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Recommendation: To improve NASA management and oversight of its spaceflight projects, and to improve the reliability of project EVM data, the NASA Administrator should direct the appropriate offices to modify the NASA Procedural Requirements (NPR) 7120.5 to require projects to implement a formal surveillance program that: (1) Ensures anomalies in contractor-delivered and in-house monthly earned value management reports are identified and explained, and report periodically to the center and mission directorate's leadership on relevant trends in the number of unexplained anomalies. (2) Ensures consistent use of work breakdown structures (WBS) for both the EVM report and the schedule. (3) Ensures that lower level EVM data reconcile to project level EVM data using the same WBS structure. (4) Improves underlying schedules so that they are properly sequenced using predecessor and successor dependencies and are free of constraints to the extent practicable so that the EVM baseline is reliable.
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration Status: Open Priority recommendation
Comments: NASA partially agreed with this recommendation, stating that the reliability and utility of the EVM data needed to be improved but that it did not plan to implement a formal surveillance plan due to resource constraints. Since commenting on the report, in December 2018, NASA included an initiative in its Corrective Action Plan-a plan put in place in response to recent programmatic performance and NASA's designation on GAO's High-Risk List-to enhance EVM implementation. To fully implement this recommendation, NASA will need to take action and provide documentary support for several of its identified planned next steps to enhance EVM surveillance. Without implementing proper surveillance, NASA may be utilizing unreliable EVM data in its analyses to inform its cost and schedule decision making.