OMB – “Fast Track” Approvals for Usability Feedback

As part of a Federal Government-wide effort to streamline the  process to seek feedback from the public on service delivery, OMB is  coordinating the development of a generic request that agencies can use to get rapid approval, and looking for comment by February 22, 2011.

Federal agencies currently have to get clearance from the OMB for usability tests and other qualitative research methods that involve more than 9 people.

This is important for plain language because it will make it easier to gather information about the audience for a document and to do usability testing.

This proposed “fast track approval” will be available for projects where:

  • Participation is voluntary
  • There is a low “burden” for respondents (based on considerations of total burden hours, total number of respondents, or burden-hours per respondent)
  • It is low-cost for both the respondents and the Federal Government
  • The topic is not controversial and does not raise issues of concern to other Federal agencies
  • It gathers opinions fom respondents who have experience with the program or may have experience with the program in the near future
  • Personally identifiable information (PII) is only collected if necessary, and is not kept
  • Information gathered will be used within the agency for improving a service or program
  • Information gathered will not be used for substantially informing policy decisions
  • Only qualitative information will be gathered; not statistically generalizable results.

How to Comment

The official name of this proposal is:  “Generic Clearance for the Collection of Qualitative Feedback on Agency Service Delivery”

Deadline for comments: February 22, 2011

Submit comments by one of the following methods:

To learn more


This entry was posted in Opportunities for Public Comment and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.

Center for Plain Language (

Printed April 17, 2014


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers: