UNITED STATES GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE REGIONAL OFFICE 143 FEDERAL OFFICE BUILDING. 50 FULTON STREET SAN FRANCISCO~CALIFORNIA 94102 IN REPLY REFER TO 36624 Mr. A. Alan Post, Legislative ltposar 306 Analyst llllllllllllllllllllllllllll~llllllllllll LM092981 State Capitol Dear Mr. Post: In your letter to t& t2omptroller Gmeral dated July 30, 1970, you suggested that the General Accounting Offfce study the possibi- lity of economies through the purchase of computer requfrementa fron State computer facilities rather than by separate acqu%sftions of new equfprmnt. You indicated that Federal requirements my be unduly restrictive and tend to mandate &he acquisition of dedicated cxmputero for State operated Federal program arnd projects. In order to evaluate the controls to prevent the umecessary acquisition of ADF equipment o we revfewed at the University of Ca%ifornia, Berkeley, and the California Department of Ruman Re- mxmce~ Deve!Lopment (WRD), the poLfcSes aad procedures regarding the acquisition of computers financed egther wholly or in paft with Federal funds. We also obtained from the Departmmt of Health, Education, and Melfare, the latfonal Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the Hatiana1 Science Foundation, information regardfng the Federal policies and procedure8 used for fund- ADP equipment provfded to grantees. Our revaew fncluded dedicated and non-dedkated computera. Most of the dedicated computersl were used for scientIfis research and their u@e was related to epecffic research prugxmm or pro- jects. The mm-dedicated coqmters were wed for a variety of applfcatfona and were faceted in computer eervice centers. We did not &ke detaPled analyses of the use made of the cmputers. The UaiversPty of California, Berkeley, has had for more than 5 years a policy that, prior to acquiring say etmputers, a review be made at the campus level by the Vice Chancellor for Eteseareh to detemine whether the acquisition SB necessary. Rzring thie review conafderetfon is g$mt to whether existing or planned computer faci.l%ties om the empus would satisfy require- lmmts. p Hr, A. Alal Post -2- fm additdon to the rglriew et the c us level, since March 1869 the Office of Vice President, Business and financeS has been review- i~g am! &tpprwing requests fcir AX@’ purchases amuntf~ to $100,000 or more and AD? rentals wmmtfng to $2,500 or more a nmth. bring this review a dete~ninarion is made 0% whether an acqullsftdon at any of the nZee campuses of the University wfll reeult in the umeces- sary thpliceatlisn of cotngut%ag facilities. Bfffcfela of the PwkeP agencies included In our review told us tha%, althsugh requests for 6x3 utera may be fnefuded in grant &ppfiCat2OXlS, the agencies generally do not speeffy to grantees whether eoqmters are to be accquired or used la carrying out grant projeete. Thy advfsed us th3t nw%ews m-2 made of grant applica- rfons aagsrdthake request8 for grant funds to acquire coeng~rstsrs are etmleoslted in t&e oam lBzamE?r as requeets for funds for ather pr- poare3. fra this comeetdon, we were advised by the Vice Chancellor for Research et the ihfvers9ty of Cslffomfa, Berkeley, that he had never been pressured by zjl lederal agsnrcy into acqu%ring a ded%at:ed c~utsr. The D2partu3ent of Xiumm l&mmrcee Be?velspme~lt operateps dts owa e~~nputinag fatiPitLes and alero purchases com+Png aewieee from the CalLfornka Depertmmt of General Oervisee. The U.S. kperta~t of I&or, whlcb provides funds to KRD, has a policy which encourages the eale of unused computer the to Federal, State., and local governments. Ma obsenred that a new system currently under consllderation for aequPsftLoa by ERD, fe planned to accomplish HIBuD’o antfcfpatad workload on a S-day, 2-shift bssfrs, wllaich indicetee thmz ehere till be capacity avablab%e for sharing o In ammary, our review Indicated that (1) Federal ogeneiee hava not ea;lt~blblshed requirezmm whjtch tend to mandate the ac- quisiCfoa of dedicated co~oaters, and (2) review procedures exist at both the Pedersl amI non-Federal levels to tinfmize umeceshaary acquisitions of computers. I r . Mr. A. Alan Post -30 We recognize that because of its limited scope, our review is not a basis for a broad conclusion that there are no opportunities for economies of the nature suggested fn your letter. We are cur- rently looking into the sharfng of AD? equipment operated by the Federal Government and, as part of the review, we will consider further your statements regarding the funding of computers used by Federal grantees. If you care to discuss these matters or if we can otherwise be of assistance, please let us know. Sincerely yours, Kenneth A. Pollock Acting Regional Manager
Relationship of Contractor and Grantee ADP Activities
Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1971-05-11.
Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)