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Thursday, June 20, 2024
HomeCommentaryLegislature CornerLegislature Corner: Plaskett Issues Statement on Government Addressing Territorial Data Gaps

Legislature Corner: Plaskett Issues Statement on Government Addressing Territorial Data Gaps

V.I. Delegate to Congress, Stacey Plaskett, addresses citizens’ concerns during her office’s virtual town hall on Tuesday. (Screenshot from virtual town hall meeting)

Upon the release of the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on federal data gaps: “U.S. Territories: Coordinated Federal Approach Needed to Better Address Data Gaps,” Congresswoman Stacey Plaskett issued the following statement:

“I would like to thank the Government Accountability Office for publishing this report on federal data gaps in U.S. territories. Federal agencies have a duty to provide a government-wide strategy and best practices for addressing gaps in data collection and the subsequent impacts. However, the U.S. territories including the Virgin Islands face significant data gaps mainly due to exclusion from federal statistical programs, with costs, geographic challenges and technical issues as contributing factors,” said the congresswoman.

“I co-sponsored the Territories Statistics Collection Equity Act, H.R. 1400, alongside Congressman Raúl Grijalva, ranking member of the House Natural Resources Committee, and our colleagues representing the U.S. territories, to require the implementation of a plan for federal agencies to collect and publish statistics regarding U.S. territories in the same manner as the 50 states,” said Plaskett.

“The GAO report recommends that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) develop a coordinated, government-wide strategy to involve the territories in federal statistical outputs and address these data gaps effectively.”

“Residents of the U.S. territories deserve the same access to federal programs and resources as every other American, but historic inequities across the board continue to leave them behind,” said Ranking Member Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.). “Addressing the gaps and deficiencies in data collection is only one step, but a meaningful one, in bringing equity and justice to the territories. I urge the agencies to heed GAO’s recommendations and work to put a government-wide strategy in place to improve data collection among the territories, and I encourage my colleagues to use this opportunity to advance the Territories Statistics Collection Equity Act now.”

Click here to read the full report.

https://www.gao.gov/products/gao-24-106574

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