"The meeting will be open to the public up to the seating capacity of the room. All U.S. citizens desiring to attend the NASA Advisory Council Meeting at the Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) must provide their full name, company affiliation (if applicable), place of birth, and date of birth to the GSFC Security Office no later than the close of business on October 4, 2006...If the above information is not received by the noted dates, attendees should expect a minimum delay of two (2) hours. ."
Editor's note: If you do not comply with NASA's byzantine new rules you will not be allowed to attend the NASA Advisory Council Meeting at GSFC on 12 October - or you will have to sit and wait somewhere for 2 hours while the ever-efficient NASA security guards prove your identity. Since the meeting starts at 8:00 am that means you'd have to show up at 6:00 am to be certain to get in. Then again, I wonder if the identity checking system even operates that early in the morning.
Other agencies simply allow taxpayers to show up, show an ID, and attend meetings in keeping with the spirit of the original FACA law. FAA regularly has these FACA meetings in their HQ building without any requirement for prior notification. Yet NASA no longer seems to care about being responsive and considerate of taxpayers.
This could all be solved by reverting to an earlier practice: holding the NAC in hotels and other public places. That might cost a few thousand dollars. I wonder, in an era of full cost accounting, what it costs to provide all the security for this NAC meeting at GSFC? I'll bet there is little difference.
Given the new security requirements in place at NASA HQ - (which require that all visitors - media and the public - be escorted) - requirements that are supposed to be modeled on those in place at the field centers, will GSFC PAO escort all media - at all times? What happens at lunch time? Will GSFC personnel escort attendees to and from a cafeteria? How do these rules apply to non-media attendees? Will GSFC personnel have to escort them everywhere as well?
"Keith: Speaking of NASA's curious security rules, I need to get one of the new NASA security badges at JPL. I've worked there for 20 years. I've gone through all of the hoops and checks several times by now. So, can I just walk in and exchange my current badge for a new one? Not at all.
I have to submit not one, not two, but *three* sets of slightly different paperwork, only one of which can be filled out on a computer (but should be printed afterward for my files). After my first background check is complete, I will be invited to be finger printed. Presumably, the finger prints will be checked against a database. To be finger printed, I need to bring my current badge and two forms of identification (the current badge is curiously not considered a form of identification) such as state issued driver's license and birth ceritificate.
Eventually, I may be deemed acceptable and issued a new badge.
It's been a week now, and I'm still waiting for the first acknowlegement that something's happening."