My Two Census

Formerly the non-partisan watchdog of the 2010 US Census, and currently an opinion blog that covers all things political, media, foreign policy, globalization, and culture…but sometimes returning to its census/demographics roots.

McHenry: Census Bureau Failures Are Unacceptable

WASHINGTON – Congressman Patrick McHenry (NC-10), Ranking Member on the Census Oversight Subcommittee, released the following statement in response to the troubling admission by the U.S. Census Bureau that its cost estimation models are a complete failure.  The recently concluded address canvassing operation went over budget by 25%.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) also reports that failures in the fingerprint training process led to the hiring of as many as 200 temporary census workers with criminal backgrounds.

“Republicans and Democrats alike stand ready to provide adequate funding for a successful census.  But it now seems that the Census Bureau is incapable of determining what that cost will be.

“While I appreciate Dr. Groves being forthright and understand that these problems are not of his making, corrective action must take place immediately.  The 2010 Decennial, which is already funded to the tune of $14.7 billion, is just around the corner.  The Census Bureau must fix its costs estimation model quickly and report back to Congress with an accurate figure.

“The Census Bureau will soon begin hiring hundreds of thousands of temporary workers and yet its safeguards against hiring criminals are in jeopardy.  GAO has identified insufficient training in fingerprint-taking as the cause of this failure.

“Bureaucratic incompetence that leads to the hiring of criminals as census takers threatens the integrity of 2010 Decennial.  This problem must be fixed immediately and assurances must be given to Congress and the American people that it will not happen again.”

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4 Responses to “McHenry: Census Bureau Failures Are Unacceptable”

  1. Anonymous CL Says:

    The amount over-budget, and then some, clearly went into contractors’ pockets, since the field workers ended up getting paid for much less work time than had been planned (address canvassing was finished in around half to two-thirds as many weeks as expected).

  2. TR Says:

    The same thing is happening now with CCM Independent Listing… quoted 8 weeks, worked for 4 (one of those in training). Other areas finished in less than a week! “its cost estimation models are a complete failure” DUH!

    It just makes no sense to me… Considering the amount of overhead costs (training, materials, etc.) per employee I’d think you’d want to hire the fewest amount of people necessary to get the job done in the expected time frame, rather than hiring more people and finishing early. This is especially magnified considering the amount of mileage reimbursement and overtime paid in training. (Training is the only time listers are approved for over-8 overtime.)

    It’s pretty simple math… You hire 10 people, train them for a week, they finish in three weeks… you are paying more total than if you hired 5 people, trained them for a week, and they finished in 6 weeks. Now of course there are other factors like needing to keep offices fully staffed longer, but with a smaller field staff, work is coming in at a slower pace, and you don’t need as big of a support staff.

    Really, the way the Census treats its temporary employees is pathetic, and it’s a joke for these politicians to say that the Census Bureau is providing jobs for unemployed Americans. Yeah, a month of stressful, temporary work, then it’s back on unemployment.

    Actually, right now I’m considering writing a letter to Rep. McHenry about this.

  3. My Two Census » Blog Archive » Census Bureau Official: The Truth About Census Jobs Says:

    [...] already made the startling admission that their cost estimation models are completely inadequate  (just look at address canvassing and group quarters validation). Most areas are already meeting their recruiting goals but we have trouble recruiting in more [...]

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