Statistical Policy Directive: Fundamental Responsibilities of Federal Statistical Agencies and Recognized Statistical Units
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) issues for comment a proposed new Statistical Policy Directive. This Directive affirms the fundamental responsibilities of Federal statistical agencies and recognized statistical units in the design, collection, processing, editing, compilation, analysis, release, and dissemination of statistical information. 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 integrity, objectivity, impartiality, utility, 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. The Information Quality Act (Pub. L. 106-554, Division C, title V, Sec. 515, Dec. 21, 2000; 114 Stat. 2763A-153 to 2763A-154) requires OMB, as well as all other Federal agencies, to maximize the objectivity, utility, and integrity of information, including statistical information, provided to the public. To operate efficiently and effectively, the Nation relies on the flow of objective, credible statistics to support the decisions of governments, businesses, individuals, households, and other organizations. Any loss of trust in the accuracy, objectivity, or integrity of the Federal statistical system and its products causes uncertainty about the validity of measures the Nation uses to monitor and assess its performance, progress, and needs by undermining the public's confidence in the information released by the Government. To support the quality and objectivity of Federal statistical information, OMB is issuing for comment a proposed new Statistical Policy Directive to affirm the long-acknowledged, fundamental responsibilities of Federal statistical agencies and recognized statistical units in the design, collection, processing, editing, compilation, analysis, release, and dissemination of statistical information. Additional discussion of the proposed Directive, together with the draft Directive itself, may be found in the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below.