Statistical Policy Directive No. 2: Standards and Guidelines for Statistical Surveys; Addendum: Standards and Guidelines for Cognitive Interviews, 70586-70587 [2016-24607]

Download as PDF 70586 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 197 / Wednesday, October 12, 2016 / Notices OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET Statistical Policy Directive No. 2: Standards and Guidelines for Statistical Surveys; Addendum: Standards and Guidelines for Cognitive Interviews Executive Office of the President, Office of Management and Budget. ACTION: Notice of final decision. AGENCY: Under the Budget and Accounting Procedures Act of 1950 (31 U.S.C. 1104 (d)) and the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3504 (e)), the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is issuing Statistical Policy Directive No. 2 Addendum: Standards and Guidelines for Statistical Surveys. This Addendum provides Standards and Guidelines for Conducting Cognitive Interviews. The Addendum may be accessed at www.WhiteHouse.gov/sites/default/ files/omb/inforeg/directive2/final_ addendum_to_stat_policy_dir_2.pdf. Additional discussion of the Addendum may be found in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below. DATES: Effective Date: This Addendum is effective immediately. ADDRESSES: Please send any questions about this Directive to: Katherine K. Wallman, Chief Statistician, Office of Management and Budget, 10201 New Executive Office Building, Washington, DC 20503, telephone number: (202) 395–3093, FAX number: (202) 395– 7245. You may also send questions via email to DirectiveNo2@omb.eop.gov. Because of delays in the receipt of regular mail related to security screening, use of electronic communications is encouraged. Electronic Availability: This document is available on the Internet on the OMB Web site at www.WhiteHouse.gov/sites/default/ files/omb/inforeg/directive2/FRN_stat_ policy_dir_2_addendum.pdf. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jennifer Park, 10201 New Executive Office Building, Washington, DC 20503, email address: jpark@omb.eop.gov with subject Directive No. 2 Addendum: Standards and Guidelines for Cognitive Interviews, telephone number: (202) 395–9046, FAX number: (202) 395– 7245. mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with NOTICES4 SUMMARY: The Nation relies on the flow of credible statistics to support the decisions of governments, businesses, individuals, households, and other organizations. Federal surveys collect much of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:50 Oct 11, 2016 Jkt 238001 information available about the United States’ economy, population, natural resources, environment, and public and private institutions. It is essential that these surveys collect information in a clear, straight-forward manner so as to maximize the accuracy of data while minimizing respondent burden. Scope: The Addendum applies to all Federal agencies subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. Agencies not subject to the PRA also benefit from this Addendum, and are therefore encouraged to apply this guidance as well. Background: Consistent with the Information Quality Act (Pub. L. 106– 554, Division C, title V, Sec. 515, Dec. 21, 2000; 114 Stat. 2763A–153 to 2763A–154) and in accordance with Statistical Policy Directive No. 1: Fundamental Responsibilities of Federal Statistical Agencies and Recognized Statistical Units (79 FR 71610, Dec. 2, 2014), it is the responsibility of Federal agencies engaging in statistical work to continuously review statistical methodologies and implement improvements as they are identified so as to better ensure the relevance, accuracy, and objectivity of the statistical products our Nation uses to monitor and assess performance, progress, and needs. Further, these responsibilities must be achieved in a manner that protects the confidentiality of information acquired solely for statistical purposes. In its role as coordinator of the Federal statistical system under the Paperwork Reduction Act, OMB, among other responsibilities, is required to ensure the efficiency and effectiveness of the system as well as the relevance, accuracy, objectivity, and confidentiality of information collected for statistical purposes. OMB is also charged with developing and overseeing the implementation of Governmentwide principles, policies, standards, and guidelines concerning the development, presentation, and dissemination of statistical information. Statistical Policy Directive No. 2: Standards and Guidelines for Statistical Surveys was issued in 2006 to ensure implementation of improved survey methods across Federal agencies engaged in statistical activities. It remains a robust and comprehensive source of guidance. Nonetheless, periodic review, updates, and addenda are required to ensure that this Directive remains most useful to Federal agencies. Cognitive interviewing is a key method used to pretest survey questions and questionnaires. This method investigates whether respondents understand survey questions according PO 00000 Frm 00002 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 4703 to their intended design and whether respondents can provide accurate answers based on that intent. Cognitive interviews determine respondent interpretations and detail the phenomena considered by respondents in forming their answer. Findings from cognitive interviews can indicate whether a survey question captures the intended construct; cognitive interview findings can also identify difficulties that respondents experience when formulating responses. Ultimately, rigorous cognitive interviews support the efficient production of useful statistics since the findings from cognitive interviews can be used to help minimize costs and burden while ensuring the accuracy of the information collected. Although cognitive interviews are broadly used across a variety of Federal agencies engaged in statistical activities, to date no specific Federal guidance has established the manner in which this particular method should be conducted. As such, the term ‘‘cognitive interview,’’ when applied to Federal statistical surveys could refer to any of an array of related research techniques that differ in their appropriate use for statistical surveys. Accordingly, in 2014, OMB requested members of the Federal Interagency Council on Statistical Policy (ICSP) to nominate representatives for a new subcommittee formed under the aegis of the Federal Committee on Statistical Methodology (FCSM). The Question Evaluation Methodology Subcommittee was asked to identify best practices for conducting cognitive interviews so as to improve the resulting data quality. Subcommittee members reviewed relevant scientific literature, the Paperwork Reduction Act, the Information Quality Act, Governmentwide Information Quality Guidelines (Information Quality Guidelines) (67 FR 8453, Jan. 3, 2002), Statistical Policy Directive No. 1 and Directive No. 2, and other information quality standards currently used by Federal statistical agencies. Through this careful process, the subcommittee reached a consensus in identifying seven standards for cognitive interviews. The subcommittee provided draft standards and guidelines for review by the FCSM and the ICSP in 2015. The subcommittee addressed the comments it received at each stage and provided its final recommendations to the FCSM in 2015. Accordingly, OMB requested comments on the recommendation that it received from the Federal Committee on Statistical Methodology (FCSM) Subcommittee on Question Evaluation Methodology to publish an addendum to OMB Statistical Policy Directive No. E:\FR\FM\12OCN4.SGM 12OCN4 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 197 / Wednesday, October 12, 2016 / Notices mstockstill on DSK3G9T082PROD with NOTICES4 2: Standards and Guidelines for Statistical Surveys. The Addendum, Standards and Guidelines for Cognitive Interviews, is intended to ensure that the results of statistical surveys sponsored by the Federal Government are as reliable and useful as possible while minimizing respondent burden. Specifically, the Addendum establishes rigorous standards for the use of cognitive interviews in Federal VerDate Sep<11>2014 17:50 Oct 11, 2016 Jkt 238001 information collections. These standards allow data collectors and users alike to better evaluate the quality of survey questions and the resulting survey statistics. Disposition of Comments Received: On May 10, 2016, OMB published in the Federal Register (81 FR 29107, May 10, 2016) a notice seeking comments on a draft of this Addendum. No comments were received. Accordingly, OMB hereby adopts and issues the final PO 00000 Frm 00003 Fmt 4701 Sfmt 9990 70587 Directive No. 2 Addendum: Standards and Guidelines for Cognitive Interviews. The Addendum can be accessed at www.WhiteHouse.gov/sites/default/ files/omb/inforeg/directive2/final_ addendum_to_stat_policy_dir_2.pdf. Howard Shelanski, Administrator. Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. [FR Doc. 2016–24607 Filed 10–11–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE P E:\FR\FM\12OCN4.SGM 12OCN4

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 197 (Wednesday, October 12, 2016)]
[Notices]
[Pages 70586-70587]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-24607]



[[Page 70585]]

Vol. 81

Wednesday,

No. 197

October 12, 2016

Part IV





Office of Management and Budget





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Statistical Policy Directive No. 2: Standards and Guidelines for 
Statistical Surveys; Addendum: Standards and Guidelines for Cognitive 
Interviews; Notice

Federal Register / Vol. 81 , No. 197 / Wednesday, October 12, 2016 / 
Notices

[[Page 70586]]


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET


Statistical Policy Directive No. 2: Standards and Guidelines for 
Statistical Surveys; Addendum: Standards and Guidelines for Cognitive 
Interviews

AGENCY: Executive Office of the President, Office of Management and 
Budget.

ACTION: Notice of final decision.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: Under the Budget and Accounting Procedures Act of 1950 (31 
U.S.C. 1104 (d)) and the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 
3504 (e)), the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is issuing 
Statistical Policy Directive No. 2 Addendum: Standards and Guidelines 
for Statistical Surveys. This Addendum provides Standards and 
Guidelines for Conducting Cognitive Interviews.
    The Addendum may be accessed at www.WhiteHouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/inforeg/directive2/final_addendum_to_stat_policy_dir_2.pdf. 
Additional discussion of the Addendum may be found in the SUPPLEMENTARY 
INFORMATION section below.

DATES: Effective Date: This Addendum is effective immediately.

ADDRESSES: Please send any questions about this Directive to: Katherine 
K. Wallman, Chief Statistician, Office of Management and Budget, 10201 
New Executive Office Building, Washington, DC 20503, telephone number: 
(202) 395-3093, FAX number: (202) 395-7245. You may also send questions 
via email to DirectiveNo2@omb.eop.gov. Because of delays in the receipt 
of regular mail related to security screening, use of electronic 
communications is encouraged.
    Electronic Availability: This document is available on the Internet 
on the OMB Web site at www.WhiteHouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/inforeg/directive2/FRN_stat_policy_dir_2_addendum.pdf.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jennifer Park, 10201 New Executive 
Office Building, Washington, DC 20503, email address: jpark@omb.eop.gov 
with subject Directive No. 2 Addendum: Standards and Guidelines for 
Cognitive Interviews, telephone number: (202) 395-9046, FAX number: 
(202) 395-7245.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Nation relies on the flow of credible 
statistics to support the decisions of governments, businesses, 
individuals, households, and other organizations. Federal surveys 
collect much of the information available about the United States' 
economy, population, natural resources, environment, and public and 
private institutions. It is essential that these surveys collect 
information in a clear, straight-forward manner so as to maximize the 
accuracy of data while minimizing respondent burden.
    Scope: The Addendum applies to all Federal agencies subject to the 
Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. Agencies not subject to the PRA also 
benefit from this Addendum, and are therefore encouraged to apply this 
guidance as well.
    Background: Consistent with the Information Quality Act (Pub. L. 
106-554, Division C, title V, Sec. 515, Dec. 21, 2000; 114 Stat. 2763A-
153 to 2763A-154) and in accordance with Statistical Policy Directive 
No. 1: Fundamental Responsibilities of Federal Statistical Agencies and 
Recognized Statistical Units (79 FR 71610, Dec. 2, 2014), it is the 
responsibility of Federal agencies engaging in statistical work to 
continuously review statistical methodologies and implement 
improvements as they are identified so as to better ensure the 
relevance, accuracy, and objectivity of the statistical products our 
Nation uses to monitor and assess performance, progress, and needs. 
Further, these responsibilities must be achieved in a manner that 
protects the confidentiality of information acquired solely for 
statistical purposes.
    In its role as coordinator of the Federal statistical system under 
the Paperwork Reduction Act, OMB, among other responsibilities, is 
required to ensure the efficiency and effectiveness of the system as 
well as the relevance, accuracy, objectivity, and confidentiality of 
information collected for statistical purposes. OMB is also charged 
with developing and overseeing the implementation of Government-wide 
principles, policies, standards, and guidelines concerning the 
development, presentation, and dissemination of statistical 
information.
    Statistical Policy Directive No. 2: Standards and Guidelines for 
Statistical Surveys was issued in 2006 to ensure implementation of 
improved survey methods across Federal agencies engaged in statistical 
activities. It remains a robust and comprehensive source of guidance. 
Nonetheless, periodic review, updates, and addenda are required to 
ensure that this Directive remains most useful to Federal agencies.
    Cognitive interviewing is a key method used to pretest survey 
questions and questionnaires. This method investigates whether 
respondents understand survey questions according to their intended 
design and whether respondents can provide accurate answers based on 
that intent. Cognitive interviews determine respondent interpretations 
and detail the phenomena considered by respondents in forming their 
answer. Findings from cognitive interviews can indicate whether a 
survey question captures the intended construct; cognitive interview 
findings can also identify difficulties that respondents experience 
when formulating responses. Ultimately, rigorous cognitive interviews 
support the efficient production of useful statistics since the 
findings from cognitive interviews can be used to help minimize costs 
and burden while ensuring the accuracy of the information collected.
    Although cognitive interviews are broadly used across a variety of 
Federal agencies engaged in statistical activities, to date no specific 
Federal guidance has established the manner in which this particular 
method should be conducted. As such, the term ``cognitive interview,'' 
when applied to Federal statistical surveys could refer to any of an 
array of related research techniques that differ in their appropriate 
use for statistical surveys. Accordingly, in 2014, OMB requested 
members of the Federal Interagency Council on Statistical Policy (ICSP) 
to nominate representatives for a new subcommittee formed under the 
aegis of the Federal Committee on Statistical Methodology (FCSM). The 
Question Evaluation Methodology Subcommittee was asked to identify best 
practices for conducting cognitive interviews so as to improve the 
resulting data quality. Subcommittee members reviewed relevant 
scientific literature, the Paperwork Reduction Act, the Information 
Quality Act, Government-wide Information Quality Guidelines 
(Information Quality Guidelines) (67 FR 8453, Jan. 3, 2002), 
Statistical Policy Directive No. 1 and Directive No. 2, and other 
information quality standards currently used by Federal statistical 
agencies. Through this careful process, the subcommittee reached a 
consensus in identifying seven standards for cognitive interviews. The 
subcommittee provided draft standards and guidelines for review by the 
FCSM and the ICSP in 2015. The subcommittee addressed the comments it 
received at each stage and provided its final recommendations to the 
FCSM in 2015.
    Accordingly, OMB requested comments on the recommendation that it 
received from the Federal Committee on Statistical Methodology (FCSM) 
Subcommittee on Question Evaluation Methodology to publish an addendum 
to OMB Statistical Policy Directive No.

[[Page 70587]]

2: Standards and Guidelines for Statistical Surveys. The Addendum, 
Standards and Guidelines for Cognitive Interviews, is intended to 
ensure that the results of statistical surveys sponsored by the Federal 
Government are as reliable and useful as possible while minimizing 
respondent burden. Specifically, the Addendum establishes rigorous 
standards for the use of cognitive interviews in Federal information 
collections. These standards allow data collectors and users alike to 
better evaluate the quality of survey questions and the resulting 
survey statistics.
    Disposition of Comments Received: On May 10, 2016, OMB published in 
the Federal Register (81 FR 29107, May 10, 2016) a notice seeking 
comments on a draft of this Addendum. No comments were received. 
Accordingly, OMB hereby adopts and issues the final Directive No. 2 
Addendum: Standards and Guidelines for Cognitive Interviews. The 
Addendum can be accessed at www.WhiteHouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/inforeg/directive2/final_addendum_to_stat_policy_dir_2.pdf.

Howard Shelanski,
Administrator. Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.
[FR Doc. 2016-24607 Filed 10-11-16; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE P