Census extends Lockheed contract

The Census Bureau has extended Lockheed Martin Corp.'s contract to plan

for archiving information from the decennial count.

The bureau gave Lockheed, the prime contractor for the 2000 census, an additional

42 months to provide technical and management help to store the collected

census data.

The company will be responsible for planning how to transfer about 625 million

images of census forms from tape to microfilm. Federal law requires that

census data be stored indefinitely and made available to the public after

72 years.

Archivists face the perpetual problem of how to store the material because

most current forms of archiving last only a few years. Microfilm is one

of the few data storage materials that lasts for decades, even as the method

of viewing it changes.

Richard Taylor, a senior information technology architect at Lockheed, said

there is no rush to find a permanent storage method for census data because

new techniques are being developed all the time.

Meanwhile, with the success of the U.S. 2000 census under its belt, Lockheed

is taking much of its architecture to the United Kingdom, where it will

conduct the 2001 census. The United Kingdom will pay Lockheed $80 million

to conduct its census of about 59 million people

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