US Census goes back to paper and pencil

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Technology problems are to blame according to the Associated Press as the United States government will be forced to go back to the old times on counting the 300 million people living in the nation with paper and pencil.

The new change will see as much as $3 billion added to the overall cost, pushing it to now more than $14 billion.

Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez was scheduled to tell a House subcommittee about the new plans, which will see the use of handheld computers to collect information scraped from millions of Americans who do not return the forms mailed out by the government.

The project to develop the computers have been plagued by schedule, performance and cost issues.

The 2010 census was expected to be the first high-tech count in the nation’s history, with the Census Bureau awarding a contract to purchase 500,000 computers at the cost of $600 million. The new computers proved too complex for some workers when a trial was done in North Carolina and the computers were not initially programmed to transmit larges amounts of data.

The officials have been blamed for not spelling out the technical requirements and specifications to the contractor, Harris Corporation – based in Florida

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