[Federal Register Volume 64, Number 82 (Thursday, April 29, 1999)]
[Pages 23122-23123]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 99-10724]



Bureau of Labor Statistics

Proposed Collection; Comment Request

ACTION: Notice.


SUMMARY: The Department of Labor, as part of its continuing effort to 
reduce paperwork and respondent burden, conducts a pre-clearance 
consultation program to provide the general public and Federal agencies 
with an opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing 
collections of information in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction 
Act of 1994 (PRA95) (44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)). This problem helps to 
ensure that requested data can be provided in the desired format, 
reporting burden (time and financial resources) is minimized, 
collection instruments are clearly understood, and the impact of 
collection requirements on respondents can be properly assessed. 
Currently, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is soliciting comments 
concerning the proposed revision of the ``National Compensation 
Survey.'' A copy of the proposed information collection request (ICR) 
can be obtained by contacting the individual listed below in the 
addressed section of this notice.

DATES: Written comments must be submitted to the office listed in the 
addresses section below on or before June 28, 1999.
    The Bureau of Labor Statistics is particularly interested in 
comments which:
     Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is 
necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, 
including whether the information will have practical utility;
     Evaluate the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the 
burden of the proposed collection of information, including the 
validity of the methodology and assumptions used;
     Enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the 
information to be collected; and
     Minimize the burden of the collection of information on 
those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate 
automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection 
techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting 
electronic submissions of responses.

ADDRESSES: Send comments to Karin G. Kurz, BLS Clearance Officer, 
Division of Management Systems, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Room 3255, 
2 Massachusetts Avenue N.E., Washington, DC 20212. Ms. Kurz can be 
reached on 202-606-7628 (this is not a toll free number).


I. Background

    The National Compensation Survey (NCS) is an ongoing survey of 
earnings and benefits among private firms, and State and Local 
government. The survey resulted from the integration of three surveys: 
the Occupational Compensation Survey Program (OCSP); the Employment 
Cost Index (ECI); and the Employee Benefits Survey (EBS). Data from 
these surveys are critical for setting Federal white-collar salaries, 
determining monetary policy (as a Principal Federal Economic 
Indicator), and providing data for compensation administrators and 
researchers in the private sector.
    Data are collected from a sample of employers. These data consist 
of information about the duties, responsibilities, and compensation for 
a sample of occupations for each sampled employer.
    Data are updated on either an annual or quarterly basis. The 
updates allow for production of data on change in earnings and total 

II. Current Actions

    In 1996, BLS began the National Compensation Survey (NCS) with the 
collection of occupational earnings by locality and by job duties and 
responsibilities. Since that time, BLS has published compilations of 
these data for 65 separate localities.
    In 1998, BLS began the collection of benefits data in the NCS. BLS 
collected information on the cost, provisions, and incidence of all the 
major employee benefits through the ECI and EBS. The change to the NCS 
sample reduces total respondent burden and increases possible ways BLS 
can provide data.
    NCS data on benefit costs will continue to be used to produce the 
Employment Cost Index and Employer Expenditures for Employee 
Compensation Series. The data provided will be the same, and the series 
will be continuous.
    The NCS also will provide much of the data now provided by the EBS. 
These data include estimates of how many workers receive the various 
employer-sponsored benefits and the common features of those benefit 
    Type of Review: Revision of a currently approved collection.
    Agency: Bureau of Labor Statistics
    Title: National Compensation Survey.
    Affected Public: Business or other for-profit; not-for-profit 
institutions; and State, Local or Tribal Government.
    Total Respondents: 40,116 (3-year average).

[[Page 23123]]

    Frequency: Annually in some establishments, and quarterly in 
    Total Responses: 71,607 (3-year average).
    Average Time Per Response: 45 minutes (3-year average).
    Estimated Total Burden Hours: 54,262 hours (3-year average).
    Total Burden Cost (capital/startup): $0.
    Total Burden Cost (operating/maintenance): $0.
    All figures in the chart below are based on a 3-year average. The 
sum of total respondents and the sum of total responses are greater on 
the chart below than the figures listed above; many respondents are 
asked to provide information relating to more than one form.
    Collection forms can have multiple purposes. The chart below shows 
the average collection time for the predominant use of the form, and 
the weighted average time for all uses of the form. The benefit 
initiation forms, for example, are used both for initial collection of 
benefits from an establishment, and for technical review of the initial 
collection. The initial collection takes an average of 180 minutes, 
while the records check takes about eight minutes. The weighted average 
collection time in 156 minutes.

                                                                 Total       Average      time for      Total
             Form                    Total        Frequency      annual    minutes per      the         annual
                                  respondents                  responses     response   predominant     burden
                                                                                          form use
Earnings Initiation (NCS 99-   5,640...........    Annual or        6,204           76           82        7,821
 1).                                               Quarterly
Earnings Update (NCS 99-2)...  24,106..........    Annual or       54,368           19           20       17,477
Benefits Initiation (NCS 99-   2,240...........    Annual or        2,593          156          180        6,748
 3) \1\.                                           Quarterly
Benefits Update (NCS 99-4)...  10,686..........    Annual or       37,807           20           20       12,464
Informed Consent (NCS 99-5)..  (*).............      Unknown      Unknown   Negligible   Negligible   Negligible
Collection Not Tied to a       10,370..........       Annual       10,370           56           82        9,752
 Specific Form.
      Total..................  53,041..........  ...........      111,342  ...........  ...........       54,262
\1\ Form 3038D will continue to be used until the NCS data capture system is completed at the end of FY 2000.
* Unknown; dependent upon number of respondents who elect to have third parties provide data.

    Comments submitted in response to this notice will be summarized 
and/or included in the request for Office of Management and Budget 
approval of the information collection request; the comments also will 
become a matter of public record.

    Signed at Washington, D.C., this 23rd day of April 1999.
W. Stuart Rust, Jr.,
Chief, Division of Management Systems, Bureau of Labor Statistics.
[FR Doc. 99-10724 Filed 4-28-99; 8:45 am]