oversight

Agriculture ADP Procurement: Contracting and Market Share Information

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1990-06-27.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

                                                                        -_   .
                     United    States   General   Accounting   Office
                     Fact Sheet for Congressional
                     Requesters



June 1990
                     AGRICULTURE ADP
                     PROCUREMENT
                     Contracting and
                     Market Share
                     Information




                   RESTRICI’ED--Nat      to be released oataide the
                   General Accounting M!lce anless epecitlcally
                   approved by the OfIke of Congressional
                   Relationa

                              548822

GAO/IMTEG90-6ZFS
United States
General Accounting Office
Washington, D.C. 20548

Information Management and
Technology Division

B-239535

June 27, 1990

The Honorable John Conyers, Jr.
Chairman, Committee on Government
  Operations
House of Representatives

The Honorable Frank Horton
Ranking Minority Member, Committee
  on Government Operations
House of Representatives

This report responds to your February 1989 requests for a comprehen-
sive review of federal agencies’ compatible computer procurements.’ In
your initial requests and in subsequent discussions with your offices, we
were asked to answer several specific questions about agencies’ procure-
ments of mainframe computers and mainframe peripheral equipment.
Your questions focused on identifying the extent to which agencies’
procurements of mainframe computers and mainframe peripherals
required compatibility with International Business Machines (IBM) or
any other computer manufacturer. You were also interested in knowing
details such as the identification of manufacturers whose equipment
was acquired by each agency and the procurement methods used to
obtain equipment.

In addition to this report on the Department of Agriculture, we previ-
ously reported similar information on the Navy (including the Marine
Corps), Army, Air Force, National Aeronautics and Space Administra-
tion, and Department of Defense (including the Defense Logistics
Agency).’ Information on the remaining 27 agencies we included in our
work will be reported after we have fully analyzed procurement data we
collected from them.


‘A compatible procurement requirea hardware or software that functions like specified or existing
hardware or software, with little or no modification. Competition in such procurements may occur
between manufacturem and marketers-such as system developers and system integrators-to
supply equipment that meets the compatible requirements. Since there is the potential for competition
between manufacturers and marketers, a compatible procurem ent does not necessarily result in the
award of a sole source contract.
2Navy ADP Procurement: Contracting and Market Share Information (GAO/IMTEC-89-66FS,       Sept.
     1989)~ Ann ADPProcurement: Contract&j and Market Share Information (GAO/
$‘E&)&           Mar. 1,lQQO); Air Force ADP Procurement: contracting and Market Share lnforma-
tion (GAO/IMTE!GQO-SSFS, Apr. 9 QQO NASA ADP Procure ment: contracting and Market Share
fi;formation (GAO/IMTEC-QO-3QF’Sia,.)&     1990); and Defense ADP Procurement: Contracting and
Market Share Information (GAO/IMTEGQO160FS, June s, 1990).



Page 1                          GAO/IMTECQO&2FS        Contmcting    and Market   Share Information
Et-239635




The information we obtained from Agriculture shows that during the
3-l/2 fiscal years ending in March 1989, Agriculture had a total of 208
procurements for mainframes and mainframe peripherals and that 97
percent of these (201) required some type of compatibility. Agriculture
required IBM compatibility 90 percent of the time (181 of its 20 1 compat-
ible procurements). Of the 20 remaining compatible procurements, Agri-
culture required that 12 have Honeywell Bull compatibility and 8 have
Unisys compatibility.3 When Agriculture’s procurements required IBM
compatibility, IBM equipment was supplied 85 percent of the time (153 of
the 18 1 IBM-compatible procurements).

Agriculture obligated $64.6 million for the 208 mainframe and main-
frame peripheral procurements. When we used dollars for comparison-
as opposed to the number of procurements-we       found that overall Agri-
culture obligated more dollars for IBM equipment than for any other
manufacturer’s equipment ($53.2 million for IBM versus $11.4 million for
all others), including both compatible and other procurements where no
compatibility was required. For the 201 compatible procurements, with
total obligations of $62 million, we found that Agriculture obligated
$56.1 million to IBM-compatible procurements. Agriculture obligated
$50.9 million for the 153 IBM-compatible procurements that involved IBM
equipment.

As requested in discussions with your offices, we also obtained informa-
tion from Agriculture on the procurement methods it used, including
Agriculture’s use of contractors that participate in the Small Business
Administration’s program for small disadvantaged businesses-known
as 8(a) contractors. The detailed questions you asked and our answers
are summarized in appendix I. Appendix II contains tables with detailed
statistics that are the basis for our answers to your questions.

We are reporting information for the 3-l/2 fiscal years from October 1,
1985 through March 31,1989. All the information is based on Agricul-
ture’s response to a questionnaire we devised and distributed to 35
agencies. We did not independently validate the information, which
Agriculture supplied in June 1989, nor did we evaluate any documenta-
tion related to individual Agriculture procurements. However, we

%nce several companies manufacture and market IBM-compatible equipment, competition UI IBM-
compatible procurements may occur among a variety of manufacturers and marketers. However,
there are few if any companies that manufacture equipment compatible with Honeywell Bull or
Unisys. As a result, competition in procurements requiring Honeywell Bull or Unisys compatibility
generally occurs only between the manufacturer of the required equipment and comparues marketing
that manufacturer’s equipment.



Page 2                         GAO/IMTECgO-i32Fs     Contracting   and Market   Share Information
B239535




checked Agriculture’s information for consistency with the instructions
for our questionnaire and made appropriate revisions. At your request,
we did not solicit or obtain comments from Agriculture on this report.
Appendix III contains additional details on the objective, scope, and
methodology of our work.


As arranged with your offices, unless you publicly announce this
report’s contents earlier, we plan no further distribution of it until 30
days after the date of this letter. We will then send copies to Agriculture
and will also make copies available to others upon request.

This information was compiled under the direction of Jack L. Brock, Jr.,
Director, Government Information and Financial Management, who can
be contacted at (202) 275-3195, should you require additional informa-
tion. Other major contributors to this report are listed in appendix IV.




Ralph V. Carlone
Assistant Comptroller    General




Page 3                   GAO/IMTEG9042FS   Contracthg   and Market   Share Information
Contents


Letter
Appendix I                                                                                                6
Questions and
Answers About
Agriculture
Procurements
Appendix II                                                                                           18
Detailed Statistics on
Agriculture
Procurements
Appendix III                                                                                          21
Objective, Scope,and
Methodology
Appendix IV                                                                                           24
Major Contributors to
This Report
Tables                   Table II. 1: Agriculture Mainframe and Mainframe                             18
                             Peripheral Procurements
                         Table 11.2:Agriculture Compatible Procurements                               18
                             According to Type of Compatibility
                         Table 11.3:Agriculture IBM-Compatible Procurements                           18
                             According to Manufacturer of Equipment
                         Table 11.4:Agriculture Compatible Procurements                               19
                              According to Procurement Method
                         Table 11.5:Agriculture IBM-Compatible Procurements                               19
                              According to Procurement Method
                         Table 11.6:Agriculture Mainframe and Mainframe                               20
                              Peripheral Procurements According to Manufacturer
                              of Equipment




                         Page 4                GAO/lMTF.C9042PS   Con-   and Market   Share Information
          Contents




                                                                                           -
Figures   Figure I. 1: Number of Agriculture Mainframe and                                     7
               Mainframe Peripheral Procurements
          Figure 1.2: Dollars for Agriculture Mainframe and                                     7
               Mainframe Peripheral Procurements
          Figure 1.3: Number of Agriculture Compatible                                          9
               Procurements According to Type of Compatibility
          Figure 1.4: Dollars for Agriculture Compatible                                        9
               Procurements According to Type of Compatibility
          Figure 1.5: Number of Agriculture IBM-Compatible                                 11
               Procurements According to Manufacturer of
               Equipment
          Figure 1.6: Dollars for Agriculture IBM-Compatible                               11
               Procurements According to Manufacturer of
               Equipment
          Figure 1.7: Number of Agriculture Compatible                                      13
               Procurements According to Procurement Method
          Figure 1.8: Dollars for Agriculture Compatible                                       13
               Procurements According to Procurement Method
          Figure 1.9: Number of Agriculture IBM-Compatible                                     15
               Procurements According to Procurement Method
          Figure I. 10: Dollars for Agriculture IBM-Compatible                                 15
               Procurements According to Procurement Method
          Figure I. 11: Number of Agriculture Mainframe and                                    17
               Mainframe Peripheral Procurements According to
               Manufacturer of Equipment
          Figure I. 12: Dollars for Agriculture Mainframe and                                  17
               Mainframe Peripheral Procurements According to
               Manufacturer of Equipment




          Abbreviations

          ADP        automated data processing
          GAO        General Accounting Office
          GSA        General Services Administration
          IBM        International Business Machines
           IMTJE     Information Management and Technology Division


                                 GAO/IMTEGgo62Fs   Contrading   and Market   Sham Lnformstion
Questionsand Answers About
Agriculture Procurements

              What are the numbers and dollar amounts of Agriculture’s      main-
              frame and mainframe peripheral procurements       requiring compati-
              bility and is there any trend toward the increased use of compatible
              procurements?

              Agriculture had a total of 208 procurements and obligated a total of
              $64.6 million for mainframe computers and mainframe peripherals
              during the 3-l/2 fiscal years ending in March 1989. According to Agri-
              culture statistics, compatible procurements comprised 201 of Agricul-
              ture’s 208 total procurements and represented $62 million of the $64.6
              million obligated. In each of the 3-l/2 fiscal years -using Agriculture’s
              number of procurements as a measure-the percentage of compatible
              procurements versus other procurements was 95 percent or higher.
              During the same period, the percentage of dollars obligated to compat-
              ible procurements versus other procurements was 93 percent or higher
              in each year. Because Agriculture’s statistics indicate a consistently high
              percentage of compatible procurements, there was no trend toward
              increased compatible procurements.




              Page 6                  GAO/IMTEG~2Fs    Contracting   and Market   Share Information
-~      ~-
                                      Appendix I
                                      Questions and Answers About
                                      AgrlcuIture Procurementa




Figure 1.1:Number of Agriculture
Mainframe and Mainframe Peripheral
Procurements                          WunLrdhaunmnr
                                      m




Figure 1.2: Dollars for Agriculture
Mainframe and Mainframe Peripheral
Procurements                          30 m-wmhlylrr)

                                      ZI




                                       I




                                       Page 7                       GAO/IMTEC908ZF’S   Contracting   and Market   Share Information
Appendix I
Questions and Answers Ahout
Agriculture Procurementa




What is the distribution   of Agriculture’s    compatible mainframe                     and
mainframe peripheral     procurements      according to type of
compatibility?

Those procurements that Agriculture identified as having a compatible
requirement were for either Honeywell Bull, IBM, or Unisys compati-
bility. Specifically, 181 of the 201 procurements were to satisfy IBM-corn-
patible requirements representing $56.1 million of $62 million obligated
for all compatible procurements. Also, Honeywell Bull-compatible
requirements represented 12 procurements and $4.4 million. Unisys-
compatible requirements represented 8 of the 201 procurements and
$1.5 million of the $62 million in obligations.




 Page 8                       GAO/IMTEC9O-62PS   Contracting   and Market   Share Information
                                       Appendix I
                                       Questions and Answers About
                                       AgricuIture Procurements




Figure 1.3: Number of Agriculture
Compatible Procurements According to
Type of Compatibility                  70 -*-a




Figure 1.4: Dollars for Agriculture                                                            i
compatwe Procurements Accoromg to
Type of Compatibility                  II (Dln*m

                                       IO                I




                                       P8ge 9                        GAO/IJblTEG99421;s   Contracting   and Market   Share Information
Appendix I
Questiona and Answers About
Agriculture Procurement8




What equipment manufacturers   are involved in Agriculture’s IBM-
compatible mainframe and mainframe peripheral procurements?

Agriculture obtained IBM equipment in the majority of its IBM-compatible
procurements in each of fiscal years 1986 through the second quarter of
1989. Of the 181 IBM-compatible procurements during fiscal years 1986
through 1989 (through the second quarter), 153 (85 percent) resulted in
Agriculture obtaining IBMequipment. Similarly, of the $56.1 million obli-
gated to IBM-compatible procurements, $50.9 million (91 percent) was
for procurements involving IBMequipment. In addition to IBM, other
manufacturers involved in Agriculture’s IBM-compatible procurements
included Amdahl, Memorex, National Advanced Systems, and Storage
Technology Corporation.




 Page 10                      GAO/IMTEClM-52FS   Contrading   and Market   Share Information
                                           Appendix I
                                           Questions and Answers About
                                           AgrIcuIture Procurements




Figure 1.5: Number of Agriculture IBM-
Compatible Procurements According to
Manufacturer of Equipment                  00 knLrdRoamna




Figure 1.6: Dollars for Agriculture IBM-
Compatible Procurements According to
Manufacturer of Equipment                  ZI Wkhrn




                                            P8ge 11                      GAO/lMTIS9O-62FS   Contracting   and Market   Share Lnformation
Appendix I
Questions and Answers About
Agricuiture Prucurementa




What procurement      methods were used to obtain all types of com-
patible mainframe computers and mainframe peripheral equip-
ment? And, did Agriculture    frequently use new contracts with 8(a)
contractors  to obtain compatible mainframes and mainframe
peripherals?

Using the number of procurements as a measure, modifications to
existing contracts were the most frequently used method of obtaining
equipment when Agriculture identified compatible requirements. Also,
more dollars were obligated to modifications to existing contracts than
to any other procurement method during the 3-l/2 fiscal years. During
fiscal years 1987 through 1989 (through the second quarter) new con-
tracts with 8(a) firms represented 6 of Agriculture’s 201 compatible
procurements. Of the $62 million obligated to compatible procurements,
$800,000 represented procurements involving new contracts with 8(a)
contractors.




 Page 12                      GAO/IMTEG9042Fs   Contracting   and Market   Share   Information
                                       Appendix I
                                       Questions and Answers About
                                       AgricuIture Procurements




Figure 1.7: Number of Agriculture
Compatible Procurements According to
                                       00    -dRoc-
Procurement Method

                                       a




Figure 1.6: Dollars for Agriculture
Compatible Procurements According to
Procurement Method                     w m--In-




                                           Page 13                   GAO/IMTEG!3O42F’S   Contracting   and Market   Share Information
Appendix I
Questions and Answers About
Agriculture Procurement.9




What procurement    methods were used to obtain IBM-compatible
mainframe computers and mainframe peripheral equipment? And,
did Agriculture frequently use new contracts with 8(a) contractors
to obtain IBM-compatible mainframes and mainframe peripherals?

Agriculture most frequently used modifications to existing contracts as
the procurement method for obtaining IBM-compatible equipment. Of the
$56.1 million obligated for IBM-compatible procurements, modifications
to existing contracts accounted for $42.7 million in dollar obligations-
more than any other procurement method. New contracts with 8(a)
firms represented 5 of Agriculture’s 181 IBM-compatible procurements
and accounted for $600,000 in obligated dollars during fiscal years 1987
through 1989 (through the second quarter).




 Page 14                      GAO/lMTFSSO432Fs
                                            Contracting   and Market   Share Lnformation
                                            Appendix I
                                            Queationa and Answers About
                                            Agficultnre Pmcurementa




Figure 1.9: Number of Agriculture IBM-
Compatible Procurements According to        I# -olRa-
Procurement Method
                                            Y
                                            aI
                                            -
                                            II
                                            3
                                            II
                                            0


                                            :---Me




Figure 1.10: Dollars for Agriculture IBM-
Compatible Procurements According to
                                            11 cBwa*P
Procurement Method




                                            P8ge 16                       GAO/lMTEG9042PS   Contracting   and Market   Share Information
Appendix    I
(hwstions    and Answers About
AMXh.re        Procurements




What equipment manufacturers       are involved in Agriculture’s   main-
frame and mainframe peripheral      procurements,   including both
procurements   where compatibility    is required and procurements
with no compatibility requirement?

IBM  equipment was most frequently supplied to Agriculture for main-
frame and mainframe peripheral procurements in each of fiscal years
1986 through 1988 and for the first half of fiscal year 1989, with 157
out of 208 total procurements. Additionally, using obligated dollars as
the measure, Agriculture’s obligations for procurements involving IBM
equipment during the same 3-l/2 year period were $53.2 million of a
total of $64.6 million. Amdahl, Honeywell Bull, Memorex, National
Advanced Systems, Storage Technology Corporation, Unisys, and other
manufacturers’ equipment was also supplied to Agriculture during the
3-l/2 years.




Page 16                          GAO/IMTEGWMZFS   Contracting   and Market   Share Information
                                       Appendix 1
                                       Queatlona and Anawexa About
                                       Agrlcnltnre Pmcnrementd




Figure 1.11: Number of Agriculture
Mknframe and Mainframe Peripheral
Procurements According to              00 -*-
Manufacturer of Equipment              IO

                                       40




Figure 1.12: Dollars for Agriculture
MaInframe and Malnfmme Peripheral
Procunments According to               II ~InILn)
Manufacturer of Equipment
                                       a




                                        Page 17                      GAO/llUTEClRM2PS   Conhcting   and Market   Share Information
Appendix II

Detailed Statistics on Agriculture Procurements


Table 11.1:Agriculture Mainframe and Mainframe Peripheral Procurements
Dollars In millions
                         Fiscal Year 1966          Fiscal Year 1967          Fiscal Year 1966            Fiscal Year 1969O           Total
                         Number Amount             Number Amount             Number Amount               Number Amount           Number Amount
ComDatlbie                    38      $10.9               55       $15.8           69           $25.2         39        $10.1           201       $620
Other                          2           b               3         0.5            1             2.0          1          01              7          26
Total                         40      $10.9               56       616.3           70           $27.2         40        $10.2           206       $64.6
Compatible Percent of
Total                         95%       100%              95%          97%          99%            93%         98%         99%           97%          969
                                               aFiscal year 1989 through the second quarter

                                               bLess than $lOWOO



Table 11.2:Agriculture Compatible Procurements According to Type of Compatibility
Dollars in millions
                         Fiscal Year 1966          Fiscal Year 1967          Fiscal Year 1966            Fiscal Year 1969            Total
                         Number Amount             Number Amount             Number Amount               Number Amount           Number Amount
Honeywell Bull-
Compatible                      3      $2.3                2         $1.3            5           $0.5           2        $0.3             12        $44
IBM-Compatible                 35       8.6               51         13.9           61           24.2          34         94            181         56.1
Unisys-Compatible               0         0                2          0.6            3            0.5           3         0.4             8           1.5
Total                         36      $10.9               56       $16.6            69          626.2          39       $10.1           201        $62.0
                                                aFiscal year 1989 through the second quarter



Table 11.3:Agriculture IBM-Compatible Procurements According to Manufacturer of Equipment
Dollars in millions
                         Fiscal Year 1966          Fiscal Year 1967          Fiscal Year 1966            Fiscal Year 1969’                Total
                         Number Amount             Number Amount             Number Amount               Number Amount               Number Amount
Amdahl                          0       $0.0               0          $0.0           0           $0.0           1           $b             1              $b
IBM                            32        8.6              41          12.0          53           21.1          27          9.2           153         50.9
Memorex                         0        0.0               3           0.4           0            0.0           0          0.0             3          0.4

l$oror~Advanced
-I
                                0        0.0               4           1.2            1           2.6            0         0.0             5          38
Storage Technology
Corporation                     3           b              3           0.3            7           0.5           6          0.2           19               10
Total                          36      $6.6               51       613.9            61          $24.2          34         $9.4          161        $56.1
                                                aFiscal year 1989 through the second quarter.

                                                bLess than $lOO,COO




                                                Page 18                          GAO/lMTEC!4082Fs         Contracting   and Market    Share Information
                                                Appendix II
                                                Detailed Statistic4 on
                                                Agriculture  Procurements




Table 11.4:Agriculture Compatible Procurements According to Procurement Method
Dollars In millions
                            Fiscal Year 1966       Fiscal Year 1967             Fiscal Year 1966        Fiscal Year 1969          Total
                            Number Amount          Number Amount                Number Amount           Number Amount         Number Amount
New Contract-Sole
Source                            0      $0.0              0         $0.0             1          $0.3         0       $0.0             1        $0.3
New Contract-One
Offeror                           0       0.0              1           0.7            0           0.0         1         0.3            2          10
New Contract-More
Than One Offeror                  0       0.0              1           0.4            2           8.9         0         0.0            3          9.3
New Contract-
Develocer or lntearator           0       0.0              1           0.2            0           0.0          1        0.4            2          0.6
F;; Contract-a(a)
                                  0       0.0              2           0.2            2           0.5         2         0.1            6          0.8
Modifications to Existing
Contracts                        30      10.7             30         13.3            49          15.1        20         8.5         137          47.6
GSA Schedule
Purchases                         8       0.2             12           1.0           15           0.4        15         0.8           50         2.4
Total                            36    $10.9              55       $15.6            69          $25.2        39      $10.1          201        $62.0
                                                aFiscal year 1989 through the second quarter



Table 11.5:Agriculture IBM-Compatible Procurements According to Procurement Method
Dollars in millions
                            Fiscal Year 1966       Fiscal Year 1967             Fiscal Year 1966        Fiscal Year 196P          Total
                            Number Amount          Number Amount                Number Amount           Number Amount         Number Amount
New Contract-Sole
Source                            0      $0.0              0         $0.0             1          $0.3          0       $0.0            1         $0.3
New Contract-One
Offeror                           0       0.0               1          0.7            0           0.0          0        0.0            1          0.7
New Contract-More
Than One Offeror                  0       0.0               1          0.4            2           8.9          0        0.0            3          9.3
New Contract-
Developer or Integrator           0       0.0               1          0.2            0           0.0          1        0.4            2          0.6
p;      Contract--B(a)
                                  0       0.0               1               b
                                                                                      2           0.5          2        0.1            5          0.6
Modifications to Existing
Contracts                        28       0.4             35         11.6            45          14.2         19        8.5          127         42.7
GSA Schedule
Purchases                         7       0.2             12           1.0           11           0.3         12        0.4           42              19
Total                            35      66.6             51       $13.9             61         $24.2        34        $9.4         161        $56.1
                                                “Fiscal year 1989 through the second quarter.

                                                bLess than $lOO,OCO.




                                                Page 19                            GAO/IMTECBlM2PS       Contmcthg   ami Market   Share Information
                                                 Appendix     II
                                                 Detailed Statistics on
                                                 Agrkulture        Procurements




                                   . *j
Table 11.6:Agriculture Mainframe and Mainframe Peripheral Procurements According to Manufacturer of Equipment
Dollars 1t7millions
                        Fiscal Year 1986            Fiscal Year 1967              Fiscal Year 1968      Fiscal Year 1969           Total
                        Number Amount               Number Amount                 Number Amount         Number Amount          Number Amount
Amdahl                         0          $0.0                0           $0 0           0      $0.0           1          $b            1              b
Honeywell Bull                 3           23                  2           13           5         0.5         2          0.3          12         $44
IBM                           32           8.6                43          12.2         54        23.1        28          9.3         157         532
Memorex                        0           0.0                 3            0.4         0         0.0          0         0.0           3          04

tG$orr-LAdvanced               0           0.0                4             12          1         2.6          0         0.0            5          3.8
Storage Technology
CorDoration                    3             D                 3            0.3         7         0.5         6          0.2          19           10
Unisvs                         0           0.0                 2            0.6         3         0.5         3          0.4           8           15
Other                          2             b                 1           0.3          0         0.0         0          0.0           3          0.3
Total                         40     $10.9                    56         $16.3         70       $27.2        40       $10.2          206        $64.6
                                                 aFiscal year 1989 through the second quarter
                                                 bLess than %1OO,ooO




                                                 Page 20                             GAO/LMTEC9O-g2FS    Contacting   and Market   Share Information
Appendix III

Objective,Scope,and Methodology


               In February 1989 we were requested by the Chairman and the Ranking
               Minority Member, House Committee on Government Operations, to per-
               form a comprehensive review of the government’s use of IBM-compatible
               automated data processing (ADP) procurements. In response to the
               requests and in discussions with the Chairman’s and Ranking Minority
               Member’s offices, we agreed that procurements of mainframes and
               mainframe peripherals would be included in our review, with emphasis
               on compatible procurements. Our review covered procurements during
               the 3-l/2 fiscal years ending in March 1989, at 35 federal agencies.

               Our primary objective was to obtain and analyze information on specific
               aspects of each agency’s -P-related procurements. This report focuses
               on the Department of Agriculture and includes the number and aggre-
               gate dollar value of Agriculture’s mainframe-related contracts, distribu-
               tion of procurements among equipment manufacturers, and breakdown
               of the various procurement methods Agriculture used to obtain main-
               frame-related equipment.

               We used the following mutually exclusive procurement methods to
               group Agriculture’s procurements. The first three methods represent
               specific types of new contracts with mainframe and peripheral equip-
               ment manufacturers. These consist of sole source new contracts, new
               contracts that resulted from competitive procedures where only one
               offeror remained in the procurement at the time the awardee was
               selected, and new contracts that resulted from competitive procedures
               where the awardee was selected from among multiple competitors. We
               also included a category for new contracts with system developers and
               integrators-except    any contracts separately categorized as awarded to
               8(a) firms. We also obtained and analyzed data on Agriculture’s modifi-
               cations to existing contracts, use of the General Services Administra-
               tion’s (GSA) multiple award schedule contracts, and other miscellaneous
               procurement methods.

               To accomplish our objective and facilitate Agriculture’s information
               gathering, we designed a questionnaire which, when properly completed
               by Agriculture, provided us with the necessary information. Our ques-
               tionnaire included several charts and provided detailed instructions,
               with definitions and examples, to help Agriculture identify and report
               the relevant information. Our questionnaire instructions cited pertinent
               federal regulations to ensure consistency in understanding of the terms
               used and to identify key definitions.




               Page 21                 GAO/RdTECBO82Fs   Contracthg   and Market   Share Information
Appendix     Ill
Objective,    Scope, and Methodology




In preparing instructions for our questionnaire, we recognized the need
to clearly and consistently identify mainframe computers, as opposed to
superminicomputers and supercomputers. Because technology changes,
criteria such as storage capacity, processing speed, physical size, cooling
requirements, and cost do not provide an adequate basis for clear and
consistent identification of mainframes. Therefore, after consulting with
computer vendors, the GSA, other federal agency officials, and Datapro,-’
we considered vendor marketing strategy-in       addition to computer
architecture and performance -as the basis for classifying particular
computers as superminicomputers, mainframes, or supercomputers.
Like Datapro, we classified as mainframes some smaller and less expen-
sive models if they belong to a product line, or family, of mainframes
sharing a common architecture or operating system. However, models
with similar performance characteristics that do not belong to a main-
frame family and are manufactured by companies that are not tradition-
ally recognized as mainframe manufacturers were not classified as
mainframes. We provided a list of mainframe manufacturers and models
in the instructions for our questionnaire as examples of computers that
agencies should include in completing the questionnaire.

We obtained comments on preliminary copies of our questionnaire from
information resources management officials at the Departments of Agri-
culture and Transportation, to aid in ensuring the questionnaire’s
clarity. After modifying the questionnaire based on comments received
from officials at the Departments of Agriculture and Transportation, we
asked the senior information resources management officials at Agricul-
ture and 34 other federal agencies to complete the questionnaire.

Our questionnaire was furnished to Agriculture in mid-April 1989. Upon
receiving Agriculture’s response in June 1989, the information was
reviewed to determine if the instructions were followed correctly and if
the information was clear and consistent. Although we did not indepen-
dently validate the information supplied in the Agriculture response,
our questionnaire contained several internal checks to determine if
inconsistencies were present. In some situations we modified the data on
the basis of discussions with Agriculture officials. In other cases we
excluded inappropriate data. For example, we directed the agencies to
include only procurement data for mainframe-related equipment. How-
ever, in one instance Agriculture included a procurement for equipment
that was not a mainframe or mainframe peripheral. In order to maintain

4Datapro is a trade publication that provides detailed information on computers, penpheral equip
ment, and software.




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APPe*      IJl
OWcth,      Scope, and Methodology




consistency in the statistics across the 35 federal agencies, this procure-
ment reported by Agriculture for equipment other than a mainframe or
related peripheral was deleted from our analysis. Our work did not
include solicitation or evaluation of documents related to Agriculture’s
individual procurements. The figures and tables in appendixes I and II
were developed from our analysis.

We did not solicit or obtain comments from Agriculture about this
report; however, we discussed our scope and methodology with Agricul-
ture officials in May 1990, at Agriculture headquarters in Washington,
D.C. Our review was conducted from February 1989 through May 1990,
in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards.




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Appendix IV

Major Contributors to This Report


                       Mark E. Heatwole, Assistant Director
Information            Mark T. Bird, Senior Evaluator
Management and         Darlene D. Rush, Evaluator
Technology Division,   Peter C. Wade, Evaluator
Washington, D.C.




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