Recommendations Database

Jump To:

As of February 5, 2023, there are 4823 open recommendations that still need to be addressed. 463 of these are priority recommendations, those that we believe warrant priority attention. Learn more about our priority designation on our Recommendations page.

Search for open recommendations by agency, topic, subject, or keyword/phrase below, or view all open recommendations by agency.

Skip to main search results
Clear All Filters
1 - 20 of 29 Recommendations, including 7 Priority Recommendations

NASA Lunar Programs: Improved Mission Guidance Needed as Artemis Complexity Grows

Show
3 Open Recommendations
Agency Recommendation Status
National Aeronautics and Space Administration The NASA Administrator should ensure that the Chief Financial Officer, in coordination with the mission directorates, develops Artemis mission-level schedule management guidance. (Recommendation 1)
Open

NASA agreed with this recommendation and expects to take actions to address it by August 2023

National Aeronautics and Space Administration The NASA Administrator, in coordination with the relevant mission directorates, should ensure that NASA conducts a schedule risk analysis for the Artemis II mission as close as possible to completion of the Artemis I mission and update it as needed to incorporate schedule updates and new risks. (Recommendation 2)
Open

NASA agreed with this recommendation and expects to take actions to address it by March 2023.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration The NASA Administrator should ensure that the Office of the Chief Human Capital Officer develops guidance that identifies a regular and recurring process for long-term Artemis workforce scenario planning to address future uncertainties, at least 5 years beyond the existing 5-year workforce plans. (Recommendation 4)
Open

NASA agreed with this recommendation and expects to take actions to address it by September 2023.

International Space Station: Opportunities Exist to Improve Communication with National Laboratory Users

Show
4 Open Recommendations
Agency Recommendation Status
National Aeronautics and Space Administration The NASA Administrator should ensure the CEO of CASIS obtains input from the UAC regarding ISSNL resource allocation decisions. (Recommendation 1)
Open

When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration The NASA Administrator should ensure the CEO of CASIS works with the UAC to agree upon the types of data and information on past resource allocations that the UAC needs to support CASIS. (Recommendation 2)
Open

When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration The NASA Administrator should ensure the CEO of CASIS provides ISSNL users visibility into the entirety of CASIS's planned resource allocations, including the flight queue. (Recommendation 3)
Open

When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration The NASA Administrator should ensure the CEO of CASIS establishes a timeframe for finalizing a succession plan for the UAC that allows current and new members' terms to overlap. (Recommendation 4)
Open

When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

U.S. Space Command: Air Force Should Develop Guidance for Strengthening Future Basing Decisions

Show
1 Open Recommendations
Agency Recommendation Status
Department of the Air Force The Secretary of the Air Force should ensure the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Energy, Installations, and Environment develops guidance for future strategic basing decisions that is consistent with GAO's Analysis of Alternatives (AOA) best practices, and determines the basing actions to which it should apply. (Recommendation 1)
Open

The Air Force neither agreed nor disagreed with this recommendation. On December 20, 2022, the Air Force provided a corrective action plan, which stated that the department is developing guidance to identify appropriate basing actions and elements of the GAO analysis of alternatives methodology that will strengthen future basing decisions. The Air Force projected a completion date of March 31, 2023. We will update the status of this recommendation when we confirm what actions the department has taken.

Space Command and Control: Opportunities Exist to Enhance Annual Reporting

Show
1 Open Recommendations
Agency Recommendation Status
Department of the Air Force The Secretary of the Air Force should ensure that the Department of the Air Force include additional contextual information in its annual reports related to significant changes from the previous report, such as the reasons for changes to short-term objectives. (Recommendation 1)
Open

The Department of Defense (DOD) partially agreed with our recommendation. In December 2021, DOD said that the Department of the Air Force plans to include additional contextual information related to significant changes from the previous report, such as the reasons for changes to short-term objectives, in the next Space Command and Control (C2) program annual report. In April 2022, the Department of the Air Force provided its 2022 Space C2 annual report on program status. The report includes additional contextual information related to the status of ongoing, achieved, and deferred objectives

NASA Lunar Programs: Significant Work Remains, Underscoring Challenges to Achieving Moon Landing in 2024

Show
4 Open Recommendations
1 Priority
Agency Recommendation Status
National Aeronautics and Space Administration The NASA Administrator, in coordination with the Associate Administrator for the Science Mission Directorate, should ensure the Volatiles Investigating Polar Exploration Rover (VIPER) project office includes relevant development costs from the Resource Prospector project and the cost of the Commercial Lunar Payload Services task order for the delivery of VIPER to the lunar surface into its cost baseline. (Recommendation 1)
Open

NASA did not agree with this recommendation stating it did not include development costs for the Resource Prospector project in the baseline because VIPER's mission was significantly different, its design is much more capable, and a different mission directorate funded the project. In addition, NASA stated that it chose not to include the Commercial Lunar Payload Services task order costs in the VIPER project's cost baseline because the Commercial Lunar Payload Services initiative differs from other launch services procured for NASA missions. We continue to believe that the relevant costs

National Aeronautics and Space Administration The NASA Administrator should ensure that the NASA Office of the Chief Engineer develop guidance to mitigate risks associated with delaying the establishment of high-level requirements early in the acquisition process when using service-type contracts and incorporate it in its reference guide or a similar document. (Recommendation 2)
Open

NASA agreed with this recommendation and stated that the Office of the Chief Engineer plans to constitute a team to develop the guide. The team will help outline and determine the contents of the guide, develop the content, and review the guide prior to planned publication in November 2022.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration The NASA Administrator, in coordination with the Associate Administrator for the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, should ensure the Gateway program, in advance of the Power and Propulsion Element (PPE) project's confirmation review, assesses the solar electric propulsion thrusters' technical risks and determine whether off-ramps—such as reduced requirements for PPE—are needed or whether the project's schedule should be reassessed. (Recommendation 3)
Open – Partially Addressed

NASA agreed with this recommendation and has taken some actions to implement it. The Gateway program and PPE project evaluated the technical risks of the solar electric propulsion thrusters as part of the project's preliminary design review in November 2021, and determined that there were no viable technical off-ramps. NASA is continuing to assess the project's schedule as part of a Gateway key decision point review planned to be held in December 2022, at which time the program will establish a baseline schedule for PPE's launch.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Priority Rec.
This is a priority recommendation.
The NASA Administrator, in coordination with the Associate Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate, should ensure the Advanced Exploration Systems Division documents the process used to determine the program and technical management practices and tools that it will apply to the Artemis III and later missions, in the absence of establishing a formal Artemis program. (Recommendation 4)
Open

NASA agreed with this recommendation. In September 2021, NASA said that the Advanced Exploration Systems Division reviewed the set of products that will be used to govern the integration of the Artemis III and later missions. NASA recently created the Exploration Systems Development Mission Directorate and the Space Operations Mission Directorate, and is evaluating the structure within each organization including the execution and operation of the Artemis missions. NASA, as part of this reorganization, is also assessing the possibility of establishing an Artemis program or campaign office. To

Commercial Space Transportation: FAA Should Examine a Range of Options to Support U.S. Launch Infrastructure

Show
1 Open Recommendations
Agency Recommendation Status
Commercial Space Transportation We recommend that the Associate Administrator for AST provide Congress the results of an examination of a range of options—including funding and financing tools, as well as alternatives to making funding available—to support space transportation infrastructure. This examination should include a discussion of trade-offs and whether and how, if at all, each approach would contribute to national policy goals. (Recommendation 1)
Open

As of October 2022, FAA, the Office of the Secretary of Transportation, and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) continue to coordinate on finalizing the report to Congress on space transportation infrastructure. Once the report is final, OMB will place the report in interagency coordination, which FAA expects to take several months, before it is provided to Congress. We will continue to monitor and report on FAA's efforts to fully implement this recommendation.

NASA Human Space Exploration: Significant Investments in Future Capabilities Require Strengthened Management Oversight

Show
2 Open Recommendations
1 Priority
Agency Recommendation Status
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Priority Rec.
This is a priority recommendation.
We recommend that the NASA Administrator ensure that the NASA Associate Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate establish cost and schedule baselines for SLS Block 1B, SLS Block 2, Mobile Launcher 2, and Orion Docking System at their preliminary design reviews or as soon as practicable in advance of critical design reviews. (Recommendation 1)
Open

NASA agreed with this recommendation. In April 2021, NASA stated that it is on track to establish a baseline for SLS Block 1B and a separate baseline for Mobile Launcher 2 by September 30, 2021. As of May 2022, however, NASA had not released cost and schedule baselines for either effort. To fully implement this recommendation, NASA will need to provide documentation that it established cost and schedule baselines for all four systems-including SLS Block 2-before their respective critical design reviews. Establishing cost and schedule baselines for these programs will provide decision makers an

National Aeronautics and Space Administration We recommend that the NASA Administrator ensure that the NASA Associate Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate directs the Exploration Systems Development organization to include cost, schedule, and technical performance updates for SLS Block 1B, SLS Block 2, Mobile Launcher 2, and the Orion Docking System in its quarterly program status reviews in order to maintain oversight of these development projects. (Recommendation 2)
Open

NASA agreed with this recommendation, but as of July 2022, has not taken steps necessary to fully implement. While the amount and quality of information presented in the quarterly status reports has improved in some instances, key pieces of information related to cost, schedule, and technical performance were missing for each upgrade effort.

NASA Lunar Programs: Opportunities Exist to Strengthen Analyses and Plans for Moon Landing

Show
4 Open Recommendations
1 Priority
Agency Recommendation Status
National Aeronautics and Space Administration The NASA Administrator should ensure that the NASA Associate Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations directs the Gateway program to conduct a joint cost and schedule confidence level at the program level for the Artemis III mission. (Recommendation 2)
Open

NASA agreed with this recommendation and stated it would conduct a joint cost and schedule confidence level analysis or equivalent. The Gateway program is planning to conduct a series of project- and program-level reviews and assessments aligned with key decision point reviews. This includes conducting a joint cost and schedule confidence level analysis or equivalent of the Gateway initial configuration to support a program key decision point planned to be held in December 2022 .

National Aeronautics and Space Administration The NASA Administrator should ensure that the NASA Associate Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations directs the Gateway program to update its overall schedule for 2024 to add a KDP II to occur before system integration. (Recommendation 3)
Open

NASA agreed with this recommendation, but has not yet taken action on it. NASA stated that it would provide a schedule for future reviews, including whether there will be a Key Decision Point (KDP) II, at the KDP-I review currently scheduled to be held in December 2022.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Priority Rec.
This is a priority recommendation.
The NASA Administrator should ensure that the NASA Associate Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations creates a life-cycle cost estimate for the Artemis III mission. (Recommendation 4)
Open

NASA agreed with the recommendation and stated that the agency will provide a preliminary cost estimate for the Artemis III mission by the end of calendar year 2020. However, NASA has not yet created this cost estimate. NASA officials told us that a 5-year funding plan provided to Congress in September 2020 serves as the agency's cost estimate through the Artemis III mission in 2024. The officials stated that the agency would establish cost and schedule commitments for projects but not the overall mission. However, to fully implement this recommendation, NASA needs to develop a life-cycle cost

National Aeronautics and Space Administration The NASA Administrator should ensure that the NASA Associate Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations directs the Advanced Exploration Systems division to commit to a completion date and finalize a cohesive document outlining the rationale for selecting its current lunar architecture and lunar programs. (Recommendation 5)
Open

NASA agreed with this recommendation and stated that it planned to take action to document its current strategy and rationale. In August 2021, NASA issued a document that describes how NASA human spaceflight directorate strategic plan and policy connect with division and program-level activities and implementation plans. In addition, NASA officials said that the directorate's Associate Administrator requested that directorate's system engineering and integration office lead an update to the Artemis Plan that captures the current strategy and rationale. NASA has not yet completed the update to

Note: the list of open recommendations for the last report may continue on the next page.

Have a Question about a Recommendation?

For questions about a specific recommendation, contact the person or office listed with the recommendation. For general information about recommendations, contact GAO's Audit Policy and Quality Assurance office at (202) 512-6100 or apqa@gao.gov.