NASA Facilities:

Challenges to Achieving Reductions and Efficiencies

T-NSIAD-96-238: Published: Sep 11, 1996. Publicly Released: Sep 11, 1996.

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GAO discussed the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) efforts to reduce key areas of its infrastructure. GAO noted that: (1) since fiscal year (FY) 1993, NASA budget and staffing levels have decreased sharply, and NASA has reduced, restructured, or cancelled some of its programs and projects; (2) NASA plans to eliminate $4 billion worth of its facilities by the end of FY 2000, but planned facilities reductions will not meet NASA goals or yield substantial cost reductions; (3) NASA has had problems in evaluating some cost-reduction opportunities because it has not thoroughly evaluated potential options, limited the scope of consideration for consolidating aircraft operations, performed questionable initial cost-reduction studies, made inappropriate closure recommendations, and substantially overstated cost-reduction estimates; (4) environmental cleanup costs could affect future facility disposition efforts; (5) recent NASA efforts to share facilities with the Department of Defense have not yet been very productive; (6) NASA lacks a formal system for tracking and reporting on the status of recommendations related to infrastructure reductions; and (7) although NASA has made limited progress in reducing its infrastructure, an independent process may ultimately be needed to overcome sensitivity and cost issues.

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