GAO: Defense Space Science & Technology Strategy Needs to Be Robust

GAO: Defense Space Science & Technology Strategy Needs to Be Robust

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) wants the space science and technology strategy developed by the Department of Defense (DOD) and Director of National Intelligence (DNI) to be more robust.

In the 2010 National Defense Authorization Act, building on existing staututory requirements, Congress required DOD and the DNI to prepare a space science and technology (S&T) strategy every two years to address their goals and how to achieve them. It also required GAO to review those strategies.

GAO found that the first of these documents, submitted to Congress in April 2011, met the statutory requirements, but did not “address fundamental challenges facing the space S&T community.” It also noted that the strategy was due at the time the President’s FY2012 budget request was delivered to Congress, February 14, 2011, so the strategy was late. By law, GAO is required to provide its assessment to Congress within 90 days of when the strategy is submitted.

GAO made three recommendations in order to enhance the next version of the strategy. They are that the Secretary of Defense and the DNI —

  • develop a specific implementation plan providing a detailed process for achieving the strategy’s goals;
  • include information on required human capital, required funding, prioritization, ways to measure progress against goals, and process(es) for revising goals to address the challenges in space S&T; and
  • enhance coordination between the DOD space S&T community, the intelligence S&T community, NASA, and NOAA so the space S&T area can be examined strategically.

In its response to GAO, printed as an appendix to the report, DOD concurred with the recommendations.

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