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Highlights

GAO was asked to review the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Office of Inspector General (OIG) and provide information on (1) the audit and investigative coverage of NASA; (2) the NASA OIG's audit and investigative accomplishments; (3) the NASA OIG's budget and staffing levels, including staff attrition rates; and (4) the results of external reviews of the NASA OIG. GAO obtained information from NASA OIG reports, interviews, and documentation.

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Recommendations

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Other In order to strengthen audit oversight and management of the NASA OIG, the NASA IG should include in strategic and annual planning, performance audits that address NASA's economy and efficiency with potential monetary savings and that the OIG work closely with an objective outside party to obtain external review and consultation in the strategic and annual planning processes.
Closed - Implemented
NASA IG disagreed with our recommendation. Despite this disagreement, GAO's review of the NASA OIG's Office of Audit 2011 - 2015 strategic plan and the FY 2011 annual audit plan showed that they provided for independent, objective, and proactive analysis and identification opportunities to strengthen the integrity, economy, efficiency and effectiveness of NASA programs and operations. Specifically, several of the planned audits in the NASA OIG's FY 2010 audit plan are directed at determining whether the programs were effectively managed and cost effective.
Other In order to strengthen audit oversight and management of the NASA OIG, the NASA IG should identify the causes of high employee turnover with the assistance of an objective expert, and determine actions needed as appropriate.
Closed - Implemented
NASA IG disagreed with our recommendation. Despite this disagreement, in August 2009 NASA OIG retained the services of an outside consultant to assist in identifying the causes of high employee attrition and to identify appropriate actions to mitigate the attrition at the NASA OIG. In May 2010 the consultant completed its work and issued a final report identifying reasons for staff departures; and including recommendations for improving communication, supervision, policies and procedures, and rewards and recognition at the OIG.
Integrity Committee of the Executive Council on Integrity and Efficiency In order to resolve the matter regarding the appearance of independence of the NASA IG, the Integrity Committee should follow up regarding its investigative finding regarding the NASA IG's appearance of a lack of independence and make any recommendations needed.
Closed - Not Implemented
PCIE's Integrity committee (IC) did not concur with this recommendation. The IC stated the recommendation goes beyond the authority in that they have no power to compel any particular action. However, GAO continues to believe the recommendation does not call for the IC to compel corrective action, but rather to exercise its authority provided under Executive Order 12993 to conduct investigations.

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