For the 2010 Census, the U.S. Census Bureau (Bureau) is making the most extensive use of contractors in its history to supply a number of mission-critical functions and technologies. Because of the critical role that contractors will play in the 2010 Census, GAO reviewed the Bureau's acquisition planning process. Specifically GAO's objectives were to (1) determine the status of the Bureau's major decennial contracts, and (2) evaluate the extent to which the Bureau is using selected leading practices to manage its acquisition planning for these contracts.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Bureau of the Census||To help the Bureau improve the management of the 2010 Census, the Secretary of Commerce should direct the Bureau to ensure that the key systems to be developed or provided by contractors for the 2010 Census are fully functional and ready to be assessed in concert with other operations as part of the 2008 Dress Rehearsal.|
|Bureau of the Census||To help the Bureau improve the management of the 2010 Census, the Secretary of Commerce should direct the Bureau to establish a schedule for the definition of interfaces between all decennial systems so that these data can be provided on a timely basis to development teams.|
|Bureau of the Census||To help the Bureau improve the management of the 2010 Census, the Secretary of Commerce should direct the Bureau to devote further attention to planning strategically for its decennial acquisition workforce by (1) assessing, at a higher level within the agency, whether it has the acquisition-related skills needed to conduct the 2010 Census by developing strategies to identify and address gaps, monitoring and evaluating progress toward closing gaps, and adjusting strategies accordingly; and (2) identifying the needs of the acquisition workforce in its human capital management plan or another acquisition-specific workforce plan and involving appropriate stakeholders in this planning effort.|