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Principles and Practices for a Federal Statistical Agency, Fourth Edition
also data analysis, forecasting, and modeling (U.S. Office of Management and Budget, 2008c:Table 1:3-4).1
Table A-1 shows approximately comparable estimates for 1998 and 2008 (in current and constant 2008 dollars) for statistical programs of all agencies with statistical activities of $500,000 or more and, separately, for the 14 member agencies of the Interagency Council on Statistical Policy (ICSP).2 In 2008, the ICSP agencies accounted for 42 percent of the total budget authority for statistical activities, excluding the 2010 census; with the 2010 census authority included, they accounted for 52 percent.
The total budget authority for statistical activities increased in real terms by $905 million between 1998 and 2008, excluding the 2000 and 2010 censuses; with the censuses, the increase was $1.35 billion. Budget authority for the ICSP agencies, however, remained flat in real terms between 1998 and 2008, with some variation among agencies. In contrast, budget authority for the statistical activities of other agencies increased by 43 percent, so that the ICSP share of the total declined over the 10-year period from 50 to 42 percent without the censuses and from 56 to 52 percent with the censuses.
Comparisons of funding for the ICSP agencies for the two years (1998 and 2008) by department have to be made with caution because of the difficulty in ensuring comparability among the programs included in the “other” category in both years. For example, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) includes not only the National Center for Health Statistics, which experienced reduced funding over the period, but also equally large or larger agencies that conduct statistical programs, such as the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, which gained funding over the period. Many of the HHS agencies that reported statistical activi-
“Direct funding” is directly appropriated to an agency. Some agencies (e.g., the Census Bureau) carry out statistical activities for other agencies on a cost-reimbursable basis. The funding for these activities is credited to the sponsoring agency and not to the data collection agency. OMB’s annual compilation of statistical programs generally includes the entire budget for each of the 14 agencies represented on the ICSP; other agencies determine which parts of their budgets should be included according to the OMB definition of statistical activities.
The nominal threshold of $500,000 for reporting statistical activities in 1998 is $734,500 in 2008 dollars, so that the budget authority for statistical activities may be under-reported for 1998 compared with 2008. To the extent possible, the “other agencies” categories in Table A-1 are limited to agencies in existence in both years (exclusion of a few small agencies accounts for the difference between the $5,962.4 million reported total budget authority, including the census, for 2008 in Table A-1 and the $5,989.1 million reported by OMB).