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Census Bureau Scales Back Some Testing Operations on Budget Uncertainty

U.S. Census Bureau logoThe Census Bureau will not push through with plans to commence testing operations in Puerto Rico, the Standing Rock Reservation in North and South Dakota and the Colville Reservation and Off-Reservation Trust Land in Washington State.

Bureau Director John Thompson wrote in a blog post published Tuesday the move aims to focus 2017 program resources on operational and systems readiness and the mentioned locations will be considered for inclusion on the 2018 End-to-End Census Test.

Thompson noted the Census Bureau will not expend any resources to prepare for the 2017 field tests because of the uncertainties in current fiscal year funding, while operations at the sites mentioned earlier will cost $5 billion and might risk the agency’s readiness for the 2018 test.

He added the Census Bureau must re-plan the 2017 Census Test to include only necessary activities that will help prepare for the 2018 End-to-End census test which will cover real-time non ID operation, Census Questionnaire Assistance utilization and internet collection with the use of cloud technology.

A memorandum issued Tuesday by Lisa Blumerman, associate director of Census Bureau decennial census programs, said the 2020 Census program has decided to stop two field test operations in FY 2017 to address program risks from funding uncertainty.

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