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Site-selection process for the US Social Security Administration's future data center that will replace the current one has drawn criticism from the agency's Office of the Inspector General.

OIG, tasked with oversight for development and implementation of the project to construct replacement for the administration's National Computer Center, currently located in Baltimore, Md., issued a report this week, pointing out several shortcomings in methods employed in identifying a new location.

While the reviewers concluded that the agency had developed a "highly sophisticated" list of site-selection criteria for the project expected to cost more than $800 million, they found the process for narrowing site properties down to a short list to have been problematic.

Mandatory selection criteria the agency developed could also have excluded too many locations.

"In particular, when developing the mandatory selection criteria, it does not appear that consideration was given to the serious fiscal impact that exclusions would have in the electrical power cost arena over the life cycle of the data center," summary of the inspector general's report read.

Information was also limited in evaluation of telecommunications criteria.

It was not clear from the report's summary whether one or several location had been identified. The agency did not release the document in its entirety.

Strategic e-Business Solutions and Fortress International Group assisted the office in its review of the site selection process.

Big part of the project's funding comes from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, through which the SSA was able to secure $500 million for the new data center.