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.

Updates on Robert M. Groves

First, inside sources revealed to MyTwoCensus that the May 6 Senate confirmation hearing for President Obama’s Census director nominee Dr. Robert M. Groves has been pushed back to May 12.

Second, Federal News Radio has provided some interesting commentary about the possibility of the Census director serving for a fixed term:

Senate lawmakers are considering giving the Census director a fixed term appointment.

Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) says there is a pretty good chance the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee will push for something similar to how the IRS commissioner works.

The IRS commissioner receives a five-year appointment in order to remain in place beyond one administration. The term would also be similar to those of other agency leaders: from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.

Carper made these comments yesterday during his subcommittee’s hearing on federal technology management. He says one of the reasons agency information technology projects have trouble is a lack of sustained leadership.

“The way we bring people in leadership positions for a relatively short period of time, a year or two and they are gone, and we have vacancies for sometimes extended periods of time feeds the lack of oversight and supervision, and maybe leads to change orders,” Carper said. “This idea of having literally on the eve of the Census for us to stop and start over again drives or contributes to this problem.”

A Hill staff member, who requested anonymity because the committee still is drafting the bill, says the idea of a fixed term appointment has been supported by many of the former Census directors.

“We are still getting feedback from Census experts and members of the statistical community so at this time no date has been set to introduce the legislation,” the staff member says.

President Obama on April 2 nominated Robert Groves to be the next Census director. The White House has not yet sent the nomination to the Senate yet to begin the confirmation process.

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