oversight

Analysis of 1990 Census Operations

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1990-07-13.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

                     United States General Accounting Of!fice      /y/     7 7 $I
                     Testimony


                                                                         141774

For Release          Analysis of 1990 Census Operations        '
on Delivery
Expected at
10:00 a.m. EM:
Friday,
July 13, 1990




                     Statement of
                     L. Nye Stevens, Director,
                     Government Business Operations       Issues
                     General Governrrrtnt Division
                     Before the
                     Cettee     on Governmental Affairs
                     United States Senate




                 .

GAO/T-G?&90-55
                                             I41774
                                                                           GAO Form 160 (12/87)
                       ANALYSIS OF 1990 CENSUS OPERATIONS
                             SUMMARY OF STATEMENT OF
                                  L. NYE STEVENS
                          DIRECTOR, GOVERNMENT BUSINESS
                                OPERATIONS ISSUES
The Census Bureau has been facing                   difficult        challenges     in
completing       the 1990 census.         A lower than expected                census
questionnaire        mail response rate,            recruiting         and staffing
difficulties,         and funding     shortfalls          have hindered        the 1990
census and contributed            to delays       in early operations,
particularly        the nonresponse       follow-up           operation,      which seeks   to
obtain      completed    questionnaires         from households            that did not
mail back their         census questionnaire.
The Bureau has taken actions              to address these problems                and.
appears to have generally           put the census back on schedule.                    It
also has corrected       early    difficulties            with the completeness         and
accuracy    of its management information                  system for the nonresponse
follow-up    operation,     and it has taken several                 actions     to address
its staff    shortages--    including         increasing       pay rates     for
enumerators     and other field         staff      in 31 percent        of its district
offices,    which were experiencing              staffing      shortages.
However, despite     recent   progress,     much remains to be done before
the census is complete.          Important   coverage      improvement
operations    that will   significantly      affect     the quality    of census
data are either    just beginning        or will    begin in late summer.        GAO
believes   that the quality       of census data is heavily         dependent    on
how well the Bureau carries          out remaining      census operations.
Field    interviewing        for the post enumeration            survey      (PES), which
is a matching         study of household-,s to determine              if each person was
counted correctly          or missed in the census,            is now underway in
most of the Bureau's            449 district     offices.        The PES will        play a
major role in the Secretary               of Commerce's decision            on whether     to
adjust     census counts.          Under a court-approved           stipulation        and
order,     adjusted      counts must be published           by July 15, 1991, if the
Secretary      determines       that adjustment       is warranted.           GAO believes
that PES schedule          compressions      already      made, coupled         with changes
in basic 1990 census procedures,                could impair        the quality        of both
the census and the PES. GAO urges the Bureau and other
interested       parties     to carefully     consider      the implications           of
future     operational       and schedule     changes--in        order to maintain         an
appropriate       balance      between time allowed         to complete         operations
and the quality          of data produced.
GAO believes     that the 1990 census experience         demonstrates  the
needs for fundamental    rethinking      of how the 2000 and future
censuses should be taken.          GAO urges Congress to maintain      a
strong    and continuing   interest    in early   planning    for the 20C0
decennial    census.
Mr.        Chairman          and Members of                the     Committee:


We welcome             this       opportunity              to contribute                to your           oversight              of
the        1990 Decennial             Census        and planning                 for         future       censuses.               We
have        been monitoring                the     1990 census             since             the      mid-1980s          at      the
request         of     this       Committee         and the           House oversight                     Subcommittee.
A complete             listing        of    GAO reports               and testimonies                     on census
activities             since       1984 is         attached           to my statement.


The Census             Bureau       has been          facing          some difficult                    challenges               in
completing             the      1990 census,             including
es          adapting          to a reduced            level          of   public         cooperation,
--         dealing        with      recruiting             and       staffing           shortages,
-a          funding       the      census,        and
--          improving            the quality          of     the      census       data.


A lower         than      expected          census         questionnaire                 mail          response          rate,
recruiting             and staffing              difficulties,               and funding                  shortfalls              have
hindered         the      1990 census             and contributed                      to delays              in     early
operations.               I am pleased              to      report        that         the     Bureau          has taken
actions         to address            these       problems            and appears                  to have           generally
put    the      census         back    on schedule.                   However,           despite              this     progress,
it    is     important            to keep        in mind          that     the     census              is not         over.
Much remains              to be done             in the          months      ahead.                Critical           ongoing
census        operations            must be completed                     and others                begun.            The
    4
ultimate          success           of    the      census --as             measured                 by the          quality          of
census        data --hinges               on how well                 these       operations                 are       executed.


Reduced         Public        Cooperation


For     the     1990 census               the      Bureau        asked           about         95 percent                of       the
Nation's          estimated              106 million             households                   to mail           back        their
census        forms --the            other         5 percent              were      asked            to hold           their
questionnaires                for        pick-up          by census              enumerators.                       An indicator
of public          cooperation               is     the       mail        response             rate--which                  compares
the     number         of    questionnaires                   mdiled          back        to        the     total        sent        out.
The 1990 mail                response           rate       was 63 percent--l2                              percentage              points
lower      than        the    75 percent               rate      achieved                in    1980.            On the            basis      of
its     experience            with        decennial            census            field         tests         and other
surveys,          the       Bureau        expected            and budgeted                    for         a 70 percent
response          rate       in     1990.          The lower              than      expected                response              rate
increased          the       Bureau's           questionnaire                    nonresponse                 follow-up
workload,          significantly                   increasing              staffing                 requirements                  and
census        costs,         which        I will        discuss            in more detail                       later.


There      has been considerable                          speculation                    in the            media      and from
other      sources --including                      the       Bureau--           about         the         reasons          for      the
lower      than     expected              response            rate.           Some of               the     potential              reasons
discussed          include           a growing             reluctance               of        the      public          to      respond
to    questionnaires                 and surveys,                a perception                       that     the      census
questionnaire                is burdensome                and intrusive,                       a general               increase             in

                                                                      2
the       volume          of     third-class              mail          reducing           the         visibility                of       the
census       questionnaire,                       and the           language             barriers                 for     some segments
of    the      population.                     However,           definitive               data             is not        now
available,                and we urge               the       Bureau           to follow               through           with         a
recently           designed              study          to determine                  what motivated                      some people
to    return         census             questionnaires                   and others                   not        to do so.                We
believe         that            the     results          of     this         research            are        critical             to
planning           for         future          censuses,            and indeed                  for        government
information                collection              efforts              in     general.


We believe               that         early       mail        delivery           problems                  for      census
questionnaires                       may have           exacerbated              apparent                  public        apathy,
further         compounding                    the Bureau's                  challenge                of    securing             the
cooperation                of        an already           less          responsive               public.                The Bureau
attempted            to        resolve          these         initial           mail       delivery                 problems              by
expanding            its         telephone              assistance              efforts               and having                census
enumerators                deliver            about       1.8 million                  questionnaires                      returned             as
undeliverable                    by the         Postal         Service.                The Bureau                   is currently
assessing            the         reasons          for     questionnaire                   delivery                 problems.                   We

believe         that           the      results          of    this          review       will             also      have        important
implications                   for     developing              address           lists           for        future         censuses.


The Bureau             attempts               to stimulate                   public       cooperation                    and
responsiveness                       through       various              promotion           and outreach                     programs.
For    1990,         the         Bureau        estimates                that     it      will          spend         about        $82
million        for         these         programs.               This          represents                  about        2-l/2         times

                                                                         3
the     amount          spent         for        1980 census                  promotion           and outreach,                    as
measured           in constant                   dollars.              These         costs        do not          include           the
market       value         of        free        media         time      made available                   to the            Bureau
through           the     efforts            of     the     Advertising                   Council.


In September,                1989,           we reported                   that      there        were      delays           in
establishing               the Census                   Promotion              Office        and that           the     absence               of
an appointed               Census            Director            was hampering                    organization                of        the
promotion           campaign.                    We also         said,            however,         that        measuring                the
effectiveness                of       census            promotion              and outreach               is difficult                   to
separate           from      other           factors            that          influence           the     level        of public
cooperation.


Recruitinq              and Staff                Shortages


The decennial               census               requires            the       largest        short-term               mobilization
of    human resources                       in    peacetime              America.             Approximately                   400,000
temporary           census           workers             are     needed            for     the     1990 census,                   most        of
whom operate               out        of     449 district                     offices        blanketing               the     country.


As we reported                  to     this        Committee                  in May,        1989,        problems            in
attracting              and retaining                    a quality                workforce          historically                  have
plagued       decennial                census            operations.                     During      peak       operations                in
1980,       the     Bureau           was unable                 to     fill        30 percent             of    its     enumerator
positions           and suffered                   high        turnover             rates.           We also           said        that
staffing          difficulties                    for     the        Bureau's             1990 suburban                and rural                   .

                                                                         4
address         list       development                 operation,                known as prelist,                      which           began
in     1988,      foreshadowed                     continued          staffing           problems             for       the       1990
census.


We recommended                   that         the     Bureau      adopt           a geographic               pay scale                  to
improve         its       staffing             competitiveness.                      We also           recognized                 that
because         of      a diminished                  pool      of discretionary                  workers               and the
temporary             nature          of      census         employment,             pay alone              would          not        solve
the     Bureau's           staffing                problems.              Because       of     this         concern,              we
supported              legislation                 to expand          the        potential        labor             pool         by
enabling         federal              civilian              and military             retirees           to        accept
temporary             census          -jobs        without       reductions              in    their          retirement
benefits         or salaries.


In late         1989,           the     Bureau         implemented                a geographic               pay scale                  and,
with     the     support              of      this     Committee,                legislation            was enacted                     in
August         1989 to enable                      federal       annuitants             and military                    retirees
to work        on the            census            without       reductions              to    their         census           salary
or military               retired             pay.


In two reports                   on staffing                 and pay issues                  released             in    the       spring
of     1990,     we raised                 concerns           about        the      Bureau's          ability              to attract
sufficient              staff         in      1990 and said                that      because          the         Bureau          did
not     have     the opportunity                       to test            its     geographic            pay         rates         under
census-like              conditions,                  the     Bureau            may find       that         its        pay rates
are     not    competitive                    in     some areas.

                                                                      5
More       recently,              in     our May 21,                  1990,           testimony                 before          the        House
Subcommittee                 on Census               and Population                         on the             status         of     the
nonresponse             follow-up               operation,                    in which              the         Bureau          seeks           to
obtain        questionnaires                        from      households                    that         did     not       mail          back
their       questionnaires,                     we reported                     that         the         Bureau         had met 61
percent        of      its        1990 recruiting                        goals         and,         contrary               to      its
management             reports,               many district                     offices             were         understaffed.                         For
example,         in     late           May 1990,              at      the      height              of major             field            activity,
the     Bureau        had only                73 percent                 of     the         full-time              staff           needed
nationwide.                  Because           of     this         staff            shortage,               census          operations
were     delayed.


I am pleased                 to    report            that        since         the          May hearing                 the        Bureau             has
taken       several           actions           to address                    its      staff             shortages.                 On June             3,
the     Bureau        increased                enumerator                  and other                field          staff           pay      in        140,
or    about      31 percent,                   of     its        district              offices.                  Pay was raised
between        $.50          and $2.00              an hour --with                     the         highest          rate           being
$10.00        an hour             in    New York              City.            The Bureau                   also        expanded                its
supplemental                 pay program                for        field            staff          in district                  offices
nationwide          --making              enumerators                    eligible              to receive                  $1.50          for         each
census        case      they           complete.                 In addition,                      the      Bureau          moved
enumerators             to offices                  experiencing                     staff          shortages.                     These
actions,         coupled               with     correcting                    early          difficulties                   with          the
completeness                 and accuracy                   of     its        management                  information                    system
for       the    nonresponse              follow-up              operation,                    have        generally               put     the
census          back      on schedule.


Funding          the      Census


The costs            of      taking       the        census          have         risen         dramatically                      in     recent
decades.             To count           each         housing          unit          (in        constant             1980 dollars),
the       Bureau         spent        $5.04      in     1950 and $12.10                             in    1980.           In      1990,        the
cost       to count           each      housing          unit         will         increase                again,              rising      to
about       $16.96.                Per capita          costs          (in         constant                1980 dollars)                   more
than       tripled           between          1950 and 1980,                      rising             to    $4.72;              and we
estimate          per        capita      costs         could          rise         to about                $7.20          in      1990.


Overall,           the       Bureau      estimates               that        it      will            spend        about           $2.6
billion          to complete             the         1990 census.                    This            amount         is     a
significant               increase            over     the       $1.1        billion                 spent        for      the          1980
census          and $221 million                     spent      for         the      1970 census.                         In terms             of
constant           1980 dollars,                the      cost         of     the         1990 census                    will       have
increased            about          73 percent           over         the         cost         in        1980.


The Bureau             has had to adjust                       its        fiscal           year           1990 spending                   plans
to shift          resources             to accommodate                     unanticipated                         cost      increases.
For       example,           the     Bureau       decided             to     reduce             edit         follow-up
procedures             for     mail-back              short          form     questionnaires.                              Rather          than
do follow-up                 work     on the          entire          inventory                 of        short-form
quektionnaires,                    as originally                planned,                 the         Bureau        will          do follow-

                                                                      7
up work          on a lo-percent                  sample             of     these          questionnaires.                       This
could       affect         the       quality           of population                   characteristics                     data.          We
are       concerned           that        the    Bureau             decided           to    reduce          short-form
questionnaire                 follow-up           without             having           thoroughly                 studied         its
impact        on data           quality.


Funding          adjustments               for    1990 census                   operations                were      also         needed
this       spring.            The lower           than         expected               response            rate,          coupled
with       the    difficulty               of    attracting                 and retaini-ng                 a sufficient
temporary             workforce            and increased                    costs          for        some activities,
triggered             a Department               of Commerce request                              for     a dire          emergency
supplemental               appropriation,                 which             was enacted                  in May 1990.                   This
appropriation               provided             $110 million                   in new funding                     for     the
Bureau.           Additionally,                  the     act         included              a provision              that         is
intended          to     free        up for       these         census           operations                another           $70
million          originally               appropriated                for       projected                unemployment
benefits.


The Bureau              plans        to    use this         additional                     funding         for      several
purposes.               About        $70 million               is     to be used                  to cover          the
additional              costs        associated           with            the    lower            mail     response           rate        and
about       $14 million               to cover           the        costs        of        the        recent       pay
increases.               In addition,              the     Bureau               plans            to     use about          $60
million          to     reinstate           a program                to     recheck              housing         units      initially
reported          as vacant               or nonexistent--                   a coverage                  improvement
pr'bgram         that     added           1.7 million               persons            to the            count      in     1980.

                                                                      8
 Improving            Census          Data      Quality


 The final            and,         in our       opinion,          the     most          important            management
 challenge            is meeting               the     Bureau's          goal      of     improving               the        quality
 of    census      results, .  particularly                        the         census        count.           Taking            a

. complete        and accurate      decennial                      census           is    important               to     the
  Nation.         The 1990 census                      will     provide           the     basis        for
 reapportioning                    the      House of          Representatives;                   redrawing
 congressional,                    state,       and municipal                  legislative             district               lines;
 and will         be used             during          the     decade      for      allocating                billions               of
 dollars        of     federal              and state          funds      to political                 subdivisions.
 Census        data        also       provides           a basis         for      both       public          and private                     I
 decisionmaking                   on a wide            range      of policy              and commercial                   matters.


 In theory,            the        census        should         count      everyone            in      the     population,
 but      historically                the     census          has disproportionately                          undercounted
 certain        population                  groups,         especially           blacks.             Although                the     net
 national         undercount                 has declined              over       the     past       four         decades,
 according            to     the      Bureau's          estimates,              the.disproportionality                               of
 the      undercount              has not.             For     example,          while        the      net        national
 undercount            was estimated                   to have         declined           from        4.4     percent               to     1.4
 percent        between             1950 and 1980,                the     net      undercount                of    the        black
 population            was estimated                   to have         declined           from       9.6      percent               to     5.9
 percent,         and the             net     undercount           of     the      white           (and other             non-
 black)        population                was estimated             to have           declined           from           3.8     percent
 to*0.7       percent.

                                                                   9
Adjusting             census           counts            to compensate                    for         undercounts                 or
overcounts                has been            the        subject         of     considerable                           debate         since      the
1980 census.                      The Department                   of Commerce,                       in    accordance                 with      a
court-approved                       stipulation                and order,            agreed                that         if     the
Secretary             decides               to adjust            1990 census                    counts            it     would         publish
adjusted            counts            no later            than     July         15,        1991.


A major            tool         in    the     adjustment              process              is         the        post         enumeration
survey        (PES).                 In basic            terms,       a PES is                  a matching                    study      in
which        the      Bureau           interviews                a sample            of         households                    independent             of
the     census.              The persons                  enumerated             in        the         PES households                     are
matched        to census                 questionnaire                   records                to determine                    whether          each
person        was counted                    correctly            or missed                in the            census.


On January                30,        1990,      we testified                  before             the        House Subcommittee
on Census            and Population                       reporting            on the             results                of     our     review
of     the    1988 dress                 rehearsal               PES and our                concern                    about     whether             the
Bureau        can complete                    1990 PES and related                               activities                    at an
acceptable                level        of quality               by the         July             15,        1991,         deadline.


Primarily            on the            basis        of     our     review            of         the        1988 dress                 rehearsal
PES, we concluded                        that       it     was unlikely                    that            the         Bureau         would     be
able     to meet             the       July      15,       1991,         deadline,                despite                compressions                 of
1990 PES time                    schedules.                We said            that         schedule                compressions,
coupled        with         changes             that       have     been made in basic                                   1990 census
prbcedures,                could         impair           the     data        quality             of both                the     census          and

                                                                      10
 the    PES, and Bureau                    officials              also        believed              that         accelerated               time
schedules            posed         certain          risks.             We testified                   that        there         is    a
tradeoff            between          the     time        allowed             to complete                census           operations,
including            the      PES, and the                 quality            of     the      da.ta produced.                        We
urged        that         future      changes            in planned                 operations               or     time
schedules            be carefully                 considered                 in     light       of      the       potential               risk
to both         PES and census                    data         quality.


Meeting         the        court-approved                  July        15,        1991,       deadline              has presented
a significant                 challenge             to the            Bureau         and has           influenced                 many of
its     operational                decisions             for      both        the      census          and the             PES.           For
example,            the     Bureau         has compressed                     some of           its         scheduled
operations,                such      as the         time        needed            to match            the        PES sample               to
census        records.               The Bureau                also        accelerated                its        PES interview
schedule            to begin          in     late      June           1990,         rather          than         late      July       as
originally            planned.               Starting             PES interviewing                          a month         earlier
presented            the      possibility              of       overlapping                  with      nonresponse                   follow-
up,     a major            census      data         collection                operation.                    .We were        concerned
that     this        overlap          could         compromise                the     quality               of    the      data       needed
for     possible            adjustment              decisions               and confuse                respondents.                       The
Bureau        decided          not     to start                PES interviewing                       in district                 offices
until      nonresponse                workload             was generally                    completed.


Another,            and related,              example             involves             the     nonresponse                  follow-up
operation.                Because          less      than         2 percent             of district                     offices
completed            nonresponse              follow-up               by the          scheduled                  June      6,     1990,

                                                                      11
.


    completion                date,          the     Bureau           took         a series             of     actions--including
    raising            enumerator              pay,         which         I discussed                   earlier--to                expedite
    nonresponse                 follow-up             operations                   and avoid             significant                 delays               in
    the      PES.            Because          of     these          actions,               about        335 of        the         district
    offices            were         able      to complete                 nonresponse                   follow-up                by the        end of
    June,        1990,         within          3 weeks              of    schedule               and an improvement                          over
    the      1980 experience.                         However,               despite             these         efforts,            about            40
    offices            will         start      PES interviewing                            2 or more weeks behind                              the
    current            schedule.               Recognizing                   the         tight         time     schedule             and the
    scope       and complexity                     of       the       PES, we still                     believe           that       it      will          be
    very      difficult                for     the      Bureau            to complete                   the     PES, including
    planned            evaluations,                by the             July         15,         1991,     deadline.


    Regardless                of whether              the          Bureau          accomplishes                 its       work       by the
    July       15,      1991,          deadline,              it      should             still         complete           the      PES process
    and do the                planned          evaluations.                        The PES and related                            evaluations
    are      vitally           important              for          providing              users         with      information                 on the
    quality            of     the      1990 census                  counts          and for             planning            for      future
    censuses.


    While       nonresponse                  follow-up                is winding                 down in most                parts           of      the
    country            and PES interviewing                              is getting                underway,              the      census            is
    far      from       over.           Other         important               coverage                 improvement                operations
    that      will          significantly                   affect           the     quality             of     census            data- are
    either          just       beginning             or will              begin           in     late        summer.              They
    include            (1)     the      "Were        You Counted                    Program,'*               which        will       allow

                                                                             12
 those         people        who believe                  they         or members of              their             households          have
 been missed                in    the        census        to     fill          out     and mail          in        a form
 published            in        a local         newspaper                or obtained             at various                locations;
 (2)     the     recheck              of housing            units              originally         classified                as being
 vacant         or nonexistent;                     and         (3)      the      post-census             local          review
 program,            which        affords           almost             40,000          local     governments                the
opportunity                 to    review           housing            and population               counts             before         they
 become final.


We again             urge        the    Bureau            and other               interested         parties               to
,carefully            consider               the    implications                      of operational                 decisions          that
will       be faced              in    the      months           ahead --particularly                      should           time
constraints                become even more                       severe,              as we expect             they        will.           A
critical             body        of both           census         and PES work                  remains         to be done,                 and
every        effort          must       be made to maintain                             an appropriate                   balance
between          time        and quality.                   First             and foremost,            the           Bureau         must
strive          to    take        as complete               and accurate                    a census           as possible.
The quality                of     census           data     and PES result,s,will                          depend,              in part,
on how well                the        Bureau        carries              out      remaining        census             operations.


FUTURE PLANNING


Before         closing,               I would        like         to      take         a few moments                to    reflect          on
the      future.             As we pointed                  out          in     our     Department             of     Commerce
transition              report,           the       Bureau's              past         census     planning               efforts
generally             started           late;        experienced                   delays;        were         incomplete;              and,

                                                                         13
perhaps         most         importantly,                  generally                 failed           to     seriously                explore
innovative             approaches.                  We believe                  that          the      Bureau          will           need to
complete         its         plans         for     the         2000 census                  early           in   the       decade,
especially             if      a full            range         of methodological                           changes              and other
promising           avenues             of       reform         are     given           the         serious          level            of
examination                 and testing                 that     will         be needed                to change                 the       census
approach.


We believe             that         the      experiences                of      1990 have                  clearly              shown that            a
fundamental                 rethinking             of      how we take                  the         2000 and future
censuses         must be a top                     priority             for         both        the        Bureau       and Congress
in   the     next           several          years.             A repetition                    of     the       1980 experience
must       be avoided               where,         after         the     census               was completed,                      we believe
general         interest              in     the    census            waned.                This,          in part,              is
understandable                  in view            of how far                 apart           decennial              censuses                are.


To the       Bureau's               credit,         a 21st            Century               staff          was established                      in
1988 to begin                 the      planning                process          for         2000.            The Census
Director         also         has said             that         planning              for       the        future          is one of                her
major       objectives.                    While         we applaud                 these           early        efforts              and
commitments,                 we believe             that         they         will          only       succeed             if     there         is
sufficient             funding             and a strong,                 continuing                    interest                 and
commitment             by Congress                 to fully             explore               all      reasonable
possibilities                 for      reform            and hold             the      Bureau              accountable                 for
results.



                                                                        14
We believe             that     there         are many opportunities                                 for      change.                For
example,         the      Bureau        needs          to pursue                  efforts           to     simplify            its
address        list      development                  process                and make greater                    use of         the
Postal       Service          for      its      data          collection                 efforts.               In addition,                 for
a number         of     years         we have          advocated                  using       a streamlined
questionnaire.                  We believe               that           shortened             census         questionnaires
                                                                                                                  .
will       improve        response            rates           and reduce                 staffing           and overall
census       costs.           For      example,               in    1990,          the      long         form     response              rate
was 8 percentage                    points        lower            than        the       short       form        response             rate
in hard       to enumerate                   areas.


Streamlining              the       census       questionnaire                       also        raises         broader
questions         about         the     Nation's               overall             information               needs          and the
adequacy,         timeliness,                 and utility                    of    our      current          collection
methods.          While         the     decennial                  census          is but           one source            of
information             collection,              it      is        by far          the      largest.              This      Committee
has been         considering                 similar           questions              in developing                   the
"Federal         Information                 Resources              Management               Act."


Finally,         I would            suggest           that         increased              use of modern                  statistical
methods       should          be explored                and tested.                      The Bureau              already             makes
use of       statistical              procedures                   to    impute           missing           data.         We
believe       as statistical                   methods              are       developed              and refined,                    they
afford       a potential              alternative                   to       improving              census        data      quality
at     a lower        cost.
       *


                                                                        15
This   concludes   my prepared   statement,      Mr.   Chairman.     My
colleagues    and I would   be pleased     to   respond    to questions.




                                      16
ATTACHMENT I                                                                  ATTACHMENT I
                            GAO Reports on the 1990
                                Decennial Census

Decennial Census:       Issues Related         to Questionnaire            Development
(GAO/GGD-86-74BR,      May 5, 1986).
Decennial  Census:   Status of Plans to Computerize                       Questionnaire
Data  (GAO/GGD-86-76BR, May 5, 1986).
Decennial  Census:    Pretests  Could          Be Used More Effectively                   in
Census Planning    (GAO/GGD-87-24BR,           Jan. 8, 1987).
Decennial  Census:      Local Government            Uses of   Housing       Data
(GAO/GGD-87-56BR,      Apr. 1987).
Decennial     Census:   A Comparison of the 1980 and 1990 Census
Questionnaire     Contents  (GAO/GGD-87-76FS, May 1987).
Decennial  Census:      Automation      of    the    Geographic      Support         System
(GAO/GGD-87-75BR,      May 1987).
Decennial    Census:   1980 Post Census Day Coverage                  Improvement
Programs    (GAO/GGD-87-98FS,   July 1987).
Decennial  Census:      Coverage Evaluation            and Adjustment             Activities
(GAO/GGD-87-99FS,      July 1987).
Decennial   Census:     Minicomputer Procurement Delays and Bid
Protests:    Effects    on the 1990 Census (GAO/GGD-88-70, June                           1988).
1990 Census:     Overview     of    Key Issues       (GAO/GGD-89-77BR,
July 1989).
1990 Census:   Delays in Completing     the Address                List     for      Suburban
and Rural Areas (GAO/GGD-89-74,     July 1989).
1990 Census:    Comparison         of Coverage       Improvement      Programs          for
1980-1990   (GAO/GGD-90-8,         Nov. 1989).
1990 Census:    Change      in Minicomputer         Acquisition       Strategy
(GAO/GGD-90-10,   Dec.      1989).
1990 Census:  Enhanced        Oversight  Should         Strengthen        Recruitment
Proqram (GAO/GGD-90-65,        Apr. 1990).
1990 Census:     Costs Are Uncertain   Because             Wage Rates        May Be
Uncompetitive    (GAO/GGD-90-78,   May 1990).
   *




                                        17
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              ATTACHMENT II                                                                      ATTACHMENT II
                                             Testim onies on the
                                           1990 Decennial   Census

              Bureau   of the Census Planned           1985    Pretest        for     the    1990 Decennial
              Census   (June 26, 1984).
              The Census Bureau's  Activities,   Particularly                       on the       1990
              Decennial  Census (Apr. 18, 1985).
              The Census Bureau's       Preparations          for    the     1990 Decennial             Census
              (July 25, 1985).
              The Census Bureau's       1984 Address          List    Com pilation           Test
              (Mar. 13, 1986):
              Questionnaire     and Data    Capture      (May 15,          1986).
              Status   of Census Bureau      Plans and Preparations                    for    the      1990
              Census   (GAO/T-GGD-87-6,      M ar. 12, 1987).
              Status  of the 1990 Decennial Census
              (GAO/T-GGD-88-42,  June 17, 1988).
              Status  of the 1990 Decennial         Census
              (GAO/T-GGD-88-53,  Sept. 27,         1988).
              Status  of Plans for the 1990 Decennial                  Census:           An Update
              (GAO/T-GGD-89-15,   M ar. 23, 1989).
              Status  of Plans for the 1990 Decennial                  Census
              (GAO/T-GGD-89-20,   M ay 5, 1989).
              Expanding  the Decennial    Census Applicant                  Pool
              (GAO/T-GGD-89-22,   M ay 23, 1989).
              Status  of 1990 Census Prom otion  and Outreach                       Activities
              (GAO/T-GGD-89-40,  Sept. 20, 1989).
              Critical     Issues For Census Adjustm ent:      Com pleting Post
              Enum eration     Survey on Time While Protecting      Data Quality
              (GAO/T-GGD-90-15,       Jan. 30, 1990).
              Decennial  Census:      Potential      Risks to         Data     Quality        Resultinq       From
              Budqet Reductions      and Cost     Increases
              (GAO/T-GGD-90-30,      M ar. 27,    1990).
              Progress of the 1990 Decennial    Census:                    Some Causes           for    Concern
              (GAO/T-GGD-90-44, M ay 21, 1990).
              1990 Census:    Status     of Questionnaire             Follow-up          Efforts
              (GAO/T-GGD-90-52,      July 2, 1990).


                                                         18