The Air Force Should Cancel Plans To Acquire Two Computer Systems at Most Bases

FGMSD-80-15: Published: Oct 26, 1979. Publicly Released: Nov 5, 1979.

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The report described how the Government could save hundreds of millions of dollars if the Air Force redirected its computer system acquisition program. Air Force requirements, vendor competition, and the handling of unsolicited proposals were reviewed.

The Air Force's stated requirements for a minimum of two new computer systems capable of running the same programs had never been justified and were established without defined base-level user requirements. A single computer system could be acquired that would provide effective support for all base-level data processing requirements. Current base-level computer systems have been reliable and generally available when needed. No base-level computer system hardware problem has been severe enough to require extensive backup capability at each base. The risks associated with software conversion were being minimized by the current acquisition approach, and any further risk reduction possible by installing two computer systems at most bases was considered too small to justify the considerable added costs of such installation. It was felt that it would be in the best interests of the Government and the Air Force to replace the current requests for proposals with requests for proposals developed around a more functional and performance-oriented set of requirements that would represent actual base-level operations and needs.

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