Better Management Would Improve the Effectiveness of the District of Columbia's ADP Resources

GGD-82-47: Published: Mar 12, 1982. Publicly Released: Mar 12, 1982.

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GAO reviewed the problems which the District of Columbia is experiencing in managing and using its automatic data processing (ADP) resources.

The cost of programs managed or controlled with information maintained by computers is a significant portion of the District's operating budget. However, inadequate management practices have reduced the effectiveness of this support, affected agency and ADP operations, adversely affected service to the public, and resulted in wasted city funds. The District has not established formal policies, standards, or procedures for long-range planning, software development and maintenance, contracting for software development, or computer performance evaluation. The District has been steadily losing experienced ADP personnel and has found it hard to attract qualified replacements. Lifting a residency requirement for employees and recruiting efforts have helped, but the District still needs career development and training programs to attract and retain staff and attain high quality operations. The District's Office of the Inspector General has not evaluated the economy, efficiency, and effectiveness of the many ADP systems and computer centers which support District programs and services to the public. Such evaluations are essential to ensure that ADP resources are properly acquired, managed and used, that software systems are accurate and reliable, and that adequate support is provided to District agencies. The District has initiated action to begin correcting these problems; however, it needs to do more to develop its management organization and processes to solve its ADP problems.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: ADP responsibilities have been transferred to a newly formed department. The District has advised both GAO and the House Committee on Appropriations that it will implement the recommendation but has not done so yet. The report was issued 2 years ago; the work was done before that. Staff is neither available now nor is it expected to be to do the work required for followup.

    Recommendation: The Mayor of the District of Columbia should direct the City Administrator to require District agencies that use ADP resources to prepare and submit long-range plans.

    Agency Affected: District of Columbia

  2. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: ADP responsibilities have been transferred to a newly formed department. The District has advised both GAO and the House Committee on Appropriations that it will implement the recommendations but has not done so yet. The report was issued 2 years ago; the work was done before that. Staff is neither available now nor is it expected to be to do the work required for followup.

    Recommendation: The Mayor of the District of Columbia should direct the City Administrator to prepare a long-range ADP plan for the District government.

    Agency Affected: District of Columbia

  3. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: ADP responsibilities have been transferred to a newly formed department. The District has advised both GAO and the House Committee on Appropriations that it will implement the recommendation but has not done so yet. The report was issued 2 years ago; the work was done before that. Staff is neither available now nor is it expected to be to do the work required for followup.

    Recommendation: The Mayor of the District of Columbia should direct the City Administrator to update the long-range plans for each agency and for the District government at least annually. The plans should include agencies' information and ADP needs, proposed software systems projects, costs and benefits, priorities, workloads, and equipment and personnel required to support the workloads.

    Agency Affected: District of Columbia

  4. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: D.C. General Hospital should, as appropriate with its status as an independent agency: (1) establish a coordinated ADP planning process; (2) prepare and submit long-range plans; (3) and prepare a long-range ADP plan. These plans should be updated annually and should include information and ADP needs, proposed software system projects, costs and benefits, priorities, workloads, and equipment and personnel required to support the workloads.

    Agency Affected: District of Columbia: D.C. General Hospital

  5. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: On March 1, 1984, the Vice President of the University advised that the material required to satisfy this recommendation had been provided to the City Administrator for inclusion in a single report to the House Committee on Appropriations.

    Recommendation: The University of the District of Columbia should, as appropriate with its status as an independent agency: (1) establish a coordinated ADP planning process; (2) prepare and submit long-range plans; (3) and prepare a long-range ADP plan. These plans should be updated annually and should include information and ADP needs, proposed software system projects, costs and benefits, priorities, workloads, and equipment and personnel required to support the workloads.

    Agency Affected: District of Columbia: University of the District of Columbia, Washington, DC

  6. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: ADP responsibilities have been transferred to a newly formed department. The District has advised both GAO and the House Committee on Appropriations that it will implement the recommendation but has not done so yet. The report was issued 2 years ago; the work was done before that. Staff is neither available now nor expected to be to do the work required for followup.

    Recommendation: The Mayor of the District of Columbia should direct the City Administrator to establish a comprehensive management process and related policies, standards, and procedures for software development, software maintenance, and computer performance management.

    Agency Affected: District of Columbia

  7. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: ADP responsibilities have been transferred to a newly formed department. The District has advised both GAO and the House Committee on Appropriations that it will implement the recommendation but has not done so yet. The report was issued 2 years ago; the work was done before that. Staff in neither available now nor is it expected to be to do the work required for followup.

    Recommendation: The Mayor of the District of Columbia should direct the City Administrator to establish policies, standards, and procedures for software development contracting which incorporate the methodology and standards in the city's software development policies, standards, and procedures.

    Agency Affected: District of Columbia

  8. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: ADP responsibilities have been transferred to a newly formed department. The District has advised both GAO and the House Committee on Appropriations that it will implement the recommendation but has not done so yet. The report was issued 2 years ago; the work was done before that. Staff is neither available now nor is it expected to be to do the work required for followup.

    Recommendation: The Mayor of the District of Columbia should direct the City Administrator to require District agencies which use ADP resources to implement these policies, standards, and procedures.

    Agency Affected: District of Columbia

  9. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The University of the District of Columbia should, as appropriate with its status as an independent agency: (1) establish a comprehensive management process and related policies, standards, and procedures for software development, software maintenance, and computer performance management; (2) establish policies, standards, and procedures for software development contracting which incorporate the methodology and standards in its software development policies, standards, and procedures; and (3) implement these policies, standards, and procedures.

    Agency Affected: District of Columbia: University of the District of Columbia, Washington, DC

  10. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: ADP responsibilities have been transferred to a newly formed department. The District has advised both GAO and the House Committee on Appropriations that it will implement the recommendations but has not done so yet. The report was issued 2 years ago; the work was done before that. Staff is neither available now nor is it expected to be to do the work required for followup.

    Recommendation: The Mayor of the District of Columbia should direct the City Administrator to establish career development programs that will identify careers, positions, and salaries; specific knowledge, skills, and abilities needed at each stage of the career ladder; alternative career paths for each type of employee; and the knowledge, skills, and experience required for advancement.

    Agency Affected: District of Columbia

  11. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: ADP responsibilities have been transferred to a newly formed department. The District has advised both GAO and the House Committee on Appropriations that it will implement the recommendation but has not done so yet. The report was issued 2 years ago; the work was done before that. Staff is neither available now nor is it expected to be to do the work required for followup.

    Recommendation: The Mayor of the District of Columbia should direct the City Administrator to establish training policies and programs for the various career paths to ensure an adequate supply of properly trained employees and to enhance the District's recruiting position.

    Agency Affected: District of Columbia

  12. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: ADP responsibilities have been transferred to a newly formed department. The District has advised both GAO and the House Committee on Appropriations that it will implement the recommendation but has not done so yet. The report was issued 2 years ago; the work was done before that. Staff is neither available now nor is it expected to be to do the work required for followup.

    Recommendation: The Mayor of the District of Columbia should direct the City Administrator to require District agencies to regularly prepare training plans and budgets for training consistent with current and future operational needs.

    Agency Affected: District of Columbia

  13. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The University of the District of Columbia should, as appropriate with its status as an independent agency: (1) establish career development programs that will identify careers, positions, salaries, specific knowledge, skills, and abilities needed at each stage of the career ladder, alternative career paths for each type of employee, and the knowledge, skills, and experience required for advancement; (2) establish training policies and programs for the various career paths to ensure an adequate supply of properly trained employees and to enhance its recruiting position; and (3) regularly prepare training plans and budgets for training consistent with current and future operational needs.

    Agency Affected: District of Columbia: University of the District of Columbia, Washington, DC

  14. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: The Mayor has not directed the IG to implement this recommendation. The IG has undertaken some training efforts, but budget restrictions preclude a broad-based training approach. GAO staff is neither currently available nor is it expected to be in the foreseeable future to follow up further on this recommendation.

    Recommendation: The Mayor of the District of Columbia should direct the Inspector General to provide sufficient training to staff to ensure they have the knowledge and skills needed to evaluate ADP operations.

    Agency Affected: District of Columbia: Office of the Inspector General

  15. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: The Mayor has not directed the IG to implement the recommendation. The IG has undertaken some training efforts, but budget restrictions preclude a broad-based training approach. GAO staff is neither currently available nor is it expected to be in the foreseeable future to follow up further on this recommendation.

    Recommendation: The Mayor of the District of Columbia should direct the Inspector General to provide sufficient training to staff to ensure they have the knowledge and skills needed to evaluate ADP operations.

    Agency Affected: District of Columbia

  16. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: The Mayor has not directed the IG to implement this recommendation. The IG has somewhat expanded ADP work in the FY 1984 workplan with 9 ADP or ADP-related reviews scheduled. GAO staff is neither currently available nor is it expected to be in the near future to allow for followup to determine the extent to which the reviews satisfy the requirements of the recommendation.

    Recommendation: The Mayor of the District of Columbia should direct the Inspector General to periodically evaluate the economy, efficiency, and effectiveness of the city's ADP operations, computer centers, and automated systems.

    Agency Affected: District of Columbia

  17. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: ADP responsibilities have been transferred to a newly formed department. The District has advised both GAO and the House Committee on Appropriations that it will implement the recommendations but has not done so yet. The report was issued 2 years ago; the work was done before that. Staff is neither available nor is it expected to be to do the work required for followup.

    Recommendation: The Mayor of the District of Columbia should direct the City Administrator to establish a coordinated ADP planning process for the city government.

    Agency Affected: District of Columbia

  18. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: The Mayor has not directed the IG to implement this recommendation; the IG has somewhat expanded ADP work in the FY 1984 workplan with 9 ADP or ADP-related reviews scheduled. GAO staff is neither currently available nor is it expected to be in the near future to allow for followup to determine the extent to which the reviews satisfy the requirements of the recommendation.

    Recommendation: The Mayor of the District of Columbia should direct the Inspector General to periodically evaluate the economy, efficiency, and effectiveness of the city's ADP operations, computer centers, and automated systems.

    Agency Affected: District of Columbia: Office of the Inspector General

 

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