National Science Foundation:

Allegations of Waste Within the U.S. Antarctic Program

RCED-88-223BR: Published: Sep 22, 1988. Publicly Released: Sep 22, 1988.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO examined allegations regarding the National Science Foundation's (NSF) U.S. Antarctic Program, specifically alleged: (1) improper disposal of usable equipment and property; (2) illegal equipment use by a foreign country; and (3) inappropriate equipment purchases within the program.

GAO found that: (1) neither the individual making the allegations nor NSF officials denying them could provide documentation to support their positions; (2) a 1983 NSF internal report and a 1987 Navy report identified internal control weaknesses, such as inadequate inventory control, an outdated operating manual, inadequate storage facilities, illegal disposal of equipment, and unaccounted-for capitalized property, that could make the program susceptible to the alleged wasteful practices; (3) NSF took actions to correct the identified problems, but did not plan to conduct further reviews, citing its need to review other NSF programs and its limited staff; and (4) NSF based its contractor award fee on its annual evaluation of the contractor's performance.

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