If it’s new tech, be sure to test it, GAO tells Census Bureau

New technologies introduce new risks to the census count “in part because they have not been tested extensively, if at all,” said Robert Goldenkoff, director of strategic issues at the Government Accountability Office, during testimony before the House civil rights subcommittee on Wednesday. In 2017 and 2018, the bureau scaled back operational tests, citing budget uncertainties.

“Without sufficient testing across the range of geographic locations, housing types, living arrangements, and demographic groups, operational problems can go undiscovered,” Goldenkoff said. “And the opportunity to refine procedures and systems could be lost.”