NACO

National Association of Charterboat Operators

Comments Sought for Continuation of National Recreational Boating Survey

The U.S. Coast Guard is requesting an extension of its approval to the collection of National Recreational Boating Survey. Before submitting this ICR to OMB, the Coast Guard is inviting comments as described below.

Comments must reach the Coast Guard on or before July 1, 2013.

ADDRESSES: To avoid duplicate submissions to the docket [USCG-2012-
1047], please use only one of the following means:
    (1) Online: http://www.regulations.gov.
    (2) Mail: Docket Management Facility (DMF) (M-30), U.S. Department
of Transportation (DOT), West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200
New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001.
    (3) Hand deliver: Same as mail address above, between 9 a.m. and 5
p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The telephone
number is 202-366-9329.
    (4) Fax: 202-493-2251.
    The DMF maintains the public docket for this Notice. Comments and
material received from the public, as well as documents mentioned in
this Notice as being available in the docket, will become part of the
docket and will be available for inspection or copying at Room W12-140
on the West Building Ground Floor, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE.,
Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday,
except Federal holidays. You may also find the docket on the Internet
at http://www.regulations.gov.
    A copy of the ICR is available through the docket on the Internet
at http://www.regulations.gov. Additionally, a copy is available from:
Commandant (CG-612), Attn Paperwork Reduction Act Manager, US Coast
Guard, 2100 2nd St. SW., STOP 7101, Washington DC 20593-7101.

 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Contact Mr. Anthony Smith, Office of
Information Management, telephone 202-475-3532, or fax 202-475-3929,
for questions on these documents. Contact Ms. Barbara Hairston, Program
Manager, Docket Operations, 202-366-9826, for questions on the docket.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

[[Page 32409]]

Public Participation and Request for Comments

    This Notice relies on the authority of the Paperwork Reduction Act
of 1995; 44 U.S.C. chapter 35, as amended. An ICR is an application to
OIRA seeking the approval, extension, or renewal of a Coast Guard
collection of information (Collection). The ICR contains information
describing the Collection's purpose, the Collection's likely burden on
the affected public, an explanation of the necessity of the Collection,
and other important information describing the Collections. There is
one ICR for each Collection.
    The Coast Guard invites comments on whether this ICR should be
granted based on the collection being necessary for the proper
performance of Departmental functions. In particular, the Coast Guard
would appreciate comments addressing: (1) The practical utility of the
collections; (2) the accuracy of the estimated burden of the
collections; (3) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of
information subject to the collection; and (4) ways to minimize the
burden of the collections on respondents, including the use of
automated collection techniques or other forms of information
technology. These comments will help OIRA determine whether to approve
the ICR referred to in this Notice.
    We encourage you to respond to this request by submitting comments
and related materials. Comments to Coast Guard or OIRA must contain the
OMB Control Number of the ICR. They must also contain the docket number
of this request, [USCG 2012-1047], and must be received by July 1,
2013. We will post all comments received, without change, to http://www.regulations.gov. They will include any personal information you
provide. We have an agreement with DOT to use their DMF. Please see the
``Privacy Act'' paragraph below.
    Submitting comments: If you submit a comment, please include the
docket number [USCG-2012-1047], indicate the specific section of the
document to which each comment applies, providing a reason for each
comment. You may submit your comments and material online (via http://www.regulations.gov), by fax, mail, or hand delivery, but please use
only one of these means. If you submit a comment online via
www.regulations.gov, it will be considered received by the Coast Guard
when you successfully transmit the comment. If you fax, hand deliver,
or mail your comment, it will be considered as having been received by
the Coast Guard when it is received at the DMF. We recommend you
include your name, mailing address, an email address, or other contact
information in the body of your document so that we can contact you if
we have questions regarding your submission.
    You may submit your comments and material by electronic means,
mail, fax, or delivery to the DMF at the address under ADDRESSES; but
please submit them by only one means. To submit your comment online, go
to http://www.regulations.gov, and type ``USCG-2012-1047'' in the
``Keyword'' box. If you submit them by mail or delivery, submit them in
an unbound format, no larger than 8\1/2\ by 11 inches, suitable for
copying and electronic filing. If you submit them by mail and would
like to know that they reached the Facility, please enclose a stamped,
self-addressed postcard or envelope. We will consider all comments and
material received during the comment period and will address them
accordingly.

Viewing Comments and Documents

    To view comments, as well as documents mentioned in this Notice as
being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov, click
on the ``read comments'' box, which will then become highlighted in
blue. In the ``Keyword'' box insert ``USCG-2012-1047'' and click
``Search.'' Click the ``Open Docket Folder'' in the ``Actions'' column.
You may also visit the DMF in Room W12-140 on the West Building Ground
Floor, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5
p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
    OIRA posts its decisions on ICRs online at http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAMain after the comment period for each ICR. An OMB Notice
of Action on each ICR will become available via a hyperlink in the OMB
Control Number: [1625-0089].

Privacy Act

    Anyone can search the electronic form of all comments received in
dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or
signing the comment, if submitted on behalf of an association,
business, labor union, etc.). You may review the Privacy Act statement
regarding our public dockets in the January 17, 2008 issue of the
Federal Register (73 FR 3316).

Previous Request for Comments

    This request provides a 30-day comment period required by OIRA. The
Coast Guard published the 60-day notice (77 FR 74686, December 17,
2012) required by 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2). That Notice elicited three
comments.

    1. The first commenter wrote: ``It would be helpful to
recreational boaters if you would take the broadcast from channel 16
and 21 (VHF) as well as DSC distress calls and republish on a
twitter feed. Local boaters could follow the feed for ``there''
[sic] area. (AOR) This is a simple but helpful solution to increase
awareness for boating safety issues. Please contact me if you need
more information. I am also in the CGA. Thanks.
    Answer:
    Although the proposed initiative could be potentially beneficial
to recreational boaters, it is not within the scope of the National
Recreational Boating Survey. This survey's primary goals include
measuring boating participation and exposure hours. However, the
suggestion made by this commenter will be examined within the
broader scope of the Coast Guard's national recreational boating
safety program.
    2. The second commenter wrote: ``we have two federal agencies
gouging american taxpayers for wasted tax dollars the sport fishing
and boating council of the fws and the us coast guard. to me, the
coast guad should be fully in charge of boating. i see absolutely no
reason why taxpayers are being gouged to pay for the lobbying
organization called the sport fishing and boating council, which
obviously should be existing on private dollars and not giouging us
taxpayers and pretending to be a federal agency working for the good
of all americans, when clearly it is working for corporate
profitability. when will the gouging of tax payers stop? when will
we shut down obvioius loggying groups that should not be getting one
cent of american taxpayers dollars like th esport fishing and
boating council of the usfws. the excesses and out of control
spending of this govt is oppressive. l out of 2 americans are living
in poverty and they are being dunned for taxes so a boating council
can operate wastefully, when they have no hope of ever in their
lives getting on a boat. the washington excesses are disgusting and
depraved. make some cuts here. the coast guard we need. take the
money away from the boating council and give it to the coast guard,
who should be defending this country's borders from the leaches
massively sneaking in here.''[sic]
    Answer:
    The Coast Guard's National Recreational Boating Survey is
presently the only nationwide survey sponsored by the federal
government that focuses entirely on recreational boating. Other
agencies may collect very limited data on recreational boaters,
which does not interfere and is not redundant with the Coast Guard's
data collection efforts.
    3. The third commenter wrote: ``BoatUS is the largest
organization of recreational boaters in the United States, with more
than half a million members nationwide. As an active participant in
the U.S. Coast Guard's boating safety efforts, we appreciate the
opportunity to provide our views on the National Recreational
Boating Survey.
    The development of an accurate picture of the many facets of
recreational boating is a commendable goal, particularly for the

[[Page 32410]]

government agency that has the day-to-day responsibility for its
regulation. Well reasoned regulations, supported by timely, precise
data, will engender greater support from the regulated community.
That, in turn, should result in better compliance with regulations
and an increased level of safety.
    The current budget constraints faced by various government
agencies and non-profit groups with a direct interest in boating
safety should also be considered. In reviewing the supporting
documentation for this information request, it is apparent this is
an ambitious undertaking that will require significant, on-going
resources. As this information request is reviewed, we suggest
consideration be given to the impact its funding might have on other
boating safety programs, particularly those administered by the non-
profit sector.
    We further believe that The U.S. Coast Guard should review the
scope and methodology of the survey. In our view, gathering safety
related information should be the priority. The breadth of this
survey is too broad given current budget conditions. We also suggest
greater use of the Internet, or other less costly methods to
implement the survey. Given the continuing advances in access to the
Internet by large sections of the United States populations (some 49
million U.S. households have such access) the Coast Guard should
work to make greater use of this economical medium to gather data.
    The development of timely, accurate data should be integral to
the Coast Guard's recreational boating safety mission, and we
support that goal. The cost of developing this data, which is funded
by the recreational boating community itself through the Sport Fish
Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, must, however, be carefully
managed. Other crucial boating safety programs should not be
sacrificed in the process of gathering this information. Thoughtful
deployment of these funds to maximize their safety benefit is
crucial to the continued support of the recreational boating
community. Thank you for the opportunity to provide our views on the
proposed survey.''
    Answer:
     Regarding the scope of the survey, the Coast Guard
priority is to collect data that is pertinent to the safety program
and will reduce redundancy and costs among federal and other
partnering agencies. The Coast Guard will review its survey
questionnaires before it is implemented, and strive to eliminate the
collection of non-essential data. However, reducing the number of
questions asked to survey participants will only have a marginal
effect on the overall cost of the survey. This is due to the small
number of questions that generally apply to the majority of survey
respondents. Consequently, the Coast Guard will explore all cost-
saving strategies to keep the survey costs reasonable.
     Regarding the use of the Internet for collecting
information from boaters, the Coast Guard is already using that data
collection mode to a certain extent. In 2012, a substantial amount
of boating trip information was collected with the Internet.
However, the Internet was used primarily as an alternative data
collection mode that was offered to survey participants recruited in
a panel from a previously selected random telephone sample.
    The Internet as the primary or sole data gathering tool is not
yet widely used in government surveys, due to concerns that the
Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has expressed about this
approach. In a 2006 Memorandum for the President's Management
Council, entitled ``Guidance on Agency Survey and Statistical
Information Collections,'' OMB indicated the following:

    ``Recent estimates are that more than 50 percent of households
have Internet access at home. Despite the increasing rate of
Internet access in the U.S., there remain systematic differences in
socio-demographic characteristics between those who have access to
the Internet at home and those who do not. Thus, there are
significant coverage errors in any sampling frame composed only of
those who have access to the Internet, which could lead to biased
estimates when generalizing to the national population.''
    Nevertheless, the Coast Guard will continue using the Internet
as an alternative data collection mode for boaters who were
previously selected using well-established sample selection methods.

 

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