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 ‘Vangent’

Update on Vangent

Thursday, August 19th, 2010

The other day,  I wrote about Vangent, the company that received an $86 million contract from the Census Bureau to staff call/processing centers for the 2010 Census. As it turns out, the company has a very shady history. Some readers of this site might not even realize that they have been working for Vangent, which sub-contracted 2010 Census hiring to other companies such as Quest Staffing Services, Synergy Staffing Partners and Remedy Intelligent Staffing. To get a more clear picture about how Vangent runs their operations (which seems more like how things are run in China than the US), check out jobvent.com’s page for Vangent. Here’s a sample quote from the site:

“Let’s start out with the basics: Vangent is a call center & information processing company. They work on U.S. federal government contracts. This means the management and leaders at Vangent will stoop to any level to satisfy the government agency who gave them the contract. You as an employee are a robot; performing the work that was outsourced by the government. You are not a person and you have no rights outside of the most basic rights that are afforded to government contract employees. Vangent is the most impersonal company you will ever encounter.”

Anyone know about Vangent?

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

A significant amount of work, $86 million worth, for the 2010 Census went to an IT management firm called Vangent. In the company’s most recent earnings report, they wrote:

Vangent reported revenue from continuing operations of $214.8 million for the quarter ended July 3, 2010, an increase of $79.7 million or 59% compared to $135.1 million in the quarter ended June 27, 2009.  The increase in total revenue from continuing operations reflects an $83.0 million or 72% increase in revenue from the Government Group.  The increase is primarily attributable to $85.9 million in revenue from Vangent’s 2010 U.S. Census contract.

What have been your experiences working for Vangent? How have they managed this large contract? As this firm derived a major portion of their revenue from the 2010 Census, it’s important for us to look into their background. A search reveals that Chairman of the Board Robert B. McKeon has a shady past which is revealed in this Business Week article:

McKeon is the founder of Veritas Capital, a New York private-equity firm that invests in intelligence and defense contractors. Among the fund’s holdings: DynCorp International Inc. (DCP ) in Irving, Tex., whose name was tarnished in the late 1990s when some of its employees in Bosnia became embroiled in a sex trafficking scandal.

In the summer of 2005, another scandal-plagued military contractor caught McKeon’s eye. MZM Inc. was the focus of a federal investigation into whether its owner bribed California Representative Randy “Duke” Cunningham in exchange for hundreds of millions of dollars of government contracts providing technical and other support to intelligence agencies and the military. Sensing an opportunity, McKeon hired a former CIA general counsel to quiz Pentagon and intelligence officials about the viability of MZM’s business, which before the invasion of Iraq included helping with controversial analysis of Saddam Hussein’s nuclear capabilities. “We take on messy situations, and MZM was a mess,” says McKeon, whose top secret security clearance still doesn’t allow him to know all the details of what his companies do.

Not everyone is cheering. Critics argue that Athena’s apparent success rests on lucrative contracts landed under questionable circumstances. “Veritas is profiting from the spoils of congressional bribes,” says Keith Ashdown, vice-president of Taxpayers for Common Sense, in Washington.


What other skeletons are in the Vangent closet?

Press Release: Lockheed Martin Team Prepared for Peak U.S. Census Data Capture Production

Friday, April 2nd, 2010

Here’s a press release update from our friends at Lockheed Martin:

ROCKVILLE, Md., April 1, /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ —  With the U.S. Census now underway, Lockheed Martin’s (NYSE: LMT) Decennial Response Integration System (DRIS) team is receiving up to 12 million census forms daily, processing as many as 2.5 million forms every 24 hours and answering more than 56,000 telephone inquiries per hour during peak production expected between the end of March and April 2010.

The DRIS contract was awarded in September 2005 to the Lockheed Martin team, which includes major partners and a large small business component. The DRIS team is responsible for the people, process, technology and infrastructure needed to receive, capture and standardize data from potentially more than 300 million U.S. residents as well as provide telephone assistance to support data capture efforts.

The Lockheed Martin-lead team hired and trained more than 13,000 temporary personnel, conducted intense testing and dress rehearsals and primed itself for one of the largest and most sophisticated data capture jobs in the country.

“Based on our experience with the 2000 Census, we partnered with the U.S. Census Bureau and the nation’s top companies to develop a solution that embraces information technology and automation to accurately, efficiently, securely and quickly count the nation’s growing and changing population,” said Julie Dunlap, director of Lockheed Martin’s Census Practice and program manager for the 2010 Census DRIS. “During exhaustive planning and testing, the system and associated employees and processes performed flawlessly and fully confirm the team’s readiness,” added Dunlap.

Three data capture centers support this massive effort to process all Census forms within a 6-month period. Centers in Baltimore, Md., managed by CSC, and Phoenix, Ariz. managed by Vangent, Inc., are bigger than four football fields put together. The third center is located at the Census Bureau’s National Processing Center in Jeffersonville, Ind.

In addition, the team established 11 call centers managed by IBM and Vangent across the country to answer respondents’ questions and to follow up to ensure no one is missed. “Between now and August, there will be an estimated 6.6 million inbound and 8.1 million outbound calls to ensure we are obtaining the most accurate data from respondents,” said Dunlap.

The results of the 2010 U.S. Census are due to the President in December 2010 as mandated by U.S. law.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security company that employs about 140,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation reported 2009 sales of $45.2 billion.

Update: Details About Vangent’s Call Center In Utah

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

The following is an excerpt from a longer article in The Salt Lake Tribune:

About 1,200 full- and part-time jobs, expected to last only about 10 months, are coming to the Salt Lake Valley beginning in January as part of the 2010 census. Information on pay ranges for the call center jobs offered by Vangent Inc., for which hiring will begin this fall, wil be available in another month, but they are coming under opportune circumstances, if not an at opportune time. Employees will work in a former Discover Card call center in Sandy. “They [Vangent] are not only coming into a ready-made facility, but they are coming into a ready-made labor force,” said Mark Knold, chief economist for the state Department of Workforce Services. “We have a lot of call centers in the area, and there have been layoffs at various ones.” Utah’s unemployment rate jumped to 5.7 percent from 5.4 percent in June, and unemployment claims are running at a clip of 3,000 a week, compared with a normal 1,000 or so. “Too bad they can’t do it right away,” he said of the projected January start time for the new jobs. Vangent, a Census Bureau subcontractor based in Arlington, Va., will operate the nearly 19-year-old facility in Sandy as one of three national call centers, said spokeswoman Eileen Rivera. Workers will answer hot line questions from Americans about the upcoming U.S. census. Other centers will operate in Lawrence, Kan., and Phoenix. Rivera said salary information and a breakdown about the number of part-time and full-time jobs should be available in September on Vangent’s Web site, www.vangent.com. Vangent has a track record for operating information centers for the Census Bureau during the every-10-year counting of the U.S. population, she said, noting that the company “had a similar role” during the 2000 census. “It’s such a big task that the government has to contract out parts of the census because they don’t have the manpower,” she said. Vangent was awarded the 2010 contract three years ago. The census is providing temporary job opportunities for more than 2,000 Utahns. In January, the bureau recruited 1,000 workers for two- to three-month positions to handle neighborhood-canvassing duties. The jobs paid $11.50 an hour and up.

Vangent’s Data Breach Lawsuit

Monday, July 27th, 2009

A few minutes ago we learned that Vangent Inc. will be running a major call center for the U.S. Census Bureau. In April, there was a favorable outcome for Vangent/Gap Inc. in regards to a data breach lawsuit that resulted from stolen laptops (the Census Bureau has a long history of stolen laptop woes), but it still makes one wonder if this company was the best choice for the Census Bureau:

By Julie Zeveloff

Law360, New York (April 07, 2009) — Finding that a Gap Inc. job applicant failed to support a negligence claim in a putative class action accusing the retail giant and outsourcing company Vangent Inc. of losing 750,000 job applicants’ personal data, a federal judge has granted summary judgment in favor of Gap and Vangent.

Judge Samuel Conti of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on Monday granted summary judgment in favor of Gap and Vangent on the remaining claims in the suit and denied lead plaintiff Joel Ruiz’s motion for class certification as moot.

The suit, filed in November 2007, accused Gap of negligence, bailment, and violations of California privacy and business law after two laptop computers containing applications for retail positions at Gap were stolen from Vangent, which processes the retailer’s job applications.

In March 2008, Judge Conti granted Gap’s motion for judgment on the pleadings as to Ruiz’s bailment, unfair business practices and right to privacy claims, but he maintained Ruiz’ negligence claim and an allegation that Gap’s online application system violated California Civil Code by requiring applicants to input their social security numbers.

In that order, Judge Conti also denied Gap’s motion to strike class allegations and dismissed Gap’s declaratory judgment counterclaim against Ruiz.

Ruiz added Vangent as a defendant and asserted a breach of contract claim against the outsourcing company on Feb. 9, and Gap and Vangent moved for summary judgment on the remaining claims on Feb. 13.

While Ruiz has standing to bring the suit based on an increased risk of identity theft, that risk “does not rise to the level of appreciable harm necessary to assert a negligence claim under California law,” Judge Conti said in Monday’s ruling.

Ruiz’s reliance on California-based future medical monitoring cases to support his negligence claim was misguided, because lost-data cases are not analogous to medical monitoring cases, and Ruiz did not present evidence sufficient to overcome the kind of evidentiary burdens that apply in medical monitoring cases, the judge found.

The court also rejected Ruiz’s argument that he should recover damages for money spent monitoring his credit after the information breach, finding that Gap offered affected applicants one year of free credit monitoring and fraud insurance, but Ruiz did not take advantage of that offer.

As to Ruiz’s claim under California Civil Code, Judge Conti found that while applicants must enter their social security numbers before submitting their applications, Gap and Vangent do not actually require applicants to use their social security numbers to access the job application Web site.

The court also found that Ruiz could not support his breach of contract claim, which accused Vangent of violating its employment screening services agreement with Gap by failing to preserve the security and confidentiality of applicants’ data through encryption.

“Because Ruiz has not been a victim of identity theft, he can present no evidence of appreciable and actual damage as a result of the theft of the two laptop computers,” Judge Conti said.

“We are very pleased with the outcome of this case,” a spokeswoman for Gap Inc. said. “We regret that this instance happened entirely, but we believe the court made the right decision.”

An attorney for Ruiz did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.

Ruiz is represented by Finkelstein Thompson LLP and Barnow and Associates PC.

Gap Inc. is represented by Morrison & Foerster LLP.

Vangent Inc. is represented by Zuckerman Spaeder LLP.

The case is Ruiz v. Gap Inc. et al., case number 07-cv-05739, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.