On March 12, 2018, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued in the Federal Register a notice announcing the submission of an information collection request (ICR) on the guidelines for designating biobased products for federal procurement to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Pursuant to Section 9002 of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act (FSRIA) of 2002, as amended by the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act (FCEA) of 2008, and the Agricultural Act of 2014, federal agencies are required to purchase biobased products under the preferred procurement program. Product categories for preferred procurement are established by rulemaking based on the availability of biobased products, the economic and technological feasibility of using such products, and the costs of using such products. Additionally, federal agencies are provided with information on the availability, price, performance, and environmental and public health benefits of such product categories, and, where appropriate, the recommended level of biobased material to be contained in the procured product. Such information is gathered under the ICR from biobased product manufacturers and vendors by the Office of Procurement and Property Management (OPPM) and its contractors. USDA is seeking comments on:
- Whether the collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of USDA, including whether the information will have practical utility;
- The accuracy of USDA’s estimate of burden, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used;
- Ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and
- Ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology.