Strangely, Obama doesn't seem to trust his newly nominated Secretary of Commerce and the guy isn't even confirmed yet. Possibly one of the couple most important jobs of Commerce is to oversee the census, so much of the government depends on that being done properly. Well, it turns out that the Obama wants the White House and not the new Secretary of Commerce to run the census. There is only one little proble: the law
seems to say that its the Secretary's job.
Congress has “directed” in Title 13 that the Census be carried out by the Bureau of the Census “as an agency within, and under the jurisdiction of, the Department of Commerce.” 13 U.S.C. 2. The Secretary of Commerce is directed to carry out the duties of this title and while he can delegate “the performance of such functions and duties,” he can only do so to “officers and employees of the Department of Commerce.” 13 U.S.C. 4. So what Obama is doing by having the Census Bureaus report directly to the White House is not authorized by federal law. Also, only “sworn officers and employees of the Department or bureau” are allowed to examine individual census reports. This is part of the confidentiality requirements of Section 9 of the law. Depending on what kinds of reports and information would be given to the White House, there could also be a violation of this confidentiality requirement.
What they are proposing to do is illegal.
Labels: census, ObamaAdministration