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Not Just NASA Has 'Significant Problems' With $2.5B IT Contract 176

schwit1 writes "According to the Inspector General, NASA and HP Enterprise Services have encountered significant problems implementing the $2.5 billion Agency Consolidated End-User Services (ACES) contract, which provides desktops, laptops, computer equipment and end-user services such as help desk and data backup. Those problems include 'a failed effort to replace most NASA employees' computers within the first six months and low customer satisfaction,' the report states (PDF). It adds that NASA lacked the technical and cultural readiness for an agencywide IT delivery model and did not offer clear contract requirements, while HP failed to deliver on multiple promises."
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Not Just NASA Has 'Significant Problems' With $2.5B IT Contract

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  • Typical.... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Friday February 07, 2014 @09:56AM (#46185287) Homepage

    This is what happens when you under fund the IT budget, and put in management positions MORONS that do not have a strong IT background. If the IT director can not build a pc by hand from parts and then not only install the OS, but all the drivers and then configure it completely, then configure a Cisco switch and router, he is not fit to be in a management role of IT.

    Yet corporations and the Government instead put people with ZERO clue about IT to begin with in the role of management and upper management.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 07, 2014 @10:07AM (#46185403)

    HP FAILED to live up to their contractual obligations and we're blaming government?


  • Slashdot crashing ? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by ( 595837 ) <slashdot@advid.COMMAnet minus punct> on Friday February 07, 2014 @10:14AM (#46185475) Journal

    I see a wonderful spaceship crashing on a planet in slow motion...

    This is Slashdot, poisoned by the silly beta that brings buck feta comments in every story

    All stories are contaminated, even if there is a main topic [] for complaining and suggesting improvements or "abandon the beta" advice.

    We need to stop this.

    Stop redirecting to the beta.
    Stop filling stories with buck feta comments.

  • Re:Typical.... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by alen ( 225700 ) on Friday February 07, 2014 @10:15AM (#46185481)

    having worked in the government before, half the problems were people insisting their ancient programs work on the new systems and a refusal to change to current versions

    i remember i had people saying that they can't use anything other than Lotus or Wordperfect. then complained they couldn't open MS Word documents

  • NASA's website (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Altanar ( 56809 ) on Friday February 07, 2014 @10:17AM (#46185501)
    This from an organization that, when they recently redesigned their website, *still* didn't get around to forwarding [] to []? Who would've thought?
  • Re:Typical.... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DoofusOfDeath ( 636671 ) on Friday February 07, 2014 @10:17AM (#46185503)

    Agreed. As a former U.S. govt. employee, I can honestly say that the red tape is 70% of why I left. Between security ("IA") policies that gave no consideration to productivity, and purchasing requirements that ignored opportunity costs and red-tape-compliance labor costs, I just didn't feel like I'd get as much software developed during my career as I wanted to.

  • Re:Typical.... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ebh ( 116526 ) <edhorch@gm a i l .com> on Friday February 07, 2014 @10:19AM (#46185529) Journal

    No, this is what happens when you underTHINK the IT budget. HP and other services organizations want you to believe that all you have to do is write them a check, and all your IT troubles will magically disappear. Instead, what really happens is that all your problems are still there, with one more layer of bureaucratic delays and miscommunications thrown in. The company I work for outsourced their IT to HP, going so far as to sell a lot of their server infrastructure (the actual hardware) to HP, and it's been a disaster, only part of which is HP's fault.

  • by DoofusOfDeath ( 636671 ) on Friday February 07, 2014 @10:22AM (#46185549)

    I somewhat disagree. I thought it had elements of both (a) f you, you're not our only audience and we know better than you and (b) we're sorry the implementation sucks balls and we'll fix it.

    I'd say it's a mea culpa regarding the less important stuff, and a big f u regarding the more important stuff.

  • Re:Typical.... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Crudely_Indecent ( 739699 ) on Friday February 07, 2014 @10:26AM (#46185583) Journal

    In my life I've had only one boss that respected IT personnel. None of them were technical, and had some strange image in their heads of a magical fairy land where us IT folk would wave our wands and shit would get done.

    I had one non-programmer boss who proposed an amazing CONTACT FORM to her bosses, and I was required to be there so I could take notes and implement it. After watching her presentation, I was asked if I had any questions or comments. I had comments. Gems like: "Why am I putting EACH FIELD on a separate page? That's going to cause the users to submit the form 10 times before they're done" and "I'm supposed to look these addresses up in the CRM, but the CRM guys have plainly stated over the years that they will never ever Ever EVER let anyone query their DB, did something change?".

    By the end of the meeting, the contact form was cancelled and my new task was to make a slideshow screensaver for someone's special project.

  • hey, look over here! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by argStyopa ( 232550 ) on Friday February 07, 2014 @10:51AM (#46185865) Journal

    In a sense, this is "look how incompetent the government is at implementing tech" story, but in another this could be interpreted as an attempt to trivialize what happened with "Oh gosh, nothing ever goes right for the government so what happened with is par for the course (shrug)."

    Except the disaster was LEGISLATIVE, the constant, ongoing, still-unresolved tech catastrophe was only the impact-crater.

    The fact that NASA's computer-replacement program was a boondoggle was meaningless, compared to the tech-failure of a program whose use was MANDATED by law.

  • Re:Typical.... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by PPH ( 736903 ) on Friday February 07, 2014 @12:34PM (#46186911)

    NASA wants to migrate from a balkanized IT structure to an enterprise structure, which is a massive cultural change.

    Which is another way of enforcing a "one size fits all" IT support scheme. Everybody gets MS Office on Windows 8. You poor slobs that do embedded software development, highly demanding data analysis or have some peculiar h/w or s/w requirements, tough shit.

    When you have a 'balkanized' IT structure, at least you have the opportunity to optimize platforms for their intended use. The problem is that you can't take advantage of a central maintenance and support department. You have little groups of people who specialize on these odd cases. And when things are done in house, its difficult to track these costs.

    Now, turn it over to an outside contractor and the present you with an itemized bill for the oddball stuff. A bill for Real Money. And since they are motivated to maximize profits/minimize their costs, they soak you for the non standard configurations. Now, your management comes around with this monthly bill and starts pounding people over the head to explain their specialized needs or conform. Every damned quarter (or month). Pretty soon, you need to dedicate some direct staff to handle the exception documentation. Or spend half your life in meetings yourself.

When you are working hard, get up and retch every so often.