In the interim, we suggest that the Census Bureau would benefit both BJS and itself itself by providing greater transparency in true survey costs.
Recommendation 5.7: Because BJS is currently receiving inadequate information about the costs of the NCVS, the Census Bureau should establish a data-based, data-driven survey cost and information system.
We further suggest that BJS consider a design competition—providing some funds for bidders to specify in detail how they would conduct a victimization survey. This design competition would effectively compensate bidders for their time in developing proposal specifications, but it should be run with a statement that a formal request for proposals may result from the competition (and not that it will definitely occur).
Recommendation 5.8: BJS should consider a survey design competition in order to get a more accurate reading of the feasibility of alternative NCVS redesigns. The design competition should be administered with the assistance of external experts, and the competition should include private organizations under contract and the Census Bureau under an interagency agreement.