Review of the District of Columbia's Automatic Data Processing Operations

GGD-80-103: Published: Sep 9, 1980. Publicly Released: Sep 25, 1980.

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GAO reviewed the District of Columbia's data processing personnel and training processes as a part of its effort to assess the overall effectiveness of the District's management of its automatic data processing resources and recommend improvements. Preliminary work indicated that the District was experiencing problems attracting and retaining employees and keeping them abreast of the ever-changing technology of data processing.

The District of Columbia does not have formal career development programs and training programs for automatic data processing personnel. In the agencies which GAO visited, there were no formal data processing career development programs to identify and define computer personnel positions and salaries, specific skills and knowledge needed at each stage of the career ladder, alternate career paths available for each type of data processing personnel, and the types of training and experience required for career advancement. There were indications that low salaries have resulted in hiring individuals not fully qualified for the positions. Because the agencies lack career opportunities, a large number of data processing employees leave the District for employment with private industry or the Federal Government. In one agency, a contractor was hired to assume management of data processing activity because of dissatisfaction with in-house data processing management.

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