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needs that we have a tendency to put together a lot of little mistakes into one
great big mistake. Mr. CAVENEY. I don't mean procurement, I am talking about standards.
Representative BROWN. I understand, but even in the writing of standards is it not possible that the ADP requirements could differ by department and the development of a new and better method obtaining, utilizing, storing data for the Government by one department. might require that this new and better method be implemented in all departments? Could you get one department's development of standards somewhat more advanced than another department's development of standards and what they wanted in the way of equipment? In effect: could a competition for development of standards develop rather than having one Government standard? Do you see what I am trying to get at?
STANDARDS FOR PERSONNEL ACCOUNTING
Mr. CAVENEY. Yes.
Well, in a sense you are half there, but it is like what I stated in my testimony. As an example, personnel accounting. Instead of having 160 different types of software programs being done in the Government for personnel accounting establish one standard to be used in Government. Likewise you can set santdards on a high order of technology for your languages by one body which would be common to both the commercial and Government end users.
Representative Brown. If you will, accounting is a language which is helpful for a common exchange process; in Government there are hundreds, thousands, perhaps even millions of items purchased for a number of different needs, and the need that you may have in one branch of the Government for even a typewriter might be entirely different from what a typewriter specification in another branch of Government might be. I dare say that those typewriters in the White House that type on the high bond paper are somewhat different from the typewriters I recall when I was in the Navy that had to be able to tilt with the ships so the carriage wouldn't shoot off at the end.
Mr. CAVENEY. You are talking about hardware now. I am talking about language, software, the intangibility of a computer system.
Representative Brown. But you are also talking about the hard
Mr. CAVENEY. Oh, yes; the hardware and software to make a system. But Mr. Abersfeller, what he is driving at in his testimony, which I agree with-the software is very costly and by allowing different programers who have got the same objective in Government, like personnel accounting, to go their merry way with a variety of different kinds of programs instead of saying, “You are going to use this type of personnel accounting program,” you wouldn't have all this different variety of programs for personnel accounting and you could thus reduce costs by saying, “We are going to have one system for Federal employees, military, and Congress to keep accountability of personnel." The software, to make the hardware run, would be identical, because the computer doesn't know the difference whether it is a Congressman or whether it is a janitor; that is the point.
The point is the software would be the same for all personnel accounting required of Government; I don't know how many they have
got today but I know they have a variety of personnel accounting systems.
Representative BROWN. Again I tend to buy that argument with reference to systems. Although I do get concerned that possibly it ties us into a system that can't be improved by somebody developing something different in Government. I think there is a danger in an old big business over a new small business as once in a while a new small business finds a better way to do it.
I buy to a great extent the argument for common software systems because I think it would make the Government a great deal more manageable if we could get the common procedures adopted. We have been working on planned program budgeting, and have experienced a great deal of difficulty with it.
I would, however, like Mr. Abersfeller's comment on that. Also Mr. Abersfeller when there is a need for different hardware, and you put a company on the schedule, to provide one kind of hardware, is the company on the schedule to provide any kind of hardware or can it provide only that kind of hardware?
I would rather have you answer that question later after ment on Mr. Caveney's statement.
Mr. ABERSFELLER. All right, I will comment on Mr. Caveney's point first. I do not share the view totally that standards is a singular answer to the problem that we are facing, and you, in fact in your line of questioning, brought out my principal reason. I think standardization in the software area is essential and we are moving forward in that it is an internal Government system and software programs ought to be standardized.
As you turn to hardware, and this is not an internal Federal Government situation as I understand it-from the BOB, roughly 7 percent of the equipment now being sold by producers is bought by the Federal Government and 93 percent, if that is true, sold commercially.
I am deeply concerned when standards are set which apply to the total Nation that we then do not accommodate the individual who has found a better way of doing it. The standards system is not flexible enough and, in my view, will never be flexible enough to accommodate the better mousetrap that is built by someone. I am talking now about standards as it deals with compatibility, as between peripheral and main frame equipment or hardware.
I have grave misgivings if we take that approach and that approach alone, that we will end up with a situation of actually at some point in time being considerably behind times.
With regard to your second point, when we enter into a contract with a company on Federal supply schedule it is only for that type of equipment, and that is listed, that we contract with him for.
Representative BROWN. May I just suggest in response to the first part of your comment that one method of keeping an eye on the setting of standards is to have a standard-setting group review the work being done individually by departments, and to assure that they meet standards, then I suppose what you need is a reprise group in each department to be sure the standards-setting group meets the needs of each department.
Let me, if I may, get into another area of questioning that I pursued with the Bureau of the Budget this morning. After the Bureau of
the Budget approves the purchase of a computer by a department or agency, it becomes GSA's responsibility in some cases to determine where that computer will be purchased; is that correct?
Mr. ABERSFELLER. You mean from which company?
Mr. ABERSFELLER. Our major interest is to be certain that all companies are solicited and are able to respond.
Representative BROWN. But after you have done all that who makes the final determination as to where the equipment is purchased?
Mr. ABERSFELLER. If we have delegated the authority, the agency to which we have delegated the authority makes the judgment. In those instances where we have not we make the judgment.
Representative BROWN. And that is 84.5 percent of the cases?
Representative BROWN. In those 84.5 percent of the cases, or even in the 100 percent of the cases, do you check on the basic decision made by the Bureau of the Budget as to the economic logic of the computer being purchased?
Mr. ABERSFELLER. No, we do not.
Representative BROWN. In other words, that is a decision left totally up to the Bureau of the Budget?
Mr. ABERSFELLER. Between the Bureau and the Congress in appropriating the funds and the agency in its judgment.
Representative BROWN. I wish I had asked this of the BOB, but I will ask you and you can respond to the best of your ability—after the Bureau of the Budget has determined whether or not to get the computer do they in turn go back and check on whether the computer obtained was the one that would meet the needs of the agency?
Mr. ABERSFELLER. I don't know if they do that or not. I don't think they do. But I would prefer to defer to them.
Representative BROWN. The agency, however, may very well let you know that you haven't gotten just exactly what they want sometimes in the way of the purchase you have made?
Mr. ABERSFELLER. We would not make the purchase without coordinating it with the agency. In other words, we are not working alone on this. As Colonel Warren pointed out, we work very, very closely together not only with Defense but the other agencies.
Representative BROWN. So the people in your operation responsible for computer procurement would have some input from the agency as to what computer would be purchased or rented, is that correct?
Mr. ABERSFELLER. In fact we work as a team, we do this buying, it is a team effort.
Representative BROWN. How many people in GSA are in the computer procurement field?
Mr. ABERSFELLER. I am informed by Mr. Dodson we have on the order of 16 professional procurement people on these teams. With the supporting clerical and legal staff I would say on the order of 22.
Representative BROWN. Well, the people who make the procurement decisions, 16 to 22 people, have they been with the GSA for some time, do any of them go back to 1960, 1962, the 1950's?
Mr. ABERSFELLER. Some go back that far, yes. But most of them are 1 to 3 years with the agency.
Representative BROWN. Are legal requirements placed on them for full disclosure of their investments and possible conflict of interest?
Mr. ABERSFELLER. Yes, we have that in GSA as is true, I think, in most agencies, we have standards of conduct. Each person
Representative Brown. Are those regulations promulgated by GSA or are they required by law?
Mr. ABERSFELLER. I believe they are promulgated
Mr. ABERSTELLER. I am not certain of statutory law provisions. I know they start from the Civil Service Commission. I do know all of us who are involved in procurement have to file annually and update it our interest in, of all stocks, bonds and assets we have, whether it is with companies we deal with or not, and there are prohibitions against owning stock in companies in which you deal. . Representative Brown. Or industries? Mr. ABERSFELLER. Or industries.
Representative Brown. If I may, let me turn to Colonel Warren in reference to the requirements for disclosure.
Colonel WARREN. Yes, sir.
Representative Brown. The decisions are made by the Defense Department and the separate branches with reference to companies from which procurements of ADPE equipment are made. Could you give me some idea of how many people there are, how long they have been in this area, and what their status is?
Colonel WARREN. Each of the services and agencies has their own ADP selection office staffed by professionals, and I don't have with me the number of people and qualifications of the people in those offices but I could get it for you.
Representative BROWN. I wish you would submit that, and also advise me whether they are civilian or military, their approximate length of service in this area, and their particular interest area or responsibility area.
Colonel WARREN. Yes, sir.
(The following information was subsequently supplied for the record by Colonel Warren :)
TABLES OF PERSONNEL IN THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE WHO ARE DIRECTLY CONCERNED
WITH THE SELECTION OR PROCUREMENT OF ADPE
Number of years
incumbent procurement degree
OFFICE OF THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF DEFENSE (COMPTROLLER), DEPUTY COMPTROLLER FOR
Deputy Comptroller for Data Automation.....
do. GS-15_ GS-14.
TABLES OF PERSONNEL IN THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE WHO ARE DIRECTLY CONCERNED
WITH THE SELECTION OR PROCUREMENT OF ADPE-Continued
Acting chief, Office Management and Data GS-15.-.-.
Systems, OASA (FM).
Office, Assistant Vice Chief of Staff, U.S. general.
Systems Support and Evaluation Command.
do. Action officer
DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY
Director, DON ADPE Selection Office.
Captain.. Deputy Director/ADEPSO.
Commander Director, RFP and Evaluation Group.
GS-14. Head, Scientific and Engineering Systems Divi- GS-15.
2 B.A. 3 B.A. 7 B.S. 2 B.S. 7 B.A. 7 B.A. 8 H.S. 5 M.S. 6 H.S.
sion. Head, Analog and Special Projects Division..... GS-15. Computer equipment analyst..
GS-14. Head, Techniques Development Division. GS-15 Head, Planning and Control Division
GS-15. Contracting officer..
6 B.B.A. 4 M.S. 9 M.S. 10 M.S. 5 B.A.