National Bureau of Standards Needs Better Management of Its Computer Resources To Improve Program Effectiveness

CED-79-39: Published: Apr 17, 1979. Publicly Released: Apr 17, 1979.

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Pursuant to congressional request, an evaluation was conducted to determine how effectively the computer resources at the National Bureau of Standards (NBS) support NBS scientists and administrators in carrying out their mission and program responsibilities.

Computer hardware at NBS is obsolete, resulting in increased operating costs, an inability to handle certain sophisticated problems, and a lack of available computer time for users. NBS has decentralized the management of its computer resources, and has no effective long-range plan to justify needed acquisitions. An Automatic Data Processing (ADP) Policy Committee was established, but no Executive Board member is represented. A computer requirements study was conducted, but did not develop NBS computer needs or evaluate all cost and benefit alternatives. Software support also needs improvement. Estimated costs for computer-related services, including programming time spent by scientists, amount to 14 percent of NBS annual budget.

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