Computer Hardware and Software
NRMRL follows guidance published by the Office of Environmental Information
(OEI) to ensure that computer hardware and software used in environmental
programs meets technical requirements and quality expectations. Specific
guidance includes EPA Directive 2100, Information Resources Management Policy Manual, and
EPA Order 2165.1, Software Management and Piracy Policy (PDF) (5 pp, 60 KB).
These comprehensive guidance documents address many issues regarding the use
of computer systems, including purchase of computers, purchase or development
of software, design of databases, records management, security, and data
standards. OEI has specified Agency-wide standards for software, and OEI
approval is required for nonstandard software for Division-wide or broader
Project-specific requirements for hardware configurations and for configuration
control are specified by the TLP in specific project QAPPs. Project-specific
requirements and plans for software testing, validation, and documentation,
whether the software is developed or purchased from an outside source, are
also described by the TLP in the QAPPs for those projects.
To assist in the implementation of software and hardware standards, each NRMRL
location employs a designated Information Technology (IT) Coordinator who
advises and assists NRMRL researchers in planning and implementing projects
involving software development, database design and development, and other
computer-based projects. Funding packages and plans (work or research/QA plans)
for all NRMRL projects involving software development or purchase or computer
purchase must undergo review and be approved by the locational IT Coordinator
to ensure that this guidance is followed and quality is ensured. Any project
that plans to collect significant amounts of data should be reviewed by the
IT Coordinator and the NRMRL Information Manager to ensure there is sufficient
lead time, capacity, and budget to accommodate the planned data acquisition,
storage, and analysis.
NRMRL's QAPP requirements for software development and data management projects
are presented in Appendix B.
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