(a) Purposes.—The purposes of this section are the following:
To reduce the paperwork burdens imposed on businesses that provide requested information to the Federal Government.
To improve the comparability and accuracy of Federal economic statistics by allowing the Bureau of the Census, the Bureau of Economic Analysis, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics to update sample frames, develop consistent classifications of establishments and companies into industries, improve coverage, and reconcile significant differences in data produced by the three agencies.
To increase understanding of the United States economy, especially for key industry and regional statistics, to develop more accurate measures of the impact of technology on productivity growth, and to enhance the reliability of the Nation’s most important economic indicators, such as the National Income and Product Accounts.
(b) Responsibilities of Designated Statistical Agencies.—The head of each of the Designated Statistical Agencies shall—
identify opportunities to eliminate duplication and otherwise reduce reporting burden and cost imposed on the public in providing information for statistical purposes;
enter into joint statistical projects to improve the quality and reduce the cost of statistical programs; and
(3) protect the confidentiality of individually identifiable information acquired for statistical purposes by adhering to safeguard principles, including—
training their officers, employees, and agents in their legal obligations to protect the confidentiality of individually identifiable information and in the procedures that must be followed to provide access to such information;
implementing appropriate measures to assure the physical and electronic security of confidential data;
establishing a system of records that identifies individuals accessing confidential data and the project for which the data were required; and
(c) Sharing of Business Data Among Designated Statistical Agencies.—
(1) In general.—A Designated Statistical Agency may provide business data in an identifiable form to another Designated Statistical Agency under the terms of a written agreement among the agencies sharing the business data that specifies—
the business data to be shared;
appropriate security procedures to safeguard the confidentiality of the business data.
(2) Responsibilities of agencies under other laws.—
The provision of business data by an agency to a Designated Statistical Agency under this section shall in no way alter the responsibility of the agency providing the data under other statutes (including sections 552 and 552b of title 5) with respect to the provision or withholding of such information by the agency providing the data.
(3) Responsibilities of officers, employees, and agents.—Examination of business data in identifiable form shall be limited to the officers, employees, and agents authorized to examine the individual reports in accordance with written agreements pursuant to this section. Officers, employees, and agents of a Designated Statistical Agency who receive data pursuant to this section shall be subject to all provisions of law, including penalties, that relate—
Whenever a written agreement concerns data that respondents were required by law to report and the respondents were not informed that the data could be shared among the Designated Statistical Agencies, for exclusively statistical purposes, the terms of such agreement shall be described in a public notice issued by the agency that intends to provide the data. Such notice shall allow a minimum of 60 days for public comment.
(d) Limitations on Use of Business Data Provided by Designated Statistical Agencies.—
(1) General use.—
(e) Designated Statistical Agency Defined.—In this section, the term “Designated Statistical Agency” means each of the following: