For Immediate Release:
Tuesday, May 21, 1996
"This service will give Americans quick, easy access to key current economic and social statistics," Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Alice M. Rivlin said at a morning news briefing, where she was joined by Sally Katzen, Administrator of OMB's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, and the heads of various statistical agencies. "It is a prime example of Federal agencies working together to improve service for their customers."
The briefing rooms, at http://www.whitehouse.gov, include two rooms -- the Economic Statistics Briefing Room and the Social Statistics Briefing Room. They present current releases of selected economic and social indicators organized not by agency, but themes -- e.g., Output, Income, Employment, Production, Money, Prices, Transportation, International Statistics, Demographics, Education, Health, and Crime.
Each theme includes key data series on a single World Wide Web (WWW) page that, in turn, provides hyperlinks to WWW pages at the source agencies' Web sites. Included in each theme are the most current release, graphic displays of the series over time, brief phrases highlighting the trends or noteworthy aspects of the current release, and the name of the agency that produced the statistic.
"Now we have, for the first time, the beginnings of `one-stop shopping' for Federal statistics," Katzen said. "We also have established links to the agencies that generate the statistics so that those who wish can explore in depth at the source."
In the past, the decentralized structure of the Federal Government's statistical system sometimes made it hard for Americans -- even frequent data users, such as economic forecasters or social science researchers -- to locate and access the information of particular interest to them.
In the last three years, however, many statistical agencies have made great progress in developing easy access to their own data and databases through the Internet, and in particular, the World Wide Web. Data users accessing information from one Federal agency may even find out about related statistics available from another agency, thanks to cross-agency links that some agencies are providing.
Now, the Economic Statistics and Social Statistics Briefing Rooms will further ease and speed access to the Nation's information resources. They were developed by OMB's Interagency Council on Statistical Policy, with technical coordination and development from the Office of Science and Technology Policy and the Office of Administration.