little more than a year from Census Day. Census managers faced uncertainties about funding, which impeded staffing and resolution of specific elements of such operations as coverage improvement (see Waite et al., 2001). After full funding was obtained for the final agreed-upon design, the Bureau executed the census and the Accuracy and Coverage Evaluation (A.C.E.) operations in a controlled manner. Control was maintained even though—of necessity—specific procedures for several operations were only finalized very late. Likewise, many data processing systems were implemented almost as soon as they were completed, without benefit of advance testing. The relatively smooth operation of the census was facilitated by generous funding and the dedication and energy of Census Bureau staff.
With the bulk of the population enumerated by mailout/mailback and update/leave/mailback techniques, the quality of the 2000 address list was essential to the completeness and accuracy of population coverage. The Census Bureau early in the 1990s made a decision to partner with other organizations and use multiple sources to develop the MAF Contributing to the 2000 MAF were the 1990 address list augmented by updates from the U.S. Postal Service (in mailout/mailback areas), a full block canvass by Census Bureau staff, input from localities that participated in LUCA, and census field operations.
The goal of using multiple sources to build as complete a list as possible was a worthy one. Because many of the procedures were new, implementation was not always smooth. The decision to conduct a complete, instead of targeted, block canvass was made late in the decade and required additional funding to implement; an even later decision was to provide localities in city-style-address areas an opportunity to add addresses for units newly constructed in January-March 2000. Original plans for a sequential series of steps in the LUCA Program, involving back-and-forth checking with localities, had to be combined under pressures of time, and many LUCA components experienced delays; see Table 4-1. Questionnaire labeling had to occur before the Bureau had the opportunity to check most of the addresses supplied by LUCA participants. Local review of the address list for special places (group quarters) was delayed, and errors in assigning special places to geographic areas apparently occurred. Except for the stage of appealing to the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, localities were not given additional time for their review.
The Bureau recognized early on that the MAF was at risk of including duplicate and other erroneous addresses. The risk of omitting valid addresses was also present, but MAF procedures were expected to reduce the level of omissions from previous censuses. An increased risk of including duplicate addresses in the 2000 MAF resulted not only from the planned use of multiple