Letter: Time was biggest obstacle for Census

Regarding, "Editorial: Rewarding innovation," a reader writes: Chris - your commentary, while pointing out some very needed truths, does seem unduly harsh.

My reading of the situation,including articles in Federal Computer Week, leads me to believe attempts were made to include new technology in the administration of the next census - its
just that agreement couldn't be reached in a timely fashion on what the
technical requirements were going to be. The delay in firming up the
technical requirements seems to have made production and delivery of the
appropriate hardware a practical impossibility.

In that light, the problem might be cast more in inability of government to make and
proceed with technical decisions in a timely fashion -- knowing full well
that making the best decision today will always be subject to criticism
and reconsideration at a later date when newer solutions will exist but
can not be deployed.


My reading of the situation, including articles in FCW, leads me to believe attempts were made to
include new technology in the administration of the next census — it's just that agreement couldn't be reached in a timely fashion on what the technical requirements were going to be. The delay in firming up the technical requirements seems to have made production and delivery of the
appropriate hardware a practical impossibility.

In that light, the problem might be cast more in inability of government to make and
proceed with technical decisions in a timely fashion — knowing full well that making the best decision today will always be subject to criticism and reconsideration at a later date when newer solutions will exist but can not be deployed.

Mike Del-Colle


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