Problems Found With Government Acquisition and Use of Computers From November 1965 to December 1976

FGMSD-77-14: Published: Mar 15, 1977. Publicly Released: Mar 15, 1977.

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During the 11 years since enactment of the Brooks Act, GAO has issued 175 reports relating to the management and use of automatic data processing (ADP) systems in Federal programs. GAO summarizes the information from these reports to assist Congress, Federal managers, and other groups interested in data processing problems.

Problems in ADP management include: acquisition of ADP equipment without adequate determination of needs; lack of adequate studies of work to be done or alternatives; acquisition of computer equipment sooner than necessary; poor design and planning; prescribed procurement practices not followed; problems in acquisition of computers under Federal grant programs; a complicated procurement system for minicomputers; the expense of short term equipment leases; not enough use of alternate equipment supply sources; not enough evaluation of software requirements and sharing opportunities; and not enough standardization of data elements and codes.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

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

    Recommendation: Improvements in ADP management will require action by central agencies as well as by the operating agency concerned. Action to make possible multiyear leases and to increase usage of the ADP Fund would be of value in reducing the Government's data processing costs. More managerial attention is needed in computer operations, and agencies need to police their own activities. Inquiry into the adequacy of laws concerned with computer crimes is needed.

    Agency Affected:


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