From: The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science
While federal agencies have engaged in data sharing for decades, current systems of exchange must be transformed in order to meet the growing needs of analysts in public policy, program evaluation, and basic research. Primary barriers include both perceived legal barriers and actual financial barriers. To address these problems, the potential path forward could include mandating data sharing for key sources, increasing transparency, and improving efficiency by making it easier for agencies to share data (including developing standards, templates and incentives). An agency within the Federal Statistical System should serve as a clearinghouse for centralizing this work. The Census Bureau, with its experience and uniquely broad authority to seek data from any public or private entity for statistical purposes, is well-positioned to fill this role.