Watchdog: Accountability

NASA runs into issues with a $2.5 billion IT contact, agency's IG finds

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Watchdog,NASA,Kelly Cohen,Inspectors General,Accountability,Follow the Money,Government Contractors,Technology

A new NASA information technology program worth $2.5 billion has "significant problems," the agency's inspector general has found.

According to the new report, NASA awarded Hewlett Packard Enterprise Services a contract worth $2.5 billion three years ago to provide agency employees with "desktop computers, laptops, mobile devices, printers, and other computing equipment" as well as staffing a help desk and providing data backup. The contract was to run through 2015, with options to be extended.

One of the biggest standout issues was a failure to replace most NASA employees' computers within the first six months, as well as "low customer satisfaction."

Furthermore, had the contract been implemented as planned, the IG said NASA could have saved $31 million annually.

The IG doesn't blame NASA or HP exclusively; rather, it says both have issues.

NASA's IT management, the IG says, was not prepared for a new model due to shortcomings in practices. On the other side, aspects of the contract contributed to HP's inability to fulfill it.

The IG also said NASA's "culture" affects its ability to implement a new agency-wide IT services model. In addition to billing issues throughout NASA, the IG found a lack of accurate and completely inventory, which "poses a significant risk to NASA's IT security."

"In light of the criticality of the IT services provided under the ... contract, NASA's decision on how to move forward will directly affect NASA's more than 17,000 employees and thousands of contractors," the report states.

View the full report here:

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