Interim Upgrade of Equipment for the Department of Agriculture's Fort Collins Computer Center

LCD-77-104: Published: Jul 1, 1977. Publicly Released: Jul 1, 1977.

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The acquisition by the Department of Agriculture of a Univac 1100/42 computer system as a replacement was reviewed to determine whether there was justification for procurement and noncompetitive procedures. The need to upgrade the system evolved from plans to establish large-scale regional computer centers. In anticipation of the procurement of computer systems, the Department established the Fort Collins Computer Center.

Transfer of work from Forest Service field offices and cancellation of the procurement program caused a workload that exceeded the capacity of the existing system. However, cost analyses were not prepared for Forest Service applications systems to be transferred to the Center, and improper methods were used to compare costs with commercial services. The new system was needed because the existing one was being operated at maximum capability, and the workload was increasing. However, better planning could have limited the size of the workload transferred by the Forest Service which would have prevented this situation and allowed time to conduct a fully competitive procurement.

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