To carry out the decennial census, the U.S. Census Bureau (Bureau) conducts a sequence of thousands of activities and numerous operations. As requested, The Government Accountability Office (GAO) examined (1) the Bureau's use of scheduling tools to maintain and monitor progress and (2) the status of two systems key to field data collection: the control system the Bureau will use to manage the work flow for paper-based operations, including nonresponse follow-up, and the system used to manage quality control of two major field operations. GAO applied schedule analysis tools; reviewed Bureau evaluations, planning documents, and other documents on work flow management; and interviewed Bureau officials.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Department of Commerce||
Priority Rec.1. To improve the Bureau's use of its master schedule to manage the 2020 decennial census, the Secretary of Commerce should require the Director of the U.S. Census Bureau to include estimates of the resources, such as labor, materials, and overhead costs, in the 2020 integrated schedule for each activity as the schedule is built, and prepare to carry out other steps as necessary to conduct systematic schedule risk analyses on the 2020 schedule.
|Department of Commerce||2. To improve the Bureau's use of its master schedule to manage the 2020 decennial census, the Secretary of Commerce should require the Director of the U.S. Census Bureau to take steps necessary to evaluate the accuracy of the Bureau's baselined schedule and determine what improvements to the Bureau's schedule development and management processes can be made for 2020.|
|Department of Commerce||3. To improve the Bureau's ability to manage paper-based field operations in the 2010 Decennial Census, the Secretary of Commerce should require the Director of the U.S. Census Bureau to finalize and prioritize detailed requirements and implement reliable progress reporting on the development of the paper-based operations control system, including estimates of effort needed to complete remaining development.|