Kennedy Space Center:

Decision on Photographic Requirements Appears Justified

NSIAD-92-192: Published: Apr 23, 1992. Publicly Released: Apr 23, 1992.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed allegations of potentially wasteful duplications of photographs services at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) John F. Kennedy Space Center, focusing on: (1) Kennedy's decision to include photographic requirements as part of some of its mission contracts; (2) the cost of such photography; and (3) the photographs' quality.

GAO found that: (1) NASA decided to include photography requirements in its mission contracts to make those contractors fully accountable for the cost, schedule, and technical management of their respective missions; (2) any impediment to accomplishing the contractors' missions could result in costly delays; (3) transferring photographic responsibility to the mission contractors has reduced work stoppages, delays, and has been cost-effective; (4) the added costs of having the mission contractors establish their own photographic capabilities were more than offset by cost reductions associated with the downsizing of the photographic support contractor's work force; (5) costs associated with the mission contractors' photography were relatively small and included the costs for the time employees spend taking the photographs, film processing costs, the cost of purchasing cameras and other photographic equipment; and (6) the shuttle processing contractor has taken steps to improve the quality of closeout photographs and the engineers who use the photographs consider the current quality acceptable.

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