2000 Census New Data Capture System Progress and Risks
GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE WASHINGTON DC ACCOUNTING AND INFORMATION MANAGEMENT DIV
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The U.S. Census Bureau is preparing to conduct the 2000 decennial census, an event that will significantly influence the lives of every U.S. resident and constitutes the largest peacetime mobilization event in our nations history In particular, Census will be staffing 1.35 million temporary field positions to capture 1.5 billion pages of data from about 119 million households. To meet this important and massive challenge, the bureau plans to rely extensively on information technology, including its new Data Capture System DCS 2000. DCS 2000 is to be operated at four bureau data capture centers to check in, digitally image, and optically read the data handwritten onto census forms and convert these data into files that will be transmitted to bureau headquarters for tabulation and analysis. At your request, we determined the status and quality of DCS 2000 as well as the risks the bureau faces in successfully completing the system. This report summarizes the information presented at our December 14,1999, briefing to your office. A copy of our briefing is provided in appendix I.
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