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OTA anticipates recruiting individuals of comparable abilities (i.e., senior profes sionals) for the additional 6 positions, which will cost $314,000 ($48,700 salary and $3,700 benefits for each of the 6 positions).
The associated non-staff costs would be $247,000.
The total request for the 6 new positions represents 3.5 percent of the OTA total fiscal year 1985 budget request.
Question. How much does each additional staff person add to the OTA budget? Response. $93,600 per senior staff person, including direct and associated costs.
Question. For the record, indicate the categories of cost (salaries, contractor support, travel, etc.) and their expected cost for each new staff person.
Response. Each one of the new 6 positions adds the following estimated costs to the OŤA budget: Salary....
COMPUTER EQUIPMENT Mr. Fazio. Let's talk specifically about equipment. Apparently there were personal computers and related material acquired in fiscal 1983. Could you give us some background about what you accomplished in the purchase, how much they cost, how they are being used?
Mr. GIBBONS. Yes, sir I think every organization is in the process of taking advantage of the new information technology. Earlier we had moved from typewriters to NBI word processors, partly leased and partly purchased, in order to get productivity of our support staff up. It also helped increase not only the productivity of the workers, but the speed at which one could revise information.
We go through a number of revisions in our place and then move it electronically down to where it can be typeset. That still left a big hole, namely, the capability of the individual analyst both for a keyboard that was more efficient than a typewriter and for analytical work. Almost all of our people type very rapidly, unlike their boss, and we went through a long internal study of what kinds of small computers could service the analysts, for word processing and for spread sheets, data, storage, and the other kinds of analytical needs.
After a long wrestling match, we settled on the IBM PC as the most versatile of the instruments, one we could link together ultimately and also link to our larger printers so we wouldn't have to have a lot of peripheral equipment.
We carried out this analysis in the second and third quarter last year, and in the fourth quarter made our decision and made our purchases.
We purchased a number of these pieces of equipment because we had found in earlier trials with a few of those individual pieces of equipment that the analysts not only were able to move faster in their work, but they were able to be a little bit more creative.
I can't explain this to you because I am not that much of a keyboard person, but being able to manipulate whole paragraphs and being able to move ideas around in a textual context gave them better writing ability, ability to move their thoughts onto paper more readily.
PROCEDURES FOR COMPUTERIZATION
Mr. LEWIS. Let me interrupt you at that point. We have had any number of our agencies come to us and describe their process and procedures for computerization. We have asked a number of questions about HIS, what service they provide for different agencies, and so forth. Consistently we are finding that almost every organization views themselves to be special and unique and, therefore, they have to create their own little unit to evaluate what is best for them.
First, I would react to your comment about your analysis and report. Is that a form of technical evaluation that would be of value to other such organizations and committees?
What should we be looking for in that connection?
Mr. GIBBONS. I think it might be. We worked with HIS in this regard. We worked very closely with CBO, which was going through some of the same evaluations. To the extent that our experience could add to the rest of the body of experience within Congress, we would be pleased to share it.
I think we have gained a fair amount.
PURCHASE OF COMPUTERS
Incidentally, we were able to do some pretty hard-nosed purchasing in this and ended up with a PC software and peripherals for under $3,000 per unit which is, I think, a very good price. It more than paid the salary of the person hired to try to help us put this thing together.
We would be quite pleased to share that in any way we can with the rest of the folks here.
Mr. Fazio. Ed is very knowledgeable in this area. He was whispering in my ear, "It was a real good deal."
Mr. GIBBONS. Thank you, Ed.
Mr. LEWIS. Maybe we ought to have Ed look at what they have done and help us figure out how it applies to all those other agencies.
Mr. GIBBONS. If you could spare him for a day, we would get our two or three experts at our place and sit down and show him where we are.
Mr. Fazio. I think that would be useful if we could gather that material up and spread it on the record. Then let Ed or your people disseminate it to some of the other agencies.
Really, we are dealing more and more in these terms. As Mr. Lewis points out, we need to give these people the tools to work and think together.
Mr. GIBBONS. People need the tools. We need to put more capitalization in the office work place than we have. Yet we are in a time in which the cost performance on this kind of technology is changing at more than 20 percent per year, 25 percent per year.
We could wait and tell you let's wait until things get cheaper, but at the same time that means we are wasting our time now. So we think we made the right step at the right time.
In five years or less probably I will be back around, because five years compounded at 25 percent per year means everything we have is going to be obsolete by then.
PRODUCTIVITY Mr. Fazio. That is fine. We know you won't be hiring anybody that year. That will be the year we get more productivity out of those old experts hanging around.
Mr. GIBBONS. Speaking of productivity, I have to tell you the story of Harry Bridges who settled the Longshoremen's strike some years back.
He arranged to take care of productivity gains by natural attrition rather than by laying people off. He says the way I calculate it, by the end of the century there will only be one worker left on the docks, but he'll be the best paid son of a gun in the U.S.A.
Mr. Fazio. I have a number of questions that I want answered for the record relating to equipment to augment what we have heard. And also a number of tabulations that need to be updated.
[The questions and responses follow:] Question. Your budget indicates you purchased some personal computers and re lated material in fiscal year 1983. How many, how much did they cost, and how are they being used?
Response. During fiscal year 1983, OTA purchased 103 personal computers at a one-time expense of $360,883 ($291,256 for hardware including 3 hard discs and related diagnostic equipment, and $69,627 for software and miscellaneous expenses).
The primary use of personal computers at OTA is for word processing, a function that, by itself, makes the purchase cost effective. There are other uses, however, that also enhance productivity of our professionals; predominant among these at the present is the use of spreadsheets. Approximately 30 percent of the personal computer operators use spreadsheets a significant portion of the time for numerical analysis and presentation, and the number of users keeps increasing. Data base management, communications with contractors, information retrieval, project management, time scheduling, and terminal emulation are becoming increasingly important uses.
On the administrative side of OTA, personal computers are being used to enhance the budgeting and related finance activities, and are also aimed at reducing costs; all such activities will be done in-house by the end of the fiscal year on the personal computers. Reports are transferred directly to the publishing office by the personal computers; the PCs can be used to access a high speed laser printer; they permit 24 hour communications, allowing transmission and reception of data during the off hours, primarily from contractors. Personnel data is now being maintained on a personal computer, as are inventory tracking and control, and cost allocation of materials.
Question. Are all word processor and personal computer costs reflected in your equipment budget? If not, provide a consolidated summary of all these costs.
Response. The capitalized costs (owned equipment and associated costs) are contained in the equipment budget (object class 31). The leased NBIs are reflected in object class 23 while the service agreements are reflected in object class 25.
LEASE AND SERVICE AGREEMENTS
27 leased WP stations, 2NBI–64 processors, and communication
1 owned WP station for National Security Program—service agreement ? Personal computers (PC):
1 Hewlett Packard Graphics computer-service agreement..
and associated 18 Qume printers on an as needed basis.
480 24,377 1,500
1 1,008 1 35,345
Subtotal lease costs.
Total cost of lease and service expenses.
CAPITALIZED EQUIPMENT Word processors: 1 owned NBI laser printer
25,154 6 NBI laser printer FONTS.
3,000 I owned NB IWP/PC station
2,848 1 owned NB IWP/PC station.
2,848 Personal computers: 103 owned IBM PCs and software ...
360,883 7 IBMs, software, and miscellaneous expenses.
27,000 5 IBM special PCs for National Security Program
25,000 6 compact IBM compatible PCs...
12,000 Repalcement parts, extra memory, and miscellaneous.
30,000 39,000 Total capital costs.
388,885 387,848 351,000 1 Includes 5 percent increase for inflation. 2 OTA purchased 33 NBI systems prior to fiscal year 1983 (object class 31) at a one-time cost of $277,000.
3 During fiscal years 1984 and 1985, it is estimated that capital costs related to conversion to a digital telephone/communications network compatible with Senate and/or House systems will be acquired.
Question. How many word processors and personal computers do you have? What is the annual cost of each?
Excludes 9 machines planned to be phased out at end of fiscal year 1984. Note. Please refer to the above consolidated Summary of Equipment Costs in the Previous question. This summary reflects the costs associated with the word processors and personal computers.
Question. Outline your rental, lease, and purchase plans for word processors and personal computers for Fiscal Year 1984 and Fiscal Year 1985. Indicate number, types, location, number of staff using or sharing, application, and all one time and annual costs.
Response. For 1984 we intend to purchase 5 special (secure) IBM PCs for use in the International Security and Commerce Program. We also intend to purchase up to 7 IBM PCs, as required, for use by contractors. These will be used on a furnished equipment basis (loan) where the cost is less to the government than having the con
tractor directly acquire the machine. These machines will be rotated upon contractor completion. Included in the 7 is one machine for the support of the publications office and one machine for the Information Center software library.
It is not expected that any NBI equipment will be purchased. However, OTA is currently conducting an analysis of purchase versus lease of NBI equipment. Preliminary findings indicate that we will continue to lease those pieces of equipment currently under lease, primarily due to the frequent changes of the equipment capability and the recent pattern in lease price reductions. In providing for a more efficient use of the central 64 system and a need to accommodate a larger data base utilizing an internal local area network, additional communication interfaces and an additional 64 mainframe will probably be required.
For 1985, it is anticipated that there will be some memory upgrades for the IBM PCs as well as accomodations for replacement of disk drives, printers, etc., in lieu of maintenance expense. As far as NBI equipment is concerned, it is estimated that any increase will be minimal to accommodate for communication interfaces, additional memory, and enhanced features.
It is anticipated that we will purchase during Fiscal Year 1985 not more than 6 compact PCs, compatible with the IBM PC and NBI, for use by the professional staff during prolonged travel and for other remote uses (weekend and night work away from OTA).
For both IBM and NBI in Fiscal Year 1984 and Fiscal Year 1985, OTA will continue to evaluate new software and software modifications, and purchase those that will clearly improve productivity, add analytic capabilities, and will not impact the amortization of currently owned software.
The OTA administration plans to phase out leased costs for timesharing firms. These systems will be replaced by the equipment OTA currently owns. There may be some additional capital expense for local area networking where common data bases must be shared among analysts. This may be augmented by the acquisition of a voice/digital telephone network if and when purchased by the Senate or House or, if less expensive than currently leased equipment, by OTA.
Our current usage of IBM and NBI equipment, indicating number, types, location, number of staff using or sharing is detailed on the following charts.