5:06 am, May 30, 2015

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  • Census workers and skills self-assessment
    There appears to be a not quite hidden agenda here. Workers are being asked to catalog their existing skill sets, ostensibly for the purpose of identifying training needs and redeplyment options. But the article states: "[Census] Leaders might also offer new rounds of buyouts and early retirements to make room for new employees who already possess the skills necessary to modernize census operations." Note that the dread "RIF" word is not used, but it's clear that efforts to eliminate those who may have self-identified their skills as obsolete or at best obsolescent will be targeted for encouraged voluntary (and perhaps involuntary if deemed necesssary to clear the perceived "deadwood") departure. This may give pause to those being so surveyed. Also, the article cites, without foundation the claim that the Bureau has "saved" $2 billion over the last two census counts. This is risible at best. GAO concluded in earlier reports that in the run-up to the 2010 census the Bureau had wasted $3 billion in a failed attempt - due almost entirely to poor contractual oversight on Bureau management's part - to automate the evaluator data collection process, and required massive supplemental appropriations to fund the continuing use of the previous manual data collection process. Reportage on agency operations could be improved if reporters did not rely solely on the press releases and other self-serving statements put out by agency public relations flacks that are little better than airbrushed history.
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