Currently, economic and financial data is collected at a variety of departments and agencies with many surveys overlapping (e.g. Census, BEA, BLS, Agriculture, etc.). We should move data collection, not data dissemination or analysis, to data.gov where collection methods could be standardized, overlapping surveys eliminated, staffing reduced and a greater utility of revenue employed. Approaching data collection in this manner adheres to a philosophy that judgment of our purpose should be measured by the utility of our production and not by the size of our budget; i.e. using 25 people to screw in a light bulb does not make the light bulb any more important or valuable – it is still just a light bulb. In addition, this would greatly reduce the time burden on survey respondents and should increase response rates and help shed some light on a data collection discrepancy in the direct investment section of the current account.
Idea No. 12265