OMB Issues New Statistical Policy Directive
December 2014

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) published the final version of a new statistical policy directive (Statistical Policy Directive No. 1: Fundamental Responsibilities of Federal Statistical Agencies) in the Federal Register on December 2. The final directive reflects comments submitted by AERA in July.

OMB issued the directive to affirm the long-acknowledged, fundamental responsibilities of federal statistical agencies and recognized statistical units in the design, collection, processing, editing, compilation, storage, analysis, release, and dissemination of statistical information.

The directive provides a framework that supports federal statistical policy and serves as a foundation for federal statistical activities. The directive also calls on federal departments to enable, support, and facilitate federal statistical agencies and units as they implement four core responsibilities. These responsibilities include:

  • Produce and disseminate relevant and timely information
  • Conduct credible and accurate statistical activities
  • Conduct objective statistical activities
  • Protect the trust of information providers by ensuring the confidentiality and exclusive statistical use of their responses

AERA recommended that OMB, in finalizing the directive, include language to clarify and harmonize the directive with other legislation, regulations, and policies, in particular, provisions of the Education Sciences Reform Act. OMB responded by adding “When a statute authorizes an external agency to make determinations that this Directive assigns as the proper responsibility of a Federal statistical agency, the authorized agency should delegate those determinations to the Federal statistical agency.”

“AERA is pleased to see the release of the final Statistical Policy Directive No. 1 and appreciates OMB’s thoughtful response to our recommendations,” said AERA Executive Director Felice J. Levine. “We commend OMB on issuing this directive to ensure that federal statistical agencies have the sufficient authority to effectively carry out their activities.” 

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