Commerce Asks for Feedback On Unreleased Data Strategy Action Plan

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An agency leading development of the Federal Data Strategy wants input on the draft action plan, though it won’t be released until later this week, at the earliest.

The next step in the development of the Federal Data Strategy—a draft action plan of deliverables for agencies to accomplish within one year—is set to be released this week, but one partner agency will be asking for feedback before anyone has seen the documents.

The Commerce Department—one of the lead agencies for the cross-agency priority, or CAP, goal for Leveraging Data as a Strategic Asset—on Tuesday will be publishing a request for comments on the draft action plan. The request follows two earlier comment periods for the draft principles and draft practices, both of which are expected to be finalized at the same time the draft action plan is released.

Release of the action plan has been significantly delayed. The draft was scheduled for release at the beginning of 2019, with a final version set for release in April. The historic 35-day government shutdown accounted for the initial delay, though officials have been promising release of the draft plan for months.

When finalized, the three parts of the strategy are meant to codify how federal agencies “should leverage program, statistical and mission-support data as a strategic asset to grow the economy, increase the effectiveness of the federal government, facilitate oversight and promote transparency,” according to the request for comments scheduled to be posted to the Federal Register Tuesday.

The request asks for feedback on five specific areas:

  • Identify additional actions needed to implement the Federal Data Strategy that are not included in the draft action plan and explain why.
  • Identify additional actions that would align with or complement ongoing federal data initiatives or the implementation of new legislation, such as the Foundations for Evidence-based Policy Making Act of 2018 and explain why.
  • Identify any actions in the draft action plan that should be considered for omission and explain why.
  • For each action, provide any edits and additional detail to ensure that they accurately and effectively describe needed activities, responsible entities, metrics for assessing progress and timelines for completion.
  • For each action, provide information about the implementation resources necessary to ensure success of the action steps.

Interested parties will have to wait at least a day or two before reading the draft plan. Officials from the Office of Management and Budget told Nextgov the plan is expected this week.

The final versions of the principles and practices are expected to track closely to the draft versions, according to Trey Bradley, program manager for strategic data initiatives in the Office of Shared Solutions and Performance Improvement within the General Services Administration.

“The principles are going to be pretty much what they are right now,” he told Nextgov in May. “The practices, what we tried to do is look at opportunities to consolidate because there was some overlap and similarities between some of the practices. So, we were able to slim them down a little bit.”