To avoid overburdening the public with federally sponsored data collections, the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995 requires that U.S. federal government agencies obtain Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval before requesting or collecting most types of information from the public.
Data collection is considered federally sponsored by OMB when a federal agency:
In accordance with the PRA, OMB approval must be obtained prior to collecting federally sponsored data in any situation where 10 or more respondents, within a 12 month period, are involved and the questions are standardized in nature, whether they are delivered in-person, on the phone, or online.
What is a Respondent?A respondent includes individuals; partnerships; associations; corporations; business trusts; legal representatives; organized groups of individuals; and State, territory, tribal or local governments. One exception - if you are soliciting feedback from Federal employees, you do not need PRA clearance.
The process for obtaining a PRA Clearance varies depending on the subject matter of the data collection. The processes can differ from agency to agency, both on level of detail and platform for submission.
There are two processes for obtaining PRA clearance: Traditional Clearance and Fast-Track Clearance. It is best to 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.