oversight

Proposed Procurement of Equipment for the Department of Agriculture's Kansas City Computer Center

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1977-06-23.

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

                         DOCUEENT RESIE
02623 -   A1852870j

[Proposed Procurement of Equipment for the Department of
Agriculture's Kansas City Computer Center]. LCD-77-114;
B-146864. Jure 23, 1977. 3 pp. + 2 enclosures (8 pp.).

Report to Rep. Jack Brooks, Chairman, House Committee on
Government Operations; by Elmer B. Staats, Comptroller General.

Issue Area: Automatic Data Processing: Acquiring and Using
    Resources (102); Federal Procurement of Gocds and Services:
    Definition of Performance Requirements in Relation to Need
    of the Procuring Agency (1902).
Contact: Logistics and ommunications Div.
Budget Function: Miscellaneous: Automatic Data Processing
    (1001).
Organization Concerned: Department of gricultue; General
    Services Administration.
Congressional Relevance:  ouse Committee on Government
    Operations; Senate Committee on Agriculture and Forestry.

         Cooperative efforts among officials of GAO, the Farmers
Home Administration, and the Department of Agriculture's Office
of Automated Data Services to work out the details for a
feasibility study have resulted in a better understanding of the
problem and a more deliberate approach to meeting tae
information processing needs of the Farmers Home Administration.
Finings/Conclusions: The Farmers Home Administration decided to
proceed with its Unified Management Information ystem without
the on-line terminal network that would have included terminals
in every county office. The scope of the current plan for
implementing the Unified Management Information System and for
testing the concept has been narrowed from the multi-state test
originally planned and will be departmentwide, rather than
single-agency oriented. GAO supports the plan because it
contains the safeguards suggested earlier by GAO, allows
Agiculture to proceed with procuring equipment for its Kansas
City Computer Center, allows for development of the National
Operating Center concept as the basis for implementing the
Unified Management Information System, and does not require that
contract options be used for additional computer capacity until
such nerds have been satisfactorily demonstrated. (SC)
        03ffiDa            COMTROLLR GENERAL OF THE UNITED     TAT
                                     WASHINGTON. D.C.    4




N   .   B-146864

                                                                     JUN 2 3 1977
        The Honorable Jack Brooks
        Chairman, Committee on Government
          Operations
        House of Representatives

        Dear Mr. Chairman:

             Our January 28, 1977, letter informed you that the
        Department of Agriculture generally agreed with our sugges-
        tions on its proposed acquisition               of equipment for its
        Kansas City Computer Center. Our                suggestions, made to your
        office on November 23, 1976, were               included in your DecembeL
        21 letter.to the Acting Secretary               of Agriculture.
                  In response to our suggestion that telecommunicstions
        requirements for the full field service concept be eliminated
        from the proposed procurement, Agriculture requestei that the
        computer equipment request for proposals contain otions to
        expand computer capacity to support potential teleprocessing
        requirements of the Agricultural Service Centers. We told
        you that if Agriculture performed suitable tests and prepared
        the necessary feasibility studies, we would agree with such
        options being included in the proposals. We also told you
        that we were working with Agriculture officials to develop
        a feasibility study that would indicate whether using term-
        inals in its county office operations would benefit the
        Farmers Home Administration. We agreed to report the re-
        sults of our efforts to you.
             Since January 1977, we hae had many discussions nd
        working sessions with officials of the Farmers Home Admin-
        istration and Agriculture's Office of Automated Data Serv-
        ices .o work out the details for the study. These coopera-
        tive efforts have resulted in a better understanding of
        the problem and a more deliberate approach to meeting the
        information processing needs of the Farmers Home Adminis-
        tration. The Farmers Home Administration has decided to
        proc¢ed with its Unified Management Informaticn System
        withuut the on-line terminal network (full field service
        concept) that would have included terminals in every county
        office.



                                                                            ILCD-77-114
B-145864



     In an April 29 letter (see enc. I), the Farmers Home
Administration formally notified us of the change in its
planned method for implementing the Unified Management
Information System and its acceptance of the suggested
safeguards included in ycur February 14, 1977, letter to
us.  Briefly, the Farmers Home Administration plans to:

     -- Implement and begin field testing the National
        Operating Center concept 18 months after release of
        the request for proposals for the new computer system.

     -- Participate in the Agricultural Service Center program
        and in the terminal test tentatively planned for the
        State of Illinois. The existing terminal conability
        will be used to test the full field service -incept
        at that time (18 to 24 months after release of the,
        request for proposals).

     -- Expand the terminal test to other locations (within
        the Agricultural Service Center concept) only after
        the Illinois test demonstrates to Agriculture and
        your Committee that county office automation is
        desirable.

     The scope of the above plan has been narrowed from
the multi-State test originally contemplated and will be
departmentwide, rather than single-agency oriented. Agricul-
ture ndicates tnat it plans to conduct the test without ex-
ercisiny any of the communications options contained in its
request for proposals.

     We agree with the plan because it (1) contains the sug-
gested safeguards, (2) allows Agriculture to proceed with
procuring equipment r.eeded for its Kansas City Comuter
Center! (3) allows for development of the National Operat.ng
Center concept as the basis for implementing the Unified
Management Information System and (4) does not require that
contract options be used for additional computer capacity
until such needs have been satisfactorily demonstrated. This
plan is included as part of the delegation of procurement
authority granted by the General Services Administration on
April 8, 1977.   (See eric. II.)

     The Farm.ers Home Administration plans to proceed shortly
with the feasibility study which we proposed in our January
28 letter.   we believe that it will hel.p define the opera-
tional environment for terminals and identify those processes

                               2
B-146864



for which automation could he cost effective.  however,
the Farmers Home Administration has made substantial
modifications in its Unified Management Information System
implementation plans and the feasibility study will now
address only Farmers Home Administration applications
rather than the departmentwide applications ultimately
intended.  Therefore, we plan to discontinue monitoring the
feasibility study. We will, however, keep abreast of he
State of Illinois test if and when it is conducted,

     As discussed with your office, we are sending copies
of this letter to the chairmen of congressional committees
interested in Agriculture's activities, the Secretary of
Agriculture, and the Administrator of Genera:. Services.

                              Sincerely yours,




                              Comptroller Genral
                              of the United States

Enclosures - 2




                             3
ENCLOSURE I                                                  ENCLOSURE I

              UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTL;RE
                     FARMERS HOMe ADM'NISTRATION

                                 D.C.
                         WASWINON.C.    202SO




                                                PR 29 1977


Mr. Fred J. Shafarr, Director
Logistics and Communication Division
General Accounting Office
441 G Street, NW, Room 5850
Washington, D.C. 20598

Dear Mr. Safer:

The purpose of this letter is to convey to you our current plant
for testing and implementation of our Unified Management Information
System and to indicate actions underway within the Office of
Automated Data Systems (ADS) that interact with our plans.

Farmers Home Administration is now planning to implement the Ntional
Operating Center (NOC) environment as our initial ationwide Unified
Management Information System operational concept. Implementation
of NOC is proceeding well and operational field testing should begin
18 months after release of the Kansas City Computer Center request
for proposals by ADS. Nationwide implementation is scheduled during
the succeedin- six months.

It is our understanding that ADS i developing plans for a county
office automation project o be coordinates with all agencies,
including Fm/iA, that are participants in the Agricultural Service
Center (ASC) program. We understand further that an initial step
in this project would be a Statewide test, now currently being
considered for Illinois. It is our intention to actively participate
in this effort and to take advantage of such terminal capability to
conduct a Statewide test of our Full Field Serlice approach in UMIS.
We would rely on ADS to provide terminals in offices designated as
ASC's, augmenting the non-ASC locations with FmHA terminals currently
installed in selected county offices. Concurrently, we would convert
the system which now supports our county offices equipped with
terminals (13 by the time of the ADS test in Illinois) to the FFS
environment since the St. Louis Computer Center will close when NOC
becomes operational nationwide. Results in these counties will be
included with the evaluation of the Illinois test.
ENCLOSURE I                                               ENCLOSURE I




It is or understanding that implemsitation of this test would not
require ADS to exercise ay of the communications options included
in the Kansas City Computer Center RFP. As requested by Congressman
Brookr, suchn initiative would be accomplished only after it had been
demonstrated to our joint satisfaction that county office automation
had been'"proved desirable based on the above easibility testing and
after review of the evaluation by Mr. Brooks' committee. Any
expansion of testing to other locations or conversion of NOC to FFS
would be done only in conjunction with Departmentally coordinated
extension of terminal capabilities into Agricultural Service Centers.

We are hopeful that this approach will permit the Department to
proceed with a realistic test vehicle for county office automation
while preserving the future option f FmPIA to implement its Full Field
Service should that prove justified. I would appreciate your con-
currence in the above plans. If you have any questions, please call
me on 447-7013

Sinzerely,




MARTIN J/,.hGLLRAN
 cting eputy Administrator
Itnancial and Administrative Operations




                                   2
  ENCLOSURE II                                                      ENCLOSURE   II

                GENERAL SERV!CES ADMINISTRA.TON W,
                                                                                     -
                           .4utomaced Data and Telecomrunirations Service
                                                    g'ashiton, DC 20405




Mr. Edu-ard C.   autbher                            APR      1977
Ch-:ef, Procure=ai-t Division
O'fice of Operations
r. S. epartment of Agriculture
W'ashington, DC 2C250

Dear Mr. Gauthier:

In accordance with the provisions of ederal Procurenmnt Regulations
1-4.1105, v-e are ranting our ageancy a delegation of rrocurerent authority
(DPA) to acquire a .ew co=puter system for your Kansas City Computer
Center (KCCC) as set for,.. in your letter of larch 3, 1977, and as
clarified during the revie7 nmee-g with your agency on March 22, 1977.
This also acknowledges the receipt on April 1, 1977, of the adderdtu=
(same date) to the KCCC/St. Louis Conputer Center Requiremenus Study
(FMC 74-').

This DPA is beiag granted for the acquisition of the computer system on
a fully competicive basis and is subject to the a;tached nornal limitations
plus the special li.ations contained in this letter. Failure to
follow the normal a=d special limitations will render this DPA voidable.
The special limitaions are as follows:

     1. We are witholdiug approval under Federal Property M.anagement
     Regul.tions CF2:') 101-32.11 and F..IR 101-35 for any data coamruications
     facilities associated with the KCCC pending completion of the
     following:

         a. Submi-ttal of an agency procurement request (APR) for data
         terinals to support the 'atonal Operations Center (CC
         concept th .-as reference in your letter of March 3, 1977,
         and attac27ed soliciration docu.rant. The AR shall include a
         data con-c-icatic-.s study in accordance wi.:h the require-e:;ts
         of "F    2T.
                   01-32.1.   The stu~ s-a.l include the specific data
         trans--ission require-ents for all data terminals that are
         required to support the .70C concept and the most econo-cal
         system plan for fulfilling the data transmission requirements.

          b. Sukbittal of Pn ,n-' w-ith a feasibility study that contains
          both the data co- unicaticr ,central processor wcrkload require-
                                      --
          ments for the full Agricul.ural  Service Center (ASC) concept
          -zd .':e   .a   -:2
                          '      S-!~
                                z'ib~---'f-    j :i1-:-:i -n :---cCeedl.-.
          with a pilot test of data co3ucications facilities for the

                                           3
  ENCLOSURE II                                                   ENCLOSURE II
   ASC cncept. The AP shal be lii          to tt     nbe --
   pf data tenrsals thrc vll ha requx.lad    to  ipleat     the
      .lot test. The feasibility stud shall be prnepared in
   accordar.e with instructio s fm     tne GAD "d shall also
   fulfill    the ruircmants of PMT 101-32.11       As
   requ&ested by the Congress,  the f   sbility  study. shall be
   evaluated by the GAO. Copies of the GAO evaluation shall be
   set     to Co-cress:: Broo', and to the GCetal Services Ad-nistratioc
    (GSA) for review prior to -?lzr.tation of the
   pilot test progrm and prior to exarcisin; radatory option 1
    in the XCCC solicitation.

   c. tf it is detearmine that . pilot teat is justified by the
   initial feasibility stud!, the results of the pilot test shall
   be reported in an pdated version of the study. The updated
   study shall be sub-itted to the GAD for evaluation. The update=
   study shall include an AP for the total mher of dats terinals
   that will be required to inpleant the full ASC cocpt.
   Copies of the =G evaluation of the tilot test prorem shall be
   sent t Conressnvm Brooks and to GSA for reviu(i
   prior to i:plee3 tation cf the data comicatins yste to
   eupport the full ASC concept tha. w-s referenced fn vour letter
   of Hzrch 3, 177, ad prior to erarcisn; =namdetor optior. 2 im
    the 1CCC solicitation. Ths uvdAte study shall follow the
   requireents of F.T. 101-32.11 and shall include the total
   costs of :plezl3nting the data comir=rcations sstem to support
    the full ASC concept.

2. Our DPA inclues authorization to rlease a separate solication
for software conversion at the se time the solicitation for he
hardware is released.    our evaluation of softvare conversion
proposals shall asrsre tat in no event w1il a separate conversion
 aard for the equi.ent FTr- conversion line ite be for a rice
ZSeater than the difference betveem the       -4- 0n. vendor's total
costless conversion   nd the next lowest  O;0.'s  total cost. The
solicitation for soft-re cc-version      i11 be  subject to the attached
limitations, except for 4a,b,d and 5, ncluding subhrision to SAk
for final reriec prior to release to industry.

3. Since your agency has detercined that the use of the Remtc
Terina.l   ulnutor (rL.j is a endatorv recureent to perfor: the
live test demonstrations (LTD), your agency shall give dvrance
notice to industry, 30 days prior to release of the R?, indicating
that you intend to use a iT wvith the LTD. This advance notice
shall consist of pre-release of the detailed LTD instructions
specifying the csact nanner in whiclh the r        is to be ilem.C..cd.
Xotice of the avla'il'ty of this       rt:tcrizl  fcr revi.. and c .- ,ernte
shall be publilhed in the Cc-rce Eusinss nDaly. Tour arency
shall rt-vide to GS..     Tc/s.?S, !as..'-:ton, DC 2n4^:    d:tcilec'
justificztioA for  the  use of  thc .-     nd  11  relatcd  T_ proviston
at the time of the industry notice.

                                         A
  ENCLOSURE II                                              ENCLOSURE II




    4. 'Tour agency shall not .fy GSA, ADS/CPS Ia writing of &nv I'-       es
    you may receive  from vendors concerning  the   data security requirmnats
    of the solicitatim.    Thir notiication shall nclude the precise
    nature of the inquiry plus any a       -Ln'ts that your agency plan to
    make to the data ecurity part of the solicitation.

    5. Tor agency shall notify SA. ADTS/CPS in riting prior to
    issuing any prch se arders against GSA rcuiremenr    orderschedule
    contracts for data terminals that are inrnded for use vith the
    .CC.    This ritten notification shall be mde at least 20 vorkiuZ
    days prior to csuln a purchase order. Tour. intenton to use
    teranls    acquired through excess ;s,   from either inside or
    outside SIDA, shall also be reported to SA.

This delegation is based imon the ssu=ption that the system cFipuratin
contained in the solicitation ncluding the data commica-tions ports
specifie as madatory procureent EtiLon oae and t and the       ster
czacity requirement outlined in your bencark fultl      both the intent
ard spirit of the Congressional revie and guidance for the TCCC.

Sincerely,




Assistant Co--issioner for
Agency asistance,    _larmnn.   and Policy

Enclosure
     ENCLC SURE II                                            ENCLOSUP.E II


                                                         Znclosure 1
      LIMITATIONS    FOP DELEGATION OF ADPE PROCU RE!NT AUTHORITY

      A?.ncyArc      ItttezC.'.Case           Nu   er:   CPS- n
                                                              _   -   _   _




     II. You shall follow the policies contained in Federal .anac'l-
      men: Circula (C)    74-5. This FC pertains to the Mt?.nagement,
      Accuisition, and Utilization of ADPE.

#*    2. You shall follow the provisions of edera Procurement
      Regulation ~FPR) 1-4.11. This FPR pertains to Procurement
      a-. Contracincr  for Government-wide Auto.mated Data Processing
      Ecg=ment, Softwa.re,   aintenance Se--vices, and Supplies. if
      inir:ialed, the modifications to FPR 1-4.11 set forth below
      a- _'.

           a.    n adcition to the GSA centralize- Bidd-cs M:ailing
      tLi:  '_'iL) Cbtai-.ed i. accor2ance ith :he =rovisions of
      F.- 1-411.0,- (b), an/or FPR 1-4.1107-3(d), as aplicable,
      V- S.hall use the a-:lhed info~rai B:.
            _.   Because cf =-e urgency of your re-. 'r-..,     you re
      reeved of he requirements set forth in -PR 1-4.1107-3(b)
       z./r      PR -4.1107-3 (d), as a   icaile.   In-.stead, you shall
      makte informLr    (elehonic or telegra-h
                                             ic;    solicitatzion relati'.e
      to hi s prcpose-. prccuree..,n to t- e ori:.nal euin men.t anu-
      fac-:uer, to all knon- active bidders, and to thcse comanies
      set forth on the attached informal Bidders .Mailing List.
      3. You shall follow the provisions of such other procurement
      regulations as may apply.
      4. You shall follow the provisions o such Federal Propertv
      :nea-e.ent Reulations (P!.LR)      as ;aay apply. Of particular
         oi.portance are the FP!t.'s set for-h below.
          a. FP'R 101-32.2.   This FPMR pertains to the Automatic
      Data Processing Resources Utilization ProgrL.

          b.   FPMR 101-32.3. This FP'       ertains to the eutilizaticon
rP"of Auto-atic     Data Processing c        an a    Su=.lies Procram.
ENCLOSURE II                                                ENCLOSURE II




        c.  FPMR 101-32.4. This FP.IR pertains to ADP Management
    Responsibilities Related to Procurement.
         d. FPML 11-32.13. ';his FPR pert-ains to the Implementa-
7    h of Federal inormaticn Processing Sandards Publications
    tion
    (FIPS PUBS).,
        e. FP,%M 101-35.2. This FP.R pertains to major changes to
    and/or new installations of teleco=unica:ions services.
    5.  Y:u sh.all follow the prnlicies containe- in GSA Bulletin
         rr-63, if applicable. This Bulietin ertains to the
    Maintenance of GoVernment-3.%ned A?r.

    6. T:-is DPA is i:..ited by the rvi-si.s cf Office of
     ;ir.--e-ent. a.d 3Bu'et   (0MB) Circular ;_:-sr -10., and Trans-
    =.i::rl '.e=r_     _ N.-~,ber 1 t-ereto.   cc ,_ing;y:
          a.     This DPA is not valid until 60Q d'-s followi.-g the
    sussio          cf_ the re-i-r e i_ -s's-te..s r-Etrt to :he Congress,
               -..--.   -*        ^-,         --        a*-:licaie, and
    tahe   fffice c_         ;,..--,
                               .:_ i r.            .e

         b. This DPA shall be susrended, in the event that an
    obje-ic    o the new: system is received as a result of the
    O!---irec=e a-ticn i-r.tif   ie- in sa-rc       a. above.
    In adition, vour suspendinc acrtion shall e reorted to the
    General Services A    n_-i
                            istration, (ttenzicn: CD?D), Washinsgon,
    DC, 2C405, as soon as it occurs.
          c. Upon resolution of anv objection received as a result
    o' the subissicn o a new-syste        report-., all of the pertinent
     ac.ts shall be submitted to the General Ser-,ices A'iistrati  .   -
    -(Attention: CD?D),    ashington., DC, 20405. GSA sall      notify
    you of the receipt of such resoluticn docu-.entation within
    eighsi wrkd.'   aefter receipt.    Unless oblec-io    cr. the part
    of GSA is raise at thnat time, this J'-A shall be considered
    as having been removed Zrom suspension status.
    7. This is an Interim DPA.     :t is vali= for a period of
    mon':.s cc....enc n with the ate of issue.   Further, it is
    valid and m- be used only if you accect this schedule for
    full rec-m-e:-itrn, to include the allocaticn f the necessary
    resources o ensure --he ti-ely ccn._leticn of such rocuremunt




                                          7
ENCLOSURE II                                                         ENCLOSURE II




  act.ron, and all ocer conditions set forth in this Interim
  DPA and its limitat=ons.   If at any tire duriDr the life of
  this nterim DPA, presently uforeseen events or circ.Stan-.ces
  arise which would impact (delay) the reprocurem n action,
  the General Services Administration (Attention:: CDPD),
  W.rshington, D.C., 20405, shall be notified inedza-slv, so
  that an appropriate, r.tuallv agreed to modification to this
  Interim DPA can be established.
   8. Conversion costs relating to your present data systems,
   ap,.iicatics .,rogras, an-.d ecuimen.t may be considered in
   the evaluazion phase of the follow-onr., fullv cometitive
   procuren.ent. In addition, conversion costs relr.tinc to all
   new data systetm and/or new alications programns which you
   may evelo;, r.ay be considere', if, from the ate- c this
   DzA f;---.*:ar,       such develo.men is ilemente-d b. vour usin-
         ea
         ad:ll        Standard hich level lancuatce. I thins canno -_
     =:.e, suc-. cnVe:=si.o             costs wich result"from the evelo.-.e.nt
   ef r =r-.s in. n.on-str.Aard la.uace(s) may not be cs-.sidere
   i.-. :e evalu=ation -.ase of -c- r rcu en._.                       Ccn-.ersic.-
   ccs:s relai.nc pure:v to the r:ys =al aspects ca r.y euip-
   mr.n: -:               £ as. a-.. res._ o-u-.-                        ' n:.c-'
   c::i-__e:e_.                          '-., e-:!-ua'ic:A cr r.'. -r.csi
   re:e.'i  :-          - a vendcr f th ecu;i-.ent line cf the. instaL ed
   3Y-e.
    ss s.-e which
               5.v~s' c^ prooses
                             oCS :ich   ecuimen- which
                                      esecu_...e      .-.  is program
                                                           is           ... t.ble,
                                                              procran cc.-.?
   b:. is o f                                                                     ib-e,
                         ac-.         adrieecure than the isall            e Ulip-ent.
   shal consider costs cr -procr-. -nd/or syse ccnversion,
   m__if-ation., or chanes which are eouired, in orde- to take
   adevnta=e o improvements in operation, as a result of such
  .- ifferences.
  9. Yo_ aency shall prepare and su'-.it progress reports
  relative to the follow-on rocurenent.      These reports shall be
  s-..itted to the General Services AminiFtration (Attention:
  CDPD) , ashingcon, DC, 20405.      he first such report shall be
  due on or before                              and shall cover the
  period through                                 _and
  coIntinue thereafter n-. a quarterly baszs until the follow-on
  procurement has been completed.




                                       S                        i