Statistical Agencies:

Statutory Requirements Affecting Government Policies and Programs

GGD-96-106: Published: Jul 17, 1996. Publicly Released: Jul 17, 1996.

Additional Materials:


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided a listing of legislatively mandated reports that statistical agencies produce for Congress on a regular basis, focusing on the statutory authority for these reports.

GAO found that: (1) the 11 principal statistical agencies are subject to a variety of laws that authorize statistical activities, prevent the unauthorized disclosure of confidential information, and require them to report the results of their statistical activities to Congress; (2) legislatively mandated reporting requirements vary in number and scope among agencies and usually direct the principal statistical agencies to report to Congress on specific subjects of interest; (3) authorizing legislation often mentions that the report is to Congress, but usually does not mention congressional jurisdiction; (4) Congress uses statistical information to monitor the performance of federal agencies as they implement legislation, exercise appropriate budget control, and formulate policies for federal programs and other legislative initiatives; and (5) the statistics produced by the 11 principal statistical agencies assist in the development and revision of numerous government policies, administration of many federal programs, and evaluation of government programs.

Sep 4, 2018

Jun 29, 2018

Apr 27, 2017

Apr 13, 2017

Sep 7, 2016

Sep 6, 2016

Aug 24, 2016

May 26, 2016

Apr 18, 2016

Mar 24, 2016

Looking for more? Browse all our products here