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.

Posts Tagged ‘hearing’

The latest update on the Brooklyn 2010 Census falsification scandal (Price Tag: $250K)

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

MyTwoCensus has been informed that Census Bureau employees have been lifting information off the Internet and falsifying forms at locations throughout the country. Whistleblowers should not hesitate to contact MyTwoCensus.com immediately. Your confidentiality will be 100% maintained.

On Monday, July 19, 2010, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform held a hearing entitled, “Is Brooklyn Being Counted? – Problems With the 2010 Census” to examine a recent incident involving two senior managers at the Brooklyn North East Local Census Office who were fired for fraudulently completing census surveys.  The hearing examined the steps the Census Bureau is taking to ensure the accuracy of the 2010 count. The New York State Congressional Delegation has been invited to participate in the hearing.

The hearing was held on Monday, July 19, 2010 at 10:00 a.m. in the courtroom of Brooklyn Borough Hall, located at 209 Joralemon Street, Brooklyn, NY.

The witnesses who testified were:

Dr. Robert M. Groves
Director
U.S. Census Bureau

Mr. Todd J. Zinser
Inspector General
U.S. Department of Commerce

Mr. Lester A. Farthing
Regional Director
U.S. Census Bureau NY Regional Census Center

Opening Statement of Chairman Edolphus Towns

Opening Statement of Subcommittee Chairman Wm. Lacy Clay

Opening Statement of Rep. Yvette Clarke

Prepared testimony of Dr. Robert Groves

Prepared testimony of Mr. Todd Zinser

According to the New York Daily News:

The bungling was first uncovered last month when two census managers were discovered faking surveys by lifting information off the Internet.

Brooklyn Northeast census manager Alvin Aviles and assistant Sonya Merritt were axed – and 4,200 questionnaires had to be redone.

Redoing the phony forms – which is almost complete – will cost taxpayers $250,000, Groves revealed.

To make matters worse, a whistleblower recently alerted officials that some of the new surveys also were fudged by workers who took their best guess when no one answered the door.

The workers estimated the number of people living in a home based on information such as names on mailboxes, Groves said at the hearing.

“This … is a clear violation of procedures,” he said.

Groves said the second snafu affected a few hundred households. He blamed the mistake on confused workers who misunderstood instructions.

The bureau is investigating whether information was faked in any other offices in Brooklyn or around the country.

He promised the bureau will come up with an accurate count and said that the recount of all 4,200 surveys will be done in a few days.

“I want to say how troubled I am that this occurred,” Groves said. “This activity violates all the principles for which the Census Bureau stands. It is an abhorrent act.”

According to Gothamist:

Census Recounters Messed Up Recount, Re-recount Planned

Those Brooklyn Census workers really don’t want to lose their jobs. After being instructed to redo more than 4,000 falsified Census forms, workers at the Brooklyn Northeast Census office botched the corrections and must complete the forms a third time.

One office worker recently alerted officials that some workers were fudging answers when people wouldn’t answer their doors—exactly what managers Alvin Aviles and Sonya Merritt did to get themselves fired and start this whole mess in the first place. The best part is the whole $250,000 SNAFU could probably have been avoided, since Census workers are allowed to leave questions blank if they cannot obtain the information by either first person or “proxy” interviews.

At a hearing yesterday regarding the first set of faked forms, Congressman Ed Towns said, “I represent a district that is comprised of a number of so-called ‘hard to count’ communities…These communities present challenges to the Census Bureau, but these challenges must be met.” Census Bureau Director Robert Groves says the second round of mistakes were caused by confused workers who misunderstood instructions, and that it should be worked out shortly. Still, he said, “I want to say how troubled I am that this occurred. This activity violates all the principles for which the Census Bureau stands. It is an abhorrent act.”

Senate Hearing: Countdown to Census Day

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

NOTE: THIS MEETING IS NOW POSTPONED DUE TO WEATHER!

FOR RELEASE: Feb. 10, 2010

U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs

HEARING: “Countdown to Census Day: Progress Report on the Census Bureau’s Preparedness for the Enumeration”

WASHINGTON (Feb. 10, 2010) – Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), chairman of the Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management, Government Information, Federal Services, and International Security, will hold a hearing TOMORROW, Thursday, Feb. 11, at 2:30 p.m. titled “Countdown to Census Day: Progress Report on the Census Bureau’s Preparedness for the Enumeration.”

With less than two months until Census Day 2010, Dr. Robert Groves and other officials will give the committee a progress report.

WHAT:

“Countdown to Census Day: Progress Report on the Census Bureau’s Preparedness for the Enumeration”

WHEN:

Thursday, Feb. 11, 2010 at 2:30 p.m.

WHERE:

342 Dirksen Senate Office Building

Also scheduled to live broadcast at http://hsgac.senate.gov.

WITNESSES:

- The Honorable Robert M. Groves, Director, U.S. Census Bureau, Department of Commerce

- The Honorable Todd J. Zinser, Inspector General, U.S. Department of Commerce

- Robert N. Goldenkoff, Director, Strategic Issues, U.S. Government Accountability Office

###

Press Release from Senator Tom Carper’s office

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

FOR RELEASE: Oct. 6, 2009

CONTACT:  Bette Phelan (202) 224-2441

U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs

HEARING: “2010 Census – A Status Update of Key Decennial Operations.”

WASHINGTON (Oct. 6, 2009) – Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), chairman of the Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management, Government Information, Federal Services, and International Security, will hold a hearing Wednesday, October 7 at 3:00 p.m. titled “2010 Census: A Status Update of Key Decennial Operations.”

With less than six months before Census Day 2010, this hearing will provide a status update of key decennial operations, estimated to cost more than $14.7 billion.

Census Director Dr. Robert Groves, in his first appearance before the committee since his confirmation, will provide updates on the Bureau’s recent completion of its address canvassing operation; the progress of the Bureau’s testing of key decennial information technology and operational systems; the use of American Reinvestment and Recovery Act spending to enhance outreach to hard-to-count communities; and the Bureau’s response to program and operational challenges identified by both GAO and the Department of Commerce’s Inspector General.

WHEN:Wednesday, October 7 at 3:00 p.m.

WHERE: 342 Dirksen Senate Office Building

WITNESSES:

The Honorable Robert M. Groves, Director, U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Department of Commerce

Todd Zinser, Inspector General, U.S. Department of Commerce

Robert Goldenkoff, Director, Strategic Issues, U.S. Government Accountability Office

Long and boring 2010 Census hearing…

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

Click HERE to watch a long and boring Congressional hearing (from July 21st) chaired by Carolyn Maloney and featuring testimony from many former directors of the Census Bureau.

Confirmation Showdown: The McHenry Memo

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009

This was leaked to MyTwoCensus from a Congressional insider:

mchenry-letter1-793x10241

Groves’ hearing postponed, now Friday at 9:30 am

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009

For those of you who have been wondering when Census Director-to-be Robert Groves’ confirmation hearing is taking place, the answer is now Friday, 5/15 at 9:30 am. The hearing has already been pushed back twice (each time at the last minute), so we hope this date is set in stone. MyTwoCensus will be live-blogging the whole thing. With Joe Lieberman in charge of the hearing and John McCain in attendance, Groves will certainly face heated questions about statistical sampling and the role of ACORN in the 2010 Census.

Updates on Robert M. Groves

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

First, inside sources revealed to MyTwoCensus that the May 6 Senate confirmation hearing for President Obama’s Census director nominee Dr. Robert M. Groves has been pushed back to May 12.

Second, Federal News Radio has provided some interesting commentary about the possibility of the Census director serving for a fixed term:

Senate lawmakers are considering giving the Census director a fixed term appointment.

Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) says there is a pretty good chance the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee will push for something similar to how the IRS commissioner works.

The IRS commissioner receives a five-year appointment in order to remain in place beyond one administration. The term would also be similar to those of other agency leaders: from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.

Carper made these comments yesterday during his subcommittee’s hearing on federal technology management. He says one of the reasons agency information technology projects have trouble is a lack of sustained leadership.

“The way we bring people in leadership positions for a relatively short period of time, a year or two and they are gone, and we have vacancies for sometimes extended periods of time feeds the lack of oversight and supervision, and maybe leads to change orders,” Carper said. “This idea of having literally on the eve of the Census for us to stop and start over again drives or contributes to this problem.”

A Hill staff member, who requested anonymity because the committee still is drafting the bill, says the idea of a fixed term appointment has been supported by many of the former Census directors.

“We are still getting feedback from Census experts and members of the statistical community so at this time no date has been set to introduce the legislation,” the staff member says.

President Obama on April 2 nominated Robert Groves to be the next Census director. The White House has not yet sent the nomination to the Senate yet to begin the confirmation process.

Robert M. Groves is on track for confirmation…

Thursday, April 16th, 2009

Here’s an update on the status of President Obama’s nominee for director of the Census Bureau from Ed O’Keefe at the Washington Post:

Congressional sources tell The Eye that Census director nominee Robert Groves will get a confirmation hearing in early May. The Census Project has released a letter signed by six former Census directors (pdf) backing his nomination.