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)

                                       UNITED STATES GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE
                                                         REGIONAL             OFFICE
                                           143 FEDERAL   OFFICE   BUILDING.     50 FULTON     STREET

                                               SAN FRANCISCO~CALIFORNIA                     94102



                    Mr. A. Alan Post, Legislative
                    ltposar 306
                                                                    Analyst                            llllllllllllllllllllllllllll~llllllllllll
                    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-

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.
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