Preparations for a Possible Census Adjustment

T-GGD-91-18: Published: Mar 19, 1991. Publicly Released: Mar 19, 1991.

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GAO discussed the status of the Census Bureau's 1990 Post Enumeration Survey (PES). GAO found that: (1) the Bureau needed to overcome a series of major hurdles to complete a high-quality PES; (2) although PES operations generally remained on schedule, the number of critical activities remaining before the July 1991 adjustment decision deadline could compromise the schedule; (3) Bureau officials were generally satisfied with PES field and processing operations; (4) as of March 15, 1990, between 3 percent and 4 percent of the 1990 PES cases were unresolved compared to 8.4 percent to 9.7 percent of unresolved cases in 1980; (5) the Bureau made significant changes in the 1990 PES design and operations to minimize the amount of missing data; (6) the Bureau failed to obtain an acceptable interview for approximately 2.9 percent of the cases; (7) the national percentage of unresolved persons was relatively low, but cases were unevenly distributed across the nation; (8) standards for the adjustment decision were being developed; and (9) the Bureau should set forth the criteria and measurements for applying adjustment guidelines before completing PES and related evaluation results.

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