Information Management:

Issues Important to Farmers Home Administration Systems Modernization

IMTEC-89-64: Published: Aug 21, 1989. Publicly Released: Aug 21, 1989.

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GAO evaluated the Farmers Home Administration's (FmHA) plans to modernize its automated systems, focusing on whether its approach addressed the problems it encountered in past efforts, as well as problems that other federal agencies encountered in their modernization programs.

GAO found that: (1) although FmHA developed a strategic plan to guide the modernization program, the program's success depended on how well the strategic plan addressed the information needs of all agency components and had their support; (2) FmHA needed to ensure that it had technically qualified management and support staff to effectively support its daily operations and to implement the modernization program; (3) FmHA information systems development instructions did not conform with federal standards regarding analysis of the costs and benefits of alternative approaches to develop automated information systems; and (4) FmHA established a data administrator position because its lack of an agencywide data-administration program prevented it from sharing information in two of its databases, but did not finalize the position's responsibilities.

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