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GOVERNMENT STATISTICS SECTION
EXECUTIVE BOARD MEETING
March 29, 2001

The meeting was held at the American Statistical Association building in Alexandria, Virginia. Attending the meeting: Clyde Tucker, Pat Doyle, Kirsten West, Jana Asher, Wendy Alvey, Stephanie Shipp, John Dixon, Bill Wong, David Swanson, Michael L. Cohen, and Robie Sangster.

1. Welcome. Clyde handed out the agenda (attached) and welcomed everyone to the meeting. He noted that it was nice that David Swanson was able to attend in person, rather than by conference call. John Dixon was welcomed as the new newsletter editor. Robie handed out the minutes of the last Board Meeting December 7, 2000. The minutes were approved without correction.

2. Budgets. Robie handed out the January 1, 2001 to December 31, 2000 GSS Revenue and Expenses Statements and Social Statistics Revenue and Expenses Statements. She also handed out a sheet that made a comparison between the 2000 actual revenue and expenses and the projected budget and most current estimated 2001 Budget. Clyde explained that we would need to add in the joint expenses to the budget ($1,800 estimated). Pat noted we could also add in more for sales and proceedings based on the 2000 budget ($500 estimated). A discussion was held about any other savings we could expect. Wendy said that she had enough brochures for 2001, but would need to order more paper in 2002 ($800 estimated).

Clyde led a discussion about the Corporate Contributions. One thousand two hundred dollars was expected in 2000, but only $300 was received. He checked and ASA said that the $300 was from SSA. BEA had made a contribution of $300, but this did not make it into the 2000 revenue. Stephanie requested that a letter be sent to her. She said she would check with Cynthia about her justification for the contributions so that Stephanie could use the same rationale. She would also remind Cynthia about a Census contribution for 2001. The December minutes noted that ASA had just received $300 from IRS/SOI, but this now appears not to be the case. Robie said that she would talk with Kevin Cecco at SOI to determine what may have happened to this contribution.

The committee discussed the need to continue the request for support from corporate sponsors. It was found that the process was rather fragmented on how this actually occurred. It was agreed that we should continue soliciting support. Pat said that Robie should send out letters again. Several action items came from this discussion.

    • Wendy said that she had the list of agencies and the contact information. She will send this to Robie.
    • Robie said she has hard copies of the letters and forms in the GSS files. She will get these reproduced and mailed soon.
    • Wendy noted we should send a thank you to BEA.

Clyde handed out a draft of the 2002 budget for discussion. The cost of food and sales of proceedings were the two key issues discussed.

Clyde would like to keep the cost of food a little higher ($1,900) to encourage attendance at the General Business meeting. Pat noted that they had a better than normal attendance at the last meeting and thought that having food was probably a contributing factor. Several people noted the cost might be higher in New York for a similar food function. Jana said that we should consider what other section's business meetings did to encourage participation. She mentioned that one held a raffle and that another tried to include things geared toward students. Pat suggested that advertisement is also important. It was decided to leave the amount increased to $1,900 for the JSM food functions and that the executive board would continue to pay for their food.

Clyde asked Pat to report about the confidentiality conference she is organizing. It is tentatively set for January 7th - 9th, 2002. Pat explained the book that is being written and why a conference is being held. She has asked the GSS to co-sponsor the conference. GSS's agreed they would help with the conference, but could not help financially.

3. Wray Smith Scholarship Fund

Jana reported on the work completed for the Wray Smith Scholarship Fund. She handed out a report and a five-year projection plan (Attached 2). The committee has received pledges for $600 in seed money. The funds will be held in a separate GSS fund. This is all pending ASA approval. For the JSM this year, the GSS and the Caucus for Women in Statistics will hold a memorial session. Elizabeth Margosches will chair the session. In addition, the COC/COS has provided some room at the information booth for flyers about the scholarship fund. A silent auction is planned for 2002, if approved by ASA.

4. JSM Atlanta

In December, Karen had reported that there are three invited speaker sessions. Clyde said that he has set up a joint topic contributed session with Social Statistics and Survey Research Methods regarding the 2000 elections. The panel will include Murray Edelman, Paul Beimer, Kim Brace, Penelope Bonsall, and Warren Mitofsky. Kirsten reported that there are seven roundtable luncheon speakers for GSS:

  1. Signe Wetrogan from the U.S. Census Bureau (The Integration of the American Community Survey With the Intercensal Population Estimates Program).
  2. Jerry West from the National Center for Education Statistics (What do Fathers do Anyway? Including Men in National Surveys).
  3. Elizabeth Groff, from the Crime Mapping Research Center, National Institute of Justice (Crime Mapping: Privacy and Confidentiality Issues).
  4. Everett S. Lee from the University of Georgia (Immigrants: A Growing and Vital Need for the United States and Other Well Developed Countries).
  5. Robert Benedik from the U.S. Census Bureau (The Development and Current Status of the New North American Product Classification System (NAPCS).
  6. Don A. Dillman, from the Social and Economic Research Center, Washington State University (Why Visual Design Makes a Difference: The Florida Ballot.)
  7. Norman Bradburn, National Science Foundation (NSF Research Priorities for Social, Behavioral and Economic Science.)

The luncheon roundtables will be held on Monday, August 6, 12:30-2:00 pm. Someone needs to make sure that people can register for these on Sunday.

Clyde handed out the meeting request forms. The committee meeting is set for Sunday August 5th from 5-7 pm. The general business meeting is Tuesday from 5:30 to 7pm, August 7th. Suggested ways to promote attendance for the general meetings included announcing the meeting during the better attended sessions, having Kirsten add the meeting date and time to the article she is writing for the Amstat, announcing the meeting date and time in the newsletter, and sending a reminder on the GSS listserv.

5. JSM New York

Kirsten suggested several names and topics she is considering for NY. Others added more suggestions. These included Using Baysian Statistics within Federal Statistics, Privacy and Confidentiality, and Quality Profiles' sessions from FCSM, CFCSM (Stockholm), and Symposium 2001 (Ottawa). A Multi-Racial session was suggested as a good one for competition. A session dealing with issues surrounding CDC projections of disease spread, such as Mad Cow and Hoof and Mouth might be of interest.

6. Strategic Initiative

Clyde distributed a copy of the proposal, A Continuing Series of Workshops on Federal Statistical Data Systems. The workshops are proposed for 2003 or 2004 with a budget request of $40,000. Thus far, the proposal has received positive feedback. Clyde asked for possible candidates for the project leader to work with the contractor. John Dixon suggested looking at someone from FEDSTATS. He also suggested the design be amenable to a web-based tutorial. Pat suggested it should be someone from the board, but others thought, the person should be a member of GSS who could report at the meetings. She suggested Edie McArthur or the person from Synectics.

7. COPAFS Meeting

Wendy and Michael reported on the COPAFS meeting. Marshall Turner talked about the products being released for the 2000 Census and discussed the historical requirements. Kim Brace displayed the multi-racial data for discussion. There were also a demonstration of Ferret and a presentation from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics by Peg Young.

The political party representatives were Jane Cobb (R) and David McMillen (D). Cobb indicated her party's support for the Census Bureau's decision to release unadjusted data for redistricting at this time. She also approves of the Census Bureau's plans to eliminate the long form as part of the census and collect the data through the American Community Survey, instead, i.e., approved of getting rid of the long form and the change to the ACS data. She was concerned about privacy issues for some of the questions, however. McMillen presented a table that compared the Census, the Accuracy and Coverage Evaluation (A.C.E.) and Demographic Analysis data. He noted that the Census Bureau should look at gross error to explain the differences the discrepancies between the net undercount. He suggested that some of the problem could be due to duplication. Ed Spar questioned if the sample reduction had affected the A.C.E. accuracy, but the consensus was that the sample size should have been robust enough.

Michael and Wendy expressed concern that their Amstat article would be too much like Ed's report. It was suggested that they could try to put their article into a broader government statistical perspective and perhaps choose to highlight some topics more then others.

8. Communication

The committee reviewed the Amstat News process with David as discussed in the December minutes. Pat will try to get her President's Annual Report in for the next Amstat News. She will send it directly to ASA this time, since David will not be back from his travels until after the deadline. The next article will be by Kirsten. She will report on the roundtables, followed by Jana with a Wray Smith Memorial and Scholarship article. Stephanie cautioned that Amstat was not good at sending back a confirmation, so a follow-up of some type should be considered.

Newsletter articles and ideas should be sent to the new newsletter editor, John Dixon (Dixon_J@BLS.GOV, 202-691-7516). David will review the newsletter before it is sent out. Wendy needs advance notice when the newsletter will be sent, so that she can have the brochures ready for inserting with the mailing. Bill Wong said to be sure to send him copy so that he can add it to the web site. Suggestions were made regarding whom John should work with for SSS. Wendy suggested old newsletters as a good way to think of new articles and that cartoons are helpful for filling space. David said that nice graphics and tables are useful ways to report information in a newsletter. It was suggested that David contact the Social Statistics Section newsletter editor.

Clyde and Bill discussed the information that needs to be corrected and added to our website. Bill will add John Dixon as the newsletter editor, Suzanne Dorinski as the membership coordinator, and Bill as the Assistant Editor/Webmaster. He will change Michael L. Cohen's term to 2001-2002, and change Wendy Alvey's term to 2001 (because she is filling in for Cynthia Clark). He will drop the dates for the staff liaison. If the Wray Smith committee is approved by ASA, he will add the information to the website.

Jana agreed to set up a conference call link for David to call during the JSM committee meeting.

9. Council of Sections Report

Stephanie reminded us that the proceedings for JSM 2001 would be on CD-ROM for $25.00. It is unclear how this change will effect the revenue and expenditures for the proceedings. She also reported that the council has agreed to allow sections to grant one-year free memberships in one section in order to encourage new membership in the sections. How this will be promoted is not clear. Clyde asked how much reserve cash the council considers as too much surplus. Although there are not explicit guidelines, based on observation, Stephanie thought that retaining a balance between $10-15,000 was desirable. She said that BES and Statistical Computing was not spending enough of their surplus and may be interested in finding ways to spend their surplus cash.

10. ASA Fellows Committee

Clyde said that he would chair the GSS/ASA Fellows Committee next year; Cynthia Clark and Connie Citro will continue on the committee. Clyde asked that we send him ideas for next year. It was suggested that we add Clyde's name as the contact to the website.

11. Membership

Suzanne was not able to attend, but she did submit a report (attached). It was agreed that the information provided by ASA did not present enough information to draw useful conclusions. Clyde explained that he and Robie had discussed this and will ask ASA for some trend information for the past five years. Mike said that it would be useful to have some comparative information about other similar sections to use for a benchmark.

There was a brief discussion about how to promote membership. To encourage students to join, David suggested adding a brief information discussion at the business meeting regarding finding jobs within federal statistical agencies. Pat said that we should encourage chairs to make announcements at the GSS sessions announcing the business meeting and mentioning that the meeting will include food.

12. Other

The meeting was adjourned about 4:00 pm.

 

RLS 3/30/2001


Government Statistics Section pages prepared by:     Bill Wong.
Last updated:     November 29, 2001.

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