NASA Office of Inspector General's Semiannual Report to Congress April 1 – September 30, 2016

Status Report From: NASA Office of Inspector General
Posted: Thursday, November 17, 2016


Full report

During the past 6 months, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) released several reports examining aspects of NASA's varied science and human exploration missions. In our report on NASA's international partnerships we identified the interests of more than a dozen space agencies around the world, examined their technical and financial capabilities, noted potential barriers to cooperation with NASA, and suggested possible ways to minimize those barriers.

We also continued to examine NASA's efforts to resupply the International Space Station (ISS or Station) using commercial companies (commercial cargo) and to certify two providers to transport NASA astronauts to the ISS (commercial crew) on U.S. commercial flight systems rather than on Russia's Soyuz spacecraft. On the latter issue, we completed a follow-up audit of NASA's Commercial Crew Program that examined the Agency's human certification process and assessed whether the providers are meeting cost and schedule goals.

We also released a report that examined NASA's response to the June 2015 launch failure of a Space Exploration Technologies Corporation cargo rocket containing $118 million in supplies bound for the ISS. We had issued a similar post-mishap report in September 2015 examining NASA's efforts to resupply the Station after NASA's other cargo partner – Orbital ATK – suffered a launch failure in October 2014.

In addition to these completed reports, ongoing OIG reviews are examining NASA's plans for human exploration beyond low Earth orbit and the Agency's development of next-generation spacesuits for cislunar and deep space applications.

Finally, we are in the process of finalizing the annual report that provides our views of the top management and performance challenges facing NASA. In addition to challenges such as managing NASA's science portfolio and securing the Agency's information technology systems and data, this year's report highlights the challenge of preparing for a leadership transition following the Presidential election. As NASA's past experience has shown, changes in Administrations can lead to uncertainty about Agency programs, which can be particularly challenging for an organization like NASA that must plan its projects and missions years in advance.

This Semiannual Report summarizes the NASA Office of Inspector General's activities and accomplishments between April 1, 2016, and September 30, 2016. We hope you find it informative.

Paul K. Martin
Inspector General
November 30, 2016


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