Recommendations Database

Jump To:

As of January 31, 2023, there are 4840 open recommendations that still need to be addressed. 471 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 48 Recommendations, including 9 Priority Recommendations

Privacy: Dedicated Leadership Can Improve Programs and Address Challenges

Show
2 Open Recommendations
Agency Recommendation Status
National Aeronautics and Space Administration The Administrator of NASA should incorporate privacy into an organization-wide risk management strategy that includes a determination of risk tolerance. (Recommendation 48)
Open

NASA stated that it agreed with our recommendation and was developing plans to address it. Once the agency states that it has taken action, we plan to verify whether implementation has occurred.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration The Administrator of NASA should fully define and document the role of the senior agency official for privacy or other designated privacy official in reviewing and approving system categorizations, overseeing privacy control assessments, and reviewing authorization packages. (Recommendation 49)
Open

NASA stated that it agreed with our recommendation and was developing plans to address it. Once the agency states that it has taken action, we plan to verify whether implementation has occurred.

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

Show
4 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

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, 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

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, in coordination with the relevant mission directorates for Artemis III and later missions, should ensure that NASA develops guidance for division-level schedule collaboration including setting expectations for data sharing and the type(s) of data required. (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 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

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

Research Reliability: Federal Actions Needed to Promote Stronger Research Practices

Show
2 Open Recommendations
Agency Recommendation Status
National Aeronautics and Space Administration The Administrator of NASA should collect information on relevant indicators of rigor to assess the research projects the agency funds, and implement steps, as needed, to promote strong research practices in future work. (Recommendation 5)
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 Administrator of NASA should take steps to collect information to determine whether current policies and requirements are adequate to achieve transparency by ensuring research results and data are findable, accessible, and usable, and implement programmatic or policy changes, if needed. (Recommendation 6)
Open

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

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.

Leading Practices: Agency Acquisition Policies Could Better Implement Key Product Development Principles

Show
2 Open Recommendations
Agency Recommendation Status
National Aeronautics and Space Administration The NASA Administrator should ensure that the NASA Office of the Chief Engineer update NASA acquisition policies to fully implement the following principle throughout development: applying iterative design approaches (Recommendation 8).
Open

NASA concurred with our recommendation. In August 2022, NASA communicated that a complete, iterative design approach is currently documented in its policy. However, NASA's policies do not fully implement the key principle to use an iterative design approach that results in minimum marketable products. As outlined in our report, NASA policy does not require the use of modern design tools during both hardware and software development or use iterative design and testing to identify a minimum product or initial capability that can inform subsequent efforts. NASA noted that the agency operates in a

National Aeronautics and Space Administration The NASA Administrator should ensure that the NASA Office of the Chief Engineer update NASA acquisition policies to fully implement the following principle throughout development: incorporating feedback from users of initial capabilities (Recommendation 9).
Open

NASA concurred with our recommendation. In August 2022, NASA communicated that that its policy is dedicated to collection and incorporation of feedback from users throughout the program and project life cycle, including initial capabilities. NASA further noted that stakeholders provide feedback throughout the project life cycle. However, its policies do not fully implement the key principle of collecting customer feedback to inform improvements. Specifically, NASA policies do not require programs to use feedback to identify challenges or to address features to include in subsequent projects

Federal Contracting: Senior Leaders Should Use Leading Companies' Key Practices to Improve Performance

Show
1 Open Recommendations
1 Priority
Agency Recommendation Status
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Priority Rec.
This is a priority recommendation.
The Administrator of NASA should ensure the NASA SPE uses a balanced set of performance metrics to manage the agency's procurement organizations, including outcome-oriented metrics to measure (a) cost savings/avoidance, (b) timeliness of deliveries, (c) quality of deliverables, and (d) end-user satisfaction. (Recommendation 10)
Open

NASA agreed with the recommendation. In January 2022, NASA provided evidence that it was using an outcome-oriented metric to measure end-user satisfaction. In February 2022, the NASA Senior Procurement Executive shared plans to implement metrics in the future to measure (a) cost savings/avoidance, (b) timeliness of deliveries, and (c) quality of deliverables. In order to close this recommendation, NASA will need to provide evidence that it had implemented the performance metrics to manage the agency's procurement organizations. Using a balanced set of performance measures, including both

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

Federal Research: Agencies Need to Enhance Policies to Address Foreign Influence

Show
1 Open Recommendations
Agency Recommendation Status
National Aeronautics and Space Administration The Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration should update the agency's conflict of interest policy to include a definition on non-financial conflicts, such as the one developed by OSTP, and address these conflicts, both foreign and domestic. (Recommendation 7)
Open

NASA concurred with our recommendation. In January 2022, NASA noted it updated the agency conflict of interest and conflict of commitment disclosure policies, but in light of OSTP's release of implementation guidance for National Security Presidential Memorandum 33 (NSPM-33) in January 2022, the agency would need additional time to coordinate these policies with OSTP and other agencies to ensure uniform requirements. The agency stated it is also awaiting forthcoming standardized disclosure forms from OSTP before finalizing its policies, so it can adopt and implement these standard templates

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.