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The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Committee on National Statistics
Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education


Principles and Practices for a Federal Statistical Agency

The Committee on National Statistics first issued Principles and Practices for a Federal Statistical Agency in 1992. Beginning in early 2001, with the second edition, it committed to updating “P&P” every four years to coincide with a new presidential administration or second term. This slim document underscores for the executive and legislative branches of government the important public good provided by strong federal statistical agencies.
P&P 6The sixth edition of P&P, released in 2017, presents and comments on the document's core principles as they’ve been impacted by changes in laws, regulations, and other aspects of the environment of federal statistical agencies over the past four years.

The Sixth Edition of P&P is available online.

Download a copy of the Report Highlights

Statements made by other statistical agencies in support of P&P
Letter to Senator McConnell Regarding Presidential Appointments (June 20, 2011)
"American Statistical Association Endorses Principles and Practices for a Federal Statistical Agency" (April 30, 2009)
Opening Statement by Dr. Pascal D. Forgione, Jr., U.S. Commissioner of Education Statistics (May 27, 1999)
Statement of Commitment to Scientific Integrity by Principal Statistical Agencies

The scientific integrity statement, which was adopted by 13 statistical agencies in response to an Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) directive, references P&P along with OMB statistical policy standards as the bedrock for the statistical agencies’ scientific integrity. The agencies designated as "principle statistical agencies" who have adopted this statement are listed at the beginning. 

Definition of a State Statistical Entity (2007)

Adapted by Tom Gallagher, Manager, Research & Planning, Wyoming Department of Employment.

OMB Statistical Policy Directive No. 4: Release and Dissemination of Statistical Products Produced by Federal Statistical Agencies (March 7, 2008)
From the Academies' Office of News and Public Information: 

"Report Offers Best Principles and Practices for Federal Statistical Agencies"

May 8, 2013

The fifth edition of a report from the National Research Council describes four fundamental principles and recommends 13 practices that would best position a federal statistical agency to provide accurate and credible statistical information to policymakers and the public. Principles and Practices for a Federal Statistical Agency is revised every four years so that it is current at the beginning of each presidential administration and reflects changes in laws and regulations.
P&P 5th Ed CoverPrinciples and Practices for a Federal Statistical Agency: Fifth Edition (2013)
P&P 4th EdPrinciples and Practices for a Federal Statistical Agency: Fourth Edition (2009)
P&P 3rd EdPrinciples and Practices for a Federal Statistical Agency: Third Edition (2005)
P&P 2nd EdPrinciples and Practices for a Federal Statistical Agency: Second Edition (2001)
P&P coverPrinciples and Practices for a Federal Statistical Agency (1992)
Related Reports
Letter to the Office of Management and Budget Director on Principles and Practices for a Federal Statistical Agency (2003)


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