FILE PHOTO: U.S. Census pamphlets and paperwork are pictured on this photograph illustration within the Manhattan borough of New York Metropolis, New York, U.S., July 15, 2019. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
February 13, 2020
By Nick Brown
(Reuters) – The U.S. Census Bureau confirmed on Thursday it’s shelving the net response software it purchased from Pegasystems Inc <PEGA.O> for this years population count in favor of an in-house various the bureau believes can deal with extra site visitors.
The change, which comes simply weeks earlier than the decennial survey goes dwell, has reignited considerations amongst IT specialists about each the price and safety of what’s meant to be Americas first on-line census.
TheGovernment Accountability Workplace, a nonpartisan fiscal watchdog, stated in a report on Wednesday that Census made the choice after discovering a problem with the Pega platforms potential to scale to its goal 600,000 customers.
It stated the last-minute change creates new challenges and that the backup system, known as Primus, was not used extensively in earlier operational testing.
Michael Thieme, the bureaus assistant director for decennial census packages, stated the change was for “risk mitigation” and stated Primus has been examined and built-in with the bureaus IT infrastructure.
Completely nothing is required, Thieme stated.
Reuters reported https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-census-technology-specialreport/special-report-2020-u-s-census-plagued-by-hacking-threats-cost-overruns-idUSKBN1Y81H8 in December that Census officers had been contemplating scrapping the Pega software for Primus.
Pegas contract with Census is projected to value about $167.three million, however contains services and products past the shelved software together with operational management and the cellular purposes utilized by door-knockers.
Thieme didn’t instantly reply to a query about the price of the piece of Pegas software that’s being shelved.
A spokesman for Pega had no speedy touch upon Thursday.
IT specialists stated Primus is a dependable possibility, however voiced concern in regards to the late change and expressed frustration about wasted funds.
Im tremendous glad for the count, as a result of [Primus] will work, however tremendous unhappy for our price range, stated Kane Baccigalupi, a former member of the federal digital providers company 18F who labored on the Primus mission.
Census outcomes decide how the U.S. Congress and state legislatures divide seats amongst districts, in addition to how the federal authorities allocates $1.5 trillion a yr in spending. A hack or expertise glitch may damage the counts accuracy and enhance its value by increasing the door-to-door follow-up operation.
(Reporting by Nick Brown; Writing by Richard Valdmanis; Modifying by Leslie Adler)