Census Bureau: Important Activities for Improving Management of Key 2010 Decennial Acquisitions Remain to be Done Page: 3 of 76
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Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee:
We appreciate the opportunity to participate in today's hearing to discuss
our work on key acquisitions supporting the 2010 Decennial Census. As
you know, the Census Bureau is currently planning the decennial census-
the nation's oldest and most comprehensive source of population and
housing data. While apportionment-the proportional distribution of the
number of members of the U.S. House of Representatives in each state on
the basis of the population of each state-is the most widely known use of
census data, the data are also used for congressional redistricting,
managing federal agencies, and allocating federal funds. These data are
disseminated to state and local governments, academia, and the private
sector for use in understanding this country's people and their social,
demographic, and economic characteristics. The next decennial census is
required to begin on April 1, 2010, and the Secretary of Commerce is
required to report to the President the tabulation of total population by
states within 9 months of that date.'
In June 2005, we reported on the Census Bureau's progress in five
information technology (IT) management areas-investment management,
systems development/management, enterprise architecture management,
information security, and human capital.2 These IT management areas are
important because they have substantial influence on the effectiveness of
organizational operations and-if applied effectively-can reduce the risk
of cost and schedule overruns, and performance shortfalls. We reported
that, while the bureau had many practices in place, much remained to be
done to fully implement effective IT management capabilities. We also
made several recommendations to improve the bureau's management.
Given the weaknesses we noted in the five management areas and the
importance of IT investments to the upcoming 2010 Decennial Census, you
asked us to review two planned Census Bureau acquisitions: the Decennial
Response Integration System (DRIS)-a system for integrating paper,
Internet, and telephone responses; and the Field Data Collection
Automation (FDCA) program-the systems, equipment, and infrastructure
field staff will use to collect census data.
113 U.S.C. 141 (a) and (b).
2GAO, Information Technology Management: Census Bureau Has Implemented Many Key
Practices, but Additional Actions Are Needed, GAO-05-661 (Washington, D.C.: June 16,
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United States. Government Accountability Office. Census Bureau: Important Activities for Improving Management of Key 2010 Decennial Acquisitions Remain to be Done, text, March 1, 2006; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc290828/m1/3/: accessed October 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.