Monitoring the Development of the Federal Power Commission's Regulatory Information System

GGD-77-95: Published: Sep 30, 1977. Publicly Released: Sep 30, 1977.

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The Regulatory Information System which will automate information processing functions of the Federal Power Commission (FPC) will ultimately collect, process, and provide output on information reported by over 5,000 companies (respondents). In phase I of the two-phase development, 29 existing public use forms containing over 500 supporting schedules will be consolidated into 14 new forms with about 330 supporting schedules. The respondent reporting system is included in phase I.

In response to recommendations by the Commission on Federal Paperwork, FPC conducted technical conferences, deleted new data requirements, visited state regulatory commissions, and pilot tested the system. Respondents believed that conferences gave an informative general overview of the system but that they were not given sufficient detailed explanations of how to complete forms. There was some confusion by respondents in identifying data elements deleted by FPC. Working visits by FPC to state regulatory commissions were useful because they provided a better understanding of data needed. The pilot test was useful in identifying problems and led to format changes which improved the appearance and usability of the forms. However some problems were not resolved, such as data requirement definitions. A major cause of these problems was lack of respondent involvement in FPC's public use data analysis. FPC did not obtain estimates of respondents' burden from pilot test participants, an essential feature in evaluating reasonableness of requested data.

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