Contracting for Computer Software Development Serious Problems Require Management Attention to Avoid Wasting Additional Millions.
GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE WASHINGTON DC FINANCIAL AND GENERAL MANAGEMENT STUD IES DIV
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The Federal Government is the worlds largest user of automatic data processing ADP resources, incurring costs that have been estimated at over 10 billion per year and which continue to increase. The General Services Administrations GSAs ADP summary for fiscal 1978 reported that the Government owns or leases over 12,100 computers. These computers are used to process a variety of applications ranging from delivering health and welfare services, to administering social security and veterans benefits, to exploring space, to analyzing and reporting on the military. Computer programs--generally referred to in the industry as software--are what make all these computers run. A computer without programs is like a phonograph without records--it wont play. Recent industry-wide estimates predicted that organizations, rather than have their employees write computer programs, would increase their spending for ready-made programs. For example, indications are that in 1978, public and private organizations may have spent about 2.6 billion on programs developed by outside sources. If realized, this amount will be a 27-percent increase over 1977. We estimate that about 800 independent software suppliers operate in the United States, and experts have predicted a five-fold increase in jobs in the software industry by 1985. Some of the software suppliers sell ready-made software others contract to develop custom-built software for clients. 1 We have numerous indications that having software developed by outside sources and using ready-made software are accepted and successful practices in the private sector.
- Government and Political Science
- Computer Programming and Software
- Solid Wastes and Pollution and Control