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Wrong Brian McGrath?

Mr. Brian McGrath

U.S. Census Bureau’s Associate Director for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer


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Background Information

Employment History

Federal News Radio

Chief Information Officer

Census Bureau

Justice Department

Assistant Director of Enterprise Solutions Staff

Department of Justice

Web References (95 Total References) 10th Annual International Environmental Compliance Conference [cached]

Brian McGrath

Associate Director for IT & CIO, Census, Department of Commerce Brian McGrath has been the U.S. Census Bureau’s Associate Director for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer since May 24, 2009.McGrath oversees the information technology infrastructure that supports the Census Bureau in fulfilling its mission as the leading source of quality data about the nation’s [...]

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Brian McGrath

The goal is to have at ... [cached]

The goal is to have at least 60 percent of responses submitted electronically, which should drive down costs for postage, paper and staff time, Census Bureau CIO Brian McGrath told FCW late last year.

The Census Bureau's goal is to ... [cached]

The Census Bureau's goal is to have at least 60 percent of responses for the 2020 census submitted electronically, driving down the cost for postage, paper and employees' time, said CIO Brian McGrath. Given the size and scope of the survey, not to mention its constitutional mandate, bureau officials have already begun looking into how the goal can be achieved.

The decennial count's massive data collection presents a twofold security challenge familiar to anyone who has followed the saga: ensuring data integrity while protecting the privacy of individuals' information.
"I think the biggest challenge to make an Internet self-response option successful is to gain the trust and confidence of the American public that the data that they are providing online is secure and it's safe, both in transit and in our databases," McGrath said.
"We have to...ensure that the responses we receive are in fact legitimate responses and we don't receive multiple responses from the same household," McGrath said. "But in many ways, it's the same problem that we faced in 2010, where someone could have filled out multiple forms."
He said the bureau will likely use some sort of cloud-based solution to store the data. "I think from a cost and efficiency perspective, the public cloud is going to play a significant role in the architecture for the 2020 online solution."
But whether to build an in-house cloud or contract with a private-sector provider has yet to be determined. McGrath said any procurement activity will probably happen in fiscal 2017 or 2018.
"Clearly, we would need to augment staff to build a survey of the size, scope and complexity of the 2020 decennial census, with [additional] contract resources," he said.
Although McGrath recognizes that it is difficult, if not impossible, to simulate the size and scope of the census, the bureau has several opportunities to test an Internet response option before the actual survey.
About half of the responses to the bureau's American Community Survey, which samples a small percentage of the population every year, have come via the Internet, and McGrath said the 2017 economic census will be paperless. Additionally, the bureau conducts about 100 surveys online annually for itself and other agencies.
"We'll engage in a whole series of performance-testing activities to simulate the load," he said.
"In 2010...there were two operations that the [purpose-built] device was intended to accommodate," McGrath said. "The first was address canvassing, where we went out to every address across the country to validate the address, and the technology and the handheld did work, it actually worked rather effectively for that operation. Where we experienced some complexities was around the enumeration operation, where we would've used the device to actually go out and collect the response."
This time could be different. McGrath said bureau officials are considering a system that would allow census takers to use their own devices to collect data, which would immediately be transmitted to a cloud or other storage infrastructure, thereby alleviating security concerns.
"What we can do is secure the application and the data that they put on that device and certainly ensure the security of the data in transit between the device and our infrastructure," McGrath said.

US Census Bureau praises cloud services | Xaccel Networks [cached]

Brian McGrath, chief information officer for the census, told the website that the approach was the most cost effective and efficient way to meet the requirements of the 2010 Census.

"We've gone from a model where we had one application on one server. Now we've got hundreds of guests in our virtual farms and we are realizing significant savings of $2 million a year because we've compressed down our hardware footprint," he said.

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