Census

Census seeks software help for internet response

By Gil C shutterstock ID 175538990 

As Census wraps up its in-field test of operations and systems that will be used in 2020, the bureau is seeking information about software related to its survey questionnaires.

The bureau posted a sources sought notice July 2, seeking software for use in the bureau's electronic response option and questionnaire design.

Specifically, Census is looking for contractor support for its Surveyor Software Maintenance and Support, as well as Generalized Instrument Design System.

The software development phase for both systems is over, and the Census seeking "continuing maintenance support… until other systems at the [bureau] can completely replace the GIDS software and Surveyor software."

The contractor will "investigate problems with the existing GIDS and Surveyor software and fix the problems as directed by the program manager, provide consultation on the GIDS and Surveyor software and respond to the program manager's requests," per the notice.The notice comes as Census approaches the August end of its 2018 end-to-end test, the dress rehearsal for the IT systems and operations. The bureau's self-identified major risk areas to a successful count are cybersecurity, the perception of data security and cost spikes due to late changes to the 2020 census form, specifically the addition of a citizenship question, challenges to which are making their way through the court system.

The bureau, which is spending about $5 billion on technology for the 2020 count, has awarded all but one of its major commercial IT contracts. The remaining deal, the field IT contract, is expected sometime around August.

The posting sets a July 17 deadline for responses. Census did not respond to request for comment.

About the Author

Chase Gunter is a staff writer covering civilian agencies, workforce issues, health IT, open data and innovation.

Prior to joining FCW, Gunter reported for the C-Ville Weekly in Charlottesville, Va., and served as a college sports beat writer for the South Boston (Va.) News and Record. He started at FCW as an editorial fellow before joining the team full-time as a reporter.

Gunter is a graduate of the University of Virginia, where his emphases were English, history and media studies.

Click here for previous articles by Gunter, or connect with him on Twitter: @WChaseGunter

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