Saturday, May 29, 2010

EXCLUSIVE: Census Fraud & Incompetence In Chicago

May 29, 2010 - This needs to be investigated by federal authorities.There is a new and disturbing development in our exclusive coverage of the way U.S. Census takers (enumerators) in Chicago have been getting shafted. First, the main points. Then, some details. The Main Points: Some, if not all, US Census workers in Chicago are not getting their weekly paychecks because of administrative errors in the central Chicago Census office. Some of the administrative people were recently fired or laid off, allegedly because of incompetence. Some US Census workers in Chicago are deliberately working as slowly as possible, on the orders of some supervisors and, with the knowledge of those supervisors, padding their timesheets. Some of the Census takers were fired for failing their background checks after they were hired. The Details: At least some of the Chicago Census takers remain under supervisors' orders to work slowly. That's screwing the taxpayers. Last week, many enumerators were told that their weekly paychecks will be delayed because of paperwork screwups "downtown." On May 2 we reported that at least some of the U.S. Census Bureau's Chicago field operations did not have enough paperwork packets for their Census takers. As a result, some Census takers were ordered by supervisors to "work slow." On May 25, we updated that report to say that the Census takers are still under orders to work slowly even though the packet shortage was quickly resolved. In other words, the Census workers have been ordered to pad their timesheets. That is fraud. Census takers in Chicago start at $18.25 per hour. They are paid for up to four days of training, but are then paid only for the hours that they are out knocking on doors of addresses known to have not responded yet to the Census. Last week, Chicago News Bench learned that a number of people in the Chicago Census office were fired or laid off because they were not performing well enough. That might be the cause of the seeming inability to process their own employees' timesheets. (We want to stress at this point that we do not know how many Census employees know about the fraudulent time sheet padding.) Sometime in mid-May, a number of Census enumerators were let go because they failed their background checks - after they'd already been paid for training and had put in a few hours in the field. This seems to be happening all over the country. James O'Keefe filed this report, "Undercover Census Fraud Investigation – New Jersey," at BigJournalism.com, along with the following video:

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