« PreviousContinue »
TABLE OF CONTENTS
The statistical system of the United States is decentralized, with responsibility and authority for statistical activities divided among many agencies. This diffusion of responsibilities has been coordinated by a central agency for the past four decades. Currently the Office of Federal Statistical Policy and Standards (OFSPS) in the U.S. Department of Commerce forms the coordinating function. Under Section 103 of the Budget and Accounting Procedures Act of 1950, and Executive Order No. 12013 (October 7, 1977), the Office has responsibility and authority for preparation of the consolidated statistical budget, estabiishment of statistical standards, international liaison on statistical issues, and overall statistical planning and coordination. The Office also has been delegated responsibility for all agency questionnaires and reporting plans which are statistical in character. A logical extension of these basic authorities is the development of A Framework for Planning U.S. Federal Statistics for the 1980's.
This document is intended to contribute to the coordinating function by providing a framework for planning the future statistical activities of the various agencies. It is not a budget document or a statement of official agency policies. There are, of course, budgetary implications and policy discussions in the document, but these should not be considered to be decisions already taken, or even decisions to be made within any specific time frame. Rather, the Framework is a coordinated overview of potential directions for the Federal Statistical System to take in the coming decade in order to achieve a more integrated set of basic statistics concerning U.S. economic and social trends and issues. It is expected to serve as a background for decisions concerning individual programs, so that these decisions can take place in the context of the entire statistical effort of the Federal Government.
A Framework for planning U.S. Federal Statistics for the 1980's is being prepared with significant inputs from major statistical agencies, major governmental policy groups, and representatives of public and private users as they have been organized through various professional, academic, and business forums.
This publication is a companion to several existing publications concerning Federal statistical activities. The other publications in this series include:
1. Revolution in United States Government Statistics, 1926-1976 is in large part, a
background document for the Framework. It traces developments in important areas such as sampling applications, national income accounts, use of computers, and coordinating mechanisms. It traces developments during the 50-year period in order to portray the existing situation in which the Framework is developed. This background document is designed to reinforce the Framework. This is made explicit in the final chapter which considers major issues which were unresolved at the end of the 50-year period, leading to the topics which are addressed in the Framework.
2. Statistical Services of the United States Government, 1975 is designed to serve as a
basic reference to the existing statistical programs of the Federal Government. It includes a description of the statistical system, the relations of Federal statistical programs to those of other governmental and nongovernmental organizations,