Temporary Suspension of the Population Estimates Challenge Program

 
CONTENT
Federal Register, Volume 85 Issue 6 (Thursday, January 9, 2020)
[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 6 (Thursday, January 9, 2020)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 1100-1102]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2019-28416]
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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE
Bureau of the Census
15 CFR Part 90
[Docket Number: 191211-0109]
RIN 0607-AA57
Temporary Suspension of the Population Estimates Challenge
Program
AGENCY: Bureau of the Census, Department of Commerce.
ACTION: Notification of final rulemaking.
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SUMMARY: This document provides notice to state and local governments
and to Federal agencies that, beginning on January 8, 2020, the Bureau
of the Census (Census Bureau) will temporarily suspend the Population
Estimates Challenge Program during the decennial census year (2020) and
2021 to accommodate the taking of the 2020 Census. The suspension of
this program is a necessary action in order to ensure that sufficient
resources are allocated to conduct the decennial census, allowing the
Census Bureau's Population Division staff to effectively evaluate the
2020 Census results. The Census Bureau will publish a document in the
Federal Register announcing the resumption of the Population Estimates
Challenge Program when the stay is lifted.
[[Page 1101]]
DATES: Effective January 9, 2020, 15 CFR part 90 is stayed.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Amel Toukabri, Population Division,
Bureau of the Census, Washington, DC 20233, telephone (301) 763-2461,
email at [email protected]>.
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Census Bureau hereby notifies the public
that it will suspend the Population Estimates Challenge Program after
the resolution of all challenges to the 2018 population estimates,
which should occur by January 8, 2020. The Census Bureau will release
the 2019 population estimates in 2020; however, the Census Bureau will
not accept challenges to the 2019 estimates.
    Under title 15, part 90 CFR, ``Procedure for Challenging Population
Estimates,'' the Census Bureau provides general-purpose governmental
units the opportunity to seek a review and provide additional data to
the Census Bureau's annual population estimates and to present evidence
relating to the accuracy of the estimates. A general-purpose
governmental unit may file a challenge to its population estimate any
time up to 90 days after the release of the estimate by the Census
Bureau on its website. The Census Bureau, upon receipt of the
appropriate documentation to support the challenge, will attempt to
resolve the discrepancy with the governmental unit in a timely manner.
A general-purpose governmental unit may file a challenge of the revised
estimate any time up to 90 days after its release.
    Pursuant to the Population Estimates Challenge Program's governing
regulations, the Census Bureau annually prepares, between decennial
censuses, statistical estimates of the number of people residing in
states and their governmental units. 15 CFR 90.1. The Census Bureau
will not accept challenges to the 2019 population estimates, to be
released in May 2020, because of conflicts with the Census Bureau's
Population Division staff's work to support the review and evaluation
of the 2020 Decennial Census. Additionally, the 2020 Decennial Census
counts will start to be publicly available on a flow basis beginning in
December 2020 and continue to be released in 2021, so the timing of
these two separate releases might cause confusion for states, counties,
and other units of general-purpose governments who regularly use the
population and housing data for different purposes such as planning and
providing a wide range of services to their communities.
    State and local governments also play a critical role to ensure the
accuracy of the Census Bureau's address file and resulting counts from
the upcoming 2020 Census given the essential role of the population
counts in determining congressional representation, redistricting, and
the distribution of federal funds. Partnership efforts for the Census
Bureau encompass building networks and engaging trusted voices to
assist in meeting the overall 2020 Census goal of counting everyone
once, only once, and in the right place.
    For these reasons the Census Bureau will suspend the Population
Estimates Challenge for the decennial year (2020) and 2021. The
Population Estimates Challenge program was suspended during 2010 and
2011 to accommodate the taking of the 2010 Census.
    During the suspension period, the Census Bureau will not provide
the operations necessary to review challenges to the July 1, 2019,
population estimates for states, counties, and other general-purpose
governments, such as cities, towns, and villages. This is to ensure
that sufficient resources are allocated to the conduct of the Decennial
Census, allowing the Census Bureau's Population Division staff to
effectively evaluate the 2020 Census results and prepare the groundwork
for the new decade of estimates. During the period when the program is
suspended, the Population Estimates Program will be conducting
demographic analysis of the 2020 Census, evaluating the results of the
2020 Census in comparison with the population estimates, conducting
research to enhance the estimates, and integrating the updates from the
2020 Census into the estimates program after the 2020 Census is
concluded.
    The Population Estimates Challenge Program will resume in 2022
after the Census Bureau concludes its responsibilities in the conduct
of the decennial census. The Census Bureau will resume accepting
challenges to the population estimates by publishing in the Federal
Register a document that announces the date when it will begin to
accept challenges. At that time, states, counties, and other units of
general-purpose government may initiate challenges to population
estimates under the procedures set forth in 15 CFR part 90. The Census
Bureau would accept challenges beginning with the 2021 population
estimates. The 2021 population estimates will be based upon the 2020
Census counts and are scheduled for release in 2022.
Classification
    Executive Order 12866: It has been determined that this document is
not significant for purposes of E.O. 12866.
    Executive Order 13132: It has been determined that this document
does not contain policies with Federalism implications as that term is
defined in E.O. 13132.
    Administrative Procedure Act: The provisions of the Administrative
Procedure Act requiring prior notice and opportunity for public comment
are inapplicable under 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B) because such prior notice and
opportunity for public comment is unnecessary and impractical. The
Population Estimates Challenge program is routinely suspended during
decennial census operations in order to ensure that resources within
the Population Division are allocated toward evaluating the decennial
census results. This rule only suspends the program during the taking,
processing and tabulation of the 2020 Census. Thus, this rule does not
implement revisions to the program or its requirements. Furthermore,
there is good cause to waive the thirty day delay in effective date
pursuant to 5 U.S.C. (d)(3), as this rule does not require action nor
burden any regulated entity, including state and local governments such
as county, city, town, or village. Moreover, allowing an additional
thirty days for challenges is not practical since the 2019 Population
Estimates Challenge period would begin two months after the scheduled
suspension of the Challenge program.
    Regulatory Flexibility Act: Because a notice of proposed rulemaking
and an opportunity for public comment are not required for this rule by
5 U.S.C. 553, or by any other law, the analytical requirements of the
Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq., are not applicable.
Accordingly, no regulatory flexibility analysis is required and none
has been prepared.
List of Subjects in 15 CFR Part 90
    Administrative practice and procedure, Census data, State and local
governments.
PART 90--PROCEDURE FOR CHALLENGING POPULATION ESTIMATES
0
For the reason stated in the preamble, and under the authority of 13
U.S.C. 4 and 181, 15 CFR part 90 is stayed indefinitely effective
January 9, 2020.
[[Page 1102]]
    Dated: December 20, 2019.
Steven D. Dillingham,
Director, Bureau of the Census.
[FR Doc. 2019-28416 Filed 1-8-20; 8:45 am]
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