The decennial census is a constitutionally-mandated activity that produces data used to apportion congressional seats, redraw congressional districts, and help allocate billions of dollars in federal assistance. In March 2008, GAO designated the 2010 Census a high-risk area in part because of information technology (IT) shortcomings. The U.S. Census Bureau (Bureau) has since strengthened its risk management efforts and made other improvements; however, in March 2009, GAO noted that a number of challenges and uncertainties remained. This testimony discusses the Bureau's readiness for 2010 and covers: (1) the delivery of key IT systems, (2) preliminary findings on the results of address canvassing and the lessons learned from that operation that can be applied to subsequent field operations, and (3) the Bureau's progress in improving its cost estimation abilities. The testimony is based on previously issued and ongoing GAO work.
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