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Hot Topics: March 2018

2018/2020 Systems Readiness

  • Internet Self-Response (ISR) and Survey Operational Control System (SOCS) went live for the 2018 End-to-End Census. Since going live we have experienced three system issues:
    1. Text not appearing in some ISR fields; [Fix has been deployed as of March 20]
    2. Small number of users (about 10%) experienced interrupted ISR sessions; [Fix has been deployed as of March 26]
    3. Census Questionnaire Assistance (CQA) Customer Serveice Reps have experienced Internet browser issues (e.g., ISR slowness, interview interruption) within the CQA enclave. [Workaround deployed, Fix pending completion
  • We continue development and testing of the data collection systems that will be deployed for the NRFU operation. Some defects and issues have been discovered during testing of the Enumeration application (ENUM) and we have established a Tiger Team to address them:
    1. Slow performance and application “freezing” [Fix has been deployed as of March 15]
    2. Pega incompatibility with Apple’s new iOS release (iOS 11.3) [Workaround deployed, Fix in testing]
    3. The Tiger Team has prioritized all remaining ENUM defects (roughly 150 remain, mostly minor or cosmetic) and Pega is working to repair final major defects (5 remaining) by April 4. The April 4 version of ENUM will undergo testing for one week and will then be loaded onto iPhones in the week of April 11 for distribution to Providence, RI.

2020 Census Operational Readiness

  • 25 of the 40 Wave 1 area census offices have a lease award/signed occupancy agreement, 13 more have space identified, and two (North Brooklyn, NY and Beaver Valley, PA) do not have space identified, as of March 29. The original March 31 completion date was moved to April 11 because of challenges with obtaining leases.
    • Our concerns regarding this process have not abated, and management is focused on exploring ways to address this with GSA.
  • Space for all six of the regional census centers (RCCs) has been accepted. Five of the RCCs (Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia) were scheduled to open on April 1 but due to a lack of an ATO associated with the RCC phone lines, the RCCs have yet to open. The New York RCC is on track to open on April 27.

2020 Census Printing and Mailing Contract

  • We are working closely with Office of General Counsel (OGC), U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York (USAO/SDNY) and the financial expert the USAO has retained to evaluate Cenveo’s financial projections and strategies for its bankruptcy. All principals met with Cenveo’s financial management team on April 2 to explore Cenveo’s viability. Census and GPO are conducting market research and drafting a solicitation for a replacement contract should one be necessary.

2020 Census Questionnaire

  • The questions for the 2020 Census were delivered to Congress on March 29, 2018, as required by law. 
  • Members of the Census Bureau’s Scientific Advisory Committee (CSAC) expressed strong concerns about the addition of a question on citizenship. Some of the many press accounts of this issue referenced the CSAC.

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