The U.S. Census Bureau attempted to employ a Field Data Collection Automation (FDCA) program to expedite the collection of information. The FDCA project is important to the Census Bureau for many reasons. The first reason is the reduction of costs associated with the collection of information. Going door to door with paper forms is costly. The actual forms that are used cost the government mass amounts of money to produce. These forms are then peddled door to door by people who are paid wages and completed in ink by residents. The forms then need to be submitted to a local office where another worker who also needs to be paid for their time then keys the information in manually. These numbers and data are influential in allocating federal monies to certain areas of each state and county. Additionally, senate district lines are drawn based on population. If these figures are inaccurate, due to human error, funds that are generally allotted for a certain area could be reduced. This reduction could affect many programs in the area. Road upkeep, social services and emergency response are just a few of the areas that could be impacted. Simply put, accurate data collection is needed to ensure that everyone in all parts of the country get their fair share.
The failed implementation of the wireless handheld devices was plagued with issues from every level and department. On the federal level, lack of oversight posed the largest issue. The federal sector suffers from lack of oversight because in the private sector incentives are offered for the successful, timely and cost effective rollout of similar programs. Because no one was to receive bonuses or other incentives on the federal level a lack of oversight was easily achieved. The Harris Corporation was contracted to build and test the handheld devices including the software. The federal government did not effectively convey information about the census program to Harris. This poor communication made the development of...
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