History of Contract Awarded To Develop a Project Grant Information System

HRD-77-47: Published: Apr 8, 1977. Publicly Released: Apr 8, 1977.

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The Office of Education awarded a sole source contract to North American Rockwell Corporation in 1969 for development of a computerized management information system.

The sole-source contract stipulated that the system be operational in 9 months at a total cost-plus-fixed-fee of $378,174. Instead, the contract took 44 months to complete and the costs amounted to about $3 million. Despite the amount of time and funds expended, the system did not function as intended, and the contract was terminated before the contractor completed all the work it was to have accomplished. After abandoning the use of the system developed by the contractor, the Office of Education developed a less sophisticated system of its own at a cost of about $20,000 that met the same needs. The contract review procedures were inadequate, and agency officials did not adequately justify the continuation of contract modifications. Office of Education officials in several instances did not comply with Federal Procurement Regulations and circumvented office internal procedures in administering this contract.

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