OMB Advisory on Data Sharing: Effective Benefits and Strategic Cautions

Sharing Data While Protecting Privacy, a memorandum released by the Office of Management and Budget in November 2010, notes the critical role of accurate and reliable data to increase the effectiveness of Federal programs. This memo urges Federal agencies to adopt new approaches that permit data exchange in a responsible and appropriate manner. There are many benefits of data sharing, including timely access to reliable data to inform decision-making administrations, increased transparency and a reduced risk of abuse in regard to public programs, more detailed research on public policy, and improved government efficiency. This memo also notes that data sharing provides a strong foundation for important initiatives, such as the Do Not Pay List, Evaluation Initiative, Statistics Initiative, and Partnership Fund for Program Integrity Innovation. Additionally, OMB emphasizes the importance that exchanges of high-quality data comply with individual privacy regulations. OMB provides guidance on how to abide by privacy laws, regulations, and policies. Overall, data sharing strategies employed by Federal agencies have the ability to support important Administration initiatives, inform public policy decisions, and improve program implementation.

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