You´re good at your job. We understand that at the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention and the Agency for Toxic
Substances and Disease Registry. You and your colleagues
work hard and sometimes around the clock to protect America
from health-safety, and security threats. You´re at the forefront
of providing the scientific expertise
and health information that keeps
the American public safe. You hold yourself to the highest
standards of integrity because it´s the right thing
to do. But because your work is
so time-sensitive, the last thing you want
is to have to worry about compliance
with the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act
of 1995, the PRA. We´re sure you´ve heard
of individuals who´ve tried
a creative workaround to avoid complying with the PRA. Unfortunately,
not only is that illegal, but those folks are risking
lawsuits, agency embarrassment, rights to publish,
and significant delays. It´s just not worth it. The fact is, it´s the law. All federal agencies
and employees are legally mandated
to comply with the PRA and the Office of Management
and Budgets implementing regulations
on information collections, which were designed
to reduce the burden placed upon non-federal entities and to prevent
government agencies from collecting
unnecessary information. In order for you to comply, you need to know what types
of information collections trigger
the PRA approval process. Well, the PRA applies
to collections of information using identical questions
posed to or reporting, which means collecting
or having information sent to the agency
via any format, record keeping,
which means to compile or maintain information, or imposing
disclosure requirements on 10 or more persons. Information collections and a rule
of general applicability also trigger
the PRA approval process. We´re the Information
Collection Review Office, and we´re also here to help. We´re here to streamline
the process of making sure
that your projects stay on track and in compliance. We didn´t make the law, but we are here to facilitate
the clearance of your federally sponsored
data collections in accordance to the PRA and to help you
avoid unnecessary delays. You should think
about consulting with your center´s PRA contact or Information Collection
Review Office whenever you are in doubt,
have questions, or write a task order, contract, cooperative agreement,
or grant that asks or implies that the recipient obtain,
retain, or disclose data. You should always consult
with your center´s PRA contact or Information Collection
Review Office for more detailed information
and guidance whenever interacting
with the public or planning to collect
or request information from 10 or more persons. Working with us
will ensure that you are able to get the OMB approval
and OMB control number that you need
to legally collect information. As the CDC
and ATSDR´s gatekeeper for the OMB clearance process regarding public-information
collection activities under the PRA, the Information Collection
Review Office wants the same thing you want — for you to be able
to do your job as effectively and efficiently
as possible while complying with the law. It´s the right thing to do.