Review of the Acquisition and Installation of Computers by the United States Army, Pacific

B-160417: Published: Apr 28, 1967. Publicly Released: Apr 28, 1967.

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GAO reviewed the U.S. Army, Pacific's acquisition and use of computers in supply operations, focusing on the Army's decision to install large-scale computer equipment for processing supply and related transactions in the Pacific Area commands.

GAO noted that: (1) during 1965 and 1966, the U.S. Army, Pacific, replaced data processing equipment used in supply and related transactions at important command depots with large-scale computer systems; (2) benefits expected to be derived from these computers could not be fully realized because improvements and corrections of supply management problems had not been completed prior to their installation; (3) a large percentage of U.S. Army, Pacific, supply transactions cannot be processed routinely by the computers; (4) transactions must be manually researched, edited, and reprocessed as in the past; (5) the volume of manual handling of supply documents by the Army slows the processing and limits significantly the advantages of a computer system; (6) GAO had proposed that implementation of the plan to install large-scale computers be delayed until an effective program had been instituted to correct problems inherent in the supply system; (7) the Army disagreed and believed that a standard supply system, supported by computers, was essential to correct the problems identified, and that additional improvements would be initiated after an assessment to follow the completion of planned improvements; and (8) more current information shows that Pacific theater supply operations under the new automated system are characterized by problems, including: (a) increased out-of-stock positions; (b) inaccurate stock balances and related records; (c) delayed requisition processing; and (d) numerous errors in customer requisitions.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should bring this report to the attention of military operating agencies to illustrate the need for correcting basic weaknesses in operating systems if the most effective utilization of automatic data processing equipment is to be realized.

    Agency Affected:

 

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