Computer Matching:

Factors Influencing the Agency Decisionmaking Process

PEMD-87-3BR: Published: Nov 10, 1986. Publicly Released: Dec 19, 1986.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information on how federal agencies have conducted computer matches in the past, focusing on the criteria inspectors general (IG) used when deciding whether to conduct particular computer matches.

GAO found that: (1) there was no agency documentation that provided specific, written criteria that IG or other agency decisionmakers used in determining whether or not to implement a proposed match; (2) some matches were developed with little agency structure, while other matches used one or more formal procedures to monitor their effectiveness, including the preparation of written proposals, oversight committees' reviews of proposed matches, assigning final decisions to upper level management, and designating an official match manager to monitor match effectiveness; and (3) factors that may influence the decision to perform a match include the current climate or environment surrounding computer matching, the source of the match recommendations, whether the agency has the capability or capacity to conduct the match, and the rationale for conducting the match.

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