Counter arguments

computerFriday Forum
Your views on the news

It was supposed to be the night when Australians paused “to make a difference”. But what took the biggest pause on Tuesday night was the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) website frustrating millions who were unable to complete the online Census.

The list of people and organisations being blamed for the Census failure is extensive. The ABS, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Michael McCormack (the minister in charge of the Census), and IT provider IBM are all under the public spotlight. There have been conflicting claims over whether the website shut because of hackers or it was just unable to handle the volume of people logging on.

Mr Turnbull described the bungle as “absolutely a failure on the part of the ABS” and warned that “heads will roll”. There are also calls for a Senate inquiry into the fiasco.

Others have pointed to successive government cuts to the ABS as laying the groundwork for the spectacular collapse. The ABS claimed that going digital and getting two thirds of Australians to do their Census online would save taxpayers $100 million.

While many frustrated Australians took to social media to vent their anger, some also expressed sympathy for ABS employees working diligently to repair the website and respond to enquiries. In the Australian Community Managers Facebook group, people posted messages of support for the ABS communications and IT team.

“If the ABS’s social peeps are here, keep your chins up, folks! Can’t even imagine what you went through last night (and are still going through)! And good luck. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other – and it’ll all be over… eventually!” one person posted.

“Good to see humour and people saying don’t stress just do it tomorrow. Worse things to worry over, but my heart so went out to the entire team who no doubt worked for a few years to make this happen,” another user said.

No doubt many of us have encountered disasters in our own workplace but rarely one that potentially affects every household in Australia and where so many millions have been spent to achieve such a public embarrassment.

How do you react to the Census fail?

Share Button



Comments are closed.