Sunday, June 27, 2010

Two Census Bureau managers fired for creating at least 10,000 bogus questionnaires to meet deadlines

Two Census Bureau managers fired for creating at least 10,000 bogus questionnaires to meet deadlines

Two Census Bureau managers from a Brooklyn field office were fired after their bosses found they faked household surveys to meet deadlines, the Daily News learned.

Instead of pounding the pavement and knocking on doors, the corner-cutting people-counters mined the phone book and Internet to make up answers to questionnaires, regional director Tony Farthing said.

The managers - turned in by whistleblower employees - were caught last week. Now, at least 10,000 surveys need to be done or redone, officials said.

Census officials in Washington only admitted to a string of incomplete forms and poor tracking in disclosing the firings Friday afternoon. But Farthing corroborated worker accounts to the Daily News that managers Alvin Aviles and Sonya Merritt began dummying up responses in the final crush to finish the surveys, which field workers are supposed to compile from in-person household visits.

"Basically, people were being asked to forge [questionnaires]," said one worker in the North East Brooklyn office, which covers 95,000 households.

"We went in and did a full investigation," Farthing said. "We found out two managers on the weekend of the 12th of June cheated by using phone books or Internet sources."


Post a Comment