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Request For Correction Of OMB Watch's Critique Of OMB's Report To Congress
OMB recently reported to Congress on federal agencies' first year of operating under the Data Quality Act. OMB Watch is an NGO ("non-government organization") that does not like anything OMB does. Consequently, OMB Watch prepared a critique of the OMB report, which also serves as OMB Watch's critique of the Data Quality Act.

Basically, OMB Watch claims that OMB's report does not meet Data Quality Act standards. Winston's not sure that OMB Watch's critique meets those standards either.

For example, OMB Watch criticizes OMB's conclusion its report to Congress that relatively few Requests for Correction ("RoCs") have been filed with agencies during the first year of the Data Quality Act. OMB Watch concedes that the vast majority of RoCs would have been filed under another name even if there had never been a Data Quality Act. However, OMB Watch claims that this concession still leaves 98 filed RoCs instead of the 35 claimed in OMB's report. The 98 number confuses Winston because OMB Watch claims on page 7 of its critique that "industry" alone filed 133 RoCs. Since, according to OMB Watch, industry filed 72% of the RoCs, the total number of RoCs should be around 184.

Winston's just a dog and has to count on his paws, but he can't make the OMB Watch numbers add up.

Even if one uses the 184 number, then the impact of RoCs on agency operations seems minor when the number is apportioned over the total number of agencies receiving RoCs. According to OMB Watch, 19 different federal agencies received RoCs over the first year of Data Quality Act operation. That is an average of less than ten RoCs per agency per year. OMB Watch and others claim the RoC process has overwhelmed agencies and prevented them from performing necessary functions. Winston thinks that this result is unlikely at a rate of ten RoCs per year, and OMB Watch does not provide any evidence to support its claim.

  • Click for OMB Watch critique and OMB Report to Congress.

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