Need for Improved Management and Increased Sharing of Computer Resources at the San Antonio Data Services Center

FGMSD-80-82: Published: Sep 2, 1980. Publicly Released: Oct 2, 1980.

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The Air Force Data Services Center in San Antonio, Texas, was established to test the economic and operational feasibility of a regional data processing center. With four Air Force bases, a large Army installation, and several other Government activities in the San Antonio area, the Center serves a large automatic data processing user community. The Center operates on a fee-for-services basis with users reimbursing a large portion of the operating costs. A review of the Center was directed towards determining how cost effective the Center is, whether it has met its original goals, and how it might be improved as a regional processing center.

For fiscal year 1979, computer support was provided at a favorable cost to a small number of highly satisfied users. The operating costs compared favorably to commercial computer centers and similar Air Force installations in the area. Because neither the Air Force nor other Federal users has taken full advantage of opportunities to consolidate facilities, share resources, and reduce computer hardware and personnel costs, many additional economies that could be expected from a regional data processing center have not been realized. Air Force management failed to take actions and allowed situations to occur which prohibited achievement of the Center's goals. These included not consolidating any base level processing workload other than at one Air Force base, alienating customers by indicating several times the imminent closure of the Center, not actively pursuing new customers, and allowing other San Antonio area Air Force organizations to acquire six major computer systems.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

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

    Recommendation: To most effectively address the Government's automatic data processing needs in the San Antonio area, the Secretary of the Air Force should: prepare, in cooperation with the General Services Administration (GSA), a long-range plan for meeting those needs; develop a formal management policy encouraging the effective use and sharing of the Center's computer resources across service and command lines; develop cost accounting procedures and user rates that provide for full cost recovery; determine future equipment needs based on current and projected user requirements; and obtain authorization from GSA to augment existing capabilities to best meet future needs.

    Agency Affected:


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