Aparentemente a NASA controla tão mal o seu inventário de equipamento que andam a desaparecer toneladas de computadores, impressoras e similares, sem que nada seja feito para investigar.
Uma investigação do Government Accountability Office (GAO) concluíu que nos últimos 10 anos desapareceram 94 milhões de dólares de equipamento! Pior, quando a NASA descobriu, em vez de apertar o controlo sobre o equipamento, simplesmente subiu a fasquia acima da qual seria obrigada a investigar esses desaparecimentos!
E ainda pior, cerca de 199 milhões dólares de equipamento nunca foram inventariados!!! Por isso nem se sabe se estão a uso da NASA ou se foram levados para casa de alguém...
Nas investigações feitas a estas discrepâncias, houve explicações absolutamente surreais, como um caso em que um indivíduo afirmou que o seu portátil teria sido levado para a Estação Espacial Internacional, e deitado pela borda fora, para arder na alta atmosfera, quando deixou de funcionar!
Boa! Já viram se eu levasse daqui do meu escritório um portátilzito todo XPTO, e depois me viessem perguntar por ele? Eu dizia que tinha sido levado por engano para a Lua... E ninguém fazia mais perguntas!
Mais uma vez a NASA encara os erros com o mesmo padrão de comportamento - aumentando a margem aceitável para esse erro. Foi assim que perderam o Challenger. E uma tonelada de equipamento de escritório!!!
Property Management: Lack of Accountability and Weak Internal Controls Leave NASA Equipment Vulnerable to Loss, Theft, and Misuse
Date Released: Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Source: Government Accountability Office
What GAO Found
Over the past 10 years, NASA reported that it lost over $94 million of equipment. The high equipment losses are due mainly to a weak internal control environment. Although some equipment was located during subsequent physical inventories, NASA's failure to keep track of these items leaves them vulnerable to theft and misuse. When faced with high equipment losses, instead of tightening controls, NASA raised its threshold for tracking and controlling equipment. Also, NASA management was unresponsive to prior equipment management recommendations, frequently did not investigate equipment losses, and was reluctant to hold employees accountable for loss--as shown in the following examples.
Explanations Provided for Equipment Loss in Which No One Was Held Accountable
(Equipment description - Equipment value (dollars) - Explanation provided)
- Desktop computer and laser printer - 4,855 - My wife needed a computer at home to perform her work as a real estate broker so I checked one out from the surplus stock available. I turned the computer back in when she was done using it but never received a receipt.
- Laptop computer - 4,265 - This computer, although assigned to me, was being used on board the International Space Station. I was informed that it was tossed overboard to be burned up in the atmosphere when it failed.
- Various missing property, 65 items - 850,321- A thorough and reasonable search was conducted but we were unable to locate the missing property. In general, the missing items consist of older equipment that has been replaced or is no longer necessary for standard operations.
NASA also lacks the integrated systems and processes needed to provide reasonable assurance that equipment purchases are recorded in the property management system. As a result, over the past 10 years, NASA reported that it failed to enter $199 million of equipment purchases into its property management system. Equipment not tracked in NASA's property management system is not subject to the same physical inventory procedures as other controlled equipment items and, as a result, is at much higher risk of being lost or stolen without NASA being aware of it. Because NASA uses the amounts recorded in its property records as the basis for reporting equipment amounts in its financial statements, NASA did not report the full cost of this equipment on its financial statements. Although NASA expects its system modernization effort to improve controls for ensuring that equipment purchases are recorded in the property system, NASA cannot rely on technology alone to solve its equipment management problems. These problems are deeply rooted in an agency culture that does not demand accountability or fully recognize the value of effectively managing government assets.
Why GAO Did This Study
For years, GAO and others have reported that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) does not maintain effective control over the $35 billion of property, plant, and equipment (PP&E) and materials that it reports on its financial statements. GAO's report, the first in a planned series, addresses whether NASA's control environment and internal controls over NASA-held equipment provide reasonable assurance that (1) these assets are not vulnerable to loss, theft, and misuse and (2) all equipment costs are appropriately recorded in the agency's financial statements. GAO evaluated the design of NASA's property management controls by reviewing agencywide and local policies, obtaining equipment loss reports for all NASA centers, and evaluating actions taken to hold employees accountable. To confirm its understanding of the design of NASA's property controls, GAO conducted on-site visits at two NASA centers and interviewed property management officials at the remaining seven NASA centers.
What GAO Recommends
GAO is recommending 10 actions aimed at strengthening users' accountability for equipment loss and improving internal controls over equipment. NASA concurred with 8 of GAO's 10 recommendations and partially concurred with 2. NASA also provided technical comments that have been incorporated as www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-07-432