GAO Reports on 2020 Census Innovations

A new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that the U.S. Census Bureau slowed the growth in the cost of the decennial census, “but did not position itself to know how much money was saved by each of its planned 2020 innovation areas.” GAO said that the Bureau failed to “track the specific innovation areas within their revised cost estimation and budget execution framework and that they focused less on cost savings stemming from the innovation areas as they transitioned to implementing the census.”

GAO recommended that the Census Bureau: (1) “track savings from future innovations”; (2) “research and test any effects of those innovations on data processing timelines”; and (4) “identify and report on additional measures on the effectiveness of the Bureau’s optimization.”

The 49-page report includes a lot more detail and recommendations for executive action.