oversight

Statistical Agencies: Consolidation and Quality Issues

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1997-04-09.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

                          United States General Accounting Office

GAO                       Testimony
                          Before the Subcommittee on Government Management,
                          Restructuring, and the District of Columbia
                          Committee on Government Affairs
                          United States Senate

For Release on Delivery
Expected at
1:30 p.m. EDT
                          STATISTICAL AGENCIES
Wednesday
April 9, 1997

                          Consolidation and Quality
                          Issues
                          Statement of L. Nye Stevens, Director
                          Federal Management and Workforce Issues
                          General Government Division




GAO/T-GGD-97-78
Summary

Statistical Agencies: Consolidation and
Quality Issues

                         GAO’s statement applies its considerable body of work on statistical issues
                         to four questions the Subcommittee asked on data quality and the
                         decentralized U.S. statistical system.


                         While the principal statistical agencies GAO has reviewed have generally
Quality of Statistical   adhered to applicable professional standards, there are reasons to be
Data                     concerned about the quality of statistical data. Public and private sector
                         experts have said that the current system needs a more coherent approach
                         to measurement of investment, productivity, and services. Measurement
                         problems, such as those concerning consumer prices, can affect budget
                         and economic policymaking. GAO’s work has also demonstrated a
                         deterioration in the quality of the decennial census, which GAO designated
                         as a high-risk area in February 1997.


                         Although GAO’s work does not indicate the extent to which the
Effects of the           decentralized structure is a major cause of the quality problems, it does
Decentralized            show that the decentralization contributes largely to other problems, such
Structure                as inefficiency, the lack of national priorities for allocation of resources,
                         burden on data users and providers, and restrictions on the exchange of
                         data among statistical agencies. For example, in part because of the
                         inability to share data, both Census and the Bureau of Labor Statistics
                         have compiled and maintained their own lists of businesses.


                         GAO  has compared the dispersed U.S. system with Canada’s centralized
Potential Effects of     system. The head of Statistics Canada has a higher level position than that
Consolidation            of the U.S. Chief Statistician, can set and change priorities and shift
                         resources easily, has access to all of the government’s administrative
                         records, and can share survey data internally under strict and uniform
                         privacy requirements. Potential disadvantages associated with
                         consolidation would include possibly diminished responsiveness to the
                         needs of former parent departments and possible objections to the
                         concentration of data in a single agency.


                         Commerce historically has not been managed on the basis of a unifying
Benefits From            mission or shared goals and has decentralized its key administrative
Location in the          functions. While the Commerce relationship is not meaningless, GAO is not
Commerce                 aware of any reasons that would prevent Census and the Bureau of

Department

                         Page 1                                                        GAO/T-GGD-97-78
Summary
Statistical Agencies: Consolidation and
Quality Issues




Economic Analysis from performing their missions as part of another
department.




Page 2                                                    GAO/T-GGD-97-78
Statement

Statistical Agencies: Consolidation and
Quality Issues

               Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee:

               We are pleased to be here today to discuss the federal statistical system.
               Over the years, we have developed a considerable body of work on
               statistical issues. The related products list that follows my statement
               contains our most recent products. As you requested, our testimony today
               brings this body of work to bear on four issues you asked us to address:
               (1) the quality of federal statistics, (2) how the federal statistical system’s
               decentralized structure affects statistical quality, (3) whether
               consolidating the statistical functions currently housed in the Department
               of Commerce with those of other federal agencies could provide a more
               streamlined and effective federal statistical system, and (4) whether or not
               the Bureau of the Census and the Bureau of Economic Analysis benefit
               from being housed in the Department of Commerce.


               Statistical activities are dispersed throughout the federal government. The
Background     Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has identified 70 federal agencies
               that each spend at least $500,000 annually on statistical activities.
               Together, these agencies requested over $2.75 billion for fiscal year 1997
               for statistical activities. Of the 70 agencies, 11 are considered to be the
               principal statistical agencies because they collect, produce, and
               disseminate statistical information as their primary mission. These 11
               agencies together spend approximately $1.2 billion annually on statistical
               activities. Two Commerce agencies—the Bureau of the Census and the
               Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA)—and the Department of Labor’s
               Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) account for about $825 million of this
               total.1 The missions of the principal statistical agencies are to ensure that
               the statistical information they collect, produce, and disseminate is
               accurate, reliable, and free from political interference and impose the least
               possible burden on individuals, businesses, and others responding to
               requests for data. Most of the other agencies that produce and disseminate
               statistical data do so as an ancillary part of their missions.




               1
                The other eight principal statistical agencies are the National Center for Health Statistics (in the
               Department of Health and Human Services), Energy Information Administration (in the Department of
               Energy), National Agricultural Statistics Service and the Economic Research Service (both in the
               Department of Agriculture), Statistics of Income Division (Internal Revenue Service in the Department
               of the Treasury), Bureau of Justice Statistics (in the Department of Justice), the Bureau of
               Transportation Statistics (Department of Transportation), and the National Center for Education
               Statistics (in the Department of Education).



               Page 3                                                                           GAO/T-GGD-97-78
                         Statement
                         Statistical Agencies: Consolidation and
                         Quality Issues




                         The principal statistical agencies have done many things well. For
Quality of Statistical   example, in August 1995, we reported that four statistical agencies we
Data                     reviewed-Census, BEA, BLS, and the National Center for Health
                         Statistics—generally adhered to applicable professional standards.2
                         Nevertheless, a series of studies of the federal statistical system going
                         back several decades have identified concerns over the quality of
                         statistical data. One of the concerns is that economic statistics have not
                         kept pace with changes in the economy. This has led some experts to
                         question whether current statistics adequately reflect the importance of
                         international transactions to the economy, or whether current productivity
                         measures are adequate given the increase in importance of service
                         industries. Experts who have worked in the federal statistical system have
                         also said that the current system needs to update its approach to
                         measuring savings and investment. We are finding that agencies are
                         devoting more attention than ever to the quality and coverage of statistical
                         data series as they search for appropriate outcome-based performance
                         measures in their efforts to comply with the Government Performance and
                         Results Act that originated with this Committee.

                         In 1991, the Economic Statistics Initiative, which was led by Michael
                         Boskin who chaired the Council of Economic Advisers under President
                         Bush, made 38 recommendations to address well-known problems in
                         economic statistics for which action was feasible in the near term. Among
                         the recommended actions were (1) accelerating improvements in
                         estimates of international trade in services, including financial services;
                         (2) better measuring service sector production and prices; (3) separating
                         quality and inflationary changes in prices; and (4) making it easier for
                         statistical agencies to share data for statistical purposes. In reviewing the
                         status of these recommendations, we found that only about half of the
                         recommendations were funded and that the funding levels varied
                         considerably among the different agencies producing economic statistics,
                         thereby hampering improvement efforts.3

                         We reported in 1995 that measurement problems can affect budget and
                         economic policymaking.4 In that report, we pointed out that many of the
                         studies we reviewed indicated that technical problems associated with the

                         2
                          Statistical Agencies: Adherence to Guidelines and Coordination of Budgets (GAO/GGD-95-65, Aug. 9,
                         1995).
                         3
                          Economic Statistics: Status Report on the Initiative to Improve Economic Statistics (GAO/GGD-95-98,
                         July 7, 1995).
                         4
                          Economic Statistics: Measurement Problems Can Affect the Budget and Economic Policymaking
                         (GAO/GGD-95-99, May 2, 1995).



                         Page 4                                                                          GAO/T-GGD-97-78
                      Statement
                      Statistical Agencies: Consolidation and
                      Quality Issues




                      development of the Consumer Price Index could cause it to overstate
                      inflation. We also pointed out that measures of economic output and
                      productivity failed to account for the increasing importance of the service
                      sector to the nation’s economy.

                      In February 1997, the National Association of Business Economists (NABE)
                      reported that nearly 70 percent of its members who responded to its
                      survey were dissatisfied with the scope and quality of economic data in the
                      United States. NABE said that the current system does a better job of
                      measuring manufacturing than it does of measuring services and the
                      information technology aspects of the economy.

                      Our work has also demonstrated a deterioration in the quality of the
                      Decennial Census, which provides a baseline for countless other statistical
                      programs. The 1990 Census, though it was the most expensive in history,
                      for the first time produced results that were less accurate than those of the
                      preceding Census.5 Almost 10 million persons were missed in that Census,
                      although the net effect of this was somewhat masked by the counting of
                      about 6 million persons twice. These 16 million gross errors represent a
                      minimum tally, since they do not include such errors as persons
                      erroneously included or assigned to the wrong locations. In February 1997,
                      we designated the 2000 Decennial Census as being at high risk of
                      producing unsatisfactory results.6


                      Over the years, a number of problems with the quality of statistical data
How the               have been associated with the organizational structure of the federal
Decentralized         statistical system. Although our work does not indicate the extent to
Structure of the      which a decentralized structure is a major cause of the quality problems, it
                      does indicate that not all of the quality problems that exist stem from the
Federal Statistical   decentralized structure of the statistical system. For example, the
System Affects        deteriorating quality of decennial census data relates largely to limitations
                      in the basic processes used to collect census data, not to the decentralized
Statistical Quality   structure of the statistical system. On the other hand, our work as well as
                      that of others has shown that the decentralized structure of the system
                      contributes largely to other problems, such as inefficiency, the lack of
                      national priorities for allocation of resources, burden on data users and
                      providers, and restrictions on the exchange of data among statistical
                      agencies.


                      5
                       Decennial Census: 1990 Results Show Need for Fundamental Reform (GAO/GGD-92-94, June 9, 1992).
                      6
                       High-Risk Series (GAO/HR-97-2, Feb. 1997).



                      Page 5                                                                       GAO/T-GGD-97-78
Statement
Statistical Agencies: Consolidation and
Quality Issues




Clearly, our decentralized statistical system has sometimes affected the
quality of statistical data produced by the system. For example, in
estimating the National Income and Product Accounts (NIPA), which
includes the estimate of gross domestic product, BEA relies on data
collected by other agencies. Frequently, those data are collected for other
purposes, and according to a BEA official, much of the data are not in the
form that BEA needs to calculate NIPA. In some cases, gaps exist in the data,
and these gaps, in turn, affect the NIPA estimates. As another example,
some of the data quality problems that were identified by the Economic
Statistics Initiative have yet to be corrected because the corrective action
requires steps by more than one agency. In some cases, one agency
received funding to correct its data problems, but another agency, which
may contribute source data, did not get funds to address the issue.

Many experts have expressed concern about inefficiencies in the
statistical system due to its decentralized structure. The experts often cite
duplicative or overlapping data collection activities or system
infrastructure, such as field structures; computer systems; or
administrative, technical, and program personnel as sources of potential
cost savings. Those who have studied the systems, however, often
disagree on how much could be saved through consolidation. In this
regard, we have noted that many agencies have used reimbursable
agreements with other agencies, such as the Census Bureau, to handle
their data collection activities, thereby avoiding having to establish and
maintain their own systems and structure for these purposes.7 These types
of arrangements would tend to limit the savings that could come from
consolidation. Further, we are not aware of any savings estimates that
have been verified by an independent party.

The lack of an effective mechanism for setting national priorities for the
federal statistical system has been another concern expressed over the
years about the system’s decentralized structure. Our work as well as
work done by others has shown that the United States has lacked an
effective apparatus for setting national priorities for use of the statistical
agency resources. For example, in August 1995, we reported on limitations
on OMB’s ability to coordinate the budgets of statistical agencies.8 A
number of factors contribute to the lack of clear national priorities for the
U.S. statistical system. One of these factors is the nature of the budget
formulation process, in which each statistical agency has its own budget

7
  Federal Statistics: Principal Statistical Agencies’ Missions and Funding (GAO/GGD-96-107, July 1,
1996).
8
 GAO/GGD-95-65, August 9, 1995.



Page 6                                                                             GAO/T-GGD-97-78
                   Statement
                   Statistical Agencies: Consolidation and
                   Quality Issues




                   which has been generally determined in the context of the competing
                   needs and priorities of other components within its home agency or
                   department, as opposed to the needs and priorities of the overall federal
                   statistical system. Another related factor is the dispersion of responsibility
                   among multiple congressional committees and subcommittees for
                   authorizing, funding, and overseeing the statistical agencies.

                   Another problem arising from decentralization is the increased burden on
                   data providers as a result of duplicative data collection efforts. For
                   example, Janet Norwood, a former Commissioner of Labor Statistics, has
                   identified surveys that she believes could be consolidated. She believes
                   that the consolidation of such surveys would reduce cost as well as
                   burden to survey respondents while improving the possibility for
                   integrating the data collected. At least to some extent, overlap in the types
                   of information asked for in surveys has occurred because of the
                   decentralized structure of the statistical system.

                   Another related factor that contributes to the overlap problem is the
                   inability of statistical agencies to share data with one another because of
                   legislated confidentiality restrictions. Federal statistical agencies generally
                   operate under a number of laws, policies, or regulations that govern the
                   collection, use, and confidentiality of the statistical information for which
                   these agencies are responsible. Some of these laws, policies, and
                   regulations apply only to a specific agency. The legal framework for the
                   federal statistical system also limits the extent of data sharing among
                   agencies because statutes exist to protect the confidentiality of data
                   providers and, in many instances, allow only the agency collecting the data
                   to have access to them. For example, in part because of the inability to
                   share data, both Census and BLS have compiled and maintained their own
                   lists of businesses.


                   You asked whether consolidating the statistical functions currently housed
Potential of       in the Department of Commerce with those of other agencies could
Consolidation to   provide a more streamlined and effective federal statistical system. To
Provide a More     respond to your question, we drew on our work comparing the
                   decentralized U.S. system with Canada’s centralized system. The Canadian
Streamlined and    statistical system is often used as a reference point for considering
Effective System   proposed consolidations in the United States and is highly regarded in the
                   international statistics community. However, there are some differences
                   between the U. S. and Canada that need to be considered when making
                   such a comparison. Also, there may be disadvantages associated with a



                   Page 7                                                         GAO/T-GGD-97-78
Statement
Statistical Agencies: Consolidation and
Quality Issues




consolidation, and there are alternative approaches to making the system
more streamlined and effective.

A consolidated agency could help streamline and improve effectiveness in
a number of ways. For example, better quality data could be achieved by
bringing together the expertise needed to address important issues, such
as the use of common data collection methods and more efficient survey
designs, so that data that are produced are based on similar concepts, time
periods, and classification structures. Cost savings and reduced burden on
data providers may be achieved through a greater sharing of data and
agency resources in a consolidated agency, thereby avoiding duplication
and enabling greater integration. Consolidation could also resolve the
issue of setting national priorities and achieving greater coordination for
the system to the extent that a head of the proposed consolidated agency
would be able to set priorities for the use of its funds and require its
components to cooperate with one another.

Our August 1996 report comparing the Canadian statistical system with the
U. S. system offers some insights on consolidation.9 While we did not
evaluate the effectiveness of the Canadian system, we did identify several
clear differences between the Canadian and U.S. systems in our review.
The Canadian system is much more centralized, with Statistics Canada
containing many of the activities currently divided among the principal U.
S. statistical agencies and being responsible for the majority of the
government’s statistical information. The head of Statistics Canada has a
higher level position than that of the U.S. Chief Statistician, has direct
control over the agency’s budget request, and can set and change priorities
and shift resources easily. Statistics Canada also (1) has access to all of
the government’s administrative records, (2) can share survey and other
data among its components and other government agencies and
nongovernmental organizations, (3) has consolidated technical and
administrative support functions, and (4) is subject to strict and uniform
privacy requirements. According to Statistics Canada officials, these
privacy requirements also help ensure a high voluntary response rate to
data collection efforts.

While Canada’s centralized system may appear to offer several advantages
over the U.S. system, several factors need to be considered as part of the
comparison. Canada’s parliamentary system of government may lead to a
clearer definition of government policy and priorities and the ensuing

9
Statistical Agencies: A Comparison of the U.S. and Canadian Statistical Systems (GAO/GGD-96-142,
Aug. 1, 1996.)



Page 8                                                                         GAO/T-GGD-97-78
Statement
Statistical Agencies: Consolidation and
Quality Issues




needs for statistical information than our system, which institutionalizes
tension between different branches of government. The United States is a
much larger nation and has a larger and more complex economy than
Canada. Also, the Canadian statistical system is much smaller than the
U.S. system. For example, the fiscal year 1997 budget for Statistics Canada
was about $246 million (in U.S. dollars) compared to the nearly $1.2 billion
budget for the U. S. principal statistical agencies. Finally, the Canadian
public has accepted that a government agency will have broad access to
all government records for statistical purposes.

On the other hand, disadvantages may also be associated with a
consolidation. For example, the consolidated agencies could be less
responsive to the needs of their parent departments from which they came
and their constituencies. Another potential disadvantage is the potential
for abuse, such as breaches of confidentiality, that could occur when so
much information about individuals and businesses is concentrated in one
agency. Finally, some of the benefits expected from consolidation are
unlikely to materialize unless the components of the consolidated
statistical agency are authorized to share data and if legislative
responsibility for the consolidated agency continues to be dispersed
among multiple congressional committees. In addition, the extent to which
benefits of a consolidation could be realized would depend on how
comprehensive the consolidation is. If significant statistical activities
remain outside the consolidated agency, some of the problems of
inefficiency and priority setting in the statistical system could persist.

Given the potential drawbacks of consolidation, the Subcommittee may
also want to consider alternative approaches for improving statistical data
collection and analysis. One option would be to consider alternatives to
the dominant paradigm of having federal employees collect, analyze, and
disseminate information through the use of appropriated funds.
Alternatives might be privatizing at least some aspects of data collection,
analysis, or dissemination; additional contracting out; or the imposition of
user fees. We have not explored such alternatives for the federal statistical
system and are therefore not in a position to elaborate on them.

Concerning data sharing, one step could entail enacting legislation that
allows statistical agencies to share data and information with appropriate
safeguards to protect against breaches of confidentiality. Proposals to
enable greater data sharing among statistical agencies have been made in
the past; both the Economic Statistics Initiative under President Bush and
the National Performance Review under President Clinton have



Page 9                                                        GAO/T-GGD-97-78
Statement
Statistical Agencies: Consolidation and
Quality Issues




recommended such actions. These proposals were not adopted, in part
because of general concerns that greater data sharing might endanger the
privacy of individuals. In 1996, OMB and the Department of the Treasury
sent to Congress proposed legislation that would permit limited sharing of
data among designated statistical agencies for statistical purposes subject
to procedural safeguards contained in the proposals. Although Congress
did not enact the legislative proposals, OMB officials have told us that the
administration plans to submit these data sharing proposals in 1997. We as
well as others who have studied or are knowledgeable about the federal
statistical system believe that the inability of statistical agencies to share
data is one of the most significant issues facing the statistical system and
one of the major factors affecting the quality of data, the efficiency of the
system, and the amount of burden placed on those who provide
information to the agencies. Since 1979, we have recommended changes to
existing statutes that would enable statistical agencies to share data.10

Another approach to improve the current system would be to strengthen
OMB’s ability to set priorities for use of the agencies’ funds and provide
mechanisms that would enable the agencies more easily to shift resources,
including staff. The appropriations process constrains OMB’s ability to
independently make such resource shifts, and we, as well as others, have
reported on limitations on OMB’s ability to set priorities for allocation of
funding among statistical agencies.11 In recognition of this concern, OMB
launched an initiative during preparation of the administration’s fiscal year
1998 budget in which some priorities were set for statistical agency
funding. The effect of OMB’s efforts, however, will not be known until after
Congress completes the appropriations process.

Greater coordination among statistical agencies is another way to improve
their effectiveness and streamline operations. In this regard, it should be
noted that some consolidation already has taken place and additional
efforts are underway. For example, statistical agencies have already acted
to reduce duplication and inefficiency by collecting information for one
another. An illustration of this is the decennial census long form
questionnaire. Ten of the principal statistical agencies and many other
federal agencies use information collected through the form as source of
data for their own statistical activities. We reported in July 1996 that if
agencies had to collect or arrange for the collection of these data on their


10
 After Six Years, Legal Obstacles Continue to Restrict Government Use of the Standard Statistical
Establishment List (GAO/GGD-79-17, May 25, 1979.)
11
  GAO/GGD-95-65.



Page 10                                                                          GAO/T-GGD-97-78
                       Statement
                       Statistical Agencies: Consolidation and
                       Quality Issues




                       own the total cost would exceed the cost of having Census collect these
                       data.12

                       OMB also has a number of coordinative efforts under way through the
                       Interagency Statistical Policy Council, which OMB chairs. The council
                       consists of the heads of the principal statistical agencies as well as
                       representatives from the National Science Foundation and the Social
                       Security Administration, and exists to foster greater coordination among
                       statistical agencies. One such initiative has been the development of the
                       “one-stop shopping” service for users of federal statistical data. This effort
                       entails establishing an electronic link to all federal statistical agencies
                       through the Internet. OMB plans to have this service fully operational in
                       1997. With this system a user should be able to go to one source that will
                       identify the types of data available and will electronically link the user to
                       the data maintained by the appropriate agency. While OMB’s coordination
                       efforts appear promising, it is unclear at this point how effective they will
                       be in resolving problems that result from the decentralized structure of the
                       system.


                       In testimony before the full Governmental Affairs Committee on July 25,
Do the Census Bureau   1995,13 we described the Commerce Department as essentially a holding
and the Bureau of      company for many disparate programs, and subject to almost constant
Economic Analysis      organizational changes in its 84-year history. Because of the wide diversity
                       of its functions, Commerce historically has not been managed on the basis
Benefit From           of a unifying mission or shared goals. Its components are overseen and
Location in the        authorized by several committees in Congress, none of which has
                       jurisdiction over the entire department. Within Commerce, Census and BEA
Commerce               together account for less than 10 percent of departmental obligations and
Department?            less than 20 percent of departmental staff.

                       Commerce has decentralized its key administrative functions. Major
                       Commerce components, including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
                       Administration, the Patent and Trademark Office, and the Economics and
                       Statistics Administration which comprises both Census and BEA, have been
                       granted the authority and responsibility by Commerce for meeting most of
                       their own administrative needs. Thus, Commerce headquarters provides
                       some services but primarily sets policy and provides overall direction and
                       oversight. In some cases, the major components pay for the services

                       12
                         GAO/GGD-96-107, July 1, 1996.
                       13
                        Government Reorganization: Observations on the Department of Commerce
                       (GAO/T-GGD/RCED/AIMD-95-248, July 25, 1995).



                       Page 11                                                                  GAO/T-GGD-97-78
Statement
Statistical Agencies: Consolidation and
Quality Issues




provided by headquarters through a working capital fund. Census and BEA
receive their legal services this way, for instance. In addition, BEA
purchases most of its administrative services from other components of
Commerce through a series of cross-servicing arrangements. Commerce’s
decentralized approach to providing administrative services is a result of
its response to significant budget reductions that occurred in the early
1980s. The relative independence of the major components minimizes the
disruption that would occur if one or more were broken away in a
reorganization. Neither the Census Bureau nor BEA is physically housed in
the Commerce headquarters building.

We are not aware of any reasons that would prevent Census and BEA from
performing their missions if they were not components of the Commerce
Department. This is not to say, however, that the Commerce relationship is
meaningless. In fact, Commerce officials have argued that the absence of
regulatory programs within the department has been a factor in preserving
the reputation for independence of its two statistical agencies. Because
they are located in Commerce, Census and BEA must compete for attention
and resources with other functions of that department, functions as
disparate as weather service modernization, fisheries preservation,
technological innovation, and trade sponsorship.

The department’s superior stature, resources, and access to the highest
policy levels within the administration have at times been of value to
Census and BEA; for example, our high-risk report on the 2000 Census
recognized that the Bureau itself was not capable of securing all the
stakeholder decisions it needs to proceed with plans, tests, and
commitments, and that attention from the administration was needed. The
value of attachment to a Cabinet-level department to promote an agency’s
interests at the highest policy-making levels is well established in
organizational theory and practice. Statistics Canada, for example, takes
pride in its independence but it is nevertheless a component of the
Department of Industry Canada. Granting the value of departmental
affiliation, it does not necessarily follow that the Commerce Department is
the only organization to provide it.


Mr. Chairman, that concludes my prepared statement. I would be pleased
to respond to questions on it or on aspects of our statistical policy work
that I have not covered.




Page 12                                                     GAO/T-GGD-97-78
Page 13   GAO/T-GGD-97-78
Related GAO Products


              Statistical Agencies: A Comparison of the U.S. and Canadian Statistical
              Systems (GAO/GGD-96-142, Aug. 1, 1996).

              Statistical Agencies: Statutory Requirements Affecting Government
              Policies and Programs (GAO/GGD-96-106, July 17, 1996).

              Federal Statistics: Principal Statistical Agencies’ Missions and Funding
              (GAO/GGD-96-107, July 1, 1996).

              Government Statistics: Proposal to Form a Federal Statistical Service
              (GAO/T-GGD-96-93, Mar. 22, 1996).

              Commerce Dismantlement: Observations on Proposed Implementation
              Mechanism (GAO/T-GGD-95-233, Sept, 6, 1995).

              Statistical Agencies: Adherence to Guidelines and Coordination of Budgets
              (GAO/GGD-95-65, Aug. 9, 1995).

              Government Reorganization: Observations on the Department of
              Commerce (GAO/T-GGD/RCED/AIMD-95-248, July 25, 1995).

              Economic Statistics: Status Report on the Economics Statistics Initiative
              (GAO/GGD-95-98, July 7, 1995).

              Economic Statistics: Measurement Problems Can Affect the Budget and
              Economic Policymaking (GAO/GGD-95-99, May 2, 1995).

              Measuring U.S.-Canada Trade: Shifting Trade Winds May Threaten Recent
              Progress (GAO/GGD-94-4, Jan. 19, 1994).

              Bureau of the Census: Legislative Proposal to Share Address List Data Has
              Benefits and Risks (GAO/T-GGD-94-184, July 21, 1994).

              Gross Domestic Product: No Evidence of Manipulation in First Quarter
              1991 Estimates (GAO/GGD-93-58, Mar. 10, 1993).

              Decennial Census: 1990 Results Show Need for Fundamental Reform
              (GAO/GGD-92-94, June 9, 1992).

              1990 Census: Reported Net Undercount Obscured Magnitude of Error
              (GAO/GGD-91-113, Aug. 22, 1991).




              Page 14                                                      GAO/T-GGD-97-78
           Related GAO Products




           The Decennial Census: Potential Risks to Data Quality Resulting From
           Budget Reductions and Cost Increases (GAO/T-GGD-90-30, Mar. 27, 1990).




(410126)   Page 15                                                    GAO/T-GGD-97-78
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