NASA’s Office of the Inspector General released Tuesday its assessment of the top management and performance challenges acing the space agency. The report identified six specific areas of concern:
* Future of U.S. Space Flight * Acquisition and Project Management * Infrastructure and Facilities Management * Human Capital * Information Technology Security * Financial Management
The first item covers a wide range of issues, from the retirement of the shuttle and development of a heavy-lifter to commercial crew development and extension of the ISS. The second item notes the cost overruns and schedule delays that many programs have suffered, including, most recently, the James Webb Space Telescope. On the last item, though, there is some good news: NASA announced yesterday that it received a “much-improved” financial audit opinion. That improvement is the issuance of “a qualified opinion, with no material weaknesses”, rather than a disclaimer of opinion, which had been the case the last seven years.