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What is the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) Clearance Process?

The Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) is a federal law is intended to reduce burden on the public, ensure privacy and confidentiality safeguards, reduce duplication of effort, reduce costs, and increase quality, integrity, and data utility. The PRA clearance is managed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), which is why the process if often called the OMB clearance.

The PRA is not a “green” initiative as the name might imply and it is not optional. It also does not replace or address separate reviews such as Privacy Impact Assessments (PIA), Office of Human Subjects Research Protection (OHSRP) or Institutional Review Boards (IRB).

When does the Law apply?

The law applies when the government intends to collect information from 10 or more members of the public within a 12-month period. The law applies to data collections by Federal agencies and by federally sponsored 3rd parties, to voluntary and mandatory collections, and to all collection formats including but not limited to electronic, telephonic, paper, and oral.

For PRA purposes, the definition of “public” also includes federal contractors and training fellows.

  • If your data collection project meets these criteria, then you need to contact the NCI PRA Liaison for a determination.
  • If your data collection project does not meet these criteria, then the PRA clearance does not apply.

Responsibilities: The business owner should contact the NCI PRA Liaison to determine if PRA clearance is required.

Who to contact: Please contact the NCI PRA Liaison at or by calling 240-276-5582.

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