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Notices Federal Register

Vol. 70, No. 43

Monday, March 7, 2005

This section of the FEDERAL REGISTER the collection of information unless it DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
contains documents other than rules or displays a currently valid OMB control
proposed rules that are applicable to the number. Food and Nutrition Service
public. Notices of hearings and investigations,
committee meetings, agency decisions and Rural Utilities Service Agency Information Collection
rulings, delegations of authority, filing of Activities: Proposed Collection;
petitions and applications and agency Title: RUS Electric Loan Application Comment Request; Food Stamp
statements of organization and functions are and Related Reporting Burdens. Program Redemption Certificate, Form,
examples of documents appearing in this
section. OMB Control Number: 0572–0032. FNS–278B; Food Stamp Program
Summary of Collection: The Rural Wholesaler Redemption Certificate,
Utilities Service (RUS) was established Form FNS–278–4
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE in 1994 by the Federal Crop Insurance AGENCY: Food and Nutrition Service,
Reform and Department of Agriculture USDA.
Submission for OMB Review; Reorganization Act of 1994 (Pub. L. ACTION: Notice and request for
Comment Request
103–354, 108 stat. 3178, 7 U.S.C. 6941 comments.
March 1, 2005. et seq.) as successor to the Rural
The Department of Agriculture has Electrification Administration (REA) SUMMARY: In accordance with the
submitted the following information with respect to certain programs, Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the
collection requirement(s) to OMB for including the electric loan and loan Food and Nutrition Service is
review and clearance under the guarantee program authorized under the publishing for public comment a
Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, summary of a proposed information
Rural Electrification Act (RE Act) of
Public Law 104–13. Comments collection. The proposed collection is a
1936. The RE Act authorize and
regarding (a) whether the collection of revision of a currently approved
empowers the Administrator of RUS to
information is necessary for the proper collection of the Food Stamp Program
make and guarantee loans to furnish and for which approval expires on February
performance of the functions of the improve electric service in rural areas.
agency, including whether the 28, 2005. The Food Stamp Act of 1977,
These loans are amortized over a period as amended, requires that the Food and
information will have practical utility;
of up to 35 years and secured by the Nutrition Service will provide all
(b) the accuracy of the agency’s estimate
borrower’s electric assets. RUS will authorized retail food stores and
of burden including the validity of the
methodology and assumptions used; (c) collect information including studies wholesale food concerns with
ways to enhance the quality, utility and and reports to support borrower loan redemption certificates. The redemption
clarity of the information to be applications. certificates are to be used by all
collected; (d) ways to minimize the Need and Use of the Information: authorized retailers and wholesale firms
burden of the collection of information RUS will collect information to to present food coupons to insured
on those who are to respond, including determine the eligibility of applicants financial institutions for credit or for
through the use of appropriate for loans and loan guarantees under the cash. Requirements in the Food Stamp
automated, electronic, mechanical, or RE Act; monitor the compliance of Program regulations are the basis for the
other technological collection borrowers with debt covenants and information collected on Form FNS–
techniques or other forms of information regulatory requirements in order to 278B, Food Stamp Redemption
technology should be addressed to: Desk protect loan security; ensure that Certificate and Form FNS–278–4,
Officer for Agriculture, Office of borrowers use loan funds for purposes Wholesaler Redemption Certificate.
Information and Regulatory Affairs, The Food and Nutrition Service is
consistent with the statutory goals of the
Office, of Management and Budget rapidly phasing out the use of paper
RE Act; and obtain information on the
(OMB), food coupons. Currently, 99.9 percent of
progress of rural electrification and all food stamp benefits are issued
OIRA_Submission@OMB.EOP.GOV or
evaluate the success of RUS program electronically. Forty-eight States, the
fax (202) 395–5806 and to Department
Clearance Office, USDA, OCIO, Mail activities. District of Columbia, the Virgin Islands,
Stop 7602, Washington, DC 20250– Description of Respondents: Not-for- Guam, and Puerto Rico have online
7602. Comments regarding these profit institutions; Business or other for- operating Electronic Benefit Transfer
information collections are best assured profit; State, Local or Tribal (EBT) systems. Two States operate
of having their full effect if received Government. offline food stamp EBT systems and
within 30 days of this notification. Number of Respondents: 801. issue paper food coupons to recipients
Copies of the submission(s) may be who move out of State and have
obtained by calling (202) 720–8681. Frequency of Responses: Reporting: remaining food stamp benefits. Many
An agency may not conduct or On occasion; Annually. States have already closed out their
sponsor a collection of information Total Burden Hours: 65,717. coupon inventory completely and more
unless the collection of information will be doing the same in the upcoming
displays a currently valid OMB control Ruth Brown, year. Approximately 438,955
number and the agency informs Departmental Information Collection Redemption Certificates were processed
potential persons who are to respond to Clearance Officer. by retailers and wholesalers in Fiscal
the collection of information that such [FR Doc. 05–4289 Filed 3–4–05; 8:45 am] Year 2004, and the number continues to
persons are not required to respond to BILLING CODE 3410–15–M decline due to 100 percent EBT

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