NASA Procurement Assessments

NSIAD-97-80R: Published: Feb 4, 1997. Publicly Released: Feb 4, 1997.

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Louis J. Rodrigues
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GAO summarized its findings on the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) efforts to address GAO's concerns about NASA's self-assessment process for procurement functions.

GAO noted that: (1) in March 1996, NASA's Office of Procurement asked procurement centers for their views on the need for additional self-assessment guidance; (2) several centers said that additional agencywide guidance was needed or stated they had independently developed center-specific guidance on conducting assessments; (3) GAO's recent work indicates that the lack of consistency in conducting procurement self-assessments still exists; (4) while some centers conducted in-depth assessments and reported results in detail, others did not conduct the required assessments, performed limited assessments, or produced superficial reports of results; (5) even at the same center, approaches used to conduct assessments have varied considerably from year to year; (6) procurement management survey teams from headquarters do not routinely review centers' documentation supporting self-assessments; (7) in addition, the teams do not have written guidance for evaluating centers' assessment activities to determine whether they addressed the principal procurement functions, provided reasonable estimates of potential risks, and adequately identified areas needing improvement; and (8) NASA continues to face the challenge of operating and overseeing procurement activities while achieving significant personnel reductions at both headquarters and field centers.

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