agency could collect data from 10 or more respondents without approval of the budget director. (Data collections by contractors on behalf of federal agencies are covered by this provision, although data collections by government grantees are generally not covered.) The 1950 Budget and Accounting Procedures Act (Title 31, Section 1104(d) of the U.S. Code) further strengthened the statistical coordinating and improvement role of OMB, including giving OMB authorization to promulgate regulations and orders governing statistical programs throughout the federal government.
The statistical policy function continued in the budget office in the Executive Office of the President when the Budget Bureau became the Office of Management and Budget in 1970. However, in 1977, the statistical policy staff was split into two groups—one group remained with OMB to handle the paperwork clearance and review function for statistical agencies; the other group was moved to the Department of Commerce to address statistical policy and standards issues.
The overarching goal of the 1980 Paperwork Reduction Act was to reduce the burden of filling out federal forms by businesses and individuals. It moved the statistical policy office back to OMB (from the Department of Commerce) under a new Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), which was charged to reduce the combined burden imposed by regulatory agencies and statistical agencies. The PRA required OMB, through the chief statistician, to engage in long-range planning to improve federal statistical programs; review statistical budgets; coordinate government statistical functions; establish standards, classifications, and other guidelines for statistical data collection and dissemination; and evaluate statistical program performance. In the 1995 reauthorization and extensive revision of PRA, the most important provision for statistical policy was to authorize the establishment of the Interagency Council on Statistical Policy (ICSP), chaired by the chief statistician, who heads a small staff in the Statistical and Science Policy Office (see Appendix A).
The OMB Statistical and Science Policy Office released in January 2006 Guidance on Agency Survey and Statistical Information Collections—Questions