The U.S. Census Bureau announced this week a realignment of its national field office structure and management reforms designed to keep pace with modern survey collection methods worldwide and reduce costs by an estimated $15 million to $18 million annually beginning in 2014. The reforms build on the work the Bureau’s leadership did in bringing in the 2010 Census on time and 25 percent under budget.
The changes are the first to the field office structure since 1961 and will result in the permanent closing of six of the agency’s 12 Regional Offices, affecting approximately 330 employees in a national field force of about 7,200. The six remaining Regional Offices will increase slightly in size, although a net loss of approximately 115-130 positions nationally is expected. Most staff reductions will happen through attrition, early
retirements, or transfers to vacant jobs at Census headquarters or
elsewhere across the federal government.
“Director Groves and his staff at Census are making good on the President’s charge to cut costs and change the way the government does business,” U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke said. “This reorganization supports the administration’s ongoing effort to make government more efficient, effective and accountable to the American people.”
The realignment will close Regional Offices located in Boston, Charlotte, Dallas, Detroit, Kansas City and Seattle. The remaining six Regional Offices and their new boundaries will be located in Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, New York and Philadelphia.
“As we go through this transition over the next 18 months, our Regional Office employees affected by this realignment will be our first priority,” U.S. Census Bureau Director Robert Groves said.
Advances in technology have allowed survey organizations to provide field interviewers with better tools and move to a leaner management structure. Increasing virtualization of supervision using more timely management information can yield both cost and quality advantages.
“Our professional field interviewers across the country are critical to helping us generate vital statistics about our economy, our communities and our households,” Groves said. “We owe it to them and the American people to constantly improve our processes and become more efficient, using taxpayer money wisely while maintaining the highest quality statistics.”
The U.S. Census Bureau is committed to finding the best possible outcome for each affected employee in a closing office and is seeking approval from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management to provide these employees with transition assistance, early retirement, retirement incentives, and job opportunities.
To learn more about the Census Bureau’s new Regional Office structure, visit HERE.