Improved Management Needed for Automated Information-Handling Activities of Contract Administration

LCD-75-115: Published: Feb 17, 1977. Publicly Released: Feb 17, 1977.

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The Defense Supply Agency (DSA) and the military services began to standardize and automate the handling of information needed for contract administration in 1964. The development of a data processing system was terminated by DSA in 1973 because design deficiencies made the implementation of the system too costly and precluded the achievement of the system's original objectives.

The Department of Defense (DOD) reported that as of March 1974 DSA and military services have spent more than $47 million on modifying, developing, and operating automated systems that were to use the procedures. Implementation of this program has been in abeyance since May 1973. However, in September 1975, DOD initiated an incremental approach to automate those procedures. The new effort can be expected to be prolonged and costly because program requirements have not been firmly established, their implementation through automation has not been properly planned, the most cost beneficial automated system needed by DSA has not been determined, and the DSA program manager does not have the decisionmaking authority needed to guide the Mechanization of Contract Administration Services Program. During the suspension of the procedures implementation, DSA initiated actions to upgrade its current automated systems sufficiently to handle the increasing workload until a new system is completed in 1980. These improvements should be limited to those necessary to sustain its current operations until the Military Standard Contract Administration Procedures (MILSCAP) requirements are reevaluated and agreements are made between the DSA and the military services as to the definition of the requirements.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

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

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Defense should direct the MILSCAP administrator and the defense components to make concerted efforts to quickly reestablish the requirements for standardizing and automating the interchange and processing of contract related data under MILSCAP and to develop an overall plan to implement them through automation. These efforts should include: identifying requirements common to two or more defense components and developing interchange procedures that are suited to the users' needs; identifying requirements unique to each component and developing special procedures for handling them; developing temporary procedures for those cases where a defense component needs to develop MILSCAP capability before implementation; modularizing the requirements into subsystems and identifying the interfaces between the subsystems; and developing a schedule for incrementally implementing these subsystems in accordance with the needs and capabilities of the Defense Contract Administration Service Regions, and the defense components.

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