A Review of the U.S. Census Plan for Realignment of Field Offices

Report
Restructuring the Census
Bureau Regional Offices
COPAFS Quarterly Meeting
September 9, 2011
Tom Mesenbourg
Deputy Director
U.S. Census Bureau
Future Success Demands Innovation
Improving Service to our Clients
• Survey cost task forces
Responding to a changing and demanding
environment
• Every-ten-year review of regional offices
• Increase efficiency, flexibility, and
responsiveness
Integrating the two objectives
2
The Need for Change
• Budgets will be severely constrained and may well decline over the
coming years, while field challenges increase
• Our survey sponsors are demanding lower costs, improved
efficiency, and increased responsiveness
• Over time, the Census Bureau’s share of Federally-sponsored survey
work has declined even though reimbursable work accounts for
over 20% of our total budget
• Survey organizations increasingly use real-time administrative
information to create leaner infrastructures
• Our regional office structure has remained substantially unchanged
for 50 years
• Hence, the survival of our survey business requires changes at HQ
and in the field
3
Decision Process for Restructuring
the Regional Offices
• Over the past year the Director, Deputy Director, Associate
Director for Field Operations, Chief of Field Division, and all 12
Regional Directors have worked together to build the
restructuring plan
• The process was goal and data-driven
• Over 20 RO designs were considered, ranging from 4 to 12 regions.
• Alternative designs were rated on eight goals, with a focus on
minimizing costs and improving data quality
• Costs savings, transition issues, and risks were documented for the
alternative design finalists
4
Two Elements of Change
• A Change in the Number of Offices
• A Change in the Management of Data
Collection
• The two are linked!
5
A Change in the Number of Offices
6 Regional Offices Option Selected
6
Delineating Regional Office
Boundaries
• States within regions were to be contiguous and states were
not to be divided
• Evaluative criteria― balance the number of interviewers,
workload (number of interview hours, projected 2020
population, and total housing units), and difficulty of data
collection (projected non-participation rates, and 2010 Hard
to Count scores)
• Chosen state groupings attempted to minimize inter-region
variation on these criteria and attain geographic compactness
of the region
7
Selecting Regional Office Cities
• Two prerequisites — existing regional office cities were
preferred over new cities and RO city must be in the region
it serves
• Eight criteria for city selection — large population, close
proximity to hard to count populations, geographic
centrality within the region, population centrality within the
region, high percent college educated population, large
transportation hub, low locality pay, low lease costs
• Standardized and summed results across criteria for each
city — city with the highest score in the new region was
selected
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6 Regional Office Structure
Regional Offices will be located in the following cities:
• New York, NY
• Philadelphia, PA
• Atlanta, GA
• Chicago, IL
• Denver, CO
• Los Angeles, CA
9
6 Regional Office Structure
These offices stay open
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New York, NY
Philadelphia, PA
Atlanta, GA
Chicago, IL
Denver, CO
Los Angeles, CA
These offices close
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Boston, MA
Charlotte, NC
Detroit, MI
Kansas City, KS
Dallas, TX
Seattle, WA
10
Regional Office Boundaries 2013
11
A Change in the Management of
Data Collection
A Quick Look at How Things are
Currently Managed
• Field Representatives work for Survey
Statisticians in the office
• Senior Field Representatives work for Program
Coordinators in the office, but also serve as
“Team Leaders” for Field Representatives
• Survey Statisticians in the office are responsible
for all aspects of a specific survey
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Supervision of FRs (25 to 100, depending on survey)
Analysis of Data
Management of Budget
Administrative Responsibilities
13
Current Regional Office Organizational
Chart and Communication Channels
Program
Coordinator
CEQ/CED
CPS
ACS
Field Rep (CE, CPS)
Survey Supervisor
(CE)
Senior Field Rep
(CE, CPS)
Field Rep (CE, ACS)
Field Rep (CE)
Other Survey
Supervisors/Senior
Field Reps
14
New Regional Office Organization Chart
Regional
Director
Assistant Regional
Director
Coordinator A
Survey Statisticians
(Field)
4
Field Supervisors
50
Field
Representatives
500
Coordinator B
Survey
Statisticians
(Office)
13
Assigned to
Individual
Survey
Programs
Assistant Regional
Director
Coordinator C
Coordinator D
Survey Statisticians
(Field)
Administration
4
Automation
Recruiting
Field Supervisors
50
Geography
Partnership
Field
Representatives
500
15
Staffing Changes in the
6 Regional Offices
• Two Assistant Regional Directors to oversee increased workload (in
addition to the Regional Director)
• 4 Program Coordinators to manage all surveys, plus all office and
field staff
• Survey Statistician (Office) with primary responsibility for managing
survey workloads versus field staff
• Support staff increased in the Regional Office to accommodate the
increased workload
• Home-based Survey Statisticians (Field) and Field Supervisors
manage the field representatives
• SFR and LFR positions will be phased out by December 31, 2014.
They are encouraged to apply for FS positions or become FRs
16
New RO Organization Chart
Data Collection
Regional
Director
Assistant Regional
Director
Coordinator A
Coordinator B
Survey Statisticians
(Field)
Survey Statisticians
(Office)
Assistant Regional
Director
Coordinator C
Coordinator D
Survey Statisticians
(Field)
Administration
Automation
Recruiting
Geography
Field Supervisors
Field Supervisors
Field Representatives
Field
Representatives
Partnership
17
Field Representative
Responsibilities
FR responsibilities and staffing levels will
remain the same, including:
• Receive assignments via laptop transmissions
• Contact sample addresses and establish
relationships with respondents
• Conduct interviews and any required listing
• Keep track of hours, miles, expenses, and other
administrative duties
18
Field Supervisor
Responsibilities
• Each FS will be assigned a geographic area with
responsibility for approximately 10-12 FRs regardless of
survey assignments
• Provide feedback to the SSF on all survey and staff
performance
• Manage surveys to meet response, quality and schedule
standards
• FRs report to a single supervisor (the FS) regardless of the
surveys they work on
• The FS will conduct FR payroll approvals, performance
evaluations, and corrective action
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Field Supervisor Training
• Management training in preparation to
supervise a group of FRs in the field
• Administrative training in preparation for
personnel, payroll, performance evaluation,
and other administrative duties
• Focused, program-specific survey training for
all surveys
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Survey Statistician (Field)
Responsibilities
• Approximately 8 SSFs per region
• Each SSF will be responsible for a specific
geographic area
• SSFs will work from a “virtual office” in their home
and report to an RO Coordinator
• SSFs will manage a staff of approximately 12 FSs
• Gives us professional expertise in 48 places
instead of 12
21
Survey Statistician (Field)
Responsibilities Cont’d.
• Responsible for the data collection process for their
area
• Fully trained on all surveys conducted out of that RO
• Works closely with statisticians in the Regional Office to
manage the data collection for all surveys, including
monitoring quality indicators, response rates, and costs
• Works with the RO to support FR recruitment and
training
22
New RO Organization Chart
Program Management and Analysis
Regional
Director
Assistant Regional
Director
Coordinator A
Coordinator B
Survey Statisticians
(Field)
Survey Statisticians
(Office)
Assistant Regional
Director
Coordinator C
Coordinator D
Survey Statisticians
(Field)
Administration
Automation
Recruiting
Field Supervisors
Field Supervisors
Field Representatives
Field
Representatives
Geography
Partnership
23
Survey Statistician (Office)
Responsibilities
• Located in the Regional Office
• Program Manager for a specific survey
– A “CE SSO”, for example
• The “expert” that’s responsible for the data
that’s being collected on the survey
• Primary Point of Contact between Region and
HQ for that survey
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Survey Statistician (Office)
• Analyzes data results and survey paradata
• Assists the SSFs in identifying patterns, trends
or inconsistencies that might need attention
• Manages the budget and resources
• Trains FRs throughout the region
• Works closely with HQ and sponsors to ensure
that the most accurate data are collected
within the survey budget
25
Program Coordinator
Responsibilities
• Four per Regional Office
• Reports to an Assistant Regional Director
• Manages field operations (SSFs), survey operations
(SSOs), or support functions (Administration,
Geography, Partnership, Recruiting, Automation)
on a rotating basis to gain experience and depth
• Ensures and enforces information sharing
between data collection and program
management and analysis
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New RO Organization Chart
Survey Support
Regional
Director
Assistant Regional
Director
Coordinator A
Coordinator B
Survey Statisticians
(Field)
Survey Statisticians
(Office)
Assistant Regional
Director
Coordinator C
Coordinator D
Survey Statisticians
(Field)
Administration
Automation
Recruiting
Field Supervisors
Field Supervisors
Field Representatives
Field
Representatives
Geography
Partnership
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Transition Timeline and
Key Milestones
This process is happening now
• Posting for new positions began in July 2011
• Training related to new duties and responsibilities
begins in October 2011
• SSF/FS/FR teams will transition to new supervisory
structure in 7 waves between January and
November 2012
• The entire transition will be complete no later than
January 2013
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Implementation Teams are Multi-Divisional
and Include Regional Staff
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Administration
Automation
Budget
Communications
Consistency
Data Dissemination
Data Quality
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Geography
Human Resources
Knowledge Transfer
Risk Review Board
Space and Logistics
Survey
Implementation
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Transition to New Field Structure
in 7 Waves
Cumulative Number of Field Staff (SSFs, FSs, FRs)
8000
Field Staff Transition to
6 Region Structure
7000
6000
5000
4000
Field staff transition
to new management
structure in 7 waves
Waves 1 – 6
One SSF, 12 FSs, and 132 FRs in each
of the 6 new regions (one data
collection team per region) transition
to new structure by wave between
January and October 2012 (870 field
staff nation-wide per wave)
3000
2000
1000
0
Wave 7
Two SSFs, 24 FSs, and 264 FRs per
region (two data collection teams per
region) transition to new structure in
November 2012
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Specific Geographies by Wave
Implementation Schedule
Wave 1
Wave 2
Wave 3
Wave 4
Wave 5
Wave 6
Wave 7
January 2012
April 2012
June 2012
August 2012
September 2012
October 2012
November 2012
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Wave Data Analysis
• Demographic characteristics were analyzed to determine if any
anomalies existed between wave. Variables included:
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Weighted tract average Hard to Count score
Total population in each wave
Total housing units in each wave
Weighted average % not completing high school
Weighted average unemployment rate
Weighted average rate below poverty level
Weighted average rate of renters
Weighted average percent Hispanic
Weighted average percent white
Weighted average rate of 65+
• Variances and confidence limits for the mean per wave were
calculated. These limits are consistent across all waves.
• Overall there are no obvious problems with the designated wave
sequence.
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Communications with Sponsors
• Director has briefed all sponsor agency directors
• Director and Deputy will meet quarterly with
counterparts and key project managers from
Census and the sponsor
• Closely Monitoring Cost & Quality during the
transition!
• Key performance and cost metrics will be used to
ensure transition is meeting customers requirements
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Monitoring the Transition
1. Client identifies set of key survey variables
2. Client identifies key predictors of these
variables
3. Census staff estimates predictive models on
those variables, together with a dummy
variable indicating new vs. old supervision
design
4. Together we examine these to guide next
steps
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Office Staff in Closing ROs
• Six offices will close January 1, 2013, through a
Reduction in Force (RIF) process
• Office staff in closing ROs can apply and will be
considered for vacancies in the remaining ROs and
elsewhere in the Census Bureau
• Staff apply for local positions as FRs, FSs, or SSFs
• Some will be eligible for retirement or “early”
retirement opportunities
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Assistance to Staff in Closing ROs
Employees in closing offices will be provided
with a tailored set of options and assistance that
includes:
• Preference hiring with other Federal Agencies within
the competitive area
• Individualized information about retirement, early
retirement, or separation incentives, severance pay
and/or unemployment benefits
• Resumé preparation and job-search assistance
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Assistance for Staff in Closing ROs
(continued)
Additional benefits in Closing ROs:
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Career Counseling
Interviewing Skills training
Job Placement services
Financial Planning
Other Services
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Questions?
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