Confluence Retirement

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Tackling the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA)
in the Age of Social Media and Web-based Interactive Technology 

Thursday, June 18 at 2 PM Eastern

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overlapping screenshots of the desktop view and mobile view of the new Guide to the PRA

Speakers

  • Jeff Parrillo (DOI Information Clearance Officer)
  • Madonna Baucum (FWS Information Clearance Officer and Jeff's backup)
  • James Sayer (USGS Information Clearance Officer)

Agenda

Resources

The Basics of the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA)

  • Do I need PRA clearance?

    • Not every request or collection falls under the PRA’s scope, and you may not need clearance at all. Voluntary collections are not automatically exempt. When figuring out if PRA clearance is needed, consider the following:

      • What type of information are you collecting,

      • Who are you collecting it from,

      • How will you be collecting it, and

      • Why you are collecting this information.

    • Voluntary or Mandatory Collection

      • Voluntary collections are not automatically exempt. This is just a starting point to see if your collection needs PRA clearance. We encourage getting in touch with your agency’s PRA contact to answer more in-depth questions.

      • Regardless whether your collection is voluntary (i.e., the public is not required by law to provide information) or mandatory, the Paperwork Reduction Act treats the collection the same.
    • Who are you collecting information from?

      • Members of the public: Generally, this means people or groups outside of the federal government. Some groups that are considered members of the public include:

        • Individual people (including federal contractors)

        • Businesses and associations

        • State, territorial, tribal, and local governments

        • Foreign governments, businesses, and individual people

      • In general, the PRA applies even when information is collected from non-US citizens, residences, or businesses as those entities are considered “persons” under the Act. If you’re only collecting information from federal employees or military personnel as part of their job, then you don’t need PRA clearance. If the information isn’t part of their work-related duties, you may need PRA clearance.

    • Ten or more people or groups

      • Over a 12-month period, if you are requesting the same information from ten or more people or entities, you need PRA clearance. If you’re requesting information from fewer than ten people or groups, but they represent the majority or all of an industry or sector, you may need PRA clearance.

  • PRA and the Web / Internet
    • "User account creation" - Profiles and accounts that only request an email address, username, password, and geographic location (e.g., state, region, or ZIP code) don’t need PRA approval. If more information is requested, it may need PRA approval, because the information requested likely goes beyond the scope of what’s needed to create an account.
    • Social networks, blogs, webinars, and other public meetings - Covered under the “public meetings” exclusion, these generally don’t need PRA approval, as long as the public is not surveyed or asked identical questions: Public conference calls, Webinars, Blogs, Discussion boards, Forums, Chat sessions, Social networks, Online communities.

    • Wikis and collaborative drafting platforms - Web-based collaboration tools that facilitate interactions between the agency and the public and essentially provide a technology-based equivalent to in-person collaboration generally don’t need PRA approval. If they are used to collect information that an agency would otherwise gather by asking for responses to identical questions, however, they would need PRA approval.




Series of talks and open discussions to inform the USGS Open Innovation Strategy

The USGS Open Innovation (OI) Community welcomes anyone interested in using participatory  science and innovation methods like Crowdsourcing, Citizen Science, and Prize Competitions to obtain ideas, data, services, and solutions from the public and organizations in an open way. Ignite Open Innovation (OI) Forum is a series of different talks and panels to inform the development of a USGS Open Innovation Strategy.

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, send an email to: sophialiu@usgs.gov and OpenInnovation@usgs.gov

USGS Open Innovation Community Wiki

Join Open Innovation Community Listserv  |  Join USGS Open Innovation Teams Site

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