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Guidance for Completing an Information Collection Request (ICR) Information Collection Request Overview 

In response to public complaints concerning the burden of federal paperwork, the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) requires the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to clear any planned collection of information from the public.

To comply with the PRA and its implementing regulations, federal agencies must complete an Information Collection Request (ICR) which consists of a set of documents that describe what information is needed, why it is needed, how it will be collected, and how much collecting the information will cost the respondents and the government. The sponsoring component for the collection of information from the public is responsible for completing the ICR.

The total ICR process takes approximately 6-9 months from beginning to end. More details are available in the Information Collection Request (ICR) Time Line.

Steps to Complete the ICR Process:

I. Do you need to complete an ICR for PRA Clearance?

An ICR must be completed and OMB approval must be granted for any situation where 10 or more public respondents are involved and the questions are standardized in nature. This is general guidance on assessing if an ICR is required. One notable exemption is information collections of Federal Employees. If there are any questions it is best to consult your component Information Management Control Officer or the DoD Clearance Officer.

II. If your collection needs clearance, first publish a 60-Day Federal Register Notice

Working with your component Information Management Control Officer or the DoD Clearance Officer, the first step in the process is to submit a 60-Day Federal Register Notice informing the public of your intent to ask for clearance for the collection of information and soliciting comments for a 60 day period.  
At this time a “draft” Information Collection Request (ICR) must also be developed which includes the Supporting Statement and all supporting documents. This is important because documents should be ready for review by the public if requested during the 60-day public comment period.

III. Preparing an OMB 83-I Form

Working with your component Information Management Control Officer, complete the OMB 83-I Form.  The top of the second page shall be certified at the SES level or designee.

IV. Developing a Supporting Statement and Attachments

A Supporting Statement includes narrative information explaining the purpose, scope, and benefit(s) of the collection. Items generally included in the supporting statement include:

  • Cite the authorizing legislation (public law, executive order, etc.) or the pertinent regulation if the collection is being carried out pursuant to a proposed rulemaking.
  • Cite the initial 60-Day Federal Register notice (Step 2) notifying the public of the proposed information collection and soliciting comment.
  • Attachments should include the data collection instrument form, questionnaire, survey, interview guide, telephone interview script or other instruments that will be used for the collection.  Any instructions for completing information collection. Introductory and follow-up letters to respondents. If Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval is needed, include the IRB letter of approval for research involving human subjects.  A copy of Privacy Act System of Records Notice and Impact Assessment (if required).  Include additional backup information necessary to explain the procedures described in Part B of the supporting statement.

The Supporting Statement is divided into two parts; Part A (Justification) and Part B (Statistical Methodology). Part A is mandatory for all information collection requests; Part B is required for all information collection requests that involve statistical methods. 

V. Package Review by Component Information Management Control Officer and the DoD Clearance Officer

The draft ICR must be reviewed by your component Information Management Control Officer. Next the component Information Management Control Officer submits the ICR to the DoD Clearance Officer for review. A 30-Day Federal Register Notice (FRN) is published. This second opportunity for public comment notifies the public that the clearance request has been submitted to OMB and they have an opportunity to comment on the final version of the ICR and their comments must go to OMB. Publication of the 30-Day FRN occurs prior to the ICR submission to OMB. The ICR is submitted to OMB’s ROCIS system by the DoD Clearance Officer. Once OMB has received the ICR, the 60-Day OMB review period begins.

VI. OMB Review Period

During the 60-Day OMB review period, discussions or negotiations concerning the ICR may occur between the DoD Component and OMB by either e-mail, conference call, or in person meetings. Comments received from the public during this review period can also be discussed at this time. The DoD Clearance Officer shall be involved and kept informed of all discussions or negotiations. 

VII. OMB Action

At the conclusion of the 60-Day OMB review, OMB issues a Notice of Action (NOA). The OMB Notice of Action contains one of three responses: Approval, Disapproval, with a process for appeal, or Withdrawal. Additionally terms of clearance can be attached to the ICR.