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 Chapter 6


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 implementation.

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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