tv U.S. Census Bureau Director Testifies on 2020 Survey CSPAN July 16, 2019 2:29pm-4:25pm EDT
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witness estimates with senator peters. thank you, mr. chairman. the 2020 census will serve as a road map for the next decade, determining how billions of dollars of federal resources and representation will be divided among the states and it will undoubtedly impact every community in america and every person must be counted. an accurate count isn't just about understanding how many people live in our country. this is about ensuring that communities across america have access to the resources that they need to grow and to succeed. public health officials use census data to direct resources to combatting the opioid crisis and other health emergencies. first responders and disaster relief agencies used this data to determine where they should direct emergency response efforts. local businesses also use census data to help decide where to
invest in new factories and stores and in my home state of michigan, $29 billion in annual federal funding is on the line. for every person not counted, michigan stands to lose as much as $1800 and funds that could be invested in health care, infrastructure or public education. that's why it's extremely important to get the most accurate count possible. it has taken the bureau ten years of careful planning and preparation to make this census successful, but there is still much more work to be done. the census begins in january of 2020 in remote alaska and then in march everywhere else and between now and then the bureau has to finalize its communications campaign, conduct robust community outreach, finish hiring trusted local staff and perform final testing for dozens of critical i.t. systems. as outlined in our constitution,
the purpose of the census is to count every person in the country, but given the chaos and the confusion and the administration has generated as a result to include an untested citizenship question, the bureau has significant work to do to restore public trust in the sense us and to ensure that the response rates do not decline as a result. we need to make sure that everyone is able to respond to the census though the new online form or in whatever way they can including people without good internet access. people in minority communities and in rural areas and those who live on reservations from fair representation in congress to the effective use of taxpayer dollars, each and every american has a personal stake in the results of the 2020 census. i look forward to working with you to make sure the count is accurate and that it is cost effective and is on schedule. thank you, mr. chairman and
thank you to each of our witnesses. >> it is the tradition of the committee so if you would stand and raise your right hand. do you swear the testimony you'll give before this committee will be the truth, the mo whole truth and nothing, but the truth so help you god? please be seated. our first witness is the honorable steve dillingham. mr. dillingham currently serves as director of the u.s. census bureau and previously he was with the bureau of statistics and bureau of transportation statistics. mr. dillingham? >> -- and the 2020 census. we appreciate your continuing interest and your strong support. the census clock is ticking and we are more ready than ever to conduct a complete and accurate count. we thank the president and the attorney general barr and commerce secretary ross for
developing the path forward for enhancing the nation's data and protecting confidentiality and we also thank our 2020 census partner numbering in the thousands and soon to be hundreds of thousands and i will highlight the road ahead and our increased readiness. the census' first count will begin in six months in remote areas of alaska. and in just nine months and march 2020. it is my opinion once shared by the experienced professionals at the census bureau that we have in place a plan to conduct the sen census accompanied by the plan to execute it and we now enter the a-level high-performance execution phase. regarding the president's executive order we are carefully reviewing it. first steps include implementation and we began that upon issuance such as planning an inner agency working group and we will update the secretary and this committee on our
progress and the message of the 2020 census is clear. it is easy, safe and important. it is easy because of improvements in new technologies and people may complete the census any time anywhere, we have internet, phone and paper response options and our census can reach 99.6% of the population. we will have trained enumerators to follow up with those who are late in responding. this will be the first census ever where we expect most people to submit their data electronically and efficiently. the census is safe. sense us data remains secure and stringent laws with criminal penalties of imprisonment and fine supply. employees take a lifetomb oath to protect confidentiality and the census takes the highest standards of protecting confidential data.
it will not be shared with any agency or anyone. the census is more important than ever as the ranking member just described, census data is needed for a portionment and redistricting. it is used for federal, state and local governments to develop policies and allocate billions of dollars for programs and services reaching millions including the $29 billion that you mentioned in your statement, ranking member. it is used daily by people in making decisions that affect business, communities and quality of life. some recent innovations include new technologies for enhancing address canvassing and hard to count populations, a doubling of partnership specialists to work with communities and new technologies to support sen census-taking processes. these time-tested operations have increased our confidence that we will deliver a complete and accurate count on time and
on budget. our priority is to reach hard to count communities. i continue to visit hard to count communities across the country. they exist in all states. i have seen local partners reaching people in those communities in better ways. counting children has been a perennial challenge. we are making improvements by working with others ranging from pediatricians to the public schools. we have dedicated efforts to reach american indian and alaska native communities including the navajo nation roughly the size of west virginia. we have plans to reach the homeless and others. everyone must be counted and partnership specialists from local communities with different backgrounds help this process and we also have an integrated research base and outreach campaign that resonate with communities. cybersecurity is paramount. we have a well-designed and tested cybersecurity program. data is encrypted at every stage. we work closely with the
department of homeland security and the intelligence community and industry experts to identify and respond to threats. we manage risk, assist with oversight and test systems for security, functionality and scalability. external oversight and accountability and support are valued. first, the bureau is committed to assisting this committee and others in congress and addressing matters of interest or concern, oversight is deeply appreciated. second, we appreciate the work of the government accountability office and the department's inspector general in our preparations. i discussed the 2020 sense us of being gao high risk with the comptroller general. the designation is appropriate in light of the scope, complexity and importance of the nation's. >> we are committed to they from except program and the office of inspector general to discuss issues, concerns and to see
advice. ? third, we a praesh yaets the financial support that we received from congress. we appreciate your support from all interestsing and we promote the safety of opinionel and commerce components have expressed a desire to work as well as have other agencies including the department of health ask human services and the piece corps. we thank members of congress and others who are assisting with our hiring recruitment and who serve as trusted voices. the 2020 sencensus is clear. it is easy, safe and important. as we enter the high-intensity sprint, goals are being met. we are on budget, our systems are safe and secure. we are following best business practices and have the right people in the right positions doing the right things. i am confident that we are more ready than ever. can vossing begins next month.
t the time is now, the duty is ours and while much work remains to be done we remain on track to achieve and accurate count. thank you for you are jo support and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you director dillingham. our next witnesses are from the u.s. government accountability office and they'll be sharing testimony. so you have mr. robert goldenkoff from the accountability office in his role he overcease the portfolio of work including the statistical system. our success witness from gao is mr. nicholas rinos he is with technology and cybersecurity with gao and mr. marinos manages audit teams and prief svacy anda protection reviews and mr. goldenkoff? >> that's correct. >> chairman johnson -- gao is
pleased to be here today to discuss the sense us for the 2020 head count. as you know, in recent years, we have identified a number of operational, i.t., cybersecurity and other challenges that raise serious concerns about the bureau's ability to conduct a cost effective enumeration. in february 2017 we added the 2020 census to gao's list of high-risk government programs and it remains in our high-risk list today. my remarks this afternoon will focus two such challenges and implementing design innovations aimed at controlling costs and developing reliable cost estimates that better account for risks and inform annual budget estimates. my colleague, nick marinos will then discuss the challenges the bureau faces in implementing and securing critical i.t. systems. the bottom line is that as a countdown to census grow short
the bureau has made important progress towards mitigating some of the risks facing the census and we are encouraged by the commerce department and the census bureau's leadership commitment by the cost effective enumeration. still, the census may cost as much as $15.6 billion, a $3 billion increase over the bureau's original estimate and significant uncertainties lie ahead. for example, with respect to the design innovations, to help control costs while maintaining accuracy, the bureau will use new procedures and technology for 2020 including greater use of automated data collection methods, administrative records in terms of data collected by enumerators and verifying aerial imagery and other procedures rather than by going door to door as done in past numerations and responding via the internet.
these innovations show promise for controlling costs and they also introduce new risks in part because they've not been used extensively, if at all, in prior enumerations. as a result, testing is essential to ensure that key i.t. systems and operations will function as planned. however, citing budgetary uncertainty, the bureau scaled back operational tests in 2017 and 2018. without significant testing across a range of geographic locations, housing types, living arrangements and demographic groups, operational problems can go undiscovered and the opportunity to refine procedures and systems can be lost. another risk factor is the reliability of the bureau's 2020 cost cycle estimate. in august 2018 we found that although the bureau had taken steps to improve its cost estimation process compared to prior versions, it still needed to implement a system to track and report variances between
actual and estimated cost elements. the bureau released an updated version of the cost estimate last night. we plan to review it for any changes as well as the extent to which the bureau implemented our open recommendations. in short, while the bureau and department of commerce have taken important steps to keep preparations on track, additional steps are needed. for example, as of june 2019, we've made 106 recommendations related to the 2020 census. commerce has generally agreed with these recommendations and has generally taken actions to address many of them. the bureau has implemented 74 of the recommendations and 31 remain open. going forward, to help ensure a cost effective headcount, in the months ahead, continued leddership any strong eversight is needed to be sure that the
purr owe hadn't com mrened about -- and management follows leading practices. this concludes my prepared remarkis and will now turn it over to my colleague nick marinos who will discuss the risk facing the i.t. and seecyb cyber efforts. >> mr. marinos? >> thank you for inviting gao to discuss the bureau's efforts to prepare for the 2020 census. as robert mentioned our most recent high-risk report highlighted a number of i.t.-related challenges facing the bureau. these included i.t. systems readiness and cybersecurity. the bottom line is that these challenges still remain today and we believe it's important for the bureau to overcome them prayer to the 2020 census. starting with systems readiness, the bureau plans to i.t. for the 2020 census including the 52 systems it plans to produce over the stage of census operations
and many of these systems will be deployed multiple times in order to add needed functionality over the course of 16 operational deliveries. it has first group of systems to support early hiring of training and in the next few months we'll see key testing and production deadlines for many additional systems. however, our ongoing work has determined that the bureau is at risk of not meeting key i.t. milestones for five upcoming operational deliveries. these include deliver reese of internet self-response, something the bureau relies on for a significant portion of the sense us and recruiting and hiring for peak operations which includes hiring hundreds of thousands of temporary employees to assist in counting the population. the bureau needs to closely monitor the schedule risks in order to ensure that they're all delivered on time. regarding cybersecurity, the bureau is working hard to assess security controls and gain the proper sign off to ensure that
each system is ready for operations. although a large majority of the 52 systems have received at least an initial authorization to operate, significant work remains. according to the bureau, nine systems will have to have their security controls reassessed to account for additional development work prayer to the 2020 census and five systems are still awaiting that initial authorization. i'd like to note that we've been encouraged that the bureau is coordinate closely with the department of home land security on cyber issues. dhs has provided this assistance through cyber threat intelligence and information sharing and through conducting incident management and vulnerability assessments among other activities. all of these internal and external assessment efforts including recent evaluation performed by the commerce department's office of the inspector general are vital especially since the majority of the systems that will support 2020 operations contain personally identifiable information. at the end of the day, however, they will only be as valuable as the corrective actions the
bureau takes in response to them. we recently made two recommendations to the bureau calling for management attention in this area. the first call for the bureau to address the security to do list in a timelier manner and to establish a more formal process for tracking and completing actions in response to dhs assessments. the bureau reported that it is working to implement the recommendations. the bureau will be better positioned to ensure that the assessments will have improvements to the cybersecurity posture. in summary, we are running short on time before key census operations begin. moving forward, it will be critical for the bureau to devote enough attention and effort to completing i.t. system development activities and implementing cybersecurity improvements in a timely and prioritized way. mr. chairman, this concludes my statement. >> i want to thank all of the witnesses. mr. dillingham, just real quickly, you sounded pretty
confident which i like to hear. there are still issues and concerns. would you start off by just addressing some of the issues raised by gao in the testimony? >> i think we do agree and we agree with the recommendations and they say we're making progress, and the faster we make progress the better. at the same time, one of the things that we're doing at the census bureau, your concerns generally represent potential risks and we're engaged in risk management at the bureau and all sort of ways with our i.t. systems and with our cybersecurity and with our operations, as well. so in general what i would like to say we are managing the risks. this is a mammoth operation. there are many parts to this operation and we have a great team in place and we're making a lot of progress in managing our risks. there will be risks throughout the census -- the 2020 sencensu and there will be risks in the
census bureau continuing. as a matter of fact, i think the guidance from gao is very helpful because it really reinforces the need for risk management. so in general, let me say that we agree that there are reinforces the need for risk management. we're making progress and we will continue to make progress. >> i'd like to just get a response out of gao. you're obviously laying out these issues. you're never going to mitigate all risks. are you fairly k lly confident e will be able to move forward and have an accurate census? what's your level of confidence? >> i think it's encouraging that the bureau has agreed with the recommendations we've made. we have acknowledged the establishment of a risk
management. our process improvements are really aimed at recognizing the fact that there's limited time until census day, limited resources. so the importance of really ensuring that priority is placed on the critical vulnerabilities and improvements >> what level of concern should this committee have about the success of the census in 2020? not saying it's going to be perfect. are we facing any kind of disasters you're concerned about? >> i always say trust but verify and look for some key indicators out there. >> look for the testing and the actions they're taking to correct some of the i.t. and cyber security issues, continue to monitor the census preparations. look to see if the census stays on schedule. all these key operations need to take place when they're supposed
to. because of immutable statutory deadlines there's no opportunity for recess, do-overs. i think if the census bureau gets a decent response rate and that there's no cyber security incident or i.t. shortfall, i think the seicensus bureau will positioned for a cost effective head count. i don't think we're looking at disaster but there's still a lot of work to be done going forward. >> one of the things that will drive cost effectiveness will be the success of the online self-response. in order to promote that, what is the census bureau doing? do you have a planned promotion campaign? >> we have all of the above and more. this is going to be the largest out reach campaign the census
campaign has ever done. it will be television, radio, it will be print, it will be social media, et cetera. and the messages we're presenting are consistent with what i had just summarized as easy, safe and important. we're going to stress the safe. your data is protected, confidentiality is protected. we have a history of protection. we have everything in place to protect the data. at the same time in using the new options that we have, it's very important that everyone realize the paper option still exists but in addition to that we now have the internet option and the telephone option. in the 2018 end to end test, actually most people responded by internet.
that was an instance where we conducted the test without publicity, without media. that's i think one of the features that the public needs to understand and take advantage of. it also may get into the discussion of reaching the hard to count. it's very important with the hard to count even though there are rural areas and tribal areas where connectivity may be an issue as well as telephone coverage at times. at the same time these options allow us to take the technology to go into those communities and reach the hard to count. they don't have to come to our area office to get assistance. they can get it by phone and, yes, they can do it on the internet. these are two important new developments that i think will make a world of difference.
>> the internet has progressed a lot since the last census. the online does represent the risk from a standpoint do we have the capacity to handle it. we saw that with healthcare.gov. do we have the capacity as well as in terms of cyber security, that will be the portal that the public can get into the census bureau. do we have the fire walls within that portal as well? >> i believe so. they're taking efforts to secure their systems. there's a lot of work still left to do. there's a lot of testing on specific systems and to make
sure those systems work well together. also to have a backup plan. we're waiting to get more details from the bureau on plans with respect to that. >> i just want to expand on the issue of hard to count and the fact that we're relying so much on the internet initially. in michigan we have 800,000 people who are considered hard to count. many of them don't have access to the internet. how do you follow up with folks who don't have that access, but when will you know they don't have access, how do you then reach out in person? it still seems to be a very person intensive type of process and you have to identify who doesn't have access to the internet.
how are you actually doing that? walk me through the process. >> let me give you an example in detroit. we've been to detroit. we met with the local leaders, some members of congress and others. i'm using detroit and i don't mean it in any way that may be, there's a lot of wonderful things going on with revitalization. >> absolutely. >> however detroit has lot population since 1950. each census their population has gone down. they were at over 1.8 million people and are now at just over 800,000. it's a very large geographical area of more than 140 square miles. some of those neighborhoods are the hard to count neighborhoods. so what we did in detroit is with the complete count committees and the partnerships
we have in detroit, we road around on a sunday morning and we went to the civic centers. detroit has divided its city into about seven districts and they're reinvigorating a sense of community. they have community centers, et cetera. the churches are still very vibrant even though the populations have dropped. we can take the technology into those areas and we are working with the partners in the city of detroit. so working together, our partnership specialists and these support groups and partners which are many in detroit, we can go right into those hard to count communities. i've seen the boarded up houses, i've seen the homes that were destroyed and we know there's homeless populations there, but we can reach them better than ever. in this area we doubled the number of partnership specialists who we see working directly with those communities can identify these needs and
respond. the appropriations committee asked us if we received additional funding what would we do, what would be our priority especially in rendering additional assistance. and we developed a potential plan that is not in our budget. it's a $90.5 million figure to it where we would take our recruiters, our temporary employees and allow them to continue going into those communities. that would increase the workforce by 5,000. we do take the technology to the hard to count and we also will be tailoring our commercials to the hard to count groups and reminding people, please always count your children. the counting of children, i'm amazing it has been a problem since 1850.
it is still a problem. we're not sure of all the dynamics, but the changing household structure. if children are living with relatives or others, they sometimes don't put them down. we need to make sure we count all the children. >> i'm pleased to hear your partnership approach because that's absolutely critical. the people who know those communities the best are a number of the organizations that you mentioned, the churches in particular that are closely connected in a lot of ways with the heart and soul of those communities. their assistance is going to be essential. i know you've been making street strides in detroit. that sounds as if it will continue to be a focus of the census going forward. >> i want to mention that we have the capability on our
website for the public in all jurisdictions across the country to monitor their self-response while the census is going on so we can target those hard to count areas, electronically, on our website. >> the other issue that we have to deal with is trust obviously in the census or it's not going to be accurate. unfortunately many americans mistrust government just generally and the bureau must focus its public communications and out reach to build that kind of trust. the bureau and the gao have identified that could increase costs as well. there are many folks that think some of the chaos we've been seeing lately regarding questions on the census is adding to the mistrust as well.
do you believe there is a significant public perception risk that the bureau must deal with and counteract in 2019, this year? and what should they be doing? >> absolutely. there is definitely a public perception risk. we've all seen the public dialogue of late. in the census bureau's own study, when they looked at barriers to participating in the census, that's exactly what they came up with. some of the top three barriers relate to trust and that's what the census bureau needs to overcome. there's concerns over data privacy and confidentiality. fear of repercussions that if you participate in the census, something bad will happen to you. the third factor is distrust of all levels of government.
even wouldn't the current issues going on in the world, there has always been this layer of difficulty and just a distrust of the government. so that's something when the partnership specialists go out when they hit the street, that's one of the greatest functions that they provide, because they are the trusted voice in the community. and they can reach out to people in their community. >> given the resee recent -- >> i think the census is doing that. >> at an elevated level because of what's happened? >> i think so. one of the things that has us concerned is the rate of hiring
of the partnership specialists. their goal was to hire 1500 by the end of june and they've made hiring offers to 813 now have come on board out of that. 782 are in the cue and the full complement of specialists won't come on board until september. this is a very labor intensive operatio operation. if you think about the number of counties there are in the country it's roughly two partnership specialists per county. on top of that they're also doing clerical chores too as well. so they definitely have their work cut out for them and they're already starting a little bit behind the curve. one of the things we'll be
looking at going forward is the extent to which they're able to hire at that pace, get up to speed, retain those people. i would say if the money is there, certainly having additional partnership specialists would certainly help the case. >> thank you. >> i'm going to run through about a hundred questions with you. we're going to hustle through some here. talk me through the breakdown of what you anticipate here, e-mail connections or reminders, web based reminders, phone calls. what's your first estimate besides paper of how people will actually fill out their census forms? >> in filling it out, really the experience we have would be the rhode island experience where a little over 50% replied by internet. >> this is web based, them logging into a site?
>> i can't say -- >> what do you estimate? is it an app they're downloading or -- [ inaudible ] >> that's getting a number, punching it in and talking to someone or it's all punching in? >> actually they're filling in the forms by their smart phone. we call that internet. if they're going to the phone assistance center, that's another proposition where they can get advice for filling it out on the internet or they can give the information right there on the phone to the person who will record it for them. >> on your phone or on your computer, actually logging into a certain place saying this is my address, this is who i am, filling out the form. or going onto the phone and calling in and talking someone
through? >> exactly. >> if that doesn't work, you're actually getting a physical form. when is a form physically mailed to you? >> for about 20% of the jurisdictions where there is low connectivity, we will send the form out with the first mailing. there's a total of five mailings. >> first mailing starts when? >> the first mailing would start in march. they really -- every week you're going to get a mailing if we don't hear back to you. the fourth mailing usually would be when you get the actual form. there is an encouragement. you can go do it on the internet or by phone. >> go online, the phone, do it and if you haven't the fourth time you're going to get a form and say can you fill this out and send it back in. >> exactly. there's another reminder.
there's an overlap between that and what we call the nonresponse follow up. nrfu is the phrase we use within the agency. sometimes too when the person first goes to the door in the nonresponse follow-up and puts a notice on the door about the census, they will get online. >> let me ask this question. for years i have asked the question april 1st is census day for us officially, april 15th there's also another large event that happens nationwide every single year, not every ten years. there's also a nationwide event. we have about 140 million people that do a filing with the irs. 127 million of those were
electronically. that seems like a unique opportunity for census and for irs to cooperate together once every ten years to see if the census information couldn't be added to their irs form and to get a very large group, 127 million households is a pretty big catch to have by april 15th and then to go chase after that. tell me why that wouldn't work. >> senator, i'm not here to tell you why it wouldn't work but i would tell you we're here to explore whether it will work and how it can work. >> obviously that's a 2030 question. we spent how much on the census this year? what's your estimate? >> it's close to $15 billion for the total life cycle cost. >> my hope is if we can gather a significant number of week by combining their irs filing and their census filing, i don't understand why we couldn't do
that. i know right now the fire that's in front of you is next year. but as you discuss and do after action reports i'd love for someone to get into the conversation could these two be combined. >> let me tell you this at this point. the different permutations or ways have yet to be explored. but i have been informed that there have been some conversations with private taxpayer services already, for example, that they could have the link at the end of the electronic form to the census. >> there's a pretty straightforward way to do this. there's a tremendous number of people that are used to electronically filing their taxes. we could gather all that census information the same time. let me ask your information about hiring. 2010 hiring temporary workers for the census was much easier because our unemployment rate
was so high in 2010. our unemployment rate is historically low right now. it's some of the lowest in 50 years. we have millions more job openings than we have people to fill it. how is that going for you? >> so far we've been pleasantly surprised. we hire people on a temporary basis. so the unemployment pool is perhaps not even our primary pool. we're getting retirees, people that already work time, we're getting uber drivers and different people that work part-time jobs and look forward to these jobs. in terms of the applicant pool, actually we have extended offers so more than 1600 partnership specialists. >> so much is going to be done by web based on the phone this
next time which good, we should. that will help us tremendously with efficiency. it also opens up the opportunity for phishing scams. what are we doing on the census level to get information to people out to say this is official and this is not? >> certainly that would be one of the things that will be part of our outreach campaign, our social media campaign. and we're also working with the agencies to address that. so we're alerted whenever there's a fake website or a phishing activity. we get alerted and we take immediate action. our i.t. and our cyber folks are working on that every day. >> thank you. >> thank you. welcome to all of you and thank you so much for your hard work. dr. dillinghamm in new hampshire
we were recently reminded how every level of government has to prepare against cyber attacks. just a few weeks ago the stratford county government experienced a cyber attack that took their systems offline. ho however the government had prepared ahead of time. they were able to implement a continuity of operations plan in this case by reverting to pen and paper. this event highlights an important lesson on resiliency at all levels of government. what has the census bureau done to improve the resiliency of the 2020 census? does the census bureau have continuity of operations plan should the online questionnaire suffer a cyber attack?
>> we do have a continuity of operations plan. the cyber attacks primarily our planning is to mitigate any damage. so we have built in safeguards that parts of our system can immediately be closed down and any issues that we experience can be contained. that's part of our mitigation strategy. we do not as yet have a plan that the entire system, if it was to go down with specificity. we're looking at what these dramatic options might be. but we are very carefully working on the more probable threats that can occur in both preventing them and containing them when they do occur. we're following best practices and working closely with intelligence agencies, dhs and the private sector. we have relationships with them so even the private sector will help us to identify these
threats when they might occur. we will be looking at the entire range. we do have a continuity of operations scenario, but i would like to examine more carefully the catastrophic scenario that you might be alluding to. >> i'd like to follow up with that and gao on that. just in the past if any questions arose about the integrity of census data, there was a paper trail of all census reports. obviously now with this online portal and systems, the census bureau needs other mechanisms for keeping these records. in the event of a cyber incident, is part of your plan -- or how would you go back and validate census responses if you find that the information you've collected online has been potentially compromised? >> senator, some of the specifics i'd like to get back to you with but we do have
redundancies built into the system and we have information stored on the cloud as well as at a facility. so we do have redunanciredunanc in. >> we have talked about some of the hard to count populations. it's obviously very important to make sure that the census is accessible to everyone. this is particularly important for individuals who experience disabilities, who may face additional barriers to successfully complete a traditional census form and be counted or go online. if you're not able to type, that presents its own kind of challenges. in addition, because the census does not ask about disability, it's impossible to measure an
undercount of people who experience disabilities similar to other counts for hard to count populations. can you explain how the census bureau addresses this particular concern including targeted out reach to individuals who experience disabilities and how individuals who are self-responding may receive assistance to complete their census form when that form is not accessible. >> senator, we do a lot of that through our partnerships and we will be partnering with organizations that have as a primary interest and as a side interest reaching the populations, the disabled and those with other forms of disabilities. we also to some extent our backup is the enumeration. when we do the enumeration, if they're not able to submit either electronically or by phone and by paper and we come knocking on the doors, they could be in a group facility for example or they could be an
individual's residence. we will find a way to get those people to be able to answer the census. i'd compare it to a very rare language. even though we're going to have assistance in many different languages, there are communities that i've heard of where there's less than 200 people maybe in this country that speak that language. what we do is reach out to the community, to the universities. we find the special talent that we need. we would do that with people who suffer from visual disabilities and other physical disabilities as well. we do have mechanisms by which in the enumeration we can reach those very hard groups to count and we have ways of getting the special assistance to them. >> that is reassuring to hear and i think will be important, because i think no one doubt's
the intention here. to the degree you all can be transparent about where your partnerships are, there are a lot of people in the disability community who would be very willing to make sure that they are bolstering those partnerships too. i'd look forward to further discussion about that. >> let me clarify. we already have some of those partnerships. >> i'm sure you do. >> we'll make sure the public is aware of that. >> thank you so much. >> let me ask you about the strategies related to counting for the census counting in rural areas, particularly portions of my state of missouri. so for instance, almost 550,000 people in missouri are considered hard to count. that's almost 9% of my state and multiple counties. what happens in those areas where you not only have a rural
population where maybe there are nontraditional mailing addresses and limited internet access. from 2013 to 2017 over 20% of missouri's households either had no internet subscription or only dial-up. what's the strategy for counting there? >> we have a multifaceted strategy, particularly in the rural hard to count areas. one is that we have already studied the nation in those areas that have limited connectivity. and for the 20% of the nation we're gone to mail out the questionnaire in the first instance to them. one of the things in the time i didn't have to address in talking about the partnership specialists, the partnership specialists are really our connection to the community. we envision more than 300,000 partnerships that can range from
a local barbershop. i think we have 2500 complete count committees. every state has a complete count committee with the exception of two and we hope they'll come on board soon. but they're local governments and they have rural populations, but their local governments have many complete count committees. we could not conduct this census without the assistance of our partnerships and the people that are helping us. what we want to do is have that multiplier effect through our partnership specialists, but in addition to that we have the outreach media campaign. in rural areas, some listen to the radio more than they watch tv and different things like that. we have to be able to do that and provide the media that
reaches them best. and then assuming we have this multiplier effect with 're partnership specialists assistance or using the community groups, we can take the technology to them. i went to one jurisdiction in new mexico, very rural area. the senator went with me. that was an extreme example of a hard to count area. that's why we went there. we determined to get self-reporting, the only two mechanisms we saw at the time was the local grocery store and service station as well as the church. this was a community that didn't want people coming in and there were all sorts of barriers to people coming in. they did not trust the government. and so when we saw that, we are working with our partnership specialis specialists. we need efforts at the grocery store, we need efforts with the
local churches. that is an extreme example. we will work with the local officials and groups to make sure we reach them. >> thank you very much. that's very helpful. let me ask you about the effect of national disasters and accuracy in census counting. when you have flooding or tornados that displace people sometimes for a long period of time from their homes, both of those natural disasters have hit my state and particularly devastating effect. we have lots of people who are displaced in the state. how do you tackle this and account for that displacement? >> that can pose a lot of challenges and we're working on that presently. we're working on that with puerto rico. we're actually going to every residence in puerto rico. we're doing that in mexico city, northern year of florida where the hurricane had devastating impacts. and we're doing it in california
where the fires had burned out some housing areas totally. we're working particularly with florida right now. they came to my office, a delegation. they say, hey, these people have moved out. we'd like to have them counts where they were. that poses a problem for us. what we do is we work with them. any that come back at census time and are living there and reestablished, we can count them. but at the same time we're also informed, for example, that working crews are coming there for two or three years to help build back the area. you count the working crews. it's whoever's living in that jurisdiction. so we'll work with those communities and find whutout wh best. we look forward to working with you on planning that. >> in my written opening
statement i referred to the ongoing cooperation and oversight that we've been conducting with the census bureau and government accountability office. over the course of the last couple of years through that communication to that collaboration, my confidence is certainly growing that we don't have some disaster on our hands here. i think one of the things i'd like both gao and mr. dillingham to comment on this. but this isn't the census bureau's first rodeo. they're not reinventing the wheel. you talk about community partnerships. this has been in place decade after decade. you're just going back to these tried and true methods as well as using and trying to implement technology. it's improved dramatically since 2010 when that didn't work too well. i do want to obviously have this committee hearing point out the difficulties so we remain dill
ja diligent and stay on top of things. but it's also important to communicate to the public we do have things in a manageable situation and i don't think anybody should be panicking. am i wrong in this assessment? >> no. we would agree with that. the census bureau has a very strong management team. this is not their first rodeo. a lot of experience going into the census. there will be some glitches. it happens all the time with something this massive. there are a lot of moving parts. i think how they work with the oversight organizations and, you know, this is actually my third census. i started this in 2000. i think the tone is much different. it's starting to change on the 2010 census and we're seeing
that continue into the 2020 census, much greater willingness to work with oversight folks. gao put the 2020 census on its high risk list. they're not being defensive about it. they're actually embracing being on the high risk list. this is a cry for help, we need the resources. they're working with us. we share our best practices and a range of different management areas, everything from cost estimation to scheduling to i.t. management. dr. dillingham met with the head of our organization. we meet with dr. dillingham on a monthly basis just to share information. we're really all on the same side here in favor of a good census. i agree with you 100%. >> i think one of the concerns as you go back to 2010, the stories you hear of the implementation of technology. we spent $3 billion and it was a
total disaster. ten years ago we were talking about flip phones and blackberries, not eiphones. does anybody want to kind of compare and contrast that or anybody in the position to do so? >> i think that's a really important point. as you know, gao has had cyber security on its high risk list since 1997. i don't think that's going anywhere any time soon. the risks have continued to grow. we are encouraged by those efforts. i think one thing i'd come back to that you mentioned in the opening statement as well is we're very encouraged by the bureaus evident ffort to reach others to gain assistance. many --
>> i don't want to tip anybody's hands here, but in your mind do you have a list of priority risks when it comes to cyber security? is it that online self-response portal? are there other things? what are the most significant cyber risks? >> i think the reliance on the internet are creating many of those risks. but i would say that based on dhs's assessments, the bureau's own internal assessments, those done by the i.g. and recommendations we've made, the bureau has a good idea of what those risks are. where we felt like better attention needs to be made by management is to ensure they prioritize those risks. a system that needs a patch is going to have to get patched. others are going to be longer term. if some adjustments need to be made within a program or we need to hire more individuals, those are going to take more time.
from our perspective, i think that focus of ensuring that the bureau itself knows what the priorities are, communicates it to leadership. >> what do you think is the greatest cyber risk or risks that you're dealing with here in the 2020 census? >> mr. chairman, i am not sure what the greatest is, but i want to endorse the comments just made and the need for us to constantly prioritize and evaluate the risk. this is a day and age where you don't know -- i must confess watching television last night and they had experts on tv discussing the ongoing cyber war between nations. there are certain things that may be unpredictable. that's one of the reasons that we identify the risks, we prioritize and have the risk registries so we can
continuously evaluate. if we get indicators as to what the risk may be from the intelligence agency or others, we can act on it quickly. >> so you have a priority list but also you're going to remain flexible to emerging risks. that is correct. with the 2020 census, we have an overall risk registry of 29 major risk categories. but we have when you get down to the numbers, we scan for 100,000 risks every month. and in the last year, you know, there are different types of risk, but in the last year i've seen figures where we have responded to approximately 150,000 risks. now, many of those are really i.t. risks that can be quickly resolved. some others we have a process, we call it a plan of action that we put together and we establish the milestones. g.a.o. looks at our milestones
and they remind us if we're not meeting our milestones, but we're doing that ourselves as well. we're always managing the risk with the best information, the most knowledge and the most expertise and i think some of the best new tools ever. >> in gao's testimony they were talking about the computer system for the hiring process. we spoke over the phone about where you are in terms of hiring the people. you were actually quite optimistic about that. you want to talk about the computer system, but you also want to talk in general about where the bureau is in terms of its hiring. >> sure. one of the important innovations we have this time is that people can apply online and we're advertising that and we ask you and others to advertise that fact. go to our website 2020census.gov. i am pleased to tell you that
when i looked at the figures this morning, we had 600,000 people have applied for jobs. now we're in the process of hiring 60,000 of those to be what we call listers or canvassers. that is a monumental time saver, cost saver way of doing business. >> you're saying 600,000 have applied online? >> that is correct. >> obviously this hiring portal is up, it's operating, it's already accepted 600,000 applications. out of that, you're only going to hire a tenth of that? >> well, it is not all 600,000 for that series of jobs. i'm told about maybe 400,000 or half at least were. so we had about five or six potential applicants for each job. when we get to the enumeration and we need close to a half million people, then we would like to have 2.5 million people in that database.
we're hoping we're going to achieve that. particularly in the fall when it's time to engage that next hiring peak that we will experience. >> does your staff have that website that we want to highlight in the hearing yet? >> if i wasn't under the lights here, i would have remembered. 2020census.gov/jobs. >> sounds good. i would think going onto the census bureau's website -- >> you had mentioned one thing in that line of questioning about the importance of the experience and the depth of the partnerships. the team is deep at census. an e-mail this morning, there were two people i was commending for working on their seventh census. some of our senior staff have multiple censuses. many of them have four. when we hire the people, the partnership specialists and i go to columbia, south carolina, and the partnership specialists have
purchased their own beautiful red blazers embroidered with 2020 census and they're ready to go to work again. it is very encouraging and very motivational. when they cook the cakes with the 2020 census, these people look forward every ten years to coming back and working on the census. >> were we hiring second graders back seven decades ago? >> you would think so. there are a couple with 60 years. >> commend them for us, thank them for their service. let's talk about promoting that online self-reporting because i think that's huge. just self-reporting through the mailer as well. exactly what is the census game plan there in terms of advertising, what are your messages? >> the overall messaging for the campaign is shape your future, start here. that will be connected with the
link to the 2020 census where you can reply by internet. in many instances you can link directly. it will have the link in the advertiseme advertisement. in others it may be on the air. but there's going to be tremendous -- we have, again, one of the largest campaign contractors in this area and we have subcontractors for all the hard to count populations or at least large groups of them. we think that people will go directly to that. in one city that i was in, they were just putting in wifi in the buses and the city was saying, hey, we can put advertising on the buses and people on their way to work can answer the census. >> help the government save money, self-report.
>> absolutely. >> that at least resonates with me. >> absolutely. that is sometimes a hidden message and maybe it should be more visible. >> i like very overt messages particularly when it comes to saving government money. >> i'm tom carper and i approve that message. [ laughter ] >> thank you for the good work you and your colleagues are always doing. this brings back deja vu ten years ago when we had other folks sitting at this table and we go through these, ask a lot of questions. i'm pleased to hear that real progress appears to be made on the technology front to get better results, more accurate results for maybe less money. dr. dillingham people say to me, what keeps me up at night.
what keeps you up at night? not only that, what are a couple of things we can do here in the congress to make sure you get a better night's sleep? >> senator, thank you so much. i know what a great supporter you are of the census as well as the census bureau. we very much appreciate that. we've had some conversations with regard to security and other things and appreciate your keen interest in that. the thing that keeps me up at night is really making sure all the pieces in place and that we stay on schedule, on time and on budget. that's the overall business plan and it's an excellent plan developed over a decade as the chairman mentioned. so that's really -- it's all pieces of it that keep us up at night. as far as supporting congress, i want to thank the congress for the demonstrated support, both financial and otherwise. but one of the things is and was pointed out during this hearing is we have to communicate this message to a much wider group.
congress is well positioned to do that. we have delivered for example tool kits to every member of congress on how they might work with their partners and others to get the job done. we have seen members of congress embrace this. we've seen some very healthy competitions. i know for example the mayor in milwaukee was telling us when we were there that he has a friend friendly bet with the mayor of minneapolis to see who could get the highest self-response rate. we've had members of congress say, oh, we published the partnership list and they say i've got all of these partners i'm working with and i may be head of the census caucus, but i look at my neighbor woman and friend and that list is shorter. so i'm going to nudge them a little bit and say we need a competition here. you need to catch up with me. whatever the mechanisms are, just spreading the word that
it's safe and easy and important, and i think we're well positioned at this point. we have a definite path forward. some people would speculate that even the attention that may be considered attention of disagreements on the census could in fact become beneficial because people know how that the census is very important and they will engage in helping us reach everyone. >> thank you. i understand that this new entity within dhs that goes by the acronym cisa whi. we understand that cisa has partnered with the census bureau to prioritize the cyber security posture of the 2020 census.
one of the tools that dhs has to help manage agencies' cyber security risk is the department's einstein system. einstein two says a car of interest has gone through. can you give us an overview of how the einstein systems, starting with one, two and three, have been implemented in securing the information collected but the bureau, if at all? >> i love your analogy on how that works. einstein has been mentioned
publicly, but what i'd like to do is perhaps have my team come and speak with you and your staff on that. we have visited the dhs offices and we made sure that everyone had the proper clearances. it's a sensitive topic. i'd be glad to talk with you about that. >> maybe when they come they can bring another tool kit for us. one of the major goals that my staff and i hope to achieve with this hearing is having both the seine census and gao identify those milestones that we need to monitor so we can know whether the census remains on track for the 2020. give us an example of a couple.
>> we will certainly keep you updated. i know gao will and we will as well at any time. we'll pass the information to you and we're very pleased to say we're on track now and we want to remain on track. >> what are some of the benchmarks or milestones that we ought to be mindful of in watching? >> sure. with respect to the two i.t. challenges we've highlighted previously, the next six months are pretty critical. of those 16 operational deliveries i think about nine are going to have some pretty critical i.t. perspective. there's a lot of work in ensuring that not only have these systems been developed, but that their performance is going to work as intended. i've reviewed all of the reports
that dhs has produced for the bureau. i think they're good recommendations so we just need to see how the bureau addressed those head on. >> one of the concerns i have is ensuring that census enumerators are properly identified and that the public can trust that the person showing up at their house is indeed credentialed census bureau employee. give us an idea of what the bureau is doing so that the public can that the person knocking on their door is who they say they are. >> one of the options we're looking at is actually every police department across the nation has a roll call in the morning. we're even thinking of videos that we can share with the local police and remind their
officers, et cetera. but i did have a police chief in the state of georgia who specifically mentioned that. we went through a hard to count area. it it happened to be a high crime area. he said we need to know exactly your credentials, what they look like so we can make sure. wii discussed this with the office of the inspector general. she agreed. we have a joint letter that would go out to all the law enforcement on that topic. >> we try to make sure parents are bringing their children in for doctor appointments. a lot of the folks signed up on medicaid we have a lot of absenteeism, people don't show
up. what we've done for years in delaware is text for baby and we have the phone number of the parents and they get text messages saying like one week from today is an appointment for your child and it works. text for baby works. it might be just one more idea, one more tool in your toolbox that you might want to think about. >> technology is a wonderful thing. i appreciate you pointing tout security issue of strangers walking up, knocking on a door and making sure the american public understands this is a census worker here. i'm aware that a couple of senators are still going to come back from the vote and ask a couple of questions. i'd like to give the director a little chance to layout some basics, starting with the laws
in place to protect this information. this is not used for purposes other than what it's intended in the census. i want you to cover that first. >> title 13 made it a very serious federal crime, five years in prison and a quarter of a million dollars in fines for anyone who violates confidentiality. so the hau in and of itself has a lot of teeth in it. there's been no instance since then where the census bureau officials have been convicted of such a crime. >> the seicensus goal is to cou everyone in the country? >> that is correct. >> talk about that purpose and exactly how it's used, what it can be used for, what it can't be used for. >> the data we collect is really
very simple. it's in title xiii as well. the recent executive order by the president recognizes that. at the end of the day the census bureau produces aggregate statistics. we produce aggregate numbers. that's our product. so we collect data, we analyze it and a number comes out. this number is a not a personally identifiable number. we have mentioned to members of congress that looking forward the future with enhanced computer capabilities and the matching of data with public and private data sets, with large commuter systems, we are putting in place some additional
safeguards to that will not be an option for people in the future. >> the numbers are obviously used to apportion houses. >> exactly. >> to inform congress in terms of public policy. but very specifically you said law enforcement. we're talking about no form of lor law enforcement, not local, not state, not federal. just reinforce that point. >> that is correct. at the end of the day public numbers, so whatever numbers go out the entire country can use or internationally they can use the data. it will be aggravate data that you cannot violate someone and know their personal data from that. we don't have any other information sharing understa understandings or arrangements. it is not used for law
enforcement or any other purpose of that time. >> i think that's an important point to reinforce someone going to gao who's taking a look at inspections of the census department, have you -- census bureau -- have you ever seen this information misused? >> no, never. the census bureau goes to great lengths to maintain the privacy and confidentiality of the information. and it extends from, as dr. dillingham said, it's a one-way flow of ffgs. the census bureau has access to oathered agencies' information. other agencies can't access the sep su census bureau's information. there are other safeguards mentioned, every person who works on the census, even gao, others, we take an oath not to disclose the data, and that's a lifelong oath as well. we undergo training every single year. if i don't take the training, the bureau is quick to say, hey, you haven't taken the data stewardship training.
so even in terms of where the census bureau locates its area census offices, they go to great lengths not to put them in buildings where there are other law enforcement agencies. again, to show that distance between the census bureau and other agencies. finally, once the date are released, there's a whole smorgus board of things, steps the bureau takes so the data doesn't get accidentally disclosed. if you get down to low levels of geography, it might be, you can look at someone's house, it's the biggest house on the block there, under normal circumstances you might be able to trace that back. the census bureau does go through this closure. they actually add noise to the database so it's not possible to find information on that household. >> to summarize, the law is clear, the law is strong and the culture been the census bureau reinforces exactly that law in terms of this is a one-way
street, information comes in -- >> doesn't go out. >> it's not used by law enforcement for any purpose what solve. it's simply used for the purposes intended, stated in law, title 13. >> that's correct. excellent summary. >> as you said, it's a culture thing, too. >> that's important, we want to provide that assurance to the public because we want that full accounting. >> thank you so much, chairman. dr. dillingham, indian country is a special place. >> yes. >> the treatment of native populations of the federal government is personal to me. the navajo nation in arizona has a poverty rate of 38% which is more than twice as high as the rest of the state of arizona. the median household income on the nation is only $27,389 per year. so members of the nation are guaranteed by treaty benefits such as health care and education. arizona has more bureau of indian education schools than any other state. in lake kavasu, an elementary school has been under federal government control since 2002 and yet only 20% of students go
on to graduate from high school. that's compared to 72% of american indian students nationwide. in 2018, the school only had 1 permanent teacher and one special education teacher for all nine grades. i know personally the positive impact a good education can have on someone's lives. the undercount of native american populations even more worry sh, as they defend on an accurate koupd count they're owed. so, in 2016, it was anuannounce there would be two tests in indian country. to measure proposed tribal enrollment question and quoting from census materials, quote, test the integration of systems for the update operation where census field staff visits households to update the list of addresses and count the people
at the address. this operation typically occurs in areas where we have a low likelihood of mail delivery, unquote. these tests were canceled and the questioned abandoned due to budgetary uncertainty. what were the impacts of instituting the update eenumera programming in indian country without previous testing? >> let me, if i can, i'll start more generally, you're exactly correct. the navajo nation is a hard to count population. i went to a portion of the navajo nation in new mexico and i know it stretches across arizona all the way to the grand canyon. and as i mentioned in my opening statement, it's the size of west virginia. i have seen, i've ridden through areas along with the vice president of the navajo nation who i could not have been more impressed with with his dedication and motivation to making sure everyone is counted. we actually went down some of those dirt roads and some of those very rural areas where
there's no plumbing, sometimes no electricity, and sometimes not accessible by vehicle. and so i have seen -- i went to a home where only the navajo language was spoken and they were building beside the home some other structures for other members of the family that needed to be counted. so we need to make sure that everyone's counted once they reach that home. but i did hear from that individual, also, that not only do they have problems with connectivity, computer -- interpret connect internet connectivity but they said they had to go stand on top of the doghouse with their cell phone g to get coverage in that area. so i've seen these challenges and we've talked with the officials, particularly in that chapter of the navajo nation, that was nearest west of albuquerque. and in investigating -- i will say that there was a broadband provider that had the cable actually on the nearby land
ready to run it, and in that particular instance, it appears that they would have their facilities connected in time for the dissenall census which would be a mammoth improvement. it's where their court and all their functions were. now, back to the 2016 tasks that were canceled, that predates me by several years. however, and i understand that for budgetary reasons, they were, but i would not -- my understanding of those tasks, they were multifaceted. one was, in fact, to -- with the populations that they were looking at, there were some other issues with regard to enrollment into the tribal population, and i know that there were some native american organizations and maybe tribes that that wasn't an interest area of theirs and others, it was. in addition to that, it was really testing out the operations, in my understanding,
it was by in large reaching them in this very tough geographic location. and sometimes members of the tribe, especially for the enr l enrollment purpose, they may live in albuquerque during the week and go back and forth with their relatives. they were being counted outside the reservations. that was concern, also, to the native americans. i will say we have tested our systems and our systems were working and so we have learned even though we did not test in those jurisdictions, but it still leaves the issue on reaching them. so what we're doing with our partnership program is we're hiring people from the tribes that can reach them or that work with them and in one instance, and it was the one that i visited, we had an i.t. person from the tribe who was assisting the tribe with these options. in some cases, it may be that if
they can't establish connectivity with a telephone or through the internet with a computer, then we hope they will mail back the forms and we will provide the language assistance. but even if that doesn't happen, we actually send the enumerators out and that is no simple task. i've heard some stories about that. and one of our enumerators walking five miles through the desert when her car broke down. so i want to both commend these enumerators but say that it's a mammoth job to reach some of these populations. i sympathize with you. i'm not sure if there's any disadvantage as a result of that particular test being canceled at that time. but we will work with you and make sure that in your state, we do everything possible through our partnership program, through our outreach program, as well as in the mailing options and in those instances, as i mentioned earlier, we send out the questionnaire and the very first
mailing if they have low internet connectivity in that geographic area. so we will do everything we can. we want to work with you and your local officials, state officials, local officials, tribal officials, to make sure everyone is counted. >> well, thank you for that answer. this is particularly important, as you mentioned the navajo nation, many residents in indian country lack an address. >> yes. >> and so it is especially difficult for the census bureau to identify those households. and, of course, as you alluded to, the nonresponse follow-up is incredibly important in these very remote areas. so i will take you at your word and ask that we work closely together as we head into the census. as you noted, the navajo nation is the largest nation all of indian country and, unfortunately, has had fairly dismal census cooperation and returns in past years. this is very important to us. census bureau focus group documents have discussed what they call unusual respondent
behavior and fears of how the government may use the information that's collected next year. one document that i reviewed showed that field staff have requested additional support to help overcome some of this mistrust in communities, particularly communities of color in arizona. how has the census bureau addressed the issues raised by field staff in the areas of concern around distrust and requests for additional staffing? and what are you doing to ensure that american indians and alaska natives are reached carefully and that their concerns around mistrust of the government's use of this information is allayed before the census occurs. >> senator, that's, again, an excellent question. you referenced our focus groups and it sounded like the research may maybe that you were referring to is the product of some of the focus group activities, and we've had more than 120 focus groups across the country including with native americans.
those have been very important. the direct intent of those focus groups are for purposes of our media campaign. how best can we reach them? in some instances like in new mexico, we find it's radio as versus tv, et cetera, because if they have a vehicle, they typically have a radio. sometimes they rely on that radio and that's the best mechanism. so the outreach campaign will have that, but we will have special materials, we will have, again, it's integrated with the partnership specialist. we will hire specialists from those communities and from those tribes. the -- also the -- the distribution of our materials during nurfu will be extremely important. i know that when i was in the navajo country there, we even went to the health centers and they recognized the importance of that facility when people come for health services that that also could be a place where
they could be informed about the census and we would have the capability of sharing the census information, either by -- by phone, internet, or by the hard copy that we could set up, perhaps, a census day there through our partnership specialists. so there are many different ways we're going to try to reach that hard count community. we look forward to working with you. probably the most important one i would say in many ways is the trusted voices. so both in the media and the partnership specialists, et cetera, and the complete count committees, and i do think the complete -- i do know that there are complete count committees, and i will discover what particular one the navajo nation may have. they may have several. but through those mechanisms, we have trusted voices, and when the authority figures and the trusted voices in those communities express their support for the census as well as the importance and easiness with which to respond, i think we will achieve a lot of
progress in that area. >> thank you. >> thank you. senator rosen? >> appreciate you for bringing this hearing. thank you to all the witnesses for being here today. i want to continue on a little bit on the language assistance mode before i go into some other areas. dr. dillingham, last week, i joined some of my colleagues in sending a letter requesting the census bureau provide additional language options for the internet self-response and census questionnaire. these support services would ensure that immigrant communities from places like cambodia, vietnam, and laos, including the large laos community can actively participate in the census and be counted. as we note in the letters, sometimes the communities face unique challenges because of their refugee challenges, intergenerati intergenerational poverty and
drama faced during the vietnam war. i'm wondering if you had a chance to review the letter and in there's a plan to offer self-response in these languages. >> senator, i will look -- i'm aware of a series of letters that touch on this topic. i will certainly get back to you very soon with regard to your letter. we have 59 languages that we provide assistance to. we do through our customer service phone centers, we have english plus 12 additional languages which would not encompass the ones that you menti mentioned. and then we actually have a list, we go down through the 59 languages and the percentage population that we're able to reach with the language assistance is 99.6%. and that's still not enough. we have the enumerators that ultimately will be knocking on the doors, but we would appreciate self-reporting ahead
of time. so in those -- in those areas, and in the languages you mentioned, i'm assuming maybe it's in an urban area, maybe it's in las vegas. or whatever. we have partnership specialists there that will identify that need. and they biwill link up with th local university or whoever can assist in that effort -- >> okay. >> in terms of actually changing our -- it's probably unlikely at this point that we can actually change our systemic way of reaching them, but we will find a way -- >> we can find a way to get them there. >> yes. >> thank you. i want to move on to a little bit of the i.t. and cyber staffing, so today, the gao released a report detailing the actions the census bureau has to take to address the key risks for a successful census. under the category of cyber security, it's noted as of the end of may 20619, the bureau ha over 330 corrective actions from
its security assessments that needed to addressed. out of the 330, 217 were considered high risk or very high risk. of those 217, 104 recommendations were delayed, considered delayed, due to technical challenge or resource constraints. so i want to ask a little bit about resource constraints. are they a financial issue or manpower issue? number one. which one? then i'll have some other follow-up questions. >> senator, with regard to those specific 330, i mentioned in my opening statement that risk management is the way we do business, and we have a continuing list of those risks and right now it's in the -- >> no, but in order to address these -- >> yes -- >> -- do you need financial help or do you need manpower help? and with the manpower, i have one important question. >> i would say, actually, neither of the two are the
driving force because we continuously, and we will have 300, or perhaps, more risk. they change every day. risks come off and risks go on. >> so how can they not -- >> very dynamic. >> a person has to correct them, so there has to be some manhours associated -- >> that is correct. we've had discussions internally. we will never be at zero. >> no, no, no, i understand you're never at zero, but in order to meet your timeline, these very high-risk things, we have a timeline of when we have to start. and when we have to end. so understanding we'll never be at zero, always taking corrective action. i wrote computer software forring. i get it. >> sure. >> my point is the tasks that need to be done as far as manpower is concerned, are they consecutive tasks or concurrent tasks? is throwing more people at it an issue? is it a matter of trying to test it concurrently? how can we help you make sure you meet and correct these highest issues with the resources that you need?
there's a very specific begin and end date here. it's not an ongoing rolling thing that we always have when we're maintaining software systems. every software system in the world. >> yes. well, senator, we have remedied or resolved 150,000. so the 300 which of all varieties, we continuously work on -- >> you feel confident you need no more resources to address the risk. >> senator, we have, actually, we have a good team in place. we always could use a few more. i can't say the process in having those risks are necessarily the product of that. we have talents and we do have some openings in some of our i.t. areas that would always be -- we're working to fill those now, but i can't say it's the direct product of a current budget need. so it's not because of a lack of funding, it's attracting the talent and getting the right people and the right place doing
the right things and we are working them. so we can always -- always do better. we can always work harder. but we're working the rest. >> do you think -- i actually really want to -- and i -- what i'm thinking is is we go forward, we have a timeline for this, and there's always things to do, and so as we tie this into our cyber-ready workforce bills, other things i introduced, we have these ongoing needs. this is one of the reasons i'm asking because as we prepare not just for a census that happens every ten years but for things that happen every year, the resources, the manpower, having that in place, understanding those needs, and how we can help position people to be in that place, is really important. so that's why i was asking those questions. >> i agree with you, senator, and we -- we're -- the gao will testify that we're making progress. we want to make more progress and do it faster. but i can tell you that if there
was a direct resource need, i'd certainly identify it to you, but i can't say i tribute that at this time that it's a resource need that's causing this risk list. it's really what we call a risk appetite is the language used by gao. you have to assess your -- there are risks each and every day as an individual or as an organization or as a program. for example, if i get on a motorcycle motorcycle, i have to decide i want my apparel and helmet on. for me, i have to require that. others may not. it's your risk appetite and we do want to make sure we lower those risks. we're working to lower those risks. and if we identify that this is the result of a lack of resources, we will certainly work with the committee and -- >> yeah, please let us know because this is very important that we get it right. >> yes. >> thank you.
>> thank you, senator rosen. before i acknowledge a group of young men who just joined in the room. 33 candidates to become green beret. looking as clean as they will in the next 30 days. tomorrow they start a 30 day intense field exercise. afterwards, they'll be awarded the green berets. i apologize i wasn't able to meet with you earlier. i'll hopefully stick around from, you know, after the hearing to answer a couple questions. but, i mean, these -- these gentlemen are the best of the best, the finest among us. i can't thank you enough for your service. we'll talk to you after the hearing. senator peters? >> thank you, mr. chairman. also i want to wish my best as well to these future green berets. we wish you all the best. the green berets have an incredible history of service to our country. godspeed, each and every one of you. dr. dillingham, final question
for you, many folks are very concerned there are bad actors out there that are going to attempt to discourage people from participating in the census and you're likely to see some disinformation campaigns put out through social media and other outlets. we obviously see misinformation or disinformation campaigns in a variety of contexts now around the world. it's reasonable to expect. we're likely to see it in this realm, particularly given the fact that trust is such an important aspect of census collection. so my question to you is, what are you doing to combat intentional disinformation campaigns that will be used to mislead the public and specifically are you working with platforms like facebook and twitter in anticipation of this? what can we expect out of the census bureau? >> senator, it's an excellent topic and question. we are working with the groups that you mentioned and some
other groups. we're working with the private sector as well. we do have collaborative relationships in place where they will share information with us as we need it, but we're also working as i mentioned with the intelligence agencies, particularly dhs. so we're thinking about it. we have a group devoted to just this topic. and they're doing both planning for prevention as well as response to these types of activities. and i do think, regretfully, we're in that age now where this, as you accurately point out, this is a potential vulnerability and a threat. and so we're planning for it. we're thinking of ways to help prevent it. and we are working with, i think, the best people with the most knowledge in both the public and private sector on that. but even in those sectors, it's something that they constantly work on and are worried about
and we are making plans to, in coordination with them, to r respond to it, to mitigate it, should it occur. >> i appreciate that. i think i'd like to have a further discussion with you. >> be glad to with staff and get into more specifics. >> to look into the details. >> yes. >> this is an issue we're confronting in the homeland security committee very broadly. both chairman and i serve on the armed services committee. these are real issues that we have to address. i look forward to working with your staff and getting it a better sense of how you plan to handle. then as these things materialize, the types of reactions that you're engaged in would be very helpful for us to monitor in our oversight capacity. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thanks, senator peters. again, i want to thank our witnesses. director dillingham, dr. goldenkoff, nick marinos. i leave this hearing feeling a lot better about the census. again, not that there might not be some risks, but i think they're being pretty well
managed and thought about and that's the first step in managing risk is understanding it and trying to mitigate it. so with that, the hearing record will remain open for 15 days until july 31st at 5:00 p.m. for the submission of statements and questions for the record. this hearing is adjourned. >> thank you.
but without folks like you who literally go out there -- today marks 50 years since astronauts neil armstrong, michael collins, and buzz aldrin, began their historic flight to the moon. "apollo 11" launched from the kennedy smait center. smithsonian national air and space museum is holding several anniversary events. check c-span's program schedule
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or listen live on the free c-span radio app. president trump held a cabinet meeting today and spoke with reporters. he said the four congresswomen who's criticized recently can, quote, go wherever they want or they can stay. he also talked about the economy, immigration, trade with china, and other topics. >> comfortable with all those cameras behind. it's good to have a good head of ha hair. you ready? thank you very much. our cabinet meeting. we'll start with a prayer, please. rick perry. >> yes, sir. mr. president, thank you. this is a -- put this all in perspectiv