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OIG: NASA Needs A Better Parts Quality Control Process

By Keith Cowing
March 29, 2017
Filed under
OIG: NASA Needs A Better Parts Quality Control Process

NASA OIG: NASA’s Parts Quality Control Process
“Although NASA has a number of initiatives in place to help ensure the selection of quality parts from reliable suppliers, Centers generally manage their parts quality and supplier assessment data unilaterally rather than collaborating through a comprehensive, integrated, Agency-wide parts and supplier information system. Specifically, the Agency does not maintain a centralized parts quality history database or facilitate the integration of individual Center systems, track all relevant supplier performance history, or enforce requirements that Centers participate in Agency parts quality management systems. Without these control mechanisms, it is more difficult for NASA to mitigate the risk of nonconforming parts entering its project hardware supply chain. …
… In addition, NASA policy requires project managers to consider risk factors when preparing Program/Project Quality Assurance Surveillance Plans for critical and complex acquisitions. These plans document contractor operations that need Government oversight and the activities, metrics, control mechanisms, and organizations that will conduct quality assurance functions for the project. We found the Agency’s current policy does not provide sufficient surveillance and audit planning guidance for project personnel to analyze and select contractor surveillance activities commensurate with the level of risk of nonconforming parts being incorporated into a product.”

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