Open Recommendations (61 total)

2020 Census: Innovations Helped with Implementation, but Bureau Can Do More to Realize Future Benefits

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3 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of Commerce The Secretary of Commerce and the Director of the U.S. Census Bureau should identify and report additional measures on the effectiveness of optimization as part of the Bureau's operational assessments and evaluations (Recommendation 3).
Open

Actions to satisfy the intent of the recommendation have not been taken or are being planned, or actions that partially satisfy the intent of the recommendation have been taken.

When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Department of Commerce The Secretary of Commerce and the Director of the U.S. Census Bureau should track the Bureau's future design innovations within the Bureau's cost estimation and budget execution framework (Recommendation 1).
Open

Actions to satisfy the intent of the recommendation have not been taken or are being planned, or actions that partially satisfy the intent of the recommendation have been taken.

When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Department of Commerce The Secretary of Commerce and the Director of the U.S. Census Bureau should for future decennials research and test how innovations or design changes affect the methodologies and time required for post-data collection steps. (Recommendation 2).
Open

Actions to satisfy the intent of the recommendation have not been taken or are being planned, or actions that partially satisfy the intent of the recommendation have been taken.

When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

Earthquakes: Progress Made to Implement Early Warning System, but Actions Needed to Improve Program Management

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1 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of Commerce The Secretary of Commerce, jointly with the Secretary of the Interior, should fully implement memorandum of understanding between USGS and NOAA by establishing the Interagency Committee for Program Coordination. (Recommendation 8).
Open

Actions to satisfy the intent of the recommendation have not been taken or are being planned, or actions that partially satisfy the intent of the recommendation have been taken.

Commerce concurred with this recommendation. When we confirm what actions have been taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

Decennial Census: Bureau Should Assess Significant Data Collection Challenges as It Undertakes Planning for 2030

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1 Open Recommendations
1 Priority
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of Commerce
Priority Rec.
This is a priority recommendation.
The Secretary of Commerce and the Director of the U.S. Census Bureau should, to inform 2030 planning, evaluate how major operational changes in response to data collection challenges affected the quality and completeness of nonresponse follow-up and group quarters enumerations. At a minimum, this evaluation should address: (1) late design changes; (2) procedures for accessing multi-unit buildings; (3) the process for reassigning cases; (4) supervisory alerts used to manage enumerators; (5) quality control over training assessments; and (6) the eResponse option for group quarter data collection. (Recommendation 1)
Open

Actions to satisfy the intent of the recommendation have not been taken or are being planned, or actions that partially satisfy the intent of the recommendation have been taken.

Commerce agreed with our recommendation. In its March 2021, response to the draft report the Bureau stated that it was already taking steps to implement the recommendation, including the establishment of the Data Quality Executive Guidance Group and external assessments from JASON (an independent scientific advisory group) and the American Statistical Association Quality Indicators Task Force. In April 2021, Bureau officials told us it was developing an action plan for this recommendation.

Data Governance: Agencies Made Progress in Establishing Governance, but Need to Address Key Milestones

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3 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of Commerce The Secretary of the Department of Commerce should direct the Chief Financial Officer to develop and include a description of the controls for the <i>Award Description</i> data element, specifically the agency's significant milestones and major decisions pertaining to the use of plain English descriptions for describing the purpose of its awards, in the next data quality plan update. (Recommendation 4)
Open

Actions to satisfy the intent of the recommendation have not been taken or are being planned, or actions that partially satisfy the intent of the recommendation have been taken.

When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Department of Commerce The Secretary of the Department of Commerce should direct the Chief Data Officer to aggregate bureau-level assessments to conduct and document the outcome of an initial data maturity assessment. (Recommendation 2)
Open

Actions to satisfy the intent of the recommendation have not been taken or are being planned, or actions that partially satisfy the intent of the recommendation have been taken.

When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.
Department of Commerce The Secretary of the Department of Commerce should direct the Chief Data Officer to aggregate bureau-level assessments and analyses to assess current staff data literacy and data skills and to conduct a gap analysis between the current staff's skills and the skills the agency requires, and establish a baseline performance plan to close the identified data skills and literacy gaps. (Recommendation 3)
Open

Actions to satisfy the intent of the recommendation have not been taken or are being planned, or actions that partially satisfy the intent of the recommendation have been taken.

When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

2020 Census: Census Bureau Needs to Assess Data Quality Concerns Stemming from Recent Design Changes

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1 Open Recommendations
1 Priority
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of Commerce
Priority Rec.
This is a priority recommendation.
The Secretary of Commerce and the Director of the U.S. Census Bureau should update and implement assessments, evaluations, and coverage measurement efforts to address the effects of the Bureau's response to COVID-19 that we identified, including data quality concerns and potential operational benefits from innovations. (Recommendation 1)
Open

Actions to satisfy the intent of the recommendation have not been taken or are being planned, or actions that partially satisfy the intent of the recommendation have been taken.

Commerce agreed with our recommendation. In May 2021, agency officials provided us with updates of their template and guidance for the Bureau's planned operational assessments demonstrating that authors of the assessments were to include descriptions of changes to operations made due to the COVID-19 pandemic, such as schedule changes. The updates provided regard only the operational assessments, and elicit itemized operational changes, but do not suggest any treatment or narrative on the effects of those changes on data quality. In order to close this recommendation, the Bureau's assessments, evaluations, and coverage measurement efforts will need to address the effects of the changes to operations, effects such as we identified and inclusive of those on data quality and possible operational benefits that may have been unexpected.

Senior Executive Service: Opportunities for Selected Agencies to Improve Their Career Reassignment Processes

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1 Open Recommendations
Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Department of Commerce The Secretary of Commerce, in consultation with the department-level Executive Resources Board and Office of Executive Resources, should fully implement policy and guidance in development that require the bureaus to maintain career SES reassignment-related documentation in the SES member's Official Personnel Folder, and to provide those documents to the Office of Executive Resources for review and approval before making career SES reassignments. (Recommendation 1)
Open

Actions to satisfy the intent of the recommendation have not been taken or are being planned, or actions that partially satisfy the intent of the recommendation have been taken.

In its comments on a draft of this report, Commerce concurred with the recommendation and indicated it will take steps to implement the recommendation. We will continue to monitor Commerce's progress.