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EEOC Signs Agreement with Census Bureau to Provide Secure Access to Agency Data for Qualified Researchers

September 22, 2023
Source: U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced today the signing of an interagency agreement with the U.S. Census Bureau to use the Census Bureau’s Federal Statistical Research Data Center (FSRDC) network to securely host EEOC data and provide data access to qualified researchers.

Through this agreement, researchers who complete a vetting process by the Census Bureau will be able to access and analyze EEOC data, including workforce demographic data and charge data, and link this information to data sources from other federal agencies.

“This collaboration marks a significant step forward in advancing data-driven research and analysis to promote equal employment opportunities for all Americans,” said EEOC Chair Charlotte A. Burrows. “Research using EEOC data will provide the agency and the public with a richer understanding of compliance with workplace civil rights laws.”

FSRDCs are partnerships between federal statistical agencies and leading research institutions that provide a secure environment to access restricted federal datasets while protecting data confidentiality. 

The Census FSRDC network provides a widely known and well-established method for researcher access and includes data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Social Security Administration, and the Internal Revenue Service.

Researchers who seek access to the FSRDC network must first obtain “Special Sworn Status” from the Census Bureau, a rigorous process designed to preserve data security and confidentiality and to confine access to researchers who are using the data to perform statistical research in connection with a specific project.  Researchers who are approved for Special Sworn Status take an oath of confidentiality and are sworn for life to protect the data pursuant to the Confidential Information Protection and Statistical Efficiency Act (CIPSEA), violation of which can result in imprisonment and monetary fines.

The agreement also advances the goals of the bipartisan Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act, which directed federal agencies to enhance evidence-building efforts, make greater use of existing data collections, and improve public access to data.

The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at eeoc.gov. Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.

News source: eeoc.gov/newsroom/eeoc-signs-agreement-census-bureau-provide-secure-access-agency-data-qualified-researchers

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