For nearly two years, the Federal government has gone without a Federal chief statistician, but the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is looking to change that.

Last week, OMB reposted a job announcement for the role on In the job posting, OMB outlined the chief statistician’s key roles and responsibilities.

OMB said the chief statistician is tasked with providing “the vision and motivation to guide quality and innovation in the Federal Statistical System (FSS), including embracing the opportunities presented by the rapid increase in the types and volume of data available inside and outside of government.”

Additionally, the individual ultimately selected for the role serves on several committees, including as a member of the United Nations Statistical Commission. As chief of the Statistical and Science Policy Branch of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, the individual will manage a team tasked with “evaluating statistical program performance and agency compliance with government-wide principles and standards for information used in evidence-based regulatory and other government policy.”

The job posting also highlighted a few pieces of legislation the Federal chief statistician is tasked with implementing and/or overseeing. Included in the list of responsibilities is leading the implementation of the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act of 2018. The bill requires agency data to be accessible and requires agencies to plan to develop statistical evidence to support policymaking. The legislation also requires OMB to establish an Advisory Committee on Data for Evidence Building, which the chief statistician will chair.

As part of implementing the bill, the chief statistician will also provide leadership in Federal statistical activities and programs to “meet the promise of evidence-based policymaking,” including developing and executing policy in areas such as maintaining the trust and integrity of the statistical system, ensuring data quality and confidentiality, attaining and providing data access, and leading interagency data governance.

The individual hired for the role will also have responsibilities related to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, the Information Quality Act, and the Confidential Information Protection and Statistical Efficiency Act.

The role has been vacant since Nancy Potok left in January 2020.

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk's Assistant Copy & Production Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.