2020 Census: Continued Management Attention Needed to Oversee Innovations, Develop and Secure IT Systems, and Improve Cost Estimation, Statement of David A. Powner, Director, Information Technology, and Robert Goldenkoff, Director, Strategic Issues, Testimony Before the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, House of Representatives   [open pdf - 2MB]

"One of the Bureau's most important functions is to conduct a complete and accurate decennial census of the U.S. population, which is mandated by the Constitution and provides vital data for the nation. A complete count of the nation's population is an enormous undertaking as the Bureau seeks to control the cost of the census, implement operational innovations, and use new and modified IT [information technology] systems. In recent years, GAO [Government Accountability Office] has identified challenges that raise serious concerns about the Bureau's ability to conduct a cost -effective count . For these reasons, GAO added the 2020 Census to its high- risk list in February 2017. In light of these challenges, GAO was asked to testify about the Bureau's progress in preparing for the 2020 Census. To do so, GAO summarized its prior work regarding the Bureau's planning efforts for the 2020 Census . GAO also included observations from its ongoing work on the 2018 End- to- End Test. This information is related to, among other things, recent decisions on preparations for the 2020 Census ; progress on key systems to be used for the 2018 End- to- End Test , including the status of IT security assessments ; execution of the test at three test sites ; and efforts to update the life-cycle cost estimate. [...] Over the past 4 years, we have made 33 recommendations specific to the 2020 Census to address the issues raised in this testimony and others . As of October 2017, the Bureau had fully implemented 10 of the recommendations, and was at varying stages of implementing the remaining recommendations."

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