Information products disseminated by RRB will be based on reliable, accurate data that have been validated. Much of the information disseminated by RRB is based on Railroad Retirement administrative data files. Those files contain information used to manage RRB programs, including data to determine benefit entitlement, and to compute and pay benefits. RRB conducts ongoing quality assurance reviews of claims and postentitlement information in its data systems to ensure their accuracy. RRB administrative data are also covered under RRB's financial management systems and conform to their high standards of financial accountability. Those systems are mandated by the Office of Management and Budget and are designed to provide complete, reliable, consistent, timely, and useful management information to enable agencies to carry out their fiduciary responsibilities. In addition, RRB information products employ reliable data from external sources; in particular, administrative data and survey data from other federal agencies as well as survey data from established survey organizations.
Surveys sponsored by RRB will be conducted using methodologies that are consistent with generally accepted professional standards for all aspects of survey design and implementation. RRB employs and documents accepted professional standards and practices for all major survey activities, including sample frame development, sample design, questionnaire design and testing, data collection, analysis of sampling and coverage errors, nonresponse analysis, imputation of missing data, weighting, and variance estimation. RRB surveys follow guidelines and policies set forth in the Paperwork Reduction Act and other regulations related to the conduct of government surveys. PRA submissions for RRB statistical surveys shall state that the survey will be conducted using methodologies that are consistent with generally accepted professional standards for all aspects of survey design and implementation and that survey data quality will conform to RRB section 515 information quality standards.
All data employed in the preparation of information products will be compiled using statistically sound procedures implemented by qualified professional staff. When analysis requires using samples from administrative data files, RRB employs statistically acceptable methods to design and select the samples. Data samples are designed and compiled by staff knowledgeable about the content, structure, and limitations of the administrative data files employed. In addition, those staff members maintain working relations with agency personnel who create, update, and maintain those files to ensure that their understanding of files is current and complete. When information products require administrative files linked to external data sources, RRB employs sound procedures for extracting and linking data from external sources based on a thorough understanding of the relevant components of the data sources.