Address glitch scares Census : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Address glitch scares Census BY Judi Hasson 02/28/2000 Tony Allighen, the government projects coordinator for a Wisconsin graphics company, called it a vendors nightmare.

When he first learned that his company, Freedom Graphics of Milton, Wis., had put the wrong address on 125 million pieces of mail for the Census Bureau  a $5.9 million contract for the company  he said he wanted to find a gun. Then he wanted to hide.

But at a press conference today, Census officials said they discovered the problem in time to alert the U.S. Postal Service that there is an extra number in front of every address. The Census Bureau, for the first time, is sending people a letter notifying them to expect a Census form in March and explaining how to request forms in other languages.

"Let me stress [that] the census questionnaires are addressed correctly, and this incident does not affect the production, mailing or delivery of any census mail. The printing of the advance letter is an operation independent of the printing of census questionnaires," said Census Bureau Director Kenneth Prewitt.

Freedom Graphics has had many government contracts since 1986, including work for the Social Security Administration and the Internal Revenue Service. And there has never been a problem, according to Allighen.

"Were still investigating how it happened," Allighen said.

Prewitt described the problem as "cosmetic, not operational."

"In no way does it put Census 2000 at risk," Prewitt said.

Nevertheless, Prewitt acknowledged that the census is a big project and that there may be systems obstacles ahead for the decennial count. However, a final data scanning test for the census at four centers turned up no problems, he said.

-- Martin Thompson (, February 28, 2000


Prvious article

-- Martin Thompson (, February 28, 2000.

In our area there is a massive campaign on the part of the Census Bureau to assure prospective participants of confidentiality, etc. Many of my nieghbors are foreign nationals-many of whom are coomputer literate. Some have good reason to want assurance of confidentiality (and I don't fink). This "cosmetic" glitch has not, repeat not, reassured them about responding.

-- another government hack (, February 28, 2000.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ