Does the application have to be published?

Yes, to be eligible for the pilot, the application must have a Pre-Grant publication date no earlier than one month prior to the filing date of a consent form which must be filed during the pilot (June 15th, 2007 to June 15th, 2009).  Also, the application must publish prior to the current end date of the pilot which is June 15th, 2009.

USPTO FAQ - Questions and Answers (29JAN2009)