Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Census Audit: Census Prep Wastes Millions: Ten Thousand Census Workers Got Paid $3M for No Work

An audit of the U.S. Census Program shows preparations, alone, have cost taxpayers millions, including 10,000 payments to temporary workers who received $300 each for doing absolutely nothing - no work at all - for a total of $3 million. Others over-billed for travel expenses.

U.S. Census Bureau

That's not all the bad news however. Once the audit is completed, we are "cautioned" that...
excessive charges could multiply once the $15 billion headcount begins in earnest next month unless the agency imposes tighter spending controls, according to excerpts of a forthcoming audit obtained by The Associated Press.
Do we think "tighter spending control" will be a part of this census? Nah...of course we don't. $15 billion in excessive spending!

One million temporary workers will be hired, and is part of Obama's plan to put America to work... counting, specifically, "Democratic-leaning minorities" and "the poor," because Democrats desperately need their voting base.

According to the audit to be officially released next week, we've already spent $88 million over the original estimate of $356 million - not of the entire cost of the Census - but simply a program using 140,000 temp workers to walk neighborhoods for the government's "address-canvassing operation - so we could get started on the actual Census
--More than 10,000 census employees were paid over $300 apiece to attend training for the massive address-canvassing effort, but they quit or were otherwise let go before they could perform any work. Cost: $3 million.

--Another 5,000 employees collected $300 for the same training, and then worked a single day or less. Cost $1.5 million.

--Twenty-three temporary census employees were paid for car mileage costs at 55 cents a mile, even though the number of miles they reported driving per hour exceeded the total number of hours they actually worked.

--Another 581 employees who spent the majority of their time driving instead of conducting field work also received full mileage reimbursements, which investigators called questionable.
Notice the U.S. Census headquarters in the pic above. It was built in 2006-2007. You and I built this mammoth facility at a price tag of $400 million:
Government buildings are often boxy, cheap, and boring, designed more for the efficiency of those constructing them than for the people who have to work in them.

The new headquarters of the U.S. Census Bureau is different: Clad in "blades" of a local native wood and no taller than eight stories, the vast complex was designed to blend into the surrounding woodland preserve.

Extensive facilities on every floor create an inviting environment that's a huge improvement over the previous World War II-era headquarters. On the ground floor, a thoroughfare known as Main Street runs the length of 11 football fields and contains facilities such as a fitness center, cafeteria, credit union, and stores, allowing people to meet for coffee or run errands. 
I'll have more on the U.S. Census later. Can't wait to see the questions.

©2007-2012copyrightMaggie M. Thornton