Sen. Carper Commends New Internet Option for Census and Government Surveys

WASHINGTON – Today, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), Chairman of the Senate subcommittee that oversees the U.S. Census Bureau, commended the Census Bureau’s recent introduction of an online option to its traditional mail-in surveys. The new feature gives households the opportunity to answer government surveys online in an effort to cut costs and boost participation. In April 2011, Sen. Carper held the hearing, “Census: Learning Lessons from 2010, Planning for 2020,” which examined technological advances, including online surveys, that can be used to improve data quality and reexamine areas that could help produce a more cost-effective 2020 Census.

“I commend the Census Bureau for taking this important step, which I believe will lead to greater efficiencies and potentially significant cost-savings,” said Sen. Carper. “By using existing technology to help improve its data collection efforts, Bureau officials have made great progress in their efforts to fulfill its obligations and expand access to more households while also saving some money at the same time. My subcommittee has held a number of hearings on this issue in the past and the experts agree: implementing an Internet response option could have saved the Bureau tens of millions of dollars in processing costs in 2010. I am encouraged that the Bureau has put this smart idea into action in anticipation of 2020. At the same time, we also need to make certain that the people who make up our growing and changing country are comfortable enough with the security of the data collection methods we use to allow for an accurate count. Given the current financial crisis facing our government as we struggle to curb our massive deficit, the federal government has to figure out effective ways to deliver the services the American public needs and expects for less money.”

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