Agency Information Collection Activity: United States Digital Service (USDS), Office of Management and Budget Collection of Formative Research on Agency Service Delivery

CourtManagement And Budget Office
Citation86 FR 68287
Record Number2021-26081
Published date01 December 2021
Federal Register, Volume 86 Issue 228 (Wednesday, December 1, 2021)
[Federal Register Volume 86, Number 228 (Wednesday, December 1, 2021)]
                [Pages 68287-68289]
                From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office []
                [FR Doc No: 2021-26081]
                [OMB Control No. 0348-NEW]
                Agency Information Collection Activity: United States Digital
                Service (USDS), Office of Management and Budget Collection of Formative
                Research on Agency Service Delivery
                AGENCY: United States Digital Service (USDS), Office of Management and
                ACTION: Notice and request for public comment.
                SUMMARY: The United States Digital Service (USDS) within the Office of
                Management and Budget is announcing an opportunity for public comment
                on a new proposed collection of information by the agency. Under the
                Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995, Federal agencies are required to
                publish notice in the Federal Register concerning each proposed
                collection of information, including each proposed extension of a
                currently approved collection, and to allow 60 days for public comment
                in response to the
                [[Page 68288]]
                notice. This notice solicits comments on a new collection proposed by
                DATES: Consideration will be given to all comments received on or
                before January 31, 2022.
                ADDRESSES: You may submit comments by any of the following methods:
                 Web: Persons with access to the internet may comment on
                this notice by going to You can search for the
                document by entering ``Docket Number: XXXX'' in the Search field. Then
                click the ``Comment Now'' button and complete the comment form.
                 Email: [email protected]. Please include the information
                collection title and the OMB control number (0348-NEW) in any
                 Fax: 202-969-0364.
                FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Requests for additional information
                should be directed to Rachel Sauter, who may be reached at 202-881-7793
                or [email protected].
                 Under the PRA (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), Federal agencies must obtain
                approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for each
                collection of information they conduct or sponsor. ``Collection of
                information'' is defined in 44 U.S.C. 3502(3) and 5 CFR 1320.3(c) and
                includes certain agency requests or requirements that members of the
                public submit reports, keep records, or provide information to a third
                party. Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the PRA requires Federal agencies to
                provide a 60-day notice in the Federal Register concerning each
                proposed collection of information, including each proposed extension
                of an existing collection of information, before submitting the
                collection for OMB approval. To comply with this requirement, USDS is
                publishing notice of a proposed generic clearance to conduct a variety
                of formative data collections with more than 9 respondents. The data
                collections will inform future research and program support but will
                not be highly systematic nor intended to be statistically
                 The mission of USDS is to deliver better government services
                through technology and design. In support of that mission, USDS engages
                directly with program applicants and beneficiaries, and other people
                who use or need to use the government systems and services we are
                helping to improve, and incorporates their feedback into our work and
                recommendations. By employing human-centered design practices like user
                research, USDS prioritizes the user's needs and learns what works as
                quickly as possible, saving time and money while improving services to
                the public. USDS deploys small, responsive groups of designers,
                engineers, product managers, and other specialists to work with and
                empower civil servants, working with many agencies simultaneously.
                 Under this generic clearance, USDS would engage in a variety of
                formative data collections with people who use or need to use
                government systems and services, such as program participants,
                practitioners, and service providers. The data collections would occur
                primarily through Discovery Sprints, which are short research projects
                designed to quickly understand complexities of systems or services in
                order to identify issues with service delivery, their root causes, and
                opportunities for improvement. Data collections would also occur during
                longer projects, as needed. USDS's research serves to provide further
                understanding of whether people engaging directly with government
                services are having an effective, efficient, and satisfying experience.
                USDS anticipates undertaking a variety of new research projects related
                to social safety net and general welfare programs, economic recovery
                efforts, healthcare, and more. Many Federal agencies and field offices
                find a need to learn more about the public's perceptions, experiences
                and expectations; early warnings of issues with service delivery; or
                areas where communication, training or changes in operations might
                improve delivery of products or services.
                 USDS envisions using a variety of techniques including:
                 Pre-study self-identification questionnaires
                 Unmoderated comment cards/complaint forms
                 Unmoderated qualitative user experience surveys (e.g., post-
                transaction surveys; opt-out web surveys)
                 Unmoderated information architecture evaluative methods (e.g.,
                card sorts; tree tests)
                 Unmoderated content evaluative methods
                 Long-term behavior and experience studies (e.g., diary study)
                 Focus groups
                 User research studies (e.g., user interviews; usability tests)
                 Program assessment questionnaires.
                 Overall, this research will be designed to fulfill the following
                goals: (1) Discover barriers to access that create inequities for users
                of government systems and services; (2) inform the development of USDS
                and agency research, (3) discover early warnings of issues with service
                delivery; and (4) focus attention on areas where communication,
                training or changes in operations might improve delivery of products or
                services. These collections will allow for ongoing, collaborative and
                actionable communications between Federal agencies and the public. It
                will also allow feedback to contribute directly to the improvement of
                program management.
                 Following standard OMB requirements, USDS will submit a generic
                clearance information request for each individual data collection
                activity. Each request will include the individual instrument(s), a
                justification specific to the individual information collection, and
                any supplementary documents. OMB will attempt to review requests within
                10 days of submission.
                 Information collected under this generic clearance will not be used
                to inform public policy (e.g., who is eligible for or receives benefits
                and services); rather the findings are meant to inform USDS and
                internal agency discussions about opportunities to improve service
                delivery. The information collected in this effort will not be the
                primary subject of any published agency reports. 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 yield qualitative information;
                the collections will not be designed or expected to yield statistically
                representative results, but rather provide insight about the challenges
                that subsets of stakeholders face. All collections will be voluntary,
                non-controversial, and do not raise issues of concern to other Federal
                 The information collected in this effort may be made public through
                methodological appendices or footnotes, reports on instrument
                development, instrument user guides, descriptions of respondent
                behavior, and other publications or presentations describing findings
                of methodological interest. The results of this pre-testing research
                may be prepared for presentation at professional meetings or
                publication in professional journals. When necessary, in presenting
                findings, we will describe the study methods and limitations with
                regard to generalizability, and results will be labeled as exploratory
                in nature.
                 For further information: Rachel Sauter, 202-881-7793,
                [email protected].
                 Type of review: New.
                [[Page 68289]]
                 Affected public: Key stakeholder groups involved in specific
                Federal and State-administered programs; state or local government
                officials; participants in specific Federal and State-administered
                programs or similar comparison groups; and experts in fields pertaining
                to specific Federal and State research and programs.
                 USDS estimates that the total burden of this information collection
                over a three-year period will be 20,676 hours. USDS estimates that the
                annual burden of this information collection is as follows, with one
                response per respondent:
                 Estimated Annual Burden
                 Number of Minutes per
                 Type of collection respondents response Total hours
                Pre-study self-identification questionnaire..................... 10,000 5 833
                Unmoderated comment cards/complaint forms....................... 2,500 5 208
                Unmoderated qualitative user experience questionnaire........... 2,500 30 1,250
                Unmoderated information architecture evaluative methods......... 800 60 800
                Unmoderated content evaluative methods.......................... 800 60 800
                Long-term behavior and experience studies....................... 50 300 250
                Focus groups.................................................... 100 60 100
                User research studies........................................... 2,500 60 2,500
                Program assessment questionnaires............................... 300 30 150
                 Total....................................................... 19,550 610 6,892
                Request for Comments
                 In compliance with the requirements of Section 3506(c)(2)(A) of the
                PRA, USDS is soliciting public comment on the specific aspects of the
                information collection described above. Copies of the proposed
                collection of information can be obtained by writing to [email protected].
                All requests should be identified by the title of the information
                 USDS specifically requests comments on (a) Whether the collection
                of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions
                of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical
                utility; (b) the accuracy of the agency's estimate of the burden of the
                collection of information; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility,
                and clarity of the information to be collected; (d) ways to minimize
                the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including
                through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of
                information technology; and (e) estimates of capital or start-up costs
                and costs of operation, maintenance, and purchase of services to
                provide information. Burden means the total time, effort, or financial
                resources expended by persons to generate, maintain, retain, disclose
                or provide information to or for a Federal agency. This includes the
                time needed to review instructions; to develop, acquire, install, and
                utilize technology and systems for the purpose of collecting,
                validating, and verifying information, processing and maintaining
                information, and disclosing and providing information; to train
                personnel and to be able to respond to a collection of information, to
                search data sources, to complete and review the collection of
                information; and to transmit or otherwise disclose the information.
                Consideration will be given to comments and suggestions submitted
                within 60 days of this publication.
                 An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required
                to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a
                currently valid OMB control number.
                 Authority: USDS is undertaking the collections at the discretion of
                the agency, and under the general authority of 44 U.S.C. 3504 and the
                Information Technology Oversight and Reform (ITOR) fund, as provided by
                the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, Division E, Title II, 116
                H.R. 133.
                Mina Hsiang,
                Administrator, United States Digital Service.
                [FR Doc. 2021-26081 Filed 11-30-21; 8:45 am]
                BILLING CODE 3110-05-P

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