ADP Budget: Analysis of HCFA's Fiscal Year 1991 ADP Budget Request

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1990-09-28.

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

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                                                                                            ll:duc.;at,ion,and Related Agencies,
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                                                                                             ADP BUDGET
                                                                                              Analysis of HCFA’s
                                                                                              Fiscal Year 1991 ADP
                                                                                              Budget Request


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GAO                      General Accounting Office
                         Washington, D.C. 20548

                         Itiormation    Management   and
                         Technology    Division


                         September 28,199O

                         The Honorable Tom Harkin
                         Chairman, Subcommittee on Labor,
                           Health and Human Services,
                           Education, and Related Agencies
                         Committee on Appropriations
                         United States Senate

                         Dear Mr. Chairman:

                         On January 22,1990, you asked us to analyze the Health Care Financing
                         Administration’s (HCFA) fiscal year 1991 information technology systems
                         budget request of $60.7 million. Besides covering personnel, operations,
                         and maintenance, the request includes $12.2 million for three major
                         system enhancement projects to obtain more automated data processing
                         (ADP) and communications equipment, new software development, and
                         related commercial services. As arranged with your office, we deter-
                         mined whether HCFA had justification for the $12.2 million requested.
                         We conclude that HCFA has adequate support for all three projects.

                         HCFA is responsible for managing a number of health-related programs.
Background               These responsibilities include managing the Medicare and Medicaid pro-
                         grams, coordinating federal health-provider survey and certification
                         efforts, supporting regulatory requirements, and directing various activ-
                         ities to ensure good health care.

                         In administering these programs, HCFA headquarters uses ADP systems to
                         collect Medicare and Medicaid program data and perform internal
                         agency management functions. HCFA'S computer center includes a data
                         communication network to exchange information with Medicare con-
                         tractors and state agencies, and mainframe computers and other equip-
                         ment, such as computer terminals and storage devices. HCFA also relies
                         on support from the Social Security Administration’s computer center.

                         HCFA'S fiscal year 1991 information   technology systems budget request
Analysis of HCFA’s       for $60.7 million includes $12.2 million for three major systems
Information              enhancement-related projects, which include:
Technology Systems       Project to Redesign Information Systems Management ($7.1 million)
Budget Request       l
                         which involves buying more hardware and software to meet current

                         Page 1                                GAO/IMTECfIO87   HCFA’e ADP Budget Request
                                                                                                           ’   ,


  programmatic information needs more efficiently; and obtaining sys-
  tems’ integration support to help monitor the progress of software
  development contractors and validate the operation of the new hard-
  ware, software, and data communications services.
l Software Development ($6 million) involves developing software to set
  up new data systems and modify existing ones to meet provisions of the
  Department of Health and Human Services’ medical treatment effective-
  ness program. This program seeks to enhance the quality and effective-
  ness of health care services through a broad base of scientific research.
  HCFA is responsible for building and maintaining analytic data files to
  support the program.
. acquisition                                                           ($. 1
  million) involves increasing mainframe capacity and buying hardware to
  implement provisions of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1989.

    You asked us to determine whether HCFA had justified these three
    system enhancements projects. Working at the HCFA headquarters in
    Woodlawn, Maryland, we examined documents supporting the indi-
    vidual system enhancement projects and reviewed documentation for
    project cost and schedule data to verify their preparation in accordance
    with Office and Management Budget Circular A-l 1 (schedules 43A and
    43B).l We also met with senior program and management officials to
    obtain more supporting documentation and confirm our understanding
    of the underlying need for individual enhancements and the justification
    and funding status of individual information system projects. On this
    basis, we concluded that HCFA has adequate support for all three

    Our evaluation was conducted from February 1990 through September
    1990. As requested by your office, we did not obtain written agency
    comments on a draft of this report. We did, however, brief HCFA officials
    on the results of our work, and have incorporated their comments where
    appropriate. Our work was performed in accordance with generally
    accepted government auditing standards.

    Copies of this report are being sent to the Chairman of the House Com-
    mittee on Appropriations, the Director, Office of Management and
    Budget, the Administrator of General Services, the Secretary of Health
    and Human Services, and the Administrator, Health Care Financing

    ‘Circular A-l 1 requires ag#n~%~to report to the Office of Management and Budget on the acquisition,
    operation, or use of automWd data processing systems and telecommunications services or facilities.

    Page 2                                           GAO/lMTEGBB67        HCFA’s ADP Budget     Request

Administration. Copies will also be available to other interested parties
upon request. Should you have any questions about this report or
require additional information, please contact me at (202) 2754669.
Major contributors to this report are listed in the appendix.

Sincerely yours,

Frank W. Reilly
Director, Human Resources
  Information Systems

Page 3                               GAO/IMTJSGBO87   HCFA’s ADP Budget Request
Appendix I

Major Contributorsto This Report

Information            Michael A. Alexander, Senior Evaluator
Management and         John M. Resser, Evaluator
Technology Division,
Washington, DC.

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