GAO-04-648R - NASA Compliance With Cost Limits for ISS (House and Senate briefing charts)

Status Report From: Government Accountability Office
Posted: Tuesday, April 6, 2004

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April 2, 2004

The Honorable John McCain
The Honorable Ernest Hollings
Ranking Minority Member
Committee on Commerce, Science,
and Transportation
United States Senate

The Honorable Sherwood L. Boehlert
The Honorable Ralph Hall
Ranking Minority member
Committee on Science
House of Representatives

Subject: NASA: Compliance with Cost Limits

Section 202 of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Authorization Act of 2000 (P.L. 106-391) requires that GAO verify NASA’s accounting for amounts obligated against established limits for the space station and related space shuttle support. Under the act, obligations are limited to $25 billion for the space station and $17.7 billion for shuttle support. In the past, we reported that NASA was unable to provide detailed support for the amounts it had reported as obligated against the limits. Thus, we could not verify the amounts NASA reported to Congress in its fiscal year 2002 through 2004 budget requests.

NASA’s did not report obligations to date against the space station and shuttle cost limits as part of its fiscal year 2005 budget request. Therefore, there was nothing for us to audit this year and we were unable to perform the audit called for by section 202 of the act. As a result, we have no basis for verifying NASA’s charges against the limits. We have provided a copy of the slides to NASA officials and they agreed with our conclusion.

As discussed with your staff, the enclosed slides summarize current and past reporting issues on these legislative restrictions. If you or your staff have any questions about the slides, please contact me at (202) 512-9505 or by e-mail at or Diane Handley, Assistant Director, at (404) 679-1986 or by e-mail at

Gregory D. Kutz

Director, Financial Management and Assurance

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