Financial Information Lacking on Government Telecommunications Services and Equipment

MASAD-83-16: Published: Feb 25, 1983. Publicly Released: Apr 25, 1983.

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A congressional committee expressed concern that no specific figures are available for use by Congress and the general public indicating the total expenditures for the Government acquisition and use of telecommunications services and equipment. In an attempt to obtain this information, the committee prepared and distributed a questionnaire to 41 departments and agencies. The committee chairman requested GAO to compile the information obtained from the respondents and to compare it with similar information obtained from other Government sources.

The GAO compilation of the information showed that it is inaccurate and incomplete; in addition, it does not maintain known relationships between payments, expenditures, and costs. As a result, the information is not sufficiently reliable to resolve the committee's concerns. Using information obtained from other Government sources, GAO estimated that the Government's total telecommunication costs exceeded $10 billion for fiscal year 1981. Although the information used as the basis for the estimate is the best available, it is inconclusive because it does not contain complete cost data for all types of services and equipment.

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