Opportunity For Savings By Consolidating Photographic Operations At The John F. Kennedy Space Center And The Air Force Eastern Test Range

B-162902: Published: Jan 10, 1968. Publicly Released: Jan 10, 1968.

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GAO reviewed the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's John F. Kennedy Space Center's (KSC) and the Air Force's Eastern Test Range's (AFETR) apparent dual role in providing photographic operations in the Cocoa Beach, Florida area, focusing on: (1) examinations of Department of Defense-NASA agreements; and (2) discussions with officials from both facilities and the contractors providing photographic services to the two installations.

GAO noted that: (1) a consolidated photographic operation to support both AFETR and KSC would be more efficient and economical than the existing dual operations; (2) although, GAO could not independently determine an estimate of possible savings that might be realized if the photographic operations of KSC and AFETR were consolidated, both of the contractors providing such services estimated that annual savings could be as much as $2 million; (3) each support-service contractor is staffed and generally equipped to accommodate the peak workloads specified separately by AFETR and KSC; (4) a single contractor could provide the required photographic services to KSC and AFETR more efficiently and economically than two contractors providing similar services; (5) GAO's analysis of utilization records showed that AFETR's motion picture laboratory was being used substantially below capacity during 1964 and 1965; (6) equipment utilization, coupled with consideration of costs for equipping and operating dual facilities appear to be prominent factors for consideration; (7) inasmuch as AFETR photographic laboratories were already providing substantial service to KSC and had an existing capacity for providing additional service, the decision to expand KSC motion picture laboratories appears to be questionable; (8) analysis of the use of staff during two specific photographic assignments also indicated that one contract for consolidated photographic services would probably result in better utilization of personnel and a corresponding reduction in the cost to the government; (9) AFETR officials informed GAO that they had met in the past and could continue to meet KSC's immediate service requirements; (10) GAO's review confirmed that AFETR's sound-recording capability was limited and insufficient to meet KSC's staffs needs; (11) however, AFETR could have expanded its capability to satisfy these requirements; and (12) GAO believes that the problems set forth in the justifications could have been satisfactorily resolved had AFETR and NASA attempted to coordinate their efforts to avoid or minimize duplication, which would have been in accordance with the explicit intention of NASA-DOD agreements for cooperation.

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