NASA Budget: It Ain't Rocket Science


But it apparently is baffling enough to make even the superbeancounters at the General Accounting Office throw up their hands. A new GAO report says

the space agency's accounting systems are so convoluted they could not figure out what amount of federal funding was applied to the International Space Station program and what amount went to the grounded shuttle fleet.

"We have no basis for verifying NASA's charges against the limits," wrote Gregory Kutz, the GAO's director of financial management and assurance.

The finding comes as no surprise. The GAO has issued similar reports every year since the 2000 law was passed in an attempt to hold NASA accountable for repeated cost overruns on the International Space Station program.

What makes the report unusual is that it reveals NASA has made little accounting progress under Administrator Sean O'Keefe, a budget specialist who was assigned to the agency to fix its chronic management and financial weaknesses.