View Full Version : Discussion: General Accounting Office Blasts Nasa

2004-Jun-23, 05:17 PM
SUMMARY: Auditors with the US Government delivered a negative report this week about NASA's ability to properly estimate large projects, and manage them effectively. As part of this study, the General Accounting Office reviewed 27 programs, 10 of them in-depth, and came to the conclusion that "NASA lacks a clear understanding of how much programs will cost and how long they will take to achieve their objectives". In an appendix of the report, however, NASA acknowledged the flaws and detailed the steps it was taking to correct the situation.

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2004-Jun-23, 05:59 PM
:ph34r: I hope not to be the only one to stick up for NASA and their financial distress. :( I feel most of the time to under bid will give a better chance of cooperation. Until now...it seems to have not been an issue. Hopefully, NASA will learn from this and keep their accounting up to date. Good Luck NASA.

John L
2004-Jun-23, 06:29 PM
NASA has been poorly planning and executing missions since Apollo. Its about time that the spot light gets shined on this problem. Too many promising missions and vehicles have gotten scrapped, after already spending hundreds of millions of dollars, because the final tally was two to three times the projected cost and it was taking two to three times to build. That's why were still stuck with a shuttle we can't fly.

2004-Jun-24, 01:05 AM
Agreed - too true. :(
But, then again, NASA was a gov't agency, and the reason it was set up in the first place is invalid today. We should create an entirely new agency that is not actually a gov't agency.

2004-Jun-24, 02:04 AM
One irony of this is that NASA wrote probably the best book I've ever read on software project management. They designed a methodology that gives programming teams a chance of actually producing software on time and on budget.

2004-Jun-24, 02:23 AM
Okay, first of all; at least NASA is out there and reminding the public on how much of a neccessity it is to fund space programs-I am happy to see and hear of how well internationally the success has been rewarded. :)

John L
2004-Jun-24, 02:46 PM
Don't get me wrong. I think NASA has had some great achievments like COBE, WMAP, Chandra, Hubble, the Pioneers, the Voyagers, the Mariners, Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, a slew of Earth observers, Magellan, Cassini, the Vikings, The Surveyors, the various rovers, and on, and on. They've had their failures, too, but no more than Russia and Europe on average. Its just that there have been so many other missions that never made it off the ground. There have been some many billions wasted on programs that didn't launch because of the poor planning outlined by the GAO. I hope the new commission for the Moon-Mars-Beyond plan does privitize most of NASA. A little market economics, with Government direction on what projects have to be undertaken, will make our space program leaner, meaner, and hopefully a heck of a lot more sucessful.

2004-Jun-24, 02:48 PM
This is a symptom of government run programs in general. There is no incentive via losing their jobs due to bankruptcy or via proper oversight for them to balance their books like a responsible private organization has to (excluding the Enrons of the universe.) So if there is no incentive to balance the books there is also little incentive to maintain efficiency and our tax payer dollars get needlessly wasted as a result as project cost overruns become more frequent and severe. Some cost issues even result in the cancellation of potentially valuable projects. If NASA could get its ship in order, it would benefit everyone and NASA would benefit the most.