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Waiver Procedure


The Census Bureau’s statistical quality standards apply to all Census Bureau’s information products and the programs that develop and release those products, as described in the Scope statement in the Preface to these standards. If a program is not complying or anticipates that they may be unable to comply with any requirements of these standards, the program manager must apply for a waiver.

This waiver procedure provides a consistent mechanism to excuse a program from compliance with a statistical quality standard. Waivers will be granted when the circumstances warrant it however, no waivers to Statistical Quality Standard S1, Protecting Confidentiality, will be granted.

This procedure promotes proper management and control in implementing the standards and ensures that appropriate documentation of exceptions to the standards is generated and maintained. This documentation is important for providing transparency into the quality of the Census Bureau’s information products and for informing future revisions of the statistical quality standards.

Waiver Procedure

  1. The affected program manager, in collaboration with the program area’s M&S Council representative, must prepare a waiver request using the form Request for a Waiver of a Statistical Quality Standard.

    The program manager must:
    • Indicate the Program(s)/Information Product(s) to be exempted by the waiver.
    • Indicate the specific requirement(s) to be waived.
    • Describe the noncompliance issue
    • Describe any anticipated effects that may result from the noncompliance.
    • Explain why the program area is not able to comply with the specific requirements of the standard.
    • Describe any actions to be taken to mitigate the effects of noncompliance.
    • Describe the corrective actions planned to achieve compliance. Include milestones dates for key accomplishments including the date the program(s) / information product(s) will be brought into compliance
  2. The program manager must email the waiver request to the Quality Program Staff to review for completeness and accuracy.
  3. After correcting any issues noted by the Quality Program Staff, the program manager and M&S Council representative must sign the waiver request and submit the completed waiver request to the subject matter Division Chief for concurrence.
  4. The Division Chief will review the waiver request and, if concurring, sign the request and forward it to the Quality Program Staff.
  5. The Quality Program Staff will schedule the waiver for review by the M&S Council and, as appropriate, by additional stakeholders.
  6. The M&S Council will review the waiver request and concur or not concur with the request, noting any recommendations regarding their position.
  7. The M&S Council will determine which Associate Director(s) need to approve the waiver request, based on the requirements being waived and the Program(s) / Information Product(s) involved.
  8. The Quality Program Staff will forward the waiver request and the Council's recommendation to the appropriate Associate Director(s) accountable for the quality of the Program(s) / Information Product(s).
  9. The Associate Director(s) will approve or deny the waiver and return the waiver request to the Quality Program Staff.
  10. The Quality Program Staff will ensure that the Program Manager, Division Chief, and the M&S Council receive a copy of the approved or denied waiver request.
  11. The Quality Program Staff will publish approved waiver requests on the M&S Council Intranet page.
  12. The Quality Program Staff will maintain records of all waiver requests and their resolutions and use them to inform future revisions of the standard
  13. If the waiver is granted, the program manager must develop a corrective action plan and implement the corrective actions described in the waiver request, within the timeline stated on the waiver request. If the corrective actions will not be implemented on time, another waiver must be requested.
  14. The Quality Program Staff must follow-up on the implementation of the corrective action plan and periodically report on the progress to the M&S Council.
  15. After the corrective action has been completed, the Quality Program Staff will notify the M&S Council and update the M&S Council Intranet page to indicate when the program came into compliance.


If you have questions regarding the waiver procedure or whether a waiver is needed, contact the Quality Program Staff or the appropriate M&S Council representative.

Page Last Revised - October 8, 2021
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