Summary of Department of Commerce Rule Delegating Decision to Census Bureau Regarding Census 2000 Methodology

 Scenario  Result on Corrected Data
1. The Committee recommends the release of corrected data and Census Bureau Director agrees. Corrected data becomes the P.L. 94-171 data suggested for use by the states for legislative redistricting. By law, uncorrected data is simultaneously released.
2. The Committee recommends the release of corrected data and Census Bureau Director disagrees. The uncorrected data will be designated as P.L. 94-171. By law, corrected data is simultaneously released.
3. Both the Committee and the Census Bureau Director agree that the corrected data does not improve the uncorrected data. The uncorrected data becomes the P.L. 94-171 data and the corrected data may or may not be made available for academic review.

On September 28, 2000, the Secretary of Commerce issued a rule delegating to the Census Bureau Director the final decision as to whether or not to use a statistical correction to account for errors in the 2000 Census. The rule concerns census data that will be used for federal, non-apportionment purposes. The rule was published in the Federal Register on June 20, 2000 for a 45-day public comment period. During that time, four former Census Bureau Directors whose service spanned Republican and Democratic administrations, Vincent Barabba (1973-76 and 1979-81), John G. Keane (1984-89), Barbara Everitt Bryant (1989-93), and Martha Farnsworth Riche (1994-98) expressed support for the rule. The final rule (RIN: 0607-AA33) was published in the Federal Register on October 6, 2000, effective November 6, 2000.

The rule directs the Executive Steering Committee for Accuracy and Coverage Evaluation Policy (ESCAP or the Committee), which consists of 11 senior decennial census experts, to make a "use" or "do not use" recommendation regarding corrected data. The rule states that "based on their years of experience and expertise, [ESCAP members] are best suited to bring their professional judgement and integrity to bear in reviewing all the available dataÉin making a recommendation on their findings to the Census Bureau Director regarding the use of the statistically corrected census data." Informed by the ESCAP recommendation, the Director will then make the final decision.

The Census Bureau plans to make its determination regarding the corrected census data in mid-February 2001.

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U.S. Census Monitoring Board
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