Cuts to the ABS, a failure to appoint a new head statistician in a timely manner and ministers playing musical chairs are partly to blame for the Census failure.
Today, Turnbull ripped on the ABS, saying he was 'angry, bitterly disappointed' about the performance on census night. Given that the contract to run Australia's first census online was given to IBM, an organisation that should know how to handle a DDoS, it certainly does feel like taxpayer money has been wasted.
However, what Turnbull fails to acknowledge is his own government's role in the destruction of the ABS. The ABS has been under substantial financial pressure ever since the election of the Liberal National government.
It took the government over a year to find a new head for the ABS when Brian Pink resigned, leaving the organisation without leadership. This leaves responsibility with the ministers involved, but also with the executive of the Liberal Party.
The ABS has been a hot potato no minister wants to touch, with 3 ministers in 12 months.
The Liberal government cut $68 million from the ABS and the ABS lost 350 staff. The Liberal government even proposed cancelling this year's census to save money.
All outward indications show that the Liberals intended for the census to fail, and unfortunately it looks like this has happened.