"NASA is considering cutting as much as 20 percent of its employee costs on the manned space program -- including jobs at Houston's Johnson Space Center -- in hopes of salvaging money for ambitious back-to-the-moon plans, NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver has told contractors for the agency. The effort by Garver, a Clinton-era NASA official known for her willingness to shake things up, could potentially reap savings of $1.5 billion to $2 billion annually over the next two years on space operations and acquisition of the next generation spacecraft. "
NASA takes issue with story, Houston Chronicle
"In "NASA considering job cuts" (Page A1, Thursday), the Houston Chronicle incorrectly reported that NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver told contractors that the agency "is considering cutting as much as 20 percent of its employee costs on the manned space program." Garver has not initiated any discussions with NASA contractors in an effort to reduce jobs. In fact, it was the contractor community that first approached NASA with ideas on how it could restructure existing work to reduce costs.
The article also suggested that as much as $2 billion could be saved. NASA has not attached any specific cost-reduction targets as a part of ongoing assessments of future exploration activities. The report's presumption that NASA is proactively asking contractors to cut jobs is unfortunate and incorrect, and the article assumes that the end result will have a negative impact on our work force when the opposite is possible. No specific actions will be considered until the White House makes a final decision regarding the future of human spaceflight.
Robert Jacobs, assistant administrator for public affairs (acting) NASA headquarters, Washington, D.C."