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Letter on Duplication in Statistical Reports.

May 16, 1938

My dear Mr. Chairman:

I am concerned over the large number of statistical reports which Federal agencies are requiring from business and industry. In view of comments that come into this office, I desire to know the extent of such reports and how far there is duplication among them. Accordingly, I am requesting the Central Statistical Board, under the authority of Section 1 of the Act creating the Board, to report to me on the statistical work of the Federal agencies, with recommendations looking toward consolidations and changes which are consistent with efficiency and economy, both to the government and to private industry.

Specifically, I am interested in the approximate number of financial and other statistical reports and returns regularly required from business and industry and from private individuals by agencies of the Federal government under existing law, and the authority under which each is collected; specific indications of the extent and kinds of duplication existing among them, and the diversity of accounts and records which they necessitate. I assume that exhibits of the questionnaires and report forms are already available in large part in the Board's files, and I am sure that all of the Federal agencies will cooperate in providing any additional information that is relevant.

With a view to reducing the amount of duplication in statistical reports, will you indicate the principal points at which the enactment of legislation by the Congress appears to be necessary in order to effect consolidations or changes, with the recommendations of the Board regarding them?

I should like to have the complete report of the Board by January 1, 1939.

Very sincerely,

Honorable Stuart A. Rice,

Chairman, Central Statistical Board,

Washington, D. C.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, Letter on Duplication in Statistical Reports. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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