The Statistical Agencies of the Federal Government: A Report to the Commission on Organization of the Executive Branch of the Government

By Frederick C. Mills; Clarence D. Long | Go to book overview

FOREWORD

In March 1948 Herbert Hoover, Chairman of the Commission on Organization of the Executive Branch of the Government, requested the National Bureau to undertake a survey of Federal statistical agencies, as part of the general appraisal of governmental organization being made by the Commission. The survey was to be completed and a report submitted to the Commission by October 1, 1948. In view of the high public importance of the Commission's enterprise, the critical role of statistical intelligence in the workings of our social economy, and the National Bureau's extensive experience in statistical work, the Executive Committee of the National Bureau agreed to accept Mr. Hoover's invitation.

The severe time limitations on the study made it impractical to recruit a staff outside the ranks of the National Bureau. Despite its reluctance to delay the Bureau's basic research, the Executive Committee turned to Frederick C. Mills who, besides possessing wide knowledge of statistical practice and organization, had the benefit of an earlier experience in appraising the Federal statistical program in its many ramifications. In June 1933 the American Statistical Association and the Social Science Research Council joined in organizing a Committee on Governmental Statistics and Information Services, of which Professor Mills was a member and for a time the Chairman. The Committee functioned through 1935. Its report on Government Statistics, published by the Social Science Research Council in 1937, attests a unique contribution to the coordination of the fact-finding activities of government.

In the dozen years that have elapsed since the publication of this report, the Federal statistical services have expanded rapidly. In undertaking to direct the National Bureau's study for the Hoover Commission, Professor Milk, had the opportunity to take a fresh look at our far-flung statistical system in the light of accumulated experience. Clarence D. Long, a

-vii-

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