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Modifications to Existing Statistical Systems

More information should be collected on unemployed persons who have exhausted their insurance benefits.

The May CPS question on union membership should be dropped.

To the extent that population estimates and projections are needed for various ethnic groups, particularly the Hispanic population, ethnic identifiers should be included on “vital certificates.”

Improvement of Statistical Program Methodology, Development of New Systems to Fill Data Gaps

Analysis, and Dissemination A comprehensive data set that would provide for

The Bureau of the Census should prepare an an integration of labor force analysis based on the annual report on the status and progress of women in same sample frames at the national, State, and local

the society. levels should be worked toward with priority being

Prices given to national-level data.

Statistical Organization and Coordination Work toward determining the feasibility of obtaining a comprehensive integrated data set on the

The Bureau of Labor Statistics should have access distribution of workers by demographic

to the Standard Statistical Establishment List characteristics, industry, area, occupations, wage

developed and maintained by the Bureau of the

Census. rates, hours worked and hours paid for, and weekly earnings and benefits should be undertaken.

Statistical Planning, Research, and Development A measure of total inputs should be constructed

The exclusion of the rural population from the for improved productivity measures.

scope of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) should be

reexamined to ascertain if rural families' Improvement of Statistical Program Methodology,

consumption of goods and services is like or unlike Analysis, and Dissemination

that of the urban population and if there are major

differences in the places in which urban and rural The CPS sample frame should be continuously

populations shop. evaluated and updated.

The family budget task force of the Statistical Population

Policy Coordination Committee should provide guidance to BLS concerning changes which should be

made in the family budget program in order to Statistical Organization and Coordination

achieve the purposes for which the program is used. Data collected as part of the decennial census An effort toward developing a conceptual under a pledge of confidentiality should remain framework for built-to-order goods should be started confidential for a period of time beyond which injury

with the goal of incorporating data about these comto an individual or his family could occur. That modities as well as commodities included in the period should be extended (e.g., 125 years), if not in Tuesday Spot Market Price Index into the Industrial perpetuity. The Bureau of the Census should develop Price Index program as part of the revision effort appropriate methods for meeting the needs of

now underway. historians and researchers.

The need for expansion of local area and pop

ulation subgroup CPI's should be carefully examined Statistical Planning, Research, and Development in both analytic and policy contexts. Until that

examination has been completed, these less aggregate The Bureau of the Census should initiate or continue activities to: (1) develop estimators to adjust

CPI's should not be expanded beyond the current

program. population data to account for persons not enumerated in the previous census, and (2) develop Further study should be undertaken on the better methods for estimating migration, particularly frequency of pricing for the CPI program. between Puerto Rico and the mainland. A national policy should be developed concerning

Modifications to Existing Statistical Systems the necessity, or the desirability, of providing detailed The producer price program should be improved data on many or all racial and ethnic groups.

using the recommendations in the Ruggles' report for

the Council on Wage and Price Stability.

The international price program should be expanded to cover 100 percent of the value of all imports and all exports.

ordination in the field of science and technology and the use of a uniform taxonomy for manpower statistics.

Development of New Systems to Fill Data Gaps

The Continuing Consumers Expenditure Survey (CCES), for which funds are requested in the FY 1979 budget, should be designed so that separate analyses of the income and expenditure patterns of major population groupings (e.g., the poor, the elderly, etc.) can be made.

Production and Distribution

Modifications to Existing Statistical Systems

NSF should focus on improving the availability and quality of data on the utilization of personnel in science and technology, particularly in the social sciences and among women and minorities.

NSF should stimulate improvement and expansion of financial data for science and technology activities, with particular reference to private funding and expenditures for research and development activities, scientific observation and measurement, and patent and license activities.

Transportation

Statistical Planning, Research, and Development

A checklist of secondary activities in the Industrial Directory would be useful to provide estimates of a particular economic activity, where that activity is done as a secondary (rather than a primary) activity.

Modifications to Existing Statistical Systems

Collection of labor force data should be reduced on Census forms when the Industrial Directory is functioning.

The County Business Patterns should be expanded to include all establishments of all industries rather than only those representing about two-thirds of the U.S. labor force.

Statistical Organization and Coordination

The Department of Transportation (DOT) should establish a Transportation Statistics Center that would be responsible for the collection of all statistical data for DOT and for the integration of all administrative data obtained by DOT modal agencies with the statistical data collected by the Center.

Data collection and analysis should focus on transportation as a whole, including intermodal relationships, in addition to providing information about modal activities and events.

The Department of Transportation should establish a cooperative Federal-State program through which survey standards and procedures would be developed for use by all, resulting in more uniform (and, therefore, combinable and/or analyzable) data than now exists.

Data-gathering surveys for the movement of goods should be integrated with the other economic censuses, and the source of the data should be shifted somewhat to the carrier.

Development of New Systems To Fill Data Gaps

Data on business activities of governments should be collected and published in a format similar to, or combined with, that of the private sector statistics.

Modifications to Existing Statistical Systems

Improvement of Statistical Methodology, Analysis, and Dissemination

The Census Bureau should tabulate and publish industry data collected by other agencies in a format which is as compatible as possible with existing Census Bureau programs.

There should be an expansion of the commodity transportation survey coverage to include additional goods and shippers.

The National Truck Commodity Flow Study should be conducted every five years; should provide data for States; and should be examined for possible incorporation with the Census Bureau survey on Truck Inventory and Use or other data collected by State highway and transportation agencies.

The Rail Carload Waybill Sample should be put into machine-readable form; should include date of delivery; and the sample should be augmented so tabulations can be made for commodities or for original destination.

Science and Technology

Statistical Organization and Coordination

The National Science Foundation (NSF) should continue to foster and develop statistical co

Data on State and local government financing of transportation needs to be expanded, and definitions should be more compatible with their transportation statistics.

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR CROSSCUTTING ISSUES

Civil Rights

Statistical Organization And Coordination

An interagency task force, coordinated by the Office of Federal Statistical Policy and Standards and the General Accounting Office, should be established to develop standards necessary for improved civil rights data collection, reporting, and use.

Statistical Planning, Research, and Development

The interagency task force should accept, as its initial responsibility, the development of guidelines for Federal civil rights recordkeeping and datacollection plans.

Improvement of Statistical Program Methodology, Analysis, and Dissemination

The interagency task force should conduct studies leading to the development of standards for civil rights data collection and use. The standards to be developed and applied should include the specification of appropriate statistical measures of discrimination; the specification of appropriate vehicles for the statistical measurement of discrimination; policies delineating the respective roles of the several Federal departments and agencies in the collection, analysis, and use of civil rights data; and guidelines for State and local government and industry use of nationally produced civil rights data.

Confidentiality

Statistical Organization and Coordination

All agencies involved in the collection of statistical or research data should have mandated legislative protection for the confidentiality of information collected or otherwise obtained to be used solely for statistical or research puposes. This should apply to both commercial and personal data. The legislation should also provide that, in certain circumstances, specific grants of confidential privilege for particular types of data could be granted by a responsible official under legal guidelines. This arrangement would be appropriate primarily for statistical or research activities carried out in or sponsored by

The Truck Inventory and Use Survey conducted by Census should be expanded to include coverage of buses and of trucks owned or operated by Federal, State, and local governments.

agencies which are not solely oriented to statistices or research. In either case the protection should be strong enough to provide immunity from compulsory legal process and Freedom of Information Act disclosure.

The uses of statistical data must be restricted to prevent their use in identifiable form for making determinations which affect a particular respondent.

Exchange of data among the protected enclaves should be feasible under controlled conditions. The first step in achieving this situation is the enactment of a clear legal status as “protected enclaves" for selected statistical and research agencies in the major departments, and for other clearly identified statistical and research units within other agencies. The enclaves must be insulated from intervention and from unauthorized access to data. At a minimum, this would require: 1. A statement at the time of data collection a

bout the (general) character of potential

statistical uses; 2. A review agency with oversight responsibility,

such as OFSPS, with the power to authorize transfers (OMB has restricted authority in the Federal Reports Act for authorizing transfers

among agencies under its jurisdiction); 3. A clear set of criteria specifying when the

transfer of identifiable data would qualify as
being of sufficient public interest to justify the
transfer; and
A set of procedures to provide for removal of
identifiers or destruction of the basic data files
after the purposes of the transfer have been
achieved.

Administrative data sets accessible to statisticians and researchers in "protected enclaves" should be protected by law from uses which could affect the rights, benefits, or privileges of individuals or institutions.

In conjunction with the steps recommended above, the development of alternative techniques which would increase the amount of detailed microdata which can be made available to the public should continue.

Controls on record linkage and the criteria for Each of the Federal agencies should review the exchange of linked data need careful conceptual status of its cooperative statistical program as a basis development to ensure that agencies adhere to the for determining the nature and scope of technical and basic purposes and principles of confidentiality. financial assistance needed by the States. Standards for the quantity and quality of data to be linked and specifications of time intervals for Improvement of Statistical Program Methodology, retention of individual identifiers should be

Analysis, and Dissemination established. Ethical standards and penalties for abuse of these standards should be the subject of wide

General and agency-specific guidelines and professional review. Certain technical and standards should be developed for and applied to the engineering questions concerning the security of data collection of data through the cooperative statistical files, particularly computerized files, should be ex programs. plored further.

To address the need for standards development The statistical profession has a responsibility for

and application in the cooperative programs, the demonstrating to the public the benefits of statistical Office of Federal Statistical Policy and Standards data gathering, protection, and linkage. The many should promulgate adequate general guidelines for constructive features of the Privacy Act of 1974 must

standards to be met in the funding and operation of be promoted. In these ways, the credibility and

Federal-State-local cooperative statistical systems. effectiveness of Federal statistical activities will be Based on these guidelines, each agency should review enhanced in the future.

the status of its standards development, initiate activities necessary to develop standards in areas

found to be lacking, and integrate the standards into Federal-State-Local Cooperative Statistical

program operations as a condition of State

participation. Systems

Industrial Directory Statistical Organization and Coordination

Statistical Organization and Coordination The Office of Federal Statistical Policy and Standards should establish mechanisms to coordinate The Industrial Directory should be implemented the activities of the several Federal agencies on an interagency basis immediately; this sponsoring cooperative statistical programs. In ad implementation should not be delayed pending the dition, a focal point should be established in each of outcome of statistical reorganization activities. the States to coordinate State-level input to the Federal level on the cooperative systems.

Statistical Planning, Research, and Development Statistical Planning, Research, and Development

Legislation to ensure statistical agency access to

the Industrial Directory should be developed. The appropriate role of the Federal Government and the limits of Federal responsibility for the co Modifications to Existing Statistical Systems operative statistical programs must be defined. The definition of the role and responsibility of the Federal

The Industrial Directory should be expanded to inGovernment must include, at a minimum, policies

clude all businesses and also all government units on with respect to the degree to which the cooperative

a basis as similar as possible to establishments in the systems should focus on data production in contrast

private sector. to data utilization; the extent to which non-Federal

The Industrial Directory should provide for an needs for State and local area data should be incor

indication of secondary activities of establishments. porated and the associated costs for their production and use underwritten by the Federal Government;

Interagency Funding and the appropriate division of labor and costs among cooperative program participants at the Statistical Organization and Coordination Federal, State, and local levels.

Each Federal Department should have at least one Each Federal agency should establish mechanisms statistical center for each major functional area to ensure that its Federal-State cooperative system of within its jurisdiction. The statistical centers should data collection is systematically integrated with the have an explicit mission to perform statistical work agency's overall statistical program.

for other agencies.

Longitudinal Surveys

Each statistical center must employ both program generalists and specialists sufficient to support its major base program.

Established statistical centers with demonstrable demand for reimbursable services should analyze this demand with a view toward justifying new reimbursable positions. A similar analysis should be performed concerning reimbursable work currently being performed by the agencies to ensure that such services are being appropriately utilized.

Each Federal agency should analyze the statistical services which it purchases from outside sources (private contractors, State or local governments, and other Federal agencies) as a basis for determining further work which could be undertaken by the statistical centers on a reimbursable basis. International Statistics and Technical

Assistance

Improvement of Statistical Program Methodology, Analysis, and Dissemination

Steps should be taken to modify the Federal procurement process to permit an agency to continue to use the contractor which began a longitudinal project to complete it even though the project could take many years.

Prior to the beginning of detailed work on a longitudinal survey, preliminary clearance should be obtained from the Office of Federal Statistical Policy and Standards, or by the Office of Management and Budget if administrative records are involved.

Long-Run Growth Models

Statistical Organization and Coordination

The major recommendation in the area of coordination is the creation of a working level mechanism for continuing contact with and evaluation of needs for technical assistance, results of technical assistance and establishment of ongoing training activities.

In addition, AID should establish a small coordinating office, staffed with people with a very broad background in statistics, including data collection and analysis. This group would coordinate AID's role in statistics and serve as consultant to the statistical agencies by providing advice on the need for infrastructure investment.

Statistical Organization and Coordination

An Interagency Committee on Long-Term Growth Models, should be established. It should meet on a regularly scheduled basis for the timely exchange of information and discussion of technical and data developments of interest to modelers.

The establishment of a central economic forecasting model is not recommended because it would be counterproductive and too binding in developing helpful decisionmaking tools. One reason for this is that the technical difficulties of interface between separate modeling needs are such that a central model would not be efficient.

Multipurpose Sample Vehicles

Statistical Planning, Research and Development

Some limited resources should be available to the U.S. Federal Statistical System to provide the training and technical assistance for statistical offices in less developed countries which the foreign assistance program is unwilling or unable to provide. There is need for some continuing resource base, available to the Federal Statistical System, for filling in the gaps left by the foreign assistance program and aimed at the fundamental purpose of assisting in the development of the statistical systems of the less developed nations. Improvement of Statistical Program Methodology, Analysis and Dissemination

The international assistance agencies, especially AID, should be encouraged to staff their subject area divisions with more people with a background in statistics and data analysis.

Statistical Organization and Coordination

A notice of intention to collect data should be submitted to OFSPS for any proposed continuing survey, including all longitudinal surveys, and for any one-time survey which proposes to interview 20,000 or more respondents. This notice of intention would permit OFSPS to review the concept. A short summary would also be published in the Statistical Reporter and thus be made available to all agencies and other interested parties to determine if there were other interests which need to be served.

Statistical Planning, Research and Development

In order for Federal agencies to satisfy the need for local area data the development of regression, or other analytic methods, for generating local area estimates, based on survey or administrative data, is essential. The large national surveys should continue in order to provide benchmarks, but given the

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