The Federal Software Exchange Program:

A Small Step in Improving Program Sharing

FGMSD-78-11: Published: Jan 13, 1978. Publicly Released: Jan 13, 1978.

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The General Services Administration (GSA) created the Federal Software Exchange Program to identify and collect computer programs developed by federal agencies that could be used by other federal agencies. The sharing of such computer programs and related documentation among agencies with common needs is intended to avoid the time, effort, and expense involved in replicating software. Software, as defined by GSA, means all computer programs and routines used to extend the capabilities of computers, including single programs, independent subroutines, related groups of routines, and sets or systems of programs.

Agencies submit abstracts of computer programs they believe useful to the National Technical Information Service which publishes abstracts of the computer programs in a catalog. The first catalog of software abstracts, published in January 1977, contained 100 abstracts. The October 1977 catalog contained 365 abstracts. No programs had been sold through October 1977. Generally, such operations related to sharing technology have had limited success.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

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

    Recommendation: GSA should: stimulate more agencies to submit abstracts of computer programs for the catalog, adopt a policy to guarantee that the catalog will include abstracts only of programs that have been documented according to prescribed standards, and provide more technical assistance to purchasers so that they can overcome any problems in changing the programs to work in their environment.

    Agency Affected:


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