Proposed Procurement of Equipment for the Department of Agriculture's Kansas City Computer Center

LCD-77-114: Published: Jun 23, 1977. Publicly Released: Jun 23, 1977.

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Cooperative efforts among officials of GAO, the Farmers Home Administration, and the Department of Agriculture's Office of Automated Data Services to work out the details for a feasibility study have resulted in a better understanding of the problem and a more deliberate approach to meeting the information processing needs of the Farmers Home Administration.

The Farmers Home Administration decided to proceed with its Unified Management Information System without the on-line terminal network that would have included terminals in every county office. The scope of the current plan for implementing the Unified Management Information System and for testing the concept has been narrowed from the multi-state test originally planned and will be department-wide, rather than single-agency oriented. GAO supports the plan because it contains the safeguards suggested earlier by GAO, allows Agriculture to proceed with procuring equipment for its Kansas City Computer Center, allows for development of the National Operating Center concept as the basis for implementing the Unified Management Information System, and does not require that contract options be used for additional computer capacity until such needs have been satisfactorily demonstrated.

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