New Computer Was Not Needed for the St. Louis Computer Center

LCD-76-126: Published: Dec 30, 1976. Publicly Released: Dec 30, 1976.

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The procurement of a Burroughs Corporation B-4781 computer system for the Department of Agriculture's St. Louis Computer Center was reviewed.

The St. Louis Computer Center's data processing system has two computers and equipment that support, exclusively, the lending activities of the Farmers Home Administration. The procurement of a replacement computer system was not justified because the existing computer had sufficient capacity; the projected workload increases were overstated; improved use of computer resources would have enabled the Center to operate without the new computer system until consolidating with the Kansas City Computer Center and implementing a new management information system in fiscal year 1978; and implementation of suggested improvements could have resulted in annual savings of about $442,000.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

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

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Agriculture should replace the 27 fixed head disk drives being leased by the Center with removable disk pack drives; acquire a front-end communications processor; require that the Center evaluate ways of making greater use of virtual memory in its application programs; discount using terminals to correct discrepancies and increase the use of the more efficient, less costly manual input system; and fully comply with Federal regulations before consolidating the St. Louis Center with the Kansas City Computer Center.

    Agency Affected:

 

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