Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, criticized the bureau's program to develop handheld computers that it planned to give to census workers to take door to door to count households that had not returned paper forms. Census announced in April 2008 that it will not use the handhelds after their development fell behind schedule, ran over budget and did not perform as planned.
"It's really been appalling, after spending literally billions of dollars and much time, the Census Bureau scrapped its plans to use handheld technology for nonresponse follow-up due to significant performance problems and a loss of confidence in its contractors," Collins said.
She asked Groves how he would correct problems associated with the handhelds. He said the IT issues stemmed partly from management issues and partly from an absence of research and development. Groves said he would ask the bureau's top leaders to become involved in all future IT projects.
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