Statistical Policy Directive No. 3: Compilation, Release, and Evaluation of Principal Federal Economic Indicators. Timing of Public Comments by Employees of the Executive Branch
Under the Budget and Accounting Procedures Act of 1950 and the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (``the PRA''), the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issues a request for comments on the continued relevance of one provision within Statistical Policy Directive No. 3: Compilation, Release, and Evaluation of Principal Federal Economic Indicators (50 FR 38932, Sep. 25, 1985) (``Directive No. 3''). Directive No. 3 remains a robust, comprehensive source of guidance for statistical series produced by Federal statistical agencies and recognized statistical units. The government and private sector widely watch and heavily rely upon those statistical series as indicators of the current condition and direction of the economy. The procedures in Directive No. 3, published in 1985, were designed to ensure equitable, policy-neutral, and timely release and dissemination of Principal Federal Economic Indicators (``PFEIs''). The goals of Directive No. 3 remain sound, and changing those overall goals is not the subject of this notice; however, advances in information dissemination technology lead OMB to seek comment on the continued relevance of the provision that prohibits employees of the Executive Branch from commenting publicly about the release of PFEIs until at least one hour following their release. For example, in addition to more traditional means of dissemination (e.g., newspaper or radio), agencies now disseminate their data releases to the public through the internet, including on their own websites, allowing instantaneous and equitable access to the releases. In particular, OMB seeks comment on whether advances in information dissemination technology since Directive No. 3's issuance in 1985 could provide for meeting the goals of Directive No. 3 to ensure equitable, policy-neutral, and timely release and dissemination of PFEIs under a shorter time delay, including no time delay at all. Additional discussion of the request for public comment may be found in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below. Electronic Availability: This notice is available on the internet on the OMB website at https://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/. Federal Register notices are also available electronically at https:// www.federalregister.gov/.