GAO Finds 2020 Census Bureau Faces IT, Cybersecurity and Recruiting Challenges

“With just weeks before the 2020 census is set to roll out nationwide, the Census Bureau is lagging behind on recruiting temporary workers and addressing IT and cybersecurity risks tied to the first primarily online U.S. count, a new report by the Government Accountability Office warns.”

“The bureau recently discovered during testing that its main IT system for collecting online census responses was not able to allow enough users to fill out census forms at the same time “without experiencing performance issues,” according to the GAO report released to the public on Wednesday during a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing. Bureau officials have decided to switch to a backup system that they say will allow as many as 600,000 users to respond to the census online simultaneously.”

“But the government watchdog group’s report flags the potential dangers of making last-minute changes to the unprecedented plan to rely on online forms to count most of the 300 million-plus residents of the U.S.”

“Late design changes, such as the shift from one system to another, can introduce new risks, in part, because the backup system was not used extensively in…” Read the full article here.

Source: Watchdog Warns Census Faces Cybersecurity, Hiring Risks Before National Rollout – By Hansi Lo Wang, February 12, 2020. NPR.

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