Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), the top watchdog in the House of Representatives, wants answers on a
New York Post storyalleging that Census Bureau workers manipulated data that went into the monthly unemployment report.
Issa, the chair of the House Oversight Committee, sent a letter to Census Bureau Director John Thompson about the report on Tuesday evening, calling the allegations in the Post’s story “shocking.”
The article the article painted the picture, citing former employee Julius Buckmon and anonymous sources, that Census employees have manipulated data that has gone into the monthly unemployment report. It claims that employees conducting the household survey (the one that determines the unemployment rate) were pressured by higher-ups to fudge surveys to fill in data gaps when they could not get adequate response rates.
It also hints that one of these reports was an infamous pre-election one from September 2012 that former GE CEO Jack Welch and others claimed was intentionally fudged with.
The letter, signed by Issa, and Reps. Kevin Brady (R-Texas) and Blake Farenthold (R-Texas) requests Thompson to submit a variety of documents to the House Oversight Committee by Dec. 3, including:
- All documents and communications between Census Bureau employees relating to the collection of the Current Population Survey;
- All emails listing Buckmon as the sender, receiver, or on which he was CC’ed;
- All documents and communications relating to any Inspector General investigation of Buckmon;
The Census Bureau spokesperson told Business Insider on Tuesday that it has no reason to believe the allegations against Buckmon were anything but an “isolated incident.”
“This was an employee who was wilfully disobeying Census procedures and disobeying the law.”
Buckmon left the Bureau in August 2011, meaning he wouldn’t be involved with any of the activity thereafter alleged in the New York Post report.
Issa’s full letter is embedded below:
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