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Highlights

GAO identified a rapidly evolving problem relating to the acquisition and use of small computers by federal agencies. GAO based its report on earlier findings and on current monitoring efforts of automatic data processing performance at several agencies.

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Recommendations

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Office of Management and Budget 1. The Office of Management and Budget, working with the General Services Administration (GSA) and the National Bureau of Standards (NBS) in their respective areas of responsibility, should formulate policy and issue guidance to federal agencies to provide the framework for a more informed, controlled, and systematic approach to the justification, acquisition, installation, and operation of small computers.
Closed - Implemented
GSA issued a guidance manual, contracted for micro software, and is now operating the microcomputer store. NBS published an experience document.
Office of Management and Budget 2. The Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) should ask the Reform 88 staff to: (1) specifically address the impact and implications of small low-cost computers; (2) report to him on how much and what kind of guidance is needed; and (3) make recommendations to him on the guidance to be issued on small computers.
Closed - Not Implemented
OMB indicated that: (1) Reform 88 initiatives have begun, but no additional actions are feasible now; and (2) NBS and GSA have already issued guidance on small computers.

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