The Federal Committee on Statistical Methodology (FCSM) was founded in 1975 by the Statistical and Science Policy Branch (formerly, the Office of Statistical Policy) in the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs in the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to assist in carrying out SSP/OMB's role in setting and coordinating statistical policy.
The FCSM serves as a resource for OMB and the federal statistical system to inform decision making on matters of statistical policy and to provide technical assistance and guidance on statistical and methodological issues. The FCSM sponsors regular conferences (in partnership with the Council on Professional Associations on Federal Statistics), hosts seminars and workshops (often in collaboration with partner organizations such as the Washington Statistical Society), writes reports aimed at the federal statistical system and the community, and creates subcommittees and interest groups focused on topics relevant to the federal statistical community.
The mission of the FCSM is to:
- Inform and advise OMB and the Interagency Council on Statistical Policy (ICSP) on methodological and statistical issues that affect the quality of federal data;
- Compile, assess, and disseminate information on statistical or survey methods and practices for Federal statistical agencies;
- Provide recommendations on issues of statistical methodology such as measurement, analysis, survey methods, survey errors, data collection methods and technologies, record linkage, disclosure limitation, and dissemination of information that affect federal statistical programs and improve data quality, including timeliness, accuracy, relevance, utility, accessibility, and cost effectiveness;
- Provide a forum for statisticians in different federal agencies to discuss issues affecting federal statistical programs; and
- Promote and support cooperative research across agencies on issues relevant to federal statistics. The FCSM works to fulfill its mission by engaging in a variety of activities that the Chair(s), typically through subcommittees and interest groups initiates. It sets its priorities in consultation with the Chief Statistician of the United States and the Interagency Council on Statistical Policy (ICSP), which has a legal responsibility to advise the Chief Statistician and assist in carrying out the position's duties.
- The FCSM Chair is appointed by the Chief Statistician. The FCSM members are career Federal employees selected by OMB based on their individual expertise and interest in statistical methods. Members serve for 3-year, renewable, terms while employed in an agency of the Federal government covered by the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA).