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FY15 Statistical Agency Budget Developments


The FY15 federal budget was released March 4, 2014, with further details to be provided in coming weeks. This blog entry will track FY15 budget 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. 

See also FY15 NSF and NIH Budget Developments.

For analysis on the final FY15 budgets, the 12/12/14 COSSA FY15 analysis is very informative on many of the federal statistical agency budgets. You can read Terri Ann Lowenthal's reaction to the Census Bureau level at this 12/9/14 Census Project blog entry, and Howard Fienberg's reaction at Census Gets Short Shrift from FY15 Federal Budget. For a discussion of the BLS budget, see this APDU blog entry by Kitty Smith.

Some of the requested FY15 levels may not reflect actual increases (as noted in Table footnote 5) because of accounting changes whereby costs previously covered by the General Services Administration but decentralized in FY15. See COPAFS Executive Director Kitty Smith's analysis of the FY15 request for the federal statistical agencies




     Agency      FY12     FY13    FY14     Request5     House    Senate     Final  

BEA 92.2  89.8  95 107/96.6 95***

BJS 41.3  41.3  45 55.4 47.3***
 42** 41

BLS 609  577.2  592.2 610.1
 602.2* 592

BTS1 25  26  26 29  NA1 261 261

Census 9423  859.33 945  1211 1118*/1107**/974*** 1149**  1088

EIA 105  99.5  117 122.5 120

ERS 78.2  71.4  78.1 83.4/75.7 85.8**/82.8***

NASS 158.6  166.6  161.2 179/169.8 169.4**

NCES4 247  225.9  235.1 247.4    230* 232

NCSES 43.3  41.6 47  59  & &*  58.3

NCHS6 159 153.8 155.4 155.4   155.4

ORES 29  27.5  29 30     30

SOI 38.7  33.13 35  37     36.2
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.
5Some of the apparent increases proposed for FY15 may be due to changes in accounting. Please stay tuned. The second number in the NASS cell is the FY15 request level comparable to the FY14 and prior year levels. See below for more. For BEA, roughly $8 million of the request is related to costs associated with BEA's 20-year lease having expired.
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.

The FY15 request for the U.S. Census Bureau provides "an increase of $281 million over the 2014 [Periodic Censuses and Programs] enacted level, to support key research and testing of innovative design methods necessary to achieve an effective 2020 decennial census at the lowest cost possible. This research and testing phase must be complete by the end of 2015 to make important 2020 operational decisions. Without this additional funding for key testing, much of the cost containment efforts leading up to the 2020 Census will face increasing operational risk and decreasing accuracy." For an in-depth look at the FY15 budget request, see Terri Ann Lowenthal's blog entry, ‘Tis the Season (It’s Budget Time Again!).

The Department of Labor Budget in Brief has information on only two programs in the FY15 request for the Bureau of Labor Statistics but we're hearing that the FY15 request for BLS does not include funding to restore the QCEW and IPP cuts (mentioned in the February 25 update to my sequestration blog entry): 

Within the Labor Force Statistics activity, the request includes an increase of $1,577,000 and 3 FTE to add one annual supplement to the Current Population Survey. In even years, the BLS will conduct the Contingent Work Supplement to capture data on contingent work and alternative work arrangements. In odd years, the BLS will conduct other supplements relevant to the BLS mission, including topics that will provide more data on workplace flexibility and work -family balance.

Within Prices and Cost of Living, the request includes an increase of $2,500,000 and 9 FTE
for the Consumer Expenditure (CE) Survey to support the Census Bureau in its development of a supplemental statistical poverty measure using CE data. As part of this initiative, the CE Survey will develop questions to be added to the Interview Survey and move up the delivery date of the CE poverty thresholds to the Census Bureau to early August to support the September release date of the income and poverty report.
The FY15 request for NASS is $179 million with $9.2 million of the increase being for the decentralized GSA rent and security payments. Of the remaining increase, there is
  • $2 million for a government wide Pollinator Health Initiative.
  • $2.5 million for a Geospatial Improvement Initiative
  • $2.6 million to restore the Fruit and Vegetable In-Season Reports for Fruit & Nuts
  • $3.8 million to restore the Chemical Use Reports
To pay for some of the above initiatives, NASS will have to discontinue some surveys for a savings of $1.655 million.

NCSES has a requested increase of 25% for FY15. According to the NSF budget book the additional $12 million goes mostly to a $7.5 million to enhance the Survey of Doctorate Recipients; $750,000 to fully implement a survey of research and development funding and performance by nonprofit organizations; $800,000 to continue work focused on expanding the scope of administrative records sources that NCSES is exploring to support the conduct of its existing surveys; $400,000 to plan and design program modifications to respond to recommendations received from the National Academy’s Committee on National Statistics Panel on Developing Science, Technology and Innovation Indicators for the Future; $500,000 to significantly redesign the production and presentation of Science and Engineering Indicators as a “digitally born” document; $700,000 to build on the nascent NCSES data repository to take advantage of newer technologies for the automated generation of public content (data and metadata), analysis, and graphics; and $800,000 to explore, design, test, and build the capacity to collect Short Pointed on Time (SPOT) survey data in three to six month timeframes.

The BEA budget request includes $8 million for "GSA Required Renovation / Relocation Funding". Of the remaining proposed increase, $1.9 million is a proposal
to expand data on small business by developing a Small Business Satellite Account including a new Small Business GDP to track the overall growth and health of America’s small business sector. This will be a key new measure, offering insight into the leading edge of the economy, as small businesses often react to policy changes or economic trends in their regions or sectors before larger corporations.
According to the EIA FY15 Request Congressional Justification, of the $5.5 million requested increase, $2.4 million is proposed for "an interface that enables groups with common interests to crowd-source, or pool information to determine the actual effectiveness of specific building efficiency technologies, practices, and characteristics in reducing energy use while maintaining energy services." $1.5 million is proposed for "a better understanding of domestic energy markets within the broader context of the world energy system, including the global markets for liquefied natural gas, crude oil, and refined products." And $1.6 million is to "improve its capability to track and report on rapidly-changing domestic market dynamics by developing more granular breakouts of petroleum product data to enable better state and regional analysis."

For the BJS, the $10.4 million requested increase (23%), $2.5 million is for two new programs that are part of the Indigent Defense Initiative: National Survey of Public Defenders and the National Public Defenders Reporting Program: Design and Testing.  The other $7.9 million will be used for the following BJS programs (according to pages 150-151 of the Congressional Justification):
Recidivism, Reentry and Special Projects; Prosecution and Adjudication Statistics; Criminal Justice Data Improvements Program; Victimization Statistics; Law Enforcement Statistics; Corrections Statistics; Statistical Information publication and dissemination activities; and Support for Federal Statistical Programs, Activities, and Initiatives.

For the ERS, the Congressional Justification shows an increases of costs of $7.727 million for "Decentralized GSA and security payment," only $5.388 million of which is funding, yielding a $2.3 million decrease for ERS.

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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