A two-day short course sponsored by the Joint Program in Survey Methodology 

FEBRUARY 20, 2014
Presented at the Bureau of Labor Statistics Conference Center

Office of Management and Budget

Committee on National Statistics and Private Consultant

What is the Federal Statistical System? Why is it important?  How is it changing?  We address these questions with reference to the history, activities, outputs and customers of the 80 plus Federal agencies whose responsibilities include the production of statistical information, focusing especially on the dozen or so agencies whose principal mission is to provide such information. The course will include discussion and examples of how agencies collaborate with each other and how the activities of the diverse array of agencies are coordinated by OMB, including mechanisms for coordination between the United States and other countries.  We discuss a number of enduring debates and challenges facing the system, including centralization versus decentralization of the statistical system, the role of government agencies and private organizations in Federal statistics, confidentiality and data access, and other issues regarding the organization and functioning of the system. Other key themes, such as ethics, principles and practices for statistical agencies, criteria for assessing data quality, innovation, and the future of household surveys are also discussed.

This is a course for employees of Federal statistical agencies and others interested or involved with Federal statistics who would like to learn more about how the various Federal statistical agencies work collectively to provide information to the citizens of the United States. Even if you know how some piece of the statistical system works, you may feel poorly informed about how the system as a whole functions.  The course is not designed to teach participants where to locate specific types of information produced by the Federal statistical agencies, but it is focused on helping participants think more broadly about the system and how to address current and future challenges. 


Brian A. Harris-Kojetin is a Senior Statistician in the Statistical and Science Policy Branch at the United States Office of Management and Budget, and he chairs the Federal Committee on Statistical Methodology.  Brian previously worked as a survey methodologist for the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Arbitron, Inc, and he has as PhD in Social Psychology with a minor in Statistics from the University of Minnesota. 

Hermann Habermann is a Senior Associate at the Committee on National Statistics and an international consultant.  Previously he was Chief Statistician at the Office of Management and Budget, Director of the United Nations Statistics Division and Deputy Director of the Census Bureau.  He has a PhD in Statistics from the University of Wisconsin.  

Registrants will be provided with a course lecture notebook.  JPSM group continental breakfasts, lunches and refreshments are included in the course fee.

Equipment brought into BLS requires property passes. Passes can be picked up from the BLS receptionist. Wi-Fi is available in the conference area.

Course registrants must check-in with JPSM Onsite.

TENTATIVE SCHEDULE: Note break time changes.

8:00 - 9:00 Registrant Check-In and Continental Breakfast
9:00 - 9:15 Introduction and Goals of the course
9:15 - 10:30 U.S. Federal Statistical Agencies

10:30 - 10:45

Morning Break
10:45 - 11:30 Coordinating the Federal Statistical System
11:30 – 12:15 The Larger Federal Statistical Community: Users and Stakeholders for the Federal Statistical System
12:15 – 1:15 Lunch
1:15 - 2:30 Some Key Issues Facing the Federal Statistical System
2:30 - 2:45 Afternoon Break
2:45 - 3:45 Change and Innovation in the Federal Statistical System
3:45 – 4:30 The U.S. Federal Statistical System in International Context  
4:30 Adjourn  

Fees and awards are not transferrable due to nonattendance. The course fee is $350 for JPSM sponsor affiliates, $350 for full-time university students, and $480 for other participants.  Sponsor Affiliate List:

Online registration is required.  The registration deadline is February 6, 2014 Confirmation of acceptance will be sent after the registration form has been processed. Registrants are responsible for keeping track of their registrations and course dates. Contact JPSM if you have any questions concerning the status of the registration. The Short Courses:

Payment by credit card is required.  Payment is due February 6, 2014. Payment may be done online during registration. Post registration payment may be done online at using the registration number or by calling 800.937.9320. Credit card payments may also be faxed to 734.764.8263.

Tax Identification Number (University of Michigan): 38-6006309
Duns Number (University of Michigan): 073133571

Please notify JPSM as soon as possible if you need to cancel your registration. Fees and awards are not transferrable due to nonattendance. Cancellation requests should be done online at . You will be fully reimbursed if you cancel by February 6, 2014. Cancellation February 7-12, 2014 will require a $100 administrative fee, the remainder will be reimbursed. Cancellation on or after February 13, 2014 is subject to the full fee amount.

The Joint Program in Survey Methodology strives to increase the number of survey professionals from groups traditionally under-represented in the field. As part of this effort, a limited number of competitive fellowships are available to African-Americans, Latinos, Hispanic Americans, and Native American Indians for the short course. The registrant must be a US citizen or permanent resident. 

Fellowship applicants should submit:

  1. The online registration form must be completed to reserve a position in the course. 
  2. A 500-word essay describing their reasons for wanting to attend this short course and how their participation will enhance their chosen career path. The essay should indicate the applicant’s background (i.e. African-American, Latino, Hispanic American, or Native American Indian) and why financial support is needed.
  3. A letter of recommendation written by a person knowledgeable about the applicant’s aptitude and interest in survey methodology.

The online registration form, essay, and letter of recommendation are due by January 23, 2014. JPSM will evaluate the applications and inform the successful applicants by January 30, 2014. The fellowship covers the registration fee, materials to be distributed during the course and the JPSM group continental breakfasts, lunches and breaks. The essay and letter of recommendation may be faxed to 734.764.8263 or emailed to

Postal Square Building: 2 Massachusetts Avenue, NE, Washington, DC 20212-0001 

Visitor Entrance: 1st Street, NE, Washington, DC 20212-0001  

Classroom: 1-2-3


U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Postal Square Building, 1st Street, NE Washington, DC 20212-0001 


Registrants are required to enter the Bureau of Labor Statistics through the First Street, NE entrance (between Massachusetts Avenue and G Street, NE) across from Union Station. Do not use the main entrance on 2 Massachusetts Avenue.  


All visitors must present a valid photo ID at the visitor’s entrance and pick up a visitor’s badge. Please arrive 10 minutes early to allow enough time to go through security. Course registrants must also check-in with JPSM onsite each day of the course.



Visitors and packages will be processed through the x-ray and metal detector screening equipment. 

Individuals are responsible for making their own overnight room reservations and for payment.

METRO: Union Station (Red Line)  Located at First Street, NW, and 2 Massachusetts Avenue NE.
Traveling by metro is preferred. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) is located across the street from Union Station. Take the Metro Red Line to Union Station. Exit the platform at the North end of the station (exit that says to Amtrak trains). There is a doorway exit to the left of the turnstiles and manager’s kiosk. Go out that door instead of taking the escalator up to Union Station and straight across the street is the visitor’s entrance to BLS.

Registrants are responsible for parking fees. Traveling by metro is preferred. Parking is available in a number of commercial parking lots within a 1-4 block radius of BLS. Daily parking fees range from $14-20.

Union Station: Amtrak, MARC and VRE

DCA – Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (5.4 mi)

IAD – Dulles International Airport (28.7 mi)

BWI – Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (31.3 mi) 

The citation programs are built around the JPSM short courses. The JPSM Citation in Introductory Survey Methodology is designed to provide the working professional or interested student with state-of-the-art knowledge about current principles and practices for conducting complex surveys combined with practical skills of day-to-day utility. The JPSM Citation in Introductory Economic Measurement is designed for professional staff who need to know the principles and practices of economic measurement. Completion of either citation program involves taking a semester-length JPSM credit-bearing course and eight JPSM short courses, of which four are specified core courses. For information on the Certificate and Citation Programs visit the website at or call 301.314.7911.

Questions for this course should be directed to the JPSM Short Course, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan, 426 Thompson Street, Room 4006, Ann Arbor, MI 48104-2321, Phone: 800.937.9320, Fax: 734.764.8263, Email:

Short Courses:
Sponsor Affiliate List:

JPSM Home Page:

Tax Identification Number (University of Michigan): 38-6006309  

DUNS (University of Michigan): 073133571 


Primary Funding for JPSM is from the Interagency Council on Statistical Policy