Improvements Needed in the Tennessee Valley Authority's Management and Use of Its Automatic Data Processing Resources

EMD-79-102: Published: Sep 6, 1979. Publicly Released: Sep 6, 1979.

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The management and use of general purpose automatic data processing (ADP) resources in the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) were reviewed. The primary purpose of the review was to evaluate the effectiveness of agency policies and procedures for (1) planning, controlling, and reviewing ADP activities and systems; and (2) identifying and acquiring ADP hardware and related services. Ineffective use of computers, people, and other ADP resources translates into wasted time and dollars and could result in higher utility rates for TVA customers.

TVA manages ADP hardware and software differently. Each office and division of TVA is responsible for planning, developing, and maintaining its own information systems. In contrast, the Computer Services Branch Division of Property and Services has centralized responsibility for planning, acquiring, and operating TVA general purpose ADP hardware. TVA does not have the degree of top-management involvement; central-management direction, coordination, and control; or planning process needed to increase effectiveness and achieve significant savings. TVA does not have an agencywide plan which can be used as a management tool for measuring and controlling ADP activities. Top management has not supported the development of agencywide ADP systems which offer the potential for substantive cost savings. Management has not required all office and divisions to use available management systems which offer the opportunity to better control ADP system design and development. Procedures are not adequate to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations governing acquisitions of ADP-related services. The adequacy of the justification for future ADP equipment is questionable. Additional emphasis is needed on the organization, authority, and responsibility of the ADP audit function.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

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

    Recommendation: In order to manage its ADP more effectively and economically, TVA should: establish a formal planning process that will provide top-management involvement in the development of an agencywide ADP plan; develop agencywide policies for encouraging and ensuring that organizations develop and implement interdivisional systems; establish agencywide goals and priorities; develop and enforce procedures for ensuring compliance with regulations for obtaining delegation of procurement authority for ADP-related services; review the existing studies in support of fiscal year 1980 computer procurement to determine compliance with the intent of Federal property management regulations; and review the adequacy of the internal audit coverage of ADP activities and commit, as appropriate, additional resources to this function.

    Agency Affected:


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