Federal Statistical System: Agencies Can Make Greater Use of Existing Data, but Continued Progress Is Needed on Access and Quality Issues

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Description

A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Office of Management and Budget (OMB), agencies, and interagency statistical committees have distinct roles in identifying opportunities to improve federal information collection efforts. OMB exercises several authorities that promote the system’s efficiency, including overseeing and approving agency information collections. The website Reginfo.gov provides the public with information, such as cost and burden, on collections that OMB reviews, though GAO’s review identified some discrepancies in selected items. OMB periodically issues guidance to agencies on complying with federal requirements for information collections, but this guidance generally does ... continued below

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United States. Government Accountability Office. February 24, 2012.

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Description

A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Office of Management and Budget (OMB), agencies, and interagency statistical committees have distinct roles in identifying opportunities to improve federal information collection efforts. OMB exercises several authorities that promote the system’s efficiency, including overseeing and approving agency information collections. The website Reginfo.gov provides the public with information, such as cost and burden, on collections that OMB reviews, though GAO’s review identified some discrepancies in selected items. OMB periodically issues guidance to agencies on complying with federal requirements for information collections, but this guidance generally does not prescribe specific actions to take. GAO’s analysis of agencies’ documentation of active surveys indicated that 77 percent included detailed descriptions of efforts to identify duplication, while those that did not tended to be for collections that are unlikely to duplicate existing information; and 75 percent reported actions beyond those required by statute to solicit external input. OMB, through enhanced guidance, could promote additional awareness of options agencies can take to identify duplication and solicit input. Interagency committees, which primarily draw members from the 13 agencies that have statistics as their primary focus, are particularly important in helping ensure collaboration. The committees have numerous projects underway aimed at addressing key challenges facing the statistical system. However, mechanisms for disseminating information about their work are not comprehensive or up-to-date. Though member agencies are the most-likely customers of the committees’ products, making information about committee work and priorities more accessible could benefit other agencies, academics, and the general public. It could also benefit committee members by providing a central repository for information."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • February 24, 2012

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  • June 12, 2014, 7:50 p.m.

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United States. Government Accountability Office. Federal Statistical System: Agencies Can Make Greater Use of Existing Data, but Continued Progress Is Needed on Access and Quality Issues, report, February 24, 2012; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc301364/: accessed January 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.