[Federal Register: May 26, 1998 (Volume 63, Number 100)]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Office of the Secretary
[Docket No. OST-96-1436]
Filing Procedures for the DOT Docket; Electronic Submission
AGENCY: Office of the Secretary (OST), DOT.
ACTION: Notice requesting comment.
SUMMARY: The Department of Transportation (DOT) is requesting the
public to comment on its plan to revise its document filing
requirements to provide for electronic submission of information to its
central dockets management system (DMS). Electronic submission would
provide more convenience than the current requirement to submit paper,
by allowing DOT customers to file documents from their desktop
computers. It also would streamline docket processing to accommodate
the anticipated increases in volume.
DATES: Comments must be submitted by July 27, 1998.
ADDRESSES: Comments should be addressed to the Central Docket
Management Facility, (CDMF) SVC-124.1, PL-401, Docket No. OST-96-1436,
Department of Transportation, 400 7th Street, SW., Washington, DC
20590. Any person wishing acknowledgment that his/her comments have
been received should include a self-addressed stamped postcard.
Comments received will be available for public inspection and copying
in the CDMF, Room PL-401, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET Monday through
Friday, except Federal Holidays.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Dorothy W. Walker, Chief Dockets,
SVC-124, (202) 366-9329.
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: DOT consolidated its nine separate docket
facilities into a central DMS and is continuing the conversion from a
paper-based system to an optical imaging system for more efficient
receipt, storage, management, and retrieval of docketed information. In
order to complete this phased transition to an electronic docket
system, DOT plans to develop an Electronic Submission (ES) enhancement
for its DMS that would allow customers to submit documents
electronically from their desktops into the Docket. Currently all
filings must be submitted as a paper hard copy to the DMS. The paper
documents are then processed into the DMS by entering a document
database record, scanning the paper, and performing quality assurance
(QA) on the document images and data to resolve any errors.
DOT also plans to revise its document filing requirements to
provide for ES. ES is not intended to replace the current paper-based
submission process since not all filers will have access to computers.
DMS will retain the paper-based filing process and continue to accept
paper. DOT also is considering a direct dial-in capability for those
without Internet access and to provide a backup capability in the event
Internet access is temporarily unavailable. All documents that are
electronically submitted would be stored in a separate database for ES
waiting to be processed by DMS staff. DMS staff would need to perform
QA review of ES filings prior to saving the documents into the
For the sake of simplicity, the Office of the Secretary is issuing
this notice on behalf of all of DOT's constituent
agencies. Ultimately, we envision that ES would be available for all of
the constituent DOT agencies; although at this time, not all have fully
consolidated into the DMS. To ensure the quality of the product
developed, DOT is evaluating its internal needs as well as those of the
general public. Substantial changes to the DMS business processes and
procedures and to agency filing requirements may be needed.
This notice is intended to inform the public about, and to solicit
public comment on, electronic submission and any necessary changes to
our filing requirements. It may be downloaded from the DMS Web Site
News Page located at http://dms.dot.gov by clicking on the News Link.
The questions are intended only to elicit any thoughts and ideas you
may have on the ES enhancement to DMS.
1. What is your current use of DMS?
2. What capabilities would you like to see in the ES system?
3. Are there any other systems that you use now or are aware of
that we should look at in developing ES?
4. What method should DMS use to send/receive information using ES?
For example, e-mail, dial-in, Netscape, Internet Explorer, etc.
5. Should the DMS notify you that your document has: (1) arrived;
and (2) been accepted?
6. In case the document is rejected, what information should the
DMS send back to the submitter? (e.g., time of submission, reason for
7. Should the DMS provide submitters with an electronic submission
form to fill out with information such as organization, docket id, name
and address, point of contact, etc.? Filling out such a form could take
some time, but could ensure better accuracy. The DMS staff would file
the submitter's information as submitted rather than entering it into a
record upon receipt, possibly incorrectly.
Document Size and Format
1. How many pages are in the largest documents you have ever
2. How many documents do you submit on average each day? Each
3. What word processing software do you use to prepare your
documents? (e.g., Word Perfect (WP), Microsoft Word, etc.)
4. What charts or graphics software does the DMS need to
accommodate? (e.g., Power Point, Harvard Graphics, Corel Draw,
Document Date and Time
1. Would you find it useful if you were able to submit documents
outside normal business hours?
1. Should the DMS require a unique login id/password to submit a
2. Do you have a need to submit comments anonymously?
3. If so, how could the DMS staff contact you in case your
submission is incomplete or additional information is needed?
4. Is it important that the DMS validate the identity of the sender
of a document?
5. Should ES allow for encryption in order to protect the contents
of a document during submission?
1. Are there any other special needs that we should consider?
2. Are there any additional capabilities the ES system should have?
Issued in Washington, DC on May 20, 1998.
Neil R. Eisner,
Assistant General Counsel for Regulation and Enforcement.
[FR Doc. 98-13913 Filed 5-22-98; 8:45 am]
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