With the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2020 count less than a year away, agency leaders are working to keep their data safe from hacks and to ensure the integrity of the information they receive that will in turn be used to shape congressional districts.
As of December 2018, the bureau had identified nearly 1,100 census system security weaknesses , according to a Government Accountability Office report.
The GAO report, released in March 2019, found the bureau has not hired adequate staff “to oversee the $886 million contract for integrating the Information Technology (IT) systems needed to conduct the 2020 Census.”
According to the report, 21 of 44 positions in the government program management office responsible for integrating the IT systems were vacant in November.
Exacerbating the problem, the Bureau’s new director, Steven Dillingham was sworn in Jan. 7, filling the position of permanent director after a nearly 18-month vacancy.
“When I was there, I was of course worried about the cybersecurity because everybody had to be,” said John H. Thompson, director of the Census Bureau from August 2013 to June 2017. “I thought that the bureau was doing…