Guidance on Using a Generic Clearance and Submission of Supplemental Documents
Background on Information Requests from Solutions Providers
In some cases, challenge managers may wish to seek supplemental information from solutions providers in addition to the characteristics described in the challenge.gov template. Challenge managers seeking additional information should be aware that the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) ensures that the public is not placed under an undue burden for providing information to the government. Details on the uses of challenge.gov and considerations for the PRA can be found here. General information pertaining to the PRA and challenge competitions is derived from a guidance developed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), titled “Social Media, Web-Based Interactive Technologies, and the Paperwork Reduction Act.” Additional clarifying issues pertaining to the PRA and information requested of solutions providers are presented in a Frequently Asked Questions document also provided by the OMB.
HHS Generic Clearance
Challenge managers may have an interest in requesting information from solutions providers about how the solution to a challenge was developed. In addition, challenge managers often wish to provide data sets or other information resources to solutions providers as working materials for the challenge and request information about which of these resources was used by the solution provider in solving the challenge.
To address the information requests from solutions providers, the Department of Health and Human Services has received a generic clearance approval from OBM to request information in addition to that allowed by the standard challenge.gov submission (OMB Number 0990-0390). This document provides the instructions for the use of the generic clearance in challenge competitions using challenge.gov or other challenge platforms. This generic clearance is to be used only in the context of hosting a challenge competition and not to collect data from the public to inform significant policy or resource allocation decisions.
Before initiating a challenge, the program manager shall submit to their agency PRA officer the following materials:
- a copy of the Federal Register Notice for the challenge (this can be submitted simultaneously with the publication of the Notice)
- an abbreviated supporting document using this template
- a screen shot or reasonable facsimile of the challenge competition description (i.e., from challenge.gov or other challenge platform) of the information requested covered by the generic clearance (e.g., this is the “instrument” used by the generic clearance).
- the agency PRA official shall submit these materials in ROCIS under this generic clearance.
OMB will review and provide notification for the use of the generic clearance within 5 days of the receipt of these materials.
When the generic clearance is used for a particular challenge, the OMB Number 0990-0390 shall be inserted in the challenge description so that it is plainly visible.
Frequently Asked Questions Regarding this HHS Generic Clearance
- When should program managers use this generic clearance?
This generic use can be used by any HHS program manager conducting a challenge who wishes to collect information from a solution provider regarding: a) how the solution to the challenge was developed, and b) what particular data or other information resource was used from a set of resources described in the challenge competition description.
- Do I need prior approval to use the generic clearance before initiating the challenge?
Yes. Once you have completed the preparation of the challenge description, a copy of Federal Register Notice, an abbreviated supporting document using this template, and a screenshot or facsimile of the challenge competition description of the information requests shall be submitted to OMB for review by the agency PRA officer.
- What resources are available for me to obtain a better understanding of the PRA considerations when developing a challenge competition?
The following resources are available:
- Who should I contact if I have additional questions about the use of the genetic clearance for challenge competition?
Input and analysis on specific questions regarding PRA and challenge competitions can be obtained from your agency PRA officer. There may be additional policies that permit the collection of information that is not covered by this generic clearance for a challenge competition. Questions about the use of this generic clearance can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.