September 27, 2001

Mrs. Mary Glenn-Croft
Special Advisor to the Commissioner
Social Security Administration
6401 Security Boulevard
Altmeyer Building, Room 900
Baltimore, MD 21235

Dear Mrs. Glenn-Croft:

     During the months of May and June of this year, the Social Security Agency (SSA) submitted a number of rules to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review under Executive Order No. 12866. These rules include four draft proposed rules: (1) "Clarification of Rules Involving Residual Functional Capacity Assessments; Clarification of Use of Vocational Experts and Other Sources at Step 4 of the Sequential Evaluation Process," submitted May 10, 2001; (2) "Filing Claims Under the Federal Tort Claims Act and the Military Personnel and Civilian Employees Claims Act," submitted May 14, 2001; (3) "Revised Medical Criteria for Evaluating Hematologic Disorders and Malignant Neoplastic Diseases," submitted June 14, 2001; and (4) "Representative Payment Under the Title II and Title XVI of the Social Security Act," submitted June 19, 2001. Two of these rules clarify the criteria for evaluating claims for disability benefits, two others modify existing regulations addressing the filing of claims and representative payee provisions.

     While we are inclined to believe the substance of these four rules complies with the principles of Executive Order (E.O.) No. 12866, as currently drafted they do not comply with the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA). Specifically, SSA has not properly sought comment on the information collection requirements contained in each of these four rules. Before these rules can be published, the statutory requirements of the PRA need to be addressed. I understand that my staff have discussed these concerns with SSA staff at length, and have provided with SSA several suggestions as to how these rules can be revised to bring them into compliance with the PRA.

     Since the revisions necessary to address these concerns are likely to take some additional time, I am returning these four rules to you for reconsideration in accordance with section 6 of E.O. No. 12866. To ensure compliance with the PRA, upon resubmission of these rules for OMB review, SSA should also submit the associated information collection requests. My staff is available for further discussion on how to satisfy the requirements of the PRA in these and any other SSA rules. We look forward to working with you to improve these important rulemaking efforts.



John D. Graham
Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs