Federal Manager's Daily Report

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration could

strengthen its ability to manage highly complex programs by


addressing some long-standing financial management problems,

the General Accounting Office has said.

It said the problems stem from the agency’s lack of accurate

and reliable information on contract spending.

NASA agreed that it should integrate its financial

management operations with its program management

decision-making process, lest it address symptoms rather

than underlying causes.

GAO cited an agency culture that has not fully a

cknowledged the nature and extent of its financial

management difficulties and that does not link financial

management to program implications.

In April 2003 it reported that NASA designed and implemented

the new financial management system’s core financial module

without involving key stakeholders, including program

managers, cost estimators, and the Congress.

That new system did not provide key external reporting

capabilities and GAO reported in November 2003 that the

system would not generate complete and accurate property

and budgetary data.

Broadly speaking, NASA needs to transform its financial

management organization into a customer-focused partner

in seeking program results, which requires sustained top

leadership attention combined with effective

organizational alignment, strategic human capital

management, and end-to-end business process improvement.