Feb 16, 2010 10:17 AM by Associated Press
A new audit finds that the Census Bureau wasted millions of dollars in preparation for its 2010 U.S. population count, including thousands of temporary employees who picked up $300 checks without performing work and others who overbilled for travel costs.
Federal investigators caution the excessive charges could multiply once the $15 billion headcount begins in earnest next month unless the agency imposes tighter spending controls, according to excerpts of a forthcoming audit obtained by The Associated Press.
On a positive note, investigators backed the Census Bureau's decision to spend $133 million on its advertising campaign, saying it was appropriate to boost public awareness. The spending included a $2.5 million Super Bowl spot that some Republicans had criticized as wasteful.