skip navigation

PUBLICATIONS

Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.

 

NCJ Number: 69442 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: CONTRACTING FOR COMPUTER SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT - SERIOUS PROBLEMS REQUIRE MANAGEMENT ATTENTION TO AVOID WASTING ADDITIONAL MILLIONS
Author(s): ANON
Corporate Author: US Comptroller General
United States of America
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 89
Sponsoring Agency: Azimuth Inc.
Fairmont, WV 26554
US Comptroller General
Washington, DC 20548
Sale Source: Azimuth Inc.
1000 Technology Drive, Suite 3120
Fairmont, WV 26554
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THIS GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE (GAO) REPORT RECOMMENDS THAT SPECIFIC GUIDELINES BE DEVELOPED TO ASSIST FEDERAL AGENCIES IN OUTSIDE CONTRACTING FOR COMPUTER SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT.
Abstract: QUESTIONNAIRES WERE SENT BY THE GAO TO 163 SOFTWARE CONTRACTING FIRMS AND 113 FEDERAL PROJECT OFFICERS TO IDENTIFY PROBLEMS AND POSSIBLE IMPROVEMENTS. ALSO, NINE CASES OF SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT WERE EXAMINED IN DETAIL. ONLY ONE OF THE NINE YIELDED SOFTWARE THAT COULD BE USED AS DELIVERED, AND ALL NINE CASES EXHIBITED TIME DELAYS AND COST INCREASES. THE GAO FOUND THAT (1) MOST FEDERAL AGENCIES CONTRACT FOR SOFTWARE WITHOUT SPECIFIC GUIDANCE, (2) AGENCIES OVERESTIMATE THE STAGE OF THEIR SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT, AND (3) THEIR PRELIMINARY WORK--E.G., USER REQUIREMENTS ANALYSIS--IS OFTEN INADEQUATE. AS A RESULT, AGENCIES ISSUE INAPPROPRIATE CONTRACTS WITH INADEQUATE CRITERIA. THEY ALSO COMMIT THEMSELVES TO AN ENTIRE DEVELOPMENT PLAN RATHER THAN A PHASED PLAN THAT ALLOWS FOR TESTING AND OTHER FACTORS. ANOTHER PROBLEM IS LACK OF MANAGEMENT THROUGHOUT THE CONTRACT PERIOD, INCLUDING EXCESSIVE CHANGES, FAILURE TO MONITOR THE WORK IN PROGRESS, ETC. GAO RECOMMENDS THAT SPECIFIC GUIDELINES IN THE FOLLOWING AREAS BE ISSUED BY THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE AND BY THE ADMINISTRATOR OF GENERAL SERVICES: (1) INTERNAL AGENCY MANAGEMENT PRACTICES, (2) CONTRACTS TAILORED TO THE STATE OF SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT, (3) PHASED PLANS, (4) PERFORMANCE SPECIFICATIONS TO BE INCLUDED IN THE CONTRACT, (5) CONTRACTORS' QUALITY ASSURANCE PROGRAMS, (6) DEFINITIONS FOR DOCUMENTATION AND OTHER STANDARDS, AND (7) CONTRACT MANAGEMENT TECHNIQUES. TABLES ARE INCLUDED. AGENCY COMMENTS, A CHECKLIST FOR SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT CONTRACTING, AND CASE STUDIES ARE APPENDED. (AUTHOR ABSTRACT MODIFIED--RBM)
Index Term(s): Computer software; Decisionmaking; Financial management; Government contracting
Note: REPORT TO THE CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES BY THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=69442

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.