NASA Staff Meeting Minutes 14 March 1995

Subject: Staff Meeting Minutes 3/13/ Date: Tuesday, March 14, 1995 10:21AM

Subject: Time: 10:15 AM OFFICE MEMO Staff Meeting Minutes 3/13/95 Date: 3/14/95 Minutes of Senior Staff and Center Directors' Meeting March 13, 1995

The following documents the discussions addressed at the Senior Staff and Center Directors' Meeting on March 13, 1995. Action assignments are bolded. Mr. Goldin was not in attendance.

1. AA Reports

Y/Kennel: There is a GOIN (Global Observation Information Networks) initiative scheduled for June 6, 1995. This a global partnership between the United States and Japan--Vice President Gore and Secretary Brown are slated to attend, in addition to Mr. Goldin. This is the first time that there will be a collaboration and capability to access on-line data. GOES-8 receiving operational data. GOES-J launch scheduled for May 19, 1995. The NOAA-14 failed Microwave Sounding Unit (MSU) problem is receiving intensive scrutiny. The External Independent Readiness Review met on March 8 and endorsed the EOS AM-1 design--no issues.

2. Z/Ladwig: The update to the 1995 Strategic Plan should be released this week. The Strategic Planning Working Group will be meeting to discuss the implications of a recently issued memorandum by Alice M. Rivlin, Director, OMB, on how to build more and better performance information into the FY 1997 budget decisionmaking process.

H/Lee: At the last Senior Management Meeting, it was discussed that codes review their procurement requirements in concert with the planned downsizing activities to ensure that the proper procurements were being obtained. This assessment needs to be done as early in the process as possible. Ms. Lee reiterated the importance of this effort. Headquarters codes have been notified that the Internal Review Team has completed its evaluation of all Headquarters service contracts. It appears that some codes have not made provisions to institute the consolidation and/or eliminations of these contracts, and emergency procurement requests are being submitted. Each code should revisit its plans to accommodate the results of the Internal Review Team. During the next couple of weeks, Ms. Lee will be visiting all the Associate Administrators to share the following code-specific information: (1) a list of new procurement actions in the Acquisition Division (Code HW), (2) a list of actual contracts online, (3) a list of grants and cooperative agreements, including impending renewals, and (4) a list of small purchase buys for FY 1994.

X/Stein: Dr. Mansfield and Mr. Peyton are at MSFC this week to discuss the recent contractors selected for negotiations for the X-33 and X-34--press release issued last week. The Middeck Active Control Experiment (MACE), designed to study the active control of flexible structures in space, is exceeding planned expectations--6 days of experiments planned currently at 10. The Commercial MDA ITA Experiments (CMIX) is experiencing some anomalies, and there is a question on the amount of science that will be returned from this experiment. A team will be established to try and understand the problems.

M/Parker: STS-67 is deemed a very successful mission to date. It may be extended another couple of days--decision pending. The Mir-18 launch is scheduled for takeoff at 1:13 a.m. ET March 14 from Baikonur, Kazakhstan, with Astronaut Norman Thagard. Today (March 13), KSC is installing the docking system for STS-71 (June 1995 launch).

AS/Cordova: NASA will present "The Universe: Now and Beyond ," the third in a series initiated by NASA Administrator Daniel S. Goldin today (March 13) at 3 p.m. in the NASA Auditorium (Brochure--Enclosure 1) . Dr. Linda Schele, University of Texas at Austin, Dr. Bohdan Paczynski, Princeton University, and Dr. Vera C. Rubin, Carnegie Institution of Washington, will explore why civilizations construct theories on the origins of the universe, how those cosmologies have evolved in the present day, and how our understanding of the universe is likely to evolve in the future. Dr. Cordova also reiterated that GSFC employees are invited to attend the Seminar.

G/Frankle: On February 22, 1995, the Supreme court decided that the ban on honoraria was unconstitutional as applied to employees below GS-16. The Department of Justice and Office of Government Ethics are developing detailed implementation guidance; until issued, employees above GS-15 should not accept honoraria without receiving counsel from local ethics officials. The Office of Personnel Management has officially determined that an employee accepting the buyout may accept employment with an Nonappropriated Fund Instrumentality of the U.S. Government without triggering the forfeiture provisions. This means that employees may work in an organization such as the military department exchanges or the Department of Agriculture Graduate School after accepting the buyout.

R/Whitehead: Dr. Whitehead thanked Messrs. Campbell, Strack, and Shaw for being responsive to Mr. Goldin's inquiries regarding the HSR Systems Engineering program at LeRC. The Aeronautics Customer Satisfactory Survey is now underway. It should be completed by the end of May. The survey consists of 130 face-to-face interviews with senior aerospace and related industry executives. Code R is meeting with OSTP/Skip Johns on March 14, along with representatives from DOD and FAA, to discuss the NSTC Aeronautics Subcommittee and the approach to the Aero Cluster Model. In November 1994, an AGATE consortium was formed--31 companies have signed over 40 JSRA tasks. This is the first consortium of this size and scope in the U.S. aviation industry. The pooled resources of these members leverage the original investment of $63 million of NASA aeronautics funds into more than $170 million through industry contributions.

AO/Lynn: Mr. Lynn stated that a clarification will be issued soon on a conditional freeze on the purchase of information technology equipment. The conditional freeze of purchases on information technology does not apply to purchase requests already issued. Exceptions to the freeze are allowed for obsolete equipment that may be replaced because of age or functional obsolescence, or for acquiring mission-critical equipment.

S/Huntress: The ASTRO-2 mission is performing extremely well--delighted with the mission results to date.

L/Heninger: The House Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics (Chairman Sensenbrenner, R-WI), Committee on Science, is conducting a hearing on March 16 (formerly scheduled for March 13) to discuss NASA: The Outside Opinion. There are no NASA witnesses. Six panels will discuss Restructuring, Space Station/Space Shuttle, Reusable Launch Vehicle, Aeronautics, Mission To Planet Earth, and Science. The House markup is slipping to the right. The FY 1996 Budget Request hearings are as follows: The House Subcommittee on VA-HUD-IA (Chairman Lewis, R-CA), Committee on Appropriations is scheduled for March 28, 29, and 30 in lieu of May 2, 3, and 4, and the Senate Subcommittee on VA-HUD-IA (Chairman Bond, R-MO), Committee on Appropriations remains on schedule for April 5. The House rescission bill is expected this week--NASA currently tapped for a $66 million rescission. Last week there was a potential threat of an amendment being offered by Senator Bumpers (D-AR) that would prevent funding of joint U.S.-Russian space cooperative projects, unless Russia agrees not to sell material for nuclear power plants to Iran. We were eventually exempt from the amendment. Senators Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and Christopher Bond (R-MO) are visiting GSFC today (March 13). Representative James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) will be visiting JSC on March 17. Mr. Heninger provided the Congressional Hearing Calendar dated March 13, 1995, to the senior staff members (Enclosure 2).

K/Thomas: On March 6, Mr. Thomas testified before the House Committee on Small Business (Chair Jan Meyers, R-KS) on the Small Business Administration's 8(a) program--standing room only. Mr. Thomas congratulated JPL for hosting the 7th Annual High-Tech Small Business Procurement Conference March 6 to 8 in Los Angeles, California. This event is the largest of its kind. More than 1500 businesses attend the conference, including small, small disadvantaged, women- owned, and prime contractors. Mr. Thomas thanked LeRC for allowing the participation of Dr. Julian Earls as the luncheon keynote speaker. The first quarter Small Business goals are on schedule at 8 percent, including the Field Installations.

U/Rhome: Drs. Holloway and Nicogossian are attending the Mir-18 launch at Baikonur, Kazakhstan.

F/Armstrong: As of March 6, Agency buyout numbers are 1307 total, including 42 SES'ers.

J/Cooper: GAO has announced plans to review the life-cycle costs on Space Station and the proposed termination of the Bureau of Mines' responsibility for the manufacture and sale of refined helium. GAO is also conducting an exit conference at JPL this week on the Cassini Project launch costs.

E/Freeman: March is the celebration of Women's History Month. As part of the celebration activities, Astronaut Eileen Collins will be speaking today (March 13) in the NASA Auditorium at 11:30 a.m. All employees are invited to attend. Dr. Freeman provided a copy of the program to the senior managers (Enclosure 3). Dr. Freeman encouraged the Field Installations to initiate similar events in recognition of Women's History Month.

I/Schumacher: Mr. Francois Fillon, French Minister for Higher Education and Research, is meeting with Mr. Goldin today (March 13)--main topic Space Station. Mr. Fillon will be visiting MSFC on March 14 and JSC on March 15. There is a large NASA delegation in support of the Mir-18 launch. Several high ranking U.S. dignitaries are also in attendance.

2. AD/Dailey

Gen. Dailey advised that a long-term schedule for planned attendance at the Program Management Council meetings has been developed. Members should plan to attend these meetings if at all possible. However, given the demands on everyone's time now, if you cannot attend, notify Don Gerke at least a week in advance. The NASA Continual Team Exchange and Tenth Continual Improvement Reinvention Conference is scheduled for April 10 and 11, 1995. The Center Directors and Associate Administrators should support the conference on April 11, which will include our top contractors and highlight the George M. Low Award. John Koskinen, Deputy Director Management, OMB, has agreed to be a panelist. NASA and the unions had a meeting on March 6 to discuss partnerships. We reiterated that NASA is implementing partnerships at the local level. Gen. Dailey requested that the Centers include representatives from the unions in their streamlining and downsizing activities. The overdue correspondence is on track.

3. Center Director Reports

ARC/Munechika: The rains have had no impact to ARC. The Zero-Base Review is scheduled to be at ARC on March 14. Mr. Goldin is scheduled to visit ARC on March 16 and 17.

GSFC/Keegan: Dr. Klineberg and Mr. Huber are hosting Senators Milkulski (D-MD) and Christopher Bond (R-MO) today (March 13). The Zero-Base Review was at GSFC on March 5 and 6. An internal review team has been established to investigate the failure of the MSU on NOAA-14.

JPL/Stone: JPL is hosting the 16th session of the World Climate Research Program Joint Scientific Committee all week.

JSC/Abbey: STS-67 is proving to be an exciting mission. STS-67 is currently timelined for a landing on March 17; however, a 2-day extension is being discussed-- no decision yet. The incremental Space Station Design Review will be held this week. The Thagard launch will be shown not only on NASA Select but CNN and possibly CBS. Two main engines in support of the STS-71 launch may have to be pulled. Representatives Sensenbrenner (R-WI) and Henry Bonilla (R-TX) will be visiting JSC on March 17.

KSC/Honeycutt: The Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel will be at KSC on March 15, 16, and 17 to assess the morale of the KSC workforce. KSC received another external honor last month (February 1995) as the Center was selected at a finalist for the Florida Governor's Sterling Award. Examiners are scheduled to visit KSC March 14 to 17 to assess the implementation of the Continual Improvement Program.

LaRC/Holloway: More than 200 scientists from 24 countries will participant in the Chapman Conference on Biomass Burning and Global Change in Williamsburg, Virginia, on March 13 to 17. The conference is sponsored by the American Geophysical Union at cosponsored by NASA LaRC, NASA Headquarters, the EPA, and the International Global Atmospheric Chemistry Project. Mr. Holloway amplified on Mr. Stein's comments regarding the success of the Middeck Active Control Experiment on STS-67. Two hundred and twenty-two test protocols had been planned--over 400 have been performed. Commander Oswald is even performing tests during his off-hours. The students and Principal Investigator are wildly enthusiastic about the test data results.

LeRC/Povinelli: Mr. Povinelli expressed his delight about receiving compliments for the various LeRC personnel, and he will definitely pass on the congratulations. In terms of the union partnerships, on March 15, Mr. Campbell and the respective union representatives will hold a forum to collectively address questions and comments about downsizing efforts with the LeRC employees. The Zero-Base Review will be at LeRC on March 16 and 17.


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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on March 14, 1995 1:32 PM.

HQ Science Response to February 2, 1995 White Paper was the previous entry in this blog.

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