FY16 Statistical Agency Budget Developments

By Steve Pierson posted 01-15-2015 13:33

The FY16 federal budget request was released February 2, 2015. This blog entry will track FY16 appropriations developments for the federal statistical agencies and so will be updated accordingly. (See update log below.) To receive notifications of updates, follow ASA Science Policy on Twitter: @ASA_SciPol. 

NB: The February 2016 Amstat News has an article summarizing the final FY16 budgets: Final FY16 Spending Bill Provides Increases for NIH, Census, Statistical Agencies.

Because this blog entry covers everything from the budget request to the final determination of the budget, it can become quite long. To help with that, I'll try to partition the blog entry:

See also FY16 NSF and NIH Budget Developments.



     Agency      FY12     FY13    FY14    FY15     Request5    % change    House    Senate     Final   % change 

BEA 92.2  89.8  95  96 110  14% 96***
96** 105 9.1 

BJS 41.3  41.3  45  41 61.4  50%  See 8 41** 41 0

BLS 609  577.2  592.2  592.2 632.7  7% 609**
579** 609 2.8

BTS1 25  26  26  26  29  11% 26 26 26 0

Census 9422  859.32 945   1088 1500  38% 1113**/992***
1128** 1370 26

EIA 105  99.5  117  117 131  12% 117***
122** 122 4.3 

ERS7 85.9  79.1  85.8  85.4 86  1% 78.06 85.4** 85.4

NASS7 167.8  175.8  170.4  172.4 180  4% 161.2 168.1** 168.4 -2.3 

NCES4 247  225.9  235.1  232 274.4  18% 232** 231** 261 12.5

NCSES 43.3  41.6 47   58.3 62  6% &*** & 58.5 0.3 

NCHS6 159 153.8 155.4  155.4 160.4  4% 160.4** 145.4** 160.4 3.2 

ORES 29  27.5  26.9 29  27  -10%   &       &   25.9 -10.7 

SOI 38.7  33.13 35   36.6 38  5%  & 37.9  3.6


Levels in millions of dollars; Agency abbreviations listed below; NCES is for Statistics and Assessment (not NAGB or SLDS)
Latest Action: *Subcommittee mark-up; **Committee mark-up***Passed the Floor
&Not available because of lack of sufficient detail in summary, bill or conference report; 
NATD (or blank): No Action To Date
1The BTS is funded through the Highway Trust Fund with levels determined by the authorizing committees. 
2The  FY12 and FY13 levels include funds from the Working Capital Fund (WCF), as mandated by Congress. These level may differ than what I report in the "final" column of the FY12 and FY13 columns of other blog entries.
3SOI underwent a realignment within its parent organization RAS in FY12 that included a transfer of 24 FTE’s, which accounts for a large part of the decrease between FY12 and FY13. 
4The NCES budget level includes both statistics and assessment, but not Salary and Earnings. Data is from NCES presentation at 3/7/14 COPAFS presentation.
5The FY16 request numbers are wrong numbers and so may not take into account budget changes. Please stay tuned. 
6The NCHS budget is going through an realignment from FY14 to FY15 to account for NCHS having to include business support services provided by the CDC. The comparable FY12, FY13, FY14 and FY15 levels are $138.7 million, 138.7, 140, and 140 respectively.
7ERS and NASS went through budget revisions in FY15. The FY12, FY13, and FY14 levels have been adjusted to be comparable to the FY15 and FY16 levels. The actual FY12, FY13, and FY14 levels for ERS and NASS are $78.2 M, $71.4 M, $78.1 M and $158.6 M, $166.6 M, and $161.2 M, respectively
8The House CJS Report Language states, "In lieu of providing a base appropriation for the National Institute of Justice and the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the recommendation provides flexibility for the Department to fund these functions through a set-aside of grant programs. The Department shall provide a proposed allocation of funds for these activities in the spending plan required by this Act.

FY16 Budget Request Highlights

  • The FY16 OMB Analytical Perspectives has a chapter called Social Indicators ("on six selected domains: economic, demographic and civic, socioeconomic, health, security and safety, and environment and energy") that draw heavily on data from the federal statistical agencies. The chapter reinforces the President's message that "policy decisions should be based upon evidence—evidence that identifies the Nation’s greatest needs and challenges and evidence about which strategies are working to overcome those challenges. The social indicators in this chapter provide useful context both for prioritizing budgetary and policymaking resources and for evaluating how well existing approaches are working."
  • The FY16 OMB Analytical Perspectives has a chapter called Building Evidence with Administrative Data that outlines "broad-based set of activities to better integrate evidence and rigorous evaluation in budget, management, and policy decisions, including through: (1) making better use of already-collected data within government agencies; (2) promoting the use of high-quality, low-cost evaluations and rapid, iterative experimentation; (3) adopting more evidence-based structures for grant programs; and (4) building agency evaluation capacity and developing tools to better communicate what works." The chapter also says they FY16 budget "embraces Representative Paul Ryan and Senator Patty Murray’s proposal to create a commission that would make recommendations about how to fully realize the potential of administrative data to improve Federal programs." (See more on Murray-Ryan commission here.)
  • Specific Agencies
    • The Bureau of Economic Analysis would see a $13.7 million increase (14%), $4 million of which is for it to move to co-locate with the U.S. Census Bureau. It also proposes three new programs: Big Data for Small Business, Energy Satellite Account, and Services Trade.
    • The U.S. Census Bureau would see a $412 million increase (38%), more than $300 million of which is for the 2020 decennial census.
    • The BLS would see a $41 million increase (6.8%). The request includes a $25 million increase for Labor Force Statistics to improve Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey and to restore FY14 and FY15 cuts due to inflation. It also requests a $10 million increase for Prices and Cost of Living to restore funding for the IPP export price indexes to restore FY14 and FY15 cuts due to inflation. Compensation and Working Conditions would see a $4 million increase.
    • The ERS budget is mostly flat.
    • NASS would see a modest increase (4.4%) for a Government-ide initiative to combat antimicrobial resistant bacterium. "An increase of about $1 million is requested for County Estimates to help begin the transition to a nationally - administered County Estimates survey program. An additional $1.3 million is requested to provide resources necessary to augment the annual Fruit and Vegetable program with an in - season forecast for fruits and nuts. Another $2.5 million would be used to enhance satellite - based agricultural statistics, and other sums would be used to restore chemical use surveys to their 2010 level and for pulse crop estimates."
    • According to DOJ budget information, the BJS would see "an increase of $20.4 million .... for a total of $61.4 million for the BJS. Included within this total is an enhancement of $6.0 million will to support the National Crime Victims Survey (NCVS) Sample Boost for Subnational Estimates Program, which will increase survey sample sizes in up to 22 states to allow OJP to produce estimates of victimization for states and select metropolitan statistical areas, large cities, and counties, in addition to the national estimates the NCVS currently provides... Additionally, the Budget includes $1.0 million for a National Survey of Public Defenders and $1.5 million f or a National Public Defenders Reporting Program... Requested funding will also allow BJS to explore the feasibility of statistical collections in important topical priority areas, including: recidivism and reentry, prosecution and adjudication, criminal justice data improvements and victimization statistics."
    • The EIA requested increase of $14 million includes funding for the following new programs: "Address Critical Energy Data Gaps" ($5 million), "Accelerate Domestic Energy Coverage and State-level Data Improvements" ($3.5 M); "Expand Mid-Term Energy Analysis Capabilities with Greater International Focus" ($2.5 M); "Crowd-source Consumption Data" ($2.0 M); and "Increase the Integration of EIA Energy Data with Canada and Mexico" ($1.0 M). 
    • The BTS requested increase of $3 million is similar to that of last year: "(1) initiate a travel data program to measure long distance travel by all modes of transportation; (2) estimate the inventory and use of motor vehicles; and (3) improve methods and data for calculating the value of transportation infrastructure and services."
    • The $42 million increase for NCES to fund the following Statistics survey: Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Birth Cohort of 2018; Early Childhood Education Study; National Postsecondary Student Aid Survey; Student Loan Repayment and Default Study; School Survey on Crime and Safety; My Brother’s Keeper. It would also fund these Assessment programs: Transitioning to Digital-Based Assessments; Expanding TUDA; and Conducting U.S. history, civics, and geography assessments in 2018.
    • The NCSES request is for "will be used to support (1) development of enhanced data access tools, techniques,
      and visualizations; ($1.0 million); (2) new data collection techniques building on administrative data and FY 2016 NSF Budget Request to Congress other “big data” sources ($750,000); and (3) questionnaire redesign and survey improvements supporting current research and policy community needs, such as improved data on pathways for scientists and engineers and measures of innovation ($1.80 million)."
    • According to the Friends of NCHS, the $5 million increase for NCHS "will be directed towards expanding electronic death registration systems in states to provide faster, better vital statistics. The President’s FY 2016 budget request also seeks an additional $12 million from the Prevention and Public Health Fund for survey enhancements, including:
      • Additional content on the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) to measure ACA-relevant outcomes;
      • Sample increase for the NHIS; and
      • Sample increase for the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NAMCS).

      NCHS previously received Prevention Fund dollars to support the expansion of these surveys, but received no such funding in FY 2014 and FY 2015. Without the Prevention Fund allocation in FY 2016, the NHIS and NAMCS survey enhancements will discontinue. The FY 2016 Prevention Fund request would reconvene the enhancements for the 2017 data collections, but at reduced level due to the reduction in the amount of funding requested compared to previous years, which was roughly $30 million.

      Taken together, NCHS’s total “program level” funding (base + Prevention Fund) would be $172.4 million; an 11 percent ($17 million) increase over the FY 2015 program level."

      For more, see NCHS Director Rothwell's 2/24 presentation to the Friends of NCHS.              

Reports on FY16 request:

Reports on FY16 Congressional Developments:

Updates (and sources):

See also:    Statistical Agency abbreviations
BEA Bureau of Economic Analysis
BJS Bureau of Justice Statistics
BLS Bureau of Labor Statistics
BTS Bureau of Transportation Statistics 
ERS Economic Research Service
EIA Energy Information Administration
NASS National Agricultural Statistics Service
NCES National Center for Education Statistics 
NCHS National Center for Health Statistics
NCSES National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics, NSF
ORES Office of Research, Evaluation, and Statistics, SSA
SOI Statistics of Income Division, IRS

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