The employee misconduct detailed in the recent Department of Commerce Inspector General’s (IG) report is inexcusable and will not be tolerated. Any employees who allegedly falsified timesheets and betrayed the trust of the American public will be held personally accountable to the fullest extent of the law, including possible termination. Those employees implicated in the investigation and who have access to sensitive information and systems are being placed immediately on administrative leave pending further action. We will pursue legal action for reimbursement of money stolen from taxpayers for hours not worked.
As detailed in the report findings, the Census Bureau cooperated fully with the IG throughout the investigation and took prompt action as information about the misconduct surfaced.
The Census Bureau has already implemented or begun to implement all of the OIG’s recommendations, including:
- Implementing more rigorous timekeeping and telework procedures throughout the agency.
- Requiring mandatory training on our time and attendance (WebTA) system.
- Engaging an outside auditor to conduct an agency wide review of time and attendance practices.
- Initiating new quality control procedures.
- Reviewing the sufficiency of previously completed background checks.
- Replacing the office’s management structure.
Census has also retained an additional independent auditor to review the contracts handled by the office.
The unacceptable behavior alleged in the IG’s report does not reflect the work ethic and values held by the vast majority of Census Bureau employees, who are dedicated and professional public servants. We are confident that the findings in the IG report will ultimately make the Census Bureau a stronger institution and enhance our mission as the leading source of quality data about the nation’s people, places and economy.