Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection;

From: GPO_OnLine_USDA
Date: 2002/03/19

[Federal Register: March 19, 2002 (Volume 67, Number 53)]
[Page 12511-12512]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access []


[[Page 12511]]


Food and Nutrition Service

Agency Information Collection Activities: Proposed Collection;
Comment Request--Food Stamp Program Store Applications, Form Numbers
FNS-252 and FNS-252-2

AGENCY: Food and Nutrition Service, USDA.

ACTION: Notice and request for comments.


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. The proposed collection
is a revision, with change of two application forms approved under the
Office of Management and Budget (OMB) No. 0584-0008, Form FNS-252, Food
Stamp Application for Stores and Form FNS-252-2, Meal Service ``
Application. Together, these two forms are used by all retailers,
wholesalers, meal service providers, certain types of group homes,
shelters, and state-contracted restaurants who wish to apply to FNS for
authorization to participate in the Food Stamp Program and are used to
determine whether or not the firms or services continue to meet
eligibility requirements. Previously, Form FNS-252R, Food Stamp
Application for Stores--Reauthorization was approved under this same
OMB Number. FNS has eliminated the need for Form FNS-252R and this
submission to OMB reflects this change.

DATES: Comments on this notice must be received by May 20, 2002 to be
assured of consideration.

ADDRESSES: Send comments to Karen J. Walker, Chief, Retailer Management
Branch, Benefit Redemption Division, Food and Nutrition Service, U.S.
Department of Agriculture, 3101 Park Center Drive, Room 404,
Alexandria, VA 22302.
    Pursuant to the Paperwork reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3507),
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 has 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 collected; and (d) ways to minimize
the burden of the collection of information on those who are to
respond, including the use of appropriate automated, electronic,
mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms
of information technology.
    All comments will be summarized and included in the request for
Office of Management and Budget approval of the information collection.
All comments will become matter of public record.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Karen J. Walker, (703) 305-2418.

    Title: Food Stamp Program--Store Applications.
    OMB Number: 0584-0008.
    Expiration Date: June 30, 2002.
    Type of Request: Revision of a currently approved information
collection, with changes.
    Abstract: FNS is the Federal Agency responsible for the Food Stamp
Program (FSP). Section 9 of the Food Stamp Act of 1977, as amended, (7
U.S.C. 2011 et. seq.) requires that FNS provide for the submission of
applications for approval by retail food establishments and meal
service programs that wish to participate in the FSP, review the
application in order to determine whether or not applicants meet
eligibility requirements, and make determinations whether to grant or
deny authorization to accept and redeem food stamp benefits. FNS is
also responsible for requiring updates to application information and
reviewing that information to determine whether or not the firms or
services continue to meet eligibility requirements.
    The following three forms are currently approved under OMB No.
0584-0008: Form FNS-252, Food Stamp Application for Stores; Form FNS-
252-2, Meal Service-Application, and Form FNS-252-R, Food Stamp
Application for Stores--Reauthorization. For this submission to OMB,
FNS is seeking approval of two forms, FNS-252 and FNS-252-2. FNS has
eliminated the use of the third form, FNS-252-R, so it is not part of
this information collection package. Without the use of Forms FNS-252
and FNS-252-2, no vehicle would exist for FNS to determine the
qualification of those applicants whose participation will effectuate
the purposes of the FSP.
    The burden associated with these forms are determined from
information available in our Store Tracking and Redemption System
(STARS) database based on information available as of July 2001. For
burden estimates associated with the number of applications received
and processed for initial authorization, we used as our base the number
of stores (all types) newly authorized/approved as reflected in data in
year-end data maintained in STARS. We examined year-end data for Fiscal
Year (FY) 1996-2000. Year-end data for FY 2001 is not yet available. In
our analysis, historical data reflected an average decline of
approximately 1,500 authorized retailers each year. However, in
comparing the number of new firms entering the FSP in July 2000 vs.
July 2001, we noticed a slight increase in the number of
authorizations. As of July 2001, approximately 15,069 firms were newly
authorized/approved. We do not think it is realistic to assume that
this number will remain constant for the remainder of the fiscal year,
therefore, we are estimating a 10% increase from the STARS data
available as of July 2001. We estimate that the number of stores newly
authorized in FY 2001 will be around 16,576 (15,069 + 10% = 16,575.9),
rounded to 16,500. We have further inflated the base number of 16,500
applications by 7% (1,155) to account for applications received and
processed, but denied or are incomplete at the time of submission.
Thus, the total number of applications expected to be received and
processed is estimated to be 17,655 annually. It is estimated that 98%
(17,301) of the 17,655 applications expected to be received would be on
Form FNS-252 and 2% (353) would be on Form FNS-252-2. As currently
approved by OMB, the hourly burden rate per response for Form FNS-252
is 20 to 68 minutes, with the

[[Page 12512]]

average being 27 minutes. Hourly burden time per response varies by the
type of application used, and includes the time to review instructions,
search existing data resources, gather and copy the data needed,
complete and review the application and submit the form and
documentation to FNS. The hourly burden time for users of Form FNS-252-
2 is estimated to be 10 to 20 minutes, with the average time being 12
    For burden estimates associated with applications for
reauthorization, we used the total number of stores (all types)
authorized (155,950) as of July 2001. Generally, authorized stores are
subject to reauthorization at least once every 5 years. Using the
number of authorized stores (155,950) as of July 2001 as our base, it
is estimated that 20% (31,190) of all authorized stores are subject to
reauthorization performed annually. As mentioned previously, since our
last information collection package, FNS has eliminated the use of Form
FNS 252-R, Food Stamp Application for Stores--Reauthorization, and the
hourly burden time associated with this form. As a result of this
procedural change, we estimate that 3% (936) of the 31,190 firms
subject to reauthorization will be completed using Form FNS-252 and 2%
(624) will be on Form FNS-252-2. The remaining 95% (29,630) of the
31,190 firms subject to reauthorization will not have to complete any
forms in order to be reauthorized. Reauthorization for those firms will
involve a documented store visit either by Agency personnel or by an
agent of the Agency.
    Using the two remaining forms (FNS-252 and FNS 252-2), we estimate
the number of program respondents to be 19,215. The computation is
provided below:


    New Authorizations 17,302 (17,655 x 98%); Reauthorizations 936
(155,950 x 20% x 3%) = 18,238


    New Authorizations 353 (17,655 x 2%) Reauthorizations 624 (155,950
x 20% x 2%) = 977; Total Responses = 19,215 (18238 + 977).
    We estimate the annual burden hours to be 8,553 hours. The
computation is provided below:
    FNS-252 8,358 (18,238 x .4583 hours)
    FNS-252-2 195; Total Annual Hours 8,553.
    Affected Public: Retail food stores, wholesale food concerns, and
meal service programs.
    Estimated Number of Respondents: 19,215.
    Estimated Annual Number of Responses per Respondent: 1.
    Estimated Total Annual Responses: 19,215.
    Estimate of Burden: 8,553.
    Estimated Total Annual Burden: 8,553.

    Dated: February 5, 2002.
George A. Braley,
Acting Administrator, Food and Nutrition Service.
[FR Doc. 02-6589 Filed 3-18-02; 8:45 am]

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