Confidentiality: Data collected for the Census of Government State and Local Finance are public record and are not confidential, as authorized by Title 13, United States Code, Section 9.
Dates of Collection:The following are important dates in the data collection process:
|10/2007||Reminder Letter mailed out|
|11/2007||Follow-up mail out|
|02/2008 - 04/2008||Telephone follow-up|
Methods: The data collection for the state and local finance survey (both census and sample survey) is made up of three modes to obtain data: mail canvass, Internet collection, and central collection from state sources. Collection methods vary by state and type of government. Reviews of government records provide data for most state government agencies and the 48 largest and most complex county and municipal governments. Data for local governments in about 28 states are consolidated and submitted by state agencies (central collections), usually as electronic transmissions or mutually developed questionnaires. Each of these Central Collection arrangements is unique, conforming to our and the states' requirements.
Data for the balance of local governments were obtained via mail questionnaires sent directly to county, municipal, township, special district, and school district governments.
In some cases the data from central collections and mail canvass procedures were incomplete or questionable. If Census Bureau analysts were unable to obtain corrected data from original sources, they attempted to obtain data from Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports (CAFRs). In many instances, supplied/compiled data are supplemented with secondary sources, such as debt information from Mergents.
The survey melds several government finance surveys, including the 2007 Census of Public Employee Retirement Systems, 2007 Integrated Post-Educational Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) survey, 2007 State Government Finance Survey, and 2007 Survey of Local Government Finances School Systems.
Note: All governments that received a mail questionnaire had the option of submitting their response via the Internet.