Bill to Implement Evidence-Based Policymaking Recommendations Becomes Law

In the final days of the 115th Congress, both the US Senate and House of Representatives approved the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act of 2018, a bill that implements many recommendations from the final report of the US Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking. The bill, which President Donald Trump signed into law January 14, enacts several provisions each to achieve the following three general goals:

  1. Strengthen privacy protections
  2. Improve secure access to data
  3. Enhance evidence-building capacity

The Bipartisan Policy Center, which started a program to support evidence-based policymaking upon the fulfilment of the commission’s charter in September 2017, summarizes the bill and its connection to the commission’s recommendations on its website. The bill also has provisions to make more government data available to the public.

The American Statistical Association’s Board of Directors  endorsed the commission’s report at its November 2017 meeting. The ASA followed closely the deliberations of the commission and provided testimony to it in 2016.