USDA Proposal To Acquire Automatic Data Processing Equipment

Gao ID: LCD-76-120 April 16, 1976

A review was conducted of the Department of Agriculture's (USDA) proposal to acquire automatic data processing equipment for two of its computer centers. One of the centers was experiencing difficulties with its newly installed system. These difficulties were attributed to the type of disk drives being used. The center concluded that the only satisfactory solution was to replace the disk drives with drives providing an improved switching capability. Since these were available from one source only, USDA issued a sole-source contract for the drives. Later a competitive procurement was issued for a brand name or equal replacement. Based on the USDA stated need for such equipment, authorization was given for the acquisition of the double drives to replace the old single density disk drives.

The review showed that the center had not made a study justifying the need for expansion to a mass storage system nor of the related need to convert from single density disk drives to double density disk drives. The switching capability had later been made available by another vendor at substantially less cost under a mandatory requirements contract. Under Federal property management regulations, agencies are required to use mandatory requirements contracts when the equipment included in the contract will satisfy their data processing needs. The original requests for proposals for the double density disk drives have been canceled, and the leasing will be completed under the mandatory requirements contract.

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