2000 Census:

Complete Costs of Coverage Evaluation Programs Are Not Available

GAO-03-41: Published: Oct 31, 2002. Publicly Released: Nov 7, 2002.

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To assess the quality of the population data collected in the 2000 Census, the U.S. Census Bureau conducted the Accuracy and Coverage Evaluation (A.C.E.) program, which focused on a survey of housing units designed to estimate the number of people missed, counted more than once, or otherwise improperly counted in the census. GAO reviewed the life cycle costs of the A.C.E. program and its predecessor, the Integrated Coverage Measurement (ICM) program. GAO found that the original estimated cycle costs of conducting the ICM/A.C.E. programs were $400 million. The first evidence for the original $400 million estimate is in the original budget justifications for fiscal year 2000. The bureau based its estimates of ICM/A.C.E. costs on assumptions about the needs for personnel and benefits, contractual services, travel, office space, equipment, and other costs necessary to conduct and support operations of the programs. The budgeted amounts that GAO identified from bureau records for conducting the ICM/A.C.E. programs are $277 million through fiscal year 2003. The obligated costs that GAO identified from bureau records for conducting the ICM/A.C.E. programs are $207 million through fiscal year 2001. $58 million of budgeted funds for the ICM/A.C.E. programs that GAO identified from bureau records were not obligated through fiscal year 2001. The ICM/A.C.E. program-related costs that GAO identified from bureau records for the 1998 dress rehearsal were $11 million budgeted and $9 million obligated.

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