bills, that acceded to the House funding levels for the 2010 census, save for a cut from $8.6 million to $3.6 million in the allotment for “operational design strategy” (H. Rept. 108-401). The bill allots $107,090,000 for 2010 census planning, $83,310,000 for the MAF/TIGER Enhancements Program, and $64,800,000 for the American Community Survey in fiscal 2004. The bill was approved by Congress in mid-January 2004.
The Census Bureau requested a $180 million increase in fiscal 2005 funds for 2010 census activities.5 This increase from fiscal 2004 totals was included in the Bush administration’s budget message for fiscal 2005, which notes that the budget increase includes a first full year of funding for the American Community Survey (Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal Year 2005, p. 77).
The Census Bureau has advanced an ambitious vision for the 2010 decennial census, and—as our previous reports and the balance of this report suggest—the panel strongly supports the major aims of the plan. The implementation of the ACS, for example, and with it the elimination of the long form from the decennial census process is a very good idea; the Bureau’s geographic databases are in dire need of comprehensive update; and the implementation of new technologies in census-taking is crucial to maintaining an accurate count. There is thus much to like about the emerging plans for the 2010 census, and we strongly support these efforts toward a modernized and improved census in 2010. To this end, the Census Bureau’s focus on planning early in the decennial cycle is highly commendable.
Based on the information made available to us, however, the panel finds that some of the planned-for innovations in the reengineering of the 2010 census are at considerable risk of failure or partial failure. Many of the problem areas that we see
See “EXECUTIVE SUMMARY—FY ’05 Budget” issued by the Census Bureau, available at http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/miscellaneous/001675.html [2/23/04], for additional detail on the Census Bureau request.