Updated October 2014
The Council of Professional Associations on Federal Statistics (COPAFS) is devoted to educational activities and to preserving the public good represented by federal statistical collections.
Since 1980, COPAFS has provided an open dialog between those who use federal statistics in professional contexts and the Federal statistical agencies that produce those statistics for the public good. Supporting organizations include professional associations, businesses, research institutes, and others that help to produce and/or use federal statistics. COPAFS’ goal is to link organizations and the public to a thriving statistical system.
COPAFS' objectives are to:
- Increase the level and scope of knowledge about developments affecting Federal statistics
- Encourage discussion within and among professional organizations to respond to important issues in Federal statistics and bring the views of professional associations to bear on decisions affecting Federal statistical programs.
In support of these objectives, COPAFS:
- Obtains information on developments in statistics through discussions with officials, attendance at congressional hearings and meetings of statistical advisory committees, and exchanges of documents
- Disseminates information and encourages discussion and action on developments in federal statistics through correspondence and presentations at Council and professional association meetings
- Plans and presents educational programs on uses of statistics in policy formulation, public and private decision-making, research, the distribution of products, and the allocation of resources.
- Professional associations and other organizations obtain and share information about developments affecting federal statistical programs
- Federal agencies to disseminate information on developments of interest to the professional community and to obtain advice about professional societies’ concerns and priorities
- Congressional offices to clarify issues and questions about the federal statistical system, to plan hearings related to federal statistical programs, and to identify experts to testify
- The public to learn more about the federal statistical agencies, to communicate views of data users concerning Federal statistical activities, and to obtain a better understanding of how policy and budget are likely to affect the availability of federal statistics.
Member associations and affiliates appoint representatives to serve on the Council and to attend its quarterly meetings in Washington, DC. The representitives are responsible for establishing COPAFS' priorities and guiding its activities. At each COPAFS meeting, members discuss significant cross-cutting issues, hear from statistical agencies and other producers and users of data, and make suggestions for further action.
The Board of Directors, comprised of elected officers and four at-large members, facilitates the work of COPAFS between meetings. The Executive Director is responsible for the day-to-day operations. Financial support for COPAFS' on-going programs comes from annual member dues.
For membership or other information, please get in touch with the Council's Executive Director, Katherine R. Smith.