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Financial Management

Getting Cheaper iPods for NASA

By Keith Cowing
NASA Watch
April 17, 2008

Commentary: NASA’s new tenets for doing business, Federal Times

“As the new assistant administrator for procurement, I have tried to take a fresh look at NASA’s procurement practice based on data from our current contracts. As a result of this assessment, I developed some principles for procurement that, if implemented, could improve our return on investment. These principles have become NASA’s procurement tenets, nine guidelines that describe a new way of doing business:”

Governmentwide Purchase Cards: Actions Needed to Strengthen Internal Controls to Reduce Fraudulent, Improper, and Abusive Purchases. GAO-08-333, March 14.

Page 8: “At the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), a cardholder used the government purchase card to acquire two 60GB iPods. Although NASA officials maintained that the iPods were essential for official data storage, we found that the cardholder personalized the iPods with the requester’s and agency’s names and used the iPods to store songs and music videos. Although the iPods had some business files on them, we concluded that the purchase was abusive because other data storage devices without video and audio capabilities were available at lower costs.”

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