 25 points). The Secretary considers the following factors in determining the quality of the design of the proposed project:

    (1) The extent to which the goals, objectives, and outcomes to be achieved by the proposed project are ambitious but also attainable and address—

    (i) The number of participants expected to be recruited in the project each year;

    (ii) The number of participants expected to continue in the project each year;

    (iii) The number of participants expected to graduate; and

    (iv) The number of participants expected to find qualifying jobs within twelve months of completion.

    (2) The extent to which the proposed project has a plan for recruiting and selecting participants that ensures that program participants are likely to complete the program.

    (3) The potential of the proposed project to develop effective strategies for teaching Indian students and improving Indian student achievement, as demonstrated by a plan to share findings gained from the proposed project with parties who could benefit from such findings, such as other institutions of higher education who are training teachers and administrators who will be serving Indian students.

    (4) The extent to which the proposed project will incorporate the needs of potential employers, as identified by a job market analysis, by establishing partnerships and relationships with appropriate entities (e.g., Bureau-funded schools, organizations providing educational services to Indian students, and LEAs) and developing programs that meet their employment needs.

    (c) Quality of project services (Maximum 25 points). The Secretary considers the following factors in determining the quality of project services:

    (1) The likelihood that the proposed project will provide participants with learning experiences that develop needed skills for successful teaching and/or administration in schools with significant Indian populations.

    (2) The extent to which the proposed project prepares participants to adapt teaching and/or administrative practices to meet the breadth of Indian student needs.

    (3) The extent to which the applicant will provide job placement activities that reflect the findings of a job market analysis and needs of potential employers.

    (4) The extent to which the applicant will offer induction services that reflect the latest research on effective delivery of such services.

    (5) The extent to which the training or professional development services to be provided by the proposed project are of sufficient quality, intensity, and duration to lead to improvements in practice among the recipients of those services.

    (d) Quality of project personnel (Maximum 15 points). The Secretary considers the following factors when determining the quality of the personnel who will carry out the proposed project:

    (1) The qualifications, including relevant training, experience, and cultural competence, of the project director and the amount of time this individual will spend directly involved in the project.

    (2) The qualifications, including relevant training, experience, and cultural competence, of key project personnel and the amount of time to be spent on the project and direct interactions with participants.

    (3) The qualifications, including relevant training, experience, and cultural competence (as necessary), of project consultants or subcontractors, if any.

    (e) Quality of the management plan. (Maximum 20 points). In determining the quality of the management plan for the proposed project, the Secretary considers the following factors:

    (1) The extent to which the costs are reasonable in relation to the number of persons to be served and to the anticipated results and benefits.

    (2) The adequacy of procedures for ensuring feedback and continuous improvement in the operation of the proposed project.

    (3) The extent to which the time commitments of the project director and principal investigator and other key project personnel are appropriate and adequate to meet the objectives of the proposed project.

    2. Review and Selection Process: We remind potential applicants that in reviewing applications in any discretionary grant competition, the Secretary may consider, under 34 CFR 75.217(d)(3), the past performance of the applicant in carrying out a previous award, such as the applicant's use of funds, achievement of project objectives, and compliance with grant conditions. The Secretary may also consider whether the applicant failed to submit a timely performance report or submitted a report of unacceptable quality.

    In addition, in making a competitive grant award, the Secretary requires various assurances, including those applicable to Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department of Education (34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).

    3. Risk Assessment and Special Conditions: Consistent with 2 CFR 200.205, before awarding grants under this competition the Department conducts a review of the risks posed by applicants. Under 2 CFR 3474.10, the Secretary may impose special conditions and, in appropriate circumstances, high-risk conditions on a grant if the applicant or grantee is not financially stable; has a history of unsatisfactory performance; has a financial or other management system that does not meet the standards in 2 CFR part 200, subpart D; has not fulfilled the conditions of a prior grant; or is otherwise not responsible.

    VI. Award Administration Information

    1. Award Notices: If your application is successful, we notify your U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators and send you a Grant Award Notification (GAN); or we may send you an email containing a link to access an electronic version of your GAN. We may notify you informally, also.

    If your application is not evaluated or not selected for funding, we notify you.

    2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements: We identify administrative and national policy requirements in the application package and reference these and other requirements in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice.

    We reference the regulations outlining the terms and conditions of an award in the Applicable Regulations section of this notice and include these and other specific conditions in the GAN. The GAN also incorporates your approved application as part of your binding commitments under the grant.

    3. Reporting: (a) If you apply for a grant under this competition, you must ensure that you have in place the necessary processes and systems to comply with the reporting requirements in 2 CFR part 170 should you receive funding under the competition. This does not apply if you have an exception under 2 CFR 170.110(b).

    (b) At the end of your project period, you must submit a final performance report, including financial information, as directed by the Secretary. If you receive a multiyear award, you must submit an annual performance report that provides the most current performance and financial expenditure information as directed by the Secretary under 34 CFR 75.118. The Secretary may also require more frequent performance reports under 34 CFR 75.720(c). For specific requirements on reporting, please go to www.ed.gov/fund/grant/apply/appforms/appforms.html.

    (c) Under 34 CFR 75.250(b), the Secretary may provide a grantee with additional funding for data collection analysis and reporting. In this case the Secretary establishes a data collection period.

    4. Performance Measures: The Department has established the following Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (GPRA) performance measures for the Indian Education Professional Development program: (1) The percentage of participants in administrator preparation projects who become principals, vice principals, or other school administrators in LEAs that serve American Indian and Alaska Native students; (2) The percentage of participants in teacher preparation projects who become teachers in LEAs that serve American Indian and Alaska Native students; (3) The percentage of program participants who meet State licensure requirements; (4) The percentage of program participants who complete their service requirement on schedule; (5) The cost per individual who successfully completes an administrator preparation program, takes a position in a school district that benefits American Indian/Alaska Native enrollment, and completes the service requirement in such a district; and (6) The cost per individual who successfully completes a teacher preparation program, takes a position in such a school district that benefits American Indian/Alaska Native enrollment, and completes the service requirement in such a district.

    These measures constitute the Department's indicator of success for this program. Consequently, we advise an applicant for a grant under this program to give careful consideration to these measures in conceptualizing the approach and evaluation for its proposed project. Each grantee will be required to provide, in its annual performance and final reports, data about its progress in meeting these measures.

    5. Continuation Awards: In making a continuation award under 34 CFR 75.253, the Secretary considers, among other things: Whether a grantee has made substantial progress in achieving the goals and objectives of the project; whether the grantee has expended funds in a manner that is consistent with its approved application and budget; and, if the Secretary has established performance measurement requirements, the performance targets in the grantee's approved application.

    In making a continuation award, the Secretary also considers whether the grantee is operating in compliance with the assurances in its approved application, including those applicable to Federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities receiving Federal financial assistance from the Department (34 CFR 100.4, 104.5, 106.4, 108.8, and 110.23).

    VII. Agency Contact FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    John Cheek, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 3W207, Washington, DC 20202-6335. Telephone: (202) 401-0274 or by email: [email protected]

    If you use a TDD or a TTY, call the FRS, toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

    VIII. 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 disc) on request to the program contact person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT in section VII of 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 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: May 11, 2016. Ann Whalen, Senior Advisor Delegated the Duties of Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11606 Filed 5-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Reopening; Application Deadline for Fiscal Year 2016; Small, Rural School Achievement Program AGENCY:

    Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, Department of Education.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 84.358A.

    SUMMARY:

    On February 5, 2016, we published in the Federal Register (81 FR 6251) a notice inviting applications for fiscal year (FY) 2016 awards under the Small, Rural School Achievement (SRSA) program. The notice established a deadline of May 2, 2016, for submission of FY 2016 SRSA grant applications. This notice reopens the application period until May 31, 2016, 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time. All other requirements and conditions stated in the notice inviting applications remain the same.

    DATES:

    Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: May 31, 2016, 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Department contacts local educational agencies that we determine to be newly eligible for SRSA funding, informs them of their eligibility, and instructs them to apply for funding. Due to unanticipated delays in the eligibility determination process, eligible applicants were not able to submit their applications for FY 2016 awards under the SRSA program by the close of the initial application period. Therefore, we are reopening the application period until May 31, 2016, 4:30:00 p.m., Washington, DC time. All other requirements and conditions stated in the notice inviting applications remain the same.

    Applicants that did not meet the initial May 2 deadline must submit applications by May 31 to be considered for FY 2016 funding. Applicants that already submitted timely applications that meet all of the requirements of the notice inviting applications do not have to resubmit their applications.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    David Cantrell, Rural Programs Group Leader, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 3E-204, Washington, DC 20202. Telephone: (202) 453-5990 or by email: [email protected]

    If you use a telecommunications device for the deaf or a text telephone, call the Federal Relay Service, toll free, at 1-800-877-8339.

    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 disc) on request to the program contact person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    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 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.

    Program Authority:

    Sections 6211-6213 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.

    Dated: May 12, 2016. Ann Whalen, Senior Advisor to the Secretary Delegated the Duties of Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11594 Filed 5-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION [Docket No.: ED-2016-ICCD-0059] Agency Information Collection Activities; Comment Request; Survey on the Use of Funds Under Title II, Part A (SEA Uses of Funds) AGENCY:

    Office of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE), Department of Education (ED).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. chapter 3501 et seq.), ED is proposing an extension of an existing information collection.

    DATES:

    Interested persons are invited to submit comments on or before July 18, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    To access and review all the documents related to the information collection listed in this notice, please use http://www.regulations.gov by searching the Docket ID number ED-2016-ICCD-0059. Comments submitted in response to this notice should be submitted electronically through the Federal eRulemaking Portal at http://www.regulations.gov by selecting the Docket ID number or via postal mail, commercial delivery, or hand delivery. Please note that comments submitted by fax or email and those submitted after the comment period will not be accepted. Written requests for information or comments submitted by postal mail or delivery should be addressed to the Director of the Information Collection Clearance Division, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., LBJ, Room 2E-115, Washington, DC 20202-4537.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For specific questions related to collection activities, please contact Elizabeth Witt, 202-260-5585.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The Department of Education (ED), in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA) (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)), provides the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed, revised, and continuing collections of information. This helps the Department assess the impact of its information collection requirements and minimize the public's reporting burden. It also helps the public understand the Department's information collection requirements and provide the requested data in the desired format. ED is soliciting comments on the proposed information collection request (ICR) that is described below. The Department of Education is especially interested in public comment addressing the following issues: (1) Is this collection necessary to the proper functions of the Department; (2) will this information be processed and used in a timely manner; (3) is the estimate of burden accurate; (4) how might the Department enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (5) how might the Department minimize the burden of this collection on the respondents, including through the use of information technology. Please note that written comments received in response to this notice will be considered public records.

    Title of Collection: Survey on the Use of Funds Under Title II, Part A (SEA Uses of Funds).

    OMB Control Number: 1810-0711.

    Type of Review: An extension of an existing information collection.

    Respondents/Affected Public: State, Local, and Tribal Governments.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Responses: 52.

    Total Estimated Number of Annual Burden Hours: 260.

    Abstract: This SEA survey helps the Department of Education understand how SEAs use their allocated Title II, Part A funds. In addition, many States have adopted new college- and career-ready standards and assessments and new educator evaluation systems; this survey provides insight into whether states are using title II, part A funds to support these goals. The survey also allows the Department to assess whether SEAs are using title II, part A funds to carry out their approved plans for equitable access to excellent educators.

    Dated: May 12, 2016. Tomakie Washington, Acting Director, Information Collection Clearance Division, Office of the Chief Privacy Officer, Office of Management.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11590 Filed 5-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Applications for New Awards; Charter Schools Program (CSP) Grants for Replication and Expansion of High-Quality Charter Schools; Correction AGENCY:

    Office of Innovation and Improvement, Department of Education.

    ACTION:

    Notice; correction.

    SUMMARY:

    On May 10, 2016, we published in the Federal Register (81 FR 28837) a notice inviting applications for new awards for fiscal year (FY) 2016 for the CSP Grants for Replication and Expansion of High-Quality Charter Schools program. This correction notice amends (1) the date of the pre-application webinar from June 16, 2016, to May 24, 2016; and (2) the deadline for transmittal of applications from June 20, 2016, to June 24, 2016. All other requirements and conditions stated in the notice inviting applications, including the deadline for intergovernmental review, remain the same.

    DATES:

    Date of Pre-Application Webinar: May 24, 2016, 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., Washington, DC, time. Deadline for Transmittal of Applications: June 24, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Brian Martin, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW., Room 4W224, Washington, DC 20202-5970. Telephone: (202) 205-9085, 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:

    Corrections

    On May 10, 2016, we published in the Federal Register (81 FR 28837) a notice inviting applications for new awards for FY 2016 for the CSP Grants for Replication and Expansion of High-Quality Charter Schools program. On page 28837 of that notice, in the third column, under DATES, and on page 28842, in the first column, under 3. Submission Dates and Times, we change the Date of Pre-Application Webinar from “June 16, 2016,” to “May 24, 2016.” The time and duration of the webinar remain the same.

    Also, on page 28837, in the third column, under DATES, we correct the Deadline for Transmittal of Applications from “June 20, 2016,” to “June 24, 2016.” The Deadline for Transmittal of Applications listed in the first column on page 28842 is correct and remains unchanged.

    All other requirements and conditions stated in the notice inviting applications, including the deadline for intergovernmental review, remain the same.

    Program Authority:

    Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016, Division H, Public Law 114-113; and title V, part B of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.

    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 disc) on request to the program contact person listed under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

    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: May 12, 2016. Nadya Chinoy Dabby, Assistant Deputy Secretary for Innovation and Improvement.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11717 Filed 5-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4000-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board, Hanford AGENCY:

    Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Notice of open meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces a meeting of the Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board (EM SSAB), Hanford. The Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92-463, 86 Stat. 770) requires that public notice of this meeting be announced in the Federal Register.

    DATES:

    Wednesday, June 8, 2016; 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., Thursday, June 9, 2016; 8:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    Red Lion Hanford House, 802 George Washington Way, Richland, WA 99352.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kristen Holmes, Federal Coordinator, Department of Energy Richland Operations Office, 825 Jadwin Avenue, P.O. Box 550, A7-75, Richland, WA, 99352; Phone: (509) 376-5803; or Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Purpose of the Board: The purpose of the Board is to make recommendations to DOE-EM and site management in the areas of environmental restoration, waste management, and related activities.

    Tentative Agenda • Potential Draft Advice DOE's Master Acquisition Plan • Discussion Topics Tri-Party Agreement Agencies' Updates Hanford Advisory Board Committee Reports Safety Culture Sounding Board Waste Treatment Plant Communication Approach Cesium Management and Disposition Alternatives for Low Activity Waste Pretreatment System Board Business

    Public Participation: The meeting is open to the public. The EM SSAB, Hanford, welcomes the attendance of the public at its advisory committee meetings and will make every effort to accommodate persons with physical disabilities or special needs. If you require special accommodations due to a disability, please contact Kristen Holmes at least seven days in advance of the meeting at the phone number listed above. Written statements may be filed with the Board either before or after the meeting. Individuals who wish to make oral statements pertaining to agenda items should contact Kristen Holmes at the address or telephone number listed above. Requests must be received five days prior to the meeting and reasonable provision will be made to include the presentation in the agenda. The Deputy Designated Federal Officer is empowered to conduct the meeting in a fashion that will facilitate the orderly conduct of business. Individuals wishing to make public comments will be provided a maximum of five minutes to present their comments.

    Minutes: Minutes will be available by writing or calling Kristen Holmes's office at the address or phone number listed above. Minutes will also be available at the following Web site: http://www.hanford.gov/page.cfm/hab.

    Issued at Washington, DC, on May 11, 2016. LaTanya R. Butler, Deputy Committee Management Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11603 Filed 5-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board, Northern New Mexico AGENCY:

    Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Notice of open meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces a combined meeting of the Environmental Monitoring and Remediation Committee and Waste Management Committee of the Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board (EM SSAB), Northern New Mexico (known locally as the Northern New Mexico Citizens' Advisory Board [NNMCAB]). The Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92-463, 86 Stat. 770) requires that public notice of this meeting be announced in the Federal Register.

    DATES:

    Wednesday, June 15, 2016, 1:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    NNMCAB Office, 94 Cities of Gold Road, Santa Fe, NM 87506.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Menice Santistevan, Northern New Mexico Citizens' Advisory Board, 94 Cities of Gold Road, Santa Fe, NM 87506. Phone (505) 995-0393; Fax (505) 989-1752 or Email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Purpose of the Board: The purpose of the Board is to make recommendations to DOE-EM and site management in the areas of environmental restoration, waste management, and related activities.

    Purpose of the Environmental Monitoring and Remediation Committee (EM&R): The EM&R Committee provides a citizens' perspective to NNMCAB on current and future environmental remediation activities resulting from historical Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) operations and, in particular, issues pertaining to groundwater, surface water and work required under the New Mexico Environment Department Order on Consent. The EM&R Committee will keep abreast of DOE-EM and site programs and plans. The committee will work with the NNMCAB to provide assistance in determining priorities and the best use of limited funds and time. Formal recommendations will be proposed when needed and, after consideration and approval by the full NNMCAB, may be sent to DOE-EM for action.

    Purpose of the Waste Management (WM) Committee: The WM Committee reviews policies, practices and procedures, existing and proposed, so as to provide recommendations, advice, suggestions and opinions to the NNMCAB regarding waste management operations at the Los Alamos site.

    Tentative Agenda:

    • Call to Order and Introductions • Approval of Agenda • Approval of Minutes from April 27, 2016 • Old Business • New Business ○ Discuss Topics for Future Recommendations ○ Mid-Year Review of Committee Work Plans ○ Future Topics for Meeting Presentations • Update from DOE • Presentation: Update on Supplemental Environmental Projects • Public Comment Period • Adjourn

    Public Participation: The NNMCAB's Committees welcome the attendance of the public at their combined committee meeting and will make every effort to accommodate persons with physical disabilities or special needs. If you require special accommodations due to a disability, please contact Menice Santistevan at least seven days in advance of the meeting at the telephone number listed above. Written statements may be filed with the Committees either before or after the meeting. Individuals who wish to make oral statements pertaining to agenda items should contact Menice Santistevan at the address or telephone number listed above. Requests must be received five days prior to the meeting and reasonable provision will be made to include the presentation in the agenda. The Deputy Designated Federal Officer is empowered to conduct the meeting in a fashion that will facilitate the orderly conduct of business. Individuals wishing to make public comments will be provided a maximum of five minutes to present their comments.

    Minutes: Minutes will be available by writing or calling Menice Santistevan at the address or phone number listed above. Minutes and other Board documents are on the Internet at: http://energy.gov/em/nnmcab/northern-new-mexico-citizens-advisory-board.

    Issued at Washington, DC, on May 11, 2016. LaTanya R. Butler, Deputy Committee Management Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11607 Filed 5-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6405-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY [OE Docket No. EA-418] Application To Export Electric Energy; Termoelectrica U.S., LLC AGENCY:

    Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, DOE.

    ACTION:

    Notice of application.

    SUMMARY:

    Termoelectrica U.S., LLC (Applicant) has applied for authority to transmit electric energy from the United States to Mexico pursuant to section 202(e) of the Federal Power Act.

    DATES:

    Comments, protests, or motions to intervene must be submitted on or before June 16, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Comments, protests, motions to intervene, or requests for more information should be addressed to: Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, Mail Code: OE-20, U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585-0350. Because of delays in handling conventional mail, it is recommended that documents be transmitted by overnight mail, by electronic mail to [email protected], or by facsimile to 202-586-8008.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Exports of electricity from the United States to a foreign country are regulated by the Department of Energy (DOE) pursuant to sections 301(b) and 402(f) of the Department of Energy Organization Act (42 U.S.C. 7151(b), 7172(f)) and require authorization under section 202(e) of the Federal Power Act (16 U.S.C. 824a(e)).

    On March 21, 2016, DOE received an application from the Applicant for authority to transmit electric energy from the United States to Mexico as a power marketer solely over the TDM Gen-Tie, an authorized international electric transmission facility issued in Presidential Permit PP-235-2 and for a period not to extend beyond the date of termination of the associated Presidential Permit PP-235-2.

    In its application, the Applicant states that it does own or control an electric generation or transmission facility at the point where the 230kV generation tie-line crosses the U.S. Mexico border, and does not have a franchised service area. The Applicant's request is limited to the delivery of intermittent and de minimis start-up and station power to the TDM Facility over the TDM-Gen-Tie. The electric energy that the Applicant proposes to export to Mexico would be surplus energy purchased from third parties such as electric utilities and Federal power marketing agencies pursuant to voluntary agreements. The existing international transmission facility to be utilized by the Applicant have previously been authorized by Presidential permits issued pursuant to Executive Order 10485, as amended, and are appropriate for open access transmission by third parties.

    Procedural Matters: Any person desiring to be heard in this proceeding should file a comment or protest to the application at the address provided above. Protests should be filed in accordance with Rule 211 of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (FERC) Rules of Practice and Procedures (18 CFR 385.211). Any person desiring to become a party to these proceedings should file a motion to intervene at the above address in accordance with FERC Rule 214 (18 CFR 385.214). Five copies of such comments, protests, or motions to intervene should be sent to the address provided above on or before the date listed above.

    Comments and other filings concerning the Applicant's application to export electric energy to Mexico should be clearly marked with OE Docket No. EA-418. An additional copy is to be provided to both Daniel A. King, Sempra U.S. Gas & Power, LLC, 488 8th Ave., HQ12S1, San Diego, CA 92101 and Jose A. Lau, Sempra International, LLC, 488 8th Ave., HQ13N1, San Diego, CA 92101.

    A final decision will be made on this application after the environmental impacts have been evaluated pursuant to DOE's National Environmental Policy Act Implementing Procedures (10 CFR part 1021) and after a determination is made by DOE that the proposed action will not have an adverse impact on the sufficiency of supply or reliability of the U.S. electric power supply system.

    Copies of this application will be made available, upon request, for public inspection and copying at the address provided above, by accessing the program Web site at http://energy.gov/node/11845, or by emailing Angela Troy at [email protected]

    Issued in Washington, DC, on May 11, 2016. Christopher Lawrence, Energy Policy Analyst, Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11601 Filed 5-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board, Oak Ridge Reservation AGENCY:

    Department of Energy.

    ACTION:

    Notice of open meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces a meeting of the Environmental Management Site-Specific Advisory Board (EM SSAB), Oak Ridge Reservation. The Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92-463, 86 Stat. 770) requires that public notice of this meeting be announced in the Federal Register.

    DATES:

    Wednesday, June 8, 2016 6:00 p.m.

    ADDRESSES:

    Department of Energy Information Center, Office of Science and Technical Information, 1 Science.gov Way, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37830.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Melyssa P. Noe, Federal Coordinator, Department of Energy Oak Ridge Operations Office, P.O. Box 2001, EM-90, Oak Ridge, TN 37831. Phone (865) 241-3315; Fax (865) 576-0956 or email: mely[email protected] or check the Web site at http://energy.gov/orem/services/community-engagement/oak-ridge-site-specific-advisory-board.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Purpose of the Board: The purpose of the Board is to make recommendations to DOE-EM and site management in the areas of environmental restoration, waste management, and related activities.

    Tentative Agenda • Welcome and Announcements • Comments from the Deputy Designated Federal Officer (DDFO) • Comments from the DOE, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, and Environmental Protection Agency Liaisons • Public Comment Period • Presentation: Technology Development to Support Mercury Cleanup Strategy • Additions/Approval of Agenda • Motions/Approval of May 11, 2016 Meeting Minutes • Status of Recommendations with DOE • Committee Reports • Alternate DDFO Report • Adjourn

    Public Participation: The EM SSAB, Oak Ridge, welcomes the attendance of the public at its advisory committee meetings and will make every effort to accommodate persons with physical disabilities or special needs. If you require special accommodations due to a disability, please contact Melyssa P. Noe at least seven days in advance of the meeting at the phone number listed above. Written statements may be filed with the Board either before or after the meeting. Individuals who wish to make oral statements pertaining to the agenda item should contact Melyssa P. Noe at the address or telephone number listed above. Requests must be received five days prior to the meeting and reasonable provision will be made to include the presentation in the agenda. The Deputy Designated Federal Officer is empowered to conduct the meeting in a fashion that will facilitate the orderly conduct of business. Individuals wishing to make public comments will be provided a maximum of five minutes to present their comments.

    Minutes: Minutes will be available by writing or calling Melyssa P. Noe at the address and phone number listed above. Minutes will also be available at the following Web site: http://energy.gov/orem/services/community-engagement/oak-ridge-site-specific-advisory-board.

    Issued at Washington, DC, on May 11, 2016. LaTanya R. Butler, Deputy Committee Management Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11605 Filed 5-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. DI16-2-000] Nicatous Lake Lodge and Cabins, LLC; Notice of Declaration of Intention and Soliciting Comments, Protests, and Motions To Intervene

    Take notice that the following application has been filed with the Commission and is available for public inspection:

    a. Application Type: Declaration of Intention.

    b. Docket No: DI16-2-000.

    c. Date Filed: March 18, 2016.

    d. Applicant: Nicatous Lake Lodge and Cabins, LLC.

    e. Name of Project: Nicatous Lodge Micro Hydroelectric Project.

    f. Location: The proposed Nicatous Lodge Micro Hydroelectric Project would be located on the Nicatous Stream, near the town of Burlington, in Hancock County, Maine.

    g. Filed Pursuant to: Section 23(b)(1) of the Federal Power Act, 16 U.S.C. 817(b) (2012).

    h. Applicant Contact: Nicatous Lake Lodge and Cabins, LLC, P.O. Box 100, Burlington, ME 04417, telephone: (207) 356-7506; email: [email protected]; and Mr. David Dane, owner, P.O. Box 100, Burlington, ME 04417; telephone: (814) 244-4282, email: [email protected]

    i. FERC Contact: Any questions on this notice should be addressed to Jennifer Polardino, (202) 502-6437, or email: [email protected]

    j. Deadline for filing comments, protests, and motions to intervene is: 30 days from the issuance date of this notice by the Commission.

    The Commission strongly encourages electronic filing. Please file comments, protests, and motions to intervene using the Commission's eFiling system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/efiling.asp. Commenters can submit brief comments up to 6,000 characters, without prior registration, using the eComment system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/ecomment.asp. You must include your name and contact information at the end of your comments. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at [email protected], (866) 208-3676 (toll free), or (202) 502-8659 (TTY). In lieu of electronic filing, please send a paper copy to: Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426. The first page of any filing should include docket number DI16-02-000.

    k. Description of Project: The proposed Nicatous Lodge Micro Hydroelectric Project would consist of: (1) An intake structure on Nicatous Stream (2) a 5-inch-diameter, 100-foot-long diversion canal connecting to a 5-inch-diameter, 5-foot-long PVC penstock pipe that conveys diverted flows to a generating unit; (3) a generating unit having a total installed capacity of 1 kilowatt rated at 5 feet of net head; (4) a tailrace that returns the diverted flows to the Nicatous Stream; (5) a transmission line connecting the generating unit to the Nicatous Lodge property; and (6) appurtenant facilities.

    When a Declaration of Intention is filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the Federal Power Act requires the Commission to investigate and determine if the project would affect the interests of interstate or foreign commerce. The Commission also determines whether or not the project: (1) Would be located on a navigable waterway; (2) would occupy public lands or reservations of the United States; (3) would utilize surplus water or water power from a government dam; or (4) would be located on a non-navigable stream over which Congress has Commerce Clause jurisdiction and would be constructed or enlarged after 1935.

    l. Locations of the Application: This filing may be viewed on the Commission's Web site at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/elibrary.asp. Enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in the docket number field to access the document. You may also register online at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/esubscription.asp to be notified via email of new filings and issuances related to this or other pending projects. For assistance, call 1-866-208-3676 or email [email protected], for TTY, call (202) 502-8659. A copy is also available for inspection and reproduction at the address in item (h) above and in the Commission's Public Reference Room located at 888 First Street NE., Room 2A, Washington, DC 20426, or by calling (202) 502-8371.

    m. Individuals desiring to be included on the Commission's mailing list should so indicate by writing to the Secretary of the Commission.

    n. Comments, Protests, or Motions to Intervene: Anyone may submit comments, a protest, or a motion to intervene in accordance with the requirements of Rules of Practice and Procedure, 18 CFR 385.210, .211, .214. In determining the appropriate action to take, the Commission will consider all protests or other comments filed, but only those who file a motion to intervene in accordance with the Commission's Rules may become a party to the proceeding. Any comments, protests, or motions to intervene must be received on or before the specified comment date for the particular application.

    o. Filing and Service of Responsive Documents: All filings must bear in all capital letters the title “COMMENTS”, “PROTESTS”, and “MOTIONS TO INTERVENE”, as applicable, and the Docket Number of the particular application to which the filing refers. A copy of any Motion to Intervene must also be served upon each representative of the Applicant specified in the particular application.

    p. Agency Comments: Federal, state, and local agencies are invited to file comments on the described application. A copy of the application may be obtained by agencies directly from the Applicant. If an agency does not file comments within the time specified for filing comments, it will be presumed to have no comments. One copy of an agency's comments must also be sent to the Applicant's representatives.

    Dated: May 10, 2016. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11552 Filed 5-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. AD16-18-000] Competitive Transmission Development, Technical Conference; Supplemental Notice of Technical Conference and Request for Speakers

    As announced in the Notice of Technical Conference issued in this proceeding on March 17, 2016, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will hold a Commissioner-led technical conference on June 27, 2016, from approximately 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., and on June 28, 2016, from approximately 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., at the Commission's headquarters at 888 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20426. The purpose of the technical conference is to discuss issues related to competitive transmission development processes, including, but not limited to, the use of cost containment provisions, the relationship of competitive transmission development to transmission incentives, and other ratemaking issues.1 In addition, participants will have the opportunity to discuss issues relating to interregional transmission coordination, regional transmission planning and other transmission development issues.2

    1 Topics to be discussed include, but are not limited to, those that the Commission described in NextEra Energy Transmission West, LLC, 154 FERC ¶ 61,009, at PP 76-78 (2015) and ITC Grid Development, LLC, 154 FERC ¶ 61,206, at P 49 (2016).

    2See Northern Indiana Public Service Co. v. Midcontinent Independent System Operator, Inc. and PJM Interconnection L.L.C., 155 FERC ¶ 61,058, at P 54 (2016).

    Attached to this Supplemental Notice is a preliminary agenda for the technical conference and a description of key concepts.

    Those interested in speaking at the technical conference should notify the Commission by May 17, 2016, by completing the online form at the following Web page: https://www.ferc.gov/whats-new/registration/06-27-16-speaker-form.asp. At this Web page, please describe the topic(s) you wish to address and provide biographical information. Due to time constraints, we anticipate that we may not be able to accommodate all those interested in speaking. We will notify selected speakers as soon as possible.

    Interested parties may submit pre-technical conference comments (with a ten page limit) for consideration in Docket No. AD16-18-000 no later than May 31, 2016.

    The conference will be open for the public to attend. Information on the technical conference will also be posted on the Calendar of Events on the Commission's Web site, http://www.ferc.gov, prior to the event. Advance registration is not required but is encouraged. Attendees may register at the following Web page: https://www.ferc.gov/whats-new/registration/06-27-16-form.asp.

    This event will be webcast and transcribed. Anyone with internet access can navigate to the “FERC Calendar” at www.ferc.gov, and locate the technical conference in the Calendar of Events. Opening the technical conference in the Calendar of Events will reveal a link to its webcast. The Capitol Connection provides technical support for the webcast and offers the option of listening to the meeting via phone-bridge for a fee. If you have any questions, visit www.capitolconnection.org or call 703-993-3100. The webcast will be available on the Calendar of Events at www.ferc.gov for three months after the conference. Transcripts of the conference will be immediately available for a fee from Ace-Federal Reporters, Inc. (202-347-3700).

    Commission conferences are accessible under section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. For accessibility accommodations, please send an email to [email protected] or call toll free 1-866-208-3372 (voice) or 202-502-8659 (TTY), or send a FAX to 202-208-2106 with the required accommodations.

    For more information about this technical conference, please contact:

    Sarah McKinley (Logistical Information), Office of External Affairs, (202) 502-8004, [email protected] David Tobenkin (Technical Information), Office of Energy Policy and Innovation, (202) 502-6445, [email protected] Zeny Magos (Technical Information), Office of Energy Market Regulation, (202) 502-8244, [email protected] Erica Siegmund Hough (Legal Information), Office of General Counsel, (202) 502-8251, [email protected] Dated: May 10, 2016. Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11551 Filed 5-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6717-01-P
    ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY [FRL-9946-44-OA] Notification of Two Public Teleconferences of the Science Advisory Board; Environmental Economics Advisory Committee AGENCY:

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Science Advisory Board (SAB) Staff Office announces two public teleconferences of the Environmental Economics Advisory Committee (EEAC) to review its draft report regarding the EPA's proposed methodology for updating its mortality risk valuation estimates for policy analysis.

    DATES:

    The SAB Environmental Economics Advisory Committee will conduct public teleconferences on June 16 and June 17, 2016. Each of the teleconferences will begin at 1:00 p.m. and end at 5:00 p.m. (Eastern Time).

    ADDRESSES:

    The teleconferences will be conducted by telephone only.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Any member of the public who wants further information concerning the public teleconferences may contact Dr. Thomas Armitage, Designated Federal Officer (DFO), EPA Science Advisory Board Staff Office (1400R), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20460; by telephone at (202) 564-2155 or via email [email protected] General information concerning the EPA SAB can be found at http://www.epa.gov/sab.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background: The SAB was established pursuant to the Environmental Research, Development, and Demonstration Authorization Act (ERDDAA), codified at 42 U.S.C. 4365, to provide independent scientific and technical advice to the Administrator on the technical basis for Agency positions and regulations. The SAB is a federal advisory committee chartered under the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), 5 U.S.C., App. 2. The SAB will comply with the provisions of FACA and all appropriate SAB Staff Office procedural policies. Pursuant to FACA and EPA policy, notice is hereby given that the SAB Environmental Economics Advisory Committee will hold two public teleconferences to discuss its draft report on the EPA's methodology for updating its mortality risk valuation estimates for policy analysis. The committee will provide advice to the Administrator through the chartered SAB.

    The EPA's Office of Policy requested advice on proposed improvements to the Agency's methodology for estimating benefits associated with reduced risk of mortality. This methodology takes into account the amounts that individuals are willing to pay for reductions in mortality risk. The resulting values are combined into an estimate known as the value of statistical life (VSL) which is used in regulatory benefit-cost analysis. The EPA also requested that the SAB review options for accounting for changes in the VSL over time as real income grows, known as income elasticity of willingness to pay. The EPA submitted the following documents to the SAB for review: (1) Valuing Mortality Risk for Policy: A Meta-analytic Approach, a white paper prepared by the EPA Office of Policy to describe the Agency's interpretation and application of SAB recommendations received in July 2011 regarding updates to the EPA's estimates of mortality risk valuation; (2) The Effect of Income on the Value of Mortality and Morbidity Risk Reductions, a report prepared for the EPA's Office of Air and Radiation on options for updating the Agency's recommended estimate for the income elasticity of the value of statistical life; and (3) Recommended Income Elasticity and Income Growth Estimates: Technical Memorandum, an EPA memorandum providing supplementary information to the report. The SAB Environmental Economics Advisory Committee met on March 7-8, 2016, to receive agency briefings, hear public comments, and deliberate on responses to the EPA charge questions (81 FR 4296-4297). The purpose of the teleconferences described in this notice is to discuss the committee's draft report with responses to the charge questions. The two committee teleconferences will be conducted as one complete meeting beginning on June 16, 2016 and continuing on June 17, 2016, if needed to complete agenda items. Additional information about this SAB advisory activity can be found at the following URL: http://yosemite.epa.gov/sab/sabproduct.nsf/fedrgstr_activites/Valuing%20fatal%20risk%20for%20policy?OpenDocument.

    Technical Contacts: Any technical questions concerning the EPA documents reviewed by the SAB should be directed to Dr. Nathalie Simon in the EPA's National Center for Environmental Economics, by telephone at (202) 566-2347 or by email at [email protected]

    Availability of Meeting Materials: Prior to the meeting, the teleconference agenda, draft committee report, and other materials will be available on the SAB Web site at http://www.epa.gov/sab.

    Procedures for Providing Public Input: Public comment for consideration by EPA's federal advisory committees and panels has a different purpose from public comment provided to EPA program offices. Therefore, the process for submitting comments to a federal advisory committee is different from the process used to submit comments to an EPA program office. Federal advisory committees and panels, including scientific advisory committees, provide independent advice to the EPA. Interested members of the public may submit relevant information on the topic of this advisory activity, and/or the group conducting the activity, for the SAB to consider during the advisory process. Input from the public to the SAB will have the most impact if it provides specific scientific or technical information or analysis for SAB committees and panels to consider or if it relates to the clarity or accuracy of the technical information. Members of the public wishing to provide comment should contact the DFO directly. Oral Statements: In general, individuals or groups requesting an oral presentation at the teleconference will be limited to three minutes. Interested parties wishing to provide comments should contact Dr. Armitage, DFO, in writing (preferably via email) at the contact information noted above by June 9, 2016, to be placed on the list of public speakers for the meeting. Written Statements: Written statements will be accepted throughout the advisory process; however, for timely consideration by committee members, statements should be supplied to the DFO (preferably via email) at the contact information noted above by June 9, 2016. It is the SAB Staff Office general policy to post written comments on the Web page for advisory meetings. Submitters are requested to provide an unsigned version of each document because the SAB Staff Office does not publish documents with signatures on its Web sites. Members of the public should be aware that their personal contact information, if included in any written comments, may be posted to the SAB Web site. Copyrighted material will not be posted without explicit permission of the copyright holder.

    Accessibility: For information on access or services for individuals with disabilities, please contact Dr. Armitage at the contact information provided above. To request accommodation of a disability, please contact Dr. Armitage preferably at least ten days prior to the meeting to give EPA as much time as possible to process your request.

    Dated: May 9, 2016. Thomas H. Brennan, Deputy Director, EPA Science Advisory Board Staff Office.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11622 Filed 5-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6560-50-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION [OMB 3060-1096] Information Collection Being Submitted for Review and Approval to the Office of Management and Budget AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, and as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on the following information collections. Comments are requested concerning: Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information shall have practical utility; the accuracy of the Commission's burden estimate; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and ways to further reduce the information collection burden on small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees. The FCC may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number. No person shall be subject to any penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information subject to the PRA that does not display a valid OMB control number.

    DATES:

    Written comments should be submitted on or before June 16, 2016. If you anticipate that you will be submitting comments, but find it difficult to do so within the period of time allowed by this notice, you should advise the contacts below as soon as possible.

    ADDRESSES:

    Direct all PRA comments to Nicholas A. Fraser, OMB, via email [email protected]; and to Nicole Ongele, FCC, via email [email protected] and to [email protected] Include in the comments the OMB control number as shown in the Supplementary Information section below.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For additional information or copies of the information collection, contact Nicole Ongele at (202) 418-2991. To view a copy of this information collection request (ICR) submitted to OMB: (1) Go to the Web page <http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAMain>, (2) look for the section of the Web page called “Currently Under Review,” (3) click on the downward-pointing arrow in the “Select Agency” box below the “Currently Under Review” heading, (4) select “Federal Communications Commission” from the list of agencies presented in the “Select Agency” box, (5) click the “Submit” button to the right of the “Select Agency” box, (6) when the list of FCC ICRs currently under review appears, look for the OMB control number of this ICR and then click on the ICR Reference Number. A copy of the FCC submission to OMB will be displayed.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    OMB Control Number: 3060-1096.

    Title: Prepaid Calling Card Service Provider Certification, WC Docket No. 05-68.

    Form Number: N/A.

    Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection.

    Respondents: Business or other for-profit entities.

    Number of Respondents and Responses: 121 respondents; 1,452 responses.

    Estimated Time per Response: 2.5 hours-20 hours.

    Frequency of Response: Quarterly reporting requirement, third party disclosure requirement and recordkeeping requirement.

    Obligation to Respond: Mandatory. Statutory authority for this information collection is contained in 47 U.S.C. 151, 152, 154(i), 201, 202 and 254 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended.

    Total Annual Burden: 12,100 hours.

    Total Annual Cost: No cost.

    Privacy Impact Assessment: No impact(s).

    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: The Commission does not anticipate providing confidentiality of the information submitted by prepaid calling card providers. Particularly, the prepaid calling card providers must send reports to their transport providers. Additionally, the quarterly certifications sent to the Commission will be made public through the Commission's Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS) process. These certifications will be filed in the Commission's docket associated with this proceeding. If the respondents submit information they believe to be confidential, they may request confidential treatment of such information under 47 CFR 0.459 of the Commission's rules.

    Needs and Uses: The Commission will submit this expiring information collection after this comment period in order to obtain the full three-year clearance from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

    The Commission is requesting approval for an extension (no change in the reporting, recordkeeping and/or third-party disclosure requirements). Prepaid calling card service providers must report quarterly the percentage of interstate, intrastate and international access charges to carriers from which they purchase transport services. Prepaid calling card providers must also file certifications with the Commission quarterly that include the above information and a statement that they are contributing to the federal Universal Service Fund based on all interstate and international revenue, except for revenue from the sale of prepaid calling cards by, to, or pursuant to contract with the Department of Defense (DoD) or a DoD entity.

    Federal Communications Commission. Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11584 Filed 5-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION [OMB 3060-0798] Information Collection Being Submitted for Review and Approval to the Office of Management and Budget AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, and as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on the following information collections. Comments are requested concerning: whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information shall have practical utility; the accuracy of the Commission's burden estimate; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and ways to further reduce the information collection burden on small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees.

    The FCC may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number. No person shall be subject to any penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information subject to the PRA that does not display a valid OMB control number.

    DATES:

    Written comments should be submitted on or before June 16, 2016. If you anticipate that you will be submitting comments, but find it difficult to do so within the period of time allowed by this notice, you should advise the contacts below as soon as possible.

    ADDRESSES:

    Direct all PRA comments to Nicholas A. Fraser, OMB, via email [email protected]; and to Cathy Williams, FCC, via email [email protected] and to [email protected] Include in the comments the OMB control number as shown in the “Supplementary Information” section below.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For additional information or copies of the information collection, contact Cathy Williams at (202) 418-2918. To view a copy of this information collection request (ICR) submitted to OMB: (1) Go to the Web page http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAMain, (2) look for the section of the Web page called “Currently Under Review,” (3) click on the downward-pointing arrow in the “Select Agency” box below the “Currently Under Review” heading, (4) select “Federal Communications Commission” from the list of agencies presented in the “Select Agency” box, (5) click the “Submit” button to the right of the “Select Agency” box, (6) when the list of FCC ICRs currently under review appears, look for the OMB control number of this ICR and then click on the ICR Reference Number. A copy of the FCC submission to OMB will be displayed.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    OMB Control Number: 3060-0798.

    Title: FCC Application for Radio Service Authorization; Wireless Telecommunications Bureau; Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau.

    Form Number: FCC Form 601.

    Type of Review: Revision of a currently approved collection.

    Respondents: Individuals and households; Business or other for-profit entities; Not-for-profit institutions; and State, local or tribal government.

    Number of Respondents and Responses: 253,320 respondents and 253,320 responses.

    Estimated Time per Response: 0.5-1.25 hours.

    Frequency of Response: Recordkeeping requirement, third party disclosure requirement, on occasion reporting requirement and periodic reporting requirement.

    Obligation to Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefits. The statutory authority for this collection of information is contained in 47 U.S.C. 151, 152, 154, 154(i), 155(c), 157, 201, 202, 208, 214, 301, 302a, 303, 307, 308, 309, 310, 311, 314, 316, 319, 324, 331, 332, 333, 336, 534, 535 and 554.

    Total Annual Burden: 222,055 hours.

    Total Annual Cost: $71,306,250.

    Privacy Impact Assessment: Yes.

    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: In general there is no need for confidentiality with this collection of information.

    Needs and Uses: FCC Form 601 is a consolidated, multi-part application form that is used for market-based and site-based licensing for wireless telecommunications services, including public safety licenses, which are filed through the Commission's Universal Licensing System (ULS). FCC Form 601 is composed of a main form that contains administrative information and a series of schedules used for filing technical and other information. This form is used to apply for a new license, to amend or withdraw a pending application, to modify or renew an existing license, cancel a license, request a duplicate license, submit required notifications, request an extension of time to satisfy construction requirements, or request an administrative update to an existing license (such as mailing address change), request a Special Temporary Authority or Developmental License. Respondents are encouraged to submit FCC Form 601 electronically and are required to do so when submitting FCC Form 601 to apply for an authorization for which the applicant was the winning bidder in a spectrum auction.

    The data collected on FCC Form 601 includes the FCC Registration Number (FRN), which serves as a “common link” for all filings an entity has with the FCC. The Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996 requires entities filing with the Commission use an FRN.

    On July 20, 2015, the Commission released the part 1 R&O in which it updated many of its part 1 competitive bidding rules (See Updating Part 1 Competitive Bidding Rules; Expanding the Economic and Innovation Opportunities of Spectrum Through Incentive Auctions; Petition of DIRECTV Group, Inc. and EchoStar LLC for Expedited Rulemaking to Amend Section 1.2105(a)(2)(xi) and 1.2106(a) of the Commission's Rules and/or for Interim Conditional Waiver; Implementation of the Commercial Spectrum Enhancement Act and Modernization of the Commission's Competitive Bidding Rules and Procedures, Report and Order, Order on Reconsideration of the First Report and Order, Third Order on Reconsideration of the Second Report and Order, and Third Report and Order, FCC 15-80, 30 FCC Rcd 7493 (2015), modified by Erratum, 30 FCC Rcd 8518 (2015) (Part 1 R&O)). Of relevance to the information collection at issue here, the Commission: (1) Implemented a new general prohibition on the filing of auction applications by entities controlled by the same individual or set of individuals (but with a limited exception for qualifying rural wireless partnerships); (2) modified the eligibility requirements for small business benefits, and updated the standardized schedule of small business sizes, including the gross revenues thresholds used to determine eligibility; (3) established a new bidding credit for eligible rural service providers; (4) adopted targeted attribution rules to prevent the unjust enrichment of ineligible entities; and (5) adopted rules prohibiting joint bidding arrangements with limited exceptions. The updated Part 1 rules apply to applicants seeking licenses and permits.

    Additionally, on June 2, 2014 the Commission released the Mobile Spectrum Holdings R&O, in which the Commission updated its spectrum screen and established rules for its upcoming auctions of low-band spectrum. Of relevance to the information collection at issue here, the Commission stated that it could reserve spectrum in order to ensure against excessive concentration in holdings of below-1-GHz spectrum (In the Matter of Policies Regarding Mobile Spectrum Holdings, Expanding the Economic and Innovation Opportunities of Spectrum Through Incentive Auctions, FCC 14-63, Report and Order, 29 FCC Rcd 6133, 90) 135 (2014) (Mobile Spectrum Holdings R&O). See also Application Procedures for Broadcast Incentive Auction Scheduled to Begin on March 29, 2016; Technical Formulas for Competitive Bidding, Public Notice, 30 FCC Rcd 11034, Appendix 3 (WTB 2015); Wireless Telecommunications Bureau Releases Updated List of Reserve-Eligible Nationwide Service Providers in each PEA for the Broadcast Incentive Auction, Public Notice, AU No. 14-252 (WTB 2016).

    The Commission seeks approval for revisions to its previously approved collection of information under OMB Control Number 3060-0798 to permit the collection of the additional information for Commission licenses and permits, pursuant to the rules and information collection requirements adopted by the Commission in the Part 1 R&O and the Mobile Spectrum Holdings R&O. As part of the collection, the Commission is seeking approval for the information collection and recordkeeping requirements associated with 47 CFR 1.2210(j), 1.2112(b)(2)(iii), 1.2112(b)(2)(v), 1.2112(b)(2)(vii), and 1.2112(b)(2)(viii). Also, in certain circumstances, the Commission requires the applicant to provide copies of their agreements and/or submit exhibits.

    In addition, the Commission seeks approval for various other, non-substantive editorial/consistency edits and updates to FCC Form 601 that correct inconsistent capitalization of words and other typographical errors, and better align the text on the form with the text in the Commission rules both generally and in connection with recent non-substantive, organizational amendments to the Commission's rules. The Commission therefore seeks approval for a revision to its currently approved information collection on FCC Form 601 to revise FCC Form 601 accordingly.

    Federal Communications Commission. Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, Office of the Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11582 Filed 5-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION [OMB 3060-0207] Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications Commission AGENCY:

    Federal Communications Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, and as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or the Commission) invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on the following information collection. Comments are requested concerning: Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information shall have practical utility; the accuracy of the Commission's burden estimate; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and ways to further reduce the information collection burden on small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees.

    The FCC may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid control number. No person shall be subject to any penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information subject to the PRA that does not display a valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number.

    DATES:

    Written PRA comments should be submitted on or before July 18, 2016. If you anticipate that you will be submitting comments, but find it difficult to do so within the period of time allowed by this notice, you should advise the contact listed below as soon as possible.

    ADDRESSES:

    Direct all PRA comments to Nicole Ongele, FCC, via email [email protected] and to [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For additional information about the information collection, contact Nicole Ongele at (202) 418-2991.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    OMB Control Number: 3060-0207.

    Title: Part 11—Emergency Alert System (EAS), Order, FCC 16-32.

    Form Number: N/A.

    Type of Review: Revision of a currently approved collection.

    Respondents: Business or other for-profit entities, not-for-profit institutions, and state, local or tribal government.

    Number of Respondents and Responses: 63,080 respondents; 3,596,546 responses.

    Estimated Time per Response: 1 hour (EAS Participants); 20 hours (SECCs).

    Frequency of Response: One-time reporting requirement and recordkeeping requirement.

    Obligation to Respond: Obligatory for all entities required to participate in EAS. Statutory authority for this collection of information is contained in 47 U.S.C. 154(i) and 606 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended.

    Total Annual Burden: 110,476 hours.

    Total Annual Cost: No cost.

    Privacy Impact Assessment: No Impact(s).

    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: There is no need for confidentiality.

    Needs and Uses: Part 11 contains rules and regulations addressing the nation's Emergency Alert System (EAS). The EAS provides the President with the capability to provide immediate communications and information to the general public at the national, state and local area level during periods of national emergency. The EAS also provides state and local governments and the National Weather Service with the capability to provide immediate communications and information to the general public concerning emergency situations posing a threat to life and property. State and local use of the EAS is required to be described in State EAS Plans that are administered by State Emergency Communications Committees (SECC) and submitted to the FCC for approval.

    In the Third Report and Order in EB Docket No. 04-296, FCC 11-12, the Commission adopted rules establishing a regulatory structure for a national test of the EAS. In order for the Commission to determine the extent to which the test, and by extension the EAS, was successful, the FCC adopted rules requiring EAS Participants, within forty five (45) days of the date of the first national EAS test, to record and submit to the Commission the following test-related diagnostic information for each alert received from each message source monitored at the time of the national test:

    • Whether they received the alert message during the designated test;

    • whether they retransmitted the alert;

    • if they were not able to receive and/or transmit the alert, their `best effort' diagnostic analysis regarding the cause(s) for such failure;

    • a description of their station identification and level of designation (PEP, LP-1, etc.);

    • the date/time of receipt of the EAN message by all stations; the date/time of PEP station acknowledgement of receipt of the EAN message to FOC;

    • the date/time of initiation of actual broadcast of the Presidential message;

    • the date/time of receipt of the EAT message by all stations;

    • who they were monitoring at the time of the test, and the make and

    • model number of the EAS equipment that they utilized.

    The Third Report and Order indicates that the national tests of EAS, and related information collections will likely be carried out on an annual basis. On March 10, 2010, OMB approved the collection as indicated by the related Notice of Office of Management and Budget Action notification.

    The FCC is submitting this information collection to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) as a revision of the previously approved information collection that established the mandatory Electronic Test Reporting System (ETRS) that EAS Participants must utilize to file identifying and test result data as part of their participation in nationwide EAS testing. Specifically, the Order adopted in EB Docket No. 04-296, FCC 16-32, amends the State EAS Plan filing requirements set forth at Section 11.21 of the Commission's rules to require EAS Participants (i.e., the broadcasters, cable systems, and other service providers subject to the FCC's EAS rules) to provide the following information to their respective SECC, who in turn will include such information in the State EAS Plan submitted to the Commission for approval:

    • A description of any actions taken by the EAS Participant (acting individually, in conjunction with other EAS Participants in the geographic area, and/or in consultation with state and local emergency authorities), to make EAS alert content available in languages other than English to its non-English speaking audience(s);

    • A description of any future actions planned by the EAS Participant, in consultation with state and local emergency authorities, to provide EAS alert content in languages other than English to its non-English speaking audience(s), along with an explanation for the EAS Participant's decision to plan or not plan such actions; and

    • Any other relevant information that the EAS Participant may wish to provide.

    In addition, in the event that there is a material change to any of the information that EAS Participants are required to furnish their respective SECCs, EAS Participants must, within 60 days of the occurrence of such material change, submit aa letter to their respective SECCs, copying the Commission's Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau (Bureau) that describe such change. The SECCs are required to incorporate the information in such letters as amendments to the State EAS Plans on file with the Bureau.

    This information will be used by FCC staff to gauge the effectiveness of the EAS's capacity to disseminate in-language EAS emergency alert content to persons who communicate in a language other than English or may have a limited understanding of the English language; to determine whether private and local efforts to disseminate EAS multilingual content might be incorporated into the overall national EAS structure; and to confirm that private and local EAS multilingual operations are consistent with national plans, FCC regulations, and EAS operation.

    The Commission expects that the costs to EAS Participants to comply with these reporting requirements will be minimal, and largely limited to internal administrative charges associated with drafting a brief statement, and submitting that statement, and any other relevant information that the EAS Participant may wish to provide to their SECC for inclusion into the State EAS Plan for the state in which the EAS Participant operates. The Commission further expects that the vast majority of EAS Participants are not engaged in multilingual EAS activities and therefore will need to submit nothing more than a very brief statement to their SECC explaining their decision to plan or not plan future actions to provide EAS alert content in languages other than English to their non-English speaking audience(s). For the presumably small percentage of EAS Participants that actually are engaged in multilingual EAS activities, the filing will merely require that they supply a summary of actions they already have taken in this regard. Accordingly, the FCC estimates that complying with the reporting requirement will take EAS Participants, on average, approximately one hour. The FCC estimates that compiling the EAS Participant summaries of multilingual EAS activities and incorporating such information into the State EAS Plan will take SECCs, on average, approximately 20 hours.

    The following information collection contained in part 11 may be impacted by these rule amendments: Section 11.21 requires that state and local EAS plans be reviewed and approved by the Chief, Public Safety and Homeland Security, prior to implementation to ensure that they are consistent with national plans, FCC regulations, and EAS operation.

    Federal Communications Commission. Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11583 Filed 5-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6712-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Food and Drug Administration [Docket No. FDA-2016-D-1224] Use of Electronic Health Record Data in Clinical Investigations; Draft 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 guidance for industry entitled “Use of Electronic Health Record Data in Clinical Investigations.” The draft guidance is intended to assist sponsors, clinical investigators, contract research organizations, institutional review boards (IRBs), and other interested parties on the use of electronic health record (EHR) data in FDA-regulated clinical investigations.

    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 guidance before it begins work on the final version of the guidance, submit either electronic or written comments on the draft guidance by July 18, 2016.

    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 deliveryCourier (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-D-1224 for “Use of Electronic Health Record Data in Clinical Investigations; Draft Guidance for Industry; Availability.” 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 draft guidance to the Division of Drug Information, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10001 New Hampshire Ave., Hillandale Building, 4th Floor, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002; the Office of Communication, Outreach, and Development, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 71, Rm. 3128, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002; or the Office of the Center Director, Guidance and Policy Development, Center for Devices and Radiological Health, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 66, Rm. 5431, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002. 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 guidance document.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Cheryl Grandinetti, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 51, Rm. 3348, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, 301-796-2500; Stephen Ripley, Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 71, Rm. 7301, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, 240-402-7911; or Irfan Khan, Center for Devices and Radiological Health, Food and Drug Administration, 10903 New Hampshire Ave., Bldg. 66, Rm. 3563, Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002, 301-796-7100.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Background

    FDA is announcing the availability of a draft guidance for industry entitled “Use of Electronic Health Record Data in Clinical Investigations.” The draft guidance is intended to assist sponsors, clinical investigators, contract research organizations, IRBs, and other interested parties on the use of EHR data in FDA-regulated clinical investigations. In particular, the draft guidance provides recommendations on the following: (1) Deciding whether and how to use EHRs as a source of data in clinical investigations; (2) using EHRs that are interoperable with electronic systems supporting clinical investigations; (3) ensuring the quality and the integrity of EHR data that are collected and used as electronic source data in clinical investigations; and (4) ensuring that the use of EHR data collected and used as electronic source data in clinical investigations meet FDA's inspection, recordkeeping, and record retention requirements. In an effort to modernize and streamline clinical investigations, the goals of the draft guidance are to facilitate use of EHR data in clinical investigations and to promote the interoperability of EHRs and electronic systems supporting the clinical investigation.

    This draft guidance is being issued consistent with FDA's good guidance practices regulation (21 CFR 10.115). The draft guidance, when finalized, will represent the current thinking of FDA on the use of EHR data in clinical investigations. 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.

    II. Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    This draft guidance refers to 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 draft guidance pertains to sponsors, clinical investigators, contract research organizations, IRBs, and other interested parties who use EHR systems as electronic source data in FDA-regulated clinical investigations and who send certain information to FDA or others or who keep certain records and make them available to FDA inspectors. The collections of information discussed in the draft guidance are contained in our investigational new drug regulations in part 312 (21 CFR part 312), approved under OMB control number 0910-0014, including §§ 312.58(a) and 312.62(b); investigational device exemption regulations in § 812.140 (21 CFR 812.140) approved under OMB control number 0910-0078; and electronic records; electronic signatures regulations in 21 CFR part 11, approved under OMB control number 0910-0303. The use of EHR systems as a source of data, as described in the draft guidance, would not result in any new costs, including capital costs or operating and maintenance costs, because sponsors and others already have and are experienced with using computer-based equipment and software necessary to be consistent with the draft guidance.

    III. Electronic Access

    Persons with access to the Internet may obtain the draft guidance at http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/Guidances/default.htm, http://www.fda.gov/BiologicsBloodVaccines/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/Guidances/default.htm, http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/DeviceRegulationandGuidance/GuidanceDocuments/default.htm, or http://www.regulations.gov.

    Dated: May 11, 2016. Leslie Kux, Associate Commissioner for Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11564 Filed 5-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4164-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES National Institutes of Health National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; 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 contract proposals and the discussions could disclose confidential trade secrets or commercial property such as patentable material, and personal information concerning individuals associated with the contract proposals, the disclosure of which would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

    Name of Committee: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Special Emphasis Panel, NIAID Peer Review Meeting.

    Date: June 9, 2016.

    Time: 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate contract proposals.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, Room 3G61, 5601 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20892 (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Travis J Taylor, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Scientific Review Program, Division of Extramural Activities, Room 3G62B 5601 Fishers Lane, MSC 9823, Bethesda, MD 20892-9823, (240) 669-5082, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Special Emphasis Panel, Rapid Assessment of Zika Virus (ZIKV) Complications (R21).

    Date: June 14, 2016.

    Time: 12:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health 3F100, 5601 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20892 (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Amir E. Zeituni, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Scientific Review Program, Division of Extramural Activities NIAID/NIH/DHHS, 5601 Fishers Lane, MSC-9834 Rockville, MD 20852, 301-496-2550, [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: May 11, 2016. Natasha M. Copeland, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11554 Filed 5-16-16; 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 (NIH) Loan Repayment Programs; Office of the Director (OD)

    Summary: Under the provisions of Section 3507(a)(1)(D) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Division of Loan Repayment (DLR), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) a request to review and approve the information collection listed below. This proposed information collection was previously published in the Federal Register on February 19, 2016, and page numbers 8514-8516, 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. The 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.

    Direct Comments to OMB: 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: NIH Desk Officer.

    Comment Due Date: Comments regarding this information collection are best assured of having their full effect if received within 30 days of the date of this publication.

    For Further Information: To obtain a copy of the data collection plans and instruments or request more information on the proposed project contact: Steve Boehlert, Director of Operations, Division of Loan Repayment, National Institutes of Health, 6011 Executive Blvd., Room 206 (MSC 7650), Bethesda, Maryland 20892-7650. Mr. Boehlert may be contacted via email at [email protected] or by calling 301-451-4465. Formal requests for additional plans and instruments must be requested in writing.

    Proposed Collection: National Institutes of Health (NIH) Loan Repayment Programs (LRP). Type of Information Collection Request: Extension of a currently approved collection (OMB No. 0925-0361, expiration date 06/30/17). Form Numbers: NIH 2674-1, NIH 2674-2, NIH 2674-3, NIH 2674-4, NIH 2674-5, NIH 2674-6, NIH 2674-7, NIH 2674-8, NIH 2674-9, NIH 2674-10, NIH 2674-11, NIH 2674-12, NIH 2674-13, NIH 2674-14, NIH 2674-15, NIH 2674-16, NIH 2674-17, NIH 2674-18, NIH 2674-19, and NIH 2674-20.

    Need and Use of Information Collection: The NIH makes available financial assistance, in the form of educational loan repayment, to M.D., Ph.D., Pharm.D., Psy.D., D.O., D.D.S., D.M.D., D.P.M., DC, N.D., O.D., D.V.M., or equivalent degree holders who perform biomedical or behavioral research in NIH intramural laboratories or as extramural grantees or scientists funded by domestic non-profit organizations for a minimum of two years (three years for the General Research Loan Repayment Program (LRP)) in research areas supporting the mission and priorities of the NIH.

    The AIDS Research Loan Repayment Program (AIDS-LRP) is authorized by Section 487A of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 288-1); the Clinical Research Loan Repayment Program for Individuals from Disadvantaged Backgrounds (CR-LRP) is authorized by Section 487E (42 U.S.C. 288-5); the General Research Loan Repayment Program (GR-LRP) is authorized by Section 487C of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 288-3); the Clinical Research Loan Repayment Program (LRP-CR) is authorized by Section 487F (42 U.S.C. 288-5a); the Pediatric Research Loan Repayment Program (PR-LRP) is authorized by Section 487F (42 U.S.C. 288-6); the Extramural Clinical Research LRP for Individuals from Disadvantaged Backgrounds (ECR-LRP) is authorized by an amendment to Section 487E (42 U.S.C. 288-5); the Contraception and Infertility Research LRP (CIR-LRP) is authorized by Section 487B (42 U.S.C. 288-2); and the Health Disparities Research Loan Repayment Program (HD-LRP) is authorized by Section 485G (42 U.S.C. 287c-33).

    The Loan Repayment Programs can repay up to $35,000 per year toward a participant's extant eligible educational loans, directly to financial institutions. The information proposed for collection will be used by the Division of Loan Repayment to determine an applicant's eligibility for participation in the program.

    Frequency of Response: Initial application and one or two-year renewal application.

    Affected Public: Individuals or households; Nonprofits; and Businesses or other for-profit.

    Type of Respondents: Physicians, other scientific or medical personnel, and institutional representatives.

    OMB approval is requested for 3 years. There are no costs to respondents other than their time. The total estimated annualized burden hours are 33,242.

    Estimated Annualized Burden Hours Type of respondent Number of
  • respondents
  • Estimated
  • number of
  • responses per
  • respondent
  • Average
  • burden hours
  • per response
  • Annual
  • burden hours
  • requested
  • Intramural LRPs: Initial Applicants 40 1 10 400 Advisors/Supervisors 40 1 1 40 Recommenders 120 1 30/60 60 Financial Institutions 8 1 15/60 2 Subtotal 208 502 Extramural LRPs: Initial Applicants 1,650 1 11 18,150 Advisors/Supervisors 1,480 1 1 1,480 Recommenders 4,950 1 30/60 2,475 Financial Institutions 100 1 15/60 25 Subtotal 8,180 22,130 Intramural LRPs: Renewal Applicants 40 1 7 280 Advisors/Supervisors 40 1 2 80 Subtotal 80 360 Extramural LRPS: Renewal Applicants 1,000 1 8 8,000 Advisors/Supervisors 750 1 1 750 Recommenders 3,000 1 30/60 1,500 Subtotal 4,750 10,250 Total 13,218 33,242
    Dated: May 11, 2016. Lawrence A. Tabak, Deputy Director, National Institutes of Health.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11618 Filed 5-16-16; 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 invention listed below is owned by an agency of the U.S. Government and is available for licensing and/or co-development in the U.S. in accordance with 35 U.S.C. 209 and 37 CFR part 404 to achieve expeditious commercialization of results 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 and/or co-development.

    ADDRESSES:

    Invention Development and Marketing Unit, Technology Transfer Center, National Cancer Institute, 9609 Medical Center Drive, Mail Stop 9702, Rockville, MD 20850-9702.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Information on licensing and co-development research collaborations, and copies of the U.S. patent applications listed below may be obtained by contacting: Attn. Invention Development and Marketing Unit, Technology Transfer Center, National Cancer Institute, 9609 Medical Center Drive, Mail Stop 9702, Rockville, MD 20850-9702, Tel. 240-276-5515 or email [email protected] A signed Confidential Disclosure Agreement may be required to receive copies of the patent applications.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Technology description follows.

    Title of invention: Method for Purifying Antibodies.

    Description of Technology: This technology is a method for purifying a biologic composition, comprising diafiltering the biologic composition into a composition comprising phosphate buffered saline (PBS) to obtain a purified composition. The method is particularly useful for removing one or more impurities from the biologic composition, such as bis(2-hydroxyethyl)amino-tris(hydroxymethyl)methane (Bis-tris).The technology is directed to large scale manufacturing of Chimeric 14.18 (Ch14.18) monoclonal antibodies. Ch14.18 is an anti-GD2 monoclonal antibody and has been described in Gillies et al., Journal of Immunological Methods 125:191-202 (1989).

    Potential Commercial Applications:

    • Large scale manufacturing of chimeric monoclonal antibodies

    Value Proposition:

    • Cost effective means of removing impurities to produce GMP grade chimeric antibodies for regulatory approval.

    Development Stage: Clinical Phase II, FDA/EMA approved Chemistry, Manufacturing and Controls (CMC) large scale manufacturing to produce GMP grade chimeric antibodies.

    Inventor(s): David A. Meh (United Therapeutics Corporation), Timothy Atolagbe (United Therapeutics Corporation), G. Mark Farquharson (United Therapeutics Corporation), Samir Shaban (National Cancer Institute), Mary Koleck (National Cancer Institute), George Mitra (National Cancer Institute).

    Intellectual Property:

    HHS Ref. No. E-291-2014/0-US-01, corresponding to US Provisional Patent App. No. 62/028,994, filed July 25, 2014, entitled “Method for Purifying Antibodies using PBS”

    HHS Ref. No. E-291-2014/0-US-02, corresponding to US Patent App. No. 14/809,211, filed July 25, 2015, entitled “Method for Purifying Antibodies using PBS”

    HHS Ref. No. E-291-2014/0-PCT-03, corresponding to International Patent App. No. PCT/US2015/042241, filed July 27, 2015, entitled “Method for Purifying Antibodies”

    Publications:

    1. FDA published document: http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/nda/2015/125516Orig1s000TOC.cfm

    2. US Food and Drug Administration. FDA approves first therapy for high-risk neuroblastoma.http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm437460.htm

    3. WO2016015048 METHOD FOR PURIFYING ANTIBODIES https://patentscope.wipo.int/search/en/detail.jsf?docId=WO2016015048

    Contact Information: Requests for copies of the patent application or inquiries about licensing, research collaborations, and co-development opportunities should be sent to John D. Hewes, Ph.D., email: [email protected]

    Dated: May 11, 2016. John D. Hewes, Technology Transfer Specialist, Technology Transfer Center, National Cancer Institute.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11556 Filed 5-16-16; 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 invention listed below is owned by an agency of the U.S. Government and is available for licensing and/or co-development in the U.S. in accordance with 35 U.S.C. 209 and 37 CFR part 404 to achieve expeditious commercialization of results 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 and/or co-development.

    ADDRESSES:

    Invention Development and Marketing Unit, Technology Transfer Center, National Cancer Institute, 9609 Medical Center Drive, Mail Stop 9702, Rockville, MD 20850-9702.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Information on licensing and co-development research collaborations, and copies of the U.S. patent applications listed below may be obtained by contacting: Attn. Invention Development and Marketing Unit, Technology Transfer Center, National Cancer Institute, 9609 Medical Center Drive, Mail Stop 9702, Rockville, MD 20850-9702, Tel. 240-276-5515 or email [email protected] A signed Confidential Disclosure Agreement may be required to receive copies of the patent applications.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Technology description follows.

    Title of invention: Improved Pepper Spray for Repellency and Incapacitation.

    Description of Technology: Non-lethal means of temporarily incapacitating a person are greatly needed for law enforcement and for personal protection. A common approach is to use pepper spray. Although current pepper sprays are effective, they cause pain for excessively long periods, and could be life threatening for people who suffer from asthma and have hypersensitive airways. This technology describes a composition for use in an aerosol or spray, that when administered, causes a painful stimulation and incapacitates a person for only a brief period. This technology may improve safety over currently available pepper sprays.

    Potential Commercial Applications:

    • Law enforcement (policing, riot control, crowd control)

    • Incapacitating agent for use in hostage situations

    • Personal self-defense

    Value Proposition:

    • Incapacitating pepper spray with reduced toxicity and enhanced safety.

    • May reduce potential agency liability in case of an adverse response of an individual who was sprayed (due to reduced toxicity may not be as life threatening to those suffering from asthma or have hypersensitive airways as standard pepper sprays).

    • Mixture can be incorporated into a spray, aerosol, or other dispersions.

    Development Stage: Basic (Target ID).

    Inventor(s): Peter M. Blumberg (NCI), Larry V. Pearce (NCI).

    Intellectual Property:

    HHS Reference No. E-048-2010/0.

    U.S. Provisional Application 61/340,063 (HHS Reference No. E-048-2010/0-US-01) filed March 12, 2010 entitled, “Improved Pepper Spray for Repellency and Incapacitation of People and Animals”.

    PCT Application PCT/US2011/028132 (HHS Reference No. E-048-2010/0-PCT-02) filed March 11, 2011 entitled, “Agonist/Antagonist Compositions and Methods of Use”.

    Canada: Application 2,792, 878 (HHS Reference No. E-048-2010/0-CA-03) filed March 11, 2011 entitled, “Agonist/Antagonist Compositions and Methods of Use” (Pending).

    U.S. Patent Application 13/634,447 (HHS Reference No. E-048-2010/0-US-04) filed September 12, 2012 entitled, “Agonist/Antagonist Compositions and Methods of Use”.

    U.S. Patent Application 15/010,830 (HHS Reference No. E-048-2010/0-US-05) filed January 29, 2016 entitled, “Agonist/Antagonist Compositions and Methods of Use” (Pending).

    Collaboration Opportunity: Researchers at the NCI seek licensing for use as a non-lethal incapacitation agent.

    Contact Information: Requests for copies of the patent application or inquiries about licensing, research collaborations, and co-development opportunities should be sent to John D. Hewes, Ph.D., email: [email protected]

    Dated: May 11, 2016. John D. Hewes, Technology Transfer Specialist, Technology Transfer Center, National Cancer Institute.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11555 Filed 5-16-16; 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 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 Allergy and Infectious Diseases Special Emphasis Panel; Investigator Initiated Extended Clinical Trial (R01).

    Date: June 6, 2016.

    Time: 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health 3C100, 5601 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20892 (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Yong Gao, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer Scientific Review Program, Division of Extramural Activities, Room #3G13B, National Institutes of Health/NIAID, 5601 Fishers Lane, MSC 9823, Rockville, MD 20892-7616, (240) 669-5048, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Special Emphasis Panel; Investigator Initiated Extended Clinical Trial (R01).

    Date: June 6, 2016.

    Time: 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, 3C100, 5601 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20892 (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Yong Gao, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Scientific Review Program, Division of Extramural Activities, Room #3G13B, National Institutes of Health/NIAID, 5601 Fishers Lane, MSC 9823, Rockville, MD 20892-7616, (240) 669-5048, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: Microbiology, Infectious Diseases and AIDS Initial Review Group; Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Research Committee.

    Date: June 9-10, 2016.

    Time: 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, Room 3F100, 5601 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20892 (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Frank S. De Silva, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer Scientific Review Program, Division of Extramural Activities, Room #3E72A, National Institutes of Health/NIAID, 5601 Fishers Lane, MSC 9834, Bethesda, MD 20892934, (240) 669-5023, [email protected]

    Name of Committee: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Special Emphasis Panel; Rapid Assessment of Zika Virus (ZIKV) Complications (R21).

    Date: June 13, 2016.

    Time: 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

    Agenda: To review and evaluate grant applications.

    Place: National Institutes of Health, Room 3C100, 5601 Fishers Lane, Rockville, MD 20892 (Telephone Conference Call).

    Contact Person: Uday K. Shankar, Ph.D., Scientific Review Officer, Scientific Review Program, Division of Extramural Activities, Room #3G21B, National Institutes of Health, NIAID, 5601 Fishers Lane, MSC 9823, Bethesda, MD 20892-9823, (240) 669-5051, [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: May 11, 2016. Natasha M. Copeland, Program Analyst, Office of Federal Advisory Committee Policy.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11553 Filed 5-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4140-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; Comment Request

    In compliance with Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 concerning opportunity for public comment on proposed collections of information, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) will publish periodic summaries of proposed projects. To request more information on the proposed projects or to obtain a copy of the information collection plans, call the SAMHSA Reports Clearance Officer on (240) 276-1243.

    Comments are invited on: (a) Whether the proposed collections of information are necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Proposed Project: Mental Health First Aid Evaluation—NEW.

    The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA) Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS) is requesting approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for new data collection activities associated with its Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) program.

    This information is needed to evaluate implementation of MHFA and Youth Mental Health First Aid in three distinct grant programs: Project Advancing Wellness and Resilience in Education (AWARE) State Education Agency (SEA) Cooperative Agreements, which provide funding to support MHFA and YMHFA training to state education agencies; Project AWARE Local Education Agency (LEA) Grants, which provide funding to school districts; and Project AWARE Community (C), a new funding opportunity in fiscal year 2015 that is intended to support MHFA and YMHFA training through a wide range of community organizations.

    The MHFA/YMHFA evaluation will address both overarching and program-specific questions related to the implementation and effectiveness of widespread dissemination of mental health literacy programs through these three distinct funding mechanisms and increase SAMHSA's understanding of training, referral benefits, and issues in varied milieu (e.g., implementation climate, leadership). These evaluation questions are essential to address because, although MHFA/YMHFA has a track record and well-articulated theory of action, it is vital for SAMHSA to be able to identify factors that are expected to increase or decrease the extent MHFA/YMHFA is disseminated and implemented with quality.

    This data collection is covered under the requirements of Public Law 103-62, the Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) of 1993,Title 38, section 527, Evaluation and Data Collection, as well as 38 CFR 1.15, Standards for Program Evaluation.

    SAMHSA is requesting clearance for four data collection instruments:

    (1) MHFA/YMHFA Pre-Training Survey.

    (2) MHFA/YMHFA Post-Training Survey.

    (3) MHFA/YMHFA 3-Month and 6-Month Follow-Up Survey.

    (4) Qualitative protocol for interviews with site coordinators.

    The table below reflects the annualized hourly burden.

    Instrument/activity Number of
  • respondents
  • Responses per
  • respondent
  • Total
  • responses
  • Hours per
  • response
  • Total burden hours
    MHFA/YMHFA Pre-Training Survey 22,800 1 22,800 .33 7,524 MHFA/YMHFA Post-Training Survey 22,800 1 22,800 .25 5,700 MHFA/YMHFA 3-Month Follow-Up Survey 19,380 1 19,380 .17 3,294 MHFA/YMHFA 6-Month Follow-Up Survey 17,100 1 17,100 .17 2,907 Qualitative Interviews 23 1 23 .75 17.25 Total 22,823 82,103 19,442

    Send comments to Summer King, SAMHSA Reports Clearance Officer, 5600 Fishers Lane, Room 15E57-B, Rockville, Maryland, 20857 or email her a copy at [email protected] Written comments should be received by July 18, 2016.

    Summer King, Statistician.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11560 Filed 5-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4162-20-P
    DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT [Docket No. FR-5949-N-01] Notice of Aged Delinquent Portfolio Loan Sale (ADPLS) AGENCY:

    Office of the Assistant Secretary for Housing—Federal Housing Commissioner, HUD.

    ACTION:

    Notice of sales of mortgage loans.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces HUD's intention to competitively sell certain unsubsidized single family mortgage loans, in a sealed bid sale offering called ADPLS, without Federal Housing Administration (FHA) mortgage insurance. This notice also generally describes the bidding process for the sale and certain persons who are ineligible to bid. This is the first ADPLS offering, and the sale will be held on May 18, 2016.

    DATES:

    For this sale action, the Bidder's Information Package (BIP) was made available to qualified bidders on April 11, 2016. Bids for the ADPLS sale will be accepted on the Bid Date of May 18, 2016 (Bid Date). HUD anticipates that award(s) will be made on or after May 18, 2016 (the Award Date).

    ADDRESSES:

    To become a qualified bidder and receive the BIP, prospective bidders must complete, execute, and submit a Confidentiality Agreement and a Qualification Statement acceptable to HUD. Both documents are available via the HUD Web site at: http://www.hud.gov/sfloansales or via: http://www.verdiassetsales.com. Please execute electronically or mail and fax executed documents to Verdi Consulting, Inc.: Verdi Consulting, Inc., 8400 Westpark Drive, 4th Floor, McLean, VA 22102, Attention: HUD ADPLS Coordinator, Fax: 1-703-584-7790.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    John Lucey, Director, Asset Sales Office, Room 3136, Department of Housing and Urban Development, 451 Seventh Street SW., Washington, DC 20410-8000; telephone 202-708-2625, extension 3927. Hearing- or speech-impaired individuals may call 202-708-4594 (TTY). These are not toll-free numbers.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    HUD announces its intention to sell in ADPLS certain unsubsidized non-performing mortgage loans (Mortgage Loans) secured by single family properties located throughout the United States. A listing of the Mortgage Loans is included in the due diligence materials made available to qualified bidders. The Mortgage Loans will be sold without FHA insurance and with servicing released. HUD will offer qualified bidders an opportunity to bid competitively on the Mortgage Loans.

    The Bidding Process

    The BIP describes in detail the procedure for bidding in ADPLS. The BIP also includes a standardized non-negotiable Conveyance, Assignment and Assumption Agreement (CAA Agreement). Qualified bidders will be required to submit a deposit with their bid. Deposits are calculated based upon each qualified bidder's aggregate bid price.

    HUD will evaluate the bids submitted and determine the successful bid, in terms of the best value to HUD, in its sole and absolute discretion. If a qualified bidder is successful, the qualified bidder's deposit will be non-refundable and will be applied toward the purchase price. Deposits will be returned to unsuccessful bidders. For ADPLS, settlements are expected to take place on or about June 27, 2016, and July 29th, 2016.

    This notice provides some of the basic terms of sale. The CAA Agreement, which is included in the BIP, provides comprehensive contractual terms and conditions. To ensure a competitive bidding process, the terms of the bidding process and the CAA Agreement are not subject to negotiation.

    Due Diligence Review

    The BIP describes how qualified bidders may access the due diligence materials remotely via a high-speed Internet connection.

    Mortgage Loan Sale Policy

    HUD reserves the right to remove Mortgage Loans from ADPLS at any time prior to the Award Date. HUD also reserves the right to reject any and all bids, in whole or in part, and include any Mortgage Loans in a later sale. Deliveries of Mortgage Loans will occur in at least two settlements and the number of Mortgage Loans delivered will vary depending upon the number of Mortgage Loans the Participating Servicers have submitted for the payment of an FHA insurance claim. The Participating Servicers will not be able to submit claims on loans that are not included in the Mortgage Loan Portfolio set forth in the BIP.

    There can be no assurance that any Participating Servicer will deliver a minimum number of Mortgage Loans to HUD or that a minimum number of Mortgage Loans will be delivered to the Purchaser.

    The ADPLS Mortgage Loans are assigned to HUD pursuant to section 204(a)(1)(A) of the National Housing Act as amended under Title VI of the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Housing and Urban Development and Independent Agencies Appropriations Act, 1999. The sale of the Mortgage Loans is pursuant to section 204(g) of the National Housing Act.

    Mortgage Loan Sale Procedure

    HUD selected an open competitive whole-loan sale as the method to sell the Mortgage Loans for this specific sale transaction. For ADPLS, HUD has determined that this method of sale optimizes HUD's return on the sale of these Mortgage Loans, affords the greatest opportunity for all qualified bidders to bid on the Mortgage Loans, and provides the quickest and most efficient vehicle for HUD to dispose of the Mortgage Loans.

    Bidder Ineligibility

    In order to bid in ADPLS as a qualified bidder, a prospective bidder must complete, execute and submit both a Confidentiality Agreement and a Qualification Statement acceptable to HUD. In the Qualification Statement, the prospective bidder must provide certain representations and warranties regarding (i) a prospective bidder, (ii) a prospective bidder's board of directors, (iii) a prospective bidder's direct parent, (iii) a prospective bidder's subsidiaries, and (iv) any related entity with which the prospective bidder shares a common officer, director, subcontractor or sub-contractor who has access to Confidential Information as defined in the Confidentiality Agreement or is involved in the formation of a bid transaction (“Related Entities”), and (v) a prospective bidder's repurchase lenders. The prospective bidder is ineligible to bid on any of the Mortgage Loans included in ADPLS if the prospective bidder, its Related Entities or its repurchase lenders, is any of the following, unless other exceptions apply as provided for the in Qualification Statement.

    1. An individual or entity that is currently debarred, suspended, or excluded from doing business with HUD pursuant to the Governmentwide Suspension and Debarment regulations at Title 2 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Parts 180 and 2424;

    2. An individual or entity that is currently suspended, debarred or otherwise restricted by any department or agency of the federal government or of a state government from doing business with such department or agency;

    3. An individual or entity that is currently debarred, suspended, or excluded from doing mortgage related business, including having a business license suspended, surrendered or revoked, by any federal, state or local government agency, division or department;

    4. An entity that has had its right to act as a Government National Mortgage Association (“Ginnie Mae”) issuer terminated and its interest in mortgages backing Ginnie Mae mortgage-backed securities extinguished by Ginnie Mae;

    5. An individual or entity that is in violation of its neighborhood stabilizing outcome obligations or post-sale reporting requirements under a Conveyance, Assignment and Assumption Agreement executed for a past sale;

    6. An employee of HUD's Office of Housing, a member of such employee's household, or an entity owned or controlled by any such employee or member of such an employee's household with household to be inclusive of the employee's father, mother, stepfather, stepmother, brother, sister, stepbrother, stepsister, son, daughter, stepson, stepdaughter, grandparent, grandson, granddaughter, father-in-law, mother-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, first cousin, the spouse of any of the foregoing, and the employee's spouse;

    7. A contractor, subcontractor and/or consultant or advisor (including any agent, employee, partner, director, or principal of any of the foregoing) who performed services for or on behalf of HUD in connection with the sale;

    8. An individual or entity that knowingly acquired or will acquire prior to the sale date material non-public information, other than that information which is made available to Bidder by HUD pursuant to the terms of this Qualification Statement, about Mortgage Loans offered in the sale;

    9. An individual or entity that knowingly uses the services, directly or indirectly, of any person or entity ineligible under 1 through 11 to assist in preparing any of its bids on the Mortgage Loans;

    10. An individual or entity which knowingly employs or uses the services of an employee of HUD's Office of Housing (other than in such employee's official capacity); or

    11. A Participating Servicer that contributed Mortgage Loans to a pool on which the Bidder is placing a bid.

    The Qualification Statement has additional representations and warranties which the prospective bidder must make, including but not limited to the representation and warranty that the prospective bidder or its Related Entities are not and will not knowingly use the services, directly or indirectly, of any person or entity that is, any of the following (and to the extent that any such individual or entity would prevent Bidder from making the following representations, such individual or entity has been removed from participation in all activities related to this sale and has no ability to influence or control individuals involved in formation of a bid for this sale):

    (1) An entity or individual is ineligible to bid on any included Mortgage Loan or on the pool containing such Mortgage Loan because it is an entity or individual that:

    (a) Serviced or held any Mortgage Loan at any time during the two-year period prior to the bid, or

    (b) Is any principal of any entity or individual described in the preceding sentence;

    (c) Any employee or subcontractor of such entity or individual during that two-year period; or

    (d) Any entity or individual that employs or uses the services of any other entity or individual described in this paragraph in preparing its bid on such Mortgage Loan.

    Freedom of Information Act Requests

    HUD reserves the right, in its sole and absolute discretion, to disclose information regarding ADPLS, including, but not limited to, the identity of any successful qualified bidder and its bid price or bid percentage for any pool of loans or individual loan, upon the closing of the sale of all the Mortgage Loans. Even if HUD elects not to publicly disclose any information relating to ADPLS, HUD will disclose any information that HUD is obligated to disclose pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act and all regulations promulgated thereunder.

    Scope of Notice

    This notice applies to ADPLS and does not establish HUD's policy for the sale of other mortgage loans.

    Dated: May 11, 2016. Edward L. Golding, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Housing.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11616 Filed 5-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4210-67-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Land Management [LLNV912000. L12200000.PM0000 LXSS006F0000 261A; 14-1109; MO# 4500093084] Notice of Public Meetings: Sierra Front-Northwestern Great Basin Resource Advisory Council, Nevada AGENCY:

    Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

    ACTION:

    Notice of public meetings.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) and the Federal Advisory Committee Act of 1972 (FACA), the U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Sierra Front-Northwestern Great Basin Resource Advisory Council (RAC), will hold two meetings in Nevada, in 2016. The meetings are open to the public.

    Dates and Times:

    June 2 and 3 at the BLM Winnemucca, Nevada District. A meeting will be held on Thursday, June 2, at the Winnemucca BLM District Office (5100 East Winnemucca Blvd.) in Winnemucca, Nevada. A field trip will be held on Friday, June 3 within the Winnemucca BLM District. The second meeting will be held August 11 and 12, at the BLM Carson City, Nevada District. A meeting will be held on Thursday, August 11, at the Carson City BLM District Office (5665 Morgan Mill Road) in Carson City, Nevada. A field trip will be held on Friday, August 12 within the Carson City BLM District. Approximate meeting times are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. However, meetings could end earlier if discussions and presentations conclude before 4 p.m. The meetings will include a public comment period at approximately 8:30 a.m. and approximately 4:00 p.m.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Lisa Ross, Public Affairs Specialist, Carson City District Office, 5665 Morgan Mill Road, Carson City, NV 89701, telephone: (775) 885-6107, email: [email protected] Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may call the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339 to contact the above individual during normal business hours. The FIRS is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to leave a message or question with the above individual. You will receive a reply during normal business hours.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The 15-member Council advises the Secretary of the Interior, through the BLM, on a variety of planning and management issues associated with public land management in Nevada. Topics for discussion at the meeting will include, but are not limited to:

    • June 2 & 3—landscape vegetative management, rangeland health assessments, Fire Invasive Assessment Tool (FIAT), sage grouse, drought, and fire restoration. Managers' reports of district office activities will be distributed at each meeting.

    • August 11 & 12—Sage Grouse, Wild Horse & Burro, Land Health projects, Managers' report of district office activities will be distributed at each meeting.

    The Council may raise other topics at the meetings.

    Final agendas will be posted on-line at the BLM Sierra Front-Northwestern Great Basin RAC Web site at http://www.blm.gov/nv/st/en/res/resource_advisory.html and will be published in local and regional media sources at least 14 days before each meeting.

    Individuals who need special assistance such as sign language interpretation or other reasonable accommodations, or who wish to receive a copy of each agenda, may contact Lisa Ross no later than 10 days prior to each meeting.

    Steve Clutter, Chief, Office of Communications.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11572 Filed 5-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310-HC-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Bureau of Ocean Energy Management [MMAA104000] Notice on Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Lease Sales AGENCY:

    Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), Interior.

    ACTION:

    List of restricted joint bidders.

    SUMMARY:

    Pursuant to the joint bidding provisions of 30 CFR 556.511, the Director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is publishing a List of Restricted Joint Bidders. Each entity within one of the following groups is restricted from bidding with any entity in any of the other following groups at Outer Continental Shelf oil and gas lease sales to be held during the bidding period May 1, 2016, through October 31, 2016. This List of Restricted Joint Bidders will cover the period May 1, 2016, through October 31, 2016, and replace the prior list published on November 2, 2015, which covered the period of November 1, 2015, through April 30, 2016.

    Group I BP America Production Company BP Exploration & Production Inc. BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc. Group II Chevron Corporation Chevron U.S.A. Inc. Chevron Midcontinent, L.P. Unocal Corporation Union Oil Company of California Pure Partners, L.P. Group III Eni Petroleum Co. Inc. Eni Petroleum US LLC Eni Oil US LLC Eni Marketing Inc. Eni BB Petroleum Inc. Eni US Operating Co. Inc. Eni BB Pipeline LLC Group IV Exxon Mobil Corporation ExxonMobil Exploration Company Group V Petroleo Brasileiro S.A. Petrobras America Inc. Group VI Shell Oil Company Shell Offshore Inc. SWEPI LP Shell Frontier Oil & Gas Inc. SOI Finance Inc. Shell Gulf of Mexico Inc. Group VII Statoil ASA Statoil Gulf of Mexico LLC Statoil USA E&P Inc. Statoil Gulf Properties Inc. Group VIII Total E&P USA, Inc. Dated: May 10, 2016. Abigail Ross Hopper, Director, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11596 Filed 5-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4310-MR-P
    INTERNATIONAL TRADE COMMISSION [Investigation No. 337-TA-951] Certain Lithium Metal Oxide Cathode Materials, Lithium-Ion Batteries for Power Tool Products Containing Same, and Power Tool Products With Lithium-Ion Batteries Containing Same; Commission Determination To Review in Part a Final Initial Determination; Deny Certain Motions; and Grant a Request for a Commission Hearing; Request for Written Submissions on the Issues Under Review and on Remedy, the Public Interest and Bonding AGENCY:

    U.S. International Trade Commission.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    Notice is hereby given that the U.S. International Trade Commission has determined to review in part the final initial determination (“ID”) issued by the presiding administrative law judge (“ALJ”) on February 29, 2016, finding a violation of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (19 U.S.C. 1337), as to the asserted patent claims in this investigation. The Commission has also determined to deny motions for intervention and to reopen the record. Pursuant to Commission Rule 210.45 (19 CFR 210.45), Respondents' request for a Commission hearing has been granted. A notice providing the scope and details of the hearing will be forthcoming.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Panyin A. Hughes, Office of the General Counsel, U.S. International Trade Commission, 500 E Street SW., Washington, DC 20436, telephone 202-205-3042. 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 (http://www.usitc.gov). The public record for this investigation may be viewed on the Commission's electronic docket (EDIS) at http://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 March 30, 2015, based on a complaint filed by BASF Corporation of Florham Park, New Jersey and UChicago Argonne LLC of Lemont, Illinois (collectively, “Complainants”). 80 FR 16696 (Mar. 30, 2015). The complaint alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended (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 lithium metal oxide cathode materials, lithium-ion batteries for power tool products containing same, and power tool products with lithium-ion batteries containing same by reason of infringement of one or more of claims 1-4, 7, 13, and 14 of U.S. Patent No. 6,677,082 (“the '082 patent”) and claims 1-4, 8, 9, and 17 of U.S. Patent No. 6,680,143 (“the '143 patent”). Id. The notice of investigation named the following respondents: Umicore N.V. of Brussels, Belgium; Umicore USA Inc. of Raleigh, North Carolina (collectively, “Umicore”); Makita Corporation of Anjo, Japan; Makita Corporation of America of Buford, Georgia; and Makita U.S.A. Inc. of La Mirada, California (collectively, “Makita”). Id. The Office of Unfair Import Investigations is a party to the investigation.

    On November 5, 2015, the ALJ granted a joint motion by Complainants and Makita to terminate the investigation as to Makita based upon settlement. See Order No. 32 (Nov. 5, 2015). The Commission determined not to review. See Notice (Nov. 23, 2015).

    On December 1, 2015, the ALJ granted an unopposed motion by Complainants to terminate the investigation as to claim 8 of the '082 patent. See Order No. 35 (Dec. 1, 2015). The Commission determined not to review Order No. 35. See Notice (Dec. 22, 2015).

    On February 29, 2016, the ALJ issued his final ID, finding a violation of section 337 by Umicore in connection with claims 1-4, 7, 13, and 14 of the '082 patent and claims 1-4, 8, 9, and 17 of the '143 patent. Specifically, the ID found that the Commission has subject matter jurisdiction, in rem jurisdiction over the accused products, and in personam jurisdiction over Umicore. ID at 10-11. The ID found that Complainants satisfied the importation requirement of section 337 (19 U.S.C. 1337(a)(1)(B)). Id. at 9-10. The ID found that the accused products directly infringe asserted claims 1-4, 7, 13, and 14 of the '082 patent; and asserted claims 1-4, 8, 9, and 17 of the '143 patent, and that Umicore contributorily infringes those claims. See ID at 65-71, 83-85. The ID, however, found that Complainants failed to show that Umicore induces infringement of the asserted claims. Id. at 79-83. The ID further found that Umicore failed to establish that the asserted claims of the '082 or '143 patents are invalid for lack of enablement or incorrect inventorship. ID at 118-20. The ID also found that Umicore's laches defense fails as a matter of law (ID at 122-124) and also fails on the merits (ID at 124-126). Finally, the ID found that Complainants established the existence of a domestic industry that practices the asserted patents under 19 U.S.C. 1337(a)(2). See ID at 18, 24.

    On March 14, 2016, Umicore filed a petition for review of the ID. Also on March 14, 2016, the Commission investigative attorney (“IA”) petitioned for review of the ID's finding that a laches defense fails as a matter of law in section 337 investigations. Further on March 14, 2016, Complainants filed a contingent petition for review of the ID. That same day, Umicore filed a motion under Commission Rules 210.15(a)(2) and 210.38(a) (19 CFR 210.15(a)(2) and 210.38(a)), for the Commission to reopen the record in this investigation to admit a paper published on October 29, 2015, and a press release issued that day (collectively, “documents”). On March 22, 2016, the parties filed responses to the petitions for review. On March 24, 2016, Complainants and the IA filed oppositions to Umicore's motion to reopen the record. On April 5, 2016, Umicore moved for leave to file a reply. The Commission has determined to grant Umicore's motion for leave to file a reply.

    On April 8, 2016, 3M Corporation (“3M”) filed a motion to intervene under Commission Rule 210.19. 3M requests that the Commission grant it “with full participation rights in this Investigation in order to protect its significant interests in the accused materials.”

    Having examined the record of this investigation, including the final ID, the petitions for review, and the responses thereto, the Commission has determined to review the final ID in part. Specifically, the Commission has determined to review (1) the ID's contributory and induced infringement findings; (2) the ID's domestic industry findings under 19 U.S.C. 1337(a)(3)(C); and (3) the ID's findings on laches.

    The Commission has determined to deny Umicore's motion to reopen the record to admit the documents. The Commission notes that the documents that Umicore seeks to introduce into evidence were available as of October 29, 2015, the last day of the hearing before the ALJ. Thus, Umicore could not have presented them prior to the hearing. Nothing, however, prevented Umicore from filing a timely motion under Commission Rule 210.42(g) requesting the ALJ to reopen the record and consider the documents prior to issuance of the final ID. The Commission notes that the final ID did not issue until February 29, 2016, four months after the documents were published. Yet, Umicore made no attempt to request the ALJ to consider the documents in the final ID. Thus, the Commission has determined to deny Umicore's motion to reopen the record at this late stage.

    The Commission has determined to deny 3M's motion to intervene. The Commission notes that 3M filed a public interest statement on April 8, 2016, making substantially the same arguments it makes in its motion to intervene. The Commission will consider 3M's comments in considering remedy, bonding and the public interest this investigation if a violation of section 337 is found.

    The parties are requested to brief their positions on the issues under review with reference to the applicable law and the evidentiary record. In connection with its review, the Commission is interested in responses to the following questions:

    1. Please discuss whether laches should be an available defense in a section 337 investigation. In your response, please address how SCA Hygiene Products v. First Quality Baby Prod., 807 F.3d 1311 (Fed. Cir. 2015), cert. granted, 578 U.S.__(May 2, 2016), applies and any statutory support for your position.

    2. Please discuss whether a good faith belief of non-infringement negates a contributory infringement finding, where the accused products have no substantial non-infringing uses. In your response, please address the impact of the following cases: Commil USA, LLC v. Cisco Sys., Inc., 135 S. Ct. 1920 (2015); Global-Tech Appliances, Inc. v. SEB S.A., 131 S. Ct. 2060, 2068 (2011); Spansion, Inc. v. International Trade Comm'n, 629 F.3d 1331, 1359 (Fed. Cir. 2010); Golden Blount, Inc. v. Robert H. Peterson Co., 438 F.3d 1354 (Fed. Cir. 2006).

    3. Please point to evidence (or lack of evidence) showing that Umicore had a good faith belief of non-infringement, including evidence showing that Umicore relied upon that belief.

    4. Please discuss in detail the extent to which an exclusion order would affect research and development efforts with respect to lithium ion batteries by universities and private companies. See Statement of Umicore S.A. And Umicore USA Inc. Regarding the Public Interest at 1 (Apr. 4, 2016). In your response, identify each university and private company engaged in such research and development efforts.

    5. Please provide a detailed discussion of the record evidence as to whether Umicore's NMC material is uniquely suited for specific applications in energy saving technology, cutting-edge research and development, including identifying those specific areas and volumes involved and whether any other material can be used in such applications. See Statement of Umicore S.A. And Umicore USA Inc. Regarding the Public Interest at 1-2.

    6. Please discuss whether each of the research companies and universities currently using Umicore NMC material (See Statement of Umicore S.A. And Umicore USA Inc. Regarding the Public Interest at 1-2) may also use materials from other sources for each of their specific research projects.

    7. Please discuss whether NMC materials produced by other suppliers have lower performance characteristics and consistency. See Statement of Umicore S.A. And Umicore USA Inc. Regarding the Public Interest at 2-3.

    8. Please discuss how the Umicore NMC material relates to 3M's research and whether other suppliers provide comparable material that 3M can use in its research. See 3M Company's Comments on the Effect on the Public Interest of the Proposed Remedy in the Recommended Determination (Apr. 8, 2016).

    9. Please identify the suppliers of NMC to the U.S. market and the percentage of the market held by each.

    Pursuant to Commission rule 210.45 (19 CFR 210.45), Umicore's request for a Commission hearing has been granted. A notice providing the scope and details of the hearing will be forthcoming.

    In connection with the final disposition of this investigation, the Commission may (1) issue an order that could result in the exclusion of the subject articles from entry into the United States, and/or (2) issue one or more cease and desist orders that could result in the respondent being required to cease and desist from engaging in unfair acts in the importation and sale of such articles. Accordingly, the Commission is interested in receiving written submissions that address the form of remedy, if any, that should be ordered. If a party seeks exclusion of an article from entry into the United States for purposes other than entry for consumption, the party should so indicate and provide information establishing that activities involving other types of entry either are adversely affecting it or likely to do so. For background, see Certain Devices for Connecting Computers via Telephone Lines, Inv. No. 337-TA-360, USITC Pub. No. 2843 (December 1994) (Commission Opinion).

    If the Commission contemplates some form of remedy, it must consider the effects of that remedy upon the public interest. The factors the Commission will consider include the effect that an exclusion order and/or cease and desist orders would have on (1) the public health and welfare, (2) competitive conditions in the U.S. economy, (3) U.S. production of articles that are like or directly competitive with those that are subject to investigation, and (4) U.S. consumers. The Commission is therefore interested in receiving written submissions that address the aforementioned public interest factors in the context of this investigation.

    If the Commission orders some form of remedy, the U.S. Trade Representative, as delegated by the President, has 60 days to approve or disapprove the Commission's action. See Presidential Memorandum of July 21, 2005. 70 FR 43251 (July 26, 2005). During this period, the subject articles would be entitled to enter the United States under bond, in an amount determined by the Commission and prescribed by the Secretary of the Treasury. The Commission is therefore interested in receiving submissions concerning the amount of the bond that should be imposed if a remedy is ordered.

    Written Submissions: The parties to the investigation are requested to file written submissions on the issues identified in this notice. Parties to the investigation, interested government agencies, and any other interested parties are encouraged to file written submissions on the issues of remedy, the public interest, and bonding. Such submissions should address the recommended determination by the ALJ on remedy and bonding. Complainants and the IA are requested to submit proposed remedial orders for the Commission's consideration. Complainants are also requested to state the date that the patents expire and the HTSUS numbers under which the accused products are imported. Complainants are further requested to supply the names of known importers of the Umicore products at issue in this investigation. The written submissions and proposed remedial orders must be filed no later than close of business on May 23, 2016. Reply submissions must be filed no later than the close of business on June 2, 2016. Opening submissions are limited to 50 pages. Reply submissions are limited to 25 pages. Such submissions should address the ALJ's recommended determinations on remedy and bonding. No further submissions on any of these issues will be permitted unless otherwise ordered by the Commission.

    Persons filing written submissions must file the original document electronically on or before the deadlines stated above and submit eight true paper copies to the Office of the Secretary by noon the next day pursuant to section 210.4(f) of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure (19 CFR 210.4(f)). Submissions should refer to the investigation number (“Inv. No. 337-TA-951”) in a prominent place on the cover page and/or the first page. (See Handbook for Electronic Filing Procedures, http://www.usitc.gov/secretary/fed_reg_notices/rules/handbook_on_electronic_filing.pdf). Persons with questions regarding filing should contact the Secretary (202-205-2000).

    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. A redacted non-confidential version of the document must also be filed simultaneously with any confidential filing. All non-confidential written submissions will be available for public inspection at the Office of the Secretary and on EDIS.

    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: May 11, 2016. Lisa R. Barton, Secretary to the Commission.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11563 Filed 5-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7020-02-P
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Antitrust Division United States v. Charter Communications, Inc., et al.; Proposed Final Judgment and Competitive Impact Statement

    Notice is hereby given pursuant to the Antitrust Procedures and Penalties Act, 15 U.S.C. 16(b)-(h), that a proposed Final Judgment, Stipulation, and Competitive Impact Statement have been filed with the United States District Court for the District of Columbia in United States of America v. Charter Communications, Inc., et al., Civil Action No. 16-cv-00759. On April 25, 2016, the United States filed a Complaint alleging that Charter Communications, Inc.'s proposed acquisitions of Time Warner Cable Inc. and Bright House Networks, LLC would violate Section 7 of the Clayton Act, 15 U.S.C. 18. The proposed Final Judgment, filed at the same time as the Complaint, forbids the merged company from engaging in certain conduct that could make it more difficult for competing online video distributors (OVDs) to obtain programming content.

    Copies of the Complaint, proposed Final Judgment, and Competitive Impact Statement are available for inspection on the Antitrust Division's Web site at http://www.justice.gov/atr and at the Office of the Clerk of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. Copies of these materials may be obtained from the Antitrust Division upon request and payment of the copying fee set by Department of Justice regulations.

    Public comment is invited within 60 days of the date of this notice. Such comments, including the name of the submitter, and responses thereto, will be posted on the Antitrust Division's Web site, filed with the Court, and, under certain circumstances, published in the Federal Register. Comments should be directed to Scott A. Scheele, Chief, Telecommunications and Media Enforcement Section, Antitrust Division, Department of Justice, 450 Fifth Street NW., Suite 7000, Washington, DC 20530 (telephone: 202-616-5924).

    Patricia A. Brink, Director of Civil Enforcement. UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

    United States of America, Department of Justice, Antitrust Division, 450 5th Street N.W., Suite 7000, Washington, DC, 20530,Plaintiff, v., Charter Communications, Inc., 400 Atlantic Street, Stamford, CT 06901, Time Warner Cable Inc., 60 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10023, Advance/Newhouse Partnership, 5823 Widewaters Parkway, East Syracuse, NY 13057, and, Bright House Networks, LLC, 5823 Widewaters Parkway, East Syracuse, NY 13057, Defendants.

    Case No.: 1:16-cv-00759 Judge: Royce C. Lamberth Filed: 04/25/2016
    COMPLAINT

    The United States of America, acting under the direction of the Attorney General of the United States, brings this civil antitrust action to enjoin the proposed combination of Charter Communications, Inc. (“Charter”), Time Warner Cable Inc. (“TWC”), and Advance/Newhouse Partnership's (“Advance/Newhouse”) subsidiary, Bright House Networks, LLC (“BHN”) (collectively referred to herein as “New Charter”), which would create the second-largest cable company and the third-largest multi-channel video distributor in the United States.

    I. INTRODUCTION

    1. Online video programming distributors (“OVDs”) are beginning to revolutionize the way Americans receive and experience video content. With access to an adequate Internet connection, consumers can now choose among a number of OVDs to access collections of movies and television shows, including original content, at any time and on a device of their choosing. The early OVDs, such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon, focused on offering on-demand video to their customers and have developed video services that have already proven popular. Several newer OVDs, including DISH Network's Sling TV and Sony's Playstation Vue, have introduced services that offer live television channels in addition to on-demand content. And several television networks, including CBS, HBO, and Showtime, have launched OVD services to distribute their own programming over the Internet directly to subscribers. Continued growth of OVDs promises to deliver more competitive choices and a greater ability for consumers to customize their consumption of video content to their individual viewing preferences and budgets.

    2. The emergence of OVDs threatens to upend the competitive landscape. For years, incumbent cable companies such as Comcast, TWC, and Charter have served the majority of American video households. Although these companies now face competition from the two direct broadcast satellite (“DBS”) providers, DirecTV and DISH Network, and, in some areas, from telephone companies (“telcos”) like AT&T and Verizon that also offer video services, all of these distributors—collectively referred to as multichannel video programming distributors (“MVPDs”)—offer fairly similar products and pricing. Most notably, all of these MVPDs sell content to consumers primarily through large and costly video bundles that include hundreds of channels of programming that many customers neither desire nor watch.

    3. In order for an OVD to successfully compete with the traditional MVPDs, it needs both the ability to reach consumers over the Internet and the ability to obtain programming from content providers that consumers will want to watch. Importantly, incumbent cable companies often can exert significant influence over one or both of these essential ingredients to an OVD's success, because they provide broadband connectivity that OVDs need to reach consumers and are also a critical distribution channel for the same video programmers that supply OVDs with video content. To the extent a transaction, such as the one at issue here, enhances an MVPD's ability or incentive to restrain OVDs' access to either of these critical inputs, and thus to prevent OVDs from becoming a meaningful new competitive option, consumers lose.

    4. MVPDs have responded to the emergence of OVDs in various ways. Many MVPDs have sought to keep their customers from migrating some or all of their viewing to OVDs by taking steps to make their services more attractive to consumers, for example, by allowing their subscribers to receive programming over the Internet through Web sites or apps and providing expanded video-on-demand offerings. But some MVPDs have sought to restrain nascent OVD competition directly by exercising their leverage over video programmers to restrict the programmers' ability to license content to OVDs. To this end, some MVPDs have sought so-called Alternative Distribution Means (“ADM”) clauses in their programming contracts that prohibit programmers from distributing content online, or have placed significant restrictions on online distribution. No MVPD has sought and obtained these restrictive ADMs as frequently, or as successfully, as TWC.

    5. The combination of TWC with Charter and BHN will result in a larger MVPD with a greater ability and incentive to secure restrictions on programmers that limit or foreclose OVD access to important content. The Defendants, along with other MVPDs and OVDs, compete with one another as buyers of video content and serve as alternative distribution channels for national video programmers to build viewership scale. Since New Charter would have nearly 60 percent more subscribers than TWC standing alone, the merger will make New Charter a more vital distribution channel for these video programmers than each of the Defendants individually. Hence, as a result of the merger, New Charter will have greater bargaining leverage to insist that video programmers limit their distribution to OVDs.

    6. In addition, with its much larger subscriber base, New Charter would gain significant additional benefits from impeding OVD competition. Today, Charter, TWC, and BHN each only act to protect its own MVPD profits. After the merger, however, New Charter would act to protect the much larger combined video revenues of all three Defendants. That is, while prior to the merger TWC has an incentive to obtain restrictive contract clauses to protect its $10.4 billion in video revenues, New Charter would have a much larger incentive to protect the Defendants' over $16 billion in aggregated video revenues.

    7. With more to gain from imposing ADMs and other contractual restrictions and with greater bargaining leverage with programmers to insist on such provisions, New Charter will be well-positioned to restrain continued OVD growth by limiting or foreclosing OVD access to the video content that is vital to their competitiveness. Accordingly, the proposed combination of Charter, TWC, and BHN is likely to substantially lessen competition in the provision of video programming distribution in violation of Section 7 of the Clayton Act, 15 U.S.C. 18, and should be enjoined.

    II. JURISDICTION AND VENUE

    8. The United States brings this action under Section 15 of the Clayton Act, as amended, 15 U.S.C. 25, to prevent and restrain Charter, TWC, and BHN from violating Section 7 of the Clayton Act, 15 U.S.C. 18.

    9. Defendants Charter, TWC, and BHN all provide video distribution services to programmers in the flow of interstate commerce, distributing video programming to millions of consumers in numerous states within the United States. Accordingly, Defendants' activities substantially affect interstate commerce. The Court has subject matter jurisdiction over this action and these Defendants pursuant to Section 15 of the Clayton Act, as amended, 15 U.S.C. 25, and 28 U.S.C. 1331, 1337(a), and 1345.

    10. Defendants have consented to personal jurisdiction and venue in the District of Columbia for the purposes of this action.

    III. THE PARTIES AND THE PROPOSED TRANSACTION

    11. Defendant Charter is a Delaware corporation with headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut. With over 4.2 million video subscribers across 28 states, Charter is the third-largest cable company in the United States (behind Comcast and TWC) and the sixth-largest MVPD in the nation. In 2014, Charter reported total revenues of around $9.1 billion. Nearly 49% of those revenues, around $4.4 billion, were derived from Charter's video business.

    12. Defendant TWC is a New York corporation with headquarters in New York, New York. With over 10.8 million video subscribers across 30 states, TWC is the second-largest cable company in the United States (behind only Comcast), and the fourth-largest MVPD in the country. In 2014, TWC reported total revenues of approximately $22.8 billion. Around 45% of those revenues, or about $10.4 billion, were derived from TWC's video business.

    13. Defendant Advance/Newhouse is a New York partnership with headquarters in East Syracuse, New York, and the sole owner of Defendant BHN, a Delaware limited liability company headquartered in East Syracuse, New York. BHN is the sixth-largest cable company in the United States and the ninth-largest MVPD. BHN owns cable systems serving around 2 million video customers across six states. In 2014, BHN generated total revenues of around $3.7 billion, approximately $1.5 billion of which were derived from its video business.

    14. On May 23, 2015, Charter, TWC, and Advance/Newhouse entered into a series of agreements that would combine Charter, TWC, and BHN into a single company, New Charter. Pursuant to these agreements, (1) Charter and TWC would merge in a transaction valued at over $78 billion; and (2) Charter would acquire BHN from Advance/Newhouse in a transaction valued at $10.4 billion. The combined entity would have nearly 17.4 million video subscribers across 41 states, making it the second-largest cable company and third-largest MVPD, accounting for nearly 18% of all MVPD subscribers in the United States.

    IV. THE VIDEO PROGRAMMING DISTRIBUTION INDUSTRY

    15. There are two distinct levels to the video programming distribution industry. At the “upstream” level, video programmers license their content to video programming distributors—both OVDs and traditional MVPDs including Charter, TWC, and BHN. At the “downstream” level, the video programming distributors then sell subscriptions to various packages of that content and deliver the content to residential customers.

    EN17MY16.332

    16. Video programmers produce themselves, or acquire from other copyright holders, a collection of professional, full-length programs and movies. These video programmers then typically aggregate this content into branded networks (e.g., NBC, ESPN, or The History Channel) to create a 24-hour-per-day television service that is attractive to consumers. Many of the largest video programmers control the rights to multiple networks. Except for networks of purely local or regional interest, the video programmers will contract with video programming distributors across the country to distribute the content to consumers.

    17. In order to acquire the rights to distribute each network, video programming distributors pay the video programmer a license fee. Generally, MVPDs and OVDs pay the video programmer a monthly per-subscriber fee. These license fees are an important revenue stream for video programmers. Most of the remainder of their revenues comes from fees for advertisements placed on their networks.

    18. Video programmers rely on video programming distributors to reach consumers. Unless a video programmer obtains carriage in the packages of video programming distributors that reach a sufficient number of consumers, the programmers will be unable to earn enough revenue in licensing or to attract enough advertising revenue to generate a return on their investments in content. For this reason, video programmers prefer to have as many video programming distributors as possible carry their networks, and particularly seek out the largest MVPDs that reach the most customers. If the programmer is unable to agree on acceptable terms with a particular distributor, the programmer's content will not be available to that distributor's customers. This potential consequence gives the largest MVPDs significant bargaining leverage in their negotiations with programmers.

    V. RELEVANT MARKET

    19. The timely distribution of professional, full-length video programming to residential customers (“video programming distribution”) constitutes a relevant product market and line of commerce under Section 7 of the Clayton Act, 15 U.S.C. 18. Both MVPDs and OVDs are participants in this market.

    20. Video programming distribution is characterized by the aggregation and delivery of professionally produced content. This content includes scripted and unscripted television shows, live programming, sports, news, and movies licensed from a mixture of broadcast and cable networks, as well as from movie studios. Video programming can be viewed immediately by consumers, whether on demand or as scheduled.

    21. Consumers purchase video programming distribution services from among those distributors that can offer such services directly to their home. The DBS operators, DirecTV and DISH, can reach almost any customer in the continental United States who has an unobstructed line of sight to their satellites. OVDs are available to any consumer with Internet service sufficient to deliver video of an acceptable quality. In contrast, wireline-based distributors such as cable companies and telcos generally must obtain a franchise from local, municipal, or state authorities in order to construct and operate a wireline network in a specific area, and then build lines to homes in that area. A consumer cannot purchase video programming distribution services from a wireline distributor operating outside its franchise area because the distributor does not have the facilities to reach the consumer's home. Thus, although the set of video programming distributors able to offer service to individual consumers' residences is generally the same within each local community, the set can differ from one local community to another.

    22. Each local community whose residents face the same competitive choices in video programming distribution comprises a local geographic market and section of the country under Section 7 of the Clayton Act, 15 U.S.C. 18. A hypothetical monopolist of video programming distribution in any of these geographic areas could profitably raise prices by a small but significant, non-transitory amount.

    23. The specific geographic markets relevant to this action are the numerous local markets throughout the United States shown in the map below where either Charter, TWC, or BHN is the incumbent cable operator.

    EN17MY16.333 In order to protect its profits in these geographic markets, which cover around 48 million U.S. television households across 41 states, New Charter will have an incentive to prevent rival OVDs from obtaining, or to raise the costs of those rivals obtaining, programming for their services. Because these OVD competitors also serve homes outside New Charter's service areas, however, other local markets may be affected, with the anticompetitive effects of the transaction likely extending to the whole nation. VI. MARKET CONCENTRATION

    24. The incumbent cable companies typically have the highest share of subscribers within their respective service areas, often above 50 percent. The DBS providers, DirecTV and DISH, account for approximately one-third of the video programming distribution subscribers nationwide, although their shares vary by local market. The telcos, AT&T and Verizon, account for over 10 percent of video programming distribution nationwide and have successfully achieved penetration of up to 40 percent in some areas, but their video services remain limited to certain local markets and are unavailable to most American homes. In a handful of areas, other providers called “overbuilders” have constructed an additional wireline network to residential consumers, offering another competitive option for video and broadband service. But these overbuilders, including companies like RCN and Google Fiber, are available in very few communities, serving less than two percent of U.S. television households nationwide.

    25. Although OVDs have acquired a significant number of customers over the last several years, they account for only five percent of total video programming distribution revenues. Nevertheless, established distributors such as Charter, TWC, and BHN view OVDs as a growing competitive threat and have taken steps to respond to OVD entry.

    VII. ANTICOMPETITIVE EFFECTS

    26. Charter, TWC, and BHN compete with DBS, overbuilder, and telco providers by upgrading their existing services, offering promotions and other price discounts, and introducing new product offerings. Consumers benefit from this competition by receiving better quality services, lower prices, and more programming choices. Competition between the incumbent cable companies and these alternative video providers has also fostered innovation, including the development of digital transmission, HD, and 4K programming, and the introduction of DVRs, video-on-demand, and ways to view content on other devices or away from home.

    27. The continued development and expansion of OVDs could unlock additional competitive benefits. Today, many consumers purchase OVD services as a supplement to a traditional MVPD subscription. But in light of expanding OVD options, some consumers are switching from larger, more expensive MVPD bundles to slimmer and cheaper bundles. A small number of consumers are even “cutting the cord”—cancelling their MVPD subscription altogether and relying solely on one or more OVDs to receive content. And many younger consumers are emerging as “cord nevers” that do not seek out an MVPD subscription in the first place. Large cable companies such as Charter and TWC, which rely on their video businesses to deliver significant profit margins, have observed these developments with growing concern. In numerous internal documents, Defendants show a keen awareness of the competitive threat that OVDs pose. In fact, a TWC board presentation from February 2014 illustrated the threat posed by such emerging online competitors as a meteor speeding toward earth:

    EN17MY16.334

    28. Because of the threat OVDs pose to their video business, some MVPDs have an incentive to engage in tactics that would diminish OVDs' ability to compete. TWC, in particular, has recognized that it can use its contracts with video programmers to try and foreclose OVD competitors from access to valuable content. TWC has been the most aggressive MVPD in the industry in seeking and obtaining restrictive contract provisions in its agreements with programmers that limit the programmer's ability to license programming to OVDs. Specifically, TWC has used the leverage that comes from its status as an important distribution channel for many video programmers to secure ADM provisions that either prevent the programmer from distributing its content online, or place certain restrictions on such online distribution. For example, some of TWC's ADMs prohibit any online distribution for a certain period of time; others prevent the programmers from distributing their content through OVDs that do not meet specific criteria that can be difficult for OVDs to satisfy (e.g., requiring the OVD to include a minimum number of programming networks in its service).

    29. Although they offer service to residential customers in different local areas, each of the Defendants serves as an alternative distribution channel for nationwide video programmers to deliver their content to consumers and to build national viewership scale. Video programmers rely on traditional MVPDs to provide licensing fees and to build a large viewership base that is attractive to advertisers. Post-merger, New Charter will become one of the largest MVPDs in the country and will serve as a critical distributor for video programmers, offering access to over 17 million customers spread across 41 states. As a result, New Charter will have more leverage to demand that video programmers agree to forego or limit the licensing of programming to OVDs.

    30. In addition, New Charter will have greater incentive to engage in conduct designed to make OVDs less competitive because the merged firm will be significantly larger than any of the Defendants individually. Because New Charter will have far more subscribers, it will also stand to lose more profits as OVDs continue to take business from traditional video distributors. Today, any conduct that Charter engages in to harm OVDs would only benefit Charter within its own service territory. After the merger, New Charter will internalize the combined benefits to Charter, TWC, and BHN of harming OVDs and therefore will have a greater incentive to do so, and will be willing to offer more consideration to video programmers to obtain licensing restrictions.

    31. Restrictions imposed on video programmers by New Charter will likely make it more difficult for OVDs to obtain important content from programmers in the future. In order to comply with New Charter's restrictions, video programmers may have to effectively cease providing certain programming to an OVD altogether, or may be obligated to impose burdensome conditions on an OVD (such as the requirement to include a minimum number of programming networks in the service). Such actions could negatively affect OVDs' business models and undermine their ability to provide robust video offerings that compete with the offerings of traditional MVPDs. By limiting OVDs' access to content that is important to their customers, the competitiveness of OVDs will likely be diminished and consumers will likely receive lower-quality services and fewer choices.

    VIII. ENTRY

    32. Entry or expansion of traditional video programming distributors will not be timely, likely, or sufficient to reverse the competitive harm that would likely result from the proposed merger of Charter, TWC, and BHN. Entry and expansion in the traditional video programming distribution business is difficult and time-consuming because it requires an enormous upfront investment to create distribution infrastructure such as building out wireline facilities or launching satellites. Entry or expansion into a new geographic area also typically requires approval from one or more regulatory bodies.

    33. OVDs are less likely to enter or expand to develop into significant competitors if denied access to popular content as a result of the proposed transaction.

    IX. VIOLATION ALLEGED

    34. The United States hereby incorporates paragraphs 1 through 33.

    35. Defendants' proposed combination of Charter, TWC, and BHN would likely substantially lessen competition in the numerous geographic markets for video programming distribution identified above in violation of Section 7 of the Clayton Act, 15 U.S.C. 18.

    36. Unless enjoined, the proposed transactions between Charter, TWC, and Advance/Newhouse would likely have the following anticompetitive effects, among others:

    a. competition in the development, provision, and sale of video programming distribution services in each of the relevant geographic markets will likely be substantially lessened;

    b. prices for video programming distribution services will likely increase to levels above those that would prevail absent the proposed transactions; and

    c. innovation and quality of video programming distribution services will likely decrease to levels below those that would prevail absent the proposed transactions.

    X. REQUESTED RELIEF

    37. Plaintiff United States requests that this Court:

    a. adjudge and decree that the proposed transactions violate Section 7 of the Clayton Act, 15 U.S.C. 18;

    b. preliminarily and permanently enjoin the Defendants from carrying out the proposed transactions, or from entering into or carrying out any other agreement, understanding, or plan that would have the effect of bringing the video distribution businesses of Charter, TWC, and BHN under common ownership or control;

    c. award the United States its costs in this action; and

    d. award the United States such other and further relief as may be just and proper.

    Dated: April 25, 2016. Respectfully submitted, For Plaintiff United States of America: /s/ Renata B. Hesse (D.C. Bar #466107). Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General. /s/ Patricia A. Brink, Director of Civil Enforcement. /s/ Scott A. Scheele (D.C. Bar #429061), Chief, Telecommunications & Media Enforcement Section. /s/ Lawrence M. Frankel (D.C. Bar #441532), Assistant Chief, Telecommunications & Media Enforcement Section. /s/ Robert A. Lepore*, Ruediger R. Schuett (D.C. Bar #501174), Maureen Casey (D.C. Bar #415893), Trial Attorneys, U.S. Department of Justice, Antitrust Division, Telecommunications & Media Enforcement Section, 450 Fifth Street NW., Suite 7000, Washington, DC 20530, Telephone: (202) 532-4928, Facsimile: (202) 514-6381, Email: [email protected], *Attorney of Record UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

    United States of America, Plaintiff, v. Charter Communications, Inc., Time Warner Cable Inc, Advance/Newhouse Partnership, and Bright House Networks, LLC, Defendants.

    Case No.: 1:16-cv-00759 Judge: Royce C. Lamberth Filed: 05/10/2016
    COMPETITIVE IMPACT STATEMENT

    The United States of America (“United States”), pursuant to Section 2(b) of the Antitrust Procedures and Penalties Act (“APPA” or “Tunney Act”), 15 U.S.C. 16(b)-(h), files this Competitive Impact Statement relating to the proposed Final Judgment submitted for entry in this civil antitrust proceeding.

    I. NATURE AND PURPOSE OF THE PROCEEDING

    On May 23, 2015, Charter Communications, Inc. (“Charter”) and Time Warner Cable, Inc. (“TWC”), two of the largest cable companies in the United States, agreed to merge in a deal valued at over $78 billion. In addition, Charter and Advance/Newhouse Partnership, which owns Bright House Networks, LLC (“BHN”), announced that Charter would acquire BHN for $10.4 billion, conditional on the sale of TWC to Charter. As a result of these transactions, the combined company, referred to as “New Charter,” will become one of the largest providers of pay television service in the United States.

    The United States filed a civil antitrust Complaint on April 25, 2016, seeking to enjoin the proposed transactions because their likely effect would be to lessen competition substantially in numerous local markets for the timely distribution of professional, full-length video programming to residential customers (“video programming distribution”) throughout the United States in violation of Section 7 of the Clayton Act, 15 U.S.C. 18. Specifically, the Complaint alleges that the proposed merger would increase the ability and incentive of New Charter to use its leverage with video programmers to limit the access of online video distributors (“OVDs”) to important content. These OVDs are increasingly offering meaningful competition to cable companies like Charter, and the loss of competition caused by the proposed merger likely would result in lower-quality services, fewer choices, and higher prices for consumers, as well as reduced investment and less innovation in this dynamic industry.

    At the same time the Complaint was filed, the United States also filed a Stipulation and proposed Final Judgment, which are designed to eliminate the anticompetitive effects of the proposed merger. Under the proposed Final Judgment, which is explained more fully below, the Defendants will be prohibited from using their bargaining leverage with video programmers to inhibit the flow of video content to OVDs. The proposed Final Judgment will provide a prompt, certain, and effective remedy for consumers by preventing New Charter from using its leverage over programmers to harm competition. The United States and the Defendants have stipulated that the proposed Final Judgment may be entered after compliance with the APPA. Entry of the proposed Final Judgment would terminate this action, except that the Court would retain jurisdiction to construe, modify, or enforce the provisions of the proposed Final Judgment, and to punish and remedy violations thereof.

    The proposed merger was also subject to review and approval by the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”).1 On May 5, 2016, the FCC adopted an order approving the transactions subject to certain conditions discussed below, and that order was released publicly on May 10, 2016. The Department and the FCC coordinated closely in their reviews of the proposed merger. The FCC's remedy is independent of the proposed Final Judgment and not subject to review in this proceeding.

    1 Under the Communications Act, the FCC has jurisdiction to determine whether mergers involving the transfer of a telecommunications license are in the “public interest, convenience, and necessity.” 47 U.S.C. 310(d).

    II. DESCRIPTION OF THE EVENTS GIVING RISE TO THE ALLEGED VIOLATION A. The Defendants and the Proposed Merger

    Charter is the third-largest cable company in the United States, and the sixth-largest multichannel video programming distributor (“MVPD”) overall. Charter owns cable systems across 28 states, serving approximately 4.8 million residential broadband customers and 4.2 million residential video customers. Charter reported total revenues of around $9.1 billion in 2014, approximately $4.4 billion of which were derived from Charter's video business.

    TWC is the second-largest cable company in the United States (behind only Comcast Corp.), and the fourth-largest MVPD in the country. TWC's cable systems serve approximately 11.7 million residential broadband and 10.8 million residential video customers in 30 states. TWC reported total revenues of approximately $22.8 billion in 2014, around $10.4 billion of which were derived from TWC's video business.

    BHN is the sixth-largest incumbent cable company in the United States and the ninth-largest MVPD overall. It owns cable systems serving approximately 2 million video customers across six states, the majority of whom are located in the Orlando and Tampa-St. Petersburg, Florida areas. BHN is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Advance/Newhouse Partnership. Although the Advance/Newhouse Partnership retains the authority to manage BHN, it has entered into agreements by which TWC performs certain functions for BHN, including the procurement of cable programming. In 2014, BHN generated total revenues of around $3.7 billion, approximately $1.5 billion of which were derived from its video business.

    The proposed transactions combining Charter, TWC, and BHN into New Charter, as initially agreed to by the Defendants on May 23, 2015, would lessen competition substantially in numerous local markets for video programming distribution. These transactions are the subject of the Complaint and proposed Final Judgment filed by the United States on April 25, 2016.

    B. The Structure of the Video Programming Distribution Industry

    The video programming distribution industry operates at two distinct levels. At the “upstream” level, video programmers license their content to video programming distributors—both OVDs and traditional MVPDs including Charter, TWC, and BHN. At the “downstream” level, the video programming distributors then sell subscriptions to various packages of that content and deliver the content to residential customers.

    EN17MY16.335 1. Video Programmers

    Video programmers produce themselves, or acquire from other copyright holders, a collection of professional, full-length programs and movies. These video programmers then typically aggregate this content into branded networks (e.g., NBC or The History Channel) that provide a 24-hour schedule that is attractive to consumers. Large video programmers often own multiple individual networks. For instance, The Walt Disney Company owns the ABC broadcast network as well as many cable networks such as ESPN and The Disney Channel.

    In order to acquire the rights to distribute each network, video programming distributors pay the video programmer a license fee, generally on a per-subscriber basis. These license fees are an important revenue stream for video programmers. Most of the remainder of their revenues comes from fees for advertisements placed on their networks.

    Video programmers rely on video programming distributors—both MVPDs and OVDs—to reach consumers. Unless a video programmer obtains carriage in the packages of video programming distributors that reach a sufficient number of consumers, the programmers will be unable to earn enough revenue in licensing or to attract enough advertising revenue to generate a return on their investments in content. For this reason, video programmers prefer to have as many video programming distributors as possible carry their networks, and particularly seek out the largest MVPDs that reach the most customers. If the programmer is unable to agree on acceptable terms with a particular distributor, the programmer's content will not be available to that distributor's customers. This potential consequence gives the largest MVPDs significant bargaining leverage in their negotiations with programmers.

    2. Multichannel Video Programming Distributors

    Traditional video programming distributors include incumbent cable companies such as Charter and TWC; direct broadcast satellite (“DBS”) providers such as DirecTV and DISH Network; telephone companies (“telcos”) that offer video services such as Verizon and AT&T; and overbuilders such as Google Fiber and RCN.2 These distributors are referred to collectively as MVPDs. MVPDs typically offer hundreds of channels of professional video programming to residential customers for a monthly subscription fee.

    2 Overbuilders are providers who have constructed an additional wired network to residential consumers for offering video and broadband service (i.e., they have “built over” the cable and phone company networks).

    3. Online Video Programming Distributors

    OVDs are relatively recent entrants into the video programming distribution market. They deliver a variety of live and/or on-demand video programming over the Internet, whether streamed to Internet-connected televisions or other devices, or downloaded for later viewing. OVDs today include services like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Instant Video, and Sling TV, although, as discussed in more detail below, their content selection and business models vary greatly. Unlike MVPDs, OVDs do not own distribution facilities and are dependent upon broadband Internet access service providers, including incumbent cable companies such as Charter and TWC, for the delivery of their content to viewers.

    C. The Relevant Market and Market Concentration

    The Complaint alleges that video programming distribution constitutes a relevant product market and line of commerce under Section 7 of the Clayton Act, 15 U.S.C. 18. The market for video programming distribution includes both traditional MVPDs and their newer OVD rivals.

    Consumers purchase video programming distribution services from among those distributors that can offer such services directly to their home. The DBS operators, DirecTV and DISH, can reach almost any customer in the continental United States who has an unobstructed line of sight to their satellites. OVDs are available to any consumer with an Internet service sufficient to deliver video of an acceptable quality. In contrast, wireline-based distributors such as cable companies and telcos generally must obtain a franchise from local, municipal, or state authorities in order to construct and operate a wireline network in a specific area, and then build lines to homes in that area. A consumer cannot purchase video programming distribution services from a wireline distributor operating outside its franchise area because the distributor does not have the facilities to reach the consumer's home. Thus, although the set of video programming distributors able to offer service to individual consumers' residences is generally the same within each local community, the set can differ from one local community to another.

    According to the Complaint, each local community whose residents face the same competitive choices in video programming distribution comprises a geographic market and section of the country under Section 7 of the Clayton Act, 15 U.S.C. 18. The geographic markets relevant to this action are the numerous local markets throughout the United States where either Charter, TWC, or BHN is the incumbent cable operator—an area encompassing 48 million U.S. television households located across 41 states. However, because OVDs typically offer services nationwide, the Complaint alleges that anticompetitive effects of the proposed merger likely extend to the entire United States.

    The incumbent cable companies are often the largest video distribution provider in their respective local territories; the Defendants' market shares, for example, exceed 50 percent in many local markets in which they operate. The DBS providers, DirecTV and DISH Network, account for an average of about one third of video programming subscribers combined in any given local market. The telcos, including AT&T and Verizon, have market shares as high as 40 percent in the communities they have entered, but they are only available in limited areas and account for about 10 percent of video programming customers nationwide. Overbuilders such as Google Fiber can also have moderately high shares in particular local markets, but their services are only available in a small number of areas and they account for fewer than two percent of nationwide video programming distribution subscribers.

    Although OVDs have acquired a significant number of customers over the last several years, most of these customers also purchase traditional MVPD subscriptions. As a result, OVDs currently have a small share of video programming distribution market revenues—likely around 5%.

    D. Emerging Competition From OVDs in the Relevant Market 1. OVD Business Models and Participants

    OVDs have developed a number of different business models for delivering content to consumers. Several OVDs, including Netflix, Amazon Prime Instant Video, and Hulu Plus, offer “subscription video on demand” (“SVOD”) services where consumers typically obtain access to a wide library of movies, past-season television shows, and original content for a subscription fee.3 In addition, some individual cable programmers, such as CBS and HBO, have begun offering their content directly to consumers on an SVOD basis. For example, HBO's service, branded HBO NOW, provides subscribers who pay a monthly fee with access to the same HBO content over the Internet that they would receive through a subscription to HBO as part of an MVPD package.

    3 Hulu also offers current-season content from various television networks on an ad-supported basis for no subscription fee.

    In contrast to these SVOD providers, a few OVDs have recently begun offering MVPD-like bundles of live, scheduled content to consumers over the Internet. In early 2015, DISH launched Sling TV, a monthly subscription service that provides customers access to many of the same cable networks that are available through traditional MVPDs. Sony has launched a similar service called PlayStation Vue. Unlike SVODs, these “virtual” MVPDs (“vMVPDs”) provide customers the ability to watch live sports and news programming, as well as other scheduled entertainment programming, at the same time it is available on traditional MVPDs.

    2. The Effects of OVD Development on Traditional MVPDs

    As OVDs have developed new business models and obtained a wider array of attractive video content, they have started to become closer substitutes for traditional MVPD services. Although many consumers treat OVD services as a complement to traditional MVPD service—for example, purchasing services from an SVOD like Netflix to access past season content and Netflix's original content but subscribing to an MVPD for live and current-season content—some are already using OVDs as substitutes for at least a portion of their video consumption. These consumers buy smaller content packages from traditional MVPDs, decline to take certain premium channels, or purchase fewer VOD offerings, and instead substitute content from OVDs, a practice known as “cord-shaving.” In addition, a small, but growing number of MVPD customers are “cutting the cable cord” completely, using one or more OVDs as a replacement for their MVPD service. Finally, some younger consumers are emerging as “cord nevers” who do not seek out an MVPD subscription in the first place.

    Absent interference from the established MVPDs, OVDs are likely to continue to grow, and to become stronger competitors to MVPDs. Moreover, to the extent that OVDs continue to develop services that more closely resemble those offered by traditional MVPDs, such as the live programming offered by vMVPDs or the current season content offered by certain SVODs, traditional MVPDs will likely face greater substitution to OVD services. To this end, the Defendants' internal documents show that they have typically been comparatively less concerned about competition from certain SVOD providers, like Netflix, that do not offer live or current-season programming, and more concerned by the threat posed by vMVPDs like Sling TV and SVODs like HBO NOW that offer current season content.

    3. Traditional MVPDs' Responses to the Growth of OVDs

    The Defendants and many other MVPDs recognize the threat that the growth of OVDs pose to their video distribution businesses. Numerous internal documents reflect the Defendants' assessment that OVDs are growing quickly and pose a competitive threat to traditional forms of video programming distribution. MVPDs have responded to this growth in various ways. To keep their customers from migrating some or all of their viewing to OVDs, many MVPDs, including the Defendants, have introduced new and less expensive packages with smaller numbers of channels, increased the amount of content available on an on-demand basis, and made content available to subscribers on devices other than traditional cable set-top boxes. At the same time, however, some MVPDs have sought to restrain nascent OVD competition directly by exercising their leverage over video programmers to restrict video programmers' ability to license content to OVDs. As alleged in the Complaint, and explained in more detail below, TWC has been an industry leader in seeking such restrictions, and the formation of New Charter will create an entity with an increased ability and incentive to do so.

    E. The Anticompetitive Effects of the Proposed Merger

    Although Defendants do not compete to provide video distribution services to consumers in the same local geographic markets, the Clayton Act is also concerned with mergers that threaten to reduce the number or quality of choices available to consumers by increasing the merging parties' incentive or ability to engage in conduct that would foreclose competition.4 For example, a merger may create, or substantially enhance, the ability or incentive of the merged firm to protect its market power by denying or raising the price of an input to the firm's rivals.

    4See Brown Shoe Co. v. United States, 370 U.S. 294, 317 (1962) (noting that the Clayton Act intended to make illegal “not only [] mergers between actual competitors, but also [] vertical and conglomerate mergers whose effect may tend to lessen competition in any line of commerce in any section of the country.”); FTC v. Procter & Gamble Co., 386 U.S. 568, 577 (1967) (“All mergers are within the reach of § 7, and all must be tested by the same standard, whether they are classified as horizontal, vertical, conglomerate.”).

    As alleged in the Complaint, New Charter will be significantly larger than each of the Defendants individually, and thus will have a greater incentive and ability to use its bargaining power with video programmers to protect its market power in the local markets for video programming distribution. Specifically, following the merger, New Charter will be the one of the largest MVPDs in the country, with over 17 million subscribers in 41 states, and will therefore be a critical distribution channel for video programmers. The Complaint alleges that this greater scale will give New Charter more leverage to demand that programmers agree to limit their distribution to OVDs, enabling the merged firm to increase barriers to entry for OVDs or otherwise make OVDs less competitive.

    The Complaint also alleges that New Charter will have increased incentive to engage in such behavior because it will stand to lose substantially more profits than Charter, TWC, and BHN individually if OVDs take business from traditional MVPDs, and it will internalize more of the benefits of harming OVDs. The Defendants' specific means for foreclosing OVDs—ADM clauses and other restrictive contracting provisions—are discussed in more detail below.

    1. TWC Is the Industry Leader in Imposing ADMs and Other Restrictive Programming Clauses that Limit Video Programmers' Rights to License to OVDs

    Video programmers sign lengthy licensing agreements with distributors that establish the terms on which the distributors will carry the programmers' networks. Sometimes, these licensing agreements include restrictions on the other distributors to whom the programmer may license content, or on other ways the programmer may make the content available to consumers. One type of restriction is often referred to in the industry as an “alternative distribution means” (“ADM”) clause. ADM clauses take many forms, and in some cases can have significant consequences for programmers' ability to license to OVDs. For example, some ADMs prohibit a video programmer from licensing content to OVDs for an extended period of time after the content is first aired on traditional MVPDs—permanently blocking OVDs from being able to offer current-season content from those programmers. Other ADMs prohibit the programmer from licensing content to OVDs unless the OVDs meet a number of strict (and sometimes elaborate) criteria that can be difficult to satisfy.5

    5 For instance, an ADM in one MVPD's contract with a video programmer prohibited the programmer from licensing to any OVD unless that OVD offered a package that included thirty-five channels, including at least two channels each from three out of a list of six large video programmers.

    TWC has been the most aggressive MVPD at seeking and obtaining restrictive ADM clauses in recent years. The Department's review of hundreds of programming contracts and ordinary course business documents revealed that TWC has obtained numerous ADMs that limit distribution to paid OVDs. Other distributors, by contrast, have rarely, if ever, sought or obtained such clauses, or have only obtained ADMs that are much less restrictive. TWC's success in seeking and obtaining ADMs is likely attributable in part to its bargaining leverage over video programmers; although such programmers might disfavor such restrictions because they require the programmer to forsake opportunities to earn revenues from OVDs, they are more likely to agree to a large MVPD such as TWC's demand to include them because they do not want to lose access to TWC's millions of cable subscribers.

    The Department's investigation further suggested that TWC may be the most aggressive at obtaining such clauses because, other than Comcast, TWC has more to lose from the expansion of OVDs than any other traditional MVPD. Although Comcast also has substantial video profits at risk, it is prohibited from entering into or enforcing any provisions that restrict distribution to OVDs under the terms of a consent decree entered in United States v. Comcast Corp. 6 By contrast, distributors with fewer subscribers than TWC have less to lose from the expansion of OVDs, and, in some cases, may actually support OVD expansion because they make little or no profit margin on their video distribution businesses and would prefer to improve the attractiveness of their broadband Internet access services. Meanwhile, the two DBS providers, DISH and DirecTV, have historically been comparable to TWC in size, but because of their different distribution technology and their customer demographics, may perceive a lower threat from OVDs. In fact, DISH is offering an OVD service of its own—Sling TV—and DirecTV recently announced plans to offer a similar OVD service.

    6See Final Judgment, United States et al. v. Comcast et al., Civil Action No. 1:11cv-00106, 2011-2 Trade Cas. (CCH) ¶77,585, 2011 WL 5402137 (D.D.C. Sept. 1, 2011), available at https://www.justice.gov/atr/case-document/file/492196/download.

    2. The Proposed Transaction Increases New Charter's Ability and Incentive To Obtain ADMs and Other Restrictive Programming Clauses

    The number and scope of the ADMs that TWC obtained prior to the merger suggests that TWC believes that these ADM clauses are worth whatever consideration it must provide video programmers in return. After the merger, New Charter, with over 17 million video subscribers in 41 states, will have even more leverage than TWC to demand that programmers agree to ADMs. Given the importance of New Charter as a distribution channel, programmers will be less likely to risk losing access to New Charter's considerable subscriber base—which is almost 60 percent larger than TWC alone—and will be more likely to accept to New Charter's demands. Moreover, since New Charter will have far more profits at risk from increased OVD competition than Charter, TWC, or BHN standing alone, it will be willing to provide greater consideration to programmers to obtain such clauses. As a result, New Charter can be expected to seek and obtain ADMs with more programmers than TWC has to date, and the ADMs are likely to be more restrictive than TWC's current ADM provisions. As alleged in the Complaint, such ADMs could negatively affect OVDs' business models and undermine their ability to provide robust video offerings that compete with the offerings of traditional MVPDs. The weakening of OVD competition will result in lower-quality services, fewer consumer choices, and higher prices.

    4. Entry Is Unlikely To Reverse the Anticompetitive Effects of the Proposed Merger

    Successful entry into the traditional video programming distribution business is difficult and requires an enormous upfront investment to create a distribution infrastructure. As alleged in the Complaint, additional entry into wireline or DBS distribution is not likely to be significant for the next several years. Telcos have been willing to incur some of the enormous costs to modify their existing telephone infrastructure to distribute video, and will continue to do so, but only in certain areas. Other new providers, such as Google Fiber, are also expanding services, but the time and expense required to build to each new area makes expansion slow. Therefore, traditional MVPDs' market shares are likely to be fairly stable over the next several years.

    OVDs represent the most likely prospect for successful and significant competitive entry into the existing video programming distribution market. However, in addition to the other barriers they face, OVDs must obtain access to a sufficient amount of content to become viable distribution businesses, and the proposed merger will likely increase that barrier to entry even further.

    III. EXPLANATION OF THE PROPOSED FINAL JUDGMENT

    The proposed Final Judgment ensures that New Charter will not impede competition by using programming contracts to prevent the flow of content to OVDs. The proposed Final Judgment thereby protects consumers by eliminating the likely anticompetitive effects of the proposed merger alleged in the Complaint.

    A. The Proposed Final Judgment Prohibits Defendants From Limiting Distribution to OVDs Through Restrictive Licensing Practices

    As discussed above, certain types of contract provisions, such as ADMs, can have the purpose and effect of limiting distribution to OVDs. However, not all provisions that limit distribution are anticompetitive. Reflecting this reality, Sections IV.A and IV.B of the proposed Final Judgment set forth broad prohibitions on restrictive contracting practices, while Section IV.C delineates a narrowly tailored set of exceptions. Taken together, these provisions ensure that New Charter cannot use restrictive contract terms to harm the development of OVDs, but preserve programmers' incentives to produce quality programming and New Charter's ability to compete with other distributors to obtain marquee content.

    Section IV.A of the proposed Final Judgment prohibits New Charter from entering into or enforcing agreements that forbid, limit, or create incentives to limit the provision of video programming to OVDs. This language prevents New Charter from enforcing the ADM provisions in current TWC contracts, or from entering into new provisions.

    Section IV.B provides additional detail as to the types of terms that could create “incentives to limit” distribution to OVDs. The Department's investigation revealed that TWC has obtained ADM provisions for the purpose of attempting to limit distribution to OVDs. However, once those agreements are prohibited, New Charter could substitute ADMs with more subtle types of contract provisions that do not directly limit distribution to OVDs, but make it financially unattractive for video programmers to license content to OVDs. For instance, absent relief, New Charter could enter into an agreement that permits a video programmer to license content to an OVD, but specifies that so licensing will entitle New Charter to a massive license fee discount. To prevent evasion of the ban on ADMs, Section IV.B.1 clarifies that such “penalty” provisions that create incentives to limit distribution to OVDs are not permitted.

    Alternatively, New Charter could enter into certain kinds of “most favored nation” (“MFN”) provisions that are designed to create incentives to limit distribution to OVDs. Although MFN provisions are ubiquitous in the industry—for example, many MVPDs use MFN provisions entitling the MVPD to the lowest license fee that the programmer offers to any other MVPD—the Department's investigation revealed that some MVPDs were utilizing certain provisions that, while referred to as “MFNs,” actually require much more than equal treatment. Specifically, some provisions, commonly referred to as “unconditional MFNs” or “cherry-picking MFNs,” require that a programmer provide an MVPD the most favorable term the programmer has offered to any other distributor, even if that other distributor agreed to additional payment or other conditions in exchange for receiving that term.7 As a result of an unconditional MFN, the programmer may be reluctant to license the additional content to the other distributor in the first place.

    7 For example, a programmer may enter into an agreement with Distributor A that provides Distributor A with extra content (for instance, additional video-on-demand rights) in exchange for an extra payment. If the programmer has an unconditional MFN with Distributor B, the programmer may then be required to provide the additional video-on-demand rights to Distributor B without Distributor B having to make the extra payment. By contrast, a more typical—and less problematic—MFN would entitle Distributor B to the additional content only if Distributor B agreed to pay the same additional fee paid by Distributor A.

    Although unconditional MFNs are uncommon today, and the Defendants have only a few such provisions in their current contracts, the Department was concerned that New Charter could replace ADMs with unconditional MFNs in an effort to circumvent the proposed Final Judgment. For example, New Charter might obtain an unconditional MFN from a programmer that would entitle New Charter to receive at no additional cost any content a programmer makes available to an OVD, regardless of payments or other conditions with which the OVD must comply. In such case, by providing programming to an OVD, the programmer might face significant economic disadvantages in the form of losing the opportunity to monetize the content through distribution by New Charter. As a result, unconditional MFNs could create significant disincentives for programmers to license content to OVDs. For these reasons, Section IV.B.2 of the proposed Final Judgment prohibits New Charter from entering into or enforcing unconditional MFNs against programmers for distributing their content to OVDs.8

    8 Specifically, Section IV.B.2.i provides that New Charter may not require a programmer to provide New Charter the same terms offered to an OVD unless New Charter also accepts any conditions that are integrally related, logically linked, or directly tied to those terms. The language chosen for this provision mirrors language that is common in conditional MFN provisions throughout the industry. Also consistent with other conditional MFNs in the industry, Section IV.B.2.ii states that Charter need not comply with related terms and conditions if it is unable to do so for technological or regulatory reasons.

    Section IV.C of the proposed Final Judgment establishes three narrow exceptions to the broad prohibitions in Sections IV.A and IV.B. First, New Charter may prohibit the programmer from making content available on the Internet for free for 30 days after its initial airing, if New Charter has paid a fee for the video programming. The Department's investigation revealed that such limitations on free distribution are ubiquitous in the industry, and the Department has discovered no evidence that such provisions are harmful to competition.

    Second, New Charter may enter into an agreement in which the programmer provides content exclusively to New Charter, and to no other MVPD or OVD. Although uncommon, a few programmers wish to make some of their content available to only one distributor. This relationship then incentivizes the distributor to vigorously market the content, and thus can be procompetitive in some circumstances. The proposed Final Judgment ensures that New Charter can continue to compete with other distributors to obtain these kinds of exclusives. As long as the exclusivity applies to all other video programming distributors, and does not narrowly prohibit distribution only to OVDs, the Department has no basis to believe such provisions will always or usually be harmful.9

    9 The Department retains the authority to challenge under Sections 1 or 2 of the Sherman Act any exclusive agreement in the future that the evidence demonstrates unreasonably restrains trade or creates or enhances monopoly power. See Proposed Final Judgment at § VII (No Limitation of Government Rights).

    Third, New Charter may condition carriage of programming on its cable system on terms which require it to receive as favorable material terms as other MVPDs or OVDs, except to the extent such terms would be inconsistent with the purpose of the proposed Final Judgment. That is, New Charter may enter into the kinds of ordinary conditional MFNs that are ubiquitous in the industry, such as a provision which entitles New Charter to the lowest license fee paid by any other distributor. This provision explicitly does not override Section IV.B.2's ban on the application of unconditional MFNs to OVD distribution. Importantly, New Charter may not use MFNs as a back door to obtain provisions which are otherwise “inconsistent with the purpose of Sections A and B.” For instance, even if another distributor obtains a provision which “create[s] incentives to limit” a programmer's provision of programming to an OVD, New Charter cannot use an MFN to add that other distributor's provision to New Charter's own contract.

    2. The Proposed Final Judgment Prohibits Defendants From Discriminating Against, Retaliating Against, or Punishing Video Programmers

    Section IV.D of the proposed Final Judgment prohibits Defendants from discriminating against, retaliating against, or punishing any Video Programmer for providing programming to any OVD. This provision ensures that even though Defendants are no longer permitted to contractually prohibit or deter video programmers from licensing content to OVDs, the Defendants are not able to instead deter such licensing through threats or punishment. Section IV.D also prohibits Defendants from discriminating against, retaliating against, or punishing any video programmer for invoking any provisions of the proposed Final Judgment or any FCC rule or order, or for furnishing information to the Department concerning Defendants' compliance with the proposed Final Judgment.

    Negotiations between video programmers and MVPDs are often contentious, high-stakes affairs, and it is common for one or both sides to the negotiation to threaten to walk away, or even to temporarily terminate the relationship (sometimes called a “blackout” or “going dark”) in order to secure a better deal. The proposed Final Judgment is not concerned with such negotiating tactics and therefore clarifies that “[p]ursuing a more advantageous deal with a Video Programmer does not constitute discrimination, retaliation, or punishment.” Rather, Section IV.D is designed to prevent situations where New Charter intentionally decides to forgo an agreement with a programmer that would otherwise be economical for New Charter in order to obtain the long-term benefits of deterring video programmers from licensing content to OVDs or cooperating with the Department or the FCC.

    3. Provision of Defendants' FCC Interconnection Reports

    Although the Department's Complaint focuses on the likely competitive harm resulting from New Charter's imposition of ADMs and other contractual restrictions on video programmers, the Department also investigated the potential for the proposed merger to increase the price New Charter will charge Internet content companies, including OVDs, for access to its broadband subscribers. OVDs rely on broadband connections provided by other companies to reach their customers, and the Defendants are also major providers of Internet access service. Therefore, the Department examined whether the merger could increase both the incentive and ability of New Charter to use its control over the interconnection to New Charter's broadband Internet service provider network to try and disadvantage online video competitors.

    The FCC's order approving the merger imposes an obligation on New Charter to make interconnection available on a non-discriminatory, settlement-free basis to any Internet content provider, transit provider, or content delivery network (“CDN”) who meets certain basic criteria. Although this policy only directly protects those sending large volumes of traffic, even smaller sources who do not qualify for direct interconnection ought to find ample bandwidth available at competitive prices because large transit and CDN providers will be guaranteed access, and could resell that capacity. Thus, the Department expects that the FCC's order will prevent any merger-related harm to Internet content companies, including OVDs. In light of the FCC's remedy, the Department did not target interconnection in its Complaint and elected not to pursue duplicative relief with respect to interconnection in the proposed Final Judgment. However, in order to assist the Department in monitoring future developments with regard to interconnection and in taking whatever action might be appropriate to prevent anticompetitive conduct, Section IV.E requires New Charter to provide the Department with copies of the regular reports that New Charter furnishes to the FCC pursuant to the FCC's order.

    D. Term of the Proposed Final Judgment

    Section VIII of the proposed Final Judgment provides that the Final Judgment will expire seven years from the date of entry. The Department believes this time period is long enough to ensure that New Charter cannot harm OVD competitors at a crucial point in their development while accounting for the rapidly evolving nature of the video distribution market. After five years, Section VIII permits Charter to request that the Department reevaluate whether the Final Judgment remains necessary to protect competition. If at such time the Department concludes that the market has evolved such that the protections of the decree are no longer necessary, it will recommend to the Court that the Final Judgment be terminated.

    IV. REMEDIES AVAILABLE TO POTENTIAL PRIVATE LITIGANTS

    Section 4 of the Clayton Act, 15 U.S.C. 15, provides that any person who has been injured as a result of conduct prohibited by the antitrust laws may bring suit in federal court to recover three times the damages the person has suffered, as well as costs and reasonable attorneys' fees. Entry of the proposed Final Judgment will neither impair nor assist the bringing of any private antitrust damage action. Under the provisions of Section 5(a) of the Clayton Act, 15 U.S.C. 16(a), the proposed Final Judgment has no prima facie effect in any subsequent private lawsuit that may be brought against Defendants.

    V. PROCEDURES AVAILABLE FOR MODIFICATION OF THE PROPOSED FINAL JUDGMENT

    The United States and Defendants have stipulated that the proposed Final Judgment may be entered by the Court after compliance with the provisions of the APPA, provided that the United States has not withdrawn its consent. The APPA conditions entry upon the Court's determination that the proposed Final Judgment is in the public interest.

    The APPA provides a period of at least 60 days preceding the effective date of the proposed Final Judgment within which any person may submit to the United States written comments regarding the proposed Final Judgment. Any person who wishes to comment should do so within 60 days of the date of publication of this Competitive Impact Statement in the Federal Register, or the last date of publication in a newspaper of the summary of this Competitive Impact Statement, whichever is later. All comments received during this period will be considered by the United States, which remains free to withdraw its consent to the proposed Final Judgment at any time prior to the Court's entry of judgment. The comments and the response of the United States will be filed with the Court. In addition, comments will be posted on the U.S. Department of Justice, Antitrust Division's internet Web site and, under certain circumstances, published in the Federal Register. Written comments should be submitted to:

    Scott A. Scheele Chief, Telecommunications and Media Enforcement Section Antitrust Division United States Department of Justice 450 Fifth Street NW., Suite 7000 Washington, DC 20530

    The proposed Final Judgment provides that the Court retains jurisdiction over this action, and the parties may apply to the Court for any order necessary or appropriate for the modification, interpretation, or enforcement of the Final Judgment.

    VI. ALTERNATIVES TO THE PROPOSED FINAL JUDGMENT

    The United States considered, as an alternative to the proposed Final Judgment, seeking preliminary and permanent injunctions against Defendants' transactions and proceeding to a full trial on the merits. The United States is satisfied, however, that the relief in the proposed Final Judgment will preserve competition for the provision of video programming distribution services in the United States. Thus, the proposed Final Judgment would protect competition as effectively as would any remedy available through litigation, but avoids the time, expense, and uncertainty of a full trial on the merits.

    VII. STANDARD OF REVIEW UNDER THE APPA FOR THE PROPOSED FINAL JUDGMENT

    The Clayton Act, as amended by the APPA, requires that proposed consent judgments in antitrust cases brought by the United States be subject to a sixty-day comment period, after which the court shall determine whether entry of the proposed Final Judgment “is in the public interest.” 15 U.S.C. 16(e)(1). In making that determination, the court, in accordance with the statute as amended in 2004, is required to consider:

    (A) the competitive impact of such judgment, including termination of alleged violations, provisions for enforcement and modification, duration of relief sought, anticipated effects of alternative remedies actually considered, whether its terms are ambiguous, and any other competitive considerations bearing upon the adequacy of such judgment that the court deems necessary to a determination of whether the consent judgment is in the public interest; and

    (B) the impact of entry of such judgment upon competition in the relevant market or markets, upon the public generally and individuals alleging specific injury from the violations set forth in the complaint including consideration of the public benefit, if any, to be derived from a determination of the issues at trial.

    15 U.S.C. 16(e)(1)(A) & (B). In considering these statutory factors, the Court's inquiry is necessarily a limited one as the government is entitled to “broad discretion to settle with the defendant within the reaches of the public interest.” United States v. Microsoft Corp., 56 F.3d 1448, 1461 (D.C. Cir. 1995); see generally United States v. SBC Commc'ns, Inc., 489 F. Supp. 2d 1 (D.D.C. 2007) (assessing public interest standard under the Tunney Act); United States v, U.S. Airways Group, Inc., 38 F. Supp. 3d 69, 75 (D.D.C. 2014) (explaining that the “court's inquiry is limited” in Tunney Act settlements); United States v. InBev N.V./S.A., No. 08-1965 (JR), 2009-2 Trade Cas. (CCH) ¶ 76,736, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 84787, at *3, (D.D.C. Aug. 11, 2009) (noting that the court's review of a consent judgment is limited and only inquires “into whether the government's determination that the proposed remedies will cure the antitrust violations alleged in the complaint was reasonable, and whether the mechanism to enforce the final judgment are clear and manageable.”).10

    10 The 2004 amendments substituted “shall” for “may” in directing relevant factors for courts to consider and amended the list of factors to focus on competitive considerations and to address potentially ambiguous judgment terms. Compare 15 U.S.C. 16(e) (2004), with 15 U.S.C. 16(e)(1) (2006); see also SBC Commc'ns, 489 F. Supp. 2d at 11 (concluding that the 2004 amendments “effected minimal changes” to Tunney Act review).

    As the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has held, under the APPA a court considers, among other things, the relationship between the remedy secured and the specific allegations set forth in the government's complaint, whether the decree is sufficiently clear, whether enforcement mechanisms are sufficient, and whether the decree may positively harm third parties. See Microsoft, 56 F.3d at 1458-62. With respect to the adequacy of the relief secured by the decree, a court may not “engage in an unrestricted evaluation of what relief would best serve the public.” United States v. BNS, Inc., 858 F.2d 456, 462 (9th Cir. 1988) (quoting United States v. Bechtel Corp., 648 F.2d 660, 666 (9th Cir. 1981)); see also Microsoft, 56 F.3d at 1460-62; United States v. Alcoa, Inc., 152 F. Supp. 2d 37, 40 (D.D.C. 2001); InBev, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 84787, at *3. Courts have held that:

    [t]he balancing of competing social and political interests affected by a proposed antitrust consent decree must be left, in the first instance, to the discretion of the Attorney General. The court's role in protecting the public interest is one of insuring that the government has not breached its duty to the public in consenting to the decree. The court is required to determine not whether a particular decree is the one that will best serve society, but whether the settlement is “within the reaches of the public interest.” More elaborate requirements might undermine the effectiveness of antitrust enforcement by consent decree. Bechtel, 648 F.2d at 666 (emphasis added) (citations omitted).11 In determining whether a proposed settlement is in the public interest, a district court “must accord deference to the government's predictions about the efficacy of its remedies, and may not require that the remedies perfectly match the alleged violations.” SBC Commc'ns, 489 F. Supp. 2d at 17; see also U.S. Airways, 38 F. Supp. 3d at 75 (noting that a court should not reject the proposed remedies because it believes others are preferable); Microsoft, 56 F.3d at 1461 (noting the need for courts to be “deferential to the government's predictions as to the effect of the proposed remedies”); United States v. Archer-Daniels-Midland Co., 272 F. Supp. 2d 1, 6 (D.D.C. 2003) (noting that the court should grant due respect to the United States' prediction as to the effect of proposed remedies, its perception of the market structure, and its views of the nature of the case).

    11Cf. BNS, 858 F.2d at 464 (holding that the court's “ultimate authority under the [APPA] is limited to approving or disapproving the consent decree”); United States v. Gillette Co., 406 F. Supp. 713, 716 (D. Mass. 1975) (noting that, in this way, the court is constrained to “look at the overall picture not hypercritically, nor with a microscope, but with an artist's reducing glass”). See generally Microsoft, 56 F.3d at 1461 (discussing whether “the remedies [obtained in the decree are] so inconsonant with the allegations charged as to fall outside of the `reaches of the public interest'”).

    Courts have greater flexibility in approving proposed consent decrees than in crafting their own decrees following a finding of liability in a litigated matter. “[A] proposed decree must be approved even if it falls short of the remedy the court would impose on its own, as long as it falls within the range of acceptability or is `within the reaches of public interest.'” United States v. Am. Tel. & Tel. Co., 552 F. Supp. 131, 151 (D.D.C. 1982) (citations omitted) (quoting United States v. Gillette Co., 406 F. Supp. 713, 716 (D. Mass. 1975)), aff'd sub nom. Maryland v. United States, 460 U.S. 1001 (1983); see also U.S. Airways, 38 F. Supp. 3d at 76 (noting that room must be made for the government to grant concessions in the negotiation process for settlements (citing Microsoft, 56 F.3d at 1461); United States v. Alcan Aluminum Ltd., 605 F. Supp. 619, 622 (W.D. Ky. 1985) (approving the consent decree even though the court would have imposed a greater remedy). To meet this standard, the United States “need only provide a factual basis for concluding that the settlements are reasonably adequate remedies for the alleged harms.” SBC Commc'ns, 489 F. Supp. 2d at 17.

    Moreover, the court's role under the APPA is limited to reviewing the remedy in relationship to the violations that the United States has alleged in its Complaint, and does not authorize the court to “construct [its] own hypothetical case and then evaluate the decree against that case.” Microsoft, 56 F.3d at 1459; see also U.S. Airways, 38 F. Supp. 3d at 75 (noting that the court must simply determine whether there is a factual foundation for the government's decisions such that its conclusions regarding the proposed settlements are reasonable); InBev, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 84787, at *20 (“the `public interest' is not to be measured by comparing the violations alleged in the complaint against those the court believes could have, or even should have, been alleged”). Because the “court's authority to review the decree depends entirely on the government's exercising its prosecutorial discretion by bringing a case in the first place,” it follows that “the court is only authorized to review the decree itself,” and not to “effectively redraft the complaint” to inquire into other matters that the United States did not pursue. Microsoft, 56 F.3d at 1459-60. As this Court confirmed in SBC Communications, courts “cannot look beyond the complaint in making the public interest determination unless the complaint is drafted so narrowly as to make a mockery of judicial power.” SBC Commc'ns, 489 F. Supp. 2d at 15.

    In its 2004 amendments, Congress made clear its intent to preserve the practical benefits of utilizing consent decrees in antitrust enforcement, adding the unambiguous instruction that “[n]othing in this section shall be construed to require the court to conduct an evidentiary hearing or to require the court to permit anyone to intervene.” 15 U.S.C. 16(e)(2); see also U.S. Airways, 38 F. Supp. 3d at 76 (indicating that a court is not required to hold an evidentiary hearing or to permit intervenors as part of its review under the Tunney Act). The language wrote into the statute what Congress intended when it enacted the Tunney Act in 1974, as Senator Tunney explained: “[t]he court is nowhere compelled to go to trial or to engage in extended proceedings which might have the effect of vitiating the benefits of prompt and less costly settlement through the consent decree process.” 119 Cong. Rec. 24,598 (1973) (statement of Sen. Tunney). Rather, the procedure for the public interest determination is left to the discretion of the court, with the recognition that the court's “scope of review remains sharply proscribed by precedent and the nature of Tunney Act proceedings.” SBC Commc'ns, 489 F. Supp. 2d at 11.12 A court can make its public interest determination based on the competitive impact statement and response to public comments alone. U.S. Airways, 38 F. Supp. 3d at 76.

    12See United States v. Enova Corp., 107 F. Supp. 2d 10, 17 (D.D.C. 2000) (noting that the “Tunney Act expressly allows the court to make its public interest determination on the basis of the competitive impact statement and response to comments alone”); United States v. Mid-Am. Dairymen, Inc., No. 73-CV-681-W-1, 1977-1 Trade Cas. (CCH) ¶ 61,508, at 71,980, *22 (W.D.

    Mo. 1977) (“Absent a showing of corrupt failure of the government to discharge its duty, the Court, in making its public interest finding, should . . . carefully consider the explanations of the government in the competitive impact statement and its responses to comments in order to determine whether those explanations are reasonable under the circumstances.”); S. Rep. No. 93-298, at 6 (1973) (“Where the public interest can be meaningfully evaluated simply on the basis of briefs and oral arguments, that is the approach that should be utilized.”).

    VIII. DETERMINATIVE DOCUMENTS

    Appendix B to the FCC's Memorandum Opinion and Order, In re Applications of Charter Communications, Inc., Time Warner Cable Inc., and Advance/Newhouse Partnership for Consent to the Transfer of Control of Licenses and Authorizations, FCC MB Docket No. 15-149 (adopted May 5, 2016; released May 10, 2016), was the only determinative document or material within the meaning of the APPA considered by the Department in formulating the proposed Final Judgment. This document is available on the FCC's Web site at https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-16-59A1.pdf, and will also be made available on the Antitrust Division's Web site at https://www.justice.gov/atr/case/us-v-charter-communications-inc-et-al.

    Dated: May 10, 2016 Respectfully submitted, /s/ Robert A. Lepore, Telecommunications & Media, Enforcement Section, Antitrust Division, U.S. Department of Justice, 450 Fifth Street NW., Suite 7000, Washington, DC 20530, Telephone: (202) 532-4928, Facsimile: (202) 514-6381, Email: [email protected] United States District Court for the District of Columbia

    United States of America, Plaintiff, v. Charter Communications, Inc., Time Warner Cable Inc, Advance/Newhouse Partnership, and Bright House Networks, LLC, Defendants.

    Case No.: 1:16-cv-00759 Judge: Royce C. Lamberth Filed: 04/25/2016
    [PROPOSED] FINAL JUDGMENT

    WHEREAS, Plaintiff, the United States of America, filed its Complaint on April 25, 2016 alleging that Defendants propose to enter into transactions the likely effect of which would be to lessen competition substantially in the market for the timely distribution of professional, full-length video programming to residential customers (“video programming distribution”) across the United States in violation of Section 7 of the Clayton Act, 15 U.S.C. 18, and Plaintiff and Defendants, by their respective attorneys, have consented to the entry of this Final Judgment without trial or adjudication of any issue of fact or law, and without this Final Judgment constituting any evidence against or admission by any party regarding any issue of fact or law;

    AND WHEREAS, Defendants agree to be bound by the provisions of this Final Judgment pending its approval by the Court;

    AND WHEREAS, Plaintiff requires Defendants to agree to undertake certain actions and refrain from certain conduct for the purpose of remedying the loss of competition alleged in the Complaint;

    AND WHEREAS, Defendants have represented to the United States that the actions and conduct restrictions can and will be undertaken and that Defendants will later raise no claim of hardship or difficulty as grounds for asking the Court to modify any of the provisions contained below;

    NOW THEREFORE, before any testimony is taken, without trial or adjudication of any issue of fact or law, and upon consent of the parties, it is ORDERED, ADJUDGED, AND DECREED:

    I. JURISDICTION

    This Court has jurisdiction over the subject matter of and each of the parties to this action. The Complaint states a claim upon which relief may be granted against Defendants under Section 7 of the Clayton Act, as amended, 15 U.S.C. 18.

    II. DEFINITIONS

    As used in this Final Judgment:

    A. “Advance/Newhouse” means defendant Advance/Newhouse Partnership, a New York partnership with headquarters in East Syracuse, New York, its successors and assigns, and its Subsidiaries, divisions, groups, affiliates, partnerships and joint ventures, and their directors, officers, managers, agents, and employees, in their capacity as directors, officers, managers, agents, and employees of the foregoing.

    B. “Bright House” means defendant Bright House Networks, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company with headquarters in East Syracuse, New York, its successors and assigns, and its Subsidiaries, divisions, groups, affiliates, partnerships and joint ventures, and their directors, officers, managers, agents, and employees, in their capacity as directors, officers, managers, agents, and employees of the foregoing.

    C. “Charter” means defendant Charter Communications, Inc., a Delaware corporation with headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut, its successors and assigns (including, without limitation, CCH I, LLC), and its Subsidiaries, divisions, groups, affiliates, partnerships and joint ventures, and their directors, officers, managers, agents, and employees, in their capacity as directors, officers, managers, agents, and employees of the foregoing.

    D. “Defendants” means Charter, TWC, Bright House, and Advance/Newhouse, acting individually or collectively. Notwithstanding the foregoing, Advance/Newhouse is not a “Defendant” for purposes of Section IV.

    E. “Department of Justice” means the United States Department of Justice Antitrust Division.

    F. “MVPD” means a multichannel video programming distributor as that term is defined on the date of entry of this Final Judgment in 47 CFR 76.1200(b), in its capacity as an MVPD.

    G. “OVD” means any service that (1) distributes Video Programming in the United States by means of the Internet; (2) is not a component of an MVPD subscription; and (3) is not solely available to customers of an Internet access service owned or operated by the Person providing the service or an affiliate of the Person providing the service. For avoidance of doubt, this definition (1) includes a service offered by a Video Programmer for the distribution of its own Video Programming by means of the Internet to Persons other than subscribers of an MVPD service; (2) includes a service offered by an MVPD that offers Video Programming by means of the Internet outside its MVPD service territory as a service separate and independent of an MVPD subscription; and (3) excludes an MVPD that offers Video Programming by means of the Internet to homes inside its MVPD service territory as a component of an MVPD subscription.

    H. “Person” means any natural person, corporation, company, partnership, joint venture, firm, association, proprietorship, agency, board, authority, commission, office, or other business or legal entity, whether private or governmental.

    I. “Subsidiary” refers to any Person in which there is partial (25 percent or more) or total ownership or control between the specified Person and any other Person. Notwithstanding the foregoing, Subsidiary shall not include any Person in which a Defendant does not have majority ownership or de facto control if that Person does not provide MVPD service.

    J. “TWC” means defendant Time Warner Cable Inc, a New York corporation with headquarters in New York, New York, its successors and assigns, and its Subsidiaries, divisions, groups, affiliates, partnerships and joint ventures, and their directors, officers, managers, agents, and employees, in their capacity as directors, officers, managers, agents, and employees of the foregoing.

    K. “Video Programmer” means any Person that provides Video Programming for distribution through MVPDs, in its capacity as a Video Programmer.

    L. “Video Programming” means programming provided by, or generally considered comparable to programming provided by, a television broadcast station or cable network, regardless of the medium or method used for distribution, and, without expanding the foregoing, includes programming prescheduled by the programming provider (also known as scheduled programming or a linear feed); programming offered to viewers on an on-demand, point-to-point basis (also known as video on demand); pay per view or transactional video on demand; short programming segments related to other full-length programming (also known as clips); programming that includes multiple video sources (also known as feeds, including camera angles); programming that includes video in different qualities or formats (including high-definition and 3D); and films for which a year or more has elapsed since their theatrical release.

    III. APPLICABILITY

    This Final Judgment applies to Defendants and all other Persons in active concert or participation with any of them who receive actual notice of this Final Judgment by personal service or otherwise.

    IV. PROHIBITED CONDUCT AND REPORTING

    A. Defendants shall not enter into or enforce any agreement with a Video Programmer under which Defendants forbid, limit, or create incentives to limit the Video Programmer's provision of its Video Programming to one or more OVDs.

    B. Agreements that “create incentives to limit” a Video Programmer's provision of its Video Programming to one or more OVDs within the meaning of Section IV.A shall include, but are not limited to, the following:

    1. agreements that provide for any pecuniary or non-pecuniary penalty on the Video Programmer for the provision of its Video Programming to an OVD, such as rate reductions, re-tiering or re-positioning penalties, termination rights for Defendants, or loss or waiver of any rights or benefits otherwise available to the Video Programmer; or

    2. agreements that entitle Defendants to receive any benefits such as favorable rates, contract terms, or content rights offered or granted to an OVD by a Video Programmer without requiring Defendants to also accept any obligations, limitations, or conditions:

    i. that are integrally related, logically linked, or directly tied to the offering or grant of such rights or benefits, and

    ii. with which Defendants can reasonably comply technologically and legally. For avoidance of doubt, Defendants will be deemed able to “reasonably comply technologically” if they are able to implement an obligation, limitation, or condition in a technologically equivalent manner.

    C. Notwithstanding the foregoing, nothing in this Final Judgment shall prohibit Defendants from:

    1. entering into and enforcing an agreement under which Defendants discourage or prohibit a Video Programmer from making Video Programming for which Defendants pay available to consumers for free over the Internet within the first 30 days after Defendants first distribute the Video Programming to consumers;

    2. entering into and enforcing an agreement under which the Video Programmer provides Video Programming exclusively to Defendants, and to no other MVPD or OVD; or

    3. entering into and enforcing an agreement which requires that Defendants receive as favorable material terms as other MVPDs or OVDs, except to the extent application of other MVPDs' or OVDs' terms would be inconsistent with the purpose of Sections A and B of this Section IV.

    D. Defendants shall not discriminate against, retaliate against, or punish any Video Programmer (i) for providing Video Programming to any MVPD or OVD, (ii) for invoking any provisions of this Final Judgment, (iii) for invoking the provisions of any rules or orders concerning Video Programming adopted by the Federal Communications Commission, or (iv) for furnishing information to the United States concerning Defendants' compliance or noncompliance with this Final Judgment. Pursuing a more advantageous deal with a Video Programmer does not constitute discrimination, retaliation, or punishment.

    E. Defendants shall submit to the Department of Justice all reports and data relating to interconnection with the Defendants' broadband Internet access network that are required to be submitted to the Federal Communications Commission (“the Commission”) pursuant to any rule or order of the Commission, at the same time such reports or data are required to be submitted to the Commission.

    V. COMPLIANCE INSPECTION

    A. For purposes of determining or securing compliance with this Final Judgment, or of determining whether the Final Judgment should be modified or vacated, and subject to any legally recognized privilege, from time to time duly authorized representatives of the Department of Justice, including consultants and other persons retained by the Department of Justice, shall, upon written request of an authorized representative of the Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Antitrust Division, and on reasonable notice to Defendants, be permitted:

    1. access during the Defendants' office hours to inspect and copy, or at the option of the United States, to require Defendants to provide to the United States hard copy or electronic copies of, all books, ledgers, accounts, records, data, and documents in the possession, custody, or control of Defendants, relating to any matters contained in this Final Judgment; and

    2. to interview, either informally or on the record, the Defendants' officers, employees, or agents, who may have their individual counsel present, regarding such matters. The interviews shall be subject to the reasonable convenience of the interviewee and without restraint or interference by Defendants.

    B. Upon the written request of an authorized representative of the Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Antitrust Division, Defendants shall submit written reports or respond to written interrogatories, under oath if requested, relating to any of the matters contained in this Final Judgment as may be requested.

    C. No information or documents obtained by the means provided in this section shall be divulged by the United States to any person other than an authorized representative of the executive branch of the United States or the Federal Communications Commission, except in the course of legal proceedings to which the United States is a party (including grand jury proceedings), or for the purpose of securing compliance with this Final Judgment, or as otherwise required by law.

    D. If at the time information or documents are furnished by a Defendant to the United States, the Defendant represents and identifies in writing the material in any such information or documents to which a claim of protection may be asserted under Rule 26(c)(1)(G) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and the Defendant marks each pertinent page of such material, “Subject to claim of protection under Rule 26(c)(1)(G) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure,” then the United States shall give the Defendant ten calendar days notice prior to divulging such material in any civil or administrative proceeding (other than a grand jury proceeding).

    VI. RETENTION OF JURISDICTION

    This Court retains jurisdiction to enable any party to apply to this Court at any time for further orders and directions as may be necessary or appropriate to carry out or construe this Final Judgment, to modify any of its provisions, to enforce compliance, and to punish violations of its provisions.

    VII. NO LIMITATION ON GOVERNMENT RIGHTS

    Nothing in this Final Judgment shall limit the right of the United States to investigate and bring actions to prevent or restrain violations of the antitrust laws concerning any past, present, or future conduct, policy, or practice of the Defendants.

    VIII. EXPIRATION OF FINAL JUDGMENT

    This Final Judgment shall expire seven years from the date of its entry. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Defendants may request after five years that the Department of Justice examine competitive conditions and determine whether the Final Judgment continues to be necessary to protect competition. If after examination of competitive conditions the Department of Justice in its sole discretion concludes that the Final Judgment should be terminated, it will recommend to the Court that the Final Judgment be terminated.

    IX. PUBLIC INTEREST DETERMINATION

    Entry of this Final Judgment is in the public interest. The parties have complied with the requirements of the Antitrust Procedures and Penalties Act, 15 U.S.C. 16, including making copies available to the public of this Final Judgment, the Competitive Impact Statement, and any comments thereon and the United States' responses to comments. Based upon the record before the Court, which includes the Competitive Impact Statement and any comments and response to comments filed with the Court, entry of this Final Judgment is in the public interest.

    Date: Court approval subject to procedures set forth in the Antitrust Procedures and Penalties Act, 15 U.S.C. 16 United States District Judge
    [FR Doc. 2016-11562 Filed 5-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4410-11-P
    DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Employee Benefits Security Administration 181st Meeting of the Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension Benefit Plans Notice of Meeting

    Pursuant to the authority contained in section 512 of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), 29 U.S.C. 1142, the 181st meeting of the Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension Benefit Plans (also known as the ERISA Advisory Council) will be held on June 7-9, 2016.

    The three-day meeting will take place at the U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210 in C5320 Room 6. The meeting will run from 9:00 a.m. to approximately 5:30 p.m. on June 7-8 and from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on June 9, with a one hour break for lunch each day. The purpose of the open meeting is for Advisory Council members to hear testimony from invited witnesses and to receive an update from the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA). The EBSA update is scheduled for the morning of June 9, subject to change.

    The Advisory Council will study the following topics: (1) Cybersecurity Considerations for Benefit Plans, on June 7 and (2) Participant Plan Transfers and Account Consolidation for the Advancement of Lifetime Plan Participation, on June 8. The schedule is subject to change. The Council will discuss both topics on June 9. Descriptions of these topics are available on the Advisory Council page of the EBSA Web site, at www.dol.gov/ebsa/aboutebsa/erisaadvisorycouncil.html.

    Organizations or members of the public wishing to submit a written statement may do so by submitting 35 copies on or before May 31, 2016 to Larry Good, Executive Secretary, ERISA Advisory Council, U.S. Department of Labor, Suite N-5623, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210. Statements also may be submitted as email attachments in word processing or pdf format transmitted to [email protected] It is requested that statements not be included in the body of the email. Statements deemed relevant by the Advisory Council and received on or before May 31 will be included in the record of the meeting and made available through the EBSA Public Disclosure Room, along with witness statements. Do not include any personally identifiable information (such as name, address, or other contact information) or confidential business information that you do not want publicly disclosed. Written statements submitted by invited witnesses will be posted on the Advisory Council page of the EBSA Web site, without change, and can be retrieved by most Internet search engines.

    Individuals or representatives of organizations wishing to address the Advisory Council should forward their requests to the Executive Secretary or telephone (202) 693-8668. Oral presentations will be limited to 10 minutes, time permitting, but an extended statement may be submitted for the record. Individuals with disabilities who need special accommodations should contact the Executive Secretary by May 31.

    Signed at Washington, DC, this 9th day of May, 2016. Judy Mares, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Employee Benefits Security Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11612 Filed 5-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510-29-P
    DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Occupational Safety and Health Administration [Docket No. OSHA-2013-0016] Nemko-CCL, Inc.: Applications for Expansion of Recognition AGENCY:

    Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Labor.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In this notice, OSHA announces the applications of Nemko-CCL, Inc. for expansion of its scope of recognition as a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL) and presents the Agency's preliminary finding to grant the applications.

    DATES:

    Submit comments, information, and documents in response to this notice, or requests for an extension of time to make a submission, on or before June 1, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit comments by any of the following methods:

    1. Electronically: Submit comments and attachments electronically at http://www.regulations.gov, which is the Federal eRulemaking Portal. Follow the instructions online for making electronic submissions.

    2. Facsimile: If submissions, including attachments, are not longer than 10 pages, commenters may fax them to the OSHA Docket Office at (202) 693-1648.

    3. Regular or express mail, hand delivery, or messenger (courier) service: Submit comments, requests, and any attachments to the OSHA Docket Office, Docket No. OSHA-2013-0016, Technical Data Center, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Room N-2625, Washington, DC 20210; telephone: (202) 693-2350 (TTY number: (877) 889-5627). Note that security procedures may result in significant delays in receiving comments and other written materials by regular mail. Contact the OSHA Docket Office for information about security procedures concerning delivery of materials by express mail, hand delivery, or messenger service. The hours of operation for the OSHA Docket Office are 8:15 a.m.-4:45 p.m., e.t.

    4. Instructions: All submissions must include the Agency name and the OSHA docket number OSHA-2013-0016. OSHA places comments and other materials, including any personal information, in the public docket without revision, and these materials will be available online at http://www.regulations.gov. Therefore, the Agency cautions commenters about submitting statements they do not want made available to the public, or submitting comments that contain personal information (either about themselves or others) such as Social Security numbers, birth dates, and medical data.

    5. Docket: To read or download submissions or other material in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov or the OSHA Docket Office at the address above. All documents in the docket are listed in the http://www.regulations.gov index; however, some information (e.g., copyrighted material) is not publicly available to read or download through the Web site. All submissions are available for inspection at the OSHA Docket Office. Contact the OSHA Docket Office for assistance in locating docket submissions.

    6. Extension of comment period: Submit requests for an extension of the comment period on or before June 1, 2016 to the Office of Technical Programs and Coordination Activities, Directorate of Technical Support and Emergency Management, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Room N-3655, Washington, DC 20210, or by fax to (202) 693-1644.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Information regarding this notice is available from the following sources:

    Press inquiries: Contact Mr. Frank Meilinger, Director, OSHA Office of Communications, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Room N-3647, Washington, DC 20210; phone: (202) 693-1999; email: [email protected]

    General and technical information: Contact Mr. Kevin Robinson, Director, Office of Technical Programs and Coordination Activities, Directorate of Technical Support and Emergency Management, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Room N-3655, Washington, DC 20210; phone: (202) 693-2110 or email: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Notice of the Applications for Expansion

    The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is providing notice that Nemko-CCL, Inc. (CCL), is applying for expansion of its current recognition as an NRTL. CCL requests the addition of two (2) recognized testing and certification sites, and twenty-two (22) additional test standards to its NRTL scope of recognition. Additionally, CCL is applying to relocate its headquarters to Ottawa, Canada, after its existing headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah was destroyed in a fire.

    OSHA recognition of an NRTL signifies that the organization meets the requirements specified in title 29, Code of Federal Regulations, section 1910.7 (29 CFR 1910.7). Recognition is an acknowledgment that the organization can perform independent safety testing and certification of the specific products covered within its scope of recognition and is not a delegation or grant of government authority. Recognition enables employers to use products approved by the NRTL to meet OSHA standards that require product testing and certification.

    The Agency processes applications by an NRTL for initial recognition and for an expansion or renewal of this recognition, following requirements in Appendix A to 29 CFR 1910.7. This appendix requires that the Agency publish two notices in the Federal Register in processing an application. In the first notice, OSHA announces the application and provides its preliminary finding. In the second notice, the Agency provides its final decision on the application. These notices set forth the NRTL's scope of recognition or modifications of that scope. OSHA maintains an informational Web page for each NRTL, including CCL, which details the NRTL's scope of recognition. These pages are available from the OSHA Web site at http://www.osha.gov/dts/otpca/nrtl/index.html.

    Each NRTL's scope of recognition includes: (1) The type of products the NRTL may test, with each type specified by its applicable test standard; and (2) the recognized site(s) that has/have the technical capability to perform the product testing and product-certification activities for test standards within the NRTL's scope.

    CCL currently has one facility (site) recognized by OSHA for product testing and certification, with its headquarters located at: Nemko-CCL 1940 West Alexander Street, Salt Lake City, Utah 84119-2039. A complete list of CCL sites recognized by OSHA is available at https://www.osha.gov/dts/otpca/nrtl/ccl.html.

    II. General Background on the Applications for Expansion

    CCL submitted two applications, one dated January 28, 2015 (OSHA-2013-0016-008), and a second dated January 26, 2016 (OSHA-2013-0016-009), to expand its recognition to include the addition of two recognized testing and certification sites located at: Nemko North America, Inc., 2210 Faraday Avenue, Suite 150, Carlsbad, California 92008; and Nemko Canada, Inc., 303 River Road, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1V 1H2. OSHA staff performed an on-site review of CCL's testing facilities on November 17-18, 2015, at CCL Ottawa, and on January 11-12, 2016, at CCL California. During these assessments, the assessors found some nonconformances with the requirements of 29 CFR 1910.7. CCL addressed these issues sufficiently, and OSHA staff preliminarily determined that OSHA should grant the applications.

    CCL's first application also requested the addition of twenty-two test standards to its scope of recognition. OSHA staff performed a detailed analysis of the application packet, reviewed other pertinent information, and conducted the on-site reviews described above in relation to this application.

    Table 1 below lists the appropriate test standards found in CCL's application for expansion for testing and certification of products under the NRTL Program.

    Table 1—Proposed List of Appropriate Test Standards for Inclusion in CCL's NRTL Scope of Recognition Test standard Test standard title UL 60335-1 Safety of Household and Similar Electrical Appliances, Part 1: General Requirements. UL 60335-2-24 Safety Requirement for Household and Similar Electrical Appliances, Part 2: Refrigerating Appliances, Ice-Cream Appliances and Ice Makers. UL 197 Commercial Electric Cooking Appliances. UL 250 Household Refrigerators and Freezers. UL 427 Refrigerating Units. UL 471 Commercial Refrigerators and Freezers. UL 499 Electric Heating Appliances. UL 507 Electric Fans. UL 561 Floor Finishing Machines. UL 563 Ice Makers. UL 705 Power Ventilators. UL 751 Vending Machines. UL 763 Motor-Operated Commercial Food Preparing Machines. UL 859 Personal Grooming Appliance. UL 867 Electrostatic Air Cleaners. UL 982 Motor-Operated Food Preparing Machines. UL 1017 Electric Vacuum Cleaning Machines and Blower Cleaners. UL 1026 Electric Household Cooking and Food-Serving Appliances. UL 1082 Household Electric Coffee Makers and Brewing-Type Appliances. UL 1083 Household Electric Skillets and Frying-Type Appliances. UL 1431 Personal Hygiene and Health Care Appliances. UL 1563 Electric Spas, Equipment Assemblies and Associated Equipment. III. Background on the Relocation of Nemko-CCL, Inc. Headquarters

    On October 28, 2015, CCL provided notice to OSHA that their company headquarters located at 1940 West Alexander Road, Salt Lake City, Utah 84119-2039 had been completely destroyed in a fire that occurred on October 25, 2015. CCL temporarily moved their testing operations to their Ottawa and California locations while searching for a location to re-establish their headquarters. OSHA advised CCL that their inability to perform testing at their recognized site could lead to revocation from the NRTL Program, but proceeded to conduct the November 2015 and January 2016 on-site assessments of the Ottawa and California proposed sites because these assessments were scheduled before the fire occurred. In January of 2016, CCL advised OSHA that they wanted to move their headquarters to the Ottawa, Canada site and had secured a new location for their Salt Lake City, Utah site, which would now serve as an administrative site with no test capabilities. OSHA performed an electronic assessment of this new administrative site located at Nemko-CCL, Inc. 2964 West 4700 South, Suite 200, Salt Lake City, Utah 84129, on February 17, 2016.

    IV. Preliminary Finding on the Applications

    CCL submitted acceptable applications for expansion of its scope of recognition, and relocation of its company headquarters. OSHA's review of the application files and its detailed on-site and electronic assessments indicate that CCL can meet the requirements prescribed by 29 CFR 1910.7 for expanding its recognition to include the addition of these two sites and twenty-two test standards for NRTL testing and certification and the new headquarters site. This preliminary finding does not constitute an interim or temporary approval of CCL's applications.

    OSHA welcomes public comment as to whether CCL meets the requirements of 29 CFR 1910.7 for expansion of its recognition as an NRTL. Comments should consist of pertinent written documents and exhibits. Commenters needing more time to comment must submit a request in writing, stating the reasons for the request. Commenters must submit the written request for an extension by the due date for comments. OSHA will limit any extension to 10 days unless the requester justifies a longer period. OSHA may deny a request for an extension if it is not adequately justified. To obtain or review copies of the exhibits identified in this notice, as well as comments submitted to the docket, contact the Docket Office, Room N-2625, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, at the above address. These materials also are available online at http://www.regulations.gov under Docket No. OSHA-2013-0016.

    OSHA staff will review all comments to the docket submitted in a timely manner and, after addressing the issues raised by these comments, will recommend to the Assistant Secretary for Occupational Safety and Health whether to grant CCL's applications for expansion of its scope of recognition. The Assistant Secretary will make the final decision on granting the applications. In making this decision, the Assistant Secretary may undertake other proceedings prescribed in Appendix A to 29 CFR 1910.7.

    OSHA will publish a public notice of this final decision in the Federal Register.

    Authority and Signature

    David Michaels, Ph.D., MPH, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210, authorized the preparation of this notice. Accordingly, the Agency is issuing this notice pursuant to 29 U.S.C. 657(g)(2), Secretary of Labor's Order No. 1-2012 (77 FR 3912, Jan. 25, 2012), and 29 CFR 1910.7.

    Signed at Washington, DC, on May 12, 2016. David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11595 Filed 5-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510-26-P
    DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Occupational Safety and Health Administration Susan Harwood Training Grant Program, FY 2016 AGENCY:

    Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Labor.

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability of funds and funding opportunity announcements (FOA) for Targeted Topic Training and Capacity Building grants.

    Funding Opportunity Number: SHTG-FY-16-01 (Targeted Topic grants)

    Funding Opportunity Number: SHTG-FY-16-02 (Capacity Building grants)

    Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number: 17.502.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces availability of approximately $4.5 million for Susan Harwood Training Program grants. Two separate funding opportunity announcements are available for Targeted Topic Training grants and Capacity Building grants. Two types of grants are being announced under each funding opportunity. Funding Opportunity Number SHTG-FY-16-01 will cover the two types of Targeted Topic Training grants: (1) Targeted Topic Training and (2) Targeted Topic Training and Educational Materials Development grants. Funding Opportunity Number SHTG-FY-16-02 will cover the two types of Capacity Building grants: (1) Capacity Building Developmental and (2) Capacity Building Pilot grants.

    DATES:

    Grant applications for both Targeted Topic Training and Capacity Building grants must be received electronically by the Grants.gov system no later than 11:59 p.m., ET, on Tuesday, June 28, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    The complete Susan Harwood Training Grant Program funding opportunity announcements and all information needed to apply for these funding opportunities are available at the Grants.gov Web site, http://www.Grants.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Questions regarding the funding opportunity announcements should be emailed to [email protected] or directed to Donna Robertson, Program Analyst, or Bob Murphy, Director, Office of Training Programs and Administration, at 847-759-7700 (note this is not a toll-free number). Personnel will not be available to answer questions after 5:00 p.m., ET. To obtain further information on the Susan Harwood Training Grant Program, visit the OSHA Web site at: http://www.osha.gov/dte/sharwood/index.html.

    Questions regarding Grants.gov should be emailed to [email protected] or directed to the Grants.gov Contact Center, at 1-800-518-4726 (toll free number). The Contact Center is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Contact Center is closed on Federal holidays.

    Authority and Signature

    David Michaels, Ph.D., MPH, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, directed the preparation of this notice. The authority for this notice is Section 21 of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, (29 U.S.C. 670), Public Law 113-235, and Secretary of Labor's Order No. 1-2012 (77 FR 3912).

    Signed at Washington, DC, on May 3, 2016. David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11591 Filed 5-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510-26-P
    LIBRARY OF CONGRESS Copyright Royalty Board [Docket No. 16-CRB-0013-DART-MWF (2012-2013)] Distribution of the 2012-2013 Digital Audio Recording Technology Musical Works Royalty Funds AGENCY:

    Copyright Royalty Board, Library of Congress.

    ACTION:

    Notice soliciting comments on motion for partial distribution.

    SUMMARY:

    The Copyright Royalty Judges solicit comments on a motion for partial distribution in connection with 2012 and 2013 DART Musical Works Fund royalties.

    DATES:

    Comments are due on or before June 16, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    This notice and request for comments is also posted on the agency's Web site (www.loc.gov/crb). Submit electronic comments to [email protected] See the Supplementary Information section below for instructions on submitting comments in other formats.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Kimberly Whittle, attorney-advisor, by telephone at (202) 707-7658 or email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    On April 3, 2016, Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI), the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), SESAC, Inc. (SESAC) (together the Performing Rights Organizations or PROs) and The Harry Fox Agency LLC (with the PROs, the Settling Claimants) filed with the Copyright Royalty Judges (Judges) a Motion for Partial Distribution of the Musical Works Fund . . . (Motion). In the Motion, the Settling Claimants asserted that they have reached a confidential settlement among themselves concerning the distribution shares of the 2012 and 2013 DART Musical Works Fund royalties.

    The Settling Claimants contend that they are, or they represent, “the vast majority” of claimants entitled to the Musical Works Fund royalties at issue in this proceeding. As support for their request, the Settling Claimants assert that, since 1997, non-settling music writer or publisher claimants have established claims to and have received less than 0.1% of the Musical Works Fund, if any. The Settling Claimants request a partial distribution of 95% of the subject royalty funds pursuant to Section 801(b)(3)(C) of the Copyright Act (Act).

    Under section 801(b)(3)(C) of the Act, before ruling on a partial distribution motion the Judges must publish a notice in the Federal Register to ascertain whether any claimant entitled to receive a share of the subject royalty fees has a reasonable objection to the proposed distribution. Consequently, this Notice seeks comments from interested claimants on whether any reasonable objection exists that would preclude distribution of 95% of the 2012 and 2013 DART Musical Works Fund royalties to the Settling Claimants. Any party wishing to advise the judges of the existence and extent of an objection must do so, in writing, by the end of the comment period. The judges will not consider any objections with respect to the partial distribution motion that come to their attention after the close of that period.

    How To Submit Comments

    Interested claimants must submit comments to only one of the following addresses. Unless responding by email, claimants must submit an original, five paper copies, and an electronic version on a CD.

    Email: [email protected]; or

    U.S. mail: Copyright Royalty Board, P.O. Box 70977, Washington, DC 20024-0977; or

    Overnight service (only USPS Express Mail is acceptable): Copyright Royalty Board, P.O. Box 70977, Washington, DC 20024-0977; or

    Commercial courier: Address package to: Copyright Royalty Board, Library of Congress, James Madison Memorial Building, LM-403, 101 Independence Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20559-6000. Deliver to: Congressional Courier Acceptance Site, 2nd Street NE., and D Street NE., Washington, DC; or

    Hand delivery: Library of Congress, James Madison Memorial Building, LM-401, 101 Independence Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20559-6000.

    Dated: May 11, 2016. Suzanne M. Barnett, Chief U.S. Copyright Royalty Judge.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11561 Filed 5-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 1410-72-P
    NATIONAL ARCHIVES AND RECORDS ADMINISTRATION [NARA-2016-031] Records Schedules; Availability and Request for Comments AGENCY:

    National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).

    ACTION:

    Notice of availability of proposed records schedules; request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) publishes notice at least once monthly of certain Federal agency requests for records disposition authority (records schedules). Once approved by NARA, records schedules provide agencies with mandatory instructions for what to do with records when agencies no longer need them for current Government business. The instructions authorize agencies to preserve records of continuing value in the National Archives of the United States and to destroy, after a specified period, records lacking administrative, legal, research, or other value. NARA publishes notice in the Federal Register for records schedules in which agencies propose to destroy records not previously authorized for disposal or to reduce the retention period of records already authorized for disposal. NARA invites public comments on such records schedules, as required by 44 U.S.C. 3303a(a).

    DATES:

    NARA must receive requests for copies in writing by June 16, 2016. Once NARA appraises the records, we will send you a copy of the schedule you requested. We usually prepare appraisal memoranda that contain additional information concerning the records covered by a proposed schedule. You may also request these. If you do, we will also provide them once we have completed the appraisal. You have 30 days after we send you these requested documents in which to submit comments.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may request a copy of any records schedule identified in this notice by contacting Records Appraisal and Agency Assistance (ACRA) using one of the following means:

    Mail: NARA (ACRA); 8601 Adelphi Road; College Park, MD 20740-6001.

    Email: [email protected]

    FAX: 301-837-3698.

    You must cite the control number, which appears in parentheses after the name of the agency that submitted the schedule, and a mailing address. If you would like an appraisal report, please include that in your request.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Margaret Hawkins, Director, by mail at Records Appraisal and Agency Assistance (ACRA); National Archives and Records Administration; 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD 20740-6001, by phone at 301-837-1799, or by email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Each year, Federal agencies create billions of records on paper, film, magnetic tape, and other media. To control this accumulation, agency records managers prepare schedules proposing retention periods for records and submit these schedules for NARA's approval. These schedules provide for timely transfer into the National Archives of historically valuable records and authorize disposal of all other records after the agency no longer needs them to conduct its business. Some schedules are comprehensive and cover all the records of an agency or one of its major subdivisions. Most schedules, however, cover records of only one office or program or a few series of records. Many of these update previously approved schedules, and some include records proposed as permanent.

    The schedules listed in this notice are media-neutral unless otherwise specified. An item in a schedule is media-neutral when an agency may apply the disposition instructions to records regardless of the medium in which it has created or maintains the records. Items included in schedules submitted to NARA on or after December 17, 2007, are media-neutral unless the item is specifically limited to a specific medium. (See 36 CFR 1225.12(e).)

    Agencies may not destroy Federal records without the approval of the Archivist of the United States. The Archivist grants this approval only after thorough consideration of the records' administrative use by the agency of origin, the rights of the Government and of private people directly affected by the Government's activities, and whether or not the records have historical or other value.

    In addition to identifying the Federal agencies and any subdivisions requesting disposition authority, lists the organizational unit(s) accumulating the records or lists that the schedule has agency-wide applicability (in the case of schedules that cover records that may be accumulated throughout an agency); provides the control number assigned to each schedule, the total number of schedule items, and the number of temporary items (the records proposed for destruction); and includes a brief description of the temporary records. The records schedule itself contains a full description of the records at the file unit level as well as their disposition. If NARA staff has prepared an appraisal memorandum for the schedule, it also includes information about the records. You may request additional information about the disposition process at the addresses above.

    Schedules Pending

    1. Department of Agriculture, Farm Service Agency (DAA-0161-2016-0001, 4 items, 4 temporary items). Records related to loans administered by the Commodity Credit Corporation.

    2. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service (DAA-0462-2016-0001, 1 item, 1 temporary item). Master files of an electronic information system used to collect and track data relating to the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program.

    3. Department of the Army, Agency-wide (DAA-AU-2016-0007, 1 item, 1 temporary item). Records relating to requests for waivers for applicants who do not meet established standards for enlistment in the Army.

    4. Department of the Army, Agency wide (DAA-AU-2016-0018, 1 item, 1 temporary item). Records of economic data gathered during water management projects.

    5. Department of Defense, Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DAA-0507-2016-0001, 1 item, 1 temporary item). Revision of item for foreign military sales case files to add collection and disbursement vouchers.

    6. Department of Defense, Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DAA-0374-2014-0016, 1 item, 1 temporary item). Records relating to policies and procedures for verifying location of weapons systems.

    7. Department of Defense, Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DAA-0374-2014-0030, 1 item, 1 temporary item). Records relating to the development of strategic plans including balanced scorecard and program review documentation.

    8. Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (DAA-0567-2015-0014, 6 items, 6 temporary items). Records related to removal travel operations including copies of international deportation agreements, guidance briefings, detainee custody review case files, and transportation logistics materials.

    9. Department of Homeland Security, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (DAA-0566-2016-0012, 3 items, 3 temporary items). Undeliverable and returned outgoing mail, to include submitted documentation and notices.

    10. Department of Justice, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (DAA-0436-2016-0001, 2 items, 2 temporary items). Master files of an electronic information system used to collect and manage information gathered in the investigation of reported incidents of internal misconduct.

    11. Department of Labor, Office of Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs (DAA-0174-2013-0003, 9 items, 8 temporary items). Records related to congressional and intergovernmental affairs including correspondence and casework files, notification and announcement files, work files, appointment files, subject files, general correspondence, and related materials. Proposed for permanent retention are memorandum files.

    12. Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service (DAA-0058-2016-0007, 1 item, 1 temporary item). Master files of an electronic information system used for fraud detection.

    13. Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service (DAA-0058-2016-0009, 1 item, 1 temporary item). Master files of an electronic information system used for transaction processing and data validation.

    14. Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service (DAA-0058-2016-0010, 1 item, 1 temporary item). Master files of an electronic information system used to detect fraudulent tax return filings.

    15. Department of the Treasury, Internal Revenue Service (DAA-0058-2016-0011, 1 item, 1 temporary item). Records of a Web site used to support a taxpayer rights conference.

    16. Court Services and Offenders Supervision Agency for the District of Columbia, Agency-wide (DAA-0562-2014-0002, 4 items, 1 temporary item). Internal administrative directives. Proposed for permanent retention are records of high-level officials, mission-related policies and procedures, and annual reports and strategic plans.

    17. Court Services and Offenders Supervision Agency for the District of Columbia, Agency-wide (DAA-0562-2016-0001, 2 items, 2 temporary items). Records documenting court-ordered expunction.

    18. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Water (DAA-0412-2016-0001, 1 item, 1 temporary item). Electronic data obtained from injection well activity reports and managed by the Underground Injection Control Program Summary System.

    Dated: May 6, 2016. Margaret Hawkins, Director, Records Appraisal and Agency Assistance.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11610 Filed 5-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7515-01-P
    NATIONAL ARCHIVES AND RECORDS ADMINISTRATION [NARA-2016-032] Advisory Committee on the Records of Congress AGENCY:

    National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).

    ACTION:

    Notice of Advisory Committee meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, NARA announces a meeting of the Advisory Committee on the Records of Congress. The meeting is open to the public.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be on June 13, 2016, from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. EDT.

    ADDRESSES:

    Capitol Visitor Center, Room SVC209-08 (Senate Visitor Center).

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Center for Legislative Archives at (202) 357-5350 or Sharon Fitzpatrick by email at: [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Background

    The committee advises NARA on the full range of programs, policies, and plans for the Center for Legislative Archives in the Office of Legislative Archives, Presidential Libraries, and Museum Services (LPM).

    Agenda (1) Chair's Opening Remarks—Secretary of the U.S. Senate (2) Recognition of Co-chair—Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives (3) Recognition of the Archivist of the United States (4) Approval of the minutes of the last meeting (5) Senate Archivist's report (6) House Archivist's report (7) Center Update (8) Other current issues and new business Patrice Little Murray, Committee Management Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11565 Filed 5-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7515-01-P
    NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION Advisory Committee for Mathematical and Physical Sciences; Notice of Meeting

    In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92-463, as amended), the National Science Foundation announces the following meeting:

    Name: Advisory Committee for Mathematical and Physical Sciences (#66) (VIRTUAL).

    Date/Time: May 23, 2016: 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. EDT.

    Place: National Science Foundation 4201 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, VA 22230. (Virtual).

    Type of Meeting: CLOSED.

    Contact Person: Eduardo Misawa, National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 505, Arlington, Virginia 22230; Telephone: 703/292-8300.

    Purpose of Meeting: To provide advice, recommendations and counsel on major goals and policies pertaining to mathematical and physical sciences programs and activities.

    Agenda Monday, May 23, 2016 1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m. EDT 1:00-1:05 Meeting opening, FACA briefing 1:05-2:00 Discussion on follow-up on Particle Physics Project Prioritization Panel (P5) report 2:00 Adjourn

    Reason for Closing: The early public discussion of federal government's proposed response to the P5 report may significantly frustrate implementation of the proposed action. These matters are exempt under 5 U.S.C. 552b(c), (9) of the Government in the Sunshine Act.

    Dated: May 11, 2016. Crystal Robinson, Committee Management Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11566 Filed 5-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7555-01-P
    NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION Proposal Review Panel for Physics; Notice of Meeting

    In accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92-463, as amended), the National Science Foundation announces the following meeting:

    Name: Proposal Review Panel for the Division of Physics (1208) (V162137) Site Visit.

    Date and Time: June 21-22, 2016; 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

    June 23, 2016; 8:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

    Place: LIGO Observatory in Hanford, WA.

    Type of Meeting: Part—Open.

    Contact Person: Mark Coles, Facilities Manager, Division of Physics, National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson Blvd., Room 1015, Arlington, VA 22230; Telephone: (703) 292-4432.

    Purpose of Meeting: Site visit to provide an evaluation of the progress of the projects at the host site for the Division of Physics at the National Science Foundation.

    Agenda June 21, 2016 8:30 a.m.-9:00 a.m. Executive Session (CLOSED) 9:00 a.m.-Noon Plenary presentations on LIGO operation 1:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m. Facility Tour 3:00 p.m.-4:30 p.m. Breakout sessions 4:30 p.m. Executive session (CLOSED) 5:00 p.m. Brief joint session with panel and LIGO June 22, 2016 8:30 a.m.-9:00 a.m. Executive session (CLOSED) 9:00 a.m.-Noon Breakout sessions Noon-1:00 p.m. Lunch 1:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. Breakout sessions 4:00 p.m. Executive session (CLOSED) 5:00 p.m. Homework assignment meeting (joint LIGO + panel) June 23, 2016 8:30 a.m. Homework reports to panel (CLOSED) 9:00 a.m. Panel report writing in executive session (CLOSED) Noon Panel summary report (CLOSED)

    Reason for Closing: Topics to be discussed and evaluated during the site review will include information of a proprietary or confidential nature, including technical information and information on personnel. These matters are exempt under 5 U.S.C. 552b(c), (4) and (6) of the Government in the Sunshine Act.

    Dated: May 11, 2016. Crystal Robinson, Committee Management Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11567 Filed 5-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7555-01-P
    NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [Docket Nos. 52-025-LA-2 and 52-026-LA-2; ASLBP No. 16-946-02-LA-BD01] Southern Nuclear Operating Company, Inc.; Establishment of Atomic Safety and Licensing Board

    Pursuant to delegation by the Commission, see 37 FR 28,710 (Dec. 29, 1972), and the Commission's regulations, see, e.g., 10 CFR 2.104, 2.105, 2.300, 2.309, 2.313, 2.318, 2.321, notice is hereby given that an Atomic Safety and Licensing Board (Board) is being established to preside over the following proceeding:

    Southern Nuclear Operating Company, Inc. (Vogtle Electric Generating Plant, Units 3 and 4)

    This proceeding involves a challenge to an application by Southern Nuclear Operating Company, Inc. for an amendment to the operating licenses for the Vogtle Electric Generating Plant, Units 3 and 4, located in Burke County, Georgia. In response to a notice of the license amendment application filed in the Federal Register, see 81 FR 10,920 (Mar. 2, 2016), the Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League and its chapter Concerned Citizens of Shell Bluff filed a Petition to Intervene and Request for Hearing on May 2, 2016.

    The Board is comprised of the following Administrative Judges:

    Ronald M. Spritzer, Chairman, Atomic Safety and Licensing Board Panel, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001 Nicholas G. Trikouros, Atomic Safety and Licensing Board Panel, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001 Dr. Gary S. Arnold, Atomic Safety and Licensing Board Panel, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001

    All correspondence, documents, and other materials shall be filed in accordance with the NRC E-Filing rule. See 10 CFR 2.302.

    Rockville, Maryland.

    Dated: May 11, 2016. E. Roy Hawkens, Chief Administrative Judge, Atomic Safety and Licensing Board Panel.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11597 Filed 5-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590-01-P
    NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [NRC-2016-0098] Disposition of Information Related to the Time Period That Safety-Related Structures, Systems, or Components Are Installed AGENCY:

    Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    ACTION:

    Draft regulatory issue summary; request for comment.

    SUMMARY:

    The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is seeking public comment on a draft regulatory issue summary (RIS) to inform nuclear power reactor licensees of existing requirements related to dispositioning information pertaining to the capability of safety-related structures, systems, and components (SSCs) to perform their safety-related functions in nuclear power plants. The draft RIS addresses instances where a licensee becomes aware of credible information pertaining to the time period that a safety-related structure, system, or component is installed that may negatively impact its ability to perform its safety-related function or functions. Licensees must address this information consistent with their licensing basis and applicable NRC requirements.

    DATES:

    Submit comments by July 18, 2016. Comments received after this date will be considered if it is practical to do so, but the Commission is able to ensure consideration only for comments received before this date.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments by any of the following methods (unless this document describes a different method for submitting comments on a specific subject):

    Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2016-0098. Address questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301-415-3463; email: [email protected] For technical questions, contact the individuals listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document.

    Mail comments to: Cindy Bladey, Office of Administration, Mail Stop: OWFN-12-H08, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001.

    For additional direction on obtaining information and submitting comments, see “Obtaining Information and Submitting Comments” in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    John Thompson, telephone: 301-415-1011, email: [email protected]; and Eric Thomas, telephone: 301-415-6772, email: [email protected] Both are staff members of the Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555-0001.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Obtaining Information and Submitting Comments A. Obtaining Information

    Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2016-0098 when contacting the NRC about the availability of information for this action. You may obtain publicly-available information related to this action by any of the following methods:

    Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC-2016-0098.

    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 draft RIS, “Disposition of Information Related to the Time Period that Safety-Related Structures, Systems, or Components are Installed,” is available in ADAMS under Accession No. ML16111B121.

    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.

    B. Submitting Comments

    Please include Docket ID NRC-2016-0098 in your comment submission.

    The NRC cautions you not to include identifying or contact information that you do not want to be publicly disclosed in your comment submission. The NRC posts all comment submissions at http://www.regulations.gov as well as entering the comment submissions into ADAMS. The NRC does not routinely edit comment submissions to remove identifying or contact information.

    If you are requesting or aggregating comments from other persons for submission to the NRC, then you should inform those persons not to include identifying or contact information that they do not want to be publicly disclosed in their comment submission. Your request should state that the NRC does not routinely edit comment submissions to remove such information before making the comment submissions available to the public or entering the comment submissions into ADAMS.

    II. Background

    The NRC staff has developed draft RIS 2016-xx, “Disposition of Information Related to the Time Period that Safety-Related Structures, Systems, or Components are Installed,” to clarify NRC requirements and programs that provide quality assurance and ensure the operability of safety-related SSCs. When a licensee either becomes aware that a safety-related SSC has been installed for longer that the amount of time described in the licensing basis, or becomes aware of credible information that challenges the presumption that a safety-related SSC can continue to perform its safety function(s), the licensee must assess the information consistent with their licensing basis and applicable NRC requirements. These instances must be addressed in accordance with a licensee's NRC-approved quality assurance program, operability/functionality determination process, and corrective action program.

    The NRC issues RISs to communicate with stakeholders on a broad range of matters. This may include clarification of existing requirements and regulations.

    Proposed Action

    The NRC is requesting public comment on the draft RIS. The NRC plans to hold a public meeting to discuss this draft RIS. All comments that are to receive consideration in the final RIS must still be submitted electronically or in writing as indicated in the ADDRESSES section of this document. Additional details regarding the meeting will be posted at least 10 days prior to the public meeting on the NRC's Public Meeting Schedule Web site at http://www.nrc.gov/public-involve/public-meetings/index.cfm. The NRC staff will make a final determination regarding issuance of the RIS after it considers any public comments received in response to this request.

    Dated at Rockville, Maryland, this 3rd day of May 2016.

    For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

    Eric M. Thomas, Operating Experience Branch, Division of Inspection and Regional Support, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11598 Filed 5-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 7590-01-P
    SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION Sunshine Act Meeting

    Notice is hereby given, pursuant to the provisions of the Government in the Sunshine Act, Public Law 94-409, that the Securities and Exchange Commission will hold a closed meeting on Thursday, May 19, 2016 at 2 p.m.

    Commissioners, Counsel to the Commissioners, the Secretary to the Commission, and recording secretaries will attend the closed meeting. Certain staff members who have an interest in the matters also may be present.

    The General Counsel of the Commission, or her designee, has certified that, in her opinion, one or more of the exemptions set forth in 5 U.S.C. 552b(c)(3), (5), (7), 9(B) and (10) and 17 CFR 200.402(a)(3), (a)(5), (a)(7), (a)(9)(ii) and (10), permit consideration of the scheduled matter at the closed meeting.

    Commissioner Piwowar, as duty officer, voted to consider the items listed for the closed meeting in closed session.

    The subject matter of the closed meeting will be:

    Institution and settlement of injunctive actions; Institution and settlement of administrative proceedings; Resolution of litigation claims; Formal orders of investigation; and Other matters relating to enforcement proceedings.

    At times, changes in Commission priorities require alterations in the scheduling of meeting items.

    For further information and to ascertain what, if any, matters have been added, deleted or postponed, please contact Brent J. Fields from the Office of the Secretary at (202) 551-5400.

    Dated: May 12, 2016. Brent J. Fields, Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11704 Filed 5-13-16; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 8011-01-P
    SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [Release No. 34-77811; File No. SR-Phlx-2016-57] Self-Regulatory Organizations; NASDAQ PHLX LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Related to Customer Rebates May 11, 2016.

    Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Act”),1 and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,2 notice is hereby given that, on May 2, 2016, NASDAQ PHLX LLC (“Phlx” or “Exchange”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) the proposed rule change as described in Items I, II, and III, below, which Items have been prepared by the Exchange. The Commission is publishing this notice to solicit comments 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 proposes to amend the Exchange's Pricing Schedule at Section B, entitled “Customer Rebate Program.”

    The text of the proposed rule change is available on the Exchange's Web site at http://nasdaqomxphlx.cchwallstreet.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 aspects of such statements.

    A. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change 1. Purpose

    The purpose of the proposed rule change is to amend the Exchange's Pricing Schedule at Section B, entitled “Customer Rebate Program.” Specifically, the Exchange is proposing to exclude options overlying NDX 3 and MNX 4 from receiving a Customer 5 rebate.

    3 NDX represents options on the Nasdaq 100 Index traded under the symbol NDX (“NDX”).

    4 MNX represents options on the one-tenth value of the Nasdaq 100 Index traded under the symbol MNX (“MNX”).

    5 The term “Customer” applies to any transaction that is identified by a member or member organization for clearing in the Customer range at The Options Clearing Corporation which is not for the account of a broker or dealer or for the account of a “Professional” (as that term is defined in Rule 1000(b)(14)).

    Currently, the Exchange has a Customer Rebate Program consisting of five tiers that pay Customer rebates on three Categories, A,6 B 7 and C 8 of transactions.9 A Phlx member qualifies for a certain rebate tier based on the percentage of total national customer volume in multiply-listed options that it transacts monthly on Phlx. The Exchange calculates Customer volume in Multiply Listed Options by totaling electronically-delivered and executed volume, excluding volume associated with electronic Qualified Contingent Cross (“QCC”) Orders,10 as defined in Exchange Rule 1080(o).11 The Exchange pays the following rebates: 12

    6 Category A rebates are paid to members executing electronically-delivered Customer Simple Orders in Penny Pilot Options and Customer Simple Orders in Non-Penny Pilot Options in Section II symbols.

    7 Category B rebates are paid on Customer PIXL Orders in Section II symbols that execute against non-Initiating Order interest. In the instance where member organizations qualify for Tier 4 or higher in the Customer Rebate Program, Customer PIXL Orders that execute against a PIXL Initiating Order are paid a rebate of $0.14 per contract. Rebates on Customer PIXL Orders are capped at 4,000 contracts per order for Simple PIXL Orders.

    8 Category C rebates are paid to members executing electronically-delivered Customer Complex Orders in Penny Pilot Options and Non-Penny Pilot Options in Section II symbols. Rebates are paid on Customer PIXL Complex Orders in Section II symbols that execute against non-Initiating Order interest. Customer Complex PIXL Orders that execute against a Complex PIXL Initiating Order are not paid a rebate under any circumstances. The Category C Rebate is paid [sic] when an electronically-delivered Customer Complex Order, including Customer Complex PIXL Order, executes against another electronically-delivered Customer Complex Order. Rebates on Customer PIXL Orders are capped at 4,000 contracts per order leg for Complex PIXL Orders.

    9See Section B of the Pricing Schedule.

    10 A QCC Order is comprised of an originating order to buy or sell at least 1,000 contracts, or 10,000 contracts in the case of Mini Options, that is identified as being part of a qualified contingent trade, as that term is defined in Rule 1080(o)(3), coupled with a contra-side order or orders totaling an equal number of contracts. See Rule 1080(o).

    11 Members and member organizations under common ownership may aggregate their Customer volume for purposes of calculating the Customer Rebate Tiers and receiving rebates. Common ownership means members or member organizations under 75% common ownership or control. See the Preface of the Pricing Schedule.

    12 SPY is included in the calculation of Customer volume in Multiply Listed Options that are electronically-delivered and executed for purposes of the Customer Rebate Program, however, the rebates do not apply to electronic executions in SPY. Additionally, the Exchange pays a $0.02 per contract Category A and B rebate and a $0.03 per contract Category C rebate in addition to the applicable Tier 2 and 3 rebate to a Specialist or Market Maker or its member or member organization affiliate under Common Ownership provided the Specialist or Market Maker has reached the Monthly Market Maker Cap, as defined in Section II. See Section B of the Pricing Schedule.

    Customer rebate tiers Percentage thresholds of national customer volume in
  • multiply-listed equity and ETF options classes,
  • excluding spy options
  • (monthly)
  • Category A Category B Category C
    Tier 1 0.00%-0.60% $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 Tier 2 Above 0.60%-1.10% 0.10 0.10 0.17 Tier 3 Above 1.10%-1.60% 0.15 0.12 0.17 Tier 4 Above 1.60%-2.50% 0.20 0.16 0.22 Tier 5 Above 2.50% 0.21 0.17 0.22

    Today, options overlying NDX and MNX are included in the total volume to qualify a market participant for a Customer Rebate. The Exchange is proposing to continue to permit the electronically-delivered and executed volume associated with options overlying NDX and MNX to be included in the calculation of total market volume. The Exchange proposes to exclude options overlying NDX and MNX as eligible to receive a Customer Rebate in any Category.

    In calculating electronically-delivered and executed Customer volume in Multiply Listed Options, the numerator of the equation will remain unchanged and will continue to include all electronically-delivered and executed Customer volume in Multiply Listed Options, including NDX and MNX. The denominator of that equation will also remain unchanged and will continue to include national customer volume in multiply-listed equity and ETF options volume. By including options overlying NDX and MNX in the computation for Customer Rebates, members will continue to receive the benefit of those transactions toward calculating their eligible rebate tiers and earning a rebate on all qualifying transactions.

    At this time, the Exchange proposes to not pay Customer Rebates on options overlying NDX and MNX because of the exclusivity of these options. NDX and MNX are Phlx proprietary index options which currently trade on Phlx and one other options exchange. Therefore, the Exchange would not pay rebates on options overlying NDX and MNX as part of the Customer Rebate Program. The Exchange believes members will continue to be afforded an opportunity to achieve new Customer Rebate Program tiers or maintain their current level of Customer Rebate Program tiers.

    2. Statutory Basis

    The proposal is consistent with Section 6(b) of the Act,13 in general, and furthers the objectives of Sections 6(b)(4) and 6(b)(5) of the Act,14 in particular, in that it provides for the equitable allocation of reasonable dues, fees and other charges among members and issuers and other persons using any facility or system which the Exchange operates or controls, and is not designed to permit unfair discrimination between customers, issuers, brokers, or dealers.

    13 15 U.S.C. 78f(b).

    14 15 U.S.C. 78f(b)(4) and (5).

    The Commission and the courts have repeatedly expressed their preference for competition over regulatory intervention in determining prices, products, and services in the securities markets. In Regulation NMS, while adopting a series of steps to improve the current market model, the Commission highlighted the importance of market forces in determining prices and SRO revenues and, also, recognized that current regulation of the market system “has been remarkably successful in promoting market competition in its broader forms that are most important to investors and listed companies.” 15

    15See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 51808 (June 9, 2005), 70 FR 37497 [sic], 37499 (June 29, 2005) (“Regulation NMS Adopting Release”).

    Likewise, in NetCoalition v. Securities and Exchange Commission16 the D.C. Circuit upheld the Commission's use of a market-based approach in evaluating the fairness of market data fees against a challenge claiming that Congress mandated a cost-based approach.17 As the court emphasized, the Commission “intended in Regulation NMS that `market forces, rather than regulatory requirements' play a role in determining the market data . . . to be made available to investors and at what cost.” 18

    16See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 51808 (June 9, 2005) [sic] at 534-535.

    17See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 51808 (June 9, 2005) [sic] at 534.

    18See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 51808 (June 9, 2005) [sic] at 537.

    Further, “[n]o one disputes that competition for order flow is `fierce.' . . . As the SEC explained, `[i]n the U.S. national market system, buyers and sellers of securities, and the broker-dealers that act as their order-routing agents, have a wide range of choices of where to route orders for execution'; [and] `no exchange can afford to take its market share percentages for granted' because `no exchange possesses a monopoly, regulatory or otherwise, in the execution of order flow from broker dealers' . . . .” 19 Although the court and the SEC were discussing the cash equities markets, the Exchange believes that these views apply with equal force to the options markets.

    19See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 51808 (June 9, 2005) [sic] at 539 (quoting Securities Exchange Act Release No. 59039 (December 2, 2008), 73 FR 74770, 74782-83 (December 9, 2008) (SR-NYSEArca-2006-21) [sic].

    It is reasonable to no longer pay Customer Rebates on options overlying NDX and MNX in any Category (A, B or C) because these proprietary index options only trade on two options markets at this time. The original intent of the Customer Rebate Program was to pay rebates on electronically-delivered Multiply-Listed Options. By definition, these indices qualify as Multiply-Listed Options because they trade on more than one options exchange. These proprietary index options trade on Phlx and one other options exchange. The Exchange does not desire to pay rebates on options overlying NDX and MNX because of their exclusivity. Despite the fact that technically these options trade on more than one venue, other exchanges cannot list these options. The Exchange believes it is reasonable to continue to count options overlying NDX and MNX in the total volume to qualify a market participant for a Customer Rebate, however, options overlying NDX and MNX will no longer be paid the Customer rebates in any Category because of the exclusivity of this option. Market participants would continue to benefit from NDX and MNX options volume in terms of qualifying for Customer Rebate Tiers. The Exchange believes that not paying Customer Rebates on options overlying NDX and MNX further aligns these products with other Singly Listed Options as compared to Multiply-Listed Options.

    It is equitable and not unfairly discriminatory to no longer pay Customer Rebates on options overlying NDX and MNX in any Category because the Exchange would apply its calculation to determine the eligibility and payment of Customer rebates in a uniform manner. The Exchange's proposal to no longer pay Customer Rebates on options overlying NDX and MNX in any Category is equitable and not unfairly discriminatory because the Exchange would no longer pay Customer Rebates on any transaction with options overlying either NDX or MNX to any market participant. Also, any market participant is eligible to earn a Customer Rebate.

    B. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Burden on Competition

    The Exchange does not believe that the proposed rule change will impose any burden on competition not necessary or appropriate in furtherance of the purposes of the Act. In terms of inter-market competition, the Exchange notes that it operates in a highly competitive market in which market participants can readily favor competing venues if they deem fee levels at a particular venue to be excessive, or rebate opportunities available at other venues to be more favorable. In such an environment, the Exchange must continually adjust its fees to remain competitive with other exchanges and with alternative trading systems that have been exempted from compliance with the statutory standards applicable to exchanges. Because competitors are free to modify their own fees in response, and because market participants may readily adjust their order routing practices, that the degree to which fee changes in this market may impose any burden on competition is extremely limited.

    The Exchange's proposal to no longer pay Customer Rebates on options overlying NDX and MNX in any Category does not impose an undue burden on intra-market competition because the Exchange would apply the calculation of Customer rebates and would pay rebates on qualifying orders in a uniform manner. No market participant would be paid a Customer Rebate in options overlying NDX or MNX. All market participants may participate in the Customer Rebate Program. Members would continue to benefit from the inclusion of options overlying NDX and MNX in the total volume to qualify a market participant for a Customer Rebate.

    Also, the Exchange's proposal to no longer pay Customer Rebates on options overlying NDX and MNX in any Category does not impose an undue burden on inter-market competition because there is only one other exchange that transacts options overlying NDX and MNX through a contractual agreement with the Exchange. That venue may choose to also not pay rebates on options overlying NDX or MNX. Other venues may not list these proprietary indices.

    C. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Comments on the Proposed Rule Change Received From Members, Participants, or Others

    No written comments were either solicited or received.

    III. Date of Effectiveness of the Proposed Rule Change and Timing for Commission Action

    The foregoing rule change has become effective pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A)(ii) of the Act.20

    20 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(3)(A)(ii).

    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: (i) Necessary or appropriate in the public interest; (ii) for the protection of investors; or (iii) 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-Phlx-2016-57 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 Number SR-Phlx-2016-57. This file number should be included on the subject line if email is used. To help the Commission process and review your 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 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Copies of the filing 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-Phlx-2016-57 and should be submitted on or before June 7, 2016.

    For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.21

    21 17 CFR 200.30-3(a)(12).

    Robert W. Errett, Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11541 Filed 5-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8011-01-P
    SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [Release No. 34-77809; File No. SR-ICEEU-2016-006] Self-Regulatory Organizations; ICE Clear Europe Limited; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Relating to Accounts Categories for Positions of Clearing Member Affiliates May 11, 2016.

    Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Act”),1 and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,2 notice is hereby given that on April 28 2016, ICE Clear Europe Limited (“ICE Clear Europe” or “Clearing House”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) the proposed rule changes described in Items I, II and III below, which Items have been prepared by ICE Clear Europe. ICE Clear Europe filed the proposal pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A) of the Act,3 and Rule 19b-4(f)(i) 4 thereunder, so that the proposal was effective upon filing with the Commission. The Commission is publishing this notice to solicit comments on the proposed rule change from interested persons.

    1 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(1).

    2 17 CFR 240.19b-4.

    3 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(3)(A).

    4 17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(4)(i).

    I. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Terms of Substance of the Proposed Rule Change

    The principal purpose of the proposed changes is to clarify the account categories to be used for positions of affiliates of Clearing Members.

    II. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change

    In its filing with the Commission, ICE Clear Europe included statements concerning the purpose of and basis for the proposed rule change. The text of these statements may be examined at the places specified in Item IV below. ICE Clear Europe has prepared summaries, set forth in sections A, B, and C below, of the most significant aspects of such statements.

    A. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change 1. Purpose

    ICE Clear Europe submits proposed amendments to its Clearing Procedures to clarify the account categories in which positions of affiliates of Clearing Members are to be maintained, in light of applicable US and EU regulatory requirements. ICE Clear Europe does not propose to amend its Rules in connection with these changes.

    Under CFTC rules, the positions of an affiliate of an FCM are considered “proprietary” for purposes of segregation requirements and thus cannot be held in a customer account.5 As a result, FCMs, including FCM/BD Clearing Members, have historically carried such positions in their proprietary accounts. However, under the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (“EMIR”),6 when applicable to ICE Clear Europe, a clearing member will be required to treat an affiliate as a client 7 for various purposes, and accordingly positions of the affiliate should be held in a separate account from the proprietary positions of the clearing member.8 Accordingly, ICE Clear Europe proposes to establish new position-keeping accounts for use by FCM/BD Clearing Members for positions of their affiliates, which will be separate from the clearing member's own positions (and thus satisfy the EMIR requirement) but at the same time will not be customer accounts for purposes of applicable CFTC requirements. Although it is expected that these accounts will at present be principally relevant to F&O Contracts of affiliates of FCM/BD Clearing Members, the accounts would also be used for CDS Contracts of such persons, as and when ICE Clear Europe accepts such contracts cleared through FCM/BD Clearing Members.

    5See, e.g., 17 CFR 1.3(y), 17 CFR 1.20(e)(2).

    6 Regulation (EU) No 648/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 July 2012 on OTC derivatives, central counterparties and trade repositories, as well as various implementing regulations and technical standards.

    7 EMIR Article 2(15). EMIR defines “client” as “an undertaking with a contractual relationship with a clearing member of a CCP which enables that undertaking to clear its transactions with that CCP,” which suggests that an affiliate can be a client of a clearing member. This understanding of a client is supported in other EU legislation such as MiFID (see Directive 2004/39/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on 21 April 2004 on markets in financial instruments amending Council Directives 85/611/EEC and 93/6/EEC and Directive 2000/12/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council and repealing Council Directive 93/22/EEC), and in UK case law where affiliates have consistently been treated as clients to whom regulatory obligations were owed. See Re Lehman Brothers International (Europe) (in administration) [2012] UKSC 6.

    8 EMIR Article 39(4).

    Specifically, ICE Clear Europe proposes to amend paragraph 2.3(b) of the Clearing Procedures to establish new position-keeping accounts, labeled the “F” and “R” accounts, which will be required to be used for all positions of affiliates of FCM/BD Clearing Members. The “F” account will use a gross margin model (for positions in contracts margined on a gross basis under the Rules and Procedures); the “R” account will use a net margin model (for positions in contracts margined on a net basis under the Rules and Procedures). Both accounts will be treated as separate Proprietary Accounts for purposes of the Rules (and accordingly the accounts will not constitute Customer Accounts of the FCM/BD Clearing Member). New paragraph 2.3(f) has been added to provide a definition of “affiliate” for this purpose, based on the relevant definitions of proprietary accounts under CFTC rules.

    Paragraph 2.3 has also been revised to clarify the treatment of positions of affiliates of Non-FCM/BD Clearing Members. New paragraph 2.3(f) also includes a definition of “affiliate” for this purpose, based on the EMIR definition of “group.” Conforming changes have been made to paragraph 2.3(b)(4) to use such definition. Additional clarifications have been made in paragraph 2.3(b)(5) as to the use by certain Non-FCM/BD Clearing Members of the “T” and “K” accounts (as separate Segregated Customer Omnibus Accounts for F&O or Segregated TTFCA Customer Omnibus Accounts for F&O) and of the “F” and “R” accounts as available for holding positions of their affiliates. Paragraph 2.3(c) has been revised to clarify that the Clearing House may establish additional position-keeping accounts for a Clearing Member to facilitate separate tracking of positions for each exchange non-clearing member for which the Clearing Member provides services. The revisions also clarify the treatment of such position-keeping accounts for exchange members as customer or proprietary, consistent with the requirements of the Rules and Clearing Procedures and applicable law.

    Amendments to paragraph 3.1(a) of the Clearing Procedures provide for the margining of the “F” and “R” accounts of FCM/BD Clearing members as separate Proprietary Accounts. The summary table following paragraph 3.2 of the Clearing Procedures has been amended to conform to the other changes made in the Clearing Procedures.

    2. Statutory Basis

    ICE Clear Europe believes that the proposed amendments to the Clearing Procedures are consistent with the requirements of Section 17A of the Act 9 and the regulations thereunder applicable to it.10 Section 17A(b)(3)(F) of the Act 11 requires, among other things, that the rules of a clearing agency be designed to promote the prompt and accurate clearance and settlement of securities transactions and, to the extent applicable, derivative agreements, contracts, and transactions, to assure the safeguarding of securities and funds which are in the custody or control of the clearing agency or for which it is responsible and to protect investors and the public interest.

    9 15 U.S.C. 78q-1.

    10 17 CFR 240.17Ad-22.

    11 15 U.S.C. 78q-1(b)(3)(F).

    The amendments are designed to clarify the treatment of positions of affiliates of Clearing Members in light of applicable legal and regulatory requirements. Specifically, for FCM/BD Clearing Members, the amendments establish separate accounts in which such positions must be held, in a manner that is consistent with both CFTC and EMIR requirements. Such accounts will allow positions of affiliates to be held separately from the Clearing Member's positions, consistent with the EMIR requirements, but will be treated as Proprietary Accounts under the Rules and Procedures, consistent with CFTC rules. The amendments also clarify the treatment of positions of affiliates of Non-FCM/BD Clearing Members, consistent with EMIR requirements. Overall, in ICE Clear Europe's view, the amendments will enhance its ability (and that of its Clearing Members) to track positions of Clearing Member affiliates and comply with relevant regulatory obligations. As a result, in ICE Clear Europe's view, the amendments will promote the prompt and accurate clearance and settlement of derivative transactions, are consistent with the safeguarding of funds and securities in the custody or control of ICE Clear Europe, and generally further the public interest. The amendments are therefore consistent with the requirements of Section 17A(b)(3)(F) of the Act 12 and the regulations thereunder.13

    12 15 U.S.C. 78q-1(b)(3)(F).

    13 17 CFR 240.17Ad-22.

    B. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Burden on Competition

    ICE Clear Europe does not believe the proposed changes to the Rules discussed herein would have any adverse impact, or impose any burden, on competition not necessary or appropriate in furtherance of the purposes of the Act. The proposed amendments are intended to clarify the treatment of positions of affiliates of Clearing Member, consistent with applicable legal requirements. ICE Clear Europe does not believe the proposed amendments would adversely affect access to clearing by Clearing Members or their affiliates (or customers), adversely affect competition among Clearing Members or adversely affect the market for clearing services or limit market participants' choices for clearing transactions. Although the proposed amendments may impose additional compliance costs on Clearing Members, including because of the requirements to hold affiliate positions in separate accounts that are separately margined, ICE Clear Europe believes that such costs reflect, and are appropriate in light of, the legal requirements applicable to such positions. Although the amendments treat affiliate positions of FCM/BD Clearing Members and Non-FCM/BD Clearing Members differently in certain respects, in ICE Clear Europe's view such differences also result from the different legal frameworks applicable to such Clearing Members. As a result, ICE Clear Europe does not believe that the proposed amendments to the Clearing Procedures will impose any burden on competition not appropriate in furtherance of the purposes of the Act.

    C. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Comments on the Proposed Rule Change Received From Members, Participants or Others

    ICE Clear Europe has not solicited or received any written comments with respect to the proposed changes. ICE Clear Europe will notify the Commission of any written comments received by ICE Clear Europe.

    III. Date of Effectiveness of the Proposed Rule Change and Timing for Commission Action

    The foregoing rule change has become effective upon filing pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A) 14 of the Act and Rule 19b-4(f)(4)(i) 15 thereunder. The amendments effect a change in an existing service of a registered clearing agency that does not adversely affect the safeguarding of securities or funds in the custody or control of the clearing agency or for which it is responsible, and does not significantly affect the respective rights or obligations of the clearing agency or persons using its clearing service, within the meaning of Rule 19b-4(f)(4)(i).16 As noted above, the amendments provide for a separate proprietary account to be used for positions of affiliates of FCM/BD Clearing Members (as opposed to combining such positions in the same account as the Clearing Member's own positions), in order to be consistent with both CFTC and EMIR requirements. The amendments also provide that such accounts will be margined separately. Certain other clarifications are made with respect to the accounts used for positions of affiliates of Non-FCM/BD Clearing Members. In ICE Clear Europe's view, these changes will not adversely affect the safeguarding of funds or securities in the custody or control of ICE Clear Europe, from the perspective of Clearing Members or their affiliates or customers. Although the amendments impose certain additional requirements on Clearing Members that carry positions on behalf of their affiliates in terms of the use of a separate account, ICE Clear Europe also believes that the amendments will not significantly affect the rights or obligations of ICE Clear Europe or Clearing Members using its clearing services. As a result, ICE Clear Europe views these amendments as falling within Rule 19b-4(f)(4)(i).17

    14 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(3)(A).

    15 17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(4)(i).

    16 17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(4)(i).

    17 17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(4)(i).

    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.

    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-ICEEU-2016-006 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 Number SR-ICEEU-2016-006. This file number should be included on the subject line if email is used. To help the Commission process and review your 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 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Copies of such filings will also be available for inspection and copying at the principal office of ICE Clear Europe and on ICE Clear Europe's Web site at https://www.theice.com/clear-europe/regulation#rule-filings.

    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-ICEEU-2016-006 and should be submitted on or before June 7, 2016.

    For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.18

    18 17 CFR 200.30-3(a)(12).

    Robert W. Errett, Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11539 Filed 5-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8011-01-P
    SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [Release No. 34-77810; File No. SR-BatsEDGA-2016-07] Self-Regulatory Organizations; Bats EDGA Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change to Rule 11.11, Routing to Away Trading Centers, To Delete the IOCM and ICMT Routing Options May 11, 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 May 2, 2016, Bats EDGA Exchange, Inc. f/k/a EDGA Exchange, Inc. (the “Exchange” or “EDGA”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) the proposed rule change as described in Items I and II below, which Items have been prepared by the Exchange. 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 Rule 19b-4(f)(6)(iii) thereunder,4 which renders it effective upon filing with the Commission. The Commission is publishing this notice to solicit comments on the proposed rule change from interested persons.

    1 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(1).

    2 17 CFR 240.19b-4.

    3 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(3)(A).

    4 17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(6)(iii).

    I. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Terms of Substance of the Proposed Rule Change

    The Exchange filed a proposal to amend Rule 11.11, Routing to Away Trading Centers, to delete the IOCM and ICMT routing options. The Exchange also proposes to amend its fee schedule to delete: (i) References to the IOCM and ICMT routing options under footnotes 7 and 12; and (ii) fee code MT, which is yielded on MidPoint Peg Orders 5 routed to Bats EDGX Exchange, Inc. (“EDGX”) using the IOCM or ICMT routing options.

    5See Exchange Rule 11.8(d).

    The text of the proposed rule change is available at the Exchange's Web site at www.batstrading.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 the Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change 1. Purpose

    The Exchange proposes to amend Rule 11.11, Routing to Away Trading Centers, to delete the IOCM and ICMT routing options. The Exchange also proposes to amend its fee schedule to delete: (i) References to the IOCM and ICMT routing options under footnotes 7 and 12; and (ii) fee code MT, which is yielded on MidPoint Peg Orders routed to EDGX using the IOCM or ICMT routing options.

    Under Rule 11.11(g)(11), an order utilizing the IOCM routing option checks the System 6 for available shares and then is sent, as MidPoint Peg Order with a Time-in-Force of IOC, to EDGX. Under Rule 11.11(g)(12), an order utilizing the ICMT routing option checks the System for available shares, then is sent to destinations on the System routing table and then is sent, as MidPoint Peg Order with a Time-in-Force of IOC, to EDGX. If shares remain unexecuted after routing pursuant to both the IOCM and ICMT routing options, they are posted on the book, unless otherwise instructed by the User.7

    6 The “System” is the Exchange's electronic communications and trading facility designated by the Board through which securities orders of Users are consolidated for ranking, execution and, when applicable, routing away. See Exchange Rule 1.5(cc).

    7 The term “User” is defined as “any Member or Sponsored Participant who is authorized to obtain access to the System pursuant to Rule 11.3.” See Exchange Rule 1.5(ee).

    Fee codes CR and XR are yielded to orders that remove liquidity from the Exchange using an eligible routing option. Footnote 7 of the Exchanges fee schedule lists the eligible routing options for fee code XR, which includes the IOCM routing option and footnote 12 lists the eligible routing options for fee code CR, which includes the ICMT routing option. Fee code MT is yielded on MidPoint Peg Orders routed to EDGX using the IOCM or ICMT routing options. Orders that yield fee code MT pay a fee of $0.0029 per share in securities priced at or above $1.00 and 0.30% of the trade's dollar value for securities priced below $1.00.8

    8 These rates represents the pass through the rate that BATS Trading, Inc. (“BATS Trading”), the Exchange's affiliated routing broker-dealer, is charged for routing MidPoint Peg Orders to EDGX when it does not qualify for a volume tiered reduced fee.

    Because few Users elect the IOCM or ICMT routing options, the Exchange has determined that the current demand does not warrant the infrastructure and ongoing maintenance expenses required to support the products. Therefore, the Exchange proposes to delete the IOCM and ICMT routing options under Rule 11.11(g)(11) and (12) as well as a reference to the IOCM and ICMT routing options under Rule 11.11(g)(15). The Exchange also proposes to amend its fee schedule to delete: (i) References to the IOCM and ICMT routing options under footnotes 7 and 12; and (ii) fee code MT, which is yielded on MidPoint Peg Orders routed to EDGX using the IOCM or ICMT routing options. Users seeking to route midpoint eligible orders to EDGX may use alternative methods, such as connecting to EDGX directly or through a third party service provider, or electing another routing option offered by the Exchange that enables a User to post an order to certain primary listing markets.9

    9See e.g., Rule 11.11(g)(13) (describing the RMPT routing option under which a MidPoint Peg Order checks the System for available shares and any remaining shares are then sent to destinations on the System routing table that support midpoint eligible orders. If any shares remain unexecuted after routing, they are posted on the EDGA book as a MidPoint Peg Order, unless otherwise instructed by the User).

    The Exchange intends to implement the proposed rule change on May 6, 2016.10

    10See Bats to Decommission ICMT, IOCM, and TRIM3 Routing Strategies, issued April 18, 2016, available at http://cdn.batstrading.com/resources/release_notes/2016/Bats-to-Decommission-ICMT-IOCM-and-TRIM3-Routing-Strategies.pdf.

    2. Statutory Basis

    The Exchange believes that its proposal is consistent with Section 6(b) of the Act 11 in general, and furthers the objectives of Section 6(b)(5) of the Act 12 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.

    11 15 U.S.C. 78f(b).

    12 15 U.S.C. 78f(b)(5).

    The Exchange does not believe that this proposal will permit unfair discrimination among customers, brokers, or dealers because the IOCM and ICMT routing options will no longer be available to all Users. The Exchange has few Users electing the IOCM and ICMT routing options and has determined that the current demand does not warrant the infrastructure and ongoing maintenance expense required to support the products. Routing through the Exchange is voluntary and alternative routing options offered by the Exchange as well as other methods remain available to Users that wish to route midpoint eligible orders to EDGX.13 In addition, the IOCM and ICMT routing options are not core product offerings by the Exchange, nor is the Exchange required by the Act to offer such products. Therefore, the Exchange believes the proposed rule change would make its rules clearer and less confusing for investors by removing routing options that will no longer be offered by the Exchange; thereby removing impediments to and perfecting the mechanism of a free and open market and a national market system, and, in general, protecting investors and the public interest.

    13See supra note 9 and accompanying text.

    B. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Burden on Competition

    The Exchange does not believe that the proposal will impose any burden on competition not necessary or appropriate in furtherance of the purposes of the Act. The proposed rule change is not designed to address any competitive issues but rather avoid investor confusion by eliminating the IOCM and ICMT routing options that are to be discontinued by the Exchange.

    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 written comments on the proposed rule change.

    III. Date of Effectiveness of the Proposed Rule Change and Timing for Commission Action

    Because the 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) of the Act 14 and Rule 19b-4(f)(6) thereunder.15

    14 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(3)(A).

    15 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 16 normally does not become operative for 30 days after the date of its filing. However, Rule 19b-4(f)(6)(iii) 17 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 immediately upon filing. The Exchange states that waiver of the 30-day operative delay would allow the Exchange to modify its rules in a timely manner by: (i) Eliminating a rule that accounts for services with few subscribers that the Exchange intends to discontinue; and (ii) accurately describing the alternative routing options available to Users, thereby avoiding potential investor confusion during the operative delay period. Based on the foregoing, the Commission believes the waiver of the operative delay is consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest. Therefore, the Commission hereby waives the operative delay and designates the proposal operative upon filing.18

    16 17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(6).

    17 17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(6)(iii).

    18 For purposes only of waiving the 30-day operative delay, the Commission has also 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 change 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 No. SR-BatsEDGA-2016-07 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-BatsEDGA-2016-07. This file number should be included on the subject line if email is used. To help the Commission process and review your 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 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Copies of the filing 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 No. SR-BatsEDGA-2016-07, and should be submitted on or before June 7, 2016.

    For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.19

    19 17 CFR 200.30-3(a)(12).

    Robert W. Errett, Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11540 Filed 5-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8011-01-P
    SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [Release No. 34-77813; File No. SR-BatsEDGX-2016-15] Self-Regulatory Organizations; Bats EDGX Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change Related to Fees as They Apply to the Equity Options Platform May 11, 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 May 2, 2016, Bats EDGX Exchange, Inc. (the “Exchange” or “EDGX”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) the proposed rule change as described in Items I, II and III below, which Items have been prepared by the Exchange. The Exchange has designated the proposed rule change as one establishing or changing a member due, fee, or other charge imposed by the Exchange under Section 19(b)(3)(A)(ii) of the Act 3 and Rule 19b-4(f)(2) thereunder,4 which renders the proposed rule change effective upon filing with the Commission. The Commission is publishing this notice to solicit comments on the proposed rule change from interested persons.

    1 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(1).

    2 17 CFR 240.19b-4.

    3 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(3)(A)(ii).

    4 17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(2).

    I. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Terms of Substance of the Proposed Rule Change

    The Exchange filed a proposal to amend the fee schedule applicable to Members 5 and non-members of the Exchange pursuant to EDGX Rules 15.1(a) and (c).

    5 The term “Member” is defined as “any registered broker or dealer that has been admitted to membership in the Exchange.” See Exchange Rule 1.5(n).

    The text of the proposed rule change is available at the Exchange's Web site at www.batstrading.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 the Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change 1. Purpose

    The Exchange proposes to amend its fee schedule for its equity options platform (“EDGX Options”) to: (1) Modify an existing tier and add a new tier to its existing tiered pricing structure; and (2) simplify the Exchange's routing fees, as further described below.

    Tiered Pricing Changes

    The Exchange currently offers two pricing tiers under footnotes 1 and 2 of the fee schedule, Customer Volume Tiers and Market Maker Volume Tiers, respectively. Under the tiers, Members that achieve certain volume criteria may qualify for reduced fees or enhanced rebates for Customer 6 and Market Maker 7 orders. The Exchange proposes to modify Customer Volume Tier 6 under footnote 1 and to add an additional Market Maker Volume Tier under footnote 2, as further described below.

    6 The term “Customer” applies to any transaction identified by a Member for clearing in the Customer range at the Options Clearing Corporation (“OCC”), excluding any transaction for a Broker Dealer or a “Professional” as defined in Exchange Rule 16.1.

    7 The term “Market Maker” applies to any transaction identified by a Member for clearing in the Market Maker range at the OCC, where such Member is registered with the Exchange as a Market Maker as defined in Rule 16.1(a)(37).

    Fee code PC and NC are currently appended to all Customer orders in Penny Pilot Securities 8 and Non-Penny Pilot Securities,9 respectively, and result in a standard rebate of $0.01 per contract. The Customer Volume Tiers in footnote 1 consist of six separate tiers, each providing an enhanced rebate to a Member's Customer orders that yield fee codes PC or NC upon satisfying monthly volume criteria required by the respective tier. For instance, pursuant to Customer Volume Tier 1, the lowest volume tier, a Member will receive a rebate of $0.05 per contract where the Member has an ADV 10 in Customer orders equal to or greater than 0.10% of average TCV.11

    8 The term “Penny Pilot Security” applies to those issues that are quoted pursuant to Exchange Rule 21.5, Interpretation and Policy .01.

    9 The term “Non-Penny Pilot Security” applies to those issues that are not Penny Pilot Securities quoted pursuant to Exchange Rule 21.5, Interpretation and Policy .01.

    10 “ADV” means average daily volume calculated as the number of contracts added or removed, combined, per day.

    11 “TCV” means total consolidated volume calculated as the volume reported by all exchanges to the consolidated transaction reporting plan for the month for which the fees apply, excluding volume on any day that the Exchange experiences an Exchange System Disruption and on any day with a scheduled early market close.

    Pursuant to Customer Volume Tier 6, a Member currently will receive a rebate of $0.21 per contract where: (1) The Member has an ADV in Customer orders equal to or greater than 0.25% of average TCV; and (2) the Member has an ADV in Market Maker orders equal to or greater than 0.25% of average TCV. In order to encourage the entry of additional orders to the Exchange, Exchange proposes to modify Customer Volume Tier 6 to reduce the criteria necessary to qualify. Specifically, the Exchange proposes to provide the same rebate, $0.21 per contract, as it currently provides for Customer Volume Tier 6, but to provide such rebate where: (1) The Member has an ADV in Customer orders equal to or greater than 0.20% of average TCV; and (2) the Member has an ADV in Market Maker orders equal to or greater than 0.15% of average TCV. The Exchange believes that this change will make Customer Volume Tier 6 more attainable for additional Members.

    Fee code PM and NM are currently appended to all Market Maker orders in Penny Pilot Securities and Non-Penny Pilot Securities, respectively, and result in a standard fee of $0.19 per contract. The Market Maker Volume Tiers in footnote 2 consist of six separate tiers, each providing a reduced fee or rebate to a Member's Market Maker orders that yield fee codes PM or NM upon satisfying monthly volume criteria required by the respective tier. For instance, pursuant to Market Maker Volume Tier 1, the lowest volume tier, a Member will pay a reduced fee of $0.16 per contract where the Member has an ADV in Market Maker orders equal to or greater than 0.05% of average TCV. Pursuant to Market Maker Volume Tier 6, the highest volume tier, a Member will receive a rebate of $0.01 per contract where the Member has an ADV in Market Maker orders equal to or greater than 1.10% of average TCV.

    In addition to the change to the qualifying criteria for Customer Volume Tier 6 set forth above, the Exchange proposes to adopt a new Market Maker Volume Tier with the same criteria as amended Customer Volume Tier 6. Specifically, the Exchange proposes to adopt Market Maker Volume Tier 7, providing a reduced fee of $0.10 per contract where: (1) The Member has an ADV in Customer orders equal to or greater than 0.20% of average TCV; and (2) the Member has an ADV in Market Maker orders equal to or greater than 0.15% of average TCV. As with all other fees and rebates pursuant to footnote 2, the fee would be charged for transactions yielding fee code PM and NM.

    The Exchange notes that the reduced fee of $0.10 per contract is the same fee as Market Maker Volume Tier 3, which is provided where the Member has an ADV in Market Maker orders equal to or greater than 0.20% of average TCV. By introducing Tier 7, the Exchange is providing an additional mechanism for a Member to achieve this reduced fee. The Exchange also notes that the proposed fee and associated criteria are intended to encourage the entry of both Customer orders and Market Maker orders by providing a hybrid tier that rewards the entry of both. Although the qualifying criteria includes Customer orders, as noted above, the proposed reduced fee of $0.10 per contract would only be awarded to a Member's Market Maker orders that yield fee codes PM or NM upon satisfying the monthly volume criteria (and not such Member's Customer orders). However, as noted above, because the criteria are the same, a Member qualifying for Market Maker Volume Tier 7 would also qualify for Customer Volume Tier 6, and thus would be entitled to enhanced rebates for such Member's Customer orders.

    In addition to the changes described above, the Exchange proposes to add the phrase “of average TCV” to the end of the criteria for existing Market Making Volume Tiers 1 through 6. Although the filing initially adopting such tiers did include the language in describing the applicable criteria, the Exchange believes that such language is appropriate for the fee schedule. This change would ensure that the language of footnote 2 is consistent with footnote 1, which does include this phrase in each Tier's criteria description. The Exchange also proposes to change all references to “Customer Orders” to “Customer orders” and from “Market Maker Orders” to “Market Maker orders” throughout footnote 1 and footnote 2. These changes will also ensure consistency on the fee schedule with respect to the word “order”, which is not contained in any of the defined terms on the fee schedule.

    Routing Fees

    The Exchange proposes to modify the fees charged for orders routed away from the Exchange and executed at various away options exchanges. The Exchange currently has specific rates and associated fee codes for each away options exchange.12 Such rates are further divided at each options exchange into either two categories in order to differentiate between Customer and Non-Customer 13 orders or into four categories in order to differentiate between Customer and Non-Customer orders and then into Penny Pilot Securities and Non-Penny Pilot Securities.14 In order to simplify routing fees for executions at away options exchanges, the Exchange proposes to charge flat rates for routing to other options exchanges that have been placed into groups based on the approximate cost of routing to such venues. The grouping of away options exchanges is based on the cost of transaction fees assessed by each venue as well as costs to the Exchange for routing (i.e., clearing fees, connectivity and other infrastructure costs, membership fees, etc.) (collectively, “Routing Costs”). To address different fees at various other options exchanges, the Exchange proposes to adopt five different fees and associated fee codes applicable to routing to away options exchanges, as further described below.

    12 Other options exchanges to which the Ewchange routes include: Bats BZX Exchange, Inc. (“BZX Options”), BOX Options Exchange LLC (“BOX”), Chicago Board Options Exchange, Inc. (“CBOE”), C2 Options Exchange, Inc. (“C2”), International Securities Exchange, Inc. (“ISE”), ISE Gemini, LLC (“ISE Gemini”), ISE Mercury, LLC (“ISE Mercury”), Miami International Securities Exchange, LLC (“MIAX”) Nasdaq Options Market LLC (“NOM”), Nasdaq OMX BX LLC (“BX Options”), Nasdaq OMX PHLX LLC (“PHLX”), NYSE Arca, Inc (“ARCA”), and NYSE MKT LLC (“AMEX”).

    13 The term “Non-Customer” applies to any transaction that is not a Customer order.

    14 The Exchange notes that it still applies a single rate for order routed to and executed at the newest options exchange, ISE Mercury.

    With respect to Non-Customer orders, the Exchange proposes to adopt two fee codes: (1) Fee code RN, which would result in a fee of $0.85 per contract and would apply to all Non-Customer orders in Penny Pilot Securities; and (2) fee code RO, which would result in a fee of $1.20 per contract and would apply to all Non-Customer orders in Non-Penny Pilot Securities. The Exchange notes that the current range of fees applicable to Non-Customer orders routed to other options exchanges is from $0.60 per contract (fee code RF, applicable to Non-Customer orders in Penny Pilot Securities executed at BZX Options) to $1.25 per contract (fee code QG, applicable to Non-Customer orders executed at NOM in Non-Penny Pilot Securities).

    With respect to Customer orders, the Exchange proposes to adopt three fee codes: (1) Fee code RP, which would result in a fee of $0.25 per contract and would apply to all Customer orders routed to and executed at AMEX, BOX, BX Options, CBOE, ISE Mercury, MIAX or PHLX; (2) fee code RQ, which would result in a fee of $0.70 per contract and would apply to all Customer orders in Penny Pilot Securities routed to and executed at ARCA, BZX Options, C2, ISE, ISE Gemini or NOM; and (3) fee code RR, which would result in a fee of $0.90 per contract and would apply to all Customer orders in Non-Penny Pilot Securities routed to and executed at ARCA, BZX Options, C2, ISE, ISE Gemini or NOM. The Exchange notes that the current range of fees applicable to Customer orders routed to other options exchanges is from no charge per contract (fee code BD, applicable to Customer orders in Non-Penny Pilot Securities executed at BX Options) to $0.94 per contract (fee code RD, applicable to Customer orders executed at BZX Options in Non-Penny Pilot Securities).15

    15 The Exchange again notes that it currently applies a single rate for orders routed to and executed at the newest options exchange, ISE Mercury. As such, Customer orders execute at ISE Mercury technically pay the highest rate today, a fee of $0.99 per contract.

    As a general matter, the groupings described above in most instances attempt to differentiate between the Routing Costs applicable to either executions of orders in Penny Pilot Securities versus those in Non-Penny Pilot Securities or between fee ranges typical of exchanges that operate primarily a maker/taker or price/time market model (generally imposing higher fees, including for Customer orders) versus exchanges that operate primarily a pro rata or customer priority market model (generally imposing lower fees, especially for Customer orders).

    As set forth above, the Exchange's proposed approach to routing fees is to set forth in a simple manner certain flat fees that approximate the cost of routing to other options exchanges. The Exchange will then monitor the fees charged as compared to the costs of its routing services, as well as monitoring for specific fee changes by other options exchanges, and intends to adjust its flat routing fees and/or groupings to ensure that the Exchange's fees do indeed result in a rough approximation of overall Routing Costs, and are not significantly higher or lower in any area. Although there may be instances where the Exchanges [sic] fee to a particular options exchange is indeed significantly higher than the fee charged by such options exchange, the Exchange believes that this is appropriate for several reasons discussed in further detail below, including the simplicity that it will provide Users of the Exchange's routing services.

    Implementation Date

    The Exchange proposes to implement these amendments to its fee schedule immediately.

    2. Statutory Basis

    The Exchange believes that the proposed rule change is consistent with the requirements of the Act and the rules and regulations thereunder that are applicable to a national securities exchange, and, in particular, with the requirements of Section 6 of the Act.16 Specifically, the Exchange believes that the proposed rule change is consistent with Section 6(b)(4) of the Act,17 in that it provides for the equitable allocation of reasonable dues, fees and other charges among members and other persons using any facility or system which the Exchange operates or controls.

    16 15 U.S.C. 78f.

    17 15 U.S.C. 78f(b)(4).

    The Exchange believes its proposed fees and rebates pursuant to the tiered pricing structure are reasonable, fair and equitable, and non-discriminatory. The Exchange operates in a highly competitive market in which market participants may readily send order flow to many competing venues if they deem fees at the Exchange to be excessive. As a new options exchange, the proposed fee structure remains intended to attract order flow to the Exchange by offering market participants a competitive yet simple pricing structure. At the same time, the Exchange believes it is reasonable to incrementally adopt incentives intended to help to contribute to the growth of the Exchange.

    Volume-based rebates such as those currently maintained on the Exchange have been widely adopted by options exchanges and are equitable because they are open to all Members on an equal basis and provide additional benefits or discounts that are reasonably related to the value of an exchange's market quality associated with higher levels of market activity, such as higher levels of liquidity provision and/or growth patterns, and introduction of higher volumes of orders into the price and volume discovery processes. The proposed modification to the Customer Volume Tier and the proposed addition of Market Maker Volume Tier 7 is each intended to incentivize Members to send additional Customer orders and Market Maker orders to the Exchange in an effort to qualify for the enhanced rebate or lower fee made available by the tiers.

    The Exchange believes that the proposed tiers are reasonable, fair and equitable, and non-discriminatory, for the reasons set forth above with respect to volume-based pricing generally and because such changes will incentivize participants to further contribute to market quality. The proposed tiers will provide an additional way for market participants to qualify for enhanced rebates or reduced fees. The Exchange also believes that the proposed tiered pricing structure is consistent with pricing previously offered by the Exchange as well as other options exchanges and does not represent a significant departure from such pricing structures.18

    18See, e.g., Bats BZX Options Fee Schedule, Footnote 1, Customer Add Volume Tier 5, which provides an enhanced rebate to Customer orders on BZX Options based on both Customer volume and Market Maker volume. The BZX Options Fee Schedule is available at: http://www.batsoptions.com/support/fee_schedule/bzx/.

    With respect to the proposed routing structure, the Exchange again notes that it operates in a highly competitive market in which market participants can readily direct order flow to competing venues or providers of routing services if they deem fee levels to be excessive. As explained above, the Exchange proposes to approximate the cost of routing to other options exchanges, including other applicable costs to the Exchange for routing, in order to provide a simplified and easy to understand pricing model. The Exchange believes that a pricing model based on approximate Routing Costs is a reasonable, fair and equitable approach to pricing. Specifically, the Exchange believes that its proposal to modify fees is fair, equitable and reasonable because the fees are generally an approximation of the cost to the Exchange for routing orders to such exchanges. The Exchange believes that its flat fee structure for orders routed to various venues is a fair and equitable approach to pricing, as it will provide certainty with respect to execution fees at groups of away options exchanges. In order to achieve its flat fee structure, taking all costs to the Exchange into account, the Exchange will necessarily charge a higher premium to route to certain options exchanges than to others. As a general matter, the Exchange believes that the proposed fees will allow it to recoup and cover its costs of providing routing services to such exchanges and to make some additional profit in exchange for the services it provides. The Exchange also believes that the proposed fee structure for orders routed to and executed at these away options exchanges is fair and equitable and not unreasonably discriminatory in that it applies equally to all Members. Finally, the Exchange notes that it intends to consistently evaluate its routing fees, including profit and loss attributable to routing, as applicable, in connection with the operation of a flat fee routing service, and would consider future adjustments to the proposed pricing structure to the extent it was recouping a significant profit or loss from routing to away options exchanges.

    B. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Burden on Competition

    The Exchange believes the proposed amendments to its fee schedule would not impose any burden on competition that is not necessary or appropriate in furtherance of the purposes of the Act. Rather, the proposal is a competitive proposal that is seeking to further the growth of the Exchange and to simplify the Exchange's fees for routing orders to away options exchanges. With respect to the tiered pricing changes, the Exchange has structured the proposed fees and rebates to attract additional volume in Market Maker and Customer orders, however, the Exchange believes that its pricing for all capacities is competitive with that offered by other options exchanges. With respect to the proposed routing fee structure, the Exchange believes that the proposed fees are competitive in that they will provide a simple approach to routing pricing that some Members may favor. Additionally, Members may opt to disfavor the Exchange's pricing, including pricing for transactions on the Exchange as well as routing fees, if they believe that alternatives offer them better value. In particular, with respect to routing services, such services are available to Members from other broker-dealers as well as other options exchanges. The Exchange also notes that Members may choose to mark their orders as ineligible for routing to avoid incurring routing fees.19 Accordingly, the Exchange does not believe that the proposed change will impair the ability of Members or competing venues to maintain their competitive standing in the financial markets.

    19 See Exchange Rule 21.1(d)(7) (describing “Book Only” orders) and Exchange Rule 21.9(a)(1) (describing the Exchange's routing process, which requires orders to be designated as available for routing).

    C. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Comments on the Proposed Rule Change Received From Members, Participants, or Others

    The Exchange has not solicited, and does not intend to solicit, comments on this proposed rule change. The Exchange has not received any written comments from members or other interested parties.

    III. Date of Effectiveness of the Proposed Rule Change and Timing for Commission Action

    The foregoing rule change has become effective pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A) of the Act 20 and paragraph (f)(2) of Rule 19b-4 thereunder.21 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.

    20 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(3)(A).

    21 17 CFR 240.19b-4(f).

    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 No. SR-BatsEDGX-2016-15 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-BatsEDGX-2016-15. This file number should be included on the subject line if email is used. To help the Commission process and review your 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 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Copies of the filing 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 No. SR-BatsEDGX-2016-15, and should be submitted on or before June 7, 2016.

    For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.22

    2215 CFR 200.30-3(a)(12).

    Robert W. Errett, Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11543 Filed 5-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8011-01-P
    SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [Release No. 34-77814; File No. SR-NYSEMKT-2016-50] Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE MKT LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Change Modifying the NYSE Amex Options Fee Schedule May 11, 2016.

    Pursuant to section 19(b)(1) 1 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Act”) 2 and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,3 notice is hereby given that, on April 28, 2016, NYSE MKT LLC (the “Exchange” or “NYSE MKT”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “Commission”) the proposed rule change as described in Items I, II, and III below, which Items have been prepared by the self-regulatory organization. The Commission is publishing this notice to solicit comments on the proposed rule change from interested persons.

    1 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(1).

    2 15 U.S.C. 78a.

    3 17 CFR 240.19b-4.

    I. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Terms of Substance of the Proposed Rule Change

    The Exchange proposes to modify the NYSE Amex Options Fee Schedule (“Fee Schedule”). The Exchange proposes to implement the fee change effective May 2, 2016. The proposed change is available on the Exchange's Web site at www.nyse.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 self-regulatory organization 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 those 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 the Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change 1. Purpose

    The purpose of this filing is to modify the definition of a Firm Facilitation trade to include Broker-Dealers, which would be consistent with the treatment of such transactions on another options market. The Exchange proposes to implement the change effective on May 2, 2016.

    The current Fee Schedule defines a “Firm Facilitation” trade as “a Manual trade that is executed in open outcry, in which one counterparty clears in the Firm range at the OCC, the other counterparty clears in the Customer range at the OCC, and both counterparties have the same Clearing Member symbol or identification.” 4 Firm Facilitation trades are not subject to transaction charges and are only subject to Royalty Fees.5

    4See Fee Schedule, Terms and Definitions, available here, https://www.nyse.com/publicdocs/nyse/markets/amex-options/NYSE_Amex_Options_Fee_Schedule.pdf.

    5See id., Fee Schedule, sections I. A. and B. (providing that Firm Facilitation trades are executed at the rate of $0.00 per contract) and K. (providing that Firm Facilitation trades are subject to Royalty Fees). The Exchange notes that Royalty Fees (or license fees) apply to certain classes of options and such fees are passed-on by the Exchange to the actual participants executing the trade.

    The Exchange proposes to modify the definition of Firm Facilitation to include Manual trades clearing in the Broker-Dealer range at the OCC.6 The Exchange notes that this proposal would align its definition of a Firm Facilitation trade with that of another options exchange. Specifically, the fee schedule for NYSE Arca provides that firm facilitation trades are manual trades that apply to “any transaction involving a Firm proprietary trading account that has a customer of that same Firm on the contra side of the transaction, or a broker dealer facilitating a Customer order, where the broker dealer and the Customer both clear through the same clearing firm and the broker dealer clears in the customer range.” 7

    6See proposed Fee Schedule. Per the Fee Schedule, a “Firm” means a Broker-Dealer that is not registered as a dealer-specialist or Market Maker that is an ATP Holder on the Exchange, per Rule 900.2NY(28) and a “Broker-Dealer” is an entity registered pursuant to section 15 of the Exchange Act, per Rule 990NY(3). See Fee Schedule, supra n. 4.

    7See NYSE Arca fee schedule, Endnote 7, available here, https://www.nyse.com/publicdocs/nyse/markets/arca-options/NYSE_Arca_Options_Fee_Schedule.pdf (describing Firm Facilitation and Broker Dealer facilitating a Customer—Manual). NYSE Arca likewise does not charge transaction fees for firm facilitation trades.

    2. Statutory Basis

    The Exchange believes that the proposed rule change is consistent with section 6(b) of the Act,8 in general, and furthers the objectives of sections 6(b)(4) and (5) of the Act,9 in particular, because it provides for the equitable allocation of reasonable dues, fees, and other charges among its members, issuers and other persons using its facilities and does not unfairly discriminate between customers, issuers, brokers or dealers.

    8 15 U.S.C. 78f(b).

    9 15 U.S.C. 78f(b)(4) and (5).

    The Exchange believes that the proposed modification to the definition of Firm Facilitation trades is reasonable, equitable and not unfairly discriminatory because it would align the scope of such trades with how trades are characterized on at least one other options exchange, thereby encouraging greater harmonization across exchange. Additionally, the Exchange believes the proposed change is consistent with the Act because they it attract greater volume and liquidity to the Exchange, which would benefit all market participants by providing tighter quoting and better prices, all of which perfects the mechanism for a free and open market and national market system.

    For these reasons, the Exchange believes that the proposal is consistent with the Act.

    B. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Burden on Competition

    In accordance with section 6(b)(8) of the Act,10 the Exchange does not believe that the proposed rule change would impose any burden on competition that is not necessary or appropriate in furtherance of the purposes of the Act. The Exchange believes the proposed amendment is pro-competitive as expanding the definition of Firm Facilitation trades consistent with other markets may encourage additional order flow to be direction to the Exchange and any resulting increase in volume and liquidity to the Exchange would benefit all Exchange participants through increased opportunities to trade as well as enhancing price discovery.

    10 15 U.S.C. 78f(b)(8).

    The Exchange notes that it operates in a highly competitive market in which market participants can readily favor competing venues. In such an environment, the Exchange must continually review, and consider adjusting, its fees and credits to remain competitive with other exchanges. For the reasons described above, the Exchange believes that the proposed rule change reflects this competitive environment.

    C. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Comments on the Proposed Rule Change Received From Members, Participants, or Others

    No written comments were solicited or received with respect to the proposed rule change.

    III. Date of Effectiveness of the Proposed Rule Change and Timing for Commission Action

    The foregoing rule change is effective upon filing pursuant to section 19(b)(3)(A) 11 of the Act and subparagraph (f)(2) of Rule 19b-4 12 thereunder, because it establishes a due, fee, or other charge imposed by the Exchange.

    11 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(3)(A).

    12 17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(2).

    At any time within 60 days of the filing of such 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 under section 19(b)(2)(B) 13 of the Act to determine whether the proposed rule change should be approved or disapproved.

    13 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(2)(B).

    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-NYSEMKT-2016-50 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 Number SR-NYSEMKT-2016-50. This file number should be included on the subject line if email is used. To help the Commission process and review your 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 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Copies of the filing 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-NYSEMKT-2016-50, and should be submitted on or before June 7, 2016.

    For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.14

    14 17 CFR 200.30-3(a)(12).

    Robert W. Errett, Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11544 Filed 5-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8011-01-P
    SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [Investment Company Act Release No. 32113; File No. 812-14561] TCW Alternative Funds, et al.; Notice of Application May 11, 2016. AGENCY:

    Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”).

    ACTION:

    Notice of an application for an order pursuant to: (a) Section 6(c) of the Investment Company Act of 1940 (“Act”) granting an exemption from sections 18(f) and 21(b) of the Act; (b) section 12(d)(1)(J) of the Act granting an exemption from section 12(d)(1) of the Act; (c) sections 6(c) and 17(b) of the Act granting an exemption from sections 17(a)(1), 17(a)(2) and 17(a)(3) of the Act; and (d) section 17(d) of the Act and rule 17d-1 under the Act to permit certain joint arrangements and transactions.

    Summary of the Application: Applicants request an order that would permit certain registered open-end management investment companies to participate in a joint lending and borrowing facility.

    Applicants: TCW Alternative Funds and Metropolitan West Funds (each a “Trust” and collectively the “Trusts”), TCW Funds, Inc. (the “Corporation”); TCW Investment Management Company (“TCWIMC”) and Metropolitan West Asset Management, LLC (“MWAM”) (each, an “Adviser,” and such entities together, the “Advisers”).

    Filing Dates: The application was filed on October 5, 2015, and amended on January 28, 2016 and May 10, 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 June 6, 2016, and should be accompanied by proof of service on the 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:

    Secretary, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549-1090; Applicants: 865 S. Figueroa Street, Suite 1800, Los Angeles, CA 90017.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Mark N. Zaruba, Senior Counsel, at (202) 551-6878 or Mary Kay Frech, Branch Chief, at (202) 551-6821 (Division of Investment Management, Chief Counsel's Office).

    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 an applicant using the Company name box, at http://www.sec.gov/search/search.htm or by calling (202) 551-8090.

    Applicants' Representations

    1. Each Trust is organized as a Delaware statutory trust and is registered under the Act as an open-end management investment company. The Corporation is a Maryland corporation and is registered as an open-end management investment company. Each Trust and the Corporation has issued one or more series, each of which has its own investment objective and its own investment policies.1 TCWIMC is a California corporation and MWAM is a California limited liability company, and each of TCWIMC and MWAM is registered as an investment adviser under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (“Advisers Act”). Both are wholly-owned subsidiaries (direct or indirect) of the TCW Group, Inc., which, in turn, is owned indirectly by two investment funds that are controlled by The Carlyle Group, L.P. In the future, the Advisers may advise Funds that are money market funds that comply with rule 2a-7 under the Act (collectively, the “Money Market Funds”).2

    1 Applicants request that the order apply to any registered open-end management investment company or series thereof for which TCWIMC, MWAM or any successor thereto or an investment adviser controlling, controlled by, or under common control (within the meaning of section 2(a)(9) of the Act) with TCWIMC or MWAM or any successor thereto serves as investment adviser (each a “Fund” and collectively the “Funds” or each such investment adviser an “Adviser”). For purposes of the requested order, “successor” is limited to any entity that results from a reorganization into another jurisdiction or a change in the type of a business organization.

    2 All Funds that currently intend to rely on the requested order have been named as applicants. Any other Fund that relies on the requested order in the future will comply with the terms and conditions of the application.

    2. The Funds may lend cash to banks or other entities by entering into repurchase agreements or purchasing short-term instruments. The Funds may also need to borrow money for temporary purposes. In order to meet an unexpected volume of redemptions or to cover unanticipated cash shortfalls, the Metropolitan West Funds have contracted for a revolving credit facility with the Bank of New York Mellon Corporation, and other lenders that may be added in the future to the lending syndicate (“Bank Borrowing”). The TCW Alternative Funds and TCW Funds, Inc. may in the future join this credit facility or enter into other arrangements with other bank lenders (each also a “Bank Borrowing”). The amount of borrowing under each of these lines of credit is limited to the amount specified by fundamental investment restrictions, the terms specified in the agreements, and/or other policies of the applicable Fund and section 18 of the Act.

    3. If Funds that experience a cash shortfall were to draw down on their Bank Borrowing, they would pay interest at a rate that is likely to be higher than the rate that could be earned by non-borrowing Funds on investments in repurchase agreements and other short-term money market instruments of the same maturity as the Bank Borrowing (“Short-Term Instruments”). Applicants assert the difference between the higher rate paid on Bank Borrowing and what the bank pays to borrow under repurchase agreements or other arrangements represents the bank's profit for serving as the middleperson between a borrower and lender and is not attributable to any material difference in the credit quality or risk of such transactions.

    4. The Funds seek to enter into master interfund lending agreements with each other (the “InterFund Program”) that would permit each Fund whose policies permit it to do so to lend money directly to and borrow money directly from other Funds for temporary purposes through the InterFund Program (an “Interfund Loan”). The Money Market Funds will not participate as borrowers. Applicants state that the requested will relief enable the Funds to access an available source of money and reduce costs incurred by the Funds that need to obtain loans for temporary purposes and permit those Funds that have cash available: (i) To earn a return on the money that they might not otherwise be able to invest; or (ii) to earn a higher rate of interest on investment of their short-term balances. Although the proposed InterFund Program would reduce the Funds' need to borrow from banks or through custodian drafts, the Funds would be free to establish and/or continue committed lines of credit or other borrowing arrangements with banks.

    5. Applicants anticipate that the proposed InterFund Program would provide a borrowing Fund with significant savings at times when the cash position of the Fund is insufficient to meet temporary cash requirements. This situation could arise when shareholder redemptions exceed anticipated cash volumes and certain Funds have insufficient cash on hand to satisfy such redemptions. When the Funds liquidate portfolio securities to meet redemption requests, they often do not receive payment in settlement for up to three days (or longer for certain foreign transactions). However, redemption requests normally are effected on the day following the trade date. The proposed InterFund Program would provide a source of immediate, short-term liquidity pending settlement of the sale of portfolio securities.

    6. Applicants also anticipate that a Fund could use the InterFund Program when a sale of securities “fails” due to circumstances beyond the Fund's control, such as a delay in the delivery of cash to the Fund's custodian or improper delivery instructions by the broker effecting the transaction. “Sales fails” may present a cash shortfall if the Fund has undertaken to purchase a security using the proceeds from securities sold. Alternatively, the Fund could: (i) “Fail” on its intended purchase due to lack of funds from the previous sale, resulting in additional cost to the Fund; or (ii) sell a security on a same-day settlement basis, earning a lower return on the investment. Use of the InterFund Program under these circumstances would enable the Fund to have access to immediate short-term liquidity.

    7. While Bank Borrowing and/or custodian overdrafts generally could supply Funds with needed cash to cover unanticipated redemptions and sales fails, under the proposed InterFund Program, a borrowing Fund would pay lower interest rates than those that would be payable under short-term loans offered by banks or custodian overdrafts. In addition, Funds making short-term cash loans directly to other Funds would earn interest at a rate higher than they otherwise could obtain from investing their cash in Short-Term Instruments. Thus, applicants assert that the proposed InterFund Program would benefit both borrowing and lending Funds.

    8. The interest rate to be charged to the Funds on any Interfund Loan (the “Interfund Loan Rate”) would be the average of the “Repo Rate” and the “Bank Loan Rate,” both as defined below. The Repo Rate would be the highest current overnight repurchase agreement rate available to a lending Fund. The Bank Loan Rate for any day would be calculated by the InterFund Program Team, as defined below, on each day an Interfund Loan is made according to a formula established by each Fund's board of trustees (the “Board”) intended to approximate the lowest interest rate at which a bank short-term loan would be available to the Fund. The formula would be based upon a publicly available rate (e.g., Federal funds rate and/or LIBOR) plus an additional spread of basis points and would vary with this rate so as to reflect changing bank loan rates. The initial formula and any subsequent modifications to the formula would be subject to the approval of each Fund's Board. In addition, the Board of each Fund would periodically review the continuing appropriateness of reliance on the formula used to determine the Bank Loan Rate, as well as the relationship between the Bank Loan Rate and current bank loan rates that would be available to the Fund.

    9. Certain members of the Advisers' administration personnel (other than investment advisory personnel) (the “InterFund Program Team”) would administer the InterFund Program. No portfolio manager of any Fund will serve as a member of the InterFund Program Team. Under the proposed InterFund Program, the portfolio managers for each participating Fund could provide standing instructions to participate daily as a borrower or lender. The InterFund Program Team on each business day would collect data on the uninvested cash and borrowing requirements of all participating Funds. Once the InterFund Program Team has determined the aggregate amount of cash available for loans and borrowing demand, the InterFund Program Team will allocate loans among borrowing Funds without any further communication from the portfolio managers of the Funds. Applicants anticipate that there typically will be far more available uninvested cash each day than borrowing demand. Therefore, after the InterFund Program Team has allocated cash for Interfund Loans, the InterFund Program Team will invest any remaining cash in accordance with the standing instructions of the relevant portfolio manager or such remaining amounts will be invested directly by the portfolio managers of the Funds.

    10. The InterFund Program Team would allocate borrowing demand and cash available for lending among the Funds on what the InterFund Program Team believes to be an equitable basis, subject to certain administrative procedures applicable to all Funds, such as the time of filing requests to participate, minimum loan lot sizes, and the need to minimize the number of transactions and associated administrative costs. To reduce transaction costs, each Interfund Loan normally would be allocated in a manner intended to minimize the number of participants necessary to complete the loan transaction. The method of allocation and related administrative procedures would be approved by the Board of each of the Funds, including a majority of the Board members who are not “interested persons,” as defined in section 2(a)(19) of the Act (“Independent Board Members”), to ensure that both borrowing and lending Funds participate on an equitable basis.

    11. The InterFund Program Team, on behalf of the Advisers. would: (a) Monitor the Interfund Loan Rate and the other terms and conditions of the Interfund Loans; (b) limit the borrowings and loans entered into by each Fund to ensure that they comply with the Fund's investment policies and limitations; (c) implement and follow procedures designed to ensure equitable treatment of each Fund; and (d) make quarterly reports to the Board of each Fund concerning any transactions by the applicable Fund under the InterFund Program and the Interfund Loan Rate.

    12. The Advisers, through the InterFund Program Team, would administer the InterFund Program as disinterested fiduciaries as part of their duties under the investment management and administrative agreements with each Fund and would receive no additional fee as compensation for its services in connection with the administration of the InterFund Program.

    13. No Fund may participate in the InterFund Program unless: (a) The Fund has obtained shareholder approval for its participation, if such approval is required by law; (b) the Fund has fully disclosed all material information concerning the InterFund Program in its registration statement on Form N-1A; and (c) the Fund's participation in the InterFund Program is consistent with its investment objectives, limitations and organizational documents.

    14. As part of the Board's review of the continuing appropriateness of a Fund's participation in the proposed credit facility as required by condition 14, the Board of the Fund, including a majority of the Independent Board Members, also will review the process in place to appropriately assess: (i) If the Fund participates as a lender, any effect its participation may have on the Fund's liquidity risk; and (ii) if the Fund participates as a borrower, whether the Fund's portfolio liquidity is sufficient to satisfy its obligations under the facility along with its other liquidity needs.

    15. In connection with the InterFund Program, applicants request an order under section 6(c) of the Act exempting them from the provisions of sections 18(f) and 21(b) of the Act; under section 12(d)(1)(J) of the Act exempting them from section 12(d)(1) of the Act; under sections 6(c) and 17(b) of the Act exempting them from sections 17(a)(1), 17(a)(2), and 17(a)(3) of the Act; and under section 17(d) of the Act and rule 17d-1 under the Act to permit certain joint arrangements and transactions.

    Applicants' Legal Analysis

    1. Section 17(a)(3) of the Act generally prohibits any affiliated person of a registered investment company, or affiliated person of an affiliated person, from borrowing money or other property from the registered investment company. Section 21(b) of the Act generally prohibits any registered management company from lending money or other property to any person, directly or indirectly, if that person controls or is under common control with that company. Section 2(a)(3)(C) of the Act defines an “affiliated person” of another person, in part, to be any person directly or indirectly controlling, controlled by, or under common control with, such other person. Section 2(a)(9) of the Act defines “control” as the “power to exercise a controlling influence over the management or policies of a company,” but excludes circumstances in which “such power is solely the result of an official position with such company.” Applicants state that the Funds may be under common control by virtue of having common investment advisers and/or by having common trustees, directors, managers and/or officers.

    2. Section 6(c) of the Act provides that an exemptive order may be granted where an exemption is necessary or appropriate in the public interest and consistent with the protection of investors and the purposes fairly intended by the policy and provisions of the Act. Section 17(b) of the Act authorizes the Commission to exempt a proposed transaction from section 17(a) provided that the terms of the transaction, including the consideration to be paid or received, are fair and reasonable and do not involve overreaching on the part of any person concerned, and the transaction is consistent with the policy of the investment company as recited in its registration statement and with the general purposes of the Act. Applicants believe that the proposed arrangements satisfy these standards for the reasons discussed below.

    3. Applicants assert that sections 17(a)(3) and 21(b) of the Act were intended to prevent a party with strong potential adverse interests to, and some influence over the investment decisions of, a registered investment company from causing or inducing the investment company to engage in lending transactions that unfairly inure to the benefit of such party and that are detrimental to the best interests of the investment company and its shareholders. Applicants assert that the proposed transactions do not raise these concerns because: (a) The Advisers, through the InterFund Program Team members, would administer the InterFund Program as disinterested fiduciaries as part of their duties under the investment management and administrative agreements with each Fund; (b) all Interfund Loans would consist only of uninvested cash reserves that the Fund otherwise would invest in short-term repurchase agreements or other short-term investments; (c) the Interfund Loans would not involve a greater risk than such other investments; (d) the lending Fund would receive interest at a rate higher than it could otherwise obtain through such other investments; and (e) the borrowing Fund would pay interest at a rate lower than otherwise available to it under its bank loan agreements or through custodian overdrafts and avoid the commitment fees associated with lines of credit. Moreover, applicants assert that the other terms and conditions that applicants propose also would effectively preclude the possibility of any Fund obtaining an undue advantage over any other Fund.

    4. Section 17(a)(1) of the Act generally prohibits an affiliated person of a registered investment company, or any affiliated person of such a person, from selling securities or other property to the investment company. Section 17(a)(2) of the Act generally prohibits an affiliated person of a registered investment company, or any affiliated person of such a person, from purchasing securities or other property from the investment company. Section 12(d)(1) of the Act generally prohibits a registered investment company from purchasing or otherwise acquiring any security issued by any other investment company except in accordance with the limitations set forth in that section.

    5. Applicants state that the obligation of a borrowing Fund to repay an Interfund Loan could be deemed to constitute a security for the purposes of sections 17(a)(1) and 12(d)(1). Applicants also state that any pledge of securities to secure an Interfund Loan by the borrowing Fund to the lending Fund could constitute a purchase of securities for purposes of section 17(a)(2) of the Act. Section 12(d)(1)(J) of the Act provides that the Commission may exempt persons or transactions from any provision of section 12(d)(1) if and to the extent that such exemption is consistent with the public interest and the protection of investors. Applicants contend that the standards under sections 6(c), 17(b), and 12(d)(1)(J) are satisfied for all the reasons set forth above in support of their request for relief from sections 17(a)(3) and 21(b) and for the reasons discussed below. Applicants state that the requested relief from section 17(a)(2) of the Act meets the standards of section 6(c) and 17(b) because any collateral pledged to secure an Interfund Loan would be subject to the same conditions imposed by any other lender to a Fund that imposes conditions on the quality of or access to collateral for a borrowing (if the lender is another Fund) or the same or better conditions (in any other circumstance).

    6. Applicants state that section 12(d)(1) was intended to prevent the pyramiding of investment companies in order to avoid imposing on investors additional and duplicative costs and fees attendant upon multiple layers of investment companies. Applicants submit that the proposed InterFund Program does not involve these abuses. Applicants note that there will be no duplicative costs or fees to the Funds or their shareholders, and that each Adviser will receive no additional compensation for its services in administering the InterFund Program. Applicants also note that the purpose of the proposed InterFund Program is to provide economic benefits for all the participating Funds and their shareholders. Section 18(f)(1) of the Act prohibits open-end investment companies from issuing any senior security except that a company is permitted to borrow from any bank, provided, that immediately after the borrowing, there is asset coverage of at least 300 per centum for all borrowings of the company. Under section 18(g) of the Act, the term “senior security” generally includes any bond, debenture, note or similar obligation or instrument constituting a security and evidencing indebtedness. Applicants request exemptive relief under section 6(c) from section 18(f)(1) to the limited extent necessary to implement the InterFund Program (because the lending Funds are not banks).

    7. Applicants believe that granting relief under section 6(c) is appropriate because the Funds would remain subject to the requirement of section 18(f)(1) that all borrowings of a Fund, including combined Interfund Loans and bank borrowings, have at least 300% asset coverage. Based on the conditions and safeguards described in the application, applicants also submit that to allow the Funds to borrow from other Funds pursuant to the proposed InterFund Program is consistent with the purposes and policies of section 18(f)(1).

    8. Section 17(d) of the Act and rule 17d-1 under the Act generally prohibit an affiliated person of a registered investment company, or any affiliated person of such a person, when acting as principal, from effecting any joint transaction in which the investment company participates, unless, upon application, the transaction has been approved by the Commission. Rule 17d-1(b) under the Act provides that in passing upon an application filed under the rule, the Commission will consider whether the participation of the registered investment company in a joint enterprise, joint arrangement or profit sharing plan on the basis proposed is consistent with the provisions, policies and purposes of the Act and the extent to which such participation is on a basis different from or less advantageous than that of the other participants.

    9. Applicants assert that the purpose of section 17(d) is to avoid overreaching by and an unfair advantage to insiders. Applicants assert that the InterFund Program is consistent with the provisions, policies and purposes of the Act in that it offers both reduced borrowing costs and enhanced returns on loaned funds to all participating Funds and their shareholders. Applicants note that each Fund would have an equal opportunity to borrow and lend on equal terms consistent with its investment policies and fundamental investment limitations. Applicants assert that each Fund's participation in the proposed InterFund Program would be on terms that are no different from or less advantageous than that of other participating Funds.

    Applicants' Conditions

    Applicants agree that any order granting the requested relief will be subject to the following conditions:

    1. The Interfund Loan Rate will be the average of the Repo Rate and the Bank Loan Rate.

    2. On each business day, when an interfund loan is to be made, the InterFund Program Team will compare the Bank Loan Rate with the Repo Rate and will make cash available for Interfund Loans only if the Interfund Loan Rate is: (a) More favorable to the lending Fund than the Repo Rate; and (b) more favorable to the borrowing Fund than the Bank Loan Rate.

    3. If a Fund has outstanding Bank Borrowings, any Interfund Loan to the Fund will: (a) Be at an interest rate equal to or lower than the interest rate of any outstanding bank loan; (b) be secured at least on an equal priority basis with at least an equivalent percentage of collateral to loan value as any outstanding bank loan that requires collateral; (c) have a maturity no longer than any outstanding bank loan (and in any event not over seven days); and (d) provide that, if an event of default occurs under any agreement evidencing an outstanding bank loan to the Fund, that event of default by the Fund, will automatically (without need for action or notice by the lending Fund) constitute an immediate event of default under the interfund lending agreement which both (i) entitles the lending Fund to call the Interfund Loan immediately and exercise all rights with respect to any collateral and (ii) causes the call to be made if the lending bank exercises its right to call its loan under its agreement with the borrowing Fund.

    4. A Fund may borrow on an unsecured basis through the InterFund Program only if the relevant borrowing Fund's outstanding borrowings from all sources immediately after the interfund borrowing total 10% or less of its total assets, provided that if the borrowing Fund has a secured loan outstanding from any other lender, including but not limited to another Fund, the lending Fund's Interfund Loan will be secured on at least an equal priority basis with at least an equivalent percentage of collateral to loan value as any outstanding loan that requires collateral. If a borrowing Fund's total outstanding borrowings immediately after an Interfund Loan would be greater than 10% of its total assets, the Fund may borrow through the InterFund Program only on a secured basis. A Fund may not borrow through the InterFund Program or from any other source if its total outstanding borrowings immediately after the borrowing would be more than 331/3% of its total assets or any lower threshold provided for by a Fund's fundamental restriction or non-fundamental policy.

    5. Before any Fund that has outstanding interfund borrowings may, through additional borrowings, cause its outstanding borrowings from all sources to exceed 10% of its total assets, it must first secure each outstanding Interfund Loan to a Fund by the pledge of segregated collateral with a market value at least equal to 102% of the outstanding principal value of the loan. If the total outstanding borrowings of a Fund with outstanding Interfund Loans exceed 10% of its total assets for any other reason (such as a decline in net asset value or because of shareholder redemptions), the Fund will within one business day thereafter either: (a) Repay all its outstanding Interfund Loans to other Funds; (b) reduce its outstanding indebtedness to other Funds to 10% or less of its total assets; or (c) secure each outstanding Interfund Loan to other Funds by the pledge of segregated collateral with a market value at least equal to 102% of the outstanding principal value of the loan until the Fund's total outstanding borrowings cease to exceed 10% of its total assets, at which time the collateral called for by this condition 5 shall no longer be required. Until each Interfund Loan that is outstanding at any time that a Fund's total outstanding borrowings exceed 10% of its total assets is repaid or the Fund's total outstanding borrowings cease to exceed 10% of its total assets, the Fund will mark the value of the collateral to market each day and will pledge such additional collateral as is necessary to maintain the market value of the collateral that secures each outstanding Interfund Loan to Funds at least equal to 102% of the outstanding principal value of the Interfund Loans.

    6. No Fund may lend to another Fund through the InterFund Program if the loan would cause the lending Fund's aggregate outstanding loans through the InterFund Program to exceed 15% of its current net assets at the time of the loan.

    7. A Fund's Interfund Loans to any one Fund shall not exceed 5% of the lending Fund's net assets.

    8. The duration of Interfund Loans will be limited to the time required to receive payment for securities sold, but in no event more than seven days. Loans effected within seven days of each other will be treated as separate loan transactions for purposes of this condition.

    9. A Fund's borrowings through the InterFund Program, as measured on the day when the most recent loan was made, will not exceed the greater of 125% of the Fund's total net cash redemptions for the preceding seven calendar days or 102% of a Fund's sales fails for the preceding seven calendar days.

    10. Each Interfund Loan may be called on one business day's notice by a lending Fund and may be repaid on any day by a borrowing Fund.

    11. A Fund's participation in the InterFund Program must be consistent with its investment restrictions, policies, limitations and organizational documents.

    12. The InterFund Program Team will calculate total Fund borrowing and lending demand through the InterFund Program, and allocate Interfund Loans on an equitable basis among the Funds, without the intervention of any portfolio manager. The InterFund Program Team will not solicit cash for the InterFund Program from any Fund or prospectively publish or disseminate loan demand data to portfolio managers. The InterFund Program Team will invest all amounts remaining after satisfaction of borrowing demand in accordance with the standing instructions of the relevant portfolio manager or such remaining amounts will be invested directly by the portfolio managers of the Funds.

    13. The InterFund Program Team will monitor the Interfund Loan Rate charged and the other terms and conditions of the Interfund Loans and will make a quarterly report to the Boards concerning the participation of the Funds in the InterFund Program and the terms and other conditions of any extensions of credit under the InterFund Program.

    14. Each Board, including a majority of its Independent Board Members, will:

    (a) Review, no less frequently than quarterly, the participation of each Fund it oversees in the InterFund Program during the preceding quarter for compliance with the conditions of any order permitting such participation;

    (b) establish the Bank Loan Rate formula used to determine the interest rate on Interfund Loans;

    (c) review, no less frequently than annually, the continuing appropriateness of the Bank Loan Rate formula; and

    (d) review, no less frequently than annually, the continuing appropriateness of the participation in the InterFund Program by each Fund it oversees.

    15. Each Fund will maintain and preserve for a period of not less than six years from the end of the fiscal year in which any transaction by it under the InterFund Program occurred, the first two years in an easily accessible place, written records of all such transactions setting forth a description of the terms of the transaction, including the amount, the maturity and the Interfund Loan Rate, the rate of interest available at the time each Interfund Loan is made on overnight repurchase agreements and Bank Borrowings, and such other information presented to the Boards of the Funds in connection with the review required by conditions 13 and 14.

    16. In the event an Interfund Loan is not paid according to its terms and the default is not cured within two business days from its maturity or from the time the lending Fund makes a demand for payment under the provisions of the interfund lending agreement, the Adviser to the lending Fund promptly will refer the loan for arbitration to an independent arbitrator selected by the Board of any Fund involved in the loan who will serve as arbitrator of disputes concerning Interfund Loans.3 The arbitrator will resolve any problem promptly, and the arbitrator's decision will be binding on both Funds. The arbitrator will submit, at least annually, a written report to the Board of each Fund setting forth a description of the nature of any dispute and the actions taken by the Funds to resolve the dispute.

    3 If the dispute involves Funds that do not have a common Board, the Board of each affected Fund will select an independent arbitrator that is satisfactory to each Fund.

    17. The Advisers will prepare and submit to the Board for review an initial report describing the operations of the InterFund Program and the procedures to be implemented to ensure that all Funds are treated fairly. After the commencement of the InterFund Program, the Advisers will report on the operations of the InterFund Program at each Board's quarterly meetings. Each Fund's chief compliance officer, as defined in rule 38a-1(a)(4) under the Act, shall prepare an annual report for its Board each year that the Fund participates in the InterFund Program, that evaluates the Fund's compliance with the terms and conditions of the application and the procedures established to achieve such compliance. Each Fund's chief compliance officer will also annually file a certification pursuant to Item 77Q3 of Form N-SAR as such form may be revised, amended or superseded from time to time, for each year that the Fund participates in the InterFund Program, that certifies that the Fund and its Adviser have implemented procedures reasonably designed to achieve compliance with the terms and conditions of the order. In particular, such certification will address procedures designed to achieve the following objectives:

    (a) That the Interfund Loan Rate will be higher than the Repo Rate but lower than the Bank Loan Rate;

    (b) compliance with the collateral requirements as set forth in the application;

    (c) compliance with the percentage limitations on interfund borrowing and lending;

    (d) allocation of interfund borrowing and lending demand in an equitable manner and in accordance with procedures established by the Board; and

    (e) that the Interfund Loan Rate does not exceed the interest rate on any third party borrowings of a borrowing Fund at the time of the Interfund Loan.

    Additionally, each Fund's independent registered public accountants, in connection with their audit examination of the Fund, will review the operation of the InterFund Program for compliance with the conditions of the application and their review will form the basis, in part, of the auditor's report on internal accounting controls in Form N-SAR.

    18. No Fund will participate in the InterFund Program, upon receipt of requisite regulatory approval, unless it has fully disclosed in its registration statement on Form N-1A (or any successor form adopted by the Commission) all material facts about its intended participation.

    For the Commission, by the Division of Investment Management, under delegated authority.

    Robert W. Errett, Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11534 Filed 5-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8011-01-P
    SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [Release No. 34-77808; File No. SR-NYSEMKT-2016-51] Self-Regulatory Organizations; NYSE MKT LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Amend Rule 98—Equities May 11, 2016.

    Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) 1 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Act”) 2 and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,3 notice is hereby given that on May 2, 2016, NYSE MKT LLC (the “Exchange” or “NYSE MKT”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “Commission”) the proposed rule change as described in Items I and II, below, which Items have been prepared by the self-regulatory organization. The Commission is publishing this notice to solicit comments on the proposed rule change from interested persons.

    1 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(1).

    2 15 U.S.C. 78a.

    3 17 CFR 240.19b-4.

    I. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Terms of Substance of the Proposed Rule Change

    The Exchange proposes to amend Rule 98—Equities to provide that when Designated Market Makers (“DMM”) enter interest for the purpose of facilitating the execution of customer orders, such orders would not be required to be designated as DMM interest. The proposed rule change is available on the Exchange's Web site at www.nyse.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 self-regulatory organization 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 those 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 the Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change 1. Purpose

    The Exchange proposes to amend Rule 98—Equities (“Rule 98”) to provide that when DMMs enter interest on a proprietary basis for the purpose of facilitating the execution of customer orders, such orders would not be required to be designated as DMM interest.4 This proposed rule change is based on a recently approved amendment to New York Stock Exchange LLC (“NYSE”) Rule 98.5

    4 As defined in Rule 2(i)—Equities, the term “DMM” means an individual member, officer, partner, employee or associated person of a Designated Market Maker Unit who is approved by the Exchange to act in the capacity of a DMM.

    5See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 77708 (April 26, 2016) (SR-NYSE-2016-16) (NYSE Rule 98 Approval Order).

    Background

    In 2014, the Exchange amended Rule 98 to adopt a principles-based approach to prohibit the misuse of material nonpublic information by a member organization that operates a DMM unit and make conforming changes to other Exchange rules.6 Those rule changes provide member organizations operating DMM units with the ability to integrate DMM unit trading with other trading units, while maintaining tailored restrictions to address that DMMs while on the Trading Floor may have access to certain Floor-based non-public information. By removing prescriptive restrictions, the 2014 Filing was designed to enable a member organization that engages in market-making operations on multiple exchanges to house its DMM operations together with the other market-making operations, even if such operations are customer-facing, or, to enable a member organization to consolidate all equity trading, including customer-facing operations and the DMM unit, within a single independent trading unit.

    6See Securities Exchange Act Release Nos. 72535 (July 3, 2014), 79 FR 39024 (July 9, 2014) (Approval Order) and 71838 (April 1, 2014), 79 FR 19131 (April 7, 2014) (“2014 Notice”) (SR-NYSEMKT-2014-22) (“2014 Filing”).

    Rule 98(c) sets forth specified restrictions to operating a DMM unit.7 Among other requirements, Rule 98(c)(4) provides that any interest entered into Exchange systems by the DMM unit in DMM securities 8 must be identifiable as DMM unit interest. Current Rule 98(c)(4) was designed to ensure that all trading activity by a DMM unit in DMM securities at the Exchange is available for review. As discussed below, under Rule 98(c)(5), DMMs would continue to be required to submit information to the Exchange to make available to the Exchange for review all trading activity by a DMM unit in DMM securities. The Exchange did not specify which system(s) a DMM unit must use because, as the Exchange's trading systems continue to evolve, the manner by which interest would be identified as DMM interest could change. Accordingly, the current rule requires any trading for the account of the DMM unit in DMM securities at the Exchange to be identifiable as DMM interest.

    7 As defined in Rule 98(b)(1), the term “DMM unit” means a trading unit within a member organization that is approved pursuant to Rule 103—Equities to act as a DMM unit.

    8 As defined in Rule 98(b)(2), the term “DMM securities” means any securities allocated to the DMM unit pursuant to Rule 103B—Equities or other applicable rules.

    Rule 98(c)(5) provides that a member organization must provide the Exchange with real-time net position information for trading in DMM securities by the DMM unit and any independent trading unit of which it is a part, at such times and in the manner prescribed by the Exchange. Rule 98(d) further specifies that the DMM rules 9 will apply only to a DMM unit's quoting or trading in its DMM securities for its own accounts at the Exchange. Accordingly, the DMM rules do not apply to any customer orders that a member organization that operates a DMM unit sends to the Exchange as agent.10

    9 As defined in Rule 98(b)(3), the term “DMM rules” means any rules that govern DMM or DMM unit conduct or trading.

    10See 2014 Notice, supra note 5 [sic] at 19137 (specifying that Rule 98(d) was added because DMM rules are not applicable to any customer orders routed to the Exchange by a member organization as agent).

    Because Rule 98(c)(4) currently requires that any interest entered into Exchange systems by the DMM unit in DMM securities be identifiable as DMM interest, a DMM unit integrated with a customer-facing unit that would send customer orders in DMM securities to the Exchange as proprietary interest must identify it as DMM interest. As a result, although agency orders are not subject to DMM rules, customer-driven interest entered on a proprietary basis is subject to all DMM rules.

    To date, none of the member organizations operating a DMM have integrated a DMM unit with a customer-facing trading unit and the Exchange believes that the current rule requiring customer-driven orders that are represented on a proprietary basis be designated as DMM interest has served as a barrier to achieving such integration.11 Specifically, there are certain scenarios when the rules governing DMMs may conflict with a member organization's obligations to its customers. For example, DMMs are not permitted to enter Market Orders, MOO Orders, CO Orders, MOC Order, LOC Orders, or orders with Sell “Plus”—Buy “Minus” Instructions.12 But to meet customer instructions, a customer-driven order entered by a member organization on a proprietary basis may need to be one of these order types. As another example, DMMs are restricted from engaging in specified trading in the last ten minutes of trading before the close of trading.13 But a member organization may have a best execution obligation to route a customer-driven order to the Exchange in the last ten minutes of trading.

    11 The Exchange understands it is a common practice among market makers that operate as wholesalers, and thus have their own customer orders as well as retail order flow from another broker dealer, to facilitate the execution of customer order flow by representing it on a proprietary basis when such orders are routed to an exchange. Once a customer-driven order that has been represented on a proprietary basis on an exchange has been executed, the market maker uses the position acquired on the Exchange to fill the customer order either on a riskless-principal basis or with price improvement to the customer.

    12See Rule 104(b)(vi)—Equities.

    13See Rule 104(g)(i)(A)(III)—Equities (defining Prohibited Transactions). Specifically, a DMM with a long position in a security is prohibited from making a purchase in a security that results in a new high price on the Exchange for the day, and a DMM with a short position in a security is prohibited from making a sale in such security that results in a new low price for the day.

    Proposed Amendments

    The Exchange proposes to amend Rule 98 to better reflect how member organizations that integrate DMM unit operations with customer-facing operations may facilitate customer-driven order flow to the Exchange in DMM securities. As noted above, one of the intended goals of the 2014 Filing was to permit member organizations to integrate DMM unit operations with other market-making operations, including customer-facing units. However, as discussed above, subjecting customer order flow that is entered on a proprietary basis to DMM rules may be inconsistent with a member organization's obligations to its customers, and thus continue to serve as a barrier to integrating DMM units within a member organization. Accordingly, the Exchange proposes to amend Rule 98 to facilitate better integration of DMM units with a member organization's existing customer-facing market-making trading units by specifying that, as with agency orders, customer-driven orders that are entered on a proprietary basis by the DMM unit would not be required to be designated as DMM interest.

    The Exchange proposes to amend Rule 98 to provide that proprietary interest that is entered by a DMM unit for the purposes of facilitating customer orders would not be required to be designated as DMM interest. The Exchange proposes to replace the phrase “any interest” with the phrase “proprietary interest” in Rule 98(c)(4) to clarify that the existing rule only governs proprietary interest of a DMM unit, i.e., interest for the account of the member organization. As further proposed, the Exchange would amend Rule 98(c)(4) to provide that proprietary interest entered into Exchange systems by the DMM unit in DMM securities would not be required to be identifiable as DMM unit interest if such interest is (1) on a riskless principal basis, or on a principal basis to provide price improvement to the customer, and (2) for the purposes of facilitating the execution of an order received from a customer (whether its own customer or the customer of another broker-dealer). The Exchange proposes to define such interest as a “customer-driven order.”

    The proposed definition of “customer-driven order” is not a novel concept in that other SROs rules define the concept of a proprietary order being entered to facilitate a customer order. For example, Supplementary Material .03 to FINRA Rule 5320 defines the term “facilitated order” to mean a proprietary trade that is for the purposes of facilitating the execution, on a riskless principal basis, of an order from a customer (whether its own customer or another broker-dealer).14 The Exchange proposes a distinction for the definition of “customer-driven order” in Rule 98 as compared to the Rule 5320 definition of “facilitated order” because, as proposed, a customer-driven order could be entered, not only on a riskless principal basis, but also on a principal basis so the member organization could provide price improvement to the customer. In either case, the member organization entering the customer-driven order would need to have received a customer order before entering a customer-driven order at the Exchange.15

    14See also Supplementary Material .03 to Rule 5320—Equities.

    15 If a customer-driven order, as defined in Rule 98(c)(4), is not handled on a riskless principal basis, it would not be eligible for the riskless principal exception to the prohibition against trading ahead of customer orders as specified in Rule 5320—Equities.

    The proposed rule change is designed to reflect how member organizations handle customer orders, which in many circumstances, are routed to an exchange on a proprietary basis to facilitate execution of a customer's order. Therefore, the Exchange believes that the proposed amendment is consistent with the current rule, which does not require agency orders entered by the member organization that operates a DMM unit to be subject to DMM rules.16

    16See supra note 10.

    The Exchange further proposes to amend Rule 98(c)(4) to specify that a DMM unit must use unique mnemonics that identify to the Exchange its customer-driven orders in DMM securities. Such mnemonics may not be used for trading activity at the Exchange in DMM securities that are not customer-driven orders, but may be used for trading activities in securities not assigned to the DMM. The Exchange believes that requiring a separate mnemonic for customer-driven orders would assist the Exchange in monitoring DMM unit compliance with the proposed rule.17

    17 The Exchange requires a member to use a different mnemonic for its SLP-Prop trading activity in assigned SLP securities than it uses for such member's trading in assigned SLP securities that is not SLP-Prop trading. Using different mnemonics allows the Exchange to identify SLP-Prop trading activity in a member organization's assigned SLP securities. A member organization may use the same mnemonic for its trading activity in securities not assigned to an SLP as it uses for its SLP-Prop trading in assigned SLP securities. See Rule 107B(c)(2)—Equities.

    The Exchange further proposes to amend Rule 98(d) to specify which rules would be applicable to trading by the DMM unit. As proposed, the rules, fees, or credits applicable to DMM quoting or trading activity would apply only to a DMM unit's quoting or trading in its DMM securities for its own account at the Exchange that has been identified as DMM interest. In addition, consistent with the proposal that customer-driven orders would not be required to be designated as DMM interest, the Exchange proposes to add text to Rule 98(d) to state that customer-driven orders for the account of a DMM unit that have not been identified as DMM interest would not be subject to DMM rules or be eligible for any fees or credits applicable to DMM quoting or trading activity.18 In addition, such customer-driven orders could not be aggregated with interest that has been identified as DMM interest for purposes of any DMM-related fees or credits or DMM quoting obligations specified in Rule 104(a). This proposed rule text would provide that customer-driven orders not designated as DMM interest would not be subject to DMM rules, which, as described above, include restrictions on availability of certain order types and entry of specified orders during the last ten minutes of trading. Because a customer-driven order that has not been designated as DMM interest would not be subject to DMM rules, it would also not be eligible for a parity allocation applicable for DMMs pursuant to Rule 72(c) or be used to assist a DMM in meeting its quoting or market maintenance obligations, or be eligible for DMM fees or credits.

    18 Customer-driven orders would be eligible for any fees or credits applicable to equity transactions at the Exchange that are not DMM or Floor broker trades. See NYSE MKT Equities Price List, available here: https://www.nyse.com/publicdocs/nyse/markets/nyse-mkt/NYSE_MKT_Equities_Price_List.pdf.

    The Rule 98(c)(5) obligation to provide the Exchange with real-time net position information in DMM securities would continue to be applicable to the DMM unit's position in DMM securities together with any position of a Regulation SHO independent trading unit of which the DMM unit may be included, regardless of whether they are positions resulting from trades in away markets, trades as a result of DMM interest entered at the Exchange, or customer-driven orders routed to the Exchange that were not identified as DMM interest.19 For example, if a DMM unit is combined with market-making desks that are trading on away markets and that route customer-driven orders to the Exchange in DMM securities that are not identified as DMM interest, the member organization would be required to report the position of the entire DMM unit in DMM securities, not only the DMM's Exchange-traded positions resulting from DMM interest. The Exchange also proposes a non-substantive amendment to Rule 98(c)(5) to delete the term “for trading,” which the Exchange believes is extraneous rule text.

    19 Under Regulation SHO, determination of a seller's net position is based on the seller's position in the security in all of its accounts, absent aggregation unit treatment under Rule 200(f) of Regulation SHO. See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 50103 (July 28, 2004), 69 FR 48008, 48010, n.22 (Aug. 6, 2004); see also Securities Exchange Act Release No. 48709 (Oct. 29, 2003), 68 FR 62972, 62991 and 62994 (Nov. 6, 2003); Letter from Richard R. Lindsey, Director, Division of Market Regulation, to Roger D. Blanc, Wilkie Farr & Gallagher, SEC No-Action Letter, 1998 SEC No-Act. LEXIS 1038, p. 5 (Nov. 23, 1998); Securities Exchange Act Release No. 30772 (June 3, 1992), 57 FR 24415, 24419 n.47 (June 9, 1992); Securities Exchange Act Release No. 27938 (Apr. 23, 1990), 55 FR 17949, 17950 (Apr. 30, 1990). The Commission adopted a narrow exception to Regulation SHO's “locate” requirement only for market makers engaged in bona-fide market making in the security at the time they effect the short sale. See 17 CFR 242.203(b)(2)(iii); see also Securities Exchange Act Release No. 50103 (July 28, 2004), 69 FR 48008, 48015 (Aug. 6, 2004); Securities Exchange Act Release No. 58775 (Oct. 14, 2008), 73 FR 61690, 61698-9 (Oct. 17, 2008). Broker-dealers would not be able to rely on the Exchange's or any self-regulatory organization's designation of market marking for eligibility for the bona-fide market making exception to the “locate” requirement, as such designations are distinct and independent from Regulation SHO. Further, the Exchange's designation of proprietary interest or any exclusion from proprietary interest for purposes of NYSE rules is not relevant for purposes of Regulation SHO. Eligibility for the bona-fide market making exception depends on the facts and circumstances and a determination of bona-fide market making is based on the Commission's factors outlined in the aforementioned Regulation SHO releases. It should also be noted that a determination of bona-fide market making is relevant for the purposes of the close-out obligations under Rule 204 of Regulation SHO. See 17 CFR 242.204(a)(3).

    2. Statutory Basis

    The basis under the Act for this proposed rule change is the requirement under Section 6(b)(5) 20 that an Exchange have rules that are designed to promote the just and equitable principles of trade, 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. The Exchange believes that the proposed rule change would remove impediments to and perfect the mechanism of a free and open market by providing greater specificity in Rule 98 regarding which proprietary interest would be required to be entered as DMM interest.

    20 15 U.S.C. 78f(b)(5).

    The Exchange believes that the proposed amendment to define the term “customer-driven order” to be proprietary interest of a DMM that is for the purposes of facilitating the execution of an order received from a customer (whether its own customer or the customer of another broker-dealer) on a riskless principal basis or on a principal basis to provide price improvement to the customer reflects the current reality of how broker-dealers facilitate customer orders that are routed to an exchange. Specifically, after receiving a customer order, such customer order is routed to an exchange on a proprietary basis, and once an execution is received from an exchange, the execution is provided to the customer either on a riskless principal basis or with price improvement. Facilitating customer orders on a proprietary basis is not a novel concept and serves as the basis of the definition of the term “facilitated order” in Supplementary Material .03 to FINRA Rule 5320. While the Exchange proposes that customer-driven orders for the purposes of Rule 98 would not be required to be executed only on a riskless principal basis, but could also be executed on a principal basis to provide price improvement to the customer, this difference does not alter the premise of how member organizations facilitate customer orders, as already established in Rule 5320.03. Because the proposed definition is narrowly defined to reflect how customer orders are facilitated on a proprietary basis when routed to an exchange, the Exchange believes that the proposed amendment to Rule 98(c)(4) to define the term “customer-driven order” would remove impediments to and perfect the mechanism of a free and open market.

    The Exchange believes that requiring a DMM unit to use unique mnemonics to identify customer-driven orders in DMM securities would promote just and equitable principles of trade because requiring such orders to be entered using unique mnemonics would assist the Exchange in monitoring DMM unit compliance with the proposed rule.

    The Exchange further believes that providing DMM units with a choice of whether to designate a customer-driven order as DMM interest would remove impediments to and perfect the mechanism of a free and open market because certain DMM rules may conflict with a broker-dealer's obligation to its customers. As discussed in the 2014 Filing, agency orders entered by a member organization that operates a DMM unit are not subject to DMM rules.21 Yet, if that same customer order were routed to the Exchange on a proprietary basis, which is the manner by which broker-dealers may handle customer order flow, it would be subject to DMM rules. Accordingly, because Rule 98 does not currently require agency flow to be subject to DMM rules, the Exchange believes it is consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest that agency flow that is facilitated by a member organization on a proprietary basis at the Exchange would similarly not be required to be subject to DMM rules.

    21See supra note 10.

    The proposed rule change would further be consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest because it would enable customer-driven orders to not be subject to DMM rules and eliminate any conflict with customer instructions or best execution obligations. The Exchange notes that this proposed rule change would not alter in any way a member organization's existing obligations under Section 15(g) of the Act,22 Regulation SHO,23 Rule 5320, or to maintain policies and procedures to assure that a member organization does not engage in any frontrunning of customer order information in violation of Exchange, FINRA, or federal securities laws.

    22 15 U.S.C. 78o(g).

    23 17 CFR 242.201.

    The Exchange further believes that the proposed amendments to Rule 98(d) would remove impediments to and perfect the mechanism of a free and open market by promoting transparency in Exchange rules regarding which rules, fees or credits applicable to DMM quoting or trading activity would be applicable to which interest. More specifically, the Exchange believes that it would remove impediments to and perfect the mechanism of a free and open market to provide specificity in Exchange rules that customer-driven orders that have not been designated as DMM interest would not be subject to the DMM rules and also would not be eligible for DMM fees or credits or to be aggregated with DMM interest for purposes of any DMM-related fees or credits or DMM quoting obligations.

    Finally, the Exchange believes that the proposed amendment to Rule 98(c)(5) would remove impediments to and perfect the mechanism of a free and open market by removing extraneous rule text, thus promoting simplicity in Exchange rules.

    B. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Burden on Competition

    The Exchange does not believe that the proposed rule change will impose any burden on competition that is not necessary or appropriate in furtherance of the purposes of the Act. The proposed rule change is designed to be pro-competitive because it would remove a restriction unique to DMMs as specified in Rule 98, thus enabling existing customer-facing market making units to operate as a DMM unit at the Exchange without needing to change the manner by which they may facilitate customer orders on a proprietary basis at an exchange. The proposed rule change would also harmonize the Exchange's rules with recently approved amendments to NYSE Rule 98.24

    24See NYSE Rule 98 Approval Order, supra note 5.

    C. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Comments on the Proposed Rule Change Received From Members, Participants, or Others

    No written comments were solicited or received with respect to the proposed rule change.

    III. Date of Effectiveness of the Proposed Rule Change and Timing for Commission Action

    The Exchange has filed the proposed rule change pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A) of the Act 25 and Rule 19b-4(f)(6) thereunder.26 Because the 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 prior to 30 days from the date on which it was filed, or such shorter time as the Commission may designate, if consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest, the proposed rule change has become effective pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A) of the Act and Rule 19b-4(f)(6)(iii) thereunder.

    25 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(3)(A).

    26 17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(6). In addition, Rule 19b-4(f)(6)(iii) requires the Exchange to give the Commission written notice of the Exchange's intent to file the proposed rule change, along with a brief description and 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. The Exchange has satisfied this requirement.

    A proposed rule change filed under Rule 19b-4(f)(6) 27 normally does not become operative prior to 30 days after the date of the filing. However, pursuant to Rule 19b4(f)(6)(iii),28 the Commission may 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 immediately upon filing. The Exchange notes that the merits of the proposed rule change have already been considered by the Commission in the context of a substantively identical filing by the NYSE, which the Commission approved.29 The Exchange also believes that waiver is appropriate so that DMM units that are registered in both Exchange-listed and NYSE-listed securities will again, without delay, be subject to consistent rules across the two exchanges. The Commission believes that the proposed rule change is consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest, because the proposal is substantively identical to the NYSE proposal that was recently approved by the Commission, and because waiver of the operative delay will provide for consistent rules between NYSE and the Exchange. Accordingly, the Commission hereby waives the 30-day operative delay and designates the proposal operative upon filing.30

    27 17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(6).

    28 17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(6)(iii).

    29See NYSE Rule 98 Approval Order, supra note 5.

    30 For purposes only of accelerating the operative date of this proposal, the Commission has considered the proposed rule's impact on efficiency, competition, and capital formation. 15 U.S.C. 78c(f).

    At any time within 60 days of the filing of such 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 under Section 19(b)(2)(B) 31 of the Act to determine whether the proposed rule change should be approved or disapproved.

    31 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(2)(B).

    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-NYSEMKT-2016-51 on the subject line.

    Paper Comments

    • Send paper comments in triplicate to Brent J. Fields, Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549-1090.

    All submissions should refer to File Number SR-NYSEMKT-2016-51. This file number should be included on the subject line if email is used. To help the Commission process and review your 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 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Copies of the filing 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-NYSEMKT-2016-51 and should be submitted on or before June 7, 2016.

    For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.32

    Robert W. Errett, Deputy Secretary.

    32 17 CFR 200.30-3(a)(12).

    [FR Doc. 2016-11538 Filed 5-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8011-01-P
    SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [Release No. 34-77812; File No. SR-NYSE-2016-34] Self-Regulatory Organizations; New York Stock Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Amending Its Price List To Make a Clarifying Change Regarding the Rebate Program Recently Implemented by the Exchange for the NYSE Bonds System May 11, 2016.

    Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) 1 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Act”) 2 and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,3 notice is hereby given that, on May 3, 2016, New York Stock Exchange LLC (“NYSE” or the “Exchange”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “Commission”) the proposed rule change as described in Items I and II below, which Items have been prepared by the self-regulatory organization. The Commission is publishing this notice to solicit comments on the proposed rule change from interested persons.

    1 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(1).

    2 15 U.S.C. 78a.

    3 17 CFR 240.19b-4.

    I. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Terms of Substance of the Proposed Rule Change

    The Exchange proposes to amend its Price List to make a clarifying change regarding the rebate program recently implemented by the Exchange for the NYSE BondsSM system. The proposed rule change is available on the Exchange's Web site at www.nyse.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 self-regulatory organization 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 those 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 the Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change 1. Purpose

    The Exchange proposes to amend its Price List to make a clarifying change regarding the rebate program recently implemented by the Exchange for the NYSE Bonds system.4 The purpose of this proposed rule change is to clarify the application of the rebate program only. The Exchange is not proposing to change in any way the manner in which the rebate program operates.

    4See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 77591 (April 12, 2016), 81 FR 22656 (April 18, 2016) (SR-NYSE-2016-26).

    Pursuant to the Liquidity Provider Incentive Program, a voluntary rebate program, the Exchange pays Users 5 of NYSE Bonds a monthly rebate provided Users who opt into the rebate program meet specified quoting requirements. Under the program, the rebate payable is based on the number of CUSIPs 6 a User quotes.

    5 Rule 86(b)(2)(M) defines a User as any Member or Member Organization, Sponsored Participant, or Authorized Trader that is authorized to access NYSE Bonds.

    6 CUSIP stands for Committee on Uniform Securities Identification Procedures. A CUSIP number identifies most financial instruments, including: stocks of all registered U.S. and Canadian companies, commercial paper, and U.S. government and municipal bonds. The CUSIP system—owned by the American Bankers Association and managed by Standard & Poor's—facilitates the clearance and settlement process of securities. See http://www.sec.gov/answers/cusip.htm.

    The rebate amount is tiered based on the number of CUSIPs quoted by a User, as follows:

    Liquidity Provider Incentive Program Number of CUSIPs Monthly
  • rebate
  • 400-599 $10,000 600-799 20,000 800 or more 30,000

    To qualify for a rebate, a User is required to provide continuous two-sided quotes for at least eighty percent (80%) of the time during the Core Bond Trading Session for an entire calendar month.7 The Exchange calculates each participating User's quoting performance beginning each month on a daily basis, up to and including the last trading day of a calendar month, to determine at the end of each month each User's monthly average. Under the program, Users must provide a two-sided quote for a minimum of hundred (100) bonds per side of the market with an average spread of half-point ($0.50) or less in CUSIPs whose average maturity is at least five (5) years as of the date the User provides a quote. The Exchange proposes to make a clarifying change to the rule text to note that in order for a CUSIP to qualify for inclusion in the rebate calculation, a User must provide continuous two-sided quotes in a CUSIP, whether it's for eighty percent (80%) or fifty percent (50%) of the time, as applicable, for a minimum of hundred (100) bonds per side of the market that has an average spread of half-point ($0.50) or less and whose average maturity is at least five (5) years as of the date the User provides the quote.

    7 For the first calendar month after a User opts in, the User is required to provide continuous two-sided quotes for fifty percent (50%) of the time during the Core Bond Trading Session.

    2. Statutory Basis

    The Exchange believes that the proposed rule change is consistent with Section 6(b) of the Act,8 in general, and furthers the objectives of Sections 6(b)(4) and 6(b)(5) of the Act,9 in particular, because it provides for the equitable allocation of reasonable dues, fees, and other charges among its members, issuers and other persons using its facilities and does not unfairly discriminate between customers, issuers, brokers or dealers. The Exchange believes that the clarifying change to the current rule text is reasonable as it will clarify the application of the rebate program and will help to avoid confusion for Users that opt into the rebate program. The Exchange notes that the proposed change is not designed to amend any rebate, nor alter the manner in which it calculates rebates under the program. The Exchange believes the proposed amendment is intended to make the Price List clearer and less confusing for investors and eliminate potential investor confusion, thereby removing impediments to and perfecting the mechanism of a free and open market and a national market system, and, in general, protecting investors and the public interest.

    8 15 U.S.C. 78f(b).

    9 15 U.S.C. 78f(b)(4), (5).

    B. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Burden on Competition

    In accordance with Section 6(b)(8) of the Act,10 the Exchange believes that the proposed rule change would not impose any burden on competition that is not necessary or appropriate in furtherance of the purposes of the Act. The Exchange is proposing to make a clarifying change to the Price List that would not have any impact on competition.

    10 15 U.S.C. 78f(b)(8).

    C. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Comments on the Proposed Rule Change Received From Members, Participants, or Others

    No written comments were solicited or received with respect to 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) of the Act 11 and Rule 19b-4(f)(6) thereunder.12

    11 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(3)(A).

    12 17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(6). In addition, Rule 19b-4(f)(6)(iii) requires the Exchange to give the Commission written notice of the Exchange's intent to file the proposed rule change, along with a brief description and 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. The Exchange has satisfied this requirement.

    A proposed rule change filed pursuant to Rule 19b-4(f)(6) normally does not become operative for 30 days after the date of its filing. However, pursuant to Rule 19b-4(f)(6)(iii), the Commission may 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 immediately upon filing. The Commission believes that waiving the 30-day operative delay is consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest as it will allow the Exchange to clarify the application of its rebate program and therefore reduce confusion in the application of the Exchange's Price List. Therefore, the Commission hereby waives the operative delay and designates the proposed rule change operative upon filing.13

    13 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-NYSE-2016-34 on the subject line.

    Paper Comments

    • Send paper comments in triplicate to Brent J. Fields, Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549-1090.

    All submissions should refer to File Number SR-NYSE-2016-34. This file number should be included on the subject line if email is used. To help the Commission process and review your 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 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Copies of such filing 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-NYSE-2016-34, and should be submitted on or before June 7, 2016.

    For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.14

    14 17 CFR 200.30-3(a)(12).

    Robert W. Errett, Deputy Secretary.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11542 Filed 5-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8011-01-P
    SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION [Disaster Declaration #14708 and #14709] Texas Disaster Number TX-00468 AGENCY:

    U.S. Small Business Administration.

    ACTION:

    Amendment 2.

    SUMMARY:

    This is an amendment of the Presidential declaration of a major disaster for the State of Texas (FEMA-4269-DR), dated 04/25/2016.

    Incident: Severe Storms and Flooding.

    Incident Period: 04/17/2016 through 04/24/2016.

    Effective Date: 05/09/2016.

    Physical Loan Application Deadline Date: 06/24/2016.

    EIDL Loan Application Deadline Date: 01/25/2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit completed loan applications to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    A. Escobar, Office of Disaster Assistance, U.S. Small Business Administration, 409 3rd Street SW., Suite 6050, Washington, DC 20416.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The notice of the Presidential disaster declaration for the State of Texas, dated 04/25/2016 is hereby amended to include the following areas as adversely affected by the disaster:

    Primary Counties: (Physical Damage and Economic Injury Loans): Fort Bend, Liberty, Montgomery, San Jacinto Contiguous Counties: (Economic Injury Loans Only): Texas: Hardin, Jefferson, Polk, Trinity

    All other information in the original declaration remains unchanged.

    (Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number 59008) James E. Rivera, Associate Administrator for Disaster Assistance.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11615 Filed 5-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8025-01-P
    SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION [Disaster Declaration #14719 and #14720] New York Disaster #NY-00167 AGENCY:

    U.S. Small Business Administration.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This is a notice of an Administrative declaration of a disaster for the State of New York dated 05/10/2016.

    Incident: Multiple Apartment Buildings Fire.

    Incident Period: 03/29/2016.

    Effective Date: 05/10/2016.

    Physical Loan Application Deadline Date: 07/11/2016.

    Economic Injury (EIDL) Loan Application Deadline Date: 02/10/2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit completed loan applications to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    A. Escobar, Office of Disaster Assistance, U.S. Small Business Administration, 409 3rd Street SW., Suite 6050, Washington, DC 20416.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Notice is hereby given that as a result of the Administrator's disaster declaration, applications for disaster loans may be filed at the address listed above or other locally announced locations.

    The following areas have been determined to be adversely affected by the disaster:

    Primary Counties: Kings Contiguous Counties: New York: New York, Queens, Richmond

    The Interest Rates are:

    Percent For Physical Damage: Homeowners With Credit Available Elsewhere 3.625 Homeowners Without Credit Available Elsewhere 1.813 Businesses With Credit Available Elsewhere 6.250 Businesses Without Credit Available Elsewhere 4.000 Non-Profit Organizations With Credit Available Elsewhere 2.625 Non-Profit Organizations Without Credit Available Elsewhere 2.625 For Economic Injury: Businesses & Small Agricultural Cooperatives Without Credit Available Elsewhere 4.000 Non-Profit Organizations Without Credit Available Elsewhere 2.625

    The number assigned to this disaster for physical damage is 14719 5 and for economic injury is 14720 0.

    The State which received an EIDL Declaration # is New York.

    (Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Numbers 59008) Maria Contreras-Sweet, Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11604 Filed 5-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8025-01-P
    SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION [Disaster Declaration #14716] IDAHO Disaster #ID-00062 Declaration of Economic Injury AGENCY:

    U.S. Small Business Administration.

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This is a notice of an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) declaration for the State of IDAHO, dated 05/09/2016.

    Incident: Landslide and State Highway 14 Closure.

    Incident Period: 02/18/2016 and continuing.

    Dates:

    Effective Date: 05/09/2016.

    EIDL Loan Application Deadline Date: 02/09/2017.

    ADDRESSES:

    Submit completed loan applications to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    A. Escobar, Office of Disaster Assistance, U.S. Small Business Administration, 409 3rd Street SW., Suite 6050, Washington, DC 20416.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Notice is hereby given that as a result of the Administrator's EIDL declaration, applications for economic injury disaster loans may be filed at the address listed above or other locally announced locations.

    The following areas have been determined to be adversely affected by the disaster:

    Primary Counties: Idaho Contiguous Counties: Idaho: Adams, Clearwater, Lemhi, Lewis, Nez Perce, Valley Montana: Missoula, Ravalli Oregon: Wallowa

    The Interest Rates are:

    Percent Businesses and Small Agricultural Cooperatives Without Credit Available Elsewhere 4.000 Non-Profit Organizations Without Credit Available Elsewhere 2.625

    The number assigned to this disaster for economic injury is 147160.

    The States which received an EIDL Declaration # are Idaho, Montana, Oregon.

    (Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number 59008) Maria Contreras-Sweet, Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11600 Filed 5-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8025-01-P
    SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION [Docket No. SSA-2016-0017] Public Availability of Social Security Administration Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 Service Contract Inventory AGENCY:

    Social Security Administration.

    ACTION:

    Notice of public availability of FY 2015 Service Contract inventories.

    SUMMARY:

    In accordance with section 743 of Division C of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2010 (Pub. L. 111-117), we are publishing this notice to advise the public of the availability of the FY 2015 Service Contract inventory. This inventory provides information on FY 2015 service contract actions over $25,000. We organized the information by function to show how we distribute contracted resources throughout the agency. We developed the inventory in accordance with guidance issued on December 19, 2011 by the Office of Management and Budget's Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP). OFPP's guidance is available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/procurement/memo/service-contract-inventory-guidance.pdf. You can access the inventory and summary of the inventory on our homepage at the following link: http://www.socialsecurity.gov/sci.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Maria Radvansky, Office of Budget, Social Security Administration, 6401 Security Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21235-6401. Phone (410) 965-4696, email [email protected]

    Patrick Perzan, Deputy Associate Commissioner, Office of Budget, Office of Budget, Finance, Quality, and Management.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11576 Filed 5-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4191-02-P
    DEPARTMENT OF STATE [Public Notice: 9563] Section 7058(c) Determination for Zika Virus SUMMARY:

    Pursuant to section 7058(c) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Appropriations Act, 2015 (Div. J, Pub. L. 113-235) and the authority delegated to her by the Secretary of State under Delegation of Authority 245-1, notice is hereby given that, on April 5, 2016, Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources Heather Higginbottom has determined that an international outbreak of the Zika virus is sustained, severe, and is spreading internationally, and that it is in the national interest to respond to the related Public Health Emergency of International Concern.

    For Further Information, Please Contact:

    Aditi Nigam, U.S. Department of State, 2201 C Street NW., Washington, DC 20520, (202) 647-4029, [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Section 7058(c) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2015 (Div. J, P.L. 113-235) provides that:

    If the Secretary of State determines and reports to the Committees on Appropriations that an international infectious disease outbreak is sustained, severe, and is spreading internationally, or that it is in the national interest to respond to a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, funds made available under title III of this Act may be made available to combat such infectious disease or public health emergency: Provided, That funds made available pursuant to the authority of this subsection shall be subject to prior consultation with, and the regular notification procedures of, the Committees on Appropriations.

    Exercising this authority with respect to the Zika virus outbreak allows funds made available in the bilateral economic assistance accounts in the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2015 to be used to respond to the Zika outbreak.

    Dated: May 10, 2016. Jonathan A. Margolis, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Science, Technology and Health, Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11624 Filed 5-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4710-09-P
    DEPARTMENT OF STATE [Public Notice: 9562] 30-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Reporting Requirements on Responsible Investment in Burma ACTION:

    Notice of request for public comment and submission to OMB of proposed collection of information.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of State has submitted the information collection described below to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for approval. In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 we are requesting comments on this collection from all interested individuals and organizations. The purpose of this Notice is to allow 30 days for public comment.

    DATES:

    Submit comments directly to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) up to June 16, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Direct comments to the Department of State Desk Officer in the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). You may submit comments by the following methods:

    Email: [email protected] You must include the DS form number, information collection title, and the OMB control number in the subject line of your message.

    Fax: 202-395-5806. Attention: Desk Officer for Department of State.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Direct requests for additional information regarding the collection listed in this notice, including requests for copies of the proposed collection instrument and supporting documents, to Stacey May, U.S. Department of State, DRL/EAP Suite 7817, 2201 C St. NW., Washington, DC 20520, who may be reached on 202-647-8260 or at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title of Information Collection: Reporting Requirements on Responsible Investment in Burma.

    OMB Control Number: 1405-0209.

    Type of Request: Extension of a Currently Approved Collection.

    Originating Office: Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor Multilateral and Global Affairs (DRL/MLGA).

    Form Number: No form.

    Respondents: U.S. persons and entities engaged in new investment in Burma in an amount over $500,000 in aggregate, per OFAC General License 17, which authorizes new investment in Burma.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 150.

    Estimated Number of Responses: 150.

    Average Time per Response: 21 hours.

    Total Estimated Burden Time: 3,150 hours.

    Frequency: Within 180 days of new investment in Burma over $500,000, annually thereafter.

    Obligation to Respond: Mandatory.

    We are soliciting public comments to permit the Department to:

    • Evaluate whether the proposed information collection is necessary for the proper functions of the Department.

    • Evaluate the accuracy of our estimate of the time and cost burden for this proposed collection, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used.

    • Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected.

    • Minimize the reporting burden on those who are to respond, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Please note that comments submitted in response to this Notice are public record. Before including any detailed personal information, you should be aware that your comments as submitted, including your personal information, will be available for public review.

    Abstract of Proposed Collection

    Section 203(a)(1)(B) of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) grants the President authority to, inter alia, prevent or prohibit any acquisition or transaction involving any property, in which a foreign country or a national thereof has any interest, by any person, or with respect to any property, subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, if the President declares a national emergency with respect to any unusual and extraordinary threat, which has its source in whole or substantial part outside the United States, to the national security, foreign policy, or economy of the United States. See 50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.

    In Executive Order 13047 of May 20, 1997, the President determined that the actions and policies of the Government of Burma, including its large-scale repression of the democratic opposition in Burma, constituted an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States, declared a national emergency to deal with that threat, and prohibited new investment in Burma. In subsequent Executive Orders, the President modified the scope of the national emergency to address additional concerns with the actions and policies of the Government of Burma. In Executive Order 13448 of October 18, 2007, the President modified the emergency to address the continued repression of the democratic opposition in Burma, manifested in part through the commission of human rights abuses and pervasive public corruption. In Executive Order 13619 of July 11, 2012, the President further modified the emergency to address, inter alia, human rights abuses particularly in ethnic areas.

    In response to several political reforms by the Government of Burma and pursuant to authority granted by IEEPA, the Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issued a general license (GL 17) on July 11, 2012 authorizing new investment in Burma, subject to certain restrictions and conditions.

    In order to support the Department of State's efforts to assess the extent to which new U.S. investment authorized by GL 17 furthers U.S. foreign policy goals of improving human rights protections and facilitating political reform in Burma, GL 17 requires U.S. persons engaging in new investment in Burma to report to the Department of State information related to such investment, as laid out in the “Reporting Requirements on Responsible Investment in Burma,” (hereafter referred to as the “collection”). This collection is authorized by section 203(a)(2) of IEEPA, which grants the President authority to keep a full record of, and to furnish under oath, in the form of reports or otherwise, complete information relative to any act or transaction referred to in section 203(a)(1) of IEEPA.

    Methodology

    The Department of State will collect the information requested via electronic submission.

    Additional Information

    It is the overarching policy goal of the U.S. Government to support political reform in Burma towards the establishment of a peaceful, prosperous, and democratic state that respects human rights and the rule of law. In the past, some foreign investment in Burma has been linked to human rights abuses, particularly in the area of natural resource development in ethnic minority regions. For example, some foreign investments have entailed acquisition and control of land in disputed ethnic minority territories exacerbating or contributing to both social unrest and armed conflict and leading to adverse community and/or environmental impacts. Increased military/security presence, particularly in disputed ethnic minority areas, to provide security for foreign investment projects is reported to have led to seizures of farm land, involuntary relocations, forced labor, torture, summary execution, and sexual violence.

    The collection will help the Department of State, in consultation with other relevant government agencies, to evaluate whether easing the ban on investment by U.S. persons advances U.S. foreign policy goals to address the national emergency with respect to Burma. In addition, the Department of State will use the collection as a basis to conduct informed consultations with U.S. businesses to encourage and assist such businesses to develop robust policies and procedures to address any potential adverse human rights, worker rights, anti-corruption, environmental, or other impacts resulting from their investments and operations in Burma. The Department of State will use the collection of information about new investment with the Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE) to track investment that involves MOGE and to identify investors with whom it may be beneficial to have targeted consultation on anti-corruption and human rights policies. The public, including civil society actors in Burma, may use publicly available information resulting from the collection to engage U.S. businesses on their responsible investment policies and procedures and to monitor the Burmese government's management of revenues from investment.

    U.S. persons to whom this requirement applies will be required to submit a version of the report to the U.S. Government for public release, from which information considered in good faith to be exempt from disclosure under FOIA Exemption 4—i.e. trade secrets or commercial or financial information that is privileged or confidential—may be withheld. The Department of State will make this version of the report publically available in order to promote transparency with respect to new U.S. investments in Burma. In the past, the absence of transparency or publicly available information with respect to foreign investment activities in Burma has contributed to corruption and misuse of public funds, the erosion of public trust, and social unrest in ethnic minority areas and has led to further human rights abuses and repression by the government and military. Public disclosure of certain aspects of the collection therefore will promote the policy of transparency through new U.S. investment, a key U.S. foreign policy objective in Burma.

    Burmese civil society groups, particularly those representing ethnic minority communities, have requested that the Department of State make public certain information obtained through the collection on investments purportedly made for the benefit of the Burmese people, as a means of holding their own government accountable. Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, leader of Burma's democratic opposition party and recently elected to a seat in Burma's parliament, also underscored the importance of transparency in her recent remarks in Bangkok, noting that she did not want “more investment to mean more possibilities for corruption.” This was among the most specific of the recommendations she made to the international community, stressing that “Transparency is very important if we are going to avoid problems in the future . . . So whatever investments, governmental agreements, whatever aid might be proposed, please make sure that it is transparent, that the people of Burma are in a position to understand what has been done, and how and for whom the benefits are intended.”

    Therefore public release of portions of this collection is aimed at providing civil society this type of information to both ensure the transparency of U.S. investment in Burma and to encourage civil society to partner with their government and U.S. companies towards building responsible investment, which ultimately promotes U.S. foreign policy goals.

    Susan O'Sullivan, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary, Department of State.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11707 Filed 5-13-16; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 4710-18-P
    DEPARTMENT OF STATE [Public Notice: 9565] 60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: Technology Security/Clearance Plans, Screening Records, and Non-Disclosure Agreements ACTION:

    Notice of request for public comment.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of State is seeking Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval for the information collection described below. In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, we are requesting comments on this collection from all interested individuals and organizations. The purpose of this notice is to allow 60 days for public comment preceding submission of the collection to OMB.

    DATES:

    The Department will accept comments from the public up to July 18, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments by any of the following methods:

    Web: Persons with access to the Internet may comment on this notice by going to www.Regulations.gov. You can search for the document by entering “Docket Number: DOS-2016-0027” in the Search field. Then click the “Comment Now” button and complete the comment form.

    Email: [email protected].

    Regular Mail: Send written comments to: PM/DDTC, SA-1, 12th Floor, Directorate of Defense Trade Controls, Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, U.S. Department of State, Washington, DC 20522-0112.

    You must include the DS form number (if applicable), information collection title, and the OMB control number in any correspondence.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Direct requests for additional information regarding the collection listed in this notice to: Steve Derscheid—PM/DDTC, SA-1, 12th Floor, Directorate of Defense Trade Controls, Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, U.S. Department of State, Washington, DC 20522-0112, who may be reached via email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title of Information Collection: Technology Security/Clearance Plans, Screening Records, and Non-Disclosure Agreements Pursuant to 22 CFR 126.18(c)(2).

    OMB Control Number: 1405-0195.

    Type of Request: Extension of Currently Approved Collection.

    Originating Office: Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (PM/DDTC).

    Form Number: No form.

    Respondents: Business and Nonprofit Organizations.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 10,000.

    Estimated Number of Responses: 10,000.

    Average Time per Response: 10 hours.

    Total Estimated Burden Time: 100,000 hours.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Obligation to Respond: Mandatory.

    We are soliciting public comments to permit the Department to:

    • Evaluate whether the proposed information collection is necessary for the proper functions of the Department.

    • Evaluate the accuracy of our estimate of the time and cost burden for this proposed collection, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used.

    • Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected.

    • Minimize the reporting burden on those who are to respond, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Please note that comments submitted in response to this Notice are public record. Before including any detailed personal information, you should be aware that your comments as submitted, including your personal information, will be available for public review.

    Abstract of Proposed Collection

    The export, temporary import, and brokering of defense articles, defense services, and related technical data are licensed by the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) in accordance with the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (“ITAR,” 22 CFR parts 120-130) and section 38 of the Arms Export Control Act.

    ITAR § 126.18 eliminates, subject to certain conditions, the requirement for an approval by DDTC of the transfer of unclassified defense articles, which includes technical data, to or within a foreign business entity, foreign governmental entity, or international organization that is an authorized end-user or consignee (including transfers to approved sub-licensees) for defense articles, including the transfer to dual nationals or third-country nationals who are bona fide regular employees directly employed by the foreign consignee or end-user.

    To use ITAR § 126.18, effective procedures must be in place to prevent diversion to any destination, entity, or for purposes other than those authorized by the applicable export license or other authorization. Those conditions can be met by requiring a security clearance approved by the host nation government for its employees, or the end-user or consignee have in place a process to screen all its employees and to have executed a Non-Disclosure Agreement that provides assurances that the employee will not transfer any defense articles to persons or entities unless specifically authorized by the consignee or end-user. ITAR § 126.18(c)(2) also provides that the technology security/clearance plans and screening records shall be made available to DDTC or its agents for law enforcement purposes upon request.

    Methodology

    When information kept on file pursuant to this recordkeeping requirement is required to be sent to the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls, it may be sent electronically or by mail according to guidance given by DDTC.

    Dated: May 11, 2016. Lisa Aguirre, Managing Director, Directorate of Defense Trade Controls, Department of State.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11620 Filed 5-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4710-25-P
    DEPARTMENT OF STATE [Public Notice: 9564] 60-Day Notice of Proposed Information Collection: U.S. Passport Renewal Application for Eligible Individuals ACTION:

    Notice of request for public comment.

    SUMMARY:

    The Department of State is seeking Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval for the information collection described below. In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, we are requesting comments on this collection from all interested individuals and organizations. The purpose of this notice is to allow 60 days for public comment preceding submission of the collection to OMB.

    DATES:

    The Department will accept comments from the public up to July 18, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    You may submit comments by any of the following methods:

    Web: Persons with access to the Internet may comment on this notice by going to www.Regulations.gov. You can search for the document by entering “Docket Number: DOS-2016-0025” in the Search field. Then click the “Comment Now” button and complete the comment form.

    Email: [email protected]

    You must include the DS form number (if applicable), information collection title, and the OMB control number in any correspondence.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Direct requests for additional information regarding the collection listed in this notice, including requests for copies of the proposed collection instrument and supporting documents, to PPT Forms Officer, U.S. Department of State, CA/PPT/S/L, 44132 Mercure Cir., P.O. Box 1227, Sterling, VA 20166-1227, or at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title of Information Collection: U.S. Passport Renewal Application for Eligible Individuals.

    OMB Control Number: 1405-0020.

    Type of Request: Revision of a Currently Approved Collection.

    Originating Office: Bureau of Consular Affairs, Passport Services, Office of Legal Affairs and Law Enforcement Liaison (CA/PPT/S/L).

    Form Number: DS-82.

    Respondents: Individuals applying for a U.S. passport.

    Estimated Number of Respondents: 7,261,667.

    Estimated Number of Responses: 7,261,667.

    Average Time per Response: 40 Minutes.

    Total Estimated Burden Time: 4,841,111 hours.

    Frequency: On occasion.

    Obligation to Respond: Required to Obtain a Benefit.

    We are soliciting public comments to permit the Department to:

    • Evaluate whether the proposed information collection is necessary for the proper functions of the Department.

    • Evaluate the accuracy of our estimate of the time and cost burden for this proposed collection, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used.

    • Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected.

    • Minimize the reporting burden on those who are to respond, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    Please note that comments submitted in response to this Notice are public record. Before including any detailed personal information, you should be aware that your comments as submitted, including your personal information, will be available for public review.

    Abstract of Proposed Collection

    The information collected on the DS-82 is used to facilitate the issuance of passports to U.S. citizens and nationals. The primary purpose of soliciting the information is to establish citizenship, identity, and entitlement to the issuance of the U.S. passport or related service, and to properly administer and enforce the laws pertaining to the issuance thereof.

    The DS-82 solicits data necessary for Passport Services to issue a United States passport (book and/or card format) in the exercise of authorities granted to the Secretary of State in 22 United States Code (U.S.C.) section 211a et seq. and Executive Order (EO) 11295 (August 5, 1966) for the issuance of passports to U.S. nationals.

    The issuance of U.S. passports requires the determination of identity, nationality, and entitlement, with reference to the provisions of title III of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) (8 U.S.C. 1401-1504), the 14th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, other applicable treaties and laws and implementing regulations at 22 CFR part 50 and 51. The specific regulations pertaining to the Application for a U.S. Passport by Mail are at 22 CFR 51.20 and 51.21

    Methodology

    Passport Services collects information from U.S. citizens and non-citizen nationals who complete and submit the U.S. Passport Renewal Application. Passport applicants can either download the DS-82 from the internet or obtain one from an Acceptance Facility/Passport Agency. The form must be completed, signed, and submitted along with the applicant's previous U.S. passport.

    U.S. citizens overseas may download the DS-82 from the Internet or obtain one from the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate, along with the procedures to be followed when applying overseas.

    Additional Information

    The Privacy Act statement has been amended to clarify that an applicant's failure to provide his or her Social Security number may result in the denial of an application, consistent with section 32101 of the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act (Pub. L. 114-94), which authorizes the Department to deny U.S. passport applications when the applicant failed to include his or her Social Security number. It also makes clear that failure to include one's Social Security number may also subject the applicant to a penalty enforced by the International Revenue Service. These requirements and the underlying legal authorities are further described on page 3 of the instructions titled “Federal Tax Law” which has also been amended to include a reference to Public Law 114-94.

    Dated: May 9, 2016. Brenda S. Sprague, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Passport Services, Bureau of Consular Affairs, Department of State.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11623 Filed 5-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4710-06-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Aviation Administration Agency Information Collection Activities: Requests for Comments; Clearance of Renewed Approval of Information Collection: Application for Employment With the Federal Aviation Administration; Withdrawal AGENCY:

    Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice and request for comments; withdrawal.

    SUMMARY:

    This action withdraws the Notice to collect information to process and report Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) airborne and ground based observations by the public of drone behavior that they consider suspicious or illegal. The document contained errors, and needs further clarification.

    DATES:

    May 17, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Ronda Thompson, Room 441, Federal Aviation Administration, ASP-110, 950 L'Enfant Plaza SW., Washington, DC 20024, by phone at (202) 267-1416, or by email at [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    The FAA published in the Federal Register of May 10, 2016 (81 FR 28930) a Notice and request for comments on the FAA's intention to request Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval for a new information collection to process and report UAS airborne and ground based observations by the public of drone behavior that they consider suspicious or illegal. The Notice and request for comments contained errors; therefore the Notice and request for comments is being withdrawn.

    The Withdrawal

    In consideration of the foregoing, the Notice and request for comments as published in the Federal Register of May 10, 2016 (81 FR 28930) FR Doc. 2016-10976, is hereby withdrawn.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on May 12, 2016. Lorelei Peter, Assistant Chief Counsel for Regulations.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11573 Filed 5-12-16; 11:15 am] BILLING CODE 4910-13-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Highway Administration Buy America Waiver Notification AGENCY:

    Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Department of Transportation (DOT).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice provides information regarding FHWA's finding that a Buy America waiver is appropriate for the obligation of Federal-aid funds for 34 State projects involving the acquisition of vehicles and equipment on the condition that they be assembled in the U.S.

    DATES:

    The effective date of the waiver is May 18, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For questions about this notice, please contact Mr. Gerald Yakowenko, FHWA Office of Program Administration, telephone 202-366-1562, or via email at [email protected]. For legal questions, please contact Ms. Jennifer Mayo, FHWA Office of the Chief Counsel, 202-366-1523, or via email at [email protected]. Office hours for the FHWA are from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., e.t., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Electronic Access

    An electronic copy of this document may be downloaded from the Federal Register's Web site at http://www.archives.gov and the Government Printing Office's database at http://www.access.thefederalregister.org/nara.

    Background

    This notice provides information regarding FHWA's finding that a Buy America waiver is appropriate for the obligation of Federal-aid funds for 34 State projects involving the acquisition of vehicles (including sedans, vans, pickups, trucks, buses, and street sweepers) and equipment (such as trail grooming equipment) on the condition that they be assembled in the U.S. The waiver would apply to approximately 2,528 vehicles and equipment acquisitions. The requests for the fourth quarter of calendar year 2015, available at http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/construction/contracts/cmaq160317.cfm, are incorporated by reference into this notice. These projects are being undertaken to implement air quality improvement, safety, and mobility goals under FHWA's Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program and the Recreational Trails Program.

    Title 23, section 635.410, Code of Federal Regulations (23 CFR 635.410) requires that steel or iron materials (including protective coatings) that will be permanently incorporated in a Federal-aid project must be manufactured in the U.S. For FHWA, this means that all the processes that modified the chemical content, physical shape or size, or final finish of the material (from initial melting and mixing, continuing through the bending and coating) occurred in the U.S. The statute and regulations create a process for granting waivers from the Buy America requirements when its application would be inconsistent with the public interest or when satisfactory quality domestic steel and iron products are not sufficiently available.

    In 1983, FHWA determined that it was both in the public interest and consistent with the legislative intent to waive Buy America for manufactured products other than steel manufactured products. However, FHWA's national waiver for manufactured products does not apply to the requests in this notice because they involve predominately steel and iron manufactured products. The FHWA's Buy America requirements do not have special provisions for applying Buy America to “rolling stock” such as vehicles or vehicle components (see 49 U.S.C. 5323(j)(2)(C), 49 CFR 661.11, and 49 U.S.C. 24405(a)(2)(C) for examples of Buy America rolling stock provisions for other DOT agencies).

    Based on all the information available to the agency, FHWA concludes that there are no domestic manufacturers that produce the vehicles and vehicle components identified in this notice in such a way that their steel and iron elements are manufactured domestically. The FHWA's Buy America requirements were tailored to the types of products that are typically used in highway construction, which generally meet the requirement that steel and iron materials be manufactured domestically. In today's global industry, vehicles are assembled with iron and steel components that are manufactured all over the world. The FHWA is not aware of any domestically produced vehicle on the market that meets FHWA's Buy America requirement to have all its iron and steel be manufactured exclusively in the U.S. For example, the Chevrolet Volt, which was identified by many commenters in a November 21, 2011, Federal Register Notice (76 FR 72027) as a car that is made in the U.S., is comprised of only 45 percent of U.S. and Canadian content according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's part 583 American Automobile Labeling Act Report Web page (http://www.nhtsa.gov/Laws+&+Regulations/Part+583+American+Automobile+Labeling+Act+(AALA)+Reports). Moreover, there is no indication of how much of this 45 percent content is U.S. manufactured (from initial melting and mixing) iron and steel content.

    In accordance with Division K, section 122 of the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2015 (Pub. L. 113-235), FHWA published a notice of intent to issue a waiver on its Web site at http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/construction/contracts/waivers.cfm?id=119 on March 17th. The FHWA received 11 comments in response to the publication. Three commenters support granting the waiver and stated that “the vehicles represent an ideal way for domestic clean fuel to be used and help air quality, economic security, and the regions.” Five commenters opposed granting the waiver and three commenters provided general comments suggesting that: (1) Buy America is supposed to bring manufacturing jobs back home; (2) the list is very expansive and appeared to be a list of products that are based on preference but could not be purchased domestically; and (3) some of the Recreational Trail items are specialized items available off the shelf. These commenters did not provide a recommendation for domestic products that fully comply with FHWA's Buy America requirements.

    Based on FHWA's conclusion that there are no domestic manufacturers that can produce the vehicles and equipment identified in this notice in such a way that steel and iron materials are manufactured domestically, and after consideration of the comments received, FHWA finds that application of FHWA's Buy America requirements to these products is inconsistent with the public interest (23 U.S.C. 313(b)(1) and 23 CFR 635.410(c)(2)(i)).

    However, FHWA believes that it is in the public interest and consistent with the Buy America requirements to impose the condition that the vehicles and the vehicle components be assembled in the U.S. Requiring final assembly to be performed in the U.S. is consistent with past guidance to FHWA Division Offices on manufactured products (see Memorandum on Buy America Policy Response, December 22, 1997, http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/programadmin/contracts/122297.cfm). A waiver of the Buy America requirement without any regard to where the vehicle is assembled would diminish the purpose of the Buy America requirement. Moreover, in today's economic environment, the Buy America requirement is especially significant in that it will ensure that Federal Highway Trust Fund dollars are used to support and create jobs in the U.S. This approach is similar to the conditional waivers previously given for various vehicle projects. Thus, so long as the final assembly of the 34 State projects occurs in the U.S., applicants to this waiver request may proceed to purchase these vehicles and equipment consistent with the Buy America requirement.

    In accordance with the provisions of section 117 of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users, Technical Corrections Act of 2008 (Pub. L. 110-244), FHWA is providing this notice of its finding that a public interest waiver of Buy America requirements is appropriate on the condition that the vehicles and equipment identified in the notice be assembled in the U.S. The FHWA invites public comment on this finding for an additional 15 days following the effective date of the finding. Comments may be submitted to FHWA's Web site via the link provided to the waiver page noted above.

    Authority:

    23 U.S.C. 313; PL 110-161; 23 CFR 635.410.

    Issued on: May 9, 2016. Gregory G. Nadeau, Administrator, Federal Highway Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11579 Filed 5-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Highway Administration Buy America Waiver Notification AGENCY:

    Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Department of Transportation (DOT).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice provides information regarding FHWA's finding that a Buy America waiver is appropriate for the use of non-domestic motor and machinery brakes (maximum torque 100 ft-lb, wheel size 8 inches) for the rehabilitation of a bascule bridge in Port Clinton, Ohio.

    DATES:

    The effective date of the waiver is May 18, 2016.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For questions about this notice, please contact Mr. Gerald Yakowenko, FHWA Office of Program Administration, 202-366-1562, or via email at [email protected] For legal questions, please contact Ms. Jennifer Mayo, FHWA Office of the Chief Counsel, 202-366-1523, or via email at [email protected] Office hours for the FHWA are from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., e.t., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Electronic Access

    An electronic copy of this document may be downloaded from the Federal Register's home page at http://www.archives.gov and the Government Printing Office's database at http://www.access.thefederalregister.org/nara.

    Background

    The FHWA's Buy America policy in 23 CFR 635.410 requires a domestic manufacturing process for any steel or iron products (including protective coatings) that are permanently incorporated in a Federal-aid construction project. The regulation also provides for a waiver of the Buy America requirements when the application would be inconsistent with the public interest or when satisfactory quality domestic steel and iron products are not sufficiently available. This notice provides information regarding FHWA's finding that a Buy America waiver is appropriate for use of non-domestic motor and machinery brake systems (maximum torque 100 ft-lb, wheel size 8 inches) for rehabilitation of a bascule bridge in Port Clinton, Ohio.

    In accordance with Division K, section 122 of the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2015 (Pub. L. 113-235), FHWA published a notice of intent to issue a waiver on its Web site (http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/construction/contracts/waivers.cfm?id=121 ) on March 22nd. The FHWA received no comments in response to the publication. Based on all the information available to the agency, FHWA concludes that there are no domestic manufacturers of motor and machinery brake systems (maximum torque 100 ft-lb, wheel size 8 inches) for rehabilitation of the bascule bridge in Port Clinton, Ohio.

    In accordance with the provisions of section 117 of the SAFETEA-LU Technical Corrections Act of 2008 (Pub. L. 110-244), FHWA is providing this notice that a waiver of Buy America requirements is appropriate. The FHWA invites public comment on this finding for an additional 15 days following the effective date of the finding. Comments may be submitted to FHWA's Web site via the link provided to the waiver page noted above.

    Authority:

    23 U.S.C. 313; Public Law 110-161, 23 CFR 635.410.

    Issued on: May 9, 2016. Gregory G. Nadeau, Administrator, Federal Highway Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11578 Filed 5-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-22-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Transit Administration [Docket No. FTA-2016-0025] Notice of Proposed Buy America Waiver for Minivans AGENCY:

    Federal Transit Administration, DOT.

    ACTION:

    Notice of proposed Buy America waiver and request for comment.

    SUMMARY:

    The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) received a formal request from the Pace Suburban Bus Division of the Regional Transportation Authority (Pace) for a Buy America non-availability waiver to purchase 188 Dodge Caravan minivans for its vanpool program. Minivans are considered rolling stock and are subject to the Buy America waiver set forth in 49 U.S.C. 5323(j)(2)(C), which requires that minivans (i) contain more than 60 percent domestic content, and (ii) final assembly of the vehicles occurs in the United States. Although initially Pace sought only a waiver of the requirement that final assembly take place in the United States, Pace now seeks a waiver of both requirements. Because FTA is aware of at least four manufacturers that can meet the final assembly requirement, however, FTA is proposing a waiver of only the domestic content requirement for non-ADA-accessible minivans. This waiver would apply to all procurements of non-ADA-accessible minivans by any FTA grantee and would be limited to contracts entered into before September 30, 2019 or until a fully compliant domestic source becomes available, whichever is earlier. In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 5323(j)(3)(A), FTA is providing notice of this proposed waiver and seeks public and industry comment on whether FTA should grant the waiver.

    DATES:

    Comments must be received by May 31, 2016. Late-filed comments will be considered to the extent practicable.

    ADDRESSES:

    Please submit your comments by one of the following means, identifying your submissions by docket number FTA-2016-0025:

    1. Web site: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments on the U.S. Government electronic docket site.

    2. Fax: (202) 493-2251.

    3. Mail: U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Docket Operations, M-30, West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001.

    4. Hand Delivery: U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Docket Operations, M-30, West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    Instructions: All submissions must make reference to the “Federal Transit Administration” and include docket number FTA-2016-0025. Due to the security procedures in effect since October 2011, mail received through the U.S. Postal Service may be subject to delays. Parties making submissions responsive to this notice should consider using an express mail firm to ensure the prompt filing of any submissions not filed electronically or by hand. Note that all submissions received, including any personal information therein, will be posted without change or alteration to http://www.regulations.gov. For more information, you may review DOT's complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19477), or you may visit http://www.regulations.gov.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Laura Ames, FTA Attorney-Advisor, at (202) 366-2743 or [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    By way of background, Pace operates a vanpool program in the Chicago suburban area with more than 785 vehicles in service. A vanpool vehicle is defined, in pertinent part, as a vehicle with a seating capacity of at least six adults (not including the driver). See 49 U.S.C. 5323(i)(2)(C)(ii).

    In October 2014, Pace issued an invitation for bid (IFB) for a five-year contract for the purchase of seven-person minivans. The successful bidder, Napoleon Fleet, Inc., proposed providing Chrysler Dodge Caravan minivans, but certified that the vehicles were not compliant with the Buy America requirement that the vehicles be assembled in the United States. Chrysler manufactures its minivans in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. On April 15, 2015, Pace requested a Buy America non-availability waiver for the procurement of 188 Dodge Caravan minivans based on the final assembly requirement only. Pace believed that the vehicles it proposed to purchase met the domestic content requirement.

    In August 2015 and November 2015, Pace conducted pre-award Buy America audits of the Dodge Caravan minivans and discovered that Chrysler did not meet the current domestic content requirement of more than 60%. Pace notified FTA that the audit showed a 57.4% domestic content for 2015 minivans and only 52% domestic content for 2016 minivans. Pace, therefore, is requesting a waiver on the grounds that a seven-person minivan that complies with Buy America's domestic content and final assembly requirements is not available.

    In addition to the request from Pace, FTA has received inquiries from other grantees and manufacturers about the asserted non-availability of minivans for their vanpool fleet that meet both requirements of Buy America. Therefore, FTA proposes to grant a general Buy America waiver from the domestic content requirement for non-ADA-accessible minivans procured pursuant to contracts entered into before September 30, 2019, or until a fully-compliant domestic source becomes available, whichever is earlier.

    With certain exceptions, FTA's Buy America statute prevents FTA from obligating an amount that may be appropriated to carry out its program for a project unless “the steel, iron, and manufactured goods used in the project are produced in the United States.” 49 U.S.C. 5323(j)(1). A manufactured product is considered produced in the United States if: (1) All of the manufacturing processes for the product must take place in the United States; and (2) All of the components of the product must be of U.S. origin. A component is considered of U.S. origin if it is manufactured in the United States, regardless of the origin of its subcomponents. 49 CFR 661.5(d). If, however, FTA determines that “the steel, iron, and goods produced in the United States are not produced in a sufficient and reasonably available amount or are not of a satisfactory quality,” then FTA may issue a waiver (non-availability waiver). 49 U.S.C. 5323(j)(2)(B); 49 CFR 661.7(c).

    The requirement that manufactured goods be produced in the United State may be waived for rolling stock if (i) the cost of components and subcomponents produced in the United States for fiscal years 2016 and 2017 is more than 60 percent of the cost of all components of the rolling stock; and (ii) final assembly of the rolling stock occurs in the United States.1 49 U.S.C. 5323(j)(2)(C).

    1 Under recent amendments to 49 U.S.C. 5323(j)(2)(C), if the minivans are delivered in FY2018 or FY2019, the domestic content will increase to more than 65 percent and if delivered in FY2020 or beyond, the domestic content will increase to more than 70 percent.

    FTA funds the procurement of between 2,500 and 3,000 minivans annually, including both ADA-accessible vans and non-ADA-accessible vans. The challenges associated with buying minivans that comply with FTA's Buy America statute and regulations have been well documented over the past six years. In 2010, El Dorado National, Kansas and Chrysler Group LLC petitioned FTA for a waiver of the Buy America final assembly requirement. In response to the request FTA published a notice in the Federal Register, seeking comment from all interested parties. Numerous parties responded to the notice expressing support for the waiver. One manufacturer, Honda, indicated that its minivans were in compliance with the Buy America regulations but would not provide the additional information needed to support its claims. Ultimately, on June 21, 2010, FTA issued a blanket waiver of the Buy America final assembly requirements for minivans and minivan chassis. See 75 FR 35123, (June 21, 2010).

    On November 27, 2012, FTA rescinded the non-availability waiver for minivans, finding that the manufacturer of the MV-1 was a domestic manufacturer of eligible paratransit vehicles and could meet both the domestic content and the final assembly requirements for rolling stock under Buy America. See 75 FR 71676, (November 24, 2010). Although FTA acknowledged that the MV-1 minivan is a wheelchair-lift equipped minivan and does not provide the seating capacity needed for vanpool programs, FTA did not continue the blanket waiver for these vehicles, noting that it “prefers to consider waiver requests for limited circumstances and on procurement-by-procurement basis . . . .” Id.

    On November 27, 2013, FTA issued a one-time, limited Buy America waiver of the final assembly requirement to the North Front Range Metropolitan Planning Organization (NFRMPO), for the purchase of 25 seven-passenger minivans, based upon non-availability. See 78 FR 71025, (November 27, 2013). FTA rejected comments suggesting that it reinstate the 2012 blanket waiver for seven-person minivans, and instead issued a waiver for final assembly for NFRMPO's purchase of up to 25 minivans.

    The market for non-ADA accessible minivans has changed since 2013. In 2013, the Chrysler minivan met the domestic content requirements but was not assembled in the United States. FTA issued a non-availability waiver for final assembly because more than 60 percent of the minivan's components were produced in the United States. Today, Chrysler does not meet either Buy America requirements. However, there are at least four manufacturers—GMC, Ford, Honda and Toyota—that make non-ADA-accessible minivans that are assembled in the U.S.2

    2 This information is from the 2016 report submitted by car manufacturers to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) under the American Automobile Labeling Act. A copy of the report is posted on NHTSA's Web site at http://www.nhtsa.gov.

    Because there are at least four minivans manufacturers who assemble their vehicles in the United States, FTA will not grant Pace a non-availability waiver for both final assembly and domestic content. Instead, in order to maintain U.S. jobs and obtain the benefits of the Buy America statute, FTA proposes to grant a general waiver of only the domestic content requirement for non-ADA-accessible minivans. This waiver would apply to all procurements of non-ADA-accessible minivans and is limited to contracts entered into before September 30, 2019 or until a fully-compliant domestic source becomes available, whichever is earlier. Because the non-ADA-accessible minivans are production line vehicles sold to the general public (i.e., they are not designed and manufactured specifically to be purchased using Federal funds), and those sales substantially outnumber purchases with Federal funds, manufacturers have been reluctant to subject their vehicles to the pre-award and post-delivery audit requirements in 49 CFR part 663 to verify their domestic content. FTA seeks comments on whether manufacturers would consider submitting to a pre-award and post-delivery audit process that was conducted by FTA on each new model year, as opposed to requiring audits for each individual procurement.

    This waiver would not apply to ADA-accessible minivans because such vehicles are available that meet the Buy America requirements.

    FTA is publishing this Notice to seek public and industry comment from all interested parties in accordance with 49 U.S.C. 5323(j)(3)(A). Such information and comments will help FTA understand completely the facts surrounding the request, including the merits of the request. A full copy of the request has been placed in docket number FTA-2016-0025.

    Ellen Partridge, Chief Counsel.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11571 Filed 5-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-57-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Transit Administration [Safety Advisory 16-2] Contact Rail (Third Rail) System Hazards AGENCY:

    Federal Transit Administration (FTA), Department of Transportation (DOT).

    ACTION:

    Notice of Safety Advisory.

    SUMMARY:

    The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) issued Safety Advisory 16-2 regarding contact rail system hazards on rail fixed guideway public transportation systems (RFGPTSs). A letter to the Managers of State Safety Oversight (SSO) programs with RFGPTSs that use a contact rail system, was also issued requesting data and information on contact rail system hazards occurring during calendar year 2015. Safety Advisory 16-2 and the accompanying letter are available in their entirety on the FTA public Web site at http://www.fta.dot.gov/tso.html.

    DATES:

    FTA is asking the managers of the SSO programs to submit the requested data and information 90 days from issuance of the advisory.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For program matters, Sam Shelton, Office of System Safety, telephone (202) 366-0815 or [email protected] For legal matters, Scott Biehl, Senior Counsel, telephone (202) 366-0826 or [email protected]

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Nationwide, 13 RFGPTS operate and maintain contact rail traction power electrification (TPE) systems to power trains that move millions of daily passengers in some of the nation's largest cities. Recently, the FTA has investigated several safety events related to failures of contact rail TPE systems, including:

    • Smoke events caused by arcing insulators and traction power cable fires;

    • An explosion caused by a flashover on porcelain insulators;

    • A high-intensity fire caused by an electrical short circuit that resulted in the total loss of a traction power substation and major service disruptions;

    • Damage to electrical propulsion equipment on dozens of railcars caused by spiking voltage that significantly impacted passenger service; and

    • Poor track conditions exacerbated by electrolysis and corrosion from stray current, which degraded anchor bolts and fasteners to the point of failure in a tunnel.

    The FTA finds sufficient evidence that each SSOA with an RFGPTS operating and maintaining a contact rail TPE system should investigate potential hazards associated with these systems through its hazard management program specified at 49 CFR 659.31. Further, in accordance with its authority at 49 CFR 659.39(d) to periodically request program information from the SSOAs,1 the FTA asks these SSOAs to collect the information requested below.

    1 Please note, on March 16, 2016, FTA issued a final rule for State Safety Oversight that will eventually replace the longstanding regulations at 49 CFR part 659. See, 81 FR 14230-62. SSOAs and RFGPTSs must continue to comply with 49 CFR part 659, however, until they come into compliance with the new regulations, which have been codified at 49 CFR part 674.

    (1) A brief description of the RFGPTS contact rail TPE system and components.

    (2) A brief description regarding any major changes or upgrades to the contact rail TPE system made over the last 10 years and whether the traction power cables were also upgraded.

    (3) A brief description of the RFGPTS preventive maintenance program in place to determine the insulation integrity of traction power feeder cables (i.e., meggering, hipot testing, metering or other testing program). If such a program does not exist, or has been modified or eliminated, please explain in the response.

    (4) The approximate percentage of traction power feeder cables used by the RFGPTS that are low smoke and zero halogen emission cables. Please specify the type and manufacturer.

    (5) A brief description of the construction and installation processes used to manage potential impacts of vibration, friction, rubbing, etc. on traction power cables, and whether protective matting is used for cables lying along the ballast and tunnel invert.

    (6) A listing of any corrective action plans (CAPs) required and approved by the SSOA related to the traction power electrification system since calendar year 2012 and their status, to include both open and closed CAPs.

    (7) A copy of the RFGPTS inspection, testing, and maintenance program manual for its contact rail TPE system.

    (8) The RFGPTS definition of “arcing insulator.”

    (9) The following safety event information for calendar year 2015:

    a. The total number of times a fire department responded to smoke conditions at the RFGPTS related to the contact rail TPE system;

    b. The total number of smoke/fire events related to the contact rail TPE system that resulted in evacuations for fire/life safety reasons at the RFGPTS; and

    c. The total number of fatalities and injuries and the total amount of property damage at the RFGPTS resulting from smoke/fire events related to the contact rail TPE system.

    (10) A description of any hazards, issues, or concerns related to the contact rail TPE system reported to, identified and/or investigated by the SSOA during calendar year 2015.

    The cooperation of the rail transit industry would be very helpful in developing a better understanding of contact rail system hazards, and in due course, a strategy for mitigating the safety risks created by these hazards.

    Issued in Washington, DC, this 12th day of May, 2016. Carolyn Flowers, Acting Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11580 Filed 5-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Transit Administration [Docket No. FTA-2016-0024] Compendium of Public Transportation Safety Standards AGENCY:

    Federal Transit Administration (FTA), DOT.

    ACTION:

    Request for comments.

    SUMMARY:

    FTA is inviting the public to evaluate and provide comments on its Compendium of transit safety standards and protocols. The Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act) requires the Secretary of Transportation to conduct a review of public transportation safety standards and protocols to document existing standards and protocols and examine their efficacy. Following the review, the Secretary also is required to engage with the public in an evaluation of the standards to assess the need to establish additional Federal minimum public transportation safety standards. Upon completion of the review and evaluation, the Secretary must issue a report presenting the findings of the review of standards; the outcome of the evaluation; a comprehensive set of recommendations to improve the safety of the public transportation industry, including recommendations for regulatory changes, if applicable; and actions that the Secretary of the Department of Transportation will take to address the recommendations provided.

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted by June 16, 2016. Comments filed after the deadline will be considered to the extent practicable.

    ADDRESSES:

    Please submit your comments by only one of the following methods, identifying your submission by Docket Number (FTA-2016-0024).

    Federal eRulemaking Portal: Submit electronic comments and other data to http://www.regulations.gov.

    U.S. Mail: Send comments to Docket Operations, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001.

    Hand Delivery or Courier: Take comments to Docket Operations in Room W12-140 of the West Building, Ground Floor, at 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    Fax: Fax comments to Docket Operations, U.S. Department of Transportation, at (202) 493-2251.

    Instructions: You must include the agency name (Federal Transit Administration) and Docket Number (FTA-2016-0024) for this notice, at the beginning of your comments. If sent by mail, submit two copies of your comments. Due to security procedures in effect since October 2001, mail received through the U.S. Postal Service may be subject to delays. Parties submitting comments should consider using an express mail firm to ensure the prompt filing of any submissions not filed electronically or by hand. If you wish to receive confirmation that FTA received your comments, you must include a self-addressed stamped postcard. All comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. Anyone is able to search the electronic form for all comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review the United States Department of Transportation's (DOT) Privacy Act system of records notice for the DOT Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) in the Federal Register published on December 29, 2010 (75 FR 82132) at http://www.thefederalregister.org/fdsys/pkg/FR-2010-12-29/pdf/2010-32876.pdf.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    For program matters, contact Brian Alberts, Office of Transit Safety and Oversight, (202) 366-1783 or [email protected]; or Raj Wagley, Office or Research and Innovation, (202)-366-5386 or [email protected]

    Office hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Table of Contents I. Overview II. Summary of Compendium of Public Transportation Safety Standards III. Questions IV. Use of Stakeholder Comments I. Overview

    Section 3020 of the FAST Act requires the Secretary of Transportation to conduct a review of public transportation safety standards and protocols to assess the efficacy of those standards and protocols. The content of the review must include minimum safety performance standards developed by the public transportation industry and safety performance standards, practices, or protocols in use by rail fixed guideway public transportation systems. The review also must include rail and bus safety standards, practices, or protocols in use by public transportation systems regarding (1) rail and bus design and the workstation of rail and bus operators, (2) scheduling fixed route rail and bus service with adequate time and access for operators to use restroom facilities, (3) fatigue management, (4) and crash avoidance and worthiness. Section 3020(b) of the FAST Act requires the Secretary to conduct an evaluation following the review in consultation with the public transportation industry to assess the need to establish additional Federal minimum public transportation safety standards.

    FTA has placed in the docket and on FTA's Web site its review of public transportation safety standards and protocols contained as a “Compendium of Public Transportation Safety Standards” (Compendium) provided in tabular format. Included within this Compendium are standards for all public transportation modes (where available), including commuter rail and ferry boat, modes for which regulatory oversight rests within another DOT modal administration. FTA seeks comments from the public transportation industry on the utilization of the standards contained within the Compendium, observations or data driven statements of the effectiveness of the standards, and areas for which standards should be established by FTA through subsequent rulemaking activity.

    II. Summary of Compendium of Public Transportation Safety Standards

    The Compendium includes those standards or protocols applicable to or used in those transit modes referenced in the National Transit Database, including: Rail Transit (Alaska Railroad, Cable Car, Commuter Rail, Heavy Rail, Hybrid Rail, Inclined Plan, Light Rail, Monorail/Automated Guideway, and Streetcar) and Non-Rail Transit (Aerial Tramway; Bus, Bus Rapid Transit, Commuter Bus, Demand Response, Demand Response Taxi, Ferryboat, Jitney, Público, Trolleybus, and Vanpool).

    The Compendium identifies state and Federal regulations, minimum safety performance standards that have been developed by the public transportation industry (within modes described above), as well as those specific standards or protocols in use by rail fixed guideway public transportation systems, including those related to emergency plans and procedures for passenger evacuations, training programs that ensure personnel compliance and readiness in emergency situations, and coordination plans with emergency responders.

    The Compendium is a single Excel file with individual tabs within the workbook titled “bus,” “rail,” “other modes,” “and all modes” to aid in the review of the standards presented. Within each of these tabs, standards are presented alphabetically by specific source. As an example, standards and recommended practices from APTA would appear first and standards from “States” would be presented last. The Compendium is further organized by a series of worksheet column headings that include the title of the standard, and the type of standard and standard sub and sub-function categories, further defined below. The standard development entity, whether a Federal agency, Standard Development Organization (SDO), State, State Safety Oversight Agency (SSOA), or specific industry association is also identified. Hyperlinks to specific standards, protocols, and classification content are provided in the Compendium to allow an opportunity for a thorough review of those standards and protocols.

    The “standard types” used in the Compendium include those standards and protocols related to vehicle standards (including performance), infrastructure and related items, operational standards, personnel (including operator and fatigue management), State of Good Repair (SGR), emergency/incident management, and training and certifications. Each of these standard types is presented below with associated standard sub categories.

    Vehicle Standards: The Vehicle Standards include the following sub categories: Vehicle Components and Passenger Equipment Safety Standards; Vehicle Crashworthiness; Vehicle Interface/Communications Systems; and Vehicle Safety Standards (not related to design of construction).

    Infrastructure Standards and Related Items: The Infrastructure Standards include the following sub categories: Infrastructure—Fixed Structures (includes elevators and escalator safety standards and recommended practices); Bridge Safety Standards; Track and Roadbed; and Signals and Grade Crossings.

    Operational Standards: The Operational Standards include the following sub categories: Operating Rules and Practices and Personnel Communications/Communication Procedures.

    Personnel Standards (including Operator and Fatigue Management): The Personnel Standards include the following sub categories: Hours of Service Standards, Workplace/Worker Safety, Qualifications and Certifications of Operators and Engineers, Medical Examination Certification, Drug and Alcohol Testing, and Training and Certifications.

    State of Good Repair/Maintenance Standards: The State of Good Repair/Maintenance Standards include the following sub categories: Maintenance and Safety Inspection Standards.

    Emergency/Incident Management Standards: The Emergency/Incident Management Standards include the following sub categories: Emergency Preparedness/Management and Incident Investigation, Reporting, and Recovery.

    If a state or industry organization adopts a Federal regulation by reference or a standard developed by a standard development organization, this regulation or standard is not reflected in the section of the Compendium specific to that state or organization, but rather is included within the list of standards from the source Federal regulatory body or standard development organization.

    III. Questions

    FTA seeks specific comments, and any related statements or observations, to the following questions.

    1. Are there standards in place for your system that are not reflected in the Compendium?

    2. Are the standards utilized within your system, but not listed in the Compendium mandated or promulgated by a Federal or State agency, State Safety Oversight Agency, regional regulatory body, or other entity? If so, what are they?

    3. What observations or data driven statements can you provide stating or documenting the effectiveness of the standards included in the Compendium (or those in place for your system, but not reflected in the Compendium)?

    4. Based on your experiences or safety-related trends at your agency, are there areas of concern for which standards should be established by FTA through subsequent rulemaking activity? If so, what are they?

    5. Are there specific transit modes and associated areas of risk that should be areas of focus for FTA more than others? If so, what are they?

    6. If standards were established based on various determinants of risk, how should those areas of risk be prioritized? Should standards be established based on exposure rates (passenger/vehicle miles), number or rate of injuries, or number or rate of fatalities, as examples?

    7. Are there any safety standards utilized in the public transportation industry that are not reflected in the Compendium nor in place within your agency that should be included in the Compendium? If so, what are they?

    8. Are you aware of safety standards utilized in other industries that should be examined? If so, what are they?

    9. FTA was unable to identify any standards or protocols relates to the following topics:

    • Reduce blind spots,

    • protect rail and bus operators from assaults, and

    • allow sufficient time within route schedules for operators to use restroom facilities.

    Are you aware of any existing safety standards or protocols that may address any of these areas of risk? If so, please identify each standard or protocol by its reference and source and provide information you may have related to the efficacy of such standard or protocol.

    IV. Use of Stakeholder Comments

    Comments received will be included in FTA's ongoing evaluation of safety standards and the effectiveness of those standards and will be reflected in the report issued in accordance with Section 3020(c) of the FAST Act.

    Issued on: May 12, 2016. Carolyn Flowers, Acting Administrator.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11585 Filed 5-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Reports, Forms, and Record Keeping Requirements Agency Information Collection Activity Under OMB Review AGENCY:

    National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).

    ACTION:

    Notice.

    SUMMARY:

    In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.), this notice announces that the Information Collection Request (ICR) abstracted below has been forwarded to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and comment. The ICR describes the nature of the information collection and the expected burden. The Federal Register Notice with a 60-day comment period was published on March 21, 2016 (Federal Register/Vol. 81, No. 54/pp.15147-15148).

    DATES:

    Comments must be submitted on or before June 16, 2016.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send comments, within 30 days, to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, 725-17th Street NW., Washington, DC 20503, Attention NHTSA Desk Officer.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Dr. Kristie Johnson, 202-366-2755.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Title: Countermeasures That Work (9th and 10th Editions) and Countermeasures At Work (1st and 2nd Editions)

    Type of Request: New information collection requirement.

    Abstract: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) proposes to collect user feedback on the Countermeasures That Work and Countermeasures At Work guides. These guides were developed for the State Highway Safety Offices (SHSOs) to assist them in developing programs for implementing safety countermeasures in nine program areas: Alcohol-impaired and drugged driving, seat belt use and child restraints, aggressive driving and speeding, distracted and drowsy driving, motorcycle safety, young drivers, older drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists. The Countermeasures That Work guide covers each program area in a separate chapter that includes a short background section relaying current data trends, which is followed by a description of applicable countermeasures, and an explanation their effectiveness, use, costs, and time to implement. The new (to be developed) Countermeasures At Work guide will elaborate on some of the countermeasures contained in the Countermeasures That Work guide by providing real world examples and details on localities where specific countermeasures were implemented. The countermeasure descriptions may include details about locality size, implementation issues, cost, stakeholders to involve, challenges, evaluation, and outcomes. To collect this information for the new guide, NHTSA proposes to collect information from representatives from the SHSOs and/or local jurisdictions, in addition to representatives from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), State Coordinators, and other relevant stakeholders. The survey will ask the representatives the following information:

    • Their background, including job roles and responsibilities, which provide context for document use,

    • What are their key information needs for the Countermeasures At Work document, including obtaining details of specific use-case examples such as locality size, implementation issues, cost, stakeholders to involve, challenges, evaluation, and outcomes,

    • Opinions on the documents' structure, format, and content, which includes using a consistent question format for different information items/sections in the document,

    • Opinions about specific aspects and potential changes or improvements pertaining to examples of alternative presentation formats,

    • Opinions about how the Countermeasures At Work guide would be used, what information should be included, and if stakeholders have information about good locality examples, and

    • Opinions about features or topics that should be included both guides, such as the addition of figures and illustrations, and adjustments to the design of topic subsections.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden: 375 hours (250 participants, averaging 90 minutes).

    Comments are invited on the following:

    (i) 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;

    (ii) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the proposed information collection;

    (iii) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and

    (iv) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology.

    A comment to OMB is most effective if OMB receives it within 30 days of publication.

    Authority:

    44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)

    Issued on: May 12, 2016. Jeff Michael, Associate Administrator, Research and Program Development.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11586 Filed 5-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-59-P
    DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION National Highway Traffic Safety Administration [Docket No. NHTSA-2014-0076; Notice 2] Chrysler Group, LLC, Grant of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential Noncompliance AGENCY:

    National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Department of Transportation (DOT).

    ACTION:

    Grant of petition.

    SUMMARY:

    Chrysler Group, LLC (Chrysler), a wholly owned subsidiary of Fiat S.p.A., has determined that certain model year (MY) 2014 RAM 2500 and RAM 3500 trucks do not fully comply with paragraph S4.3 of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 110, Tire Selection and Rims and Motor Home/Recreation Vehicle Trailer Load Carrying Capacity Information for Motor Vehicles with a GVWR of 4,536 kilograms (10,000 pounds) or less, or do not fully comply with paragraph S5.3 of FMVSS No. 120, Tire Selection and Rims and Motor Home/Recreation Vehicle Trailer Load Carrying Capacity Information for Motor Vehicles with a GVWR of more than 4,536 kilograms (10,000 pounds). Chrysler filed a report dated May 6, 2014, pursuant to 49 CFR part 573, Defect and Noncompliance Responsibility and Reports and amended that report on June 10, 2014. Chrysler then petitioned NHTSA under 49 CFR part 556 requesting a decision that the subject noncompliance is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety.

    ADDRESSES:

    For further information on this decision contact Stuart Seigel, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), telephone (202) 366-5287, facsimile (202) 366-5930.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    I. Chrysler's Petition: Pursuant to 49 U.S.C. 30118(d) and 30120(h) and the rule implementing those provisions at 49 CFR part 556, Chrysler has petitioned for an exemption from the notification and remedy requirements of 49 U.S.C. Chapter 301 on the basis that this noncompliance is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety.

    Notice of receipt of Chrysler's petition was published, with a 30-Day public comment period, on August 25, 2014 in the Federal Register (79 FR 50735). No comments were received. To view the petition and all supporting documents log onto the Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) Web site at: http://www.regulations.gov/. Then follow the online search instructions to locate docket number “NHTSA-2014-0076.”

    II. Vehicles Involved: The affected vehicles include approximately 198 MY 2014 RAM 2500 trucks and 87 MY 2014 RAM 3500 trucks that were produced from March 4, 2014 through March 6, 2014.

    III. Noncompliances: Chrysler explains that due to the absence of the designated rim size and type on the certification labels required by 49 CFR part 567, the subject vehicles do not fully comply with either paragraph S4.3 of FMVSS No. 110, or paragraph S5.3 of FMVSS No. 120.

    IV. Rule Text: Paragraph S4.3 of FMVSS No. 110 requires in pertinent part:

    . . . S4.3.3 Additional labeling information for vehicles other than passenger cars. Each vehicle shall show the size designation and, if applicable, the type designation of rims (not necessarily those on the vehicle) appropriate for the tire appropriate for use on that vehicle, including the tire installed as original equipment on the vehicle by the vehicle manufacturer, after each GAWR listed on the certification label required by § 567.4 or § 567.5 of this chapter. This information shall be in the English language, lettered in block capitals and numerals not less than 2.4 millimeters high and in the following format: . . .

    Paragraph S5.3 of FMVSS No. 120 requires in pertinent part:

    S5.3 Each vehicle shall show the information specified in S5.3.1 and S5.3.2 and, in the case of a vehicle equipped with a non-pneumatic spare tire, the information specified in S5.3.3, in the English language, lettered in block capitals and numerals not less than 2.4 millimeters high and in the format set forth following this paragraph. This information shall appear either—

    (a) After each GAWR listed on the certification label required by § 567.4 or § 567.5 of this chapter; or at the option of the manufacturer,

    (b) On the tire information label affixed to the vehicle in the manner, location, and form described in § 567.4(b) through (f) of this chapter as appropriate of each GVWR=GAWR combination listed on the certification label.

    S5.3.1 Tires. The size designation (not necessarily for the tires on the vehicle) and the recommended cold inflation pressure for those tires such that the sum of the load ratings of the tires on each axle (when the tires' load carrying capacity at the specified pressure is reduced by dividing by 1.10, in the case of a tire subject to FMVSS No. 109) is appropriate for the GAWR as calculated in accordance with S5.1.2.

    S5.3.2. Rims. The size designation and, if applicable, the type designation of Rims (not necessarily those on the vehicle) appropriate for those tires. . . .

    V. Summary of Chrysler's Analyses: Chrysler stated its belief that the subject noncompliance for the absence of the rim marking on the certification label is inconsequential to motor vehicle safety for the following reasons:

    1. Tire size and pressure information is located on the Tire Inflation Pressure label which is located in the same door opening as the certification label.

    a. Certification label is located on the driver door.

    b. Tire placard is located on the forward edge of the driver's B-pillar.

    2. Tire size and inflation pressure can be found on each tire.

    3. Tire and rim information can be found in the vehicle owner's manual.

    4. Rim/wheel size can be derived using the tire information printed on the Tire Inflation Pressure label or the tire sidewall information.

    5. Chrysler mentioned that in a previous similar petition the agency stated, “that this noncompliance will not have an adverse effect on vehicle safety. Since rim size and type information are marked on the wheels of the vehicles, and the rim diameter can be determined from the tire size on the placard attached to some of the vehicles, the information needed to ensure that the vehicles are equipped with the proper rims and compatible tires is readily available to potential users.”

    6. Chrysler is not aware of any warranty claims, field reports, customer complaints, legal claims or any incidents or injuries related to the subject condition.

    7. Chrysler also stated its belief that NHTSA has previously granted petition similar in nature.

    With respect to the incorrect statement used to indicate that vehicles conforms to all applicable Federal Standards Chrysler states that the purpose of the statement is to communicate to a reader that a vehicle is both certified and meets applicable safety standards. The vehicles in question meet and/or exceed all applicable FMVSS required for sale in the United States.

    Chrysler has additionally informed NHTSA that it has corrected the noncompliances so that all future production of these vehicles will fully comply with FMVSS Nos. 110 and 120.

    In summation, Chrysler believes that the described noncompliances of the subject vehicles are inconsequential to motor vehicle safety, and that its petition, to exempt from providing recall notification of noncompliance as required by 49 U.S.C. 30118 and remedying the recall noncompliance as required by 49 U.S.C. 30120 should be granted.

    NHTSA Decision

    NHTSA Analysis: NHTSA has reviewed Chrysler's petition requesting a decision that the subject noncompliances are inconsequential to motor vehicle safety and has decided to moot the petition in part and grant it in part based on the following analysis.

    Chrysler noted that the certification label attached to the subject vehicles, required by 49 CFR part 567, does not include the correct required statement of certification. The use of the incorrect certification statement on the certification labels is considered a violation of 49 U.S.C. 30115, Certification and the implementing rule at 49 CFR part 567, and not a noncompliance with a Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard that would require notification and remedy under of 49 U.S.C. chapter 301. Therefore, this portion of the subject petition, as filed under 49 CFR part 556, is moot.

    Second, the affected vehicles (approximately 285 RAM 2500 and 3500 trucks) must comply with either FMVSS No. 110 or FMVSS No. 120 depending on the GVWR. The vehicles with a GVWR of 10,000 pounds or less do not comply with paragraph S4.3.3 of FMVSS No. 110 which requires that the rim size designation appear on the certification label for vehicles other than passenger cars. Likewise, the vehicles with a GVWR greater than 10,000 pounds, do not comply with paragraph S5.3 of FMVSS No. 120 which requires that the rim size designation appear on the certification label or at the manufacture's option on a separate tire information label.

    For all affected vehicles, the rim size information can be found in the vehicle's owner's manual or on the rim itself, and the tire size information is available from multiple sources including the owner's manual, the sidewalls of the tires on the vehicle and on the tire placard or information label located on the door or door opening. The rim size can be derived using this tire information. In addition, according to Paragraph S4.4.2(b) of FMVSS No. 110 and paragraph S5.2(b) of FMVSS No. 120, the rim size designation must be marked on the rims to allow for the direct determination of the proper rim size for the vehicle.

    NHTSA considers both the Ram 2500 and 3500 trucks to be light duty work trucks that are primarily used by operators experienced with and knowledgeable of their vehicles. It is highly likely that these individuals will readily be able to determine the correct rim sizing if necessary.

    Therefore, although the rim size was omitted from the certification labels, the information needed to ensure that the vehicles are equipped with the proper rims and compatible tires is readily available to potential users.

    NHTSA Decision: In consideration of the foregoing, NHTSA finds that Chrysler has met its burden of persuasion that the FMVSS No. 110 and FMVSS No. 120 noncompliances are inconsequential to motor vehicle safety.

    Accordingly, Chrysler's petition is hereby moot in part and granted in part and Chrysler is exempted from the obligation of providing notification of, and a free remedy for, that noncompliance under 49 U.S.C. 30118 and 30120.

    NHTSA notes that the statutory provisions (49 U.S.C. 30118(d) and 30120(h)) that permit manufacturers to file petitions for a determination of inconsequentiality allow NHTSA to exempt manufacturers only from the duties found in sections 30118 and 30120, respectively, to notify owners, purchasers, and dealers of a defect or noncompliance and to remedy the defect or noncompliance. Therefore, any decision on this petition only applies to the subject vehicles that Chrysler no longer controlled at the time it determined that the noncompliance existed. However, the granting of this petition does not relieve Chrysler distributors and dealers of the prohibitions on the sale, offer for sale, or introduction or delivery for introduction into interstate commerce of the noncompliant vehicles under their control after Chrysler notified them that the subject noncompliance existed.

    Authority:

    49 U.S.C. 30118, 30120: delegations of authority at 49 CFR 1.95 and 501.8.

    Jeffrey M. Giuseppe, Director, Office of Vehicle Safety Compliance.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11593 Filed 5-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910-59-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Open Meeting of the Advisory Committee on Risk-Sharing Mechanisms AGENCY:

    Departmental Offices, U.S. Department of the Treasury.

    ACTION:

    Notice of open meeting.

    SUMMARY:

    This notice announces that the Department of the Treasury's Advisory Committee on Risk-Sharing Mechanisms (“Committee”) will convene a meeting on Wednesday, June 1, 2016, in Room 4121, 1500 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20220, from 10:00 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Eastern Time. The meeting is open to the public, and the site is accessible to individuals with disabilities.

    DATES:

    The meeting will be held on Wednesday, June 1, 2016, from 10:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Eastern Time.

    ADDRESSES:

    The Advisory Committee on Risk-Sharing Mechanisms meeting will be held in Room 4121, Department of the Treasury, 1500 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20220. The meeting will be open to the public. Because the meeting will be held in a secured facility, members of the public who plan to attend the meeting must either:

    1. Register online. Attendees may visit http://www.cvent.com/d/sfqvj1?ct=6128d144-9ad5-45f5-910c-c7b44560aae0&RefID=TRIA+General+Registration and fill out a secure online registration form. A valid email address will be required to complete online registration.

    Note:

    Online registration will close at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Thursday, May 26, 2016.

    2. Contact the Federal Insurance Office (FIO), at (202) 622-5892, by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on Thursday, May 26, 2016, and provide registration information.

    Requests for reasonable accommodations under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act should be directed to Marcia Wilson, Office of Civil Rights and Diversity, Department of the Treasury at (202) 622-8177, or [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Brett D. Hewitt, Policy Advisor, FIO, Room 1410, Department of the Treasury, 1500 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20220, at (202) 622-5892 (this is not a toll-free number). Persons who have difficulty hearing or speaking may access this number via TTY by calling the toll-free Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.

    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

    Notice of this meeting is provided in accordance with the Federal Advisory Committee Act, 5 U.S.C. App. II 10(a)(2), through implementing regulations at 41 CFR 102-3.150.

    Public Comment: Members of the public wishing to comment on the business of the Advisory Committee on Risk-Sharing Mechanisms are invited to submit written statements by any of the following methods:

    Electronic Statements

    • Send electronic comments to [email protected]

    Paper Statements

    • Send paper statements in triplicate to the Advisory Committee on Risk-Sharing Mechanisms, Room 1410, Department of the Treasury, 1500 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20220.

    In general, the Department of the Treasury will post all statements on its Web site http://www.treasury.gov/about/organizational-structure/offices/Pages/Federal-Insurance.aspx without change, including any business or personal information provided such as names, addresses, email addresses, or telephone numbers. The Department of the Treasury will also make such statements available for public inspection and copying in the Department of the Treasury's Library, 1500 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20220, on official business days between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time. You can make an appointment to inspect statements by telephoning (202) 622-0990. All statements, including attachments and other supporting materials, received are part of the public record and subject to public disclosure. You should submit only information that you wish to make available publicly.

    Tentative Agenda/Topics for Discussion: This is a periodic meeting of the Advisory Committee on Risk-Sharing Mechanisms. In this meeting, the Committee will: Discuss the elements needed to support and encourage a robust private market for terrorism risk insurance and reinsurance, examine a comparison of international terrorism risk insurance programs, and outline next steps the Committee will take to fulfill the goals and purpose outlined in the Terrorism Risk Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2015 and the Committee's charter.

    Michael T. McRaith, Director, Federal Insurance Office.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11592 Filed 5-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4810-25-P
    DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request May 12, 2016.

    The Department of the Treasury will submit the following information collection requests to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and clearance in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13, on or after the date of publication of this notice.

    DATES:

    Comments should be received on or before June 16, 2016 to be assured of consideration.

    ADDRESSES:

    Send comments regarding the burden estimates, or any other aspect of the information collections, including suggestions for reducing the burden, to (1) Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, Attention: Desk Officer for Treasury, New Executive Office Building, Room 10235, Washington, DC 20503, or email at [email protected] and (2) Treasury PRA Clearance Officer, 1750 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Suite 8117, Washington, DC 20220, or email at [email protected]

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

    Copies of the submissions may be obtained by emailing [email protected], calling (202) 622-1295, or viewing the entire information collection request at www.reginfo.gov.

    Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

    OMB Control Number: 1545-0364.

    Type of Review: Reinstatement of a previously approved collection.

    Title: Statement of Payments Received.

    Form: Form 4669.

    Abstract: Form 4669, Statement of Payments Received, is used by payers in specific situations to request relief from payment of certain required taxes. A payer who fails to withhold certain required taxes from a payee may be entitled to relief, under sections 3402(d), 3102(f)(3), 1463 or Regulations section 1.1474-4. To apply for relief, a payer must show that the payee reported the payments and paid the corresponding tax. To secure relief as described above, a payer must obtain a separate, completed Form 4669 from each payee for each year relief is requested. The data is used to verify that the income tax on the wages was paid in full. The collection of data affects business, individuals, and households.

    Affected Public: Businesses or other for-profits.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 21,250.

    OMB Control Number: 1545-1617.

    Type of Review: Reinstatement of a previously approved collection.

    Title: REG-124069-02 (Final) Section 6038—Returns Required with Respect to Controlled Foreign Partnerships; REG-118966-97 (Final) Information Reporting with Respect to Certain Foreign Partnerships.

    Abstract: REG-124069-02 Treasury Regulation Sec. 1.6038-3 requires certain United States person who own interests in controlled foreign partnership to annually report information to the IRS on Form 8865. This regulation amends the reporting rules under Treasury Regulation section 1.6038-e to provide that a U.S. person must follow the filing requirements that are specified in the instructions for Form 8865 when the U.S. person must file Form 8865 and the foreign partnership completes and files Form 1065 or Form 1065-B. REG-118966-97 Section 6038 requires certain U.S. persons who own interest in controlled foreign partnerships or certain foreign corporations to annually report information to the IRS. This regulation provides reporting rules to identify foreign partnerships and foreign corporations which are controlled by U.S. persons.

    Affected Public: Businesses or other for-profits.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 500.

    OMB Control Number: 1545-1647.

    Type of Review: Reinstatement of a previously approved collection.

    Title: Revenue Procedure 2001-21.

    Abstract: The revenue procedure provides for an election that allows taxpayers to treat a debt substitution, in certain circumstances, as a realization event even though it does not result in a significant modification under 26 CFR 1.1001-3.

    Affected Public: Businesses or other for-profits.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 75.

    OMB Control Number: 1545-2241.

    Type of Review: Revision of a currently approved collection.

    Title: Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP).

    Form: Forms 14457, 14454, 14453, 14452, 14467, 14653.

    Abstract: This information collection includes Form 14457, Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Letter; Form 14454, Attachment to Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Letter; Form 14453, Penalty Computation Worksheet; Form 14452, Foreign Account or Asset Statement; Form 14467, Statement on Abandoned Entities; Form 14653, Certification by U.S. Person Residing Outside of the United States for Streamlined Foreign Offshore Procedures; Form 14654, Certification by U.S. Person Residing in the United States for Streamlined Domestic Offshore Procedures; and Form 14708, Streamlined Domestic Penalty Reconsideration Request Related to Canadian Retirement Plans.

    Affected Public: Individuals or households.

    Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: 757,000.

    Brenda Simms, Treasury PRA Clearance Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11629 Filed 5-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4830-01-P
    DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS Advisory Committee on Cemeteries and Memorials, Notice of Meeting

    The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) gives notice under Federal Advisory Committee Act, 38 U.S.C. App. 2 that a meeting of the Advisory Committee on Cemeteries and Memorials will be held on June 22-23, 2016, in the National Cemetery Administration's training room 104 at 1100 First Street NE., Washington, DC 20002, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The meeting is open to the public.

    The purpose of the Committee is to advise the Secretary of Veterans Affairs on the administration of national cemeteries, soldiers' lots and plots, the selection of new national cemetery sites, the erection of appropriate memorials, and the adequacy of Federal burial benefits.

    On June 22, the Committee will receive mandatory training from the Office of General Counsel in the morning and updates on VA and National Cemetery Administration (NCA) issues by appropriate VA staff. On the morning of June 23, the Committee will receive background information on NCA projects and updates from ex-officio members.

    Time will be allocated on both June 22 and June 23 to receive public comments at 1:00 p.m. Public comments are limited to three minutes each. Individuals wishing to make oral statements before the Committee will be accommodated on a first-come, first-served basis. Individuals who speak are invited to submit 1-2 page summaries of their comments at the time of the meeting for inclusion in the official meeting record.

    Members of the public may direct questions or submit written statements for review by the Committee in advance of the meeting to Ms. Robin Cooper, Designated Federal Officer, VA, NCA (43A2), 1100 1st Street NE., Washington, DC 20002, or via email at [email protected]ov. In the public's communications with the Committee, the writers must identify themselves and state the organizations, associations, or persons they represent. Because the meeting will be in a Government building, anyone attending must be prepared to show a valid photo I.D. Please allow 15 minutes before the meeting begins for this process. Any member of the public wishing to attend the meeting should contact Ms. Cooper at (202) 632-8035 or [email protected]

    Dated: May 11, 2016. Jelessa Burney, Federal Advisory Committee Management Officer.
    [FR Doc. 2016-11506 Filed 5-16-16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 8320-01-P
    81 95 Tuesday, May 17, 2016 Notices Part II Securities and Exchange Commission Joint Industry Plan; Notice of Filing of the National Market System Plan Governing the Consolidated Audit Trail; Notices SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION [Release No. 34-77724; File No. 4-698] Joint Industry Plan; Notice of Filing of the National Market System Plan Governing the Consolidated Audit Trail April 27, 2016. Table of Contents I. Introduction II. Background III. Description of the Plan A. Statement of Purpose and Request for Comment 1. Background 2. Request for Exemption from Certain Requirements under Rule 613 3. Requirements Pursuant to Rule 608(a) B. Summary of Additional CAT NMS Plan Provisions and Request for Comment 1. Reporting Procedures 2. Timeliness of Data Reporting 3. Uniform Format 4. Clock Synchronization 5. Time Stamp Granularity 6. CAT-Reporter-ID 7. Customer-ID 8. Order Allocation Information 9. Options Market Maker Quotes 10. Error Rates 11. Regulatory Access 12. Security, Confidentiality, and Use of Data IV. Economic Analysis A. Introduction B. Summary of Expected Economic Effects C. Framework for Economic Analysis 1. Economic Framework 2. Existing Uncertainties 3. Request for Comment on the Framework D. Baseline 1. Current State of Regulatory Activities 2. Current State of Trade and Order Data 3. Request for Comment on the Baseline E. Benefits 1. Improvements in Data Qualities 2. Improvements to Regulatory Activities 3. Other Provisions of the CAT NMS Plan 4. Request for Comment on the Benefits F. Costs 1. Analysis of Expected Costs 2. Aggregate Costs to Industry 3. Further Analysis of Costs 4. Second-Order Effects and Other Security-related Costs 5. Request for Comment on the Costs G. Efficiency, Competition, and Capital Formation 1. Competition 2. Efficiency 3. Capital Formation 4. Related Considerations Affecting Competition, Efficiency and Capital Formation 5. Request for Comment on Efficiency, Competition, and Capital Formation H. Alternatives 1. Alternatives to the Approaches the Exemption Order Permitted to be Included in the Plan 2. Alternatives to Certain Specific Approaches in the CAT NMS Plan 3. Alternatives to the Scope of Certain Specific Elements in the CAT NMS Plan 4. Alternatives to the CAT NMS Plan 5. Request for Comment on the Alternatives I. Request for Comment on the Economic Analysis V. Paperwork Reduction Act A. Summary of Collection of Information under Rule 613 1. Central Repository 2. Data Collection and Reporting 3. Collection and Retention of NBBO, Last Sale Data and Transaction Reports 4. Surveillance 5. Participant Rule Filings 6. Written Assessment of Operation of the Consolidated Audit Trail 7. Document on Expansion to Other Securities B. Proposed Use of Information 1. Central Repository 2. Data Collection and Reporting 3. Collection and Retention of NBBO, Last Sale Data and Transaction Reports 4. Surveillance 5. Written Assessment of Operation of the Consolidated Audit Trail 6. Document on Expansion to Other Securities C. Respondents 1. National Securities Exchanges and National Securities Associations 2. Members of National Securities Exchanges and National Securities Association D. Total Initial and Annual Reporting and Recordkeeping Burden 1. Burden on National Securities Exchanges and National Securities Associations 2. Burden on Members of National Securities Exchanges and National Securities Associations E. Collection of Information is Mandatory F. Confidentiality G. Recordkeeping Requirements H. Request for Comments VI. Solicitation of Comments I. Introduction

    Pursuant to Section 11A of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Act”) 1 and Rule 608 thereunder,2 notice is hereby given that on February 27, 2015, BATS Exchange, Inc., BATS-Y Exchange, Inc., BOX Options Exchange LLC, C2 Options Exchange, Incorporated, Chicago Board Options Exchange, Incorporated, Chicago Stock Exchange, Inc., EDGA Exchange, Inc., EDGX Exchange, Inc., Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc., International Securities Exchange, LLC, ISE Gemini, LLC, Miami International Securities Exchange LLC, NASDAQ OMX BX, Inc., NASDAQ OMX PHLX LLC, The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC, National Stock Exchange, Inc., New York Stock Exchange LLC, NYSE MKT LLC, and NYSE Arca, Inc. (collectively, “SROs” or “Participants”), filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “Commission” or “SEC”) a National Market System Plan Governing the Consolidated Audit Trail (the “CAT NMS Plan” or “Plan”).3 On December 24, 2015, the SROs submitted an Amendment to the CAT NMS Plan.4 A copy of the CAT NMS Plan, as modified by the Amendment, is attached as Exhibit A hereto. The Commission is publishing this Notice to solicit comments on the CAT NMS Plan. The Commission also is publishing notice of, and soliciting comment on, an analysis of the potential economic effects of implementing the CAT NMS Plan, as set forth in Section IV of this Notice, and the collection of information requirements in the CAT NMS Plan as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act, as set forth in Section V of this Notice.

    1 15 U.S.C. 78k-1.

    2 17 CFR 242.608.

    3See Letter from Participants to Brent J. Fields, Secretary, Commission, dated February 27, 2015. Pursuant to Rule 613, the SROs were required to file the CAT NMS Plan on or before April 28, 2013. At the SROs' request, the Commission granted exemptions to extend the deadline for filing the CAT NMS Plan to December 6, 2013, and then to September 30, 2014. See Securities Exchange Act Release Nos. 69060 (March 7, 2013), 78 FR 15771 (March 12, 2013); 71018 (December 6, 2013), 78 FR 75669 (December 12, 2013). The SROs filed the CAT NMS Plan on September 30, 2014 (the “Initial CAT NMS Plan”). See Letter from the SROs, to Brent J. Fields, Secretary, Commission, dated September 30, 2014. The CAT NMS Plan filed on February 27, 2015, was an amendment to and replacement of the Initial CAT NMS Plan (the “Amended and Restated CAT NMS Plan”). On December 24, 2015, the SROs submitted an Amendment to the Amended and Restated CAT NMS Plan. See Letter from Participants to Brent J. Fields, Secretary, Commission, dated December 23, 2015 (the “Amendment”). On February 9, 2016, the Participants filed with the Commission an identical, but unmarked, version of the Amended and Restated CAT NMS Plan, dated February 27, 2015, as modified by the Amendment, as well as a copy of the request for proposal issued by the Participants to solicit Bids from parties interested in serving as the Plan Processor for the consolidated audit trail. See Exhibit A and infra note 29. Unless the context otherwise requires, the “CAT NMS Plan” shall refer to the Amended and Restated CAT NMS Plan, as modified by the Amendment. The Commission notes that the application of ISE Mercury, LLC for registration as a national securities exchange was granted on January 29, 2016. See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 76998 (January 29, 2016), 81 FR 6066 (February 4, 2016). The Commission understands that ISE Mercury, LLC will become a Participant in the CAT NMS Plan and thus is accounted for as a Participant for purposes of this Notice.

    4See Amendment, supra note 3.

    II. Background

    The Commission believes that the regulatory data infrastructure on which the SROs and the Commission currently must rely generally is outdated and inadequate to effectively oversee a complex, dispersed, and highly automated national market system. In performing their oversight responsibilities, regulators today must attempt to cobble together disparate data from a variety of existing information systems lacking in completeness, accuracy, accessibility, and/or timeliness—a model that neither supports the efficient aggregation of data from multiple trading venues nor yields the type of complete and accurate market activity data needed for robust market oversight.

    Currently, FINRA and some of the exchanges maintain their own separate audit trail systems for certain segments of this trading activity, which vary in scope, required data elements and format. In performing their market oversight responsibilities, SRO and Commission Staffs today must rely heavily on data from these various SRO audit trails. However, as noted in Section IV.D below, there are shortcomings in the completeness, accuracy, accessibility, and timeliness of these existing audit trail systems. Some of these shortcomings are a result of the disparate nature of the systems, which make it impractical, for example, to follow orders through their entire lifecycle as they may be routed, aggregated, re-routed, and disaggregated across multiple markets. The lack of key information in the audit trails that would be useful for regulatory oversight, such as the identity of the customers who originate orders, or even the fact that two sets of orders may have been originated by the same customer, is another shortcoming.5

    5 The Commission notes that the SROs have taken steps in recent years to update their audit trail requirements. For example, NYSE, NYSE Amex LLC (n/k/a “NYSE MKT LLC”) (“NYSE Amex”), and NYSE ARCA, Inc. (“NYSE Arca”) have adopted audit trail rules that coordinate with FINRA's OATS requirements. See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 65523 (October 7, 2011), 76 FR 64154 (October 17, 2011) (concerning NYSE); Securities Exchange Act Release No. 65524 (October 7, 2011), 76 FR 64151 (October 17, 2011) (concerning NYSE Amex); Securities Exchange Act Release No. 65544 (October 12, 2011), 76 FR 64406 (October 18, 2011) (concerning NYSE Arca). This allows the SROs to submit their data to FINRA pursuant to a Regulatory Service Agreement (“RSA”), which FINRA can then reformat and combine with OATS data. Despite these efforts, however, significant deficiencies remain. See Section IV.D.2, infra.

    Though SRO and Commission Staff also have access to sources of market activity data other than SRO audit trails, these systems each suffer their own drawbacks. For example, data obtained from the electronic blue sheet (“EBS”) 6 system and equity cleared reports 7 comprise only trade executions, and not orders or quotes. In addition, like data from existing audit trails, data from these sources lacks key elements important to regulators, such as the identity of the customer in the case of equity cleared reports. Furthermore, recent experience with implementing incremental improvements to the EBS system has illustrated some of the overall limitations of the current technologies and mechanisms used by the industry to collect, record, and make available market activity data for regulatory purposes.8

    6 EBSs are trading records requested by the Commission and SROs from broker-dealers that are used in regulatory investigations to identify buyers and sellers of specific securities.

    7 The Commission uses the National Securities Clearing Corporation's (“NSCC”) equity cleared report for initial regulatory inquiries. This report is generated on a daily basis by the SROs and is provided to the NSCC in a database accessible by the Commission, and shows the number of trades and daily volume of all equity securities in which transactions took place, sorted by clearing member. The information provided is end-of-day data and is searchable by security name and CUSIP number.

    8See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 64976 (July 27, 2011), 76 FR 46960 (August 3, 2011) (“Large Trader Release”).

    Recognizing these shortcomings, on July 11, 2012, the Commission adopted Rule 613 of Regulation NMS under the Act.9 Rule 613 required the SROs to submit a national market system (“NMS”) plan to create, implement, and maintain a consolidated audit trail (“CAT”) that would capture customer and order event information for orders in NMS securities, across all markets, from the time of order inception through routing, cancellation, modification, or execution in a single, consolidated data source.10 On February 27, 2015, the SROs submitted the CAT NMS Plan.11

    9See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 67457 (July 18, 2012), 77 FR 45722 (August 1, 2012) (“Adopting Release”); see also Securities Exchange Act Release No. 62174 (May 26, 2010), 75 FR 32556 (June 8, 2010) (“Proposing Release”).

    10See 17 CFR 242.613(a)(1), (c)(1), (c)(7).

    11See supra note 3.

    The SROs also submitted a separate NMS plan and an exemptive request letter related to the CAT NMS Plan. Specifically, on September 3, 2013, the SROs filed an NMS Plan pursuant to Rule 608 governing the SROs' review, evaluation, and ultimate selection of the Plan Processor 12 for the consolidated audit trail (the “Selection Plan”).13 The Selection Plan was published for comment in the Federal Register on November 21, 2013 and approved by the Commission on February 21, 2014.14 Subsequently, the SROs filed three amendments to the Selection Plan, two of which were approved by the Commission on June 17, 2015 and September 24, 2015 15 The CAT NMS Plan reflects the process approved by the Commission for reviewing, evaluating and ultimately selecting the Plan Processor, as set forth in the Selection Plan, as amended. Second, on January 30, 2015, the SROs filed an application,16 pursuant to Rule 0-12 under the Act,17 requesting that the Commission grant exemptions from certain requirements of Rule 613. The Commission granted the exemptions on March 1, 2016.18 The CAT NMS Plan published for comment in this Notice reflects the exemptive relief granted by the Commission.

    12 As set forth in Section 1.1 of the CAT NMS Plan, the Plan Processor “means the Initial Plan Processor or any other Person selected by the Operating Committee pursuant to SEC Rule 613 and Sections 4.3(b)(i) and 6.1, and with regard to the Initial Plan Processor, the Selection Plan, to perform the CAT processing functions required by SEC Rule 613 and set forth in [the CAT NMS Plan].”

    13See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 70892 (November 15, 2013), 78 FR 69910 (November 21, 2013) (“Selection Plan Notice”).

    14See id.; see also Securities Exchange Act Release No. 71596, 79 FR 11152 (February 27, 2014) (“Selection Plan Approval Order”).

    15See Securities Exchange Act Release Nos. 75192 (June 17, 2015), 80 FR 36028 (June 23, 2015) (Order Approving Amendment No. 1 to the Selection Plan); 75980 (September 24, 2015), 80 FR 58796 (September 30, 2015) (Order Approving Amendment No. 2 to the Selection Plan); Letter from SROs to Brent J. Fields, Secretary, Commission, dated March 29, 2016; see also Securities Exchange Act Release Nos. 74223 (February 6, 2015), 80 FR 7654 (February 11, 2015) (Notice of Amendment No. 1 to the Selection Plan); 75193 (June 17, 2015), 80 FR 36006 (June 23, 2015) (Notice of Amendment No. 2 to the Selection Plan).

    16See Letter from Participants to Brent J. Fields, Secretary, Commission, dated January 30, 2015 (“Exemptive Request Letter”). Specifically, the SROs request exemptive relief from the Rule's requirements related to: (1) The reporting of Options Market Maker quotations, as required under Rule 613(c)(7)(ii) and (iv); (2) the reporting and use of the Customer-ID under Rule 613(c)(7)(i)(A), (iv)(F), (viii)(B) and 613(c)(8); (3) the reporting of the CAT-Reporter-ID, as required under Rule 613(c)(7)(i)(C), (ii)(D), (ii)(E), (iii)(D), (iii)(E), (iv)(F), (v)(F), (vi)(B), and (c)(8); (4) the linking of executions to specific subaccount allocations, as required under Rule 613(c)(7)(vi)(A); and (5) the time stamp granularity requirement of Rule 613(d)(3) for certain manual order events subject to reporting under Rule 613(c)(7)(i)(E), (ii)(C), (iii)(C) and (iv)(C). On April 3, 2015, the SROs filed a supplement related to the requested exemption for Rule 613(c)(7)(vi)(A). See Letter from Robert Colby, FINRA, on behalf of the SROs, to Brent J. Fields, Secretary, Commission, dated April 3, 2015 (“April 2015 Supplement”). This supplement provided examples of how the proposed relief related to allocations would operate. On September 2, 2015, the SROs filed a second supplement to the Exemptive Request Letter. See Letter from the SROs to Brent J. Fields, Secretary, Commission, dated September 2, 2015 (“September 2015 Supplement”). This supplement to the Exemptive Request Letter further addressed the use of an “effective date” in lieu of a “date account opened.” Unless the context otherwise requires, the “Exemption Request” shall refer to the Exemptive Request Letter, as supplemented by the April 2015 Supplement and the September 2015 Supplement.

    17 17 CFR 240.0-12.

    18See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 77265 (March 1, 2016), 81 FR 11856 (March 7, 2016) (“Exemption Order”). The Commission requests comment specifically on the advantages and disadvantages of each aspect of the relief granted in the Exemption Order and whether the approaches permitted by the Exemption Order to be included in the CAT NMS Plan are preferable to those originally permitted by Rule 613. See Request for Comment Nos. 168-170 (Options Market Maker Quotes), 135-161 (Customer ID), 128-134 (CAT-Reporter-ID), 162-167 (Linking Order Executions to Allocations) and 114-127 (Time Stamp Granularity), infra.

    III. Description of the Plan

    As described further in this Section III of this Notice, the SROs propose to conduct the activities of the CAT through CAT NMS, LLC, a jointly owned limited liability company formed under Delaware state law; and to that end, the SROs submitted the CAT NMS, LLC's limited liability company agreement (the “LLC Agreement”), including exhibits and appendices attached thereto, to the Commission as the CAT NMS Plan. The SROs also submitted a cover letter that included a description of the CAT NMS Plan, along with the information required by Rule 608(a)(4) and (5) under the Act,19 which is set forth below in Section III.A of this Notice as substantially prepared and submitted by the SROs. Set forth in Section III.B is a summary of additional CAT NMS Plan provisions and requests for comment.20

    19 17 CFR 242.608(a)(4) and (a)(5).

    20 All capitalized terms not otherwise defined herein shall have the meaning ascribed to them in Rule 613, the Adopting Release, or the CAT NMS Plan, as applicable.

    The LLC Agreement, attached hereto as Exhibit A, sets forth a governing structure, whereby the Operating Committee will manage the CAT NMS, LLC, and each SRO will be a member of, and have one vote within, the Operating Committee.21 The LLC Agreement details the Operating Committee's procedures for selecting the Plan Processor,22 who will be contracted to build the CAT, as well as the functions and activities of the Plan Processor. The LLC Agreement also sets forth the responsibilities of the Central Repository which, under the oversight of the Plan Processor, will receive, consolidate and retain the CAT Data.23 The LLC Agreement also lists the requirements regarding the recording and reporting of CAT Data by the SROs as well as by broker-dealers, the security and confidentiality safeguards for CAT Data, surveillance requirements, fees and costs associated with operating the CAT, as well as other reporting and Technical Specifications and requirements.24

    21See CAT NMS Plan, supra note 3, at Article IV.

    22See id. at Article V; see also Order Approving Amendment No. 1 to the Selection Plan and Order Approving Amendment No. 2 to the Selection Plan, supra note 15.

    23See CAT NMS Plan, supra note 3, at Article VI.

    24See id.

    In Appendix C to the LLC Agreement, the SROs address the considerations listed in Rule 613(a)(1), providing information and analysis regarding the specific features, details, costs, and processes related to the CAT NMS Plan. Appendix D to the LLC Agreement provides an outline of the CAT's minimum functional and technical requirements for the Plan Processor.

    A. Statement of Purpose and Request for Comment

    The following statement of purpose provided herein is substantially as prepared and submitted by the SROs to the Commission.25 Throughout the statement of purpose, the Commission has inserted requests for comment. The portion of this Notice prepared by the Commission will re-commence in Section III.B.

    25See CAT NMS Plan, supra note 3.

    1. Background

    On July 11, 2012, the Commission adopted Rule 613 26 to require the national securities exchanges and national securities association to jointly submit a national market system plan to create, implement, and maintain a consolidated audit trail and central repository.27 Rule 613 outlines a broad framework for the creation, implementation, and maintenance of the consolidated audit trail, including the minimum elements the Commission believes are necessary for an effective consolidated audit trail.28

    26 17 CFR 242.613.

    27 17 CFR 242.613(a)(1).

    28See Adopting Release, supra note 9, at 45743.

    Since the adoption of Rule 613, the Participants have worked to formulate an effective Plan. To this end, the Participants have, among other things, developed a plan for selecting the Plan Processor, solicited and evaluated Bids, and engaged diverse industry participants in the development of the Plan. Throughout, the Participants have sought to implement a process that is fair, transparent, and consistent with the standards and considerations in Rule 613.

    a. The Request for Proposal and Selection Plan

    On February 26, 2013, the Participants published a request for proposal (“RFP”) soliciting Bids from parties interested in serving as the Plan Processor.29 The Participants concluded that publication of an RFP was necessary to ensure that potential alternative solutions to creating the Plan and the CAT could be presented and considered, and that a detailed and meaningful cost-benefit analysis could be performed. The Participants asked any potential bidders to notify the Participants of their intent to bid by March 5, 2013. Initially, 31 firms submitted intentions to bid, four of which were Participants or affiliates of Participants. In the following weeks and months, the Participants engaged with