What are the responsibilities and authority of the Bureau of Economic Analysis?
The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) is an agency of the Department of Commerce and is a part of the Department’s Economics and Statistics Administration. Given the nature of the name of this agency the mission of it is to promote a better understanding of the U.S. economy by providing the most timely, relevant, and accurate economic amounts data in an objective and cost effective manner. This is important in that any data related to the economic environment of the U.S. economy must be accurate and it must be timely otherwise the data may not have any bearing on the reality of the times.
Along with the mission of this agency the vision is to be the world’s most respected producer of economic amounts. To accomplish the vision and mission it has five basic core values. While we have seen these values in other areas of the government how they relate to the mission of this agency is important. The five core values are: integrity, quality, excellence, responsiveness and innovation.
With regards to the value of integrity this agency strives to maintain its sterling reputation and its statistics. The core value of quality involves producing timely, relevant and accurate statistics. Any data generated within the government must be timely, relevant and accurate as to be otherwise affects decisions based on the information being provided.
Excellence is a great core value to have and with it also comes the need to recognize and reward employee contributions who foster staff excellence. The responsiveness aspect of the core values involves providing customers with the programs and services they need. The last core value involves innovation. Innovation is a key element which needs to be an inherent quality of not only government departments and agencies but private industry as well.
Innovation is a concept our country is familiar as innovation involves the creation of products or services to satisfy a need. Sometimes problems or needs are satisfied by the innovative efforts of sometimes unknown individuals. Examples involve Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Edison.
The economic accounts that are maintained by this agency involve not only national but international, regional and industry along with integrated accounts. One of the accounts about which we hear a lot in the news is the gross domestic product (GDP). An example of international accounts is balance of payments. Regional economic accounts involve such data as GDP by state and metropolitan areas. Economic accounts related to industry also involve the GDP by industry.
I have touched on only a sample of the activities and responsibilities of this agency under the Department of Commerce. As you can see this agency and the data that it maintains is broad and has an impact on every individuals in this country. The commitment identified in the mission, vision and the core values are important especially when it involves economic data. Economic data in today’s economy must be accurate and reliable as it will have an impact on decisions made not only by government agencies and departments but also the general public.