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.

Census Bureau re-interviewing thousands of people in Brooklyn

Well, folks, you heard it here first. (Don’t forget that!) Now, let’s hope that the New York news organizations will pick up on the following info. As usual the Census Bureau releases critical information on a Friday afternoon in the summer time hoping that the media mavens in New York are already on their way to the Hamptons and will forget about this by Monday. How much will this operation cost taxpayers? Will the fired officials be charged with crimes? Here’s a Census Bureau Press Release:

Brooklyn Households May Get Additional Visit From Census Bureau

Quality checks reveal work must be redone to ensure complete accurate count

WASHINGTON, June 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The U.S. Census Bureau today announced that checks on the quality of some of the work in the Brooklyn North East local census office (LCO) have led to a replacement of the management of that office, and to the judgment that at least 10,000 household interviews will have to be redone to ensure a complete and accurate count.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20090226/CENSUSLOGO)

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20090226/CENSUSLOGO)

“I want to stress that our highest priority is to get a complete and accurate count in 2010 for Brooklyn, and while I regret some of the work must be redone, I’m sure the people of Brooklyn share in the goal of getting this right,” said Regional Director Tony Farthing.

Census officials from the New York Regional Office and the Suitland, Maryland headquarters visited the LCO this week following up on concerns raised by some employees in the LCO that the management there was not following established procedures. Senior managers confirmed that a variety of training and processing standards had recently been neglected in the LCO.  The New York Regional Office has replaced the LCO management with two experienced managers who are very familiar with the communities in the affected area. The systematic review of processing steps continues, and may lead to more household re-interviews. A physical inspection of a sample of census questionnaires pointed to a recent breakdown and failure to follow quality standards that must be met by every local census office.

Regional Director Tony Farthing said that the new LCO team will be in the field beginning this weekend to ensure all enumerator interviews are conducted properly and that any suspect interviews will be redone with new interviews of the households. He said he felt confident all the work can be completed before the end of door to door enumeration, but that work would continue until the Bureau is satisfied of the quality.

Editor’s note: News releases, reports and data tables are available on the Census Bureau’s home page. Go to http://www.census.gov and click on “Releases.”

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28 Responses to “Census Bureau re-interviewing thousands of people in Brooklyn”

  1. Thank you Mr Groves Says:

    How much will this operation cost taxpayers?

    SRM – I’m a taxpayer and I can speak directly to this: I don’t care how much it costs!! I want an accurate count! Get your head out of your ass.

    Well, since he won’t say it, I will…Hats off to the Census Bureau’s leadership team in addressing this problem quickly, not only from an investigation perspective, but also in the replacement of the local management team, quick assessment of the impact and executing a plan to correct the bad interviews. The speed at which this happened truly demonstrates the Census Bureau’s commitment to ensuring an accurate count even if it means firing people, spending a little more and revisiting an area again. Thank you for your quick, decisive response and commitment to excellence. The American people appreciate it because if it were their neighborhood, they would want to be counted…if it were their mother’s neighborhood, they would want it counted…if it were their best friend from college, they would want it to be counted.

    All those in favor of an accurate count in Brooklyn even if it costs a little extra say “I”!

  2. Sunshine Connie Says:

    It doesn’t matter what it costs but the DA should prosecute and recover all wages paid to those who committed fraud. When you play the game of NO HARM NO FOUL you simply encourage the criminals to continue and step up their crimes. Wake up TAXPAYERS and DEMAND ACCOUNTABILITY!

  3. Johnny Says:

    The census should have hired “illegals”. It would have been done correctly the first time.

  4. Embarressed Says:

    All this could have been avoided if they had just mailed in their damn census in the first place. SISH!

  5. SexyOfficeClerk Says:

    The title Brooklyn Households May Get Additional Visit From Census Bureau presumes that they were visited in the first place. If they were visited in the first place and an interview was conducted then data falsification was not necessary. It was the simple fact that headquarters sets production goals and holds managers to it that tempted managers into falsifying data.

  6. Yo Landa Says:

    Wonder what the political demographics are for that area of Brooklyn? Just think how easy it would be to inflate wherever they please. All they’d have to do would be to suspect a problem and then go out and recount… add everything up back at the Census Ranch, and voila! More electoral shenanigans.

  7. Bobby J Says:

    Yeah, just throw another $billion on the fire…it’s still a little chilly in here…

  8. SNRFU Says:

    SexyOfficeClerk: The title Brooklyn Households May Get Additional Visit From Census Bureau presumes that they were visited in the first place. If they were visited in the first place and an interview was conducted then data falsification was not necessary.

    Data falsification was not necessary on legitimate EQ’s, no, but there’s no way to know now which EQ’s are legitimate and which fraudulent. It’s not as though the fraudsters wrote “FAKE” in the Notes section. Consequently, all EQ’s dated June 12th and after are being redone.

    The title is accurate. Many thousands of households who have already completed interviews will be visited again.

    “It was the simple fact that headquarters sets production goals and holds managers to it that tempted managers into falsifying data.”

    Yep. Virtually every problem I saw as a NRFU CL stemmed from pressure coming down from the RCC through the LCO and my FOS. Fortunately, I never saw anything this awful.

  9. les_gvt Says:

    In other words, it seems they weren’t padding the numbers enough. or dod the actual count not come out as wanted, Afraid Charlie might lose his seat

  10. Jax Enumerator Says:

    I can’t imagine how these people thought they could get away with this. There’s no way you can falsify TEN THOUSAND EQs and not have someone in Quality Control, NRFU Re-interview, or even Vacant/Delete Check or Field Verification notice, even without the whistleblowers. These idiots should be prosecuted as it is illegal to falsify information on an EQ. Another bad thing is this tarnishes the image of the Bureau, even though they were caught and the data will be gathered properly.

  11. anonymous Says:

    I am working Re-Interview and Quality Control of crews (not my crew). Not only are respondents fed up with the numerous Census visits; some of the EQ info is way off base! The respondents will tell you they never told the Census worker this info, number in household is incorrect, children’s names and DOB are wrong. RACE: some enumerators made assumptions on race that were totally inaccrate. Some enumerators checked “Black” when the respondent was “White”, some enumerators checked “Other” and wrote in “Mexican” and the respondent was “White and Filipino”! You can imagine how the respondents felt and they expressed their outrage immediately. Some enumerators wrote in incorrect ages and DOB. There was a female respondent who was very offended that an enumerator wrote in 67 years old for her age and she was actually 52 years old! That would piss me off, too!

  12. Anonymous Says:

    “Yep. Virtually every problem I saw as a NRFU CL stemmed from pressure coming down from the RCC through the LCO and my FOS. Fortunately, I never saw anything this awful.”

    I never saw anything as bad as Brooklyn either, SNRFU, but you hit the nail on the head with your comment. The same thing is going on with the RCC in Dallas. Our LCO originally told us that the NRFU op would end the 2nd week in July. Then, because supposedly the Dallas RCC was 2nd to last in EQs turned in (enumerating in rural Texas is a freaking nightmare, believe me. Even without having to contend with the massive geography, most folks here in the rural areas are pretty suspicious of the Federal Gov.) they turned on the pressure to turn in as many EQs as possible, as quickly as possible, instead of actually getting the job done right. As a result, we kept getting almost as many EQs sent back for repair as were sent in, causing a bigger bottleneck than there would have been if they would have kept the pressure off.

    I don’t know what kind of stupid contest they think they’re in at the higher level, but it’s caused so many screwups that I highly doubt the 2010 Census will be even remotely accurate.

  13. Mr E Says:

    The worry about incorrect DOB or “race” is BS. All they need is the number in the residence. That’s the constitutional mandate. The rest is just PC to please a lot of groups complaining of undercount. If they sent it in there would be no problem.

  14. Mr E Says:

    If the census form has a phone number. why do they have to check ALL the interviews?!! in person? More OT for someone.

  15. GS-X Says:

    Mr E, Are you a birther? You are posting incorrect information.

  16. somewhere in the census Says:

    Thank you Mr Groves Says:June 25th, 2010 at 6:28 pm
    “Hats off to the Census Bureau’s leadership team in addressing this problem quickly,”

    Are you kidding “Hat’s off”??? The Census Bureau’s leadership team is causing this problem and CONTINUES to do so. Every office is being pressured with daily memos to “convert” incomplete forms. People form the Regional offices are in all the local offices telling workers MULTIPLE “fixes” for incomplete, and 99′ed forms that are completely outside, and contradictory TO THE WRITTEN MANUAL and no one will put these new “crunch” methods memo because they condone and encourage fraud, but those fixes are being pushed every minute orally.

  17. Wally Pieper Says:

    Nothing wrong here. They were just performing as they were taught by ACORN.
    You can be sure there a hundreds of similar episodes nationwide. How else can His Highness maintain control?

  18. enumerator Says:

    It’s true. The public is fed up with us knocking on their doors and do not want to comply.

  19. anonymous too Says:

    Mr. E, the public trusts the Census workers with DOB, race, EQ information. The Census Bureau and it’s workers owe this to the taxpaying public to get the Census count complete and accurate.

  20. anonymous Says:

    there are only two possible identities for the person who wrote the paragraph that begins “Hats off to the Census Bureau’s leadership team”:

    Grove’s mother or his personanl PR flack.

    NO ONE who knows ANYTHING about what is really happening in offices everywhere (including the NYC RRC) would believe this drivel.

    But, at least the Census has employed a lot of people.

  21. Sunnyr Says:

    This sounds like something right out of the ACORN Handbook! INVESTIGATE thoroughly!! This should be at the top of the list for the new, incoming Congress.

  22. anonymous Says:

    No two LCOs are alike – they each have their own set of problems.

  23. Pony Momma Says:

    Well I sure hope they send someone down here to S FL..Because what these managers did..Is just what the LCO here told NRFU CL’s to do…They told the CL’s to gather up ENUM and sit down and use one another as proxy’s to fill in the forms and if NRFU RI/QC ENUM called to confirm any info..they were to deny knowing anything..so that then the RI/QC ENUMS would then have to conduct full re-interviews…After finding numerous false/bad info, this subject was brought up to the to LCO..Their response was….SO what,,,Go fix it..It will give your crews more work to..Or if you really have a problem with it–The door is this way….
    Many of the workers knew this was wrong–But are so hungry for any job here they shut up and did as told..But maybe now they will come forward with out fear..
    There are still vast areas that have never once been surveyed and others multiple times..But you can not talk to the heads at the LCO about this..they do not want to hear about it..It is a real shame because the little towns and counties will lose out on much needed funding and representation.

    Atlanta are you listening?????????????

  24. FED-UP Says:

    The primary motivation to expedite the closing of the NRFU operation was money. Alvin and Sonya wanted to keep the unused compensation money for themselves. They forced enumerators and crew leaders to work less than 40 hours and did not approve any overtime. FOSs were denied overtime, sometimes even the pre-approved 5 overtime hours by forcing the FOSs to work only 40 hours, nothing more. They gave unreasonable deadlines and threatened everyone with termination if quotas were not met. Darlene Lopez, the RCC manager, ought to be investigated too since Alvin and Sonya gave us email copies of the deadlines and quotas from Darlene.

    The entire operation was failed from the start — training classes were not filled, unorganized staff members with no clear instruction, when everything was outlined in the manuals. If only everyone read the manual instead of trying to look smart and push their manager and supervisor titles, then this mess would have been avoided. Quality Control should be investigated too. Sarojini Superstad committed fraud too and is completely incompetent.

    The Feds need to investigate Alvin and Sonya’s compensation and overtime claims. They were writing themselves large checks and from payroll, Alvin collected $4000 in overtime in one week. Alvin did not know operation details and encouraged the FOSs to manipulate time sheets, D308s. D308s were due Saturday 8PM just so that payroll and admin could keep up, when that department was consistently behind and played the blame game on NRFU. Anna Rodrigez terminated employees out of spite and scapegoating others to put the focus on others than herself.

    The entire LCO needs to be investigated. Managers and supervisors get hired because of “who you know”. It’s a complete scam filled with thug like behavior.

  25. 101 Anonymous Says:

    Johnny – June 25th, Many temporary Census employees who lost their jobs with other companies brought some bad habits and corporate culture with them. There have been personnel conflicts at all levels. Good “ole” boys hiring their friends and neighbors, other groups of people hiring “their own groups” that look like themselves. LCOs in my area have issues with “groups” of employees sabotaging work, destroying/losing paperwork, and THROWING OTHER PEOPLE WHO DON’T LOOK OR ACT LIKE THEMSELVES UNDER THE BUS!!! The Census needed to diversify staff through all levels. The public does not deserve cheap, shoddy work for their hard-earned tax dollars.

  26. MyOwn2Eyes Says:

    FED-UP – While I do not dispute all of what you posted, you only think you know the whole story. Can you prove this statement:

    The primary motivation to expedite the closing of the NRFU operation was money. Alvin and Sonya wanted to keep the unused compensation money for themselves.

    Because if you can’t … what good is putting it out there?

    And what of this claim:

    Sarojini Superstad committed fraud too and is completely incompetent.

    Do you have rock solid proof (how a about even a tiny shred?)? Because that first part without proof is nothing short of slander. The rest of that statement is purely personal opinion, and given the way it was offered, seems awfully like a load of sour grapes from somebody with an ax to grind (perhaps your own performance leaves a lot to be desired?). I have worked very closely with Ms Seupersad since she joined 2225, and can vouch that she is both knowledgeable and a conscientious employee and supervisor.

    And about your claim of Mr Aviles’overtime compensation,I have to again ask; do you have proof? This seems completely suspect to me (as I know what LCO managers make, and a $4K claim would send up all kinds of red flags).

    How is it that you know such details about Admin, FO & QA? Granted it is a small office, but only a person who has worked closely in each of those departments would know such intimate details. I happen to know for a fact that no one in that office has worked in each of those departments long enough to get that info on their own. So, I’m gonna go out on a limb and call you a liar. And not a very good one at that.

    For those of you seeking to convict without a trial (and without all the evidence) let me remind you that our country’s primary belief is: INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY. Throwing names out into the air and calling them suspects doesn’t serve the greater good or the situation. I’m sure a good scratch beneath the surface would reveal some personal ulterior motive behind these benign accusations.

    And to address one further issue; I keep reading how Jenny Ortiz-Bowman is somehow responsible for this fraud. Ms Ortiz-Bowman was pushed out long before this fraud was committed. One doesn’t have to like Ms Ortiz-Bowman to admit that while she held the position of AMFO, the Field Operations were conducted within the scope of Census requirements and everything was above board.

    We all have our suspicions of were this fraud began, just let me remind everyone – water flows downstream, not up.

  27. anonymous Says:

    Jenny Bowman (for whom I worked) was absolutely a character…and everyone on her team loved her, worked their hearts out for her. Yes, there were people who didn’t like her style (does everyone like YOUR style?). But, she was as honest and hard working as a person could be. Perhaps that’s why she was forced out. In fact, if Census really wants to clean up this mess, they should BEG Jenny to come back.

  28. jusanutr censustemp Says:

    I see mgmt. lackeys have discovered this site. So much for the Senseless Corporate line. I work in “Quality Assurance”. Boy, it that a misnomer. Re: recounts. We do the phone calls for R.I. and I can’t tell you how many times I have been told by respondents that they got their census form, filled it out, mailed it back and still got tagged for NRFU and now their being called back to re-check the same information. (and no they didn’t mail it late. 1 woman was so excited to get her first census that she sat down & did it that nite) It’s really all about checking up on the work of the enumerators and not at all about “getting it right”. And don’t EVEN get me started on MARCS. That is just a complete waste of time. Recommending Re-training for enums that don’t even work for census anymore. Ignoring the correct data and spelling of names but “researching” to see if they used an early proxy. BFD, If they got it right, with birthdates and all, who cares. If I didn’t need a job so bad…I swear. I’ve never seen such waste. And on my dime.