Bureau of the Census Geographically Updated Population Certification Program

Summary:

Following the 1970 decennial census and every decennial census thereafter, the Bureau of the Census (Census Bureau) has provided the opportunity for county, local, and tribal governments to obtain certified population and housing unit counts for areas in which their boundaries have changed from those used to tabulate the results of the immediately preceding decennial census. These changes might occur either as the result of newly created governmental units (incorporations), additions to existing governmental units (annexations), the combination of two existing governmental units (merger), or other circumstances. These governmental units are established by law for the purpose of implementing specified general-or special-purpose governmental functions; the certification process is available to both.

Most governmental units have legally established boundaries and names, and have officials (usually elected) who have the power to carry out legally prescribed functions, provide services for residents, and raise revenues. These are commonly referred to as general-purpose governmental units and typically include counties, boroughs, cities, towns, villages, townships, and federally recognized American Indian reservations. Special-purpose governmental units typically are limited to one function, such as school districts.

This update service was suspended on June 1, 1998, to accommodate the taking of the 2000 census and will resume in the fall of 2002. The Census Bureau is proposing this rule to reinstate the process by creating a centralized system for certifying population and housing counts and to establish a fee structure that accurately reflects the costs associated with this certification process. This service will be a permanent process, but one that will be temporarily suspended during future decennial censuses. Typically, the Census Bureau will suspend this service, and direct its resources to the decennial census, for a total of five years—the two years preceding the decennial census, the decennial census year, and the two years following it. The Census Bureau will issue notices in the Federal Register announcing when it suspends and, in turn, resumes, the service.

Table of Contents

Table of Figures

Dates:

Written comments must be submitted on or before November 7, 2002.

Addresses:

Please direct all written comments on this proposed program to the Director, U.S. Census Bureau, Room 2049, Federal Building 3, Washington, DC 20233.

For further information contact:

Requests for additional information on this proposed action should be directed to Rodger V. Johnson, Population Distribution Branch, Population Division, U.S. Census Bureau, Room 2324, Federal Building 3, Washington, DC 20233, (301) 763-2419, by fax (301) 457-2481, or e-mail (rodger.v.johnson@census.gov).

Supplementary information:

Background

The Census Bureau first began to certify decennial census population counts for updated governmental unit boundaries in 1972 in response to the request of local governments to establish eligibility for participation in the General Revenue Sharing Program, authorized under Public Law 92-152. At the time, the Census Bureau established a fee-based program, enabling governmental units with annexations to obtain updated decennial census population counts that included the population living in annexed areas. The Census Bureau also received funding from the U.S. Department of the Treasury to make those determinations for larger annexations that met prescribed criteria and for newly formed general-purpose governmental units. The General Revenue Sharing Program ended on September 30, 1986, but the certification program continued into 1988 with support from the Census Bureau. The program was suspended to accommodate the taking of the 1990 decennial census and resumed in 1992. The Census Bureau supported the program through fiscal year 1995 for cities with large annexations and through fiscal year 1996 for newly incorporated places. The program was continued on a fee-basis only until June 1, 1998, at which time it was suspended for the 2000 decennial census (see Federal Register, 63 FR 27706, May 20,1998). At the time, it was stated that the program would resume in three years; however, resumption was delayed by continuing resource demands of the 2000 decennial census.

Although there is no legal requirement that the Census Bureau provide this service, there is a demand by governmental units for Census 2000 population and housing counts certified to reflect boundary updates or the formation of new governmental units dated after January 1, 2000 (the legally effective date for boundaries used in tabulating Census 2000). Title 13, Section 8, allows the Census Bureau to continue this program by providing certain statistical materials (certified population and housing counts) upon payment of costs for the service. The Census Bureau is the sole provider of this service obtained through the processing of individual Census 2000 enumeration records protected by the confidentiality restrictions of Title 13, United States Code (U.S.C.).

A geographically updated population certification from the Census Bureau confirms that an official population count is an accurate retabulation of the Census 2000 population as configured for the new boundaries. A population certification may be needed for many reasons. For example, general-purpose governments may be required by state law to produce a Census Bureau population certification for funds disbursement from their respective states, or federally sponsored programs may require or honor a Census Bureau population certification for program eligibility. Special-purpose governmental units also may need official certification of census population and housing counts for other purposes.

The Census Bureau will reinstate a fee-based program that will use current geographic and demographic programs to support customer requests. The proposed fee structure reflects variations in resources needed to meet customer requirements for certifications of standard governmental units, as listed later in this notice (see paragraph (c) under section 50.60, “Request for Certification”). To create a consistent process to meet the anticipated demand for the service, the Census Bureau is proposing an amendment to Title 15 CFR part 50:

• Add a new section 50.60 containing the Census Bureau's certification process.

• Establish a consistent fee structure. The fees will depend on the degree of geographic processing tasks required to complete the certification request and on the urgency of the request. There are two types of fees, based upon whether the population certificate is generated through an annually scheduled geographic update process, or is expedited in order to meet customer needs. The annual and expedited certification fees further depend on whether or not additional geographic data must be acquired from the customer and reviewed, tracked, and processed. The lowest fee applies to customers whose geographic data have been collected as part of the annual geographic update process and whose schedules permit waiting until the annual processing has been completed. The highest fee applies to customers from whom additional geographic data must be acquired (over and above the normal annual process) and who also specify expedited processing.

• Require requests for certifications to contain information on Form BC-1869(EF), “Request for Geographically Updated Official Population Certificate.” (See the Census Bureau's Web site, http://www.census.gov/mso/www/certification/.)

Administrative Procedure and Regulatory Flexibility Act

A notice of proposed rulemaking is not required by Title 5 U.S.C. 553, or any other law, for this rule of agency organization, procedure and practice that involves a matter relating to public property, loans, grants, benefits, or contracts. Accordingly, it is exempt from the notice and comment provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act under 5 U.S.C. 553(a)(2) and 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(A). Therefore, the analytical requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act are not applicable (5 U.S.C. 601, et seq.). As a result, a Regulatory Flexibility Analysis is not required and none has been prepared. However, this rule is being published as a proposed rule with an opportunity for public comment, because of the importance of the issues raised by this rulemaking.

Executive Orders

This rule has been determined to be not significant for purposes of Executive Order 12866. This rule does not contain policies with federalism implications as that term is defined in Executive Order 12612.

Paperwork Reduction Act

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no person is required to respond to, nor shall a person be subject to a penalty for failure to comply with, a collection of information subject to the requirements of the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA), Title 44, U.S.C., Chapter 35, unless that collection of information displays a current Office of Management and Budget control number. This notice does not represent a collection of information and is not subject to the PRA's requirements. The form referenced in the rule, Form BC-1869(EF), will collect only information necessary to process a certification request. As such, it is not subject to the PRA's requirements (5 CFR 1320.3(h)(1)).

List of subjects in 15 cfr part 50

Census data, Geographic updates, Population census, Seals and insignia, Statistics.

Part 50—special services and studies by the bureau of the census

1. The authority citation for 15 CFR part 50 continues to read as follows:

Authority:

Sec. 3, 49 Stat. 293, as amended; and 15 U.S.C. 192a. Interprets or applies sec. 1, 40 Stat. 1256, as amended; sec. 1, 49 Stat. 292; sec. 8, 60 Stat. 1013, as amended; 15 U.S.C. 192, 189a; and 13 U.S.C. 8.

2. Add section 50.60 to read as follows:

§ 50.60

(a)Certification Process. Upon request, the Census Bureau certifies population and housing counts of standard governmental units to reflect boundary updates, including new incorporations, annexations, mergers, and so forth. The Census Bureau will produce a certificate, that is, a signed statement by a Census Bureau official attesting to the authenticity of the certified Census 2000 population and housing count to reflect updates to the legal boundaries of governmental units after those in effect for Census 2000. This service will be a permanent process, but one that will be temporarily suspended during future decennial censuses. Typically, the Census Bureau will suspend this service, and direct its resources to the decennial census, for a total of five years—the two years preceding the decennial census, the decennial census year, and the two years following it. The Census Bureau will issue notices in the Federal Register announcing when it suspends and, in turn, resumes, the service.

(1) The Census Bureau charges customers a preset fee for this service according to the amount of work involved in compiling the population and housing counts, as determined by the resources expended to meet customer requirements and the set costof the product (one certificate). Certification fees may increase somewhat if the customer requests additional original certificates. Each additional certificate costs $35.00. Certification prices are shown in the following table:

Description and Estimated Fee
Standard governmental unitsEstimated fee
Annual Certification $693 to $1,799.
Expedited Certification $1,530 to $9,075.

(2) [Reserved]

(b)Description of Certification Types. The Census Bureau will process requests for population certificates for standard governmental units, in accordance with the Census Bureau's annual certification schedule or under an expedited certification arrangement. The boundaries for standard governmental units are regularly and customarily updated between decennial censuses by the Census Bureau's geographic support system. These governmental units include a variety of legally defined general- and special-purpose governmental units, including counties and statistically equivalent entities, minor civil divisions, incorporated places, consolidated cities, federally recognized American Indian reservations, and school districts. A complete list of entities is defined in paragraph (c) of this section.

(1)Annual Certification. Annual population and housing certification is available around October 1 of each calendar year to new or existing governmental units that reported legal boundary updates in the Census Bureau's annual Boundary and Annexation Survey. In accordance with reporting requirements of this survey, the legally effective dates of the boundary updates may not be later than January 1 of the calendar year. These certifications are available through September of the following year.

(i) The annual certification process also is available to standard governmental units that are not in the Boundary and Annexation Survey of that year. Governmental units electing participation in this process must draft the legal boundary updates upon Census Bureau-supplied maps. The legally effective dates of the boundaries may not be later than January 1 of the calendar year. The Census Bureau must receive the census maps annotated with the legally certified boundaries and associated address ranges by April 1 of the same calendar year. The Census Bureau will determine that the legal boundary updates are acceptable by verifying that the information is complete, legible, and usable, and that the legal boundaries on the maps have been attested by the governmental unit as submitted in accordance with state law or tribal authority.

(ii) [Reserved]

(2)Expedited Certification.(i) Expedited certification will be available where the customer requests any of the following:

(A) Certification of boundary updates legally effective after January 1 of the current calendar year; or

(B) Certification of boundary updates reported to the Census Bureau after April 1 of the current calendar year; or

(C) Certification of boundary updates by the Census Bureau before October 1 of the current calendar year.

(ii) Governmental units electing participation in this option must draft the legal boundary updates upon Census Bureau-supplied maps. To allow sufficient processing time, the Census Bureau must receive acceptable census maps annotated with the legally certified boundaries and associated address ranges no later than three months before the date requested by the customer to receive the population certificate. The Census Bureau will determine that the legal boundary updates are acceptable by verifying that the information is complete, legible, and usable, and that the legal boundaries on the maps have been attested as submitted in accordance with state law or tribal authority.

(c)List of Standard Governmental Units. The following is a list of the standard governmental units eligible for the Geographically Updated Population Certification Program:

(1) Federally recognized American Indian reservations and off-reservation trust land entities [tribal government]; this includes a reservation designated as a colony, community, Indian community, Indian village, pueblo, rancheria, reservation, reserve, and village.

(2) Counties and statistically equivalent entities, including the following: Counties in 48 states; boroughs, municipalities, and census areas in Alaska (state official); parishes in Louisiana; and municipios in Puerto Rico.

(3) Minor civil divisions as recognized in Census 2000 in the following 28 states: Arkansas, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

(4) Incorporated places, including the following: boroughs in Connecticut, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania; cities in 49 states and the District of Columbia; cities, boroughs, and municipalities in Alaska; towns in 30 states (excluding towns in New England, New York, and Wisconsin, which are minor civil divisions); and villages in 20 states.

(5) Consolidated cities.

(6) School districts.

(d)Non-Standard Certifications. Certifications for population and housing counts of non-standard geographic areas or of individual census blocks are not currently available under this program but will be announced under a separate notice at a later date.

(e)Submitting Certification Requests. Requests for certifications should be submitted on Form BC-1869(EF), Request for Geographically Updated Official Population Certification, to the Census Bureau by fax, (301) 457-4714, or by e-mail, MSO.certify@census.gov. Form BC-1869(EF) will be available on the Census Bureau's Web site at:http://www.census.gov/mso/www/certification. A letter or e-mail communication requesting the service without Form BC-1869(EF) will be accepted only if it contains the information necessary to complete a Form BC-1869(EF).

Dated: October 1, 2002. Charles Louis Kincannon,

Director, Bureau of the Census.

References

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