their data in the face of the significant challenges they now face, including the increasing costs of obtaining responses from people, households, and organizations to traditional survey inquiries and increasingly constrained budgets for statistical activities.
The appendixes to this edition update material included in previous editions and add new information to help orient readers. Appendix A summarizes key legislation and regulations that affect federal statistical agencies, such as the Confidential Information Protection and Statistical Efficiency Act of 2002; statistical policy directives of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget that govern the release of statistical products and provide guidelines for statistical surveys; and the December 2010 Memorandum on Scientific Integrity of the Office of Science and Technology Policy. Appendix B provides an overview of the organization of the U.S. federal statistical system, which is one of the most decentralized in the developed world, and compares the size of the system to the size of the federal government as a whole. Appendix C reproduces the Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics of the United Nations Statistical Commission (for which the Preamble is currently being updated by the international community). Appendix D reproduces the European Statistics Code of Practice for the National and Community Statistical Authorities. Appendix E provides addresses of Internet sites for major federal agencies that provide statistical data.
Although focused on federal statistical agencies, many of the principles and practices articulated here likely also apply to statistical activities elsewhere, such as in federal policy, evaluation, research, and program agencies, in state and local government agencies, and in other countries. The principles and practices in this report remain guidelines, not prescriptions. We intend them to assist statistical agencies and to inform policy makers, data users, and others about the characteristics of statistical agencies that enable them to serve the public good.