NASA OIG: Evaluation and Oversight of NASA's University-Affiliated Spaceport Technology Development Contract Needed Improvement


The Office of Inspector General received an anonymous complaint alleging that the performance of the Arctic Slope Regional Corporation (ASRC), ASRC Aerospace Corporation, did not meet the contract requirements of NASA's University-Affiliated Spaceport Technology Development Contract (USTDC), NAS10-03006. Specifically, the complainant alleged that contract deliverables for task order (TO) 425 under contract NAS10-03006 were not timely and that deliverables did not meet minimum standards specified in the contract's statement of work. We were unable to ascertain whether ASRC Aerospace Corporation deliverables for TO 425 were timely and met contract performance standards because TO 425 only identified a completion date for technical engineering support; it did not identify specific dates for design deliverables. Therefore, we expanded our objectives to determine whether fiscal year (FY) 2007 performance evaluation factors provided a fair and objective assessment of the contractor's performance and whether cost data submitted to NASA by the contractor during FY 2008 for the 9-month period of October 2007 through June 2008 was accurate. To meet our objectives, we initiated an audit of 191 TOs that were active at the end of FY 2007. Of those TOs, we identified 113 that did not include milestones, and we statistically selected a sample of 51 TOs for further review (see Appendix A for details of the audit's scope and methodology).

The USTDC is a performance-based; indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity; cost-reimbursement-award-fee; and incentive-fee contract administered by Kennedy Space Center (KSC). The objective of the USTDC is to provide a broad range of non-routine engineering development services and products to KSC organizations and operational customers. TOs are used to define contract tasks, requirements, funding targets and limits, milestones, performance indicators, and performance standards. TOs for the USTDC are drafted by TO managers, approved by the contracting officer's technical representative (COTR), and issued by the contracting officer (CO). The amount of award fee the contractor earns is based on an evaluation of the contractor's performance against criteria established in the USTDC Award Fee Plan, which includes Technical, Cost, Business, and Special Areas of Emphasis performance areas.

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