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.

Questionnaire Assistance Centers in Focus

We’ve received our fair share of tips about the effectiveness of operations at Questionnaire Assistance Centers (QACs), so we’re hoping that readers can comment on these centers and experiences you have had with them. Locales ranging from churches to senior centers to 7-11s are doubling as QACs. Unfortunately, we’ve been told that the “Take 10 Map” (that is annoyingly slow on all three computers I work with) doesn’t have every QAC listed. I noticed that Torrington, Connecticut (ZIP Code 06790), where I spent summers during my youth, only has one QAC. On the other hand, the South Shore of Nassau County (Zip Code 11570) in New York, where I grew up, has many QACs. Why the disparity?

One tipster told us, “Some organizations who originally agreed to this commitment backed out because the last paragraph of the attached agreement. My interpretation is that the government still wants to retain their right to sue if someone screws Uncle Sam.”

The paragraph in question from the Space Donation Agreement reads as follows:

Because the Federal Government is self-insured, it is the U.S. Census Bureau’s policy not to purchase or pay for commercial liability insurance. In addition, the Anti-Deficiency Act, Title 31 U.S.C. §1341,prohibits any Federal agency from undertaking contingent and undetermined liability without funds being appropriated by Congress for such purpose. For this reason, the Government cannot agree to a “hold-harmless” clause nor can it waive the right to sue.

* calls upon our readers to visit QACs in your area to test the knowledge of those who work there and to make sure that the QACs actually exist.

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3 Responses to “Questionnaire Assistance Centers in Focus”

  1. My Two Census » Blog Archive » Why is the Census Bureau pointing to some cities to improve while others are left lagging behind in silence? Says:

    [...] yesterday, I worried that Connecticut didn’t have enough resources for its Questionnaire Assistance Centers. Today, my fears were confirmed when the Census Bureau called out Connecticut on its low response [...]

  2. TR Says:

    You really can’t blame the Census for space donors not reading the 3/4 page of large print text on the form they’re signing. It’s not like that clause written in confusing language or is buried in fine print.

    Ultimately, when you’re not willing to pay for space, people will be less willing to accommodate and commit to you. However would you rather have the Census Bureau use government money to pay for thousands upon thousands of training and QAC locations?

  3. My Two Census » Blog Archive » Census Bureau Officials: The Questionnaire Assistance Center and Be Counted Site Debacles Says:

    [...] have had their identities verified by shared the following report with us about Questionnaire Assistance Centers and Be Counted [...]