NASA Personnel:

Challenges to Achieving Workforce Reductions

NSIAD-96-176: Published: Aug 2, 1996. Publicly Released: Aug 19, 1996.

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Louis J. Rodrigues
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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO examined the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) efforts to downsize its staff.

GAO found that: (1) NASA has reduced its fiscal year (FY) 2000 full-time equivalent (FTE) goal by more than 3,000 personnel; (2) NASA has provided eligible employees with voluntary separation incentive payments in exchange for their voluntary retirement or resignation; (3) two-thirds of the employees that left NASA in 1994 and 1995 took buyouts; (4) NASA will not be able to reduce its personnel levels by FY 2000 without invoking involuntarily separation measures; (5) NASA is relying on normal attrition, limited hiring, and redeployment to ensure a proper mix of skills throughout the agency; (6) NASA is shifting its program management control from headquarters to field centers and is using a single prime contractor to manage its space shuttle program at Kennedy Space Center; and (7) NASA would like to develop space science institutes to improve the quality of its science programs, but these efforts have been largely abandoned due to concerns regarding the transfer of NASA employees to institute positions.

Matter for Congressional Consideration

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: NASA's FY1997 appropriations act contains this provision.

    Matter: Congress may wish to consider requiring NASA to submit a workforce restructuring plan for achieving its FY 2000 FTE goal.


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