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December 2017 Monthly Status Report

Component ID: #ti533001553

Key Program Updates

For the 2018 End-to-End Census Test, significant efforts continue to prepare and integrate geographic files, systems, applications, recruiting and hiring, forms, and a myriad of other activities needed to conduct peak operations this spring (see pp. 9-18).

  • The Census Bureau conducted the Release D (Field Enumeration) Test Readiness Review (TRR) #1 (Update Leave, Nonresponse Followup, Coverage Improvement) on December 6, 2017.
  • Field Division headquarters, the New York Regional Census Center, and the Providence, Rhode Island Area Census Office, are currently involved in executing a door-to-door (blitz) campaign in several neighborhoods throughout Providence to encourage people to apply for jobs working on 2018 Census Test Peak Operations. Recruiting Assistants are also holding in-person assessment help sessions to assist applicants. Six additional Recruiting Assistants completed training in early December. As of December 31, 2017, 1,489 people have been recruited for peak operations.
  • The Census Bureau reviewed and approved the proofs for all 2018 End-to-End Census Test self-response questionnaires and envelopes for the Government Publishing Office (GPO)-selected print vendor.
  • The Census Bureau completed project-level testing of the Internet Self-Response application on December 22, 2017.
  • Discussions were held on December 11, 2017, with the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) about the Federal Register Notice published on November 8, 2017. This notice, entitled “Proposed Content for the Prototype 2020 Census Redistricting Data File” is about the draft design of the prototype P.L. 94-171 Redistricting Data File to be produced from the 2018 End-to-End Census Test.
  • Based on the 2020 Census Integrated Master Schedule, through December 31, 2017, 65.8 percent of the activities in the 2018 End-to-End Census Test had been completed (see pp. 43).

The Gunnison Consulting Group withdrew its protest of the fingerprinting contract on December 22, 2017, the Government Accountability Office closed the protest file, and the Contracting Officer notified Indrasoft Inc. to resume performance under the existing contract. The fingerprinting contract for the 2020 Census was awarded to IndraSoft on November 21, 2017, and on December 1, 2017, Gunnison filed a protest. The Contracting Officer issued a notice to suspend performance on the fingerprinting contract on December 5, 2017.

For the 2020 Census Operations, during December, numerous operations completed developing their detailed schedules in the 2020 Census Integrated Master Schedule (IMS). The Decennial Schedule Management Branch (SMB) held a series of schedule lockups during December to develop, integrate and baseline the 2020 Census Execution schedules for the Census Early and Field Data Collection operations, which consisted of 88 projects, over 23,000 activities, and over 40,000 relationships. The team conducted schedule walk-throughs and obtained signed approval of the baseline by project owners. As part of the signoff, project owners identified any remaining missing production workflow activities in the IMS to be resolved during January. The SMB team is actively working with project owners to include the missing activities in preparation for a rebaseline at the end of January 2018. Additionally, the SMB began collecting progress updates (actuals) to measure performance of the 2020 Census production phase in January and presenting the 2020 Executive Alert Report to the 2020 Census Portfolio Management Governing Board (PMGB) on a weekly basis.

The Census Bureau received data collection approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for the Census Barriers, Attitudes, and Motivators Survey (CBAMS) quantitative package on December 6, 2017, and delivered the CBAMS qualitative package to the OMB on December 19, 2017. The quantitative part of CBAMS is the mail and online survey that is sent to a sample population. The qualitative part is the focus groups that are being conducted.

The promotional outreach events continued for the Local Update of Census Addresses (LUCA), the first major operation for the 2020 Census. As of December 31, 2017, a total of 678 promotional presentations and 161 Training Workshops had been completed. As of December 31, 2017, the Census Bureau had received 18,902 responses from the 39,332 unique governments that are eligible to participate and therefore received invitations. Of those, 10,905 ha d signed up to participate in the LUCA Operation and 7,997 had declined. Governments typically decline due to insufficient staff, because another level of government is participating, or because they are too busy. The 10,905 who had registered to participate in the LUCA Operation cover 96 percent of the population and 96 percent of the housing by at least one LUCA participant. Governments had been given until December 15, 2017, to register for LUCA. This deadline has been extended until January 31, 2018, for areas impacted by recent natural disasters in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and California. Additionally, regular entities that call the Geographic Partnership Support Desk requesting an extension will be granted the same.

The Census Bureau solicited from the states their updates for the 116th congressional and 2018 state legislative district boundaries as part of Phase 4 of the Redistricting Data Program.

The 2020 Census In-Office Address Canvassing Interactive Review (IR) production continues, and is meeting the expected production goals. The clerks reviewed blocks during Interactive Review from the beginning of production in September 2015 through November 30, 2017. They completed 100 percent of the 11,155,486 total blocks nationally through the first pass in Interactive Review. Going forward, blocks will continue to be triggered back in for review as needed. This process classifies the blocks into three categories:

  • Passive = blocks that do not show signs of change and need no further review at this time.
  • Active = blocks that show signs of change and need to move to the next phase of In-Office Address Canvassing for further review.
  • On Hold = blocks that need new imagery to do the Interactive Review.

As of December 31, 2017, 77.79 percent of the blocks containing 62.74 percent of the addresses were classified as Passive, 16.02 percent of the blocks containing 26.58 percent of the addresses were classified as Active, and 4.92 percent of the blocks containing 9.36 percent of the addresses were classified as On-Hold. As of December 31, 2017, 142,180 blocks have been triggered for IR re-review. Triggered blocks which are still being worked through IR will be included in the "Total Blocks Reviewed" number above, but not be included in any of the Totals (Active, Passive, Hold) until they are re-reviewed. The triggered blocks accounted for 1.27 percent of the total completed and contain 1.37 percent of the addresses. Blocks may remain in “On Hold” status for review at a later date due to “future growth” (for instance, there are signs that construction will be taking place but the houses are not built) or “imagery issues” (for instance, cloud cover obscures views of the structures).

Staff delivered the Census Enterprise Data Collection and Processing (CEDCaP) Capabilities for Release D Field Enumeration (for Test Readiness Review on December 6, 2017) to the Technical Integrator for 2020 Census program-level integration testing. This included capabilities from the following CEDCaP systems: Enterprise Censuses and Surveys Enabling-Enumeration (ECaSE̶ Enum), Concurrent Analysis and Estimation System (CAES), ECaSE Field and Survey Operational Control System (OCS), Service Oriented Architecture (SOA), MOJO and Control and Response Data System (CaRDS).

Both the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and the Office of Inspector General (OIG) audit teams were provided with the detailed basis of estimates documentation that supports the most recent 2020 Census Life Cycle Cost Estimate. Now that this information is available, GAO has re-activated their formal audit of our cost estimation efforts. This audit was requested by the Chair and Acting Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies; the Chair and Vice Chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies; and the Chair and Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

On December 6, 2017, an entrance conference was held for GAO’s new audit about the Census Bureau's efforts to address historically hard-to-count populations. The request for this audit came from House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Ranking Member Elijah Cummings. Issues GAO will study include: 1. What socio-demographic groups are considered historically hard-to-count and why? 2. What is the status of the Census Bureau’s efforts to enumerate the historically hard-to-count in the 2020 Census?, 3. To what extent is the Bureau’s current plans for enumerating the historically hard-to-count in 2020 addressing the nation’s changing demographics and key design changes introduced for the 2020 Census; and leveraging earlier lessons learned?

On December 19, 2017, the OIG provided a draft report titled 2020 Census: The Bureau’s Background Check Office Is Not Fully Prepared for the 2020 Census, as a result of their audit on the Census Bureau’s internal policies and procedures for conducting back ground checks on temporary employees and to determine whether the Census Bureau has an effective plan in place to conduct background checks for temporary employees who will be hired during the 2020 Census tests and decennial field operations. The recommendations from OIG include: improve estimates of staffing needs to complete background checks to support the 2020 Census workload; reinforce policies and procedures for approving background check applications; and reemphasize the importance of charging time to the correct appropriations account. The Census Bureau is now preparing formal comments on this draft.

Component ID: #ti951604878

Some other key program updates include:

Component ID: #ti533001552

2018 End-to-End Census Test

  • Issued Stop Work Order on selected fingerprinting vendor on December 5, 2017. The stop work order was issued because a vendor that was not awarded the contract protested the award. That protest was lifted on December 22, 2017. Meetings have resumed with the selected vendor in preparation for the 2018 Census Test.
  • Conducted the Release D (Field Enumeration) Test Readiness Review (TRR) #1 (Update Leave, Nonresponse Followup, Coverage Improvement) on December 6, 2017.
  • Delivered 2018 Census Test Group Quarters (GQ) handheld device and Decennial Service Center requirements on December 6, 2017. The requirements include the name and number of phones needed for the GQ operation for both enumerators and Census Field Supervisors (CFSs). Enumerators and CFSs supporting GQ data collection for the 2018 Census Test will receive a decennial Device as a Service (dDaaS) phone in June – July, 2018, to submit their time and expense as well as for navigation to their assignments.
  • Began interviewing supervisors and team lead positions for Customer Service Representatives (CSRs) for the two call centers for the 2018 Census Test on December 11, 2017. The two call centers are located in Jacksonville, Florida, and Sandy, Utah.
  • Completed project-level testing of Internet Self-Response application on December 22, 2017.

Component ID: #ti533001551

2020 Census Operations

  • Completed construction of the Philadelphia Regional Census Center (RCC). Accepted space on December 1, 2017.
  • Delivered 2020 Decennial Service Center requirements on December 4, 2017.
  • Delivered requirements for all 2020 Update Leave (UL) and Update Enumerate (UE) respondent-facing field materials to Content and Forms Design on December 8, 2017.
  • Delivered 2020 GQ Integrated Master Schedules, calling scripts, forms, and print materials for GQ Advance Contact, GQ Enumeration/Service-Based Enumeration, and Maritime Vessels Enumeration on December 11, 2017.
  • Began coordinating translations of draft 2020 Census questionnaires and nonquestionnaire materials for internal stakeholder review on December 12, 2017.
  • Continued the Local Update of Census Addresses (LUCA) Integrated Project Team’s (IPT) LUCA Promotional Outreach events. As of December 31, 2017, a total of 678 promotional presentations and 161 Training Workshops had been completed. As of December 31, 2017, the Census Bureau had received 18,902 responses from the 39,332 unique governments that are eligible to participate and therefore received invitations. Of those, 10,905 had signed up to participate in the LUCA Operation and 7,997 had declined. Governments typically decline due to insufficient staff, because another level of government is participating, or because they are too busy. The 10,905 who had registered to participate in the LUCA Operation covered 96 percent of the population and 96 percent of the housing by at least one LUCA participant.
  • Gathered requirements for 2020 Census questionnaires and nonquestionnaire materials from the following operations and programs: Internet Self-Response, Group Quarters, Nonresponse Followup, Update Leave, Enumeration at Transitory Locations, Update Enumerate, Federally Affiliated Count Overseas, Maritime Vessel Enumeration, Address Canvassing, Puerto Rico Census, and Island Areas Censuses.
  • As of December 31, 2017, eight of the 40 Wave 1 Area Census Offices have signed a lease award/occupancy agreement.

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