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Senator Murray: I look forward to working with members on both sides to continue “our bipartisan efforts to help government work better.”

(Washington, D.C.) –  Yesterday, following recommendations made in the Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking’s final report, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) introduced the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act. Along with a companion Senate bill introduced by Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), the legislation acts on the commission’s findings to establish a more secure, transparent, and efficient data system that will help federal agencies better assess the effectiveness of their programs. Following the bill’s introduction, Speaker Ryan released the following statement:

This is an exciting day. Patty and I have long advocated for a way to better measure the federal government’s effectiveness—and this bill puts those efforts into action. As lawmakers, we have to change our approach not only to how we make policy, but how we gauge its results. Ensuring our programs work is just common sense—and what American taxpayers deserve. I want to thank the commissioners and my colleagues in both chambers for their extensive work that helped make this possible. I’m really proud of the bill we’re introducing today.”

Following introduction in the Senate, Senator Murray released the following statement:

“No matter what side of the aisle you’re on, we should all agree that government should work as efficiently as possible for the people it serves. So I’ve been proud to work with Speaker Ryan to find new ways Democrats and Republicans can work together to improve how the federal government makes decisions that impact the lives of millions of people in Washington state and around the country. This bill will begin to put the recommendations of the bipartisan Evidence-Based Policymaking Commission we created into action by improving how the federal government gathers and uses data and evidence to inform decision-making, as well as ways to strengthen the privacy and increase the transparency around this information. I look forward to working with Speaker Ryan and other members on both sides of the aisle to get this bill signed into law, and then continuing our bipartisan efforts to help government work better.”

Original co-sponsors of the legislation also include House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-SC), Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-WA), Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-TX), and Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI).

Summary: The Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act

Title I, Federal Evidence-Building Activities

  • Requires federal agencies to submit an evidence-building plan, which will be consolidated into one government-wide plan by the Office of Management and Budget
  • Requires federal agencies to appoint/designate a Chief Evaluation Officer to coordinate evidence-building activities within the agency
  • Establishes an advisory committee on data for evidence building

Title II, OPEN Government Act

  • Ensures maximum data availability while respecting privacy and national security concerns
  • Requires federal agencies to appoint/designate a Chief Data Officer
  • Instructs federal agencies to establish a data inventory and federal data catalogue

Title III, Confidential Information Protection and Statistical Efficiency

  • Expands access to data while improving privacy standards