NASA Staff Meeting Minutes 17 June 1996

Subject: Minutes of Senior Staff and Date: Thursday, June 20, 1996 1:53PM

Minutes of Senior Staff and Center Director's Meeting June 17, 1996

The following documents the discussions addressed at the Senior Staff and Center Director's Meeting on June 17, 1996. Mr. Goldin was in attendance. Action assignments have been placed in brackets, [ ], for easy identification.

1. AA Reports

B/Holz: Mr. Holz thanked Mr. Holloway for hosting the Chief Financial Officers' (CFO) annual conference on June 11-13, 1996, at LaRC. He also thanked Joe Struhar, Jim Ogiba, and Lisa Davis for their outstanding efforts in coordinating all of the local arrangements. The conference addressed a variety of relevant and educational topics for the NASA CFO community. Attendance and participation were excellent and included the CFO's, Deputy CFO's, Comptroller, resource management personnel from HQ Program Offices and Centers. The conference resulted in actions being assigned to Code B, the resource mangers in HQ offices, and the CFO offices at the Centers. A summary of the conference, specifying these actions, will be published soon.

E/Reese: Last week, the first basic Equal Employment Opportunity Conference was held at HQ. Mr. Reese thanked the Center Directors for ensuring that their representatives had the opportunity to attend.

R/Whitehead: The Honorable John Gibbons, Assistant to the President for Science and Technology, will be visiting LeRC. Dr. Whitehead discussed the proposed agenda to ensure that all parties were aware of the event so that appropriate coordination could be initiated.

Q/Gregory: Mr. Gregory thanked Mr. Holloway for hosting the Safety and Mission Assurance Conference at LaRC last week. Mr. Gregory discussed his recent visit to the Hampton University/Hughes Training, Inc., Aeroscience Center. This institution is the recipient of a $300,000 grant from Code Q, via Code E. Mr. Gregory complimented the facility's faculty and students for their enthusiasm and dedication, while wholeheartedly endorsing the continuation of this grant.

M/Trafton: Mr. Trafton returned on June 15, 1996, from leading a NASA delegation to Russia, and he will provide a review of the trip to Mr. Goldin this week. STS-78 is scheduled to launch on June 20 at 10:49 a.m. EDT. A five-person investigation board, led by Grady McCright, has been appointed by Mr. Trafton to investigate the flash fire that broke out at a MSFC test stand during the test firing of advanced space transportation engine components. The board should return its findings within 45 days.

L/Lawrence: There is better than a 50-percent chance that the House appropriations bill will be voted on this week. It is anticipated that the bill may be called on June 18, 1996.

P/Boeder: Ms. Boeder discussed the technical difficulties that have been experienced with the video portions of Dr. Lucid's interviews aboard the Mir. Efforts to improve this capability are being addressed by representatives from both NASA and the Russian Space Agency. Dr. Lucid will be interviewed on June 19, 1996, by USA Weekend. Last week, Code P hosted their Russian counterparts in a series of successful meetings that laid the framework for the joint press coverage of the missions following STS-79. The interviews supporting STS-78 have already begun in an effort to provide the press with advanced mission footage. Mr. Goldin will be attending the STS-78 launch, and Code P is assisting in coordinating his schedule. STS-78 will be the first mission to use the pilots-view camera. This camera will provide footage from the perspective of the pilot and will offer the public video coverage from new angles and events, such as the crew strapping in. The press announcement concerning the X-33 will be issued soon, as will the announcements concerning the Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS) and Galileo's encounter with Ganymede. To provide greater opportunities for the news networks to cover NASA's feature stories, Code P will begin to rerun the stories during the weekend. The signature to Saturn program is still getting great coverage by press, and JPL has received in excess of 2 million signatures to be placed on CD ROM for the Cassini Probe Mission.

U/Nicogossian: The Committee on Health, Safety, and Food (CHSF) met on June 12, 1996. All of the agencies and OSTP were represented. The agenda included the announcement that the Presidential Early Career Awards brochures would be officially released on June 22, 1996. NASA has received 5 allocations for the award. The Human Subjects Research Subcommittee (HSRS) of the CHSF met on June 11, 1996, to discuss such issues as the NASA Bioethics Task Force and congressional interest in human subject testing. Throughout the discussions, NASA received compliments for its efforts in this area.

I/Schumacher: Delegations from France, the Ukraine, and the European Space Agency will attend the launch of STS-78. July 14 and 15, 1996, have been selected as the dates for the third Gore Chernomyrdin Commission. This will be supported with a meeting between Mr. Koptev, Director General of the Russian Space Agency, and Mr. Goldin on July 13. Code I is working with Code Y to achieve a resolution on issues concerning SciSat. The Topex/Poseidon Follow-On has been named Jason-One, though Code I is reviewing this issue. The Administrator of the South Korean Space Agency met with Mr. Goldin, and they have appointed two working groups to identify areas of mutual cooperation.

F/Armstrong: NASA recently received a letter from OMB addressing the House's position on a Federal buyout, based upon last week's hearing with Representative Mica (R-FL). The letter states that the House of Representatives will not consider legislation authorizing buyout authority for all Federal agencies but will consider legislation authorizing buyout authority for an individual agency, based upon their current circumstance. General Armstrong also announced that Employee Express, the automated system that will allow individual HQ employees to modify and update their employee records, will come online later this month.

Z/Ladwig: Several weeks ago, Mr. Ladwig had addressed OMB's desire to use NASA as a case study for strategic planning at the Federal Education Centers. The case study's script is close to completion, and background filming will begin next week.

2. AD/Dailey

The annual HQ picnic will be held on June 22 from 12 to 4 p.m. at the GSFC recreation center. The Strategic Management Meeting will be held on July 16 and a half day on July 17, 1996. On July 24 and 25, 1996, the NASA Advisory Council will be meeting.

Briefings on the Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) have been scheduled for of the HQ codes. These 30-minute overviews provide a thorough introduction of the CTAP services available to each HQ employee. All employees are encouraged to attend, and those codes that have individuals who were unable to attend previous briefings are encouraged to establish another time.

At the conclusion of this meeting, General Armstrong will provide an overview of the HQ SES reassignment plan.

3. Center Director Reports

DFRC/Szalai: Recently, a DFRC employee, who had traveled several times to Russia, has been diagnosed as having Tuberculosis. DFRC will issue a follow-up message to ensure that NASA employees traveling abroad will be aware of the proper precautions.

JPL/Stone: Things are progressing well for Galileo's scheduled encounter with Ganymede, to include the recent software upgrades required to support the encounter.

KSC/Thomas: Everything is ready for the launch of Columbia on June 20, 1996. The rollover of Atlantis is going well. The Center is looking forward to Mr. Goldin's visit.

LaRC/Holloway: Mr. Holloway thanked Codes B and Q for their kind words. The Center completed the wing box test on the RLV last week. This is a large structure, 10' x 6' x 3.5', designed and fabricated by Rockwell International and Northrop Grumman. The test was successful, with the wing breaking at twice the designed limit loads. This was a major step in the use of composites in the RLV development.

LeRC/Kress: Mr. Campbell presented a State of the Center address to the LeRC employees on the morning of June 17, 1996. LeRC will ensure that they coordinate the agenda for Dr. Gibbon's visit with Dr. Whitehead. Mr. Kress thanked Code U for its support of the Microgravity conference held last week that had over 400 researchers from 9 countries, as well as representatives from the Federal and state governments, academia, and the public.

MSFC/Griner: Dr. Littles is at KSC. The ISO 9000 initiative is moving out, with the Center establishing Tiger Teams to support training. Grady McCright and his team are at MSFC, and MSFC is currently supporting his team's investigation into the June 7, 1996, test stand fire. STS-78 is a Life and Microgravity flight that is a product of the Space Lab re-engineering effort and that has succeeded in reducing the integration cycle from 42 months to 27 months, realizing a corresponding cost savings as well. Ms. Griner expressed her appreciation to JSC and KSC for supporting that initiative.

4. F/Armstrong

General Armstrong provided a basic overview of HQ's initial plan to support a reduction of the Headquarters Senior Executive Service (SES) Corps. On June 17, 1996, each member of the SES at HQ received a letter, signed by General Dailey, addressing this topic. While the specifics of the HQ restructuring plan will not be completed until mid-July, initial analysis of the HQ organizational inputs suggest that the number of SES positions at HQ will be significantly impacted. This impact is believed to require a reduction of approximately 40 HQ SES positions. To provide maximum opportunities for HQ SES, and in accordance with civil service SES employment rules, a substantial number of current HQ SES members need to be placed in the vacant positions throughout the Agency. The SES vacancies needed to achieve this goal currently exist at the Centers, and General Armstrong stressed the need for individual HQ SES to rapidly take advantage of the availability of these placement opportunities to enable NASA to move forward on the restructuring of HQ. Additionally, Permanent Change of Station Travel Orders for SES reassignments need to be issued prior to September 1, 1996. Code C will conduct general briefings for the SES members during the week of June 24, 1996, and the IPO's are tasked to develop and implement a process from June 24 to August 15, 1996, that will result in the placement of HQ SES personnel in Center vacancies.

5. A/Goldin

Mr. Goldin reinforced that this is a period of change for NASA. Whether the budget continues to be cut, or not, NASA must still take action to meet its current commitments. To this end, Mr. Goldin stressed the importance of ensuring that NASA employees receive as much information as possible concerning issues that may impact their careers. NASA management understands that it is risky to discuss these plans without a solid plan, but NASA employees have repeatedly stressed the need to know--even when all of the information is not known. Mr. Goldin stated that he has said all along that NASA will try everything to avoid a reduction in force. This initiative is representative of that effort, and once plans have been solidified and more information is available, it will be passed along to the employees.

NOTE: ACTION ASSIGNMENTS WILL BE TRANSMITTED UNDER SEPARATE COVER AND TRACKED BY THE HEADQUARTERS CORRESPONDENCE OFFICE. SPECIFIC QUESTIONS MAY BE ADDUCED TO LORIE PESONEN AT 358-4525.

Distribution

Officials-in-Charge of Headquarters Offices:
B/Mr. Holz
C/Mr. Christensen
E/Mr. Reese (Acting)
F/Gen. Armstrong
G/Mr. Frankle
H/Ms. Lee
I/Mr. Schumacher
J/Ms. Cooper
K/Mr. Thomas
L/Mr. Lawrence
M/Mr. Trafton
O/Dr. Lundy (Acting)
P/Ms. Boeder
Q/Mr. Gregory
R/Dr. Whitehead
S/Dr. Huntress
U/Dr. Nicogossian (Acting)
W/Ms. Gross
X/Dr. Mansfield
Y/Dr. Kennel
Z/Mr. Ladwig

Directors, NASA Field Installations:
ARC/Dr. McDonald
DFRC/Mr. Szalai
GSFC/Mr. Rothenberg
JSC/Mr. Abbey
KSC/Mr. Honeycutt
LaRC/Mr. Holloway
LeRC/Mr. Campbell
MSFC/Dr. Littles
SSC/Mr. Estess

Director, Jet Propulsion Laboratory:
Dr. Stone

cc:
A/Ms. Wilcoxen
AB/Ms. Saldana
AD/Ms. Shaeffer
AE/Ms. Moore
AI/Ms. McClung
AO/Ms. Wissinger
AS/Ms. Magnotto
AT/Ms. Doss
CMC/Analysts
C-3/Ms. Soper

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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on June 17, 1996 4:08 PM.

Dan Goldin's Comments to the Space Science Advisory Committee (SSAC) Meeting was the previous entry in this blog.

Letter from Sen. Rockefeller To Dan Goldin About Layoffs is the next entry in this blog.

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