1990 Census:

Enhanced Oversight Should Strengthen Recruitment Program

GGD-90-65: Published: Apr 13, 1990. Publicly Released: Apr 13, 1990.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Census Bureau's personnel recruitment efforts during its development of the 1989 urban address list.

GAO found that: (1) almost one-half of the Bureau's district offices were unable to meet their 1989 recruiting goals during precanvass; (2) staff shortages in some offices led to delays in completing the census, increased costs, and changes in the Bureau's staffing procedures; (3) the Bureau altered its goals and moved staff between offices to complete work because as many as six or eight applicants were needed for each position to ensure sufficient staff; (4) job applicants were less willing to accept short-term employment that required a high degree of public contact; and (5) limited recruiter training and planning contributed to the Bureau's recruitment problems. GAO also found that the Bureau made progress in developing a recruitment program, but additional recruiter training and recruiting planning was needed.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Bureau directed each region to submit a sample district office recruiting plan and outlines and related materials used to provide the specialized recruiter training.

    Recommendation: The Director, Census Bureau, should direct headquarters staff to assume a more proactive role in monitoring the regions' management of field recruitment efforts by ensuring that the recruiter training the regions are providing addresses the limitations identified during 1989, particularly in managing a recruiting effort.

    Agency Affected: Department of Commerce: Bureau of the Census

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Bureau directed each region to submit a sample district office recruiting plan and outlines and related materials used to provide the specialized recruiter training.

    Recommendation: The Director, Census Bureau, should direct headquarters staff to assume a more proactive role in monitoring the regions' management of field recruitment efforts by reviewing the planning efforts the regions are establishing for their district offices to ensure plans account for the diverse recruiting challenges confronting the Bureau's district offices.

    Agency Affected: Department of Commerce: Bureau of the Census

 

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