Process to Obtain Approval of a DoD Internal Information Collection and a Report Control Symbol

All DoD internal information collections must be approved and assigned a report control symbol in accordance with the procedures in DoD Manual 8910.01, Volume 1 and as outlined on this webpage.

In accordance with the policy in DoD Instruction 8910.01 and the procedures in DoD Manual 8910.01, Volume 1, DoD and Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) Components must not respond to DoD internal information collections that do not have a valid report control symbol.

Obtaining a Report Control Symbol

Download the DoD Internal Information Collections Approval Process Generator to create a custom list of the procedures required to approve and license your DoD internal information collection. Download a list of the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) and DoD Components.

Attention action officers seeking approval for collections internal to the Office of the Deputy Chief Management Officer (DCMO): visit the DCMO guidance and process webpage.

Do you have changes to an existing report control symbol? See the Revisions Approval Process webpage for approval procedures for revisions, transfers of responsibility, extensions to the expiration date of an active report control symbol, emergency approval, and external collections.

Expand each section below to review the steps to obtain a report control symbol for a DoD internal information collection.

Overview of DoD Internal Information Collections Approval Process

Overview Approval Process

Step 1: Contact your Component Information Management Control Officer (IMCO)

Contact your Component Information Management Control Officer (DoD personnel only; CAC validation required) to ensure that your information collection is not duplicative and to verify the processes that are required to obtain approval for your collection. Your Component Information Management Control Officer confirms the collection requires a report control symbol, ensures against duplication and advises on the approval process that is outlined on this webpage.

Step 2: Obtain a cost summary on the DoD Cost Guidance Website and draft the DD Form 2936

Complete a cost estimate at the DoD Cost Guidance Website (DoD personnel only; CAC validation required) by selecting the "Internal Collections" calculator from the top navigation or under "Cost Guidance Initiatives." You must be able to answer the following questions about your proposed information collection before you can complete the cost estimate:

  • Which DoD or Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) Component is requesting the information? This should be your DoD or OSD Component. For DoD Field Activities and Defense Agencies, you will be required to list the Component with OSD oversight for that Activity or Defense Agency. See a list of DoD and OSD Components and for information on OSD oversight of DoD Field Activities and Defense Agencies.
  • What are the costs to the DoD or OSD Component requesting the information to own or sponsor the collection (e.g., contract costs, distribution costs, aggregation costs)?
  • How many individual respondents are expected to respond to the information collection and what is their distribution among the DoD and OSD Components (e.g., 10 respondents from 5 OSD Components for a total of 50 respondents)?
  • What is the average GS level (or equivalent) of the respondents?
  • How often and how long will the information be collected?

After you complete the cost estimate you will be able to automatically generate the DD Form 2936, “Request for Approval of DoD Internal Information Collection” with the estimated costs of the proposed information collection. After generating a draft DD Form 2936 from the DoD Cost Guidance Website see the instructions on the third and fourth pages of the DD Form 2936 and complete the remaining sections of the DD Form 2936:

  1. CLASSIFICATION OF INFORMATION COLLECTION: As stated.
  2. DATE OF REQUEST:  Enter the date the DD Form 2936 is drafted.
  3. TYPE OF REQUEST:  For changes, transfers, emergency approval procedures, and public collections, see the Revisions Approval Process webpage. Select “New” if the information collection is new and a report control symbol has not been assigned to the collection. Select "Reinstatement” if the information collection was approved previously but the report control symbol has expired.
  4. PRESCRIBING DOCUMENTS:  As stated.  The justification statement (see section 6 below) may serve as the prescribing document.
  5. INFORMATION COLLECTION DATA:  Sections 5a, 5c, and 5f are populated by the DoD Cost Guidance Website.  Complete all other sections of the DD Form 2936 as stated.
  6. JUSTIFICATION STATEMENT:  Each request must include a justification statement as part of the DD Form 2936 action package.  A justification statement must include a detailed description of how the information will be used, by whom and the purpose. Does the information collection involve the use of technological collection techniques? A justification statement must include a description of efforts made to reduce the burden and cost on the respondents and a list of risks or penalties associated with not having the information collection request approved.

    If the information collection is a survey, attach the package sent to the Defense Manpower and Data Center (DMDC) to include the DMDC “supporting statement.” See Step 3 for more information on surveys and coordination with DMDC. The DMDC supporting statement takes the place of the justification statement.

    If the internal information collection is also a collection of information from the public, attach the justification statement submitted with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Form 83-I. For more information on public collections, see the public collections section below the five approval steps at the bottom of this page.
  7. REQUESTING COMPONENT ORGANIZATION NAME AND DIRECTORATE: Partly populated by the DoD Cost Guidance Website.  Add your directorate.
  8. ACTION OFFICER CONTACT INFORMATION:  Contact information for the action officer completing the DD Form 2936.  You may list a Defense contractor with a valid DoD email address in section 8 of the DD Form 2936.
  9. REQUESTING COMPONENT OFFICIAL:  After completing the cost estimate on the DoD Cost Guidance Website, drafting the remainder of the DD Form 2936, and obtaining mandatory coordination as described in step 3 below, have the DD Form 2936 signed by a Senior Executive Service member in the requesting Component. The requesting Component’s Senior Executive Service member’s signature is not necessary if coordinating via the DoD issuance process though the collection’s cost information must be listed on the SD Form 106, “DoD Directives Program Coordination Record.”  See Step 4 for more information on coordinating a collection with its prescribing DoD issuance. See the DoD Issuances Website for more information on DoD issuances.
  10. ESTIMATED COST OF INFORMATION COLLECTION:  Populated by the DoD Cost Guidance Website.
  11. COORDINATION:  See step 3 below and select the applicable coordination.  Signature and date signed are to be completed by the mandatory coordinators.
  12. RESPONDENT(S) COORDINATION:  This section and the second page of the DD Form 2936 is populated by the DoD Cost Guidance Website. See Step 4 below on this webpage.
  13. DoD COMPONENT INFORMATION MANAGEMENT CONTROL OFFICER (IMCO):  To be completed by the Component Information Management Control Officer.
  14. FOR USE BY DoD INTERNAL INFORMATION COLLECTIONS OFFICER ONLY:  As stated.

Step 3: Obtain mandatory coordination (this section includes special instructions for surveys and focus groups)

The Component action officer submits the DD Form 2936, the collection instrument, and a supporting statement (or justification statement as described in section 6 of the DD Form 2936) to mandatory coordinators as applicable. Mandorory coordinators will assist the action officer directly with the approval processes described below and will provide their signature in section 11 of the DD Form 2936.

Component Forms Manager: Information collections involving the use of a form must be coordinated with the requesting Component’s Forms Manager to determine if the form should be controlled in accordance with DoD Manual 7750.07. The Component Forms Manager assists the action officer throughout the report control symbol process with the DD Form 67 approval process. Visit the DoD Forms Management Officers Website for a list of Component Forms Managers.

Director, Defense Manpower and Data Center (DMDC): All surveys and focus group protocol must be submitted to the Director, DMDC for review. The action officer must create an account through the DMDC Data Request System (DRS) and the action officer is contacted directly by DMDC. The action officer drafts a DMDC supporting statement, and submits the collection instrument, the DD Form 2936, and the DMDC supporting statement via email to DMDC. DMDC conducts a review and assists the action officer directly. DMDC may forward coordination requests to the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) Privacy Official and the Office of the Human Research Protection Program (HRPP).

Component or Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) Privacy Official: All information collection requests must be coordinated with the requesting Component’s Privacy Official or the OSD Privacy Official to ensure compliance with privacy policies. Contact your Component Information Management Control Officer (DoD personnel only; CAC validation required) for assistance with identifying your Component privacy point of contact.

Human Research Protection Program (HRPP) Manager: Information collections involving focus groups or the gathering of information on human subjects must be coordinated with the HRPP Manager and must comply with HRPP policy. Contact your Component Information Management Control Officer (DoD personnel only; CAC validation required) for assistance with identifying your Component HRPP point of contact.

Component Chief Information Officer (CIO): All requests for collection of information via computer systems or in electronic format must be coordinated with the requesting Component’s CIO to ensure that the information will be appropriately safeguarded. The action officer submits the collection instrument and DD Form 2936 to the Component CIO. See DoD Instruction 8550.01 for more information on the collection of non-public information via internet-based capabilities.

Component Records Manager: All information collection requests must be coordinated with the requesting Component's Records Management Official to ensure that the appropriate records disposition schedule has been identified in accordance with the respective Component's records disposition schedules. Visit the National Archives Federal Agency’s Records Officers Website for a list of Component Records Management Officials.

Component Office of General Counsel: DoD Components must consult with their Office of General Counsel if planning to provide gifts or payments to Federal employees for participation in an information collection. Contact your Component Information Management Control Officer (DoD personnel only; CAC validation required) for assistance with identifying your Component's General Counsel.

Step 4: Obtain requesting Component approval and coordinate your collection with respondents (includes instructions for coordinating your collection with its prescribing issuance)

DoD internal information collections are either coordinated with their prescribing issuance or they are coordinated manually outside the DoD issuance publication process. 

If coordinating a DoD internal information collection WITH its prescribing DoD issuance:

All information collections prescribed in a DoD issuance (to include those also prescribed by statute, law, Federal regulation, or Executive Order) may be coordinated with the issuance as one action in accordance with DoD Instruction 5025.01. See the DoD Issuances Website for more information on DoD issuances.

The requesting Component’s Senior Executive Service member’s signature is not required in section 9 of the DD Form 2936 and respondents’ coordination is not required in sections 12a-12e of the DD Form 2936 if the collection is coordinated via the DoD issuance process. All other steps outlined on this webpage (steps 1-3 and step 5) must be completed outside the issuance process and the collection’s cost information must be listed in section 8 of the SD Form 106, “DoD Directives Program Coordination Record” before the SD Form 106 is signed.

Template for SD Form 106 purpose statement including the cost of a DoD internal information collection: This issuance prescribes a DoD internal information collection and its cost to the Department is listed in section 8 of this form.  The coordination of this issuance will serve as the coordination of this collection and its cost.

See the DoD issuance templates and standards for example information collections requirements paragraphs in DoD issuances and for example required bullets in DoD issuances action memorandums.

An Information Collections Analyst from the Directives Division (Washington Headquarters Services) and you Component Information Management Control Officer will communicate with you throughout the DoD issuance publication process and advise you when to complete the remaining steps outlined on this webpage. 

If coordinating a DoD internal information collection WITHOUT a prescribing DoD issuance: 

After completing the cost estimate on the DoD Cost Guidance Website (DoD personnel only; CAC validation required) by selecting the "Internal Collections" calculator from the top navigation or under "Cost Guidance Initiatives," drafting the remainder of the DD Form 2936, and obtaining mandatory coordination as described in step 3 below, have the Senior Executive Service member from the requesting organization sign the DD Form 2936 in section 9.

The DD Form 2936 must be submitted to each responding Component for coordination. Each responding Component provides coordination and Senior Executive Service member (or equivalent) signature on the DD Form 2936 in section 12 on the second page and returns the form to the requesting Component’s action officer.  Contact your Component Information Management Control Officer (DoD personnel only; CAC validation required) for assistance with routing the collection’s DD Form 2936 action package to respondents for coordination.  The most common way to coordinate a DD Form 2936 action package is via the Enterprise Correspondence Control System (“SACCP”) (DoD personnel only; CAC validation required). 

Steps 1 through 3 must be completed and the requesting Component’s Senior Executive Service member must sign in section 9 of the DD Form 2936 before the DD Form 2936 is submitted to responding Components for coordination.

DoD internal information collections prescribed by statute, law, Federal regulation, or Executive Order are not optional and may be approved without the concurrence of all respondents as long as the respondents are given the opportunity to coordinate.

Responding Components must be given a minimum of 15 working days to coordinate on the information collection and its cost

Step 5: Submit the DD Form 2936 action package to your Component Information Management Control Officer

Submit the DD Form 2936 approval package to your Component Information Management Control Officer (IMCO) (DoD personnel only; CAC validation required) for review, approval, signature, and routing to the DoD Internal Information Collections Officer.

The DD Form 2936 approval package must include:

  • The DD Form 2936. The DD Form 2936 must be signed at the Senior Executive Service level or equivalent by the requesting Component and each responding Component (unless routed with the prescribing issuance).
  • A copy of the cost summary completed for the information collection.
  • Copies of coordination with the Component or OSD Privacy Official, the Component Records Management Official, the Component Chief Information Officer (CIO), the Director, Defense Manpower and Data Center (DMDC), the Human Research and Protection Program (HRPP) Manager, and the Component Forms Manager as applicable.
  • A copy of or a detailed description of the proposed collection instrument(s).
  • A copy of the prescribing document.
  • The justification or supporting statement.


The Component Information Management Control Officer will review the DD Form 2936 action package, sign the DD Form 2936, and forward the final package to the DoD Internal Information Collections Officer. The DoD Internal Information Management Control Officer will approve the information collection and assign it a report control symbol.

Once the report control symbol is activated, the information collection may commence. The active report control symbol will be listed in the DoD Internal Information Collections System for verification.