It seems that the much planned 2010 census will fail to be made using high technology as it was expected.
Department of Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez is to announce the Congress that the 300-million people nation would be counted using pen and paper, once again.
Census officials had planned to finally make use of handhelds computers, which they bought for $600 million, after signing a 5-year contract with Harris Corporation.
The door-to-door counters were supposed to replace their pens and papers with the new gadgets, while tracking millions of Americans who do not return the filled in mailed forms mailed to them by the government. But the government’s plans were easily ruined, when they discovered the majority of the census workers could not figure out their fancy new gadgets.
This problem, officials say, might add another $2 billion to the already immense cost of the 2010 census. With more than $11 billion spent until now, this census is the most expensive ever.
As much as they want to lower the census’ cost, officials will now have to hire 600,000 temporary workers who will go from door to door and gather information about the population in the old-style manner, using pen and paper. Of the millions of forms that are sent to people, it is estimated that at least one third are not returned, requiring census workers to track people down and interview them.
Mr. Gutierrez explained that the technological problems that the census officials are experiencing are a result of “a lack of effective communication with one of our key contractors,” The New York Times reports.
Apparently, census officials have not clearly explained technical requirements to the contractor, the Harris Corporation.
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