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Panel Members Seek Renewed Focus on Nat’l Secure Data Service

Jeff Brody

Former members of the Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking are calling on Congress to reconsider the group’s recommendation for a National Secure Data Service, Federal News Network reported Friday.

Katharine Abraham, a former commissioner of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, said the service would help statistical agencies ensure that information they release would not compromise a person’s privacy. It would also work to “facilitate access to data for evidence building while ensuring privacy and transparency in how those data are used,” according to the commission's report to Congress.

“There’s an incredible amount of work that still needs to happen in order to advance the recommendation, but if the data service were to exist, it would be able to generate insights about what’s happening in government programs and how we’re influencing the economy and ultimately making our government work better,” noted Nick Hart, CEO of the Data Coalition and the commission’s policy and research director.

Most of the recommendations in the commission's 2017 report were included in the Evidence Act, which also mandates the establishment of an Advisory Committee on Data for Evidence Building.

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