The Advisory Committee on Data for Evidence Building submitted its first-year report to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), pursuant to the Evidence-Based Policymaking Act of 2018, detailing its findings and making a list of recommendations including establishing a permanent Federal Chief Statistician role to help improve agency data use.

“The Committee’s Year 1 recommendations are actionable, relevant, and timely, covering high-priority items that support the next steps for implementing the Evidence Act and establishing and operationalizing a successful National Secure Data Service,” the committee wrote in its report. The group said its second-year recommendations will build off of the initial set.

The Committee made seven recommendations for immediate action by OMB:

  • OMB should take immediate steps to promulgate draft guidance and regulations required under the Evidence Act;
  • OMB should take immediate steps to designate a full-time Chief Statistician and elevate the position within OMB;
  • The OMB Director and Chief Statistician should leverage existing authority under the Paperwork Reduction Act to establish “a clear procedure for public and stakeholder engagement on future data standards for intergovernmental, interagency, or intra-agency data sets”;
  • OMB should include specific requests for increased funding in support of implementing the Federal Data Strategy and Evidence Act requirements in President Biden’s fiscal year 2023 budget request;
  • The Chief Statistician should establish a pilot program to demonstrate the value of streamlining data sharing and increasing coordination;
  • The Chief Statistician also should publish case studies where privacy-preserving technologies are employed; and
  • The Chief Statistician should develop a comprehensive communication and education strategy.

The Committee also reaffirmed the need for a National Secure Data Service (NSDS), that will help build on the framework established by the Evidence Act.

“By building on its Year 1 recommendations and ongoing efforts across Federal, state, and local governments as well as the private sector, the Committee will promote the use of data for evidence building and champion the need for and value of a National Secure Data Service,” it said. “These efforts promise to fundamentally transform data sharing, data linkages, and privacy-enhancing techniques.”

The committee said its Year 2 activities will be focused heavily on operationalizing NSDS by taking a holistic approach to synthesizing and integrating recommendations from the Year 1 report.

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Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.