2000 Census: Analysis of Fiscal Year 2000 Budget and Internal Control Weaknesses at the U.S. Census Bureau

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A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "In September 2000, the U.S. Census Bureau told Congress that it had at least $305 million in budget savings out of its $4.5 billion fiscal year 2000 no-year appropriations for the 2000 decennial census. Of the $4.5 billion appropriated to the U.S. Census Bureau in fiscal year 2000, lower-than-expected expenditures and obligations resulted in available balances of at least $415 million. A lower-than-expected support staff workload reduced salary and benefit costs by about $348 million. Enumerator workload is largely determined by the initial mail response rate ... continued below

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United States. General Accounting Office. December 28, 2001.

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Description

A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "In September 2000, the U.S. Census Bureau told Congress that it had at least $305 million in budget savings out of its $4.5 billion fiscal year 2000 no-year appropriations for the 2000 decennial census. Of the $4.5 billion appropriated to the U.S. Census Bureau in fiscal year 2000, lower-than-expected expenditures and obligations resulted in available balances of at least $415 million. A lower-than-expected support staff workload reduced salary and benefit costs by about $348 million. Enumerator workload is largely determined by the initial mail response rate for returned census questionnaires. The initial mail response of 64 percent meant that Census enumerators did not have to visit more than three million American households. However, the available balances from the higher mail response rate and the lower support staff workload were partially offset by about $100 million of higher salary and benefit costs for enumerators, including a higher workload for unanticipated recounts. According to Bureau data, enumerator productivity did not significantly affect budget variances for the 2000 decennial census. The Bureau reported the national average time to visit a household and complete a census questionnaire was about the one hour estimated. Because of significant internal control weaknesses, the Bureau was unable to develop and report complete, accurate, and timely information for managing decision-making. Specific control weaknesses for fiscal year 2000 were related to the lack of controls over financial reporting and financial management systems. Financial reporting issues included (1) the inability to produce accurate and timely financial statements and other financial management reports needed for oversight and day-to-day management; (2) the lack of timely and complete reconciliations needed to validate the balances of key accounts; and (3) unsupported and inaccurate reported balances for accounts payable and undelivered orders--two key accounts needed to manage and report on unliquidated obligations."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • December 28, 2001

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  • June 11, 2014, 5:03 a.m.

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United States. General Accounting Office. 2000 Census: Analysis of Fiscal Year 2000 Budget and Internal Control Weaknesses at the U.S. Census Bureau, report, December 28, 2001; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc292998/: accessed August 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.