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Government Accountability Office

Last Updated ( 15-Dec-2014 05:30 PM )

What is GAO?

The Government Accountability Office (formerly the General Accounting Office) is part of the legislative branch of government. It is known as "the investigative arm of Congress" and "the congressional watchdog." GAO supports the Congress in meeting its constitutional responsibilities and helps improve the performance and accountability of the federal government for the benefit of the American people. Read More About GAO

Reports on DOD Space Programs
Reports on NASA Space Programs
Reports on NOAA Space Programs
Reports on Multi-Agency Space Programs, Other Government Space Activities, Export Controls 

DOD

Space Acquisitions:  DOD Needs More Guidance on Decision to Store Satellites.  GAO-15-97R.  December 9, 2014.  45 pp.

DOD Space Systems: Additional Knowledge Would Better Support Decisions About Disaggregating Large Satellites.  GAO-15-7.  October 2014.  34 pp.

U.S. Launch Enterprise: Acquisition Best Practices Can Benefit Future Efforts.  Testimony of Cristina Chaplain, Director, Acquisition and Sourcing Management, before a joint hearing of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee and the Strategic Forces Subcommittee of the Senate Armed Services Committee,  GAO-14-776T.  July 16, 2014.  13 pp.

Defense Acquisitions: Assessments of Selected Weapon Programs.  GAO-14-340SP.  March 31, 2014.  187 pp.

Space Acquisitions: Acquisition Management Continues to Improve but Challenges Persist for Current and Future Programs.  Testimony of Cristina Chaplain, Director, Acquisition and Sourcing Management, before the Subcommittee on Strategic Forces, Senate Armed Services Committee.  GAO-14-382T.  March 12, 2014. 27 pp.

Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle:  Introducing Competition into National Security Space Launch Acquisitions.  Testimony of Cristina Chaplain, Director, Acquisition and Sourcing Management, before the Subcommittee on Defense, Senate Committee on Appropriations, GAO 14-259T. March 4, 2014. 11 pp.

The Air Force's Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle Competitive Procurement.  GAO-14-377R. March 4, 2014.  46 pp.

Space Acquisitions: Assessment of Overhead Persistent Infrared Technology Report.  GAO-14-287R.  January 13, 2014.  6 pp.

GPS Disruptions:  Efforts to Assess Risks to Critical Infrastructure and Coordinate Agency Actions Should be Enhanced.  GAO-14-15.  November 6, 2013. 58 pp.

Defense Acquisition Workforce:  The Air Force Needs to Evaluate Changes in Funding for Civilians Engaged in Space Acquisition.  GAO-13-638.  July 8, 2013.  24 pp.

DOD Is Overcoming Long-Standing Problems, but Faces Challenges to Ensuring Its Investments Are Optimized.  Testimony by Christina Chaplain, director, acquisition and sourcing management, before the  Subcommittee on Strategic Forces of the Senate Armed Services Committe. GAO-13-508T. April 24, 2031.  27 pp.

Satellite Control:  Long-Term Planning and Adoption of Commerical Practices Could Improve DOD's Operations.  GAO-13-315. April 18, 2013.  42 pp.

Defense Acquisitions:  Assessments of Selected Weapon Programs.   GAO-13-294SP.  March 28, 2013.  (190 pages)

Launch Services New Entrant Certification Guide.  GAO-13-317R.  February 7, 2013. (32 pages)

Department of Defense's Waiver of Competitive Prototyping Requirement for Enhanced Polar System Program. GAO-12-983R, August 23, 2012. (11 pages)

Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle: DOD Is Addressing Knowledge Gaps in Its New Acquisition Strategy.  GAO-12-822 (this is a corrected version of the report, which was issued on August 13, 2012).  (32 pages)

Space Acquisitions:  DOD Faces Challenges in Fully Realizing Benefits of Satellite Acquisition Improvements, by Cristina T. Chaplain, director, acquisition and sourcing management, before the Subcommittee on Strategic Forces, Senate Committee on Armed Services.  GAO-12-563T, March 21, 2012. (31 pages)

Space Research: Content and Coodination of Space Science and Technology Strategy Need to be More Robust. GAO-11-722. July 2011. (26 pages)

Space Acquisitions: Development and Oversight Challenges in Delivering Improved Space Situational Awareness Capabilities. GAO-11-545. May 2011. (60 pages)

Space Acquisitions: DOD Delivering News Generations of Satellites, but Space System Acquisition Challenges Remain. Testimony of Cristina Chaplain, director, acquisition and sourcing management, to the Senate Armed Services Committee, May 11, 2011. GAO-11-590T. (34 pages)

Space Acquisitions: Challenges in Commercializing Technologies Developed Under the Small Business Innovation Research Program. GAO-11-21. November 2010. (41 pages)

Global Positioning System: Challenges in Sustaining and Upgrading Capabilities Persist. GAO-10-636, September 2010. (68 pages)

Space Acquisitions: DOD Poised to Enhance Space Capabilities, but Persistent Challenges Remain in Developing Space Systems, Testimony by Cristina Chaplain, director, acquisition and sourcing management, before the Subcommittee on Strategic Forces, Senate Committee on Armed Services. GAO-10-447T, March 10, 2010.

Briefing on Commercial and Department of Defense Space System Requirements and Acquisition Practices to Subcommittee on Defense, House Appropriations Committee. GAO-10315R, January 14, 2010. (57 pages)

Status of GAO Recommendations to the Department of Defense (Fiscal Years 2001-2008). GAO-10-211R, December 16, 2009. (44 pages)

Defense Acquisitions: Challenges in Aligning Space System Components. GAO-10-55, October 29, 2009. (43 pages)

Polar-Orbiting Environmental Satellites: With Costs Increasing and Data Continuity at Risk, Improvements Needed in Tri-agency Decision Making. GAO-09-564, June 17, 2009. (52 pages)

Polar-Orbiting Satellites: With Costs Increasing and Data Continuity at Risk, Improvements Needed in Tri-agency Decision Making, TestImony by David A. Powner, director, information technology management issues before the Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight, House Committee on Science and Technology. GAO-09-772T, June 17, 2009. (10 pages)

Space Acquisitions: DOD Faces Substantial Challenges in Developing New Space Systems Testimony by Cristina Chaplain, director, acquisition and sourcing management, before the Subcommittee on Strategic Forces, Senate Armed Services Committee. GAO-09-705T, May 20, 2009 ( 20 pages)

Global Positioning System: Significant Challenges in Sustaining and Upgrading Widely Used Capabilities. GAO-09-670T, May 7, 2009. Testimony by Cristina Chaplain, director, acquisition and sourcing management, before the Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs, House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. (15 pages)

Global Positioning System: Significant Challenges in Sustaining and Upgrading Widely Used Capabilities. GAO-09-325, April 30, 2009 ( 61 pages)

Space Acquisitions: Government and Industry Partners Face Substantial Challenges in Developing New DOD Space Systems. Testimony by Cristina Chaplain, director, acquisition and sourcing management, before the Subcommittee on Strategic Forces, House Committee on Armed Services. GAO-09-648T, April 30, 2009.

Defense Acquisitions: Assessments of Selected Weapon Programs GAO-09-326SP, March 30, 2009
(190 pages)

Includes assessments of the following DOD space programs: Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) communications satellites, Space Tracking and Surveillance System (STSS), Global Positioning System (GPS) Block IIIA, National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS), Global Positioning System (GPS) Block IIF, Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) High, Space-Based Space Surveillance Block 10, and the Transformational Satellite Communications System (TSAT). 

Space Acquisitions: DOD's Goals for Resolving Space Based Infrared System Software Problems Are Ambitious GAO-08-1073 September 30, 2008 (30 pages) 

Space Acquisitions: Uncertainties in the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle Program Pose Management and Oversight Challenges GAO-08-1039 September 26, 2008 (45 pages) 

Defense Space Activities: DOD Needs to Further Clarify the Operationally Responsive Space Concept and Plan to Integrate and Support Future Satellites GAO-08-831 July 11, 2008 (32 pages) 

Environmental Satellites: Polar-orbiting Satellite Acquisition Faces Delays; Decisions Needed on Whether and How to Ensure Climate Data Continuity GAO-08-899T June 19, 2008 (34 pages) 

Environmental Satellites: Polar-orbiting Satellite Acquisition Faces Delays; Decisions Needed on Whether and How to Ensure Climate Data Continuity GAO-08-518 May 16, 2008 (53 pages) 

Space Acquisitions: DOD Is Making Progress to Rapidly Deliver Low Cost Space Capabilities, but Challenges Remain GAO-08-516 April 25, 2008 (21 pages) 

Defense Space Activities: National Security Space Strategy Needed to Guide Future DOD Space Efforts GAO-08-431R March 27, 2008 (15 pages) 

Space Acquisitions: Major Space Programs Still at Risk for Cost and Schedule Increases
GAO-08-552T March 4, 2008 (21 pages) 

 

NASA

James Webb Space Telescope: Project Facing Increased Schedule Risk with Significant Work Remaining.  GAO-15-100.  December 2014.  50 pp.

NASA:  Human Space Exploration Programs Face Challenges.  Testimony of Cristina T. Chaplain, Director, Acquisition and Sourcing Management to the Subcommittee on Space, House Science, Space and Technology Committee, December 10, 2014.  18 pp. GAO-15-284T.

NASA:  Assessments of Selected Large-Scale Projects.  GAO-14-338SP.  April 15, 2014.  104 pp.

James Webb Space Telescope:  Project Meeting Commitments but Current Technical, Cost, and Schedule Challenges Could Affect Continued Progress.  GAO-14-72.  January 8, 2014.  55 pp.

Decision: Matter of Blue Origin, LLC (regarding NASA's Announcement for Proposals for future use of Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center)  December 12, 2013.  File B-408823.  12 pp.

NASA: Assessments of Selected Large-Scale Projects.  GAO-13-276SP.  April 17, 2013.  101 pp. 

James Webb Space Telescope:  Actions Needed to Improve Cost Estimate and Oversight of Test and Integration.  GAO-13-4. December 3, 2012.  56 pp.

NASA:  Earned Value Management Implementation Across Major Projects is Uneven.  GAO-13-22.  November 19, 2012.  110 pp.

NASA:  Sighnificant Challenges Remain for Access, Use, and Sustainment of the International Space Station.  Testimony of Cristina T. Chaplain, Director, Acquisition and Sourcing Management to the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, March 28, 2012.  GAO-12-587T

Assessment of Selected Large Scale Projects.  GAO-12-207SP.  March 1, 2012.  113 pp.

NASA Needs to Better Assess Contract Termination Liability Risks and Ensure Consistency in Its Practices. Letter Report. GAO-11-609R. July 12, 2011. (18 pages)

Reimburseable Space Act Agreements: NASA Generally Adhering to Fair Reimbursement Controls, But Guidance on Waived Cost Justifications Needs Refinement. GAO-11-553R, May 26, 2011. (63 pages)

Training Necessary to Address Data Reliability Issues in NASA Agreement Database and to Minimize Potential Competition with Commercial Sector. Letter Report. GAO-11-552R. May 26, 2011. (13 pages)

Commercial Launch Vehicles: NASA Taking Measures to Manage Delays and Risks. Testimony of Cristina Chaplain, Director, Acquisition and Sourcing Management before the Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee. GAO-11-692T, May 26, 2011. (23 pages)

International Space Station (ISS) -- Ongoing Assessments for Life Extension Appear to be Supported. GAO-11-519R, April 11, 2011. (39 pages)

NASA: Assessments of Selected Large Scale Projects. GAO-11-239SP, March 3, 2011. (96 pages) Associated letter to NASA Administrator Bolden.

NASA: Issues Implementing the NASA Authorization Act of 2010. Testimony of Cristina Chaplain, Director, Acquistion and Sourcing Management, and Susan A. Poling, Managing Associate General Counsel, before the Space and Science Subcommittee, Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee. GAO-11-216T, December 1, 2010. (16 pages)

NASA: Medium Launch Transition Strategy Leverages Ongoing Investments but Is Not Without Risk. GAO-11-107, November 22, 2010. (38 pages)

NASA: Key Management and Program Challenges. Testimony of Cristina Chaplain, Director, Acquisition and Sourcing Management, before the Space and Aeronautics Subcommittee, House Science and Techology Committee, February 3, 2010. GAO-10-387T. (13 pages)

NASA: Briefing on National Aeronautics and Space Administration Programs and Associated Activities. GAO-10-87R, October 15, 2009. (69 pages -- 4 page letter report plus briefing charts)

Information Security: NASA Needs to Remedy Vulnerabilities in Key Networks. GAO-10-4, October 15, 2009, (53 pages)

NASA: Constellation Program Cost and Schedule Will Remain Uncertain Until a Sound Business Case Is Established. GAO-09-844, August 26, 2009. (28 pages)

NASA: Commercial Partners Are Making Progress, but Face Aggressive Schedules to Demonstrate Critical Space Station Cargo Transport Capabilities. GAO-09-618, June 16, 2009. (41 pages)

NASA: Projects Need More Disciplined Oversight and Management to Address Key Challenges
GAO-09-436T March 5, 2009 (7 pages) 

NASA: Assessments of Selected Large-Scale Projects GAO-09-306SP March 2, 2009 (78 pages) 

NASA Workforce: Responses to Follow-up Questions regarding the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Use of Term Appointments GAO-09-356R February 25, 2009 (12 pages) 

Property Management: NASA's Goal of Increasing Equipment Reutilization May Fall Short without Further Efforts GAO-09-187 January 30, 2009 (43 pages) 

Inspectors General: Actions Needed to Improve Audit Coverage of NASA GAO-09-88 December 18, 2008 (77 pages) 

NASA: Agency Faces Challenges Defining Scope and Costs of Space Shuttle Transition and Retirement GAO-08-1096 September 30, 2008 (21 pages) 

NASA Workforce: Briefing on National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Use of Term Appointments GAO-08-920R September 10, 2008 (32 pages) 

Environmental Satellites: Polar-orbiting Satellite Acquisition Faces Delays; Decisions Needed on Whether and How to Ensure Climate Data Continuity GAO-08-899T June 19, 2008 (34 pages) 

Environmental Satellites: Polar-orbiting Satellite Acquisition Faces Delays; Decisions Needed on Whether and How to Ensure Climate Data Continuity GAO-08-518 May 16, 2008 (53 pages) 

NASA: Challenges in Completing and Sustaining the International Space Station GAO-08-581T April 24, 2008 (26 pages)

NASA: Ares I and Orion Project Risks and Key Indicators to Measure Progress GAO-08-186T April 3, 2008 (23 pages)


NOAA

Focused Attention Needed to Improve Mitigation Strategies for Satellite Coverage Gaps.  Testimony by David Powner, director, information technology management issues, before the Subcommittee on Energy and Subcommittee on Oversight of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee,  GAO-13-865T.  September 19, 2013.  (23 pages.)

Polar Weather Satellites: NOAA Identified Ways to Mitigate Data Gaps, but Contingency Plans and Schedules Require Futher Attention. GAO-13-676. September 11, 2013. (61 pages)

Geostationary Weather Satellites: Progress Made, but Weaknesses in Scheduling, Contingency Planning, and Commuicating with Users Need to be Addressed. GAO-13-597. September 9, 2013. (62 pages)

Environmental Satellites:  Focused Attention Needed to Mitigate Program Risks.  Testimony by David Powner, director, information technology management issues, before the Subcommittee on Energy and Environment and Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight, House Science, Space and Technology Committee. GAO-12-841T, June 27, 2012.  (22 pages)

Geostationary Weather Satellites: Design Progress Made, but Schedule Uncertainty Needs to be AddressedGAO-12-576, June 26, 2012. (54 pages)

Polar-orbiting Environmental Satellites:  Changing Requirements, Technical Issues, and Looming Data Gaps Require Focused Attention.  GAO-12-604, June 27, 2012. (43 pages)

Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites: Improvements Needed in Continuity Planning and Involvement of Key Users. GAO-10-799, September 2010. (44 pages)

Polar-Orbiting Environmental Satellites: With Costs Increasing and Data Continuity at Risk, Improvements Needed in Tri-agency Decision Making.  GAO-09-564, June 17, 2009. (52 pages)

Polar-Orbiting Satellites: With Costs Increasing and Data Continuity at Risk, Improvements Needed in Tri-agency Decision Making.  Testimony by David A. Powner, director, information technology management issues before the Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight, House Committee on Science and Technology.  GAO-09-772T, June 17, 2009. (10 pages)

Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites: Acquisition Is Under Way, but Improvements Needed in Management and Oversight. GAO-09-323, April 2, 2009. 

 

MULTI-AGENCY, Other Government Space Actvities, Export Controls

GAO's 2013 High-Risk Series: An Update. GAO-13-283.  February 14, 2013.

Commercial Space Launches:  FAA Should Update How it Assesses Federal Laibility Risk.  GAO-12-899.  July 30, 2012. (35 pages)

Commercial Space Launch Act: Preliminary Information on Issues to Consider for Reauthorization.  Statement by Alicia Puente Cackley, director, financial markets and community investment, before the subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics, House Committee on Science, Space and Technology.  GAO-12-767T.  June 6, 2012.

Office of Science and Technology Policy -- Bilateral Activities with China. Letter to the Honorable Frank Wolf, Chairman, Subcommittee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, Committee on Appropriations, House of Representatives. B-321982. October 11, 2011.

Commercial Space Transportation: Industry Trends and Key Issues Affecting Federal Oversight and International Competitiveness. Statement by Gerald L. Dillingham, director, physical infrastructure issues, before the subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics, House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. GAO-11-629T. May 5, 2011.

Export Controls: Agency Actions and Proposed Reform Initiatives May Address Previously Identified Weaknesses, but Challenges Remain. GAO-11-135R, November 16, 2010. (25 pages)

Export Controls: Observations on Selected Countries'Systems and Proposed Treaties. GAO-10-557, May 2010. (44 pages)

Environmental Satellites: Strategy Needed to Sustain Critical Climate and Space Weather Measurements. GAO-10-456, April 27, 2010. (51 pages)

Commercial Space Transportation: Development of the Commercial Space Launch Industry Presents Safety Oversight Challenges for FAA and Raises Issues Affecting Federal Roles. Statement of Gerald L. Dillingham, director, Physical Infrastructure Issues before the Subcommittee on Aviation, House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. GAO-10-286T, December 2, 2009. http://www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-10-286T

Polar-Orbiting Environmental Satellites: With Costs Increasing and Data Continuity at Risk, Improvements Needed in Tri-agency Decision Making. GAO-09-564, June 17, 2009. (52 pages)

Polar-Orbiting Satellites: With Costs Increasing and Data Continuity at Risk, Improvements Needed in Tri-agency Decision Making, TestImony by David A. Powner, director, information technology management issues before the Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight, House Committee on Science and Technology. GAO-09-772T, June 17, 2009. (10 pages)

Environmental Satellites: Polar-orbiting Satellite Acquisition Faces Delays; Decisions Needed on Whether and How to Ensure Climate Data Continuity GAO-08-899T June 19, 2008 (34 pages)

Environmental Satellites: Polar-orbiting Satellite Acquisition Faces Delays; Decisions Needed on Whether and How to Ensure Climate Data Continuity
GAO-08-518 May 16, 2008 (53 pages)