Analysis of Replacing Existing DOA Computer System

Gao ID: LCD-77-101 December 1, 1976

Plans of the Department of Agriculture (USDA) to replace an IBM 360/65 computer system located at its New Orleans Computer Center were reviewed, particularly whether the replacement was justified and whether it would have to be made on a noncompetitive basis.

To replace the existing computer would cost $2.4 million more than the present leased system over a 36 month period. It was felt that ever increasing workload justified replacement. However, forecasted demand never materialized, chiefly because of software and equipment modifications and improved scheduling. As a result, the present system can effectively be used until its planned replacement in January 1978. If necessary, certain work can be offloaded to other centers at nominal cost. In short, there is no immediate need for the new system. USDA generally concurs and has agreed to reexamine its needs. GAO is still reviewing the justification for competitive procurement.

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