Federal Data Strategy Comments

Re: Federal Data Strategy Draft Practices

Mr. Belur, Ms. Kelley, Ms. Kent, Ms. Potok, and Mr. Wilmer,

The Council of Professional Associations on Federal Statistics (COPAFS) represents researchers, educators, public health professionals, civic groups, and businesses that rely on the quality and accessibility of statistics that can only be effectively collected by the federal government. We appreciate the emphasize being placed on data and its management by your team and the prominent role developing a data strategy has taken in the Administration’s Management Agenda.

We write to identify a few draft practices and recommend some specific actions that will help support the principal statistical agencies.

Practices are concerned with both sharing data and improving data security. We recommend taking steps to pursue a national security data service, as recommended by the Commission on Evidence-based Policymaking.[1]

As the statistical agencies modernize, they will use more non-statistical data for statistical purposes. However, as a recent report from the Interagency Council on Statistical Policy notes, non-statistical data often “falls short of standards set by OMB in Statistical Policy Directive 2,”[2] particularly citing meta- and para- data as being inadequate.

In light of that, we recommend that as a part of the practices geared towards promoting the efficient use of data assets, particularly #19 Prepare to Share and #20 Share Data Across Agencies, special attention is paid to the meta and para data needs of the statistical agencies who may need to use data for statistical purposes.

Engage stakeholders

Also, like, fund these efforts? Mebbe. Like a lil bit?

[1] CEP, 2017, p. 65
[2] Principles for Modernizing Production of Federal Statistics, 2018, p. 1