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Principles and Practices for a Federal Statistical Agency: Seventh Edition

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Government statistics are widely used to inform decisions by policymakers, program administrators, businesses and other organizations as well as households and the general public. Principles and Practices for a Federal Statistical Agency, Seventh Edition will assist statistical agencies and units, as well as other agencies engaged in statistical activities, to carry out their responsibilities to provide accurate, timely, relevant, and objective information for public and policy use. This report will also inform legislative and executive branch decision makers, data users, and others about the characteristics of statistical agencies that enable them to serve the public good.


Suggested Citation

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2021. Principles and Practices for a Federal Statistical Agency: Seventh Edition. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

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Publication Info

227 pages | 6 x 9
ISBN: 978-0-309-68114-8

Table of Contents

skim chapter
Front Matter i-xviii
Summary 1-6
PART I: Introduction 7-8
The Value of National Statistics in the United States 9-16
Federal Statistical Agencies and Units 17-20
The Committee on National Statistics and This Report 21-26
PART II: Principles 27-28
Principle 1: Relevance to Policy Issues and Society 29-32
Principle 2: Credibility Among Data User and Stakeholders 33-36
Principle 3: Trust Among the Public and Data Providers 37-40
Principle 4: Independence from Political and Other Undue External Influence 41-44
Principle 5: Continual Improvement and Innovation 45-48
PART III: Practices 49-50
Practice 1: A Clearly Defined and Well-Accepted Mission 51-54
Practice 2: Necessary Authority and Procedures to Protect Independence 55-60
Practice 3: Commitment to Quality and Professional Standards of Practice 61-64
Practice 4: Professional Advancement of Staff 65-68
Practice 5: An Active Research Program 69-76
Practice 6: Strong Internal and External Evaluation Processes for an Agency's Statistical Programs 77-80
Practice 7: Coordination and Collaboration with Other Statistical Agencies 81-86
Practice 8: Respect for Data Providers and Protection of their Data 87-92
Practice 9: Dissemination of Statistical Products that Meet Users' Needs 93-98
Practice 10: Openness About Sources and Limitations of the Data Provided 99-102
References 103-126
Appendix A: Legislation and Regulations That Govern Federal Statistics 127-170
Appendix B: Organization of the Federal Statistical System 171-196
Appendix C: Some International Frameworks and Guidance Relevant for Federal Statistics 197-210
Committee on National Statistics 211-211

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