Inadequacies in Data Processing Planning in the Department of the Interior

FGMSD-78-41: Published: Jun 23, 1978. Publicly Released: Jun 23, 1978.

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In fiscal year 1977, the Department of the Interior spent over $50 million for acquisition, operation, and use of automatic data processing (ADP) resources. Interior uses computer systems for processing scientific, statistical, engineering, land management, enforcement, and safety programs, but it is not as economical or effective in its acquisition and use of ADP resources as it should be.

Although Interior began to establish a Department-wide ADP planning framework in 1974 to provide better management control over computer and related resources, control still remains primarily at the Bureau level. Weakness in management planning and organization has resulted in underutilization and duplication of computer facilities and resources, lost opportunities for savings estimated at $1 million a year, and lost opportunity for achieving greater effectiveness in several important missions. Top management has not been sufficiently involved or committed to management control of these resources, and the central management office had insufficient resources and authority. No formal Department-wide plan or planning process was ever developed, and departmental strategy and component organizations' objectives, plan, and actions were not harmonious.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

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

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Interior should: (1) establish a formal planning process for the direction, coordination, and control of ADP activities and resources; (2) reestablish an executive ADP management committee with responsibility for the formulation and execution of a Department-wide strategy; (3) assign to the Office of ADP and Telecommunications Management the responsibility for supporting the executive ADP management committee; (4) establish an evaluation and review process that acquires feedback on implementation of plans and establishes accountability at all management levels; and (5) take direct action to control the operation of all computers and computer software presently used primarily for administrative purposes.

    Agency Affected:


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