Performance Evaluation of the Federal Reserve G.17 (419) Statistical Release — June 2017

V. Security of Data and Release Procedures

The G.17 is a bundled component of the General Support System for the Divisions of Research and Statistics (R&S) and Monetary Affairs, which is continuously monitored for compliance with the Federal Information Security Management Act and the Federal Reserve Board's Information Security Program. In addition, the operations involved in producing the G.17 were reviewed by the Office of the Inspector General of the Federal Reserve Board in the summer of 2005. Once monthly IP processing has begun, internal access to the IP data files is limited to a pre-determined group of individuals within the Industrial Output Section. Individual user access of the division's systems requires a password which must be changed every 60 days.

V.A. Standard Security and Release Procedures

During the monthly IP process, interim reports may be provided to division officers, the Chair of the Federal Reserve, and a select few other members of the R&S division. Once IP is finalized, senior division staff members are briefed—usually the day prior to the publication day—and the Chair is provided with summary tables. All of these updates are treated as "Internal FR" within the Federal Reserve. The press release text and summary tables are provided to a member of the Economic Editing Section and to the Office of Public Affairs for review on the day prior to publication. Early afternoon on the day prior to the release day, encrypted tables are sent to the Council of Economic Advisers through (a secure governmentwide collaboration site); later that day, an encrypted copy of the release is sent to them through

Prior to August 2015, on the morning of the publication of IP, the Federal Reserve provided embargoed access to the release via a secure electronic system for credentialed reporters. As of August 2015, the Federal Reserve provides credentialed reporters embargoed access to the release in a secure facility where reporters are prevented from transmitting information prior to the release time.

Measures are in place to ensure information is protected until its official release time. A limited number of staff directly involved in preparing the release for publication have access prior to its release. Reporters that receive embargoed access are physically sequestered and have no access to the Internet or telephones prior to the release time. In the event information were inadvertently released prior to the scheduled publication time, the Federal Reserve has a procedure where the release would be published on its website as soon as possible.

V.B. Off-Schedule Releases

Since the 2014 OMB report, information from the G.17 release was disseminated to the public in advance of its scheduled publication time on one occasion. In September 2016, there was an inadvertent 3-second opening of the firewall that prevents members of the press (who receive embargoed access to press releases) from prematurely uploading stories to their news agencies. This short-lived opening resulted in a pre-release publication by one news agency of a G.17-related story.

The information from the G.17 release was disseminated later than its scheduled publication time twice since the 2014 OMB report: (1) In March 2016, some of the text data files that are typically released along with the regular files were not posted to the Federal Reserve's website in a timely manner. Data users brought this to the Federal Reserve's attention and the text data files were posted shortly thereafter. (2) In March 2017, the annual revision press release and some data files were published about an hour after the official publication time; the remaining data files were published on a rolling basis up for up to another hour. Miscommunication among staff members on a few publication-related matters was the primary reason for the delayed release.

There was one occasion when information from the G.17 release needed to be corrected. In the initial G.17 publication issued in May 2016, a programming error resulted in an incorrect display of unit truck assemblies and unit motor vehicle assemblies in table 3. A data user alerted the Federal Reserve to this error, and a corrected version of the table was subsequently published along with an RSS feed informing other data users of the correction.

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Last Update: June 30, 2017