Census Reform Needs Attention Now: Testimony
GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE WASHINGTON DC GENERAL GOVERNMENT DIV
Pagination or Media Count:
Escalating costs and the apparently increases undercount of the 1990 census suggest that the current census methodology may have reached the limits of its effectiveness in enumerating an increasingly diverse, dynamic, and elusive population. The attention that is being placed now on planning the next census is encouraging and is in marked contrast to previous census planning efforts. GAO believes fundamental census reform is needed and that the process must be guided by three principles. First, planning efforts must focus on evaluating opportunities for fundamental reform rather than incremental refinements. Second, planing efforts must recognize that census reform raises issues such as how to get the quality and timely data decisionmakers need, which go well beyond the purview of the Bureau of the Census and the Department. Third, the Department must be willing to invest sufficient funds early in the decade to achieve cost savings and census improvements in 2000.
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