The U.S. Census Bureau’s use of administrative records plays a vital role in accomplishing work in support of its mission. Use of these data is mandated under Title 13 of the United States Code that provides for the acquisition and use of administrative records maintained by other entities to improve and enhance its programs. The processes for acquisition and management of administrative records are governed by policies and principles developed under the auspices of the Census Bureau’s Data Stewardship Program. This paper will discuss the acquisition of administrative records under a data stewardship construct, focusing on the steps we take to ensure that the commitments we make to the data suppliers are honored while maintaining our own high standards and integrity for data management. Specifically, we will discuss the data acquisition life cycle—from initial negotiations and development of terms and conditions for access to the data with a source agency (agreements), to the internal management of the data upon receipt (security measures and reporting requirements), through the ultimate disposition of the data.
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