Minimize text size Reset text to normal size Increase text size

Fast-Track Clearance Process for Information Collection

The Fast-Track Clearance process is one of the two processes for obtaining PRA clearance.  If the requirements are met below, the collection may be submitted for Fast-Track clearance, which does not require a 60-day Federal Register notice. There are two parts to the Fast-Track Clearance. 

What Falls Under Fast-Track Clearance?

According to HowTo.gov, “information collections that focus on the awareness, understanding, attitudes, preferences, or experiences of customers or other stakeholders (e.g., delivery partners, co-regulators, or potential customers) relating to existing or future services, products or communication materials” are covered by the Fast-Track Clearance.

Requirements for a Fast-Track Clearance include that:

  • Respondent participation is voluntary
  • No significant burden on respondents
  • Analysis of results does not require extensive statistical analysis
  • Public dissemination of results is not intended

Coverage Under the Fast-Track Clearance

Activities Covered

Activities NOT Covered

  • Comment cards
  • Complaint forms
  • Focus groups
  • One-time/panel discussion groups
  • Moderated, un-moderated, in-person, remote usability studies
  • Testing of surveys
  • Post-transaction surveys
  • Online surveys
  • Collections that don’t meet requirements
  • Collections on potentially controversial topics that raise issues of significant concern to other agencies
  • Collections that do not directly benefit the agency’s customer service delivery
  • Collections that will be used for program evaluations and performance measurement purposes

Parts of the Fast-Track Clearance

There are two parts to the Fast-Track Clearance; the Generic Clearance and the IC package.  Please consult your agency’s PRA clearance officer for information on your submission requirements and process well in advance of your need to assure that you will have enough time to obtain the necessary clearance for your project.

Generic Clearance

A Generic Clearance means you are approved to submit specific information collections for fast-track. You need to have an OMB-approved Generic Clearance in order to submit IC packages for the fast-track review.

An example of the Generic Clearance process at HHS is as follows:

  1. Develop "draft ICR"
  2. Draft ICR is reviewed and approved by OpDiv PRA office
  3. Submit 30-day Federal Register Notice
  4. Draft ICD is reviewed and approved by HHS PRA office
  5. HHS PRA office sends the ICR to OMB
  6. OMB has 5 days to review the ICR (includes back-and-forth with OpDiv)
  7. OMB issues NOA (approval, disapproval, withdrawal)

IC Packages

IC Packages are information collection requests submitted for fast-track approval under the Generic Clearance. IC Package Submission Guidelines are:

  • Submit one collection at a time or multiple eligible collections together.
  • If bundling collections, must not exceed five at a time and should be similar in nature.

An example of the IC Package process at HHS is as follows:

  1. Develop ICR using short form
  2. Draft ICR is reviewed and approved by OpDiv & HHS PRA office
  3. HHS PRA office sends the ICR to OMB
  4. OMB has 5 days to review the ICR
  5. OMB issues NOA (approval, disapproval, withdrawal)

Resources

References

  1. Frequently Asked Questions About PRA / Information Collection
  2. OMB-OIRA Federal Collection of Information
  3. PRA Fast Track Process \ HowTo.gov
  4. Information on Generic clearance on the Open Government website