Cut the fat


  • Anonymous


Mismanagement at NASA has landed more than $14 billion in government equipment in the hands of contractors, according to a recent report by the House Government Operations Committee. The report also charges that poor management has enabled contractors to take home excessive profits and award fees—even when the projects had major cost overruns. For example, the contractor for NASA's gamma ray observatory garnered a $5 million bonus, despite the project's $40 million budget overrun. All this occurs at a time when budgets for basic research are fragile: Slowly but surely, project after project seems to be canceled or downscaled from the space station to the Explorer program to a proposed Pluto Fast Fly-By mission. Despite recent space agency efforts to reform procurement and management, the report found that “poor financial management practices undermine NASA's effectiveness and efficiency.” The solution?