Groves: Census reorg will boost efficiency, technological edge

Friday - 7/1/2011, 2:34pm EDT

Robert Groves, Director, U.S. Census

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By Jolie Lee
Federal News Radio

A reorganization at the U.S. Census Bureau will allow the agency to stay current with the fast-changing technological methods for data collection, the bureau's director said in an interview with In Depth.

"We want to be right at the cutting edge of that, and these changes will position us to take advantage of that," said Census Director Robert Groves.

The agency is closing six of the its 12 regional offices. The consolidation impacts 300 employees and could cut up to 130 positions.

"Our desire is to bring as many as possible into other positions at other sites for the Census," Groves said.

He added that some of those cuts will come through retirements or early retirements.

However, he said the agency also understands that employees are all at different stages of their lives.

"For some, the prospect of moving to another position in the Census Bureau at some other location is exciting and acceptable," he said. "For others, they can't see how their family situation will permit this."

The Census has set an 18-month timeline to complete the reorganization. Groves said among the goals in the next year and a half is to put into place a new supervisory structure for interviewers.

Groves said the agency might also create new positions as part of the new structure. This might include an increase in teleworkers, he said.

"We're excited about this as a way to become more efficient," Groves said.