Funny Math: Scandal At The Census Bureau
In what looks like the stuff of a movie comedy, a watchdog, for the government found that about 40 officials at the Census Bureau had bilked the taxpayers of more than $1.1 million and engaged in unethical and criminal conduct. The sheer expanse of the scandalous behavior is typical of what can go wrong with any business or agency or group when proper safeguards aren’t in place.
What had occurred is that the 30 or so officials had been charged with doing background checks on the personnel of the census bureau who travel door to door, or do the boots on the ground work throughout the country, gathering data pertinent to the census statistics. The officials, however, had other agendas as a priority and engaged in the most despicable conduct for several years according to the Commerce Department’s Inspector General.
In one case, one official had used their position to engage in nepotism and hiring of friends. Not only that, but said employee, had been involved in a sexual relationship with a contractor that he’d reportedly personally interviewed, hired, and managed.
Also noted was that dozens of the staff had made claims for hours worked that they didn’t work These occurred during the years 2010 through 2014. That series of dishonest time stamping racked up a total of an estimated $1.1 million.
The whistleblower who came forward was insulted and other official tried to intimidate him with threats of violence. As if things couldn’t get worse, during the official investigation, officials blatantly lied to investigators from the watchdog’s office which is in direct violation of federal law.
You can’t make this stuff up.
Piling on to the problem, investigators found that the officials hadn’t been fully doing the proper background checks on the prospective employees. Basically, the officials were lying, stealing, fooling around, ripping off the taxpayers and not doing the jobs they were appointed to.
There’s even more damning data about the Census Bureau scandal and more coming out. The bottom line is, this is government gone wrong in so many ways, one can’t think of a way it didn’t go wrong. How in the world could a government agency be left to be so irresponsible and unaccountable for so long with no one noticing? Is this indicative of all government agencies?
Yes, and no.
What we see here is nothing more than a typical phenomena that happens amongst groups, whether government, private, religious, or whatever. When safeguards aren’t enforced, when there’s too much looking the other way, when those of ill will get a foothold, they’ll compromise the very fabric of that group, agency, religion. What’s most tragic here is that this is a very public government agency. Banks, academia, government, all rely on census data to be as accurate as possible. If the agency can’t even hire people who can do a job right, how accurate can the final statistics be?
This situation needs to be the banner for stupid and irresponsible government. Let the public see what goes on when they don’t keep an eye on the cookie jar.
It is the stuff that comedies and tragedies are made of.