Harris Corporation Updates Congress on Status of 2010 Decennial Census Technology Program
A representative from Harris Corporation (NYSE:HRS) yesterday told members of a U.S. House subcommittee that innovative new technology programs are on track to help make the 2010 Decennial Census the most accurate, secure and cost-effective census ever conducted. The new technology also will create the first virtually paperless census — and is expected to save taxpayers $1 billion.
Michael Murray, vice president of Census Programs for Harris, provided an update on the technology to members of the U.S. House Subcommittee on Information Policy, Census and National Archives, a standing subcommittee within the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Harris, a major technology provider to the Census Bureau, is serving as systems integrator and program manager for the Census Field Data Collection Automation (FDCA) program, and as prime contractor for the MAF-TIGER program, which integrates topological and address data to provide a “digital road network” for enumerators in the field.
“Harris Corporation is proud that both program teams are performing extremely well in support of the Census Bureau’s decennial count. Our progress to date gives me confidence that the 2010 Decennial Census will be the most accurate, most complete, most cost-effective and most secure census ever,” Murray said.
He explained that Harris has successfully completed on schedule the design, development, and implementation effort for the Dress Rehearsal Address Canvassing operations that are expected to begin May 7. The company has deployed nearly 1,400 fully functioning mobile devices and established the FDCA infrastructure, which includes a help desk, a network operations center, and a security operations center.
This system supports operational activities at the Stockton, California and Fayetteville, North Carolina Local Census Offices, and the Charlotte, North Carolina and Seattle, Washington Regional Census Centers. At the peak of data collection operations during the 2010 Census, the FDCA system will support about 500 local offices nationwide.
Past census field data collection was handled primarily through paper address lists, maps and questionnaires. The automated systems that will be used for the 2010 Census will reduce the need for paper-based processing, increase operational efficiency, improve accuracy and reduce costs.
Subcommittee members were offered a live demonstration of the mobile, handheld computing devices that are key to the FCDA program and ultimately will be used by some 500,000 field enumerators to collect data. According to Murray, “Security of collected data has been a paramount concern of the Bureau and of Harris throughout the design and implementation of the handheld computers, and the transmission of data throughout the architecture.” Some of the security features include fingerprint and password authentication, role-based access, automatic data encryption during storage, as well as firewalls and virus protection, among others.
He went on to explain that the Harris-developed FDCA system is “modular, flexible, scalable, and utilizes proven technologies and commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) products. The program architecture integrates wireless technology, GPS, and information technology in order to provide a highly available support structure to the Census field operations. It maintains data integrity, accuracy, and security.”
Members of the Harris FDCA team include Accenture LLP, Unisys Corporation, Dell Computer Corporation, High Tech Computer Corporation, Sprint, Oracle, Client Network Services, Inc., and Headstrong.
A high-resolution photograph of the FDCA handheld computer is available at http://www.harris.com/images/fdca.jpg. A high-resolution photograph of Michael Murray is available at http://www.harris.com/harris/whats_new/murray_hires.jpg.
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