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Restructuring the Census Bureau Regional Offices Tom Mesenbourg Deputy Director U.S. Census Bureau COPAFS Quarterly Meeting September 9, 2011.

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Presentation on theme: "Restructuring the Census Bureau Regional Offices Tom Mesenbourg Deputy Director U.S. Census Bureau COPAFS Quarterly Meeting September 9, 2011."— Presentation transcript:

1 Restructuring the Census Bureau Regional Offices Tom Mesenbourg Deputy Director U.S. Census Bureau COPAFS Quarterly Meeting September 9, 2011

2 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

3 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

4 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

5 Two Elements of Change A Change in the Number of Offices A Change in the Management of Data Collection The two are linked! 5

6 A Change in the Number of Offices 6 Regional Offices Option Selected 6

7 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

8 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 8

9 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

10 6 Regional Office Structure These offices stay open New York, NY Philadelphia, PA Atlanta, GA Chicago, IL Denver, CO Los Angeles, CA These offices close Boston, MA Charlotte, NC Detroit, MI Kansas City, KS Dallas, TX Seattle, WA 10

11 Regional Office Boundaries 2013 11

12 A Change in the Management of Data Collection

13 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 – Supervision of FRs (25 to 100, depending on survey) – Analysis of Data – Management of Budget – Administrative Responsibilities 13

14 Current Regional Office Organizational Chart and Communication Channels 14 Program Coordinator Survey Supervisor (CE) Field Rep (CE, CPS)Field Rep (CE, ACS)Field Rep (CE) Senior Field Rep (CE, CPS) Other Survey Supervisors/Senior Field Reps CEQ/CED CPS ACS

15 New Regional Office Organization Chart 15 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 Survey Statisticians (Field) 4 Field Supervisors 50 Field Representatives 500 Coordinator D Administration Automation Recruiting Geography Partnership

16 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

17 New RO Organization Chart Data Collection Regional Director Assistant Regional Director Coordinator A Survey Statisticians (Field) Field Supervisors Field Representatives Coordinator B Survey Statisticians (Office) Assistant Regional Director Coordinator C Survey Statisticians (Field) Field Supervisors Field Representatives Coordinator D Administration Automation Recruiting Geography Partnership 17

18 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

19 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 19

20 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 20

21 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

22 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 Survey Statistician (Field) Responsibilities Cont’d. 22

23 Regional Director Assistant Regional Director Coordinator A Survey Statisticians (Field) Field Supervisors Field Representatives Coordinator B Survey Statisticians (Office) Assistant Regional Director Coordinator C Survey Statisticians (Field) Field Supervisors Field Representatives Coordinator D Administration Automation Recruiting Geography Partnership New RO Organization Chart Program Management and Analysis 23

24 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 24

25 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

26 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 26

27 New RO Organization Chart Survey Support 27 Regional Director Assistant Regional Director Coordinator A Survey Statisticians (Field) Field Supervisors Field Representatives Coordinator B Survey Statisticians (Office) Assistant Regional Director Coordinator C Survey Statisticians (Field) Field Supervisors Field Representatives Coordinator D Administration Automation Recruiting Geography Partnership

28 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 28

29 Implementation Teams are Multi-Divisional and Include Regional Staff Administration Automation Budget Communications Consistency Data Dissemination Data Quality 29 Geography Human Resources Knowledge Transfer Risk Review Board Space and Logistics Survey Implementation

30 Transition to New Field Structure in 7 Waves 30 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) Wave 7 Two SSFs, 24 FSs, and 264 FRs per region (two data collection teams per region) transition to new structure in November 2012 Field staff transition to new management structure in 7 waves Cumulative Number of Field Staff (SSFs, FSs, FRs)

31 Specific Geographies by Wave 31 Implementation Schedule Wave 1January 2012 Wave 2April 2012 Wave 3June 2012 Wave 4August 2012 Wave 5September 2012 Wave 6October 2012 Wave 7November 2012

32 Wave Data Analysis Demographic characteristics were analyzed to determine if any anomalies existed between wave. Variables included: 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. 32

33 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 33

34 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 34

35 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 35

36 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 36

37 Assistance for Staff in Closing ROs (continued) Additional benefits in Closing ROs: Career Counseling Interviewing Skills training Job Placement services Financial Planning Other Services 37

38 Questions? 38


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