In March 2010, I introduced along with Reps. Charles Dent (R-PA), Ed Towns (D-NY), and Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), H.R. 4945, the Census Oversight, Efficiency and Management Reform Act. Sens. Carper and Coburn have introduced a companion bill in the Senate.
H.R. 4945, the Census Oversight, Efficiency and Management Reform Act would:
- Give the Director the independence to report directly to the Secretary without being required to report through any other official at the Commerce Department.
- Increase the independence of the Director by allowing the Director to submit his or her own opinion in testimony to Congress even if it differs from the administration.
- Make the Director of the Census Bureau a Presidential term appointment of five years, with the 10 year decennial cycle split into two, five-year phases - planning and operational, creating continuity across administrations.
- Give the Director authority over all personnel and activities in the exercise of all powers and duties of the Bureau.
- Give the Director the authority to establish advisory committees to provide advice with respect to any function of the Director.
- Require that the Census Director provide budget information to Congress, at the time the Director submits a budget request to the Commerce Secretary to be included in the President’s budget request, prior to the Commerce Department’s budget request submission to OMB, increasing transparency and oversight.
- Require the Director to submit to Congress a comprehensive annual report on the next decennial census, with a description of the Bureau’s performance standards and a risk-assessment of each significant decennial operation.
Full text of S. 3167(as passed 12/8/10)
03/25/10 - Group Letter of Endorsement