Review of the Acquisition and Installation of Computers by the United States Army, Pacific

B-160417: Published: Apr 28, 1967. Publicly Released: Apr 28, 1967.

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GAO reviewed the U.S. Army, Pacific's acquisition and use of computers in supply operations, focusing on the Army's decision to install large-scale computer equipment for processing supply and related transactions in the Pacific Area commands.

GAO noted that: (1) during 1965 and 1966, the U.S. Army, Pacific, replaced data processing equipment used in supply and related transactions at important command depots with large-scale computer systems; (2) benefits expected to be derived from these computers could not be fully realized because improvements and corrections of supply management problems had not been completed prior to their installation; (3) a large percentage of U.S. Army, Pacific, supply transactions cannot be processed routinely by the computers; (4) transactions must be manually researched, edited, and reprocessed as in the past; (5) the volume of manual handling of supply documents by the Army slows the processing and limits significantly the advantages of a computer system; (6) GAO had proposed that implementation of the plan to install large-scale computers be delayed until an effective program had been instituted to correct problems inherent in the supply system; (7) the Army disagreed and believed that a standard supply system, supported by computers, was essential to correct the problems identified, and that additional improvements would be initiated after an assessment to follow the completion of planned improvements; and (8) more current information shows that Pacific theater supply operations under the new automated system are characterized by problems, including: (a) increased out-of-stock positions; (b) inaccurate stock balances and related records; (c) delayed requisition processing; and (d) numerous errors in customer requisitions.

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