The Office of the Chief Counsel for Economic Affairs (OCCEA) provides legal advice to the Economics and Statistics Administration (ESA) and supports ESA’s efforts to maintain the highest possible quality Federal statistical system, communicate a vision of the key forces at work in the economy and the opportunities these forces create for improving the well-being of all Americans, and support the information and analytical needs of the Department and the Executive Branch. OCCEA also advises and counsels ESA’s primary operating units - the Bureau of Economic Analysis and the Bureau of the Census - as these bureaus gather statistics, ensure confidentiality, and produce accurate and timely reports on economic and social change for the benefit of the United States public, business, and all levels of government.
The Office of the Chief Counsel for Economic Affairs is responsible for interpreting the laws, regulations, orders and directives governing:
- The collection, use, and publication of social and economic data, including data on national accounts, domestic trade, manufacturing, currency, banking, international economics and trade, and exporting from and importing into the United States.
- The collection and reporting of information on foreign direct
investment in the U.S. and U.S. direct investment overseas.
- The gathering and distribution of statistical information.
- The dissemination, through STAT-USA’s subscription-based automated
system, of vital economic, business, and international trade information produced by the U.S. Government.
OCCEA teams with the Department of Justice and the various Offices of U.S. Attorneys when key legal challenges arise, particularly litigation over the programs and plans associated with each decennial census. OCCEA also works closely with the Office of Management and Budget and agencies in the Federal Statistical System on administrative initiatives and cross-cutting plans to improve statistical measures.