Graves: Governance is Key to Federal Data Strategy Act

The Federal Data Strategy and Evidence-Based Policymaking Act must have a collaborative and governed approach for it to succeed, Deputy Federal CIO for the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Margaret Graves said today.

Speaking at the ACT-IAC Data Driven Decision-Making Forum today, Graves spoke about what OMB’s expectations of agencies are going forward with the legislation.

“Now the impact of the Federal evidence base of the foundations for the Evidence-Based Policy Act is to draw together the need for establishing effective teams that understand how to coordinate the data,” Graves said, adding “It’s got to be a collaborative and governed approach, or else it will fail.”

Graves also mentioned that OMB is working with the Office of Personnel Management to stand up a data scientist series, so that it can “attract into the analyst part of the equation.”

Additionally, Graves said that agencies will need to tie data into delivering desired outcomes as they relate to Federal policies before deciding where to spend resources and dollars. It’s up to agencies to understand whether they’ve achieved what they set out to achieve, do what the legislation asked, and achieve the intended impact.

Being conscious of unintended consequences is also important, the Deputy Federal CIO said. Agencies have a responsibility to be cognizant of unintended consequences and that consistent governance will allow for “algorithmic integrity” and make sure the correct answer is produced each time a dataset is utilized.

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