OMB Issues New Evidence-Based Policymaking Guidance
On June 30, the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued new guidance related to the implementation of the 2018 Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act (“Evidence Act”) (see previous coverage). The guidance (memorandum M-21-27)—the first Evidence Act guidance released under the Biden Administration—affirms the Administration’s commitment to the goals of the Evidence Act and expands on previously released guidance related to Learning Agendas and Annual Evaluation Plans. It also more explicitly connects agency activities under the Evidence Act to the White House’s January 27 Memorandum on Restoring Trust in Government Through Scientific Integrity and Evidence-Based Policymaking (see previous coverage and related article). The guidance reasserts the principle that evaluation and evidence-building should be integrated into the everyday work of federal agencies: “OMB strongly believes that implementing the Evidence Act is not a compliance exercise […]. Agencies should not simply produce the required documents and then turn their attention elsewhere; success requires that agencies develop processes and practices that establish habitual and routine reliance on evidence across agency functions and demand new or better evidence when it is needed.” More details are available in the memorandum.