Information Technology: Significant Problems of Critical Automation Program Contribute to Risks Facing 2010 Census
Of the $11 billion total estimated cost of the 2010 Census, the Census Bureau planned (as of 2007) to spend about $3 billion on automation and information technology in order to improve census coverage, accuracy, and efficiency. Among other things, the Bureau is planning to automate many of its planned field data collection activities as a way to reduce costs and improve data quality and operational efficiency. Known as Field Data Collection Automation (FDCA), this initiative is acquiring handheld mobile computing devices that, along with other technology, are undergoing operational testing during a Census "Dress Rehearsal" that is taking place from February 2006 to June 2009. The $600 million FDCA program is a crucial component of the reengineered processes envisioned for the 2010 Census. In March 2006, GAO reported on the management capabilities of the FDCA program, and in October 2007, it reported on FDCA's status and plans. As requested, this testimony summarizes key findings from these two reports, as well as subsequent Bureau actions.
Below are the reports in this series:
High-Risk Series: An Update GAO-07-310, January 2007
Information Technology: Significant Problems of Critical Automation Program Contribute to Risks Facing 2010 Census GAO-08-550T, March 5, 2008