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As of December 31, 1969, there are open recommendations, of which are priority recommendations. Recommendations remain open until they are designated as Closed-implemented or Closed-not implemented.
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Recommendation: To ensure Bureau and congressional confidence that the Bureau's budgeted contingencies are at appropriate levels, the Secretary of Commerce and Under Secretary for Economic Affairs should direct the Census Bureau to improve control over how risk and uncertainty are accounted for and communicated with the Bureau's decennial cost estimation process, such as by implementing and institutionalizing processes or methods for doing so with clear guidance.
Agency: Department of Commerce Status: Open Priority recommendation
Comments: Commerce agreed with this recommendation. Specifically, we reported that the Bureau should ensure that its budget for contingencies for the 2020 Census reflect an accurate accounting of risk and uncertainty. In doing this, the Bureau should improve controls over risk and uncertainty in the cost estimate process, and institutionalize these controls by providing clear methods for their use. In July 2018, we completed a review of documentation to support the updated October 2017 cost estimate and found that the Bureau performed uncertainty and sensitivity analysis on the estimate and appropriately added funding into the cost estimate to reflect inherent uncertainty and to account for specific risks. In order to fully implement this recommendation, the Bureau will need to link specific risks to funds set aside in the $1.2 billion general risk contingency fund. Therefore, as of January 2020, this recommendation remains valid and should be addressed: that the Bureau properly account for risk in the 2020 Census cost estimate.