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GAO Finds Fault With NASA Award Fee Processes

By Keith Cowing
NASA Watch
February 16, 2007

GAO: NASA’s Management of its Contractor Award Fees Needs to be Improved, House Science and Technology Committee

“Given NASA’s dependence on cost-plus-award-fee contracts, I’m concerned that GAO’s investigation found that NASA has failed to follow its own long-standing guidelines governing award fees,” stated Chairman Gordon in response to the GAO findings. “While there can be mitigating factors, I don’t think it makes sense for contractors to receive a majority of the allowable award fee if they don’t meet the contract’s cost, schedule, or performance requirements. I want to make sure NASA is using taxpayer dollars as wisely and efficiently as possible.”

NASA Procurement: Use of Award Fees for Achieving Program Outcomes Should Be Improved GAO-07-58, January 17, 2007

“NASA officials expressed satisfaction with the results of the contracts we reviewed, and this was further evidenced by the extent of fee paid. NASA’s satisfaction was based on its evaluations of contractor performance against criteria established in the award-fee plan. While NASA’s evaluations would indicate generally good contractor performance, that performance did not always translate into desired program outcomes. That disconnect raises questions as to the extent NASA is achieving the effectiveness it sought through the establishment of guidance on the use of award fees.”

NASA Watch founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.