As required by the Reports Consolidation Act of 2000, this memorandum provides our views of the top management and performance challenges facing NASA for inclusion in the Agency's fiscal year (FY) 2013 Performance and Accountability Report.
In deciding whether to identify an issue as a top challenge, we consider its significance in relation to the Agency's mission; its susceptibility to fraud, waste, and abuse; whether the underlying causes are systemic in nature; and the Agency's progress in addressing the challenge. We previously provided a draft copy of our views to NASA officials and considered all comments received when finalizing this report.
Looking forward to 2014, we identified the following as the top management and performance challenges facing NASA:
- Considering Whether to Further Extend the Life of the International Space Station
- Developing the Space Launch System and Its Component Programs
- Securing Commercial Crew Transportation Services
- Maintaining Cost and Schedule for the James Webb Space Telescope
- Ensuring Continued Efficacy of the Space Communications Networks
- Overhauling NASA's Information Technology Governance Structure
- Ensuring the Security of NASA's Information Technology Systems
- Managing NASA's Infrastructure and Facilities
- Ensuring the Integrity of the Contracting and Grants Processes
Similar to last year, we noted that declining budgets and fiscal uncertainties have compounded the difficulty of meeting these and other NASA challenges. Finally, during FY 2014 the OIG will conduct audit and investigative work that focuses on NASA's continuing efforts to meet these challenges. Please contact us if you have questions.