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Federal Statistical Organizations' Guidelines for Ensuring and Maximizing the Quality, Objectivity, Utility, and Integrity of Disseminated Information

Principal Federal statistical organizations are jointly announcing the opportunity to comment on their respective proposed guidelines for ensuring and maximizing the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of disseminated information. The statistical organizations' quality guidelines are each being developed to be responsive to Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued government- wide guidelines at 67 FR 8452-8460 (February 22, 2002) and are intended to be included as part of the response from the Department or agency in which the statistical organization is located. Departments and agencies are required to issue their own implementing guidelines, including correction procedures, and to make the guidelines available on their individual Web Sites. Some basic features of how the Nation's principal statistical organizations will be responsive to the OMB guidelines are presented in the Supplementary Information section of this notice. This notice also serves to announce the availability of each organization's draft guidelines and related information (see Section II of Supplementary Information). A statistical agency or unit, as defined in the Federal Register June 27, 1997(62 FR 35043-35050), is an agency or organizational unit of the Executive Branch whose activities are predominantly the collection, compilation, processing or analysis of information for statistical purposes. The above list of statistical organizations consists of the principal statistical agencies and other statistical organizational units belonging to the Interagency Council on Statistical Policy. Statistical organizations have long been leaders in the activities that are being required under the OMB guidelines. It should be noted that each organization will prepare its final guidelines in conjunction with its respective Department or agency. The Office of Management and Budget recognizes that Federal statistical organizations provide a substantial variety of data. Accordingly, it is understood that the OMB guidelines cannot be implemented in the same way by each organization. In some cases, for example, the data disseminated by an organization are not collected by that organization at a particular point in time; rather, the information the organization must disseminate in a timely manner is compiled from a variety of sources (including surveys, administrative records, and other sources) that are constantly updated and revised and are generally confidential. While organizations' implementation of the guidelines may differ, the essence of the guidelines will apply. That is, these organizations must make their methods transparent by providing documentation, ensure quality by reviewing methods and consulting with experts and users, and inform users about corrections and revisions. Each organization will take comments received into account, and will prepare its final guidelines in conjunction with its respective Department or agency for submission to OMB by August 1, 2002.


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