OMB Pushes Interagency Collaboration to Modernize Statistics

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Agencies should get together to more efficiently update the government’s array of statistics, the chief of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs said on Wednesday.

In a memo to agency heads, OIRA administrator Howard Shelanski said he “strongly encourages” agencies to use such tools as the Economy Act and the General Services Administration’s category management program to improve the quality of federal statistics.

Examples of successful past collaborations, he said, include the Federal Interagency Forum on Aging-Related Statistics (the Aging Forum) and the Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics (the Children's Forum), which improved the collection and dissemination of aging and child-related statistics “by adopting a comprehensive, common federal approach, rather than relying on stovepiped releases of information by each office.”

Other examples include scientific symposia and shared use of technical training programs.

The Economy Act authorizes agencies to place orders for goods and services through other agencies, as well as for payroll servicing and rulemaking, Shelanski noted.

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