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Google, Yahoo Out Of Censored Commerce Report

David Utter
Expert Author
Published: 2005-10-17

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A Department of Commerce report on how offshore outsourcing has affected tech jobs in the US was sanitized to present a brighter job picture.

White House and Commerce politicos whitewashed a research report that showed a more balanced picture of outsourcing, opting instead to demonstrate the positive side of the practice only, two publications have charged.

BusinessWeek pointed to a pair of documents in its coverage of the report. One PDF document, a 12-page final report delivered to House Republican Frank Wolf (VA), omits negative information that appeared in a slide show created by the original analysts at Commerce.

"The difference between the two reports is not dramatic, but certainly noticeable. The original report is very frank in stating that the wage differentials form the major motivation for offshoring, while the new report downplays this," Dr. Norm Matloff, a professor of computer science at UC Davis and long-time observer of tech outshoring issues, commented in an email to his list.

Manufacturing and Technology News was more direct in its coverage:

According to those who have tracked the report's whereabouts, it was completed well before the November 2004 presidential election but was delayed for clearance by the White House and the Republican-controlled Congress due to the controversial nature of the subject. Outsourcing had become a contentious campaign issue, particularly in the swing states.

Google and Yahoo were among the technology companies cited in the original report, along with Microsoft, HP, and IBM. The one-page summaries of how each planned to utilize its offshore outsourcing don't appear in the final 12-page report; in fact, no mention of any of the five appears in it. M&TN noted the report cost $335,000 to create, a cost of $28,000 per page.

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About the Author:
David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.

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