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IBM’s John Kamensky: Agencies Have Discretion Under New OMB Data Sharing Guidance

John Kamensky
John Kamensky

Agencies can request existing non-public data from each other under new guidance from the Office of Management and BudgetIBM’s John Kamensky wrote in a March 3 piece for GovExec.

Kamensky, senior research fellow at the IBM Center for the Business of Government, points to an OMB document released Feb. 14 as outlining sharing guidelines on safety of citizen data, especially personally identifiable information.

In that memo, OMB Director Silvia Burwell says the directive is intended to foster interagency sharing of non-public data for statistical purposes and eliminate duplication of data gathering and collection.

“Each agency has been left to interpret whether it can share its data, and under what circumstances,” Kamensky notes.

“Laws allow certain kinds of sharing, but in many cases, constraints—real or perceived—have meant that one agency has to survey individuals or businesses for information that has already been collected by another agency,” he adds.

Kamensky writes the OMB memo requires agencies to report by June 30 on the steps they have made to implement the guidance.

The guidelines recommend federal agencies review what type of administrative data they have and get in touch with program and statistical agencies who may need them, according to Kamensky.

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