NASA Procurement:

Improving Oversight of Construction Projects at the Langley Research Center

NSIAD-92-230: Published: Jul 9, 1992. Publicly Released: Jul 9, 1992.

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Donna M. Heivilin
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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) construction contracting practices under one contract, focusing on concerns about the contractor's: (1) authorization to perform under non-competitive work orders; (2) hiring of unneeded additional employees; (3) inspection and approval of its own work; (4) poor work and inefficiency; and (5) failure to subcontract with small businesses.

GAO found that: (1) the contract required the use of work orders; (2) the contract authorized the contractor to hire employees to perform the contracted work; (3) the contractor was required to inspect its own construction work, but NASA did not have records showing that all required inspections were performed; (4) NASA plans to move the inspection function to a separate contract due to the potential conflict of interest; (5) NASA construction and evaluation inspections are not adequate support for award fee determinations; (6) NASA does not evaluate the firm's cost efficiency; and (7) the contractor did not have written representations for all subcontracts awarded to small businesses, but all of the subcontractors identified themselves as small businesses.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Langley completed implementation of the planned corrective actions to improve the monitoring, evaluation, and documentation of contractor performance, including the transfer of the construction project inspection to an independent contractor.

    Recommendation: To improve the monitoring, evaluating, and documenting of contractor performance, the Administrator, NASA, should ensure that Langley officials implement the planned corrective actions discussed in this report.

    Agency Affected: National Aeronautics and Space Administration

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: Centers' reviews of their oversight procedures for task order construction contracts have been completed. The reviews indicated that adequate construction contracting safeguards are in place and no additional corrective measures are required.

    Recommendation: The Administrator, NASA, should require the other field centers to review their procedures for monitoring, evaluating, and documenting contractors' construction activities under similar contracts and, if found deficient, take corrective actions.

    Agency Affected: National Aeronautics and Space Administration


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