"It is unfortunate that potential Chinese participants were refused attendance at the upcoming Kepler Conference at the Ames Research Park. Mid-level managers at Ames, in performing the due diligence they believed appropriate following a period of significant concern and scrutiny from Congress about our foreign access to NASA facilities, meetings and websites, acted without consulting NASA HQ. Upon learning of this exclusion, I directed that we review the requests for attendance from scientists of Chinese origin and determine if we can recontact them immediately upon the reopening of the government to allow them to reapply. Any of them applying and meeting the clearance requirements in place for foreign citizens will be accepted for participation in the Conference."
Why Has NASA Banned Access to its Partner Saudi Arabia?, (2013), earlier post
"Bolden: "I have ordered a moratorium on granting any new access to NASA facilities to individuals from specific designated countries. Specifically: China, Burma, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Uzbekistan. While this review is on going I have also ordered that any remote computer access to NASA resources be terminated for those from the same specific designated countries."
"I believe what Mr. Messersmith may have been referring to was a temporary restriction on Chinese nationals that you put in place earlier this year after serious security protocol flaws were brought to your attention by some in Congress, including me, specifically regarding violations at Ames and Langley Research Center. You indicated at the time that security policies for foreign nationals for particular countries of concern would be reevaluated and new accreditations would not be approved until the security process was vetted. However, any restriction against Chinese nationals on NASA centers is entirely an agency policy and not covered under the statutory restriction. Furthermore, it was my understanding that NASA's temporary restrictions had been lifted after a review of security protocols for foreign nationals at all NASA centers."
Keith's note: It certainly looks like Wolf and Bolden don't keep each other updated about trivial little things such as banning "individuals from specific designated countries". No mention of "government" affiliation as being a factor. So what do NASA people do? They follow what their management told them to do. Looks like the people in a position to make the routine decisions on this issue are the last ones to know what the rules actually are.
- Frank Wolf Dumps on NASA For Doing What He Told Them To Do, earlier post