Effectiveness of Quality Assurance
In the early 1980’s, the Census Bureau looked at its quality control approach and the analyses for 1980 census operations attempting to answer several questions. What was the quality of the product? What were the errors and what were the deficiencies in the process? Particular interest was placed on the quality control techniques used and, where problems existed, what were these problems and how could they have been prevented? In this light, what should be the approach for the 1990 census? The Census Bureau recognized the problems of relying on the inspection and repair method that was used for 1980 operations. This approach had not been completely successful. It was decided that the Deming philosophy with its approach toward total quality improvement would better serve the decennial census program.
Four major components to the 1990 quality assurance approach were decided upon, namely: build quality into the system; constantly improve the system; integrate responsibility for quality with production; and, clearly differentiate between quality assurance and quality control.