Datastream: Census releases $650 million RFP

The Census Bureau has issued a request for proposals for
its Field Data Collection Automation program for the 2010 decennial census. The
bureau estimates the deal to be worth $650 million.

During the decennial census, population and housing data
will be collected via paper-form mailings, Internet, telephone and enumerators
in the field. The contract will encompass automation support for field
data-collection activities.

The program's goal is to use IT systems to support the
bureau's field staff and facilitate efficient and cost-effective collection of
census data. The systems will be tested during a dress rehearsal that begins in
2007 and extends into 2008.

The bureau is looking for a systems integrator to develop,
implement and manage the systems and offer support services for field
data-collection operations.

Roughly 40 contractors have expressed interest in the
project, according to government IT research firm Input Inc.,



The Field Data Collection Automation program's field
infrastructure comprises 12 temporary regional census centers and more than 500
local census offices, up to 4,000 field operations supervisors, 40,000 crew
leaders and up to 500,000 enumerators.

The program will interact with several other groups,
including the




, data capture centers, data processing headquarters, the Office of Personnel
Management and the Social Security Administration.

The Census Bureau has not been authorized yet to spend the
$650 million, nor has it received any proposals that could complete the work for
that amount, a Census Bureau spokesman said. Proposals are due by July 18. 

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