March 17, 2016 Press Releases

Results for America Statement on Passage of Bipartisan Evidence-Based Policymaking Commission Act

RFA PRAISES BIPARTISAN LAWMAKERS FOR PROMOTING EVIDENCE-BASED POLICYMAKING

WASHINGTON – Results for America CEO and Co-founder Michele Jolin issued the following statement today after the U.S. House of Representatives passed the final version of S.991, the Evidence-Based Policymaking Commission Act. This legislation would provide policymakers with more information and access to data so that government can make better decisions about what programs are really working for young people, families, and communities.  The bill was sponsored by U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA). The U.S. Senate passed S. 991 unanimously on March 16, 2016.

“Results for America applauds and supports the passage of the Evidence-Based Policymaking Commission Act. This bill would create a Commission to provide recommendations to make data more open, transparent, and accessible so that both the public and private sectors can improve government services and produce better results for all Americans. The bipartisan support for the bill reflects the growing consensus across the country for investing taxpayer dollars in what works. We call this a Moneyball approach to governing because policymakers are using data, evidence, and evaluation to make more informed decisions to improve the lives of young people, their families, and communities.”

Specifically, the bill would—

  • Establish a “Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking” charged with reviewing the inventory, infrastructure, and protocols related to data from federal programs and tax expenditures, while developing recommendations for increasing the availability and use of this data;
  • Require the Commission to evaluate the merits of and provide guidance for creating a “clearinghouse” for program and survey data. The clearinghouse would make available and facilitate the merging of data sets that are valuable in evaluating program effectiveness and informing domestic policymaking;
  • Require several agencies to provide assistance to the Commission including the Office of Management and Budget, Census, and the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services, Education, and Justice; and
  • Require the Commission to study how best to protect the privacy rights of people who interact with federal agencies and ensure confidentiality.

The Obama administration also has expressed support for the Commission. The administration’s FY17 budget request included $10 million to improve the work of the Census Bureau, which would include creating a commission focused on realizing the potential of administrative data.

About Results for America
Results for America improves outcomes for young people, their families and communities by shifting public resources toward practices, policies, and programs that use evidence and data to improve quality and get better results. In a climate of constrained resources and mounting demands, we know that public funds must increasingly be invested in “what works.”

In November, 2014, Results for America published Moneyball for Government, the national bestselling book that brings together a group of bipartisan leaders and makes the case for government at all levels to inform public policy and funding decisions by using the best possible data, evidence and evaluation about what works. In January, 2016, RFA published the second edition of Moneyball for Government featuring a new bipartisan chapter about the importance of using data and evidence to drive U.S. foreign assistance. For more information about Results for America, click here.

 

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