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NASA OIG: NASA's Use of Recovery Act Funding for the James Webb Space Telescope Project

Status Report From: NASA Office of Inspector General
Posted: Thursday, March 3, 2011

image Executive Summary

Following multiple schedule delays and substantial cost growth, in 2009 the JWST Project received $75 million in Recovery Act funding intended to sustain the Project's workforce at a consistent level and maintain the baseline schedule for key development activities. We found that in using these funds, the JWST Project adequately addressed the requirements of the Recovery Act and related OMB guidance and delivered measureable outcomes consistent with Agency program and project plans and the goals of the Act. Specifically, we found that the $75 million in Recovery Act funds enabled 454 jobs to be retained on the JWST Project in the fourth quarter of FY 2009 and 149 jobs in the first quarter of FY 2010.

In addition, we identified 40 JWST tasks funded by the Recovery Act, of which 34 were completed on schedule - between July 11, 2009, and September 30, 2009; by November 6, 2009; or upon exhaustion of Recovery Act funds, depending upon the contract modification covering the given task. According to NASA officials, all of the critical path tasks were completed on schedule.

Background

Significant progress was also made on the other 6 tasks, which were subsequently fully completed using non-Recovery Act funding. Based on our review of the final performance reports from the involved contractors and discussions with NASA officials, we concluded that the performance results on the JWST Recovery Act activities fulfilled the intent of the Recovery Act, and for tasks that were not completed within the planned period of performance, delays were justified appropriately.

Full report

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