This IWR site contains a catalog of questionnaires (surveys) currently approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) which can be used as a framework for creating and conducting water resource surveys. NO SURVEY MAY BE CONDUCTED UNTIL FINAL APPROVAL IS RECEIVED FROM OMB. READ ALL INSTRUCTIONS BELOW FOR APPROVAL PROCEDURES.
As of FY15, USACE was asked to migrate surveys off of the old generic clearance (0710-0001) into new clearances. That process is still ongoing with only select surveys from the survey library being worked through the process. For Projects, Districts and Divisions that wish to conduct surveys that were formerly part of the old generic clearance, they will need to pursue a new clearance process.
What is the Clearance Process?
The clearance process takes a minimum of 6 months and may take as long as a year. There are 5 key steps leading to a final decision from OMB.
Step 1: Internal review for Privacy and System of Records requirements and draft Federal Register Notice. Recommended that the information collection proponent have near final drafts of supporting statements, survey(s) and any additional attachments prepared.
Step 2: Prepare the PRA package. This must include supporting statements, surveys/forms, required reviews, Draft SORN/PIA (if required) and any additional attachments. Anything that the respondent will see or receive must be included. As of September 2016, DOD requires that the entire package be sufficiently complete prior to posting of the 60-day notice.
Step 3: Federal Register Notice submitted to Army IMCO for review, then passed up the chain to DOD for review and publishing to the Federal Register. This is a 60-day notice. The information collection proponent should regularly check the notice for and respond to any comments during the 60-day period. These comments with responses must be included in the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) package submission in step 4.
Step 4: After the 60-day notice has concluded, any comments and responses must be documented and added to the package. Submit the PRA package to the Army IMCO for review. Once the package meets Army IMCO review requirements, they will pass it up the chain to DOD for review. Army IMCO will contact the information collection proponent with any change requests or questions from DOD. DOD will submit the PRA package to OMB and a 30-day Federal Register notice will be posted. During the 30-day Federal Register notice, OMB collects any comments and request agency response.
Step 5: Immediately following the 30-day Federal Register Notice, OMB begins their review. They have 30 days to complete their review and make a final decision. You can monitor the package on the website reginfo.gov. If the status has not changed after 30-day OMB review period, notify the Army IMCO.
Step 6: If a System of Records Notice and/or Privacy Impact Assessment was required, notify USACE Privacy office that the Approval has concluded and provide the OMB Control number.
For more detailed information on the process, templates and POCs within the DOD and Army, visit:
DOD Information Collections Program https://www.esd.whs.mil/Directives/collections/
Army Records Management & Declassification, Paperwork Reduction Act https://www.rmda.army.mil/records-management/pra/index.html
To find Current USACE Clearances, go to the Reginfo.gov PRA Search and select “Department of Defense” under agency, “U.S. Army Corps of Engineers” as the Sub Agency, and “Active” under ICR Status. This set of search criteria will show only current unexpired clearances.
Privacy, Personally Identifiable Information, and Systems of Records
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is very serious about guarding the privacy of the public, whether it is individuals, businesses, or organizations. There is generally no need to collect or maintain any personally identifiable information. However, if there is a requirement to collect such information, the public should know that the Corps is committed to safeguarding that information and destroying it when it is no longer required. Potential respondents should also be informed that their participation is completely voluntary and they are free to withhold their response to any questions.
If you know of or suspect any breach of personally identifiable information, please contact the ACE-IT help line immediately at: 866-562-2348
More about Personally Identifiable Information (PII)
Office of Management and Budget Current Version of Circular A-130, “Management of Federal Information Resources”: https://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/information-for-agencies/circulars
Office of Management and Budget 2007 Memorandum, “ “Safeguarding Against and Responding to the Breach of Personally Identifiable Information”: https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/whitehouse.gov/files/omb/memoranda/2007/m07-16.pdf
Department of Defense 2006 Memorandum Issuing Guidance on Protecting Personally Identifiable Information: http://dpcld.defense.gov/Portals/49/Documents/Privacy/DODGuidancePII.pdf
LTG Carl Strock’s 2007 Memorandum on Protecting Personally Identifiable Information Memorandum: http://www.iwr.usace.army.mil/Portals/70/docs/ombsurveys/Commanding_General's_Memorandum_on_Protecting_Personally_Identifiable_Information.pdf
Privacy and Information Collections
Information Collection surveys and forms must be reviewed by USACE HQ Privacy office to determine if a Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) or System of Records Notice (SORN) is required. Even if the survey/form does not collect information considered to be PII a portion of the Privacy Impact Assessment form must be completed. DOD now requires that wording on these documents match exactly what is included in the supporting statements. It is recommended that a PIA and SORN (if required) be completed first which will result in a final draft. The Final PIA and SORN can only be submitted by USACE HQ once the Information Collection Approval process is complete. For more information, please refer to the following sites.
Army Chief Information Office, Privacy Impact Assessments - https://www.army.mil/article/237060/privacy_impact_assessments
Army Records Management and Declassification, Privacy Program - https://www.rmda.army.mil/privacy/RMDA-PO-Programs-Privacy-Program.html
Army Records Management & Declassification Agency information on Paperwork Reduction Act and the Privacy Act - https://www.rmda.army.mil/records-management/pra/PRAprivacy.html
Army Records Management and Declassification, Systems of Records Notice - https://www.rmda.army.mil/privacy/sorns/index.html
DOD Information Collections Branch information on Public Collections and SORNs - https://www.esd.whs.mil/Directives/collections_pub/pub_sorns/
Contact USACE Privacy Office: PrivacyOffice@usace.army.mil