Organizations Call for Federal Data Improvements

Christina Pena
June 20, 2016

The legislatively-mandated bipartisan Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking is starting to take shape, with a majority of members appointed. The Commission will study how to improve the integration of federal data, including information about federal program participants and tax expenditures. 

WDQC has been joined by Advance CTE, the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE), the Association of Public & Land-Grant Universities (APLU), the Data Quality Campaign, the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), the Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP), National Skills Coalition, New America, and Young Invincibles, in calling for the Commission to review a number of critical issues on postsecondary and workforce data:

  • Expanding access to wage information;
  • Improving information on postsecondary progress and outcomes;
  • Providing more accessible labor market information for a variety of consumers;
  • Harmonizing definitions and metrics across Federal laws; and, 
  • Clarifying and using evolving best practices on privacy and security protections while conducting its review.

Read the full statement on issues and principles for the Commission.

Ten of the 15 Commission members have been appointed so far: [See June 22nd and July 20th updates below.]

  • Katharine Abraham (Co-Chair) - Director, Maryland Center for Economics and Policy; and Professor, Survey Methodology and Economics, University of Maryland; appointed by President Barack Obama
  • Ron Haskins (Co-Chair) - Co-Director, Center on Children and Families and Senior Fellow, Economic Studies, Brookings Institution; appointed by House Speaker Paul Ryan
  • Sherry A. Glied, Dean of New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service; appointed by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi
  • Robert Groves, Provost, Georgetown University; appointed by Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid
  • Robert Hahn, Director of Economics and Professor, Smith School of Enterprise and Environment, University of Oxford, and non-resident Brookings Fellow; appointed by House Speaker Ryan
  • Hilary W. Hoynes, Professor of Public Policy and Economics, Haas Distinguished Chair in Economic Disparities, University of California Berkeley; appointed by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi
  • Jeffrey Liebman, Malcolm Wiener Professor of Public Policy, Director of Taubman Center for State and Local Government, Harvard University; appointed by Senate Minority Leader Reid
  • Bruce D. Meyer, McCormick Foundation Professor, University of Chicago, appointed by House Speaker Ryan 
  • Latanya A. Sweeney, Professor of Government and Technology in Residence, Harvard University; appointed by House Minority Leader Pelosi
  • Kim Wallin, Former Nevada State Controller; appointed by Senate Minority Leader Reid

By law, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) or his designee also will serve on the Commission. The designated representative for OMB has not been announced. [See June 22 update below.]

Also see this American Statistical Association blog article for updates on appointments.

Upon agreement of at least three-quarters of Commission members, the Commission will submit to the President and Congress a detailed statement of findings and conclusions, together with recommendations for administrative actions or legislation. The report is due within roughly 15 months.

The Commission’s recommendations may include the modification of data infrastructure, how best to incorporate information into program design, and the establishment of a clearinghouse for program and survey data. 

WDQC looks forward to the Commission's efforts in making the most of federal data for policymaking.

June 22 update: President Obama appointed two more members:

  • Paul Ohm, Professor of Law at the Georgetown University Law Center, and a Faculty Director for the Center on Privacy and Technology 
  • Allison B. Orris, Associate Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at the Office of Management and Budge

July 20 update: Senator McConnell appointed three members, bringing the Commission to its full roster of 15:

  • Kathleen Rice, Counsel, Faegre Baker Daniels, LLP
  • Robert Shea, Principal, Public Sector, Grant Thornton, LLP
  • Kenneth Troske, Senior Associate Dean, Gatton College of Business and Professor of Economics, University of Kentucky; and Research Fellow, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), Bonn, Germany

Also visit the U.S. Census Bureau's website for more information about the Commission.