demonstrates that the proposed updating strategy, coupled with targeted pre census checking, would perform better than an approach incorporating a final universal pre census field check. In the absence of such an analysis, it might be wiser to reverse the burden of proof and develop criteria for exempting from an otherwise universal pre census check those areas for which an acceptably high level of accuracy from the updating processes can be confirmed. This approach would put the onus on demonstrating accuracy, rather than on spotting inaccuracy. Since developing an accurate MAF is the first step in taking the census, we reiterate its critical role in the decennial census.

Recommendation: The Census Bureau should develop and maintain on the MAF a system of quality indicators at or below the census tract level and should use these indicators as a means of identifying areas requiring special pre census field checking to bring them up to an acceptable level of quality.

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