Lockheed Martin Corp. won a $500 million contract last week from the Census Bureau to develop and operate the information processing system for the 2010 Census. The bureau's goal is to make the next population count more automated than the one in 2000 and to make it simpler for citizens to participate.
The Decennial Response Integration System contract includes developing an option for citizens to answer census questionnaires over the Internet. The contract provides for systems, facilities and staffing to capture and standardize census data from paper forms and the telephone as well as the Internet.
The contract also calls for capturing data coming from handheld computers to be used by census takers; a contract for the handheld devices has yet to be awarded.
"It's like a big catch net, capturing all the data coming in no matter where it comes from," said Preston J. Waite, associate director for the 2010 Census. "It will integrate everybody who tries to answer the census form."
The Census Bureau also has improved its geographic database to better match housing units and street addresses using Global Positioning System coordinates.
The bureau pulled together all of its information processing services, equipment, systems and software under one contract, said Arnold Jackson, assistant director of information technology systems for the 2010 Census. "We're hoping with one integrator there will be fewer handoffs, lower risk, and solutions can be envisioned by the prime contractor and pushed all the way through the system. We have fewer problems with unintended differences in our data that way."
Lockheed Martin developed the information processing system used in 2000, but it was one of three contractors handling data gathered from paper forms and over the phone, said Julie Dunlap, Lockheed Martin's 2010 program director for the contract.
Lockheed Martin's teammates on the six-year contract include Cardinal Technologies Inc. of Bethesda; Computer Sciences Corp. of El Segundo, Calif.; Evolver Inc. of Reston; International Business Machines Corp. of Armonk, N.Y.; Metier Ltd. of Washington; Nortel PEC Solutions of Fairfax; and Pearson Government Solutions Inc. of Arlington.
Mary Mosquera is a staff writer with Government Computer News. For more information on these and other contracts, go to www.gcn.com.