COPAFS Public Policy Agenda

2020 Policy Agenda for Federal Statistics

Increase Spending for Statistical Agencies

The lack of sufficient funding for statistical agencies has been widespread and ongoing for several budget cycles. Despite some small gains in FY 2019, the agencies have been forced to delay critical hiring, reduce the amount of data they collect and disseminate, and put innovative research on hold. Without a course correction, the ultimate result will be a deterioration in the high-quality statistics so many decision-makers rely on to make critical choices affecting people in every community across our nation.

Highlight the Work of Statistical Agencies

The 13 principal statistical agencies collect data on nearly every aspect of American life. Without their work, we would not know who we are, how we are doing, or where we are going. Their work is vital to a healthy, thriving nation. But despite this foundational role and the widely available data published by these agencies, their public profile is lacking. Highlighting the work of these agencies will ensure that Congressional staffers, state and local policymakers, journalists, academics and everyday citizens both understand and appreciate the value provided by a robust national data infrastructure.

Protect the Independence and Integrity of Federal Statistics

Longstanding policies and procedures prohibit interference in federal statistics by politicians and political appointees. As policy changes and reorganization proposals come forward, it is vital that this independence and integrity be preserved. Guarantees of independence and integrity in policies and procedures will need to evolve alongside other modernization efforts, but independence and integrity must remain as guiding principles in such efforts.

Ensure a Fair and Accurate 2020 Census

A fair and accurate decennial Census is vitally important to the health of our national data infrastructure. COPAFS will work with policymakers and community partners to help communicate the importance of full participation in this endeavor.

Support Modernization Initiatives

Exciting steps have been taken towards modernizing the federal statistical system, including the passage of the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act of 2018, and the Year One Data Strategy implementation plan. COPAFS will continue its engagement in these efforts as it works to advance excellence in federal statistics.