8:07 am, May 25, 2015

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  • Census Bureau "success" in staying under budget
    Jeremiah
    Both the article and the embedded link to a 12/21/10 article cheering the outcome of the just-completed 23rd national census carefully refrained from stating what the overall cost for the 2010 census actually came to and how that related to the initial projected costs. The run-up to the 2010 census was plagued with mismanagement and cost overruns, as depicted in a series of hardhitting GAO reports, requiring the allocation of billions more than initially projected. $3 billion alone was wasted on an eventually scrapped plan to have census enumerators use handheld computers to collect and report demographic information, with GAO harshly criticizing Bureau management for poor contractual oversight. The Federal bureaucracy has long been adept at the art of turning the programmatic equivalent of sows' ears into silk purses with "creative" reporting and outright obfuscation. The press are well aware of this - or should be at any rate - and the uncritical acceptance at face value of such self-serving flackery as seen here must be racked up to carelessness or sheer laziness. One hopes the Bureau will be accorded much closer press scrutiny as the preparations begin for the 2020 census, which may help to avert a repeat of the sorry record of its predecessor.
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