November 1, 2017 Press Releases

Results for America Praises Speaker Ryan and Senator Murray for New Legislation to Advance Evidence-Based Policymaking

Bipartisan Bill Would Enact Key Recommendations of the Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking

WASHINGTON – Results for America (RFA) issued the following statement today on the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act (H.R. 4174, S. 2046), new legislation introduced by U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) that would enact key recommendations in the final bipartisan report of the Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking:

“This new bipartisan legislation would help build the What Works infrastructure necessary at each federal agency to use evidence and data when making budget, policy, and management decisions,” CEO and Co-Founder Michele Jolin said.

“We commend Speaker Ryan and Senator Murray for introducing the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act, which is based on the bipartisan recommendations of the Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking.

“We are particularly pleased that Speaker Ryan and Senator Murray included several recommendations in their legislation that Results for America has promoted over the last several years, including the requirement that each federal agency designate a Chief Evaluation Officer, establish an evaluation policy, and develop evidence-building plans.

“We believe the Ryan-Murray legislation would help make our government more effective and efficient by building evidence about the practices, policies and programs that will achieve the most effective and efficient results. We urge Congress and the Administration to pass this bipartisan bill before the end of the year.”

The new legislation – Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act (H.R. 4714, S. 2046) – was introduced on October 31 by Speaker Ryan, and Senator Murray. Original co-sponsors of the bill include U.S. House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-SC), U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-WA), U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-TX), and U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI). The text of the bill can be found here.

Here’s a summary of the new legislation:

Title I, Federal Evidence-Building Activities

  • Requires federal agencies to submit an evidence-building plan, which will be consolidated into one government-wide plan by the Office of Management and Budget

  • Requires federal agencies to appoint/designate a Chief Evaluation Officer to coordinate evidence-building activities within the agency

  • Establishes an advisory committee on data for evidence building

Title II, OPEN Government Act

  • Ensures maximum data availability while respecting privacy and national security concerns

  • Requires federal agencies to appoint/designate a Chief Data Officer

  • Instructs federal agencies to establish a data inventory and federal data catalogue

Title III, Confidential Information Protection and Statistical Efficiency

  • Expands access to data while improving privacy standards

RFA was a strong supporter of S.991, the Evidence-Based Policymaking Commission Act — sponsored by Speaker Ryan and Senator Murray and signed into law by President Obama — which created the Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking. The new Ryan-Murray legislation builds on the final report of the Commission, which was developed over 15 months and agreed to unanimously by the members of the Commission.

The report featured several recommendations that RFA promoted through testimony, annual federal Invest in What Works Indexes, and through two Invest in What Works Coalition letters. More than 120 local, state, and national organizations and leaders also signed letters to Congress and the Administration supporting the report’s recommendations.

About Results for America
Results for America is helping decision-makers at all levels of government harness the power of evidence and data to solve our world’s greatest challenges. Our mission is to make investing in what works the “new normal,” so that when policymakers make decisions, they start by seeking the best evidence and data available, then use what they find to get better results.

Contact: Zachary Coile, Vice President for Strategic Communications, Results for America, zachary@results4america.org

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