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Testimony: 

Before the Subcommittee on Information Policy, Census, and National 
Archives, Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, House of 
Representatives: 

United States Government Accountability Office: 

GAO: 

For Release on Delivery Expected at 2:00 p.m. EDT: 

Thursday July 26, 2007: 

2010 census: 

Diversity in Human Capital, Outreach Efforts Can Benefit the 2010 
Census: 

Statement of Mathew J. Scirč, Director, 
Strategic Issues: 

GAO-07-1132T: 

GAO Highlights: 

Highlights of GAO-07-1132T, a testimony before the Subcommittee on 
Information Policy, Census, and National Archives, Committee on 
Oversight and Government Reform, House of Representatives 

Why GAO Did This Study: 

For the 2010 Census, the U.S. Census Bureau (Bureau) faces the daunting 
challenge of cost-effectively counting a population that is growing 
steadily larger, more diverse, increasingly difficult to find, and more 
reluctant to participate in the decennial census. Managing its human 
capital, maintaining community partnerships, and developing advertising 
strategies to increase response rates for the decennial census are 
several ways that the Bureau can complete the 2010 Census accurately 
and within budget. This testimony, based primarily on past GAO work, 
provides information on (1) diversity in the Bureau’s workforce, (2) 
plans for partnering with others in an effort to build public awareness 
of the census; and (3) certain requirements for ensuring contracting 
opportunities for small businesses. 

What GAO Found: 

Diversity in senior leadership is important for effective government 
operations. GAO found that the racial, ethnic, and gender makeup of the 
Bureau's senior management and staff in grades most likely to rise to 
senior management is generally in line with that of the federal 
government as a whole. The success of the 2010 Census depends, in part, 
upon the Bureau’s ability to recruit, hire, and train a temporary 
workforce reaching almost 600,000. In 2000, the Bureau used an 
aggressive recruitment strategy, including advertising in various 
languages to attract different ethnic groups and races, as well as 
senior citizens, retirees, and others seeking part-time employment. The 
Bureau intends to use a similar recruitment strategy for the 2010 
Census. 

Figure: Bureau's Recruiting and Hiring Timeline for Temporary Field 
Staff duing the 2010 Census; 

(See PDF for image) 

Source: GAO analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data. 

(End of figure) 

For 2010, the Bureau also intends to involve community and other groups 
to encourage participation in the census, particularly among certain 
populations, such as persons with limited English proficiency and 
minorities. Further, the Bureau plans to hire a contractor to develop 
an advertising campaign to reach undercounted populations. In its 
contract solicitation, the Bureau has included a requirement that the 
contractor establish goals for subcontracting with, amongst other 
groups, women-owned and small disadvantaged businesses, and a 
requirement that the contractor have experience in marketing to 
historically undercounted populations such as African Americans, 
Asians, Hispanics, American Indian and Alaska Natives, Native 
Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders. This contract is expected to be 
awarded in September 2007.

For the Bureau to leverage the benefit of its diversity and outreach 
efforts, it will be important for it to follow through on its 
intentions to recruit a diverse workforce, and utilize the experience 
of a diverse pool of partners, including community groups, state and 
local governments, and the private sector.  

What GAO Recommends: 

At this time, GAO is not making new recommendations. 

[hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-07-1132T.] 

To view the full product, including the scope and methodology, click on 
the link above. For more information, contact Mathew J. Scirč at (202) 
512-6806 or sciremj@gao.gov. 

[End of Section] 

Mr. Chairman, Mr. Turner, Members of the Subcommittee: 

Thank you for the opportunity to be here today to discuss how the 
Census Bureau (Bureau) approaches diversity in the Bureau's human 
capital, community partnerships, and outreach efforts. For the 2010 
Census, the Bureau faces the daunting challenge of cost-effectively 
counting a population that is growing steadily larger, more diverse, 
increasingly difficult to find, and more reluctant to participate in 
the decennial census. Managing its human capital, maintaining community 
partnerships, and developing advertising strategies to increase 
response rates for the decennial census are several ways that the 
Bureau can complete an accurate and cost-effective census. 

As you know, the decennial census is a critical national effort 
mandated by the Constitution. Census data are used to apportion seats 
in the Congress, redraw congressional districts, allocate billions of 
dollars in federal assistance to state and local governments, and for 
numerous other public and private sector purposes. In addition, the 
census is a complicated undertaking and a substantial investment, 
requiring careful planning, risk management, and oversight to ensure 
its ultimate success. The census is the nation's largest peacetime 
mobilization, and the Bureau estimates the 2010 Census will cost $11.5 
billion over its life cycle, making it the most expensive census in our 
country's history, even after adjusting for inflation. Since the 2000 
Census, we have been examining how the Bureau is preparing for the 2010 
Census. 

Today's hearing is topical and timely because in less than 2 years, the 
Bureau will begin to hire thousands of workers for its address 
canvassing operation in preparation for the 2010 Census, where 
temporary field workers verify the addresses of all housing units. As 
requested, we are providing information about three important aspects 
of the Bureau's preparations for the 2010 Census: (1) diversity in the 
Bureau's leadership and management ranks and its plans for recruiting 
and hiring temporary field workers; (2) plans for partnering with 
others in an effort to build public awareness of the census; and (3) 
certain requirements for ensuring contracting opportunities for small 
businesses. 

My remarks today are based primarily on reports that we issued from 
2000 through July 2007 on the planning and development of the 2010 
Census, as well as our work on diversity management, collaboration 
among federal agencies, and contracting with small businesses. We 
conducted that work in accordance with generally accepted government 
auditing standards. 

In summary, Mr. Chairman, promoting a diverse workforce can benefit the 
Bureau, especially as it prepares for the 2010 Census. As we previously 
reported in 2005, high-performance organizations are inclusive, drawing 
on the strengths of employees at all levels and of all 
backgrounds.[Footnote 1] The Bureau understands that its staff must 
reflect the increasing diversity of the American population if it is to 
do its job well. We found that the Bureau's leadership ranks currently 
are about as diverse as the leadership ranks of the federal government 
as a whole, with higher minority representation and lower 
representation of women. Importantly, Bureau officials emphasize the 
need to recruit temporary field workers locally, because such staff 
represent the demographic characteristics of areas being enumerated and 
are best able to relate to local residents and help overcome any 
reluctance to participate in the census. The Bureau's recruiting 
efforts will be accompanied by a public partnership program with local 
governments, Indian tribal leadership, and others that will leverage 
their insights and familiarity with local and diverse populations to 
help recruit field staff and encourage participation in the 2010 
Census. Likewise, the Bureau expects that its proposed communications 
campaign will encourage the participation of hard-to-enumerate 
populations in the decennial. It will be important for the Bureau to 
follow through on its plans for leveraging the experiences of its 
workforce, partners, and contractors to help ensure the success of the 
2010 Census. 

Background: 

The decennial census is conducted against a backdrop of immutable 
deadlines. The census's elaborate chain of interrelated pre-and post- 
Census Day activities is predicated upon those dates. To meet these 
mandated reporting requirements, census activities must occur at 
specific times and in the proper sequence. The Secretary of Commerce is 
legally required to (1) conduct the census on April 1 of the decennial 
year, (2) report the state population counts to the President for 
purposes of congressional apportionment by December 31 of the decennial 
year, and (3) send population tabulations to the states for purposes of 
redistricting no later than 1 year after the April 1 census date. 

For the decennial census, the vast majority of housing units will 
receive paper, mailback census questionnaires delivered by mail or by 
census field workers before April 1, 2010. This requires a complete and 
accurate address list. The inventory of housing units is obtained from 
several sources including files from the U.S. Postal Service, 
partnerships established with local entities, and the Bureau's address 
canvassing--where temporary field workers verify and identify the 
addresses of an estimated 130 million housing units over the course of 
about 6 weeks in 2009. When housing units do not respond to 
questionnaires by a certain deadline, temporary field workers will 
follow up and collect census data through personal interviews during 
the nonresponse follow-up operation, which accounts for the largest 
single component of the field data collection workload and budget. The 
Bureau estimates that nonresponse follow-up will include an estimated 
39 million housing units over the course of 12 weeks in 2010. The 
Bureau also relies on special procedures to handle areas or living 
quarters that are not suitable for mailing or delivering census 
questionnaires, such as very remote areas in Alaska and prisons. 

To gather census data, the Bureau opens temporary offices across the 
country for approximately 2 years, and all field staff employed in 
these offices are considered temporary, with jobs lasting as long as 
the entire 2-year period or as short as a few weeks, depending on the 
specific operation for which they are employed. For example, one could 
work on address canvassing, an early operation, and then be rehired 
again to work on the nonresponse follow-up operation later on in the 
decennial. To conduct its decennial activities, the Bureau recruits, 
hires, and trains temporary field workers based out of local census 
offices nationwide. During Census 2000, the Bureau hired about half a 
million temporary workers at peak, which temporarily made it one of the 
nation's largest employers, surpassed by only a handful of big 
organizations, such as Wal-Mart and the U.S. Postal Service. For the 
2010 Census, the Bureau expects to hire almost 75,000 temporary field 
workers--at a cost of over $350 million--during address canvassing in 
2009 and almost 525,000 temporary field workers--at a cost of over $2 
billion--for nonresponse follow-up in 2010. (See fig. 1.) 

Figure 1: Figure 1: Bureau's Recruiting and Hiring Timeline for 
Temporary Field Staff during the 2010 Census: 

[See PDF for image] 

Source:  GAO analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data.

[End of figure] 

Implementing Diversity Management Practices Can Help Benefit the 
Bureau's Current Workforce and Recruitment for the Decennial Census: 

High-performance organizations are inclusive, drawing on the strengths 
of employees at all levels and of all backgrounds. For the decennial 
census, having a diverse workforce is particularly important. For 
example, in its strategic plan, the Bureau notes that as the nation 
becomes more diverse, the Bureau's staff must reflect the increasing 
diversity of the American population if they are to do their job 
well.[Footnote 2] In a related point, Bureau officials emphasize the 
need to recruit temporary field workers locally, because such staff are 
best able to relate to local residents and overcome any reluctance to 
participate in the census. In fact, the census, in many respects, is a 
local endeavor because the key ingredients of a successful population 
count, such as a complete and accurate address list and timely and 
accurate field data collection, are carried out by the locally 
recruited temporary field staff--working in and around their respective 
neighborhoods--collecting data through various operations. 

A high-performance organization relies on a dynamic workforce with the 
requisite talents, multidisciplinary knowledge, and up-to-date skills 
to ensure it can accomplish its goals and missions. As we have 
previously reported, such an organization fosters a work environment in 
which people are enabled and motivated to contribute to continuous 
learning and improvement as well as to accomplishing missions and 
goals.[Footnote 3] Such organizations promote accountability and 
fairness. Importantly, they take advantage of a workforce that is 
inclusive and utilizes the strengths and talents of employees at all 
levels and backgrounds. This work environment is consistent with the 
principles of "diversity management"--a process intended to create and 
maintain a positive work environment where individual similarities and 
differences are valued, so that all can reach their potential and 
maximize their contributions to the organization. As shown in table 1, 
in our previous work on diversity management, we identified 9 diversity 
management practices. 

Table 1: Leading Diversity Management Practices: 

* Top leadership commitment--a vision of diversity demonstrated and 
communicated throughout an organization by top-level management. 

* Diversity as part of an organization's strategic plan--a diversity 
strategy and plan that are developed and aligned with the 
organization's strategic plan. 

* Diversity linked to performance--the understanding that a more 
diverse and inclusive work environment can yield greater productivity 
and help improve individual and organizational performance. 

* Measurement--a set of quantitative and qualitative measures of the 
impact of various aspects of an overall diversity plan. 

* Accountability--the means to ensure that leaders are responsible for 
diversity by linking their performance assessment and compensation to 
the progress of diversity initiatives. 

* Succession planning--an ongoing, strategic process for identifying 
and developing a diverse pool of talent for an organization's potential 
future leaders. 

* Recruitment--the process for attracting a supply of qualified, 
diverse applicants for employment. 

* Employee involvement--the contribution of employees in driving 
diversity throughout an organization. 

* Diversity training--organizational efforts to inform and educate 
management and staff about diversity. 

Source: GAO 

Note: Practices are from GAO, Diversity Management: Expert-Identified 
Leading Practices and Agency Examples, GAO-05-90 (Washington, D.C.: 
Jan. 2005). 

[End of table] 

Perhaps the most important practice for diversity management is top 
leadership commitment, because leaders and managers must commit the 
time and necessary resources for the success of an organization's 
diversity initiatives. Although all of these practices are important, 
today we discuss two of them as they relate to the Bureau: (1) 
succession planning--an ongoing, strategic process for identifying and 
developing a diverse pool of talent for an organizations' potential 
future leaders--and (2) recruitment for the Bureau's temporary field 
work--the process of attracting qualified, diverse applicants for 
employment which is important for maintaining high performance. 

Succession Planning for Senior Managers: 

As we have testified earlier, the federal government is facing new and 
more complex challenges in the 21st century because of long-term fiscal 
constraints, changing demographics, and other factors.[Footnote 4] The 
federal Senior Executive Service (SES), which generally represents the 
most experienced and senior segment of the federal workforce, is 
critical to providing the strategic leadership needed to effectively 
meet these challenges. Governmentwide, SES retirement eligibility is 
much higher than the workforce in general, and a significant number of 
SES retirements could result in a loss of leadership continuity, 
institutional knowledge, and expertise among the SES corps. 

We have previously reported that the Bureau needs to strategically 
manage its human capital to meet future requirements.[Footnote 5] For 
example, three senior census executives left the Bureau after the 2000 
Census; in the years ahead, other key employees will become eligible 
for retirement. According to the Bureau's strategic plan, about 45 
percent of the Bureau's current permanent employees will be eligible 
for regular or early retirement by 2010. Thus, human capital is a key 
planning area for ensuring that the Bureau has the skill mix necessary 
to meet its future staffing requirements. 

Racial, ethnic, and gender diversity in the federal government's senior 
ranks can be a key organizational component for executing agency 
missions, ensuring accountability to the American people in the 
administration and operation of federal programs, and achieving 
results. Based on previous work identifying diversity in the federal 
SES corps, we compared diversity at the Bureau's senior levels with 
that of the Department of Commerce and the executive branch 
governmentwide. Also, because the vast majority of SES personnel is 
drawn from an agency's pool of GS-14s and GS-15s, we also compared the 
diversity of the Bureau's SES developmental pool with that of the 
Department of Commerce and other executive branch agencies 
governmentwide. (See table 2.) 

Table 2: Percentage (and Number) of Women and Minorities in SES and the 
Developmental Pool at the Census Bureau, Department of Commerce, and 
Governmentwide for Fiscal Year 2002 and 2006: 

SES: Women; 
Census Bureau: 2002: 29.4 (10); 
Census Bureau: 2006: 22.2 (8); 
Department of Commerce: 2002: 27.6 (89); 
Department of Commerce: 2006: 27.8 (87); 
Governmentwide: 2002: 25.5 (1,585); 
Governmentwide: 2006: 28.4 (1,806). 

SES: Minorities; 
Census Bureau: 2002: 26.5 (9); 
Census Bureau: 2006: 25.0 (9); 
Department of Commerce: 2002: 16.4 (53); 
Department of Commerce: 2006: 12.8 (40); 
Governmentwide: 2002: 14.9 (922); 
Governmentwide: 2006: 15.9 (1,007). 

Developmental pool: Women (GS-15); 
Census Bureau: 2002: 30.1: (58); 
Census Bureau: 2006: 37.7 (72); 
Department of Commerce: 2002: 23.4 (572); 
Department of Commerce: 2006: 26.6 (727); 
Governmentwide: 2002: 26.4 (14,549); 
Governmentwide: 2006: 29.8 (18,622). 

Developmental pool: Minorities (GS-15); 
Census Bureau: 2002: 17.6 (34); 
Census Bureau: 2006: 20.4 (39); 
Department of Commerce: 2002: 14.9 (365); 
Department of Commerce: 2006: 18.5 (507); 
Governmentwide: 2002: 16.6 (9,133); 
Governmentwide: 2006: 19.0 (11,861). 

Developmental pool: Women (GS-14); 
Census Bureau: 2002: 39.3 (190); 
Census Bureau: 2006: 40.2 (206); 
Department of Commerce: 2002: 29.2 (1,519); 
Department of Commerce: 2006: 31.6 (1,987); 
Governmentwide: 2002: 31.5 (28,794); 
Governmentwide: 2006: 34.8 (34,124). 

Developmental pool: Minorities (GS-14); 
Census Bureau: 2002: 20.5 (99); 
Census Bureau: 2006: 24.6 (126); 
Department of Commerce: 2002: 22.9 (1,192); 
Department of Commerce: 2006: 28.8 (1,810); 
Governmentwide: 2002: 19.0 (17,413); 
Governmentwide: 2002: 22.2 (21,830). 

Source: GAO analysis of data from the Office of Personnel Management's 
Central Personnel Data File. 

Notes: Governmentwide includes civilian employees of all cabinet-level 
departments, independent agencies, commissions, councils, and boards in 
the executive branch except the intelligence agencies, the Postal 
Service, and the Foreign Service (as of 2006). 

We included GS-15, GS-14, and equivalent employees. GS-equivalent 
employees are those in equivalent grades under other pay plans that 
follow the GS grade structure and job evaluation methodology or are 
equivalent by statute. 

These data provide a demographic snapshot of career SES and the GS-14 
and GS-15 grade levels that serve as developmental pools for SES 
positions from the end of fiscal year 2002 and fiscal year 2006. 

The numbers in this table reflect permanent appointments for those on 
board as of September 30, 2002 and 2006. 

[End of table] 

Overall, we found that the Bureau's leadership ranks are about as 
diverse as the leadership ranks for the federal government as a whole, 
with higher minority representation and lower representation of women. 
Diversity in the federal government's senior leadership and 
developmental pools are important to developing and maintaining a high- 
quality and inclusive workforce. Succession planning also is tied to 
the federal government's opportunity to change the diversity of the SES 
corps through new appointments. 

Recruiting for Temporary Decennial Workforce: 

The success of the 2010 Census depends, in part, upon the Bureau's 
ability to recruit, hire, and train a very large temporary workforce 
that works for a very short period. Over the next several years the 
Bureau plans to recruit 3.8 million applicants and hire nearly 600,000 
temporary field staff from that applicant pool for two key operations: 
address canvassing and nonresponse follow-up. For the 2010 Census the 
Bureau plans to use a recruiting and hiring approach like the one it 
used in 2000. 

For the 2000 Census, the Bureau used an aggressive recruitment strategy 
in partnership with state, local, and tribal governments, community 
groups, and other organizations to help recruit employees and obtained 
exemptions from the majority of state governments so that individuals 
receiving Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, Medicaid, and 
selected other types of public assistance would not have their benefits 
reduced when earning census income, thus making census jobs more 
attractive.[Footnote 6] Further, the Bureau used a recruitment 
advertising campaign, totaling over $2.3 million, which variously 
emphasized the ability to earn good pay, work flexible hours, learn new 
skills, and do something important for one's community. Moreover, the 
advertisements were in a variety of languages to attract different 
ethnic groups, and were also targeted to different races, senior 
citizens, retirees, and people seeking part-time employment.[Footnote 
7] The Bureau also advertised using traditional outlets such as 
newspaper classified sections, as well as more novel media including 
Internet banners and messages on utility and credit card bills. 

Through its local census offices, the Bureau plans to recruit, hire, 
and deploy a diverse workforce that looks like and can relate to the 
people being counted. Local census offices will open for the 2010 
Census in October 2008. The Bureau has developed a Planning Database 
that local and regional offices use to prepare recruiting plans. The 
Bureau expects those offices to use the database to identify areas 
where field staff are more difficult to recruit and other areas where 
certain skills--such as foreign language abilities--are needed. The 
Bureau will update the Planning Database for every census tract in the 
United States for the 2010 Census, using many variables from Census 
2000. These variables include: Census 2000 mail return rates; household 
size; median household income; percentage of persons living in poverty; 
number of single person households; highest level of education 
achieved; percentage of linguistically isolated households (i.e., where 
no person 14 or over speaks English at least "very well"); and 
percentage of persons on public assistance. 

One of the Bureau's approaches to recruiting and hiring is ensuring 
that it recruits and hires a sufficient number of field staff. For the 
2000 Census the Bureau recruited 5 times the number of persons that it 
hired, and hired twice the number of persons that it expects to need. 
We recommended that the Bureau consider a more targeted approach. For 
example, the Bureau could analyze the factors, such as education and 
work status, for employees more likely to be successful at census work 
and less likely to leave during an operation.[Footnote 8] The Bureau 
questioned the need for taking action, noting that its priority is to 
reach out as broadly as possible to the diverse communities in the 
country, because in order to have hundreds of thousands of temporary 
workers, it must attract several million applicants. We agree that the 
Bureau's recruiting approach should be designed to ensure it selects a 
sufficient number of persons to complete the census; however, we do not 
believe the Bureau has identified the factors most likely to predict 
applicants' success and that are incorporated in selection tools and 
procedures. Our recommendation calls for a fact-based approach to 
developing selection tools so that the Bureau could target recruitment 
to applicants who are not only more likely to perform well but also to 
continue throughout an operation. Recruiting such applicants could help 
reduce operational costs as well as recruiting and hiring expenditures 
by decreasing the need to recruit and hire additional workers. 
Likewise, such an approach can be undertaken while continuing to 
attract a diverse workforce. 

Collaborative Partnership Efforts with Diverse Communities Can Benefit 
the Decennial Census: 

Collaboration can be broadly defined as any joint activity that is 
intended to produce more public value than could be produced when the 
organization acts alone. We have previously reported on several best 
practices that can enhance and sustain collaborative efforts. These 
include (1) establishing mutually reinforcing or joint strategies and 
(2) identifying and addressing needs by leveraging resources. For 
example, critical decennial tasks, such as building public awareness of 
the census, motivating people to respond, and locating pockets of hard- 
to-count population groups, are accomplished in large part by 
partnerships between the Bureau and local governments and community 
groups.[Footnote 9] To leverage visibility, the Bureau also used 
partnerships with national organizations such as the Mexican American 
Legal Defense and Education Fund, the National Association for the 
Advancement of Colored People, the National Congress of American 
Indians, and the American Association of Retired Persons. 

In a recent field hearing, held by this subcommittee in San Antonio, 
Texas on July 9, 2007, leaders of several national organizations called 
on the Bureau to continue its efforts to ameliorate factors such as 
apathy, fear, and distrust of government through continued partnerships 
for the 2010 Census. Leaders noted that within historically hard-to- 
enumerate communities these issues are best addressed by trusted 
individuals, institutions, and organizations. Consequently, these 
organizations' leaders believe that the significance and positive 
impact of partner and stakeholder networks to a community mobilization 
effort is critical to a region's success and to the overall success of 
the census. The Bureau also has met periodically with advisory 
committees representing minority populations to help ensure a complete 
and accurate census. 

To take a more complete and accurate count of the nation's population 
in Census 2000, the Bureau partnered with other federal agencies, as 
well as with state, local and tribal governments; religious, community, 
and social service organizations; and private businesses. In previous 
work we found that to coordinate local partners' efforts, the Bureau 
encouraged government entities to form Complete Count Committees, which 
were to be made up of representatives from various local 
groups.[Footnote 10] According to the Bureau, about 140,000 
organizations participated in its partnership program, assisting in 
such critical activities as reviewing and updating the Bureau's address 
list; encouraging people--especially hard-to-count populations--to 
participate in the census; and recruiting temporary census workers. The 
program stemmed from the Bureau's recognition that a successful head 
count required the local knowledge, experience, and expertise that 
these organizations provide. While we concluded that it is quite likely 
that the key census-taking activities, such as recruiting temporary 
census workers and encouraging people to complete their questionnaires 
would have been less successful had it not been for the Bureau's 
aggressive partnership efforts, we also recommended that the Bureau 
take steps to make the partnership program more accountable and 
performance-oriented. The Bureau expects the program will play a key 
role in the 2010 Census. However, the Bureau's fiscal year 2008 budget 
request does not include funds for the regional partnership program. In 
contrast the Bureau received $5.7 million for the regional partnership 
program in 1998. 

One of the means by which the Bureau plans for increasing response 
rates is an advertising and outreach campaign to promote the census. In 
Census 2000, the Bureau first used a paid advertising campaign to 
create and produce an advertising campaign to inform and motivate the 
public to complete and return the census form by using a variety of 
media to stress the message that participating in the census benefits 
one's community. For Census 2000, the Bureau spent about $167 million 
on the paid advertising campaign and a substantial portion of the 
advertising was directed at minority groups. For the 2010 Census, the 
Bureau is currently in the process of considering proposals for a 
similar effort. In its Request for Proposals, the Bureau required that 
the contractor establish goals for subcontracting with firms that are, 
for example, small disadvantaged businesses, women-owned, veteran- 
owned, or are Historically Underutilized Business Zone companies. The 
Bureau also included in the solicitation a requirement that the 
contractor have expertise and experience in marketing to historically 
undercounted populations, such as African Americans, Asians, Hispanics, 
American Indian and Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific 
Islanders. The Bureau expects to award this communication campaign 
contract in September 2007. 

For the 2010 Census, the Bureau will continue a program first 
implemented for Census 2000 in which it partners with local, state, and 
tribal governments. The program, the Local Update of Census Addresses 
(LUCA) allows participants to contribute to complete enumeration of 
their jurisdictions by reviewing, commenting on, and providing updated 
information on the list of addresses and maps that the Bureau will use 
to deliver questionnaires within those communities. The Bureau has 
taken steps to improve LUCA for 2010. For example, to reduce 
participant workload and burden, the Bureau will provide a longer 
period for reviewing and updating LUCA materials--from 90 to 120 days. 
However, we recently testified before this subcommittee that the Bureau 
could do more to mitigate possible difficulties that participants may 
have with the new LUCA software and training and to help participants 
convert Bureau-provided address files into their own software 
format.[Footnote 11] 

Efforts to Contract with Small Business: 

For the 2010 Census, the Bureau is making the most extensive use of 
contractors in its history, turning to the private sector to supply a 
number of different mission-critical functions and technologies. In 
awarding and administering its contracts related to the 2010 Census, 
the Bureau will need to be mindful of its obligations to promote 
contracting opportunities for various categories of contractors, such 
as small businesses, women-owned businesses, small disadvantaged 
businesses, and others. In this regard, the Small Business Act contains 
an annual governmentwide goal for small business participation of not 
less than 23 percent of the total value of all prime contract awards. 
To achieve this governmentwide goal, the Small Business Administration 
negotiates annual small business contracting goals with each federal 
executive agency. For the Department of Commerce, the contracting goals 
are summarized in table 3. 

Table 3: Small-Business Prime Contracting Goals for the Department of 
Commerce (Fiscal Year 2007): 

Small business category: Small Business; 
Goal percentage: 48. 

Small business category: Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB); 
Goal percentage: 12. 

Small business category: 8(a) (Socially and Economically Disadvantaged 
companies); 
Goal percentage: 4.86. 

Small business category: Women-Owned Business (WOSB); 
Goal percentage: 8.50. 

Small business category: Veteran-Owned Small Business (VOSB); 
Goal percentage: 3. 

Small business category: Service Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business 
(SDVOSB); 
Goal percentage: 3. 

Small business category: Historically Underutilized Business Zone 
(HUBZone) companies; 
Goal percentage: 3. 

Source: U.S. Department of Commerce. 

[End of table]

In terms of subcontracting, any business that receives a contract 
directly from a federal executive agency for more than $100,000 must 
agree to give small businesses the "maximum practicable opportunity to 
participate in the contract consistent with its efficient 
performance."[Footnote 12] Additionally, for contracts that are 
generally anticipated to have a $550,000 threshold and have 
subcontracting possibilities, the prime contractor is required to have 
an established subcontracting plan, which promotes and supports small 
business development. For example, the solicitation for the advertising 
and outreach campaign requires that the contractor establish and adhere 
to a subcontracting plan that provides maximum practicable opportunity 
for small business participation in performing the contract. 
Contractors that do not meet subcontracting goals may face damages if 
the agency's contracting officer determines that a contractor did not 
make a good-faith effort to comply with the subcontracting plan. 

Mr. Chairman, as we have recently testified, the Bureau faces 
challenges to successfully implementing the 2010 Census including those 
of a demographic and socioeconomic nature due to the nation's 
increasing diversity in language, ethnicity, households, and housing 
types, as well as a reluctance in the population to participate in the 
census. In fact, the Bureau recognizes that hiring a diverse workforce-
-especially a temporary field workforce--that is like the people that 
are being enumerated is one way of eliciting the cooperation of those 
being counted. The involvement of such a workforce in the key 
nonresponse follow-up activity can help to increase productivity and 
contain enumeration costs. Our review of data pertaining to the racial, 
ethnic, and gender composition of the Bureau's upper-level management 
as well as the grades of those most likely to rise to that level of 
management shows that, the Bureau's leadership ranks are generally as 
diverse as the federal government as a whole. Moreover, the Bureau's 
strategy of recruiting temporary field staff locally is an important 
way of promoting a diverse field workforce that is like those being 
enumerated. In addition, the Bureau's outreach and partnership programs 
can be an important way of eliciting the participation of communities 
that are often said to be undercounted or may be reluctant to 
participate in the decennial census. As in 2000, for 2010 the Bureau 
intends to use an integrated communications strategy, including 
advertising, that is carried out by contractors and subcontractors that 
have the expertise and experiences in marketing to historically 
undercounted populations. It will be important for the Bureau to build 
on its efforts to ensure an accurate and cost-effective census by 
maximizing the potential offered by a diverse workforce and by ensuring 
that its contractors perform as promised. We stand ready to assist this 
subcommittee in its oversight efforts. 

This concludes my remarks. I will be glad to answer any questions that 
you, Mr. Chairman, Mr. Turner, or other subcommittee Members may have. 

Contact and Acknowledgements: 

For further information regarding this statement, please contact Mathew 
Scirč, Director, Strategic Issues on (202) 512-6806 or at s [Hyperlink, 
sciremj@gao.gov] ciremj@gao.gov. Individuals making key contributions 
to this statement included Betty Clark, Elizabeth Fan, Carlos Hazera, 
Belva Martin, Lisa Pearson, Rebecca Shea, Cheri Truett, Kiki 
Theodoropoulos, and William Woods. 

[End of section] 

Related GAO Products: 

2010 Census: Preparations for the 2010 Census Underway, but Continued 
Oversight and Risk Management Are Critical. GAO-07-1106T Washington, 
D.C: July 17, 2007. 

2010 Census: Census Bureau Is Making Progress on the Local Update of 
Census Addresses Program, but Improvements Are Needed. GAO-07-1063T. 
Washington, D.C.: June 26, 2007. 

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Addresses Program, but Challenges Remain. GAO-07-736. Washington, D.C.: 
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the U.S. Postal Service. GAO-07-838T. Washington, D.C.: May 10, 2007. 

2010 Census: Census Bureau Should Refine Recruiting and Hiring Efforts 
and Enhance Training of Temporary Field Staff. GAO-07-361. Washington, 
D.C.: April 27, 2007. 

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Sustain Collaboration among Federal Agencies. GAO-06-15. Washington, 
D.C.: October 21, 2005. 

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Key Practices, but Additional Actions Are Needed. GAO-05-661.  
Washington, D.C.: June 16, 2005. 

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Examples. GAO-05-90. Washington, D.C.: January 14, 2005. 

2010 Census: Basic Design Has Potential, but Remaining Challenges Need 
Prompt Resolution. GAO-05-90. Washington, D.C.: January 12, 2005. 

Data Quality: Census Bureau Needs to Accelerate Efforts to Develop and 
Implement Data Quality Review Standards. GAO-05-86. Washington, D.C.: 
November 17, 2004. 

Census 2000: Design Choices Contributed to Inaccuracy of Coverage 
Evaluation Estimates. GAO-05-71. Washington, D.C.: November 12, 2004. 

American Community Survey: Key Unresolved Issues. GAO-05-82. 
Washington, D.C.: October 8, 2004. 

2010 Census: Counting Americans Overseas as Part of the Decennial 
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2010 Census: Cost and Design Issues Need to Be Addressed Soon. GAO-04-
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Seasonal Farm Workers. GAO-03-605. Washington, D.C.: July 3, 2003. 

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17, 2003. 

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03-227. Washington, D.C.: January 17, 2003. 

2000 Census: Lessons Learned for Planning a More Cost-Effective 2010 
Census. GAO-03-40. Washington, D.C.: October 31, 2002. 

The American Community Survey: Accuracy and Timeliness Issues. GAO-02-
956R. Washington, D.C.: September 30, 2002. 

2000 Census: Review of Partnership Program Highlights Best Practices 
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2000 Census: Answers to Hearing Questions on the Status of Key 
Operations. GGD-00-109R, Washington, D.C.: May 31, 2000. 

FOOTNOTES 

[1] GAO, Diversity Management: Expert-Identified Leading Practices and 
Agency Examples, GAO-05-90 (Washington, D.C.: Jan. 14, 2005). 

[2] U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Census Bureau Strategic Plan, FY 2007 - 
2010 (Washington, D.C.: June 2007). 

[3] GAO-05-90 

[4] GAO, Human Capital: Diversity in the Federal SES and the Senior 
Levels of the U.S. Postal Service, GAO-07-838T (Washington, D.C.: May 
10, 2007). 

[5] GAO, 2000 Census: Lessons Learned for Planning a More Cost- 
Effective 2010 Census, GAO-03-40 (Washington, D.C.: Oct. 31, 2002). 

[6] At the start of nonresponse follow-up in 2000, 44 states and the 
Virgin Islands had granted an exemption for one or more of these 
programs. 

[7] In 2000, officials of 59 of the 60 local census offices we visited 
provided useable responses to our question about whether their offices 
had the type of staff they needed to conduct nonresponse follow-up, 
including staff with particular language skills to enumerate in 
targeted areas. Officials at 54 of the 59 offices said they had the 
type of staff they needed to conduct nonresponse follow-up. For 
example, officials in the Boston North office said they hired 
enumerators who spoke Japanese, Vietnamese, Portuguese, Spanish, 
French, Russian, and Chinese, while Pittsburgh office officials said 
they had enumerators that knew sign language to communicate with deaf 
residents. 

[8] GAO, 2010 Census: Census Bureau Should Refine Recruiting and Hiring 
Efforts and Enhance Training of Temporary Field Staff, GAO-07-361 
(Washington, D.C.: Apr. 27, 2007). 

[9] GAO, 2000 Census: Answers to Hearing Questions on the Status of Key 
Operations, GGD-00-109R, (Washington, D.C.: May 31, 2000). 

[10] GAO, 2000 Census: Review of Partnership Program Highlights Best 
Practices for Future Operations, GAO-01-579 (Washington, D.C.: Aug. 20, 
2001). 

[11] GAO, 2010 Census: Census Bureau Is Making Progress on the Local 
Update of Census Addresses Program, but Improvements Are Needed GAO-07-
1063T (Washington, D.C.: June 26, 2007). 

[12] FAR §19.702.

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