Financial Management:

NASA's Decisions Are Based on Unreliable Systems Data and Reports

T-AFMD-92-9: Published: May 7, 1992. Publicly Released: May 7, 1992.

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GAO discussed the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) financial management systems and operations. GAO noted that: (1) NASA internal controls, policies and procedures, and financial management systems provide no assurance that its $13.9 billion in fiscal year (FY) 1991 appropriations and almost $13.4 billion in contractor-held property are being properly and accurately accounted for or adequately safeguarded; (2) NASA contractors did not always report, as required, cost information by program, project, and contract phase; (3) although NASA has established two levels of control over its obligations and expenditures, it has still not adequately enforced controls over the use of its budgetary resources; (4) NASA financial reporting used to determine the billions of dollars it spends each year to carry out its program and operations is unreliable due to fundamental systems deficiencies; (5) NASA has serious reimbursable accounting weaknesses, including poor documentation for billings and failure to collect amounts owed by other agencies for work NASA performed; and (6) NASA relies on various Department of Defense agencies for contractor audit coverage and contract administration to provide assurance that contractor-submitted data are accurate and reliable, but in the last 4 years, only one review of contractor cost reports was performed.

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