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Clarification: While the Census Bureau is researching printing technologies, printing of public use forms for the 2010 Census is not in scope for the 2010 decennial response integration system contract. - April 1, 2004
Research Supporting the Decennial Response Integration System (DRIS) RFP
In 2010, the United States Census Bureau will conduct another Decennial Census. A major milestone for Census 2010 is to have a complete Dress Rehearsal in 2008. Based on this goal, on lessons learned from Census 2000, and on feedback from the Inspector General, the Census Bureau needs to start our procurement process for Census 2010 earlier in the decade than we did for the Census 2000. The BOC is now planning to award the first major contract at the end of FY 05 to allow time for prototyping and testing prior to the Dress Rehearsal. Our plans are to conduct market research and market analysis to better understand technologies that may apply to Census 2010 paper questionnaire printing and data capture in order to help develop high-level Functional Technical Requirements.
The BOC is under contract with ADI, LLC, (a research organization of the Rochester Institute of Technology). Some of the research will be performed at the Census Technology Laboratory at ADI, LLC in Rochester, NY. Research may also be performed on a voluntary basis at the various vendors' facilities. The ADI program manager is Dr. Brad Paxton. Dr. Paxton can be reached at (585) 239-6057.
The focus of this initial market research is on data capture of paper questionnaires and building on our lessons learned from Census 2000 and prior research. Our primary research objectives are to understand the problems to be solved related to:
Expanding the input tolerances of the questionnaire data capture technology. This could allow more printing variation as well as the use of intermixed printing technologies. This in turn will help support a Targeted Replacement Mailing (TRM).
Using color scanning and advanced image processing to allow a more flexible color drop out in the scanned images. For example, the ability to preserve ink responses in an answer area where the form background color may be similar to the ink color. This could improve data quality, provide increased form's design latitude and color choices, and increased printing tolerances. This could also, in turn, help support a targeted replacement mailing.
Implementing a Targeted Replacement Mailing printed via one or more printing technologies, such as on demand printing. Ideally, the TRM would consist of sending another Census questionnaire to those households that did not return the first mail-out/mail-back (MO/MB) questionnaire in a timely fashion. A successful TRM could provide significant cost savings to Census as well as provide higher quality data.
Clarification, 4-01-04: Printing of questionnaires for the TRM-or any public use forms-- is not in scope for the Census Bureau's decennial response integration system contract.
III. Technology Market Research and Testing for the year 2010 Census
ADI, under contract with the BOC will develop special test materials and test procedures. These items will help assess the feasibility of technology, understand requirements, and help provide potential information to the vendor community prior to the DRIS RFP and related RFP's such as questionnaire printing. The process and distribution for these materials and test procedures will be announced via this web site at a future date.
Vendors who would like to participate by demonstrating technological capabilities, at no cost or obligation to ADI or the Government, should contact Dr. Paxton at the aforementioned phone number.
IV. Schedule for Testing & Evaluation
Testing and evaluation studies are presently underway, and will continue through the second quarter of FY 2005. At this time, one or more formal vendor conferences are being planned to discuss potential Census needs.
V. Analysis of Results
Results from our market research will be summarized and made available on the Census RFP web site (http://www.census.gov/procur/www/2010dris)
VI. Feedback to Participating Vendors
Details of individual vendor's results will not be made available to the public; rather, generic results will be summarized. However, for vendors participating in the market research, our plans are for direct feedback to individual participating vendors will be given by ADI, to aid in vendor's understanding of Census needs.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Last Revised: March 17, 2010