NASA IG Taps NRC For Study on NASA Direction and Management

NASA IG Taps NRC For Study on NASA Direction and Management

NASA’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) is contracting with the National Research Council (NRC) for a congressionally-requested study of NASA’s strategic direction and management.

In the FY2012 appropriations bill that funds NASA (P.L. 112-55), Congress directed that $1 million be allocated to the OIG to “commission an independent assessment of NASA’s strategic direction and agency management.”   The report language accompanying the law (H. Rept. 112-284, pp. 260-261) provided details on what the study should cover and asked that it be submitted to Congress and the President within 120 days of enactment, a very short period of time.

The statement of task (SOT) for the study was posted on the NASA OIG website today.  It calls for the study to be completed by July 31, 2012, still a very short deadline considering the scope of the report as detailed in the SOT:

1. Consider the strategic direction of the agency as set forth most recently in 2011 NASA Strategic Plan and other relevant statements of space policy issued by the President of the United States.

2. Consider the goals for the agency set forth in the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958 (as amended) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Authorization Acts of 2005, 2008 and 2010.

3. Consider previous studies and reports relevant to this task.

4. Assess the relevance of NASA’s strategic direction and goals to achieving national priorities.

5. Assess the viability of NASA’s strategic direction and goals in the context of current budget expectations and stated programmatic priorities for the agency.

6. Discuss the appropriateness of the budgetary balance between NASA’s various programs.

7. Examine NASA’s organizational structure and identify changes that could improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the Agency’s mission activities; and

8. Recommend how NASA could establish and effectively communicate a common, unifying vision for NASA’s strategic direction that encompasses NASA’s varied missions.

In keeping with specific direction in the appropriations law, any recommendations made by the NRC committee will be predicated on the assumption that NASA’s out-year budget profile will be constrained due to continuing deficit reduction.

The NRC Current Projects website does not yet list this study.

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