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Comment Request - Generic Clearance for the Collection of Qualitative Feedback on Agency Service Delivery

In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice invites the general public and other public agencies to comment on this proposed information collection. This collection is an extension, without change, of a currently approved collection to collect qualitative customer and stakeholder feedback in an efficient and timely manner. The Food and Nutrition Service created this generic information collection in 2016 as part of a Federal Government-wide effort to streamline the process for seeking feedback from the public on service delivery.

Title: Generic Clearance for the Collection of Qualitative Feedback on Agency Service Delivery (Fast Track)
OMB Number: 0584-0611
Expiration Date: September 30, 2019
Type of Request: Extension, without change, of a currently approved information collection

Abstract: The proposed information collection activity provides a means to garner qualitative customer and stakeholder feedback in an efficient and timely manner. By “qualitative feedback,” we mean information that provides useful insights on perceptions and opinions, but are not statistical surveys yielding quantitative results that can be generalized to the population. This feedback will continue to, (1) provide insights into customer or stakeholder perceptions, experiences and expectations, (2) provide an early warning of issues with service and, (3) focus attention on areas where communication, training or changes in operations might improve delivery of products or services. This collection allows for ongoing, collaborative and actionable communications between the Agency and its customers and stakeholders. It also allows feedback to contribute directly to the improvement of program management.

The solicitation of feedback targets areas such as: Timeliness, appropriateness, accuracy of information, courtesy, efficiency of service delivery, and resolution of issues with service delivery. Responses are assessed to plan and inform efforts to improve or maintain the quality of service offered to the public. If this information is not collected, vital feedback from customers and stakeholders on the Agency's services will be unavailable.

The Agency will continue to only submit a collection for approval under this generic clearance if it meets the following conditions:

  • The collections are voluntary;
  • The collections are low-burden for respondents (based on considerations of total burden hours, total number of respondents, or burden-hours per respondent) and are low-cost for both the respondents and the Federal Government;
  • The collections are non-controversial and do not raise issues of concern to other Federal agencies;
  • Any collection is targeted to the solicitation of opinions from respondents who have experience with the program or may have experience with the program in the near future;
  • Personally identifiable information (PII) is collected only to the extent necessary and is not retained;
  • Information gathered will be used only internally for general service improvement and program management purposes and is not intended for release outside of the agency;
  • Information gathered will not be used for the purpose of substantially informing influential policy decisions; and
  • Information gathered will yield qualitative information; the collections will not be designed or expected to yield statistically reliable results or used as though the results are generalizable to the population of study.

Feedback collected under this generic clearance provides useful information, but it does not yield data that can be generalized to the overall population. This type of generic clearance for qualitative information will not be used for quantitative information collections that are designed to yield reliably actionable results, such as monitoring trends over time or documenting program performance. Such data usage require more rigorous designs that address: The target population to which generalizations will be made, the sampling frame, the sample design (including stratification and clustering), the precision requirements or power calculations that justify the proposed sample size, the expected response rate, methods for assessing potential non-response bias, the protocols for data collection, and any testing procedures that were or will be undertaken prior to fielding the study. Depending on the degree of influence the results are likely to have, such collections may still be eligible for submission for other generic mechanisms that are designed to yield quantitative results. As a general matter, information collections do not result in any new system of records containing privacy information and does not ask questions of a sensitive nature, such as sexual behavior and attitudes, religious beliefs, and other matters that are commonly considered private.

Page updated: November 27, 2019