Recommendation 4.9: The falling response rates of NCVS are likely to continue, with attendant increasing field costs to avoid their decline. BJS should sponsor nonresponse bias studies, following current OMB guidelines, to guide trade-off decisions among costs, response rates, and nonresponse error.

Recommendation 5.1: BJS should establish a scientific advisory board for the agency’s programs; a particular focus should be on maintaining and enhancing the utility of the NCVS.

Recommendation 5.2: BJS should perform additional and advanced analysis of NCVS data. To do so, BJS should expand its capacity in the number and training of personnel and the ability to let contracts.

Recommendation 5.3: BJS should undertake research to continuously evaluate and improve the quality of NCVS estimates.

Recommendation 5.4: BJS should continue to improve the availability of NCVS data and estimates in ways that facilitate user access.

Recommendation 5.5: The Census Bureau and BJS should ensure that geographically identified NCVS data are available to qualified researchers through the Census Bureau’s research data centers, in a manner that ensures proper privacy protection.

Recommendation 5.6: The Statistical Policy Office of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget is uniquely positioned to identify instances in which statistical agencies have been unable to perform basic sample or survey maintenance functions. For example, BJS was unable to update the NCVS household sample to reflect population and household shifts identified in the 2000 census until 2007. The Statistical Policy Office should note such breakdowns in basic survey maintenance functions in its annual report Statistical Programs of the United States Government.

Recommendation 5.7: Because BJS is currently receiving inadequate information about the costs of the NCVS, the Census Bureau should establish a data-based, data-driven survey cost and information system.

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