Saturday, March 08, 2008

Computer Problems Threaten 2010 U.S. Census

A McClatchy News Service article by David Goldstein, via The Miami Herald, reports that:

The 2010 Census is already in trouble.

The handheld mobile computers that are supposed to replace the pens and paper long used by census-takers aren't working properly, and delays could send the cost from $600 million to as much as $2 billion.

The Census Bureau has done little, if any, planning for what to do if the handheld mobile computers can't be made to work.

As a result, an important census dress rehearsal this spring has been delayed by a month as the agency looks for backup plans.

"I cannot overemphasize the seriousness of this problem," Census Bureau Director Steve Murdock told a Senate hearing last week.

That same day, the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress, designated the 2010 Census a "high-risk area."

More here.


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