Government Technology

E-Count: Electronic Field Data Collection Under Fire for 2010 Census



March 25, 2008 By

The controversy over the reliability and accuracy of electronic voting equipment which has plagued the current election cycle appears to have spread to the 2010 Census. At issue are handheld tabulating devices to be used by census takers as a way to speed data collection and reduce costs.

Early this year, two members of Congress asked for a hearing on the Field Data Collection Automation Program (FDCA), a $600 million contract awarded in 2006. An independent assessment of the program pointed out some risks and suggested that paper backup forms be considered.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) then reported earlier this month on the FDCA "Dress Rehearsal" that began in Feb 2006 and is scheduled to run through June 2009, pointing out a number of risk factors -- including slow and inconsistent data transmission from the devices.

"Without effective management of these and other key risks," said the GAO in its report, "the FDCA program faced an increased probability that the system would not be delivered on schedule and within budget or perform as expected. Accordingly, GAO recommended that the FDCA project team strengthen its risk management activities, including risk identification and oversight.

"The Bureau has recently made efforts to further define the requirements for the FDCA program," continued the report, "and it has estimated that the revised requirements will result in significant cost increases. Rough estimates shared with the Congress and the Administration range from $600 million to $2 billion; however, specific programs and operations affected have not been identified, nor has the Bureau decided on a clear approach to address these issues. In view of the time frames for the 2010 Census, it is essential that the Bureau act rapidly to make decisions and to implement GAO's recommendations."


| More

You May Also Like

Comments

Add Your Comment

You are solely responsible for the content of your comments. We reserve the right to remove comments that are considered profane, vulgar, obscene, factually inaccurate, off-topic, or considered a personal attack.

In Our Library

White Papers | Exclusives Reports | Webinar Archives | Best Practices and Case Studies
Better security. Better government.
Powering security at all levels of government with simpler, more connected IT.
Cybersecurity in an "All-IP World" Are You Prepared?
In a recent survey conducted by Public CIO, over 125 respondents shared how they protect their environments from cyber threats and the challenges they see in an all-IP world. Read how your cybersecurity strategies and attitudes compare with your peers.
Maintain Your IT Budget with Consistent Compliance Practices
Between the demands of meeting federal IT compliance mandates, increasing cybersecurity threats, and ever-shrinking budgets, it’s not uncommon for routine maintenance tasks to slip among state and local government IT departments. If it’s been months, or even only days, since you have maintained your systems, your agency may not be prepared for a compliance audit—and that could have severe financial consequences. Regardless of your mission, consistent systems keep your data secure, your age
View All

Featured Papers