Office of the Chief Information Officer &
High Performance Computing and Communications

Paperwork Reduction Act Guidance


General NOAA PRA Information (8/12/2014). This document provides general NOAA information on PRA requirements, the NOAA process, who gets clearance, etc.: the basics.

NMFS SOPs ( REVISED 03/24/2009). This document provides specifically NMFS guidance on the PRA process.

REVISED Instructions for Preparing a Request for OMB Clearance (rev 10/29/2012). If you are going to make a clearance request, please READ THE INSTRUCTIONS!

In the Supporting Statement instructions below, please see instructions for a new requirement under Section A. Question 8.

Overview and 83i Instructions - added information on forms requiring Tax ID Number, 1/14/15; added information on Privacy Act Statements, 9-8-17.).

Supporting statement instructions

REQUEST FOR A NONSUBSTANTIVE CHANGE REQUEST - If you are making minor changes to a form and/ orto another other aspect of an information collection, in many instances it is possible to submit a change request rather than a complete revision request. Documents required:1) justification statement of one page or less (no specific format); 2) revised form(s) if applicable; 3) draft of rule to which the request is related, if applicable. Please consult with the NOAA PRA Clearance Officer, Mark Graff ( or 301-628-5658) to determine if a change request is appropriate:each situation is different, and there are no clearcut rules. As of September 2012, the current OMB Desk Officer accepts a short justification statement ONLY if you are making minor changes to a form, making a form available on the Web, or merging two collections. For the addition of a minor requirement, based on his judgement, a "focused supporting statement', describing just the change, would be accepted. If this focused supporting statement is related to a rule, it would be submitted with the Proposed Rule (while a nonsubstantive change request can be submitted with the final rule).

Process and timeline for submission and review of rule-related requests: When submitting a new request or a revision to a current information collection, it is best to send your documents, including a complete (not final, but complete) draft of the proposed rule, to the NOAA PRA clearance officer - and if for NMFS, also to the NMFS PRA contact - at least one month prior to the estimated PR publication date. This will allow for review at the NOAA and DOC levels, so that the request may be submitted to OMB as soon as the PR publishes.

Once a draft final rule is ready, NOAA will ask OMB to "fiile a comment" on the request, which makes the OMB PRA system allow us to resubmit the request with the FR. The resubmission includes any changes to the request based on comments on the rule or for other reasons, and to summarize applicable comments, and program responses, in the supporting statement Part A, Question 8. Once the resubmission is complete, we ask OMB to review and pre-approve, which means that we can state in the final rule that the information collection requirements have been approved. Once the FR publishes, the NOAA PRA Clearance Officer inputs the date and citation into the OMB system, and the final approval is issued.

Guidance on Preparing A PRA Federal Register Notice (8/11/2014). Please read the guidance to understand the information to be provided in the notice that you will send to your line office PRA Coordinator.

Please check that you have the most recent format before drafting your notice (see below)-- it will make it easier for all of us!! Also, the instructions state specifically which parts of the template are required text - please READ these instructions and do NOT delete those sections of the text. PRA staff need to add them back in and it's not a good use of our time.

Download Word template for a FR Notice. NOTE: Do NOT use any template but this one.

Guidance on Addressing the PRA in a Preamble of a Rulemaking (4/2/2014). If a rulemaking contains, refers to, or affects information requirements then the preamble needs to address the PRA in the classification section. There are different formats for proposed and final rules.

OMB Survey and other Guidance

PRA Flexibilities Memorandum, 7/16

OMB Survey Guidance, 1-06

OMB Standards and Guidelines for Statistical Surveys, 9-06 (more technical document, complementing survey guidance)

OMB Memo on Social Media and PRA Guidance, 4-10

OMB Memo on PRA and Generic Clearances, 5-10

Guidance clarifying the treatment of web-based data search tools and calculators under the PRA, released by OMB 9/5/2014

Additional clarification of what does not need PRA clearance, released by OMB 9/5/2014

Request for Approval under the Generic Clearance, OMB Control No. 0690-0030, now expiring 7/31/2020

Overall Instructions and Guidance - Please read before deciding if your information collection request fits this OMB Control No and then contact Mark Graff, NOAA PRA Cleaerance Officer, regarding your plans.

Form and Instructions - Instructions are below the questions. Note, for the Additional Information at bottom, the NOAA PRA Clearance Officer can complete Questions 1 and 2 when submitting to DOC/OMB. Question 4 is applicable only if you have published a Privacy Act System of Records Notice that is pertinent to this request (in most instances, this will be NA).

Customer Surveys (expires 6/30/2021). NOAA has obtained a generic clearance that allows for expedited review for customer surveys that meet certain requirements. This guidance tells what surveys qualify for this process and how to apply for clearance under it.

Privacy Impact Assessments - Privacy Impact Assessments (PIAs) are required by Section 208 of the E-Government Act for all Federal government agencies that maintain, develop or procure new technology (e.g. an electronic database) involving the collection, maintenance or dissemination of personally identifiable information (PII). The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) ensures that PIAs necessitated under the E-Government Act are completed by requiring them as part of the annual budget process. Some information collections under the PRA involve databases containing PII and thus would require PIAs.