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Committee Wades in on 'Ask US Panel' Concerns

August 1 2022

In Washington DC, the Senate Appropriations Committee has voiced concerns that the US Census Bureau's plans to create a probability-based nationwide representative survey panel for tracking public opinion - called the Ask US Panel - lack transparency.

Committee Wades in on 'Ask US Panel' ConcernsThe proposed Ask US Panel project would involve designing, building and maintaining a new probability sample of US adults who are not members of an existing survey panel. Trade body the Insights Association (IA) previously called the plan 'duplicative', because numerous organizations already provide such panels. More recently, Howard Fienberg, IA Senior VP Advocacy, agreed that the project could waste millions of taxpayer dollars in a 'vain attempt' to compete with existing online research panel providers.

As part of the Congress FY23 funding package report, the Senate Appropriations Committee outlined its own concerns about the absence of transparency related to the Census Bureau's plans, particularly given what it describes as the 'lack of congressional authorization' and the 'expanding scope of the project since it was initially announced'. The committee has now directed the Census Bureau to provide it with a report on the Ask US Panel Survey's methodology, data collection process, implementation, incurred and projected costs and procurement strategy.

IA says it remains 'gravely concerned about the shaky rationale and lack of need for the Ask US Panel'. 'The Census Bureau should be using the competitive marketplace of available insights services to acquire pre-existing research services on an as-needed basis, which would reduce public burden, save years of development time, and ultimately cost taxpayers a lot less money,' IA adds.

Web site: www.insightsassociation.org .

All articles 2006-23 written and edited by Mel Crowther and/or Nick Thomas unless otherwise stated.

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