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June 14 -- The U.S. Census Bureau, Department of Commerce, invites comments to OMB by July 15, 2024 regarding the proposed Collection of State/Local Administrative Records and Third-Party Data.

The Census Bureau uses state and local administrative records data linked with other survey and census records, including but not limited to, data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), the Current Population Survey (CPS) and the American Community Survey (ACS) to conduct research and improve operations.

The Census Bureau encourages the District of Columbia, all 50 states, and local municipalities to share administrative records data generally associated with, but not limited to: nutrition and food assistance programs, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC); and welfare programs, including child care subsidy; household self-sufficiency programs, including low income energy assistance programs and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).

Data sharing and analysis of linked files are solely for statistical purposes, not for program enforcement. All administrative records data are and will remain confidential under Title 13, United States Code (U.S.C.), Section 9, whether in their original form or when comingled or linked.

The Census Bureau will use data from businesses for research, censuses, and surveys operations. This data will be collected from businesses through agreements or contracts. Third-party targeted entities for this acquisition will include cross sector industries such as manufacturing, information services, healthcare, supply chain, and retail.

The U.S. Census Bureau efforts to collect these data include integrating and linking the data with Census Bureau data from current surveys and censuses to improve efficiency and accuracy of Census data collections, including 2030 Census Operations, and improve measures of the population and economy. In 2030, administrative records and third-party data could potentially be used to enhance non-ID address processing, imputation, in-office enumeration, contact strategies, and post-processing.

The Census Bureau benefits from these efforts by improving data quality, survey frames, developing model-based edits and allocations, and studies of program participation and data quality over time. Collaborating agencies have benefited through access to reports and tabulations to enhance information about participation in assistance programs.

The Census Bureau is obligated by law to use existing information that has already been collected by other government agencies, whenever possible, instead of asking for such information directly from the public, provided that the existing information is consistent with the kind, timeliness, scope, and quality of the statistics that the Census Bureau is authorized to produce.

The authority for the Census Bureau to acquire state administrative records data on . . . .

The primary uses include:

-- Improve survey coverage
-- Evaluate, edit, and analyze census and survey data
-- Conduct new policy-relevant cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses
-- Create new lower-cost data products without incurring additional respondent burden

The Census Bureau will link administrative records and third-party data with data from censuses and surveys at the Census Bureau, including but not limited to data from the SIPP, CPS, ACS, and economic programs.

Linking records across programs, across states, or over time is accomplished using a unique linkage identifier called a Protected Identification Key (PIK). Processing to assign a PIK to each person record involves matching based on combinations of name, address, sex, date of birth, and Social Security Number (SSN) data, as available. For example, the Census Bureau requests the following data elements from the state agencies: . . . .

The Census Bureau will use nutrition assistance data to improve surveys and census authorized by Title 13 of the U.S.C. The Census Bureau will evaluate the quality of the linked data to: improve efficiency and accuracy in our data collections; improve measures of population and economy; evaluate and improve data linking software and techniques; improve data quality and estimates; improve Census Bureau household survey coverage and gain a greater understanding of data quality collected in Census Bureau household surveys on program participation, household composition and income; and provide a basis for improving Census Bureau demographic and economic survey program participation questions.

The Census Bureau may provide tabulated data to the participating agencies that may use these tabulations for research related to and evaluation of state programs, such as rates of enrollment in and demographic characteristics of participants in state assistance programs.

Data sharing and analysis of linked files are solely for statistical purposes, not for program enforcement or the determination of individual benefits. All administrative records and third-party data are and will remain confidential, whether in their original form or when comingled or linked.

Census submission to OMB: https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewICR?ref_nbr=202406-0607-005 Click IC List for information collection instrument, View Supporting Statement for technical documentation. Submit comments through this webpage.
FRN: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2024-13164

For AEA members wishing to submit comments, "A Primer on How to Respond to Calls for Comment on Federal Data Collections" is available at https://www.aeaweb.org/content/file?id=5806

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