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Final Memorandum on NASA's Management of the Flight Project for the GOES-R Program

Status Report From: NASA Office of Inspector General
Posted: Friday, December 21, 2007

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Full Report

Executive Summary

We determined that the responsible NASA PMC for the GOES-R Program was effectively reviewing project issues and progress and that NASA's GOES-R Flight Project Office had procedures and processes in place to adequately identify, mitigate, and report technical risks in accordance with NASA policy. However, we found that NASA's ability to effectively procure, manage, and execute the GOES-R Flight Project was impeded by the level of oversight provided by NOAA and Commerce. Specifically, increased management oversight by NOAA and Commerce delayed the release of requests for proposals (RFPs) for the GOES-R spacecraft. The delays were caused by Commerce implementing processes that were in conflict with the current Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Commerce and NASA, dated June 15, 2007. The MOU states that guidance for GOES-R Program processes will be derived from NASA Procedural Requirements (NPR) 7120.5D, "NASA Space Flight Program and Project Management Requirements," March 6, 2007. The process followed for the spacecraft RFP conflicted with NPR guidance and the resultant delays increased the risks to GOES-R Program development and the GOES-R launch schedule.

On August 6, 2007, the GOES-R Flight Project Manager notified Commerce of those risks in a memorandum (see Enclosure 2) issued to NOAA's Acting System Program Director, GOES-R Program Office, with a copy to the Goddard Deputy Director-Technical, a member of the Goddard Space Flight Center PMC1 responsible for the GOES-R Flight Project. Additionally, Commerce's OIG Final Inspection Report makes recommendations that address Commerce's application of NPR 7120.5D processes to the GOES-R Program. Because the Flight Project memorandum notified Commerce of the additional risks, and the Commerce OIG recommendations could potentially mitigate those risks, we make no recommendations in this memorandum. Management comments on the draft of this memorandum, issued December 5, 2007, were not required and none were received.

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