Federal Statistics

Principal Statistical Agencies' Missions and Funding Gao ID: GGD-96-107 July 1, 1996

Many federal agencies collect and disseminate statistical information. Of the federal agencies that spend at least $500,000 per year on statistical activities, 11 collect, analyze, and produce statistics as their primary mission. This report identifies (1) the missions of the principal federal statistical agencies and (2) these agencies' funding and sources of funding for fiscal years 1994 and 1995.

GAO found that: (1) the 11 principal statistical agencies reviewed have a broad range of missions that include the collection, production, and dissemination of statistical data; (2) all of the statistical agencies reviewed receive current-year appropriations from Congress, and some receive reimbursement revenue for products and services provided to the government or public; (3) 10 statistical agencies received a total of $240 million in reimbursements from other federal agencies, state and local governments, and the private sector in FY 1995; (4) most of these reimbursements were for statistical services; (5) the Census Bureau receives more in reimbursement revenue than any other agency in the federal statistical system; (6) the agencies' received appropriations of $1.08 billion and $1.13 billion in FY 1994 and 1995, respectively; (7) these amounts equalled nearly 40 percent of the estimated total funding for those years for all agencies in the federal statistical system; (8) this percentage may vary due to the cyclical nature of some statistical agency efforts; and (9) statistical agencies can avoid duplication and reduce costs by sharing data and information processing operations.

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