Construction of a Computer Facilities Building by the Social Security Administration:

Justification and Alternatives

HRD-77-8: Published: Nov 17, 1976. Publicly Released: Nov 17, 1976.

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GAO investigated the need for the Social Security Administration's (SSA) proposed computer facilities building. The use of certain computer systems at the agency were analyzed to determine whether the present capacity of these systems could support a greater workload or tolerate a transfer of work among the systems to allow installation of new systems, alteration of current space, or other potential alternatives to the proposed construction.

Analysis by use of a computer program designed to measure computer-capacity utilization and to evaluate production indicated that the 15 systems examined were capable of supporting more than twice the largest identifiable workload processed by the agency. Certain practices and procedures were believed to be major causes of the apparent underutilization of computers. SSA was acting to improve the operations and security of its computer facility. A detailed utilization analysis was planned, which should be instrumental in further identification of equipment needs. GAO will continue to monitor the activities associated with the analysis.

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