[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 178 (Friday, September 13, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 56646-56648]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-22253]


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DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Food and Nutrition Service


Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection; 
Comment Request--Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program: State 
Issuance and Participation Estimates--Forms FNS-388 and FNS-388A

AGENCY: Food and Nutrition Service (FNS), USDA.

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the 
Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) is publishing for public comment a 
summary of a proposed information collection. This is a revision of a 
currently approved collection for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance 
Program (SNAP) forms: FNS-388, State Issuance and Participation 
Estimates and FNS-388A, Project Area Data Format. FNS plans to update 
form FNS-388, to separately capture and differentiate Disaster 
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (D-SNAP) benefit issuance and 
participation data from ongoing SNAP issuance and participation data. 
This form update will clearly distinguish D-SNAP data from ongoing SNAP 
data, thereby ensuring the speed and accuracy of FNS response to 
requests from multiple agencies on contributions to Federal disaster 
relief efforts. There are no changes to form FNS-388A.

DATES: Written comments must be received on or before November 12, 
2013.

ADDRESSES: 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 collection of information including the validity of the 
methodology and assumptions used; (c) ways to enhance the quality, 
utility, and clarity of the information to be

[[Page 56647]]

collected; and (d) 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 Jane Duffield, Chief, State Administration 
Branch, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Food and Nutrition 
Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 3101 Park Center Drive, Room 
818, Alexandria, VA 22302. Comments may also be submitted via email to 
SNAPSAB@fns.usda.gov. 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 approval. All comments will 
become a matter of public record.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Requests for additional information or 
copies of this information collection should be directed to Kelly 
Stewart at 703-305-2425.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 
    Title: State Issuance and Participation Estimates.
    Form Number: FNS-388 and FNS-388A.
    OMB Number: 0584-0081.
    Expiration Date: July 31, 2016.
    Type of Request: Revision of a currently approved collection.
    Abstract: Section 18(b) of the Food and Nutrition Act, (the Act) 7 
U.S.C. 2027(b), limits the value of allotments paid to SNAP households 
to an amount not in excess of the appropriation for the fiscal year. If 
allotments in any fiscal year would exceed the appropriation, the 
Secretary of Agriculture is required to direct State agencies to reduce 
the value of SNAP allotments to the extent necessary to stay within 
appropriated funding limits. Timely State monthly issuance estimates 
are necessary for FNS to ensure that it remains within the 
appropriation. The estimates will also have a direct effect upon the 
manner in which allotments would be reduced if necessary. While benefit 
reductions have never been ordered in the past under Section 18(b) nor 
are they anticipated based on current data, the Department must 
continue to monitor actual program costs against the appropriation.
    Section 11(e)(12) of the Food and Nutrition Act, 7 U.S.C. 
2020(e)(12), requires that the State Plan of Operations provide for the 
submission of reports required by the Secretary of Agriculture. State 
agencies are required to report on a monthly basis on the FNS-388, 
State Issuance and Participation Estimates, estimated or actual 
issuance and participation data for the current month and previous 
month, and actual participation data for the second preceding month. 
The FNS-388 report provides the necessary data for an early warning 
system to enable the Department to monitor actual and estimated costs 
for all benefit types against the appropriation.
    Disaster SNAP is authorized by sections 402 and 502 of the Robert 
T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 
5121 et seq.) and the temporary emergency provisions contained in 
Section 5 of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008, and in 7 CFR Part 280 
of the SNAP regulations. State agencies may request FNS approval to 
operate a Disaster SNAP in an area that has received a Presidential 
declaration as a Major Disaster area eligible for Individual 
Assistance. In accordance with 7 CFR 274.4, State agencies shall keep 
records and report SNAP participation and issuance totals to FNS.
    FNS currently requires State agencies to report Disaster SNAP 
issuance and participation data using form FNS-292B Report of Disaster 
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Benefit Issuance. Form FNS-
292B must be submitted to the agency within 45 days of the termination 
of a Disaster SNAP operation and captures final issuance and 
participation data. The information collection burden for the FNS-292B 
is included in OMB 0584-0037, expiration date July 31, 2014.
    States operating D-SNAP may also use the ``remarks'' section of the 
current FNS-388 form to indicate issuance and participation data, 
however this is not required and is currently not reported consistently 
or in a uniform manner that allows FNS to readily access this 
information. However, recent evaluation of Federal disaster response 
efforts has identified a critical need for timely periodic reporting 
while a disaster response is ongoing. Disaster response updates are 
frequently requested by the Secretary of Agriculture, the Federal 
Emergency Management Agency, the White House and Congress during an 
ongoing relief effort. Updating the FNS-388, to include separate 
reporting of D-SNAP benefit issuance and participation will improve 
data accountability and ensure data is available on a monthly basis for 
timely response to Federal, State and other inquiries. Requiring 
monthly D-SNAP data on the FNS-388, will not duplicate any data 
collection currently in place, as the FNS-292B, serves as a final 
summary and closeout of the disaster response period and is not meant 
to provide periodic updates.
    Revisions to the FNS-388, are not yet finalized, however the 
following updates are projected:
     Addition of data elements ``D-SNAP (New Households)'' and 
``Disaster Supplements (Ongoing SNAP Households)'' in the Issuance 
section. ``Current Month'' data will not be required for these 
elements.
     Addition of data elements ``D-SNAP (New Participants)'' 
and ``Disaster Supplements (Ongoing SNAP Participants)'' in the 
Participants section. ``Current Month'' data will not be required for 
these elements.
     Addition of data elements ``D-SNAP (New Households)'' and 
``Disaster Supplements (Ongoing SNAP Households)'' in the Households 
section. ``Current Month'' data will not be required for these 
elements.
    The update to form FNS-388, is occurring in coordination with an 
update to form FNS-46, Issuance Reconciliation Report (OMB 0584-0080, 
expiration date March 31, 2014) to incorporate separate D-SNAP benefit 
issuance data points that mirror those collected on the FNS-388. The 
alignment of these two forms will ensure that the monthly D-SNAP 
benefit issuance data collected on the FNS-388, will have associated 
and corresponding final issuance reconciliations on the FNS-46.
    State agencies in general only submit one statewide FNS-388 per 
month, which covers benefits from their Electronic Benefit Transfer 
(EBT) system. The exception is State agencies which choose to operate 
an approved alternative issuance demonstration project such as a cash-
out system submit a separate report for each additional type of 
issuance system. The addition of D-SNAP estimates on FNS-388, will not 
impact the frequency of response or recordkeeping, but the update will 
minimally increase the burden associated with completing the form. As 
there are an average of six disasters requiring D-SNAP issuance each 
year, this change will not impact all States in all months. As a result 
of these program changes, FNS estimates the burden hours associated 
with completing the FNS-388, will increase by 30 minutes for each State 
responding to a disaster (estimated at 6). This will increase the time 
per response from 5.6 to an average of 5.65 per month ([(5.6*47) + 
(6*6)]/53) thereby increasing the total reporting burden hours for the 
FNS-388 to 3,389.8.

[[Page 56648]]

    In addition, State agencies are required to submit a project area 
breakdown on the FNS-388, of issuance and participation data twice a 
year. The project area breakdown attached to the FNS-388, twice a year 
is known as the FNS-388A. This data is useful in identifying project 
areas that operate fraud detection units in accordance with the Act. 
The information provided on FNS-388A, will not change and the burden 
associated with this form remains as is.
    As of August 2013, 100 percent of respondents submitted the FNS-388 
and FNS-388A data electronically.
    Affected Public: State agencies that administer SNAP.
    Estimated Number of Respondents: 53.
    Estimated Number of Responses per Respondent: 27.17.
    Estimated Hours per Response: 3.602.
    Estimated Total Annual Responses: 1,440.
    Estimated Total Annual Burden on Respondents: The current burden 
inventory for this collection is 5,157. This revised annual reporting 
and recordkeeping burden for OMB No. 0584-0081, is estimated to be 
5,186.6 hours. For the FNS-388, the response time has increased 
slightly from an estimated 5.6 hours per month to 5.71. This results in 
a burden increase of 29.6 hours annually. See the table below for 
estimated total annual burden for each type of respondent.

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                                                                                                                              Time per
              Affected public                            Forms                 Number of     Frequency of   Total annual      response     Annual burden
                                                                              respondents      response       responses        (hrs)           hours
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State Agencies.............................  FNS-388......................              53         11.32              600          5.65          3,389.8
                                             FNS-388A.....................              53          2.26              120         14.83          1,779.6
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    Reporting Burden.......................  .............................              53  .............             720  .............         5,169.4
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                                                                                                                               Time per        Annual
              Affected public                             Forms                 Number of     Frequency of   Total annual      response    recordkeeping
                                                                             record-keepers     response        records         (hrs)           hours
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State Agencies.............................  FNS-388.......................              53         11.32              600           .024          14.4
                                             FNS-388A......................              53          2.26              120           .024           2.88
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    Record-keeping Burden..................  ..............................              53  .............             720  .............          17.28
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        Grand Total........................  ..............................              53         27.170           1,440          3.602       5,186.6
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    Dated: September 5, 2013.
Audrey Rowe,
Administrator, Food and Nutrition Service.
[FR Doc. 2013-22253 Filed 9-12-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3410-30-P