High Performance Computing and Communications

New Program Direction Would Benefit from a More Focused Effort Gao ID: AIMD-95-6 November 4, 1994

The federal High Performance Computing and Communication program seeks to accelerate research and development of high performance computers and networks and promote their use in both the federal government and the private sector. If successful, the program could significantly extend U.S. technological leadership and enhance national competitiveness. This report examines (1) the effectiveness of the program's management structure in setting goals and measuring progress and (2) how extensively private industry has been involved in the program's planning and execution. GAO also identifies opportunities to improve the program and makes recommendations to focus the program on its new role in developing new technology in support of the national information infrastructure.

GAO found that: (1) the Administration is broadening the HPCC role in developing new technology in support of the National Information Infrastructure (NII); (2) industry and academic researchers believe that specific technology areas will need to be targeted to develop support for NII; (3) a more focused HPCC management approach could help ensure that program goals are met; (4) a detailed technical agenda will be needed to identify HPCC priority areas and commit resources to them; (5) inconsistent budget information has made tracking HPCC investments difficult, since participating agencies have diverse methods of identifying and categorizing their HPCC spending; (6) industry participation in HPCC is more important now that the Administration has linked HPCC to the planned NII; and (7) industries that could capitalize on HPCC technologies to create new products and services for NII should be better represented among HPCC program participants.


Our recommendations from this work are listed below with a Contact for more information. Status will change from "In process" to "Open," "Closed - implemented," or "Closed - not implemented" based on our follow up work.

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