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Implementation Guidance

Initial Proposal 5: Guidance is necessary to implement SPD 15 revisions on Federal information collections.

The Working Group proposes that SPD 15 and its related documents be placed online in a central location and include implementation guidance on:

  • The dates agencies must meet as they incorporate revisions to information collections,

  • Statistical methods to connect data produced from previous and revised collection formats (e.g., bridging between data collected via two questions without MENA and data collected via one question with MENA),

  • Procedures for collecting, processing, and reporting detailed racial and ethnic categories,

  • Approaches for collecting race and ethnicity information when self-identification is not possible, i.e., data collected by a proxy or observation and/or by entities outside of SPD 15’s purview (e.g., State or local governments, hospitals, or schools),

  • Approaches for reporting data for respondents who select more than one race or ethnicity. Specifically, guidance is needed on how to balance providing detailed information, for example by including all possible combinations of multiple responses, and providing a single category when needed (e.g., “multiracial”),

  • Guidance on obtaining approval under the Paperwork Reduction Act to revise existing race and ethnicity data collections, and
  • Best practices for agencies to rely on when communicating SPD 15 revisions to stakeholders.


It is a large undertaking for agencies to implement changes to censuses, surveys, and administrative forms that collect race and ethnicity data. Agencies need guidance to implement any potential SPD 15 revisions like those included in the Working Group’s initial proposals.

Page Last Revised - May 10, 2023