My Two Census

Formerly the non-partisan watchdog of the 2010 US Census, and currently an opinion blog that covers all things political, media, foreign policy, globalization, and culture…but sometimes returning to its census/demographics roots.

Recommendations from the Inspector General’s Office

A couple of weeks ago, we posted the Inspector General’s Quarterly Report to Congress on the 2010 Census. Here are some updated recommendations from Todd Zinser, the Inspector General of the Commerce Department, in a memo to Census Director Robert M. Groves:


Given the challenges involving PBOCS and the lack of time remaining in the schedule, Census should realign PBOCS development and testing, placing greater emphasis on minimizing the impact of the system’ s limitations during operations. We recommend that you ensure that the following actions are taken:

• senior executives with the authority to set priorities – s u c h as reallocating resources to where they are most needed, resolving conflicting priorities, and making major changes to the decennial schedule or plan – – closely monitor PBOCS activities and act to expeditiously reduce operational risk;

• streamline development and testing by further reducing PBOCS capabilities to the essentials needed for the most important enumeration operations;

• focus on developing standardized procedural workarounds for PBOCS capabilities that cannot be implemented to support operations; and

• enhance technical support staff and procedures to expeditiously resolve problems in the field.

To improve cost containment efforts for future operations, we also recommend that you ensure that Census Bureau management develops effective internal controls over wage, travel, and training costs and scrupulously follows these controls.

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