Cost saving measure? Census hires more than needed

Only in the Orwellian world of government could you claim that hiring more workers than needed is a “cost saving” measure. According to this story (from CNSNews) that’s exactly what the Census Bureau did.

The U.S. Census purposefully hired more workers than it needed, telling the Office of the Inspector General of the Commerce Department that it did so as a “cost-saving measure,” according to a memorandum that Todd J. Zinser of the inspector general’s office sent to Census Bureau Director Robert Groves last week.

“According to Census,” said Zinser’s May 26 memo to Groves, “‘frontloading’ its workforce (i.e. hiring and training more enumerators than necessary to offset turnover) is a cost-saving measure.” The inspector general’s memo, however, suggested that in at least one Census Bureau operation excessive staff had increased the “cost of operations” and that in another operation deployment of an unnecessarily large number of workers “increased the operation’s direct labor and travel costs.”

Frontloading? Isn’t that what the bank does with the interest on a loan? I didn’t realize that this was a term one would use to describe the hiring of employees. Only in government, I guess.

The inspector general’s memo said that the Census Bureau had “overestimated” the staff needed for the program to enumerate people at transitory locations. “During the ETL operation,” said the memo, “crew leaders overestimated the number of Census staff needed to enumerate transitory locations, thus increasing the cost of operations.”

The memo also said that there were so many people hired for the “service-based enumeration” that there turned out to be one Census enumerator for every seven homeless people counted, and that the inspector general’s office “observed significant periods of enumerator inactivity at certain locations.”

I guess that’s why we needed 411,000 temporary census workers in April. (more here)

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One Response to “Cost saving measure? Census hires more than needed”

  1. […] – twice (or more) The 2010 Census FAIL saga continues. (more here, here, here and here) This story (from CNS News) describes how the Census may be counting the homeless twice, or more. […]

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