Collection of information
Collection of information means, except as provided in 1320.4, the obtaining, causing to be obtained, soliciting, or requiring the disclosure to an agency, third parties or the public of information by or for an agency by means of identical questions posed to, or identical reporting, recordkeeping, or disclosure requirements imposed on, ten or more persons, whether such collection of information is mandatory, voluntary, or required to obtain or retain a benefit. Collection of information includes any requirement or request for persons to obtain, maintain, retain, report, or publicly disclose information. As used in this Part, collection of information refers to the act of collecting or disclosing information, to the information to be collected or disclosed, to a plan and/or an instrument calling for the collection or disclosure of information, or any of these, as appropriate.
(1) A “collection of information” may be in any form or format, including the use of report forms; application forms; schedules; questionnaires; surveys; reporting or recordkeeping requirements; contracts; agreements; policy statements; plans; rules or regulations; planning requirements; circulars; directives; instructions; bulletins; requests for proposal or other procurement requirements; interview guides; oral communications; posting, notification, labeling, or similar disclosure requirements; telegraphic or telephonic requests; automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques; standard questionnaires used to monitor compliance with agency requirements; or any other techniques or technological methods used to monitor compliance with agency requirements. A “collection of information” may implicitly or explicitly include related collection of information requirements.
(2) Requirements by an agency for a person to obtain or compile information for the purpose of disclosure to members of the public or the public at large, through posting, notification, labeling or similar disclosure requirements constitute the “collection of information” whenever the same requirement to obtain or compile information would be a “collection of information” if the information were directly provided to the agency. The public disclosure of information originally supplied by the Federal government to the recipient for the purpose of disclosure to the public is not included within this definition.
(3) “Collection of information” includes questions posed to agencies, instrumentalities, or employees of the United States, if the results are to be used for general statistical purposes, that is, if the results are to be used for statistical compilations of general public interest, including compilations showing the status or implementation of Federal activities and programs.
(4) As used in paragraph (c) of this section, “ten or more persons” refers to the persons to whom a collection of information is addressed by the agency within any 12-month period, and to any independent entities to which the initial addressee may reasonably be expected to transmit the collection of information during that period, including independent State, territorial, tribal or local entities and separately incorporated subsidiaries or affiliates. For the purposes of this definition of “ten or more persons,” “persons” does not include employees of the respondent acting within the scope of their employment, contractors engaged by a respondent for the purpose of complying with the collection of information, or current employees of the Federal government (including military reservists and members of the National Guard while on active duty) when acting within the scope of their employment, but it does include retired and other former Federal employees.
(i) Any recordkeeping, reporting, or disclosure requirement contained in a rule of general applicability is deemed to involve ten or more persons.
(ii) Any collection of information addressed to all or a substantial majority of an industry is presumed to involve ten or more persons.
5 CFR § 1320.3
For purposes of implementing the Act and this Part, the following terms are defined as follows: