NASA currently utilizes multiple methods to assure accountability, and will apply these standard processes and procedures to all Programs supported by Recovery Act funds. NASA requires accountability at all levels of management and from all of its cost-sharing and non-cost sharing partners, contractors, and grantees for the timely delivery and quality of products.
NASA employs multiple methods of review and evaluation of progress toward the goals of each Program Plan for Recovery funds. These reviews will assure the funds are being utilized as intended and are delivering on their committed objectives. Managers at all levels will be held accountable both via review of their progress and individual performance plans. At NASA, all employee performance plans for Federal managers include elements tied to the program plans for which they are responsible. They are held accountable for cost, schedule, and performance results, and their individual performance is rated in annual appraisals.
NASA's management monitors different aspects of program or institutional performance, at the highest Agency levels, and uses a rigorous structure of program and management reviews for Agency-level decisions. To continue through each phase of development, programs must demonstrate, on an on-going basis and at key life cycle junctures, an ability to manage in a manner that produces identifiable results, and must document performance against previously defined commitments including multi-year outputs, annual performance goals, milestones and other metrics, as appropriate.
NASA internally monitors performance through monthly and quarterly reviews, at each management level. At the senior management level, program reviews, accompanied by an independent (internal) assessment, occur across all mission areas (aeronautics, science, space operations and exploration systems), with an in-depth review each quarter rotating among the mission organizations. Senior management also reviews institutional data (finance, human capital, acquisition, infrastructure), and aggregated Agency measures and metrics, e.g., safety, cross-cutting technical and non-technical issues. The data reviewed, and the accompanying analysis, allows the Agency to focus on, and proactively address, issues that could lead to not achieving desired performance goals.
Contractors will be held accountable for the timely delivery and quality of products. Award fee reviews, where appropriate, will be performed on contracts and past performance evaluations are integral in solicitation criteria. Grants and cooperative agreements are subject whenever possible to deliverables and milestones that must be met in order to receive funding renewal. Contractor and government accounting systems are audited periodically to ensure compliance with government standards. Additionally, NASA will cooperate with the Government Accountability Office and the NASA Office of Inspector General through various engagements and audits that monitor specific items dealing with Recovery funds.
To assure transparency and accountability to the public and its key stakeholders, NASA will post its current plans, and outline any revisions to previous versions on the Agency Recovery Act website. Information will be available on key events, the status of on-going activities, outcomes of Inspector General Audits and the accomplishment of and performance toward, annual and long-term Recovery Program goals. Web links will be provided, where applicable to posted solicitations, awards, and grantee performance, among other relevant information. For this and other important information on NASA implementation of the Recovery Act, see http://www.nasa.gov/recovery/.