Auditors roast NASA's financial modernization program

Auditors roast NASA's financial modernization program

NASA needs to make changes in the enterprise architecture, reporting methods and lifecycle cost controls for its Integrated Financial Management Program, the government's auditors say.

So concerned is the General Accounting Office about the program that it issued four reports yesterday criticizing the effort and calling for improvements.

'Three years into the program, GAO found NASA risks building a system that will cost more and do less than planned,' the audit agency said.

But NASA contends GAO's findings do not take into account recent progress. In a written response to the audit agency, NASA noted that the reviews only covered the financial program through June.

Even so, NASA managers acknowledged that they could do more to improve cost management and schedule control as recommended by GAO. They also pledged to fine-tune the financial architecture plans.

NASA began the latest financial overall in 2000'its third attempt to modernize its financial systems. The new effort is intended to help agency officials manage contracts, which account for about nine-tenths, or $13 billion, of NASA spending. The audit agency has designated NASA's contract management as a high-risk area since 1990.

GAO reported that the core financial module does not provide adequate internal management information and cannot generate essential reports. The auditors urged NASA to make changes to assure the business modernization program complies with the Federal Financial Management Improvement Act.

To view the reports online, click on

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