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Audit Report: IG-0463

March 20, 2000

Commercial Off-The-Shelf Software Acquisition Framework

The Department of Energy (Department) devotes a significant amount of its annual budget to the acquisition and maintenance of information technology resources. About $1.6 billion, or almost 9 percent of the Department's Fiscal Year 1999 budget of $17.9 billion, was for the acquisition, operation, and maintenance of information technology. Approximately $200 million, or 12.5 percent of the information technology budget, was for desktop (personal computing) technology. Over 130,000 personal computers are in use Department-wide. These computers operate a wide variety of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) computer software, including electronic mail, word processing, spreadsheet, database management, application development, statistical analysis, presentation, security and virus protection. Many Departmental offices, including the Headquarters Office of Procurement and Assistance Management, various program and field offices, and contractor-operated facilities, have independently negotiated contracts to acquire and maintain information technology related products.