"NASA will wait two years longer than planned and spend another $40 million to launch a half-billion-dollar probe to Mars because of an unspecified conflict of interest in the purchasing process, officials said Friday."
"NASA announced today that the next mission in the Mars Scout program, originally planned for launch in 2011, is now targeted for launch in 2013."
NASA announces delay of Mars Scout launch until 2013, Planetary Society
"Since I was not at all sure what to make of this, I had to call my boss, Executive Director Lou Friedman, and find out what he thought. He said he didn't have a full understanding yet of what was behind the decision but he deplored, he said, the flouting of Congressional will that had just been expressed on Tuesday; Congress expressed to NASA that Mars missions should be launched at every opportunity. And to wait to make the announcment until after Congress went home for the holidays -- that seems designed to try to make the announcement fly under the radar. He also seemed a bit disgusted that the delay should be for such a bureaucratic reason. I'm sure you'll be hearing more from him on this once we all have a better idea what happened."
Editor's 21 Dec note: Atta boy Lou - read, fire, aim. You might want to do a little research before you go into armwaving conspiracy mode on your organization's website. I sincerely doubt that a little cabal of NASA HQ folks had this all planned - just as you hypothesize - such that they could deliberately "flout" Congress - and do so when Congress was home for the holidays - oh yes, with no one noticing. Get a grip, Lou.