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Census Bureau facing huge cost increase, possible delays in 2010 effort

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lanlady Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-06-08 02:05 PM
Original message
Census Bureau facing huge cost increase, possible delays in 2010 effort
Source: Government Executive

The 2010 Census is at serious risk of massive cost increases and delays caused by problems with a contract to develop handheld computers that the Census Bureau plans to use to collect data.

Because of the problems, costs for the decennial census could increase by between $600 million to $2 billion, according to testimony given by the Government Accountability Office Wednesday at a hearing of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. The increase would be on top of the $11.8 billion the bureau estimates the census will cost.

The problems with the contract are so great that the GAO took the unusual step of adding the project to its list of high-risk programs during mid-year. Typically, GAO adds programs to its risk list every two years at the beginning of new Congresses. GAO has added programs during mid-sessions only four times.

"So serious is the crisis that if it is not dealt with immediately, it could threaten the integrity of the 2010 count," said Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., in his opening statement at the hearing. "We now find ourselves facing a situation in which we might have to revert to conducting the census entirely by paper -- no differently than it was done in the 19th century."

Read more:

So the Bushies have screwed with the census too. Is there ANYTHING left for these clowns to destroy?
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xxqqqzme Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-06-08 02:21 PM
Response to Original message
1. That was my first reaction too.
jeebus, they destroyed the census - now we get to know NOTHING about how bad it really is under their total lack of leadership. Districts can be even more gerrymandered and who can question it? There will be no reliable data.

Have I mentioned lately how much I really hate these people.
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flashl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-07-08 02:03 PM
Response to Reply #1
7. Regarding census and gerrymandered districts, let the miscounting begin ....
Record numbers of urban people of color are now in prisons in rural areas -- where the census counts them as residents. Result? The prisoners' 'share' of federal funds pegged to population counts will go to their keepers' hometowns.

The near- doubling of the prison population since the last census and a rural prison boom during the 1990s portends a substantial transfer of economic and political power from urban to rural America. That's because, due to a little-known census provision, prison inmates will be counted in the populations of the towns and counties in which they are incarcerated and not in their home neighborhoods. The result? Inner-city communities, from which large numbers of prisoner bodies are snatched, will lose out. The prisoner "share" of the nearly $2 trillion in federal funds tied to population counts distributed nationwide over the next decade will go to the mostly rural hometowns of their keepers.

2000 Article - Prisoners of the Census

Prisoners of Census Project - Miscounting prisoners complicates Census portrait of New Jersey
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kestrel91316 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-06-08 02:36 PM
Response to Original message
2. Wow, they even monkeywrenched the CENSUS. Another Mission Accomplished (TM).
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TechBear_Seattle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-06-08 03:56 PM
Response to Original message
3. What's wrong with using a Windows Mobile device?
It is not difficult at all to create database front end forms, have inputted data encrypted and uploading the data via cable connection at the end of the day. With a bit of work, you could probably have the device call the central office via cell phone and upload itself after every survey. I do have something like this done in between a few days and a few weeks, depending on how complex it is, and I would happily charge only $1 million.

Crimeny, who did the Junta hire? Halliburton?
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uberotto Donating Member (589 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-07-08 01:32 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. I think that you've oversimplified the problem just a little bit...
There are a lot of people in this country who don't want to be found and it's the Census Bureau's job to find these people and count them.

So you've got an address, you know where the mailbox is and according to the post office, somewhere within an approximately 10 mile radius of the mailbox is the shack of the family you need to count. Maybe you would like to have an accurate map of the area with maybe some GPS coordinates of where the house is (not that you are going to get accurate gps data on some cheap little hand-held receiver that deep in the woods) and maybe something that shows you what road (a.k.a dirt path) will take you to the house and maybe you would like something that let others know where you were just in case the home owner really didn't want to be counted...

Oh, and before you start thinking about what would be a good solution, maybe rent the movie Deliverance so you have a better idea of who it is you are going to be sent to find with your little Windows Mobile device in hand...
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Freddie Stubbs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-07-08 01:37 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. My solution would be to use the technology they used for the 2000 census
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uberotto Donating Member (589 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-07-08 01:44 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. And from reading the articles, that might be what happens...
but the solution they are trying to create was originally designed to solve many of the problems that existed in the 2000 census and to save money overall.

But now it's starting to look like it might not happen as originally planned.

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