GAO: Census Bureau running out of time for 2010

A Government Accountability Office report released yesterday stated that changes in contract milestones could affect the Census Bureau’s ability to develop fully functional systems by the 2008 dress rehearsal for the 2010 census. GAO noted that delays in contract awards and changes in solicitation have affected the bureau’s tight schedule, meaning the bureau could also have problems assessing those systems that were fully functional by the dress rehearsal.

GAO found that the bureau does not have a schedule for documenting the information that needs to be provided and integrated into the agency's decennial systems. The report stated that the bureau has failed to fully implement workforce planning principles for the workforce needed for the coming census, which could mean delays in hiring employees, including contract managers.

In the report, GAO recommended that the bureau ensure that contracted systems were fully functional by 2008. It also recommended creating a schedule for defining interfaces between the bureau's working systems and establishing better planning for filling the holes in its workforce.

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