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The Office of Management and Budget is charged by statute with coordinating the U.S. Federal statistical system. The Director of OMB delegates these responsibilities to the OIRA Administrator. Among the responsibilities of OIRA’s Statistical and Science Policy office, headed by the Chief Statistician of the United States, are the promotion of the quality of Federal statistical information that facilitates evidence-based policies and programs and the viability of the underlying systems that produce that information. This is accomplished by ensuring budget proposals are consistent with system-wide priorities; establishing standards and guidance for data collection and dissemination; assessing agency compliance with those standards; coordinating interagency and international statistical activities; and reviewing Federal statistical programs.

Overview of the Federal Statistical System

Federal statistics are essential to inform private and public decision-making across our Nation. Thirteen principal Federal statistical agencies and three recognized statistical units (agencies whose principal mission is to produce official Federal statistics) are joined by over 100 other Federal programs in statistical activities spanning measurement, information collection, statistical products, data management, and dissemination.

Statistical Programs

Several periodic reports describe the budgets, activities, and products of Federal statistical programs.

Legislation and Related Policy Guidance

Several statutes promote the relevance, accuracy, objectivity, and access to Federal statistical products. Policy memoranda provide guidance on effective implementation.

Directives and Standards

OMB Statistical Policy Directives identify minimum requirements for Federal principal statistical agencies when they engage in statistical activities. Limited in number, these directives are issued only where necessary to ensure the quality and coordination of Federal official statistics. More typically, guidance is used to describe ways to achieve directives. Selected directives and associated standards appear below.

Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to frequently asked questions regarding Federal survey design and the use of Federal statistics are provided below.