CSBG Dear Colleague Letter: Model State Plan Revision - Open Comment Period

The Office of Community Services (OCS) is requesting feedback from the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) Network on the proposed revision of the CSBG State Model Plan Application (Model State Plan). On January 26, 2015, a Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) notice for public comment was posted to the Federal Register in volume 80, number 16, page 3967. During the 60-day comment period, and as soon as possible, OCS invites you to review the proposed revised Model State Plan and submit your comments, as described below. Your Feedback OCS has developed this initial draft Model State Plan in consultation with a representative group of stakeholders, including our information technology team and a small group of State CSBG administrators. Now OCS needs your input. The Federal Register notice requests feedback on the following:
  1. Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information shall have practical utility;
  2. The accuracy of the agency’s estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information
  3. The quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected; and
  4. Ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on respondents, including through the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology."
OCS especially invites comments on the content, format, and order of the information in the revised Model State Plan. Please include supportive comments as well as suggestions for improvement, so that OCS can get a balanced perspective on what works and what needs revision. Please clearly reference your comments by section, question, or page number, as appropriate. OCS welcomes automation suggestions as well, particularly from those who are familiar with OLDC or other online systems. Please submit your comments to infocollection@acf.hhs.gov, as directed in the Federal Register notice, within the 60-day comment period that began January 26. We encourage you to submit your comments as soon as possible, in order to expedite the clearance process. Clearance Process and Use of the Revised Model State Plan At the end of the 60-day comment period, OCS will complete review of any remaining comments and submit a revised Model State Plan to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Concurrently, OCS will complete the automated version of the Model State Plan. During the second phase of the PRA process, which includes a 30-day comment period, OMB will review and approve the online Model State Plan for a three year period. Once OMB approves the online Model State Plan and we complete the testing of the online form, States will use the new system to submit their State plan for Federal Fiscal Year (FY) 2016. While States may need additional time to complete the new form in the first year, we expect this burden to be significantly reduced in subsequent years. OCS will provide technical assistance and training for all States to facilitate the transition to the online form. States should proceed with their usual State plan formulation process even as we wait for final OMB approval. We encourage States to consider the draft version of the Model State Plan, attached here, to plan for their FY2016 State plan submissions. To access this Dear Colleague and the Revised Model State Plan, click here.