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Government Waste and Inefficiency: This Time at NASA

A report by the U.S. General Accountability Office (Adobe required) on the operation of a fleet of passenger aircraft (distinct from its research and program support operations) at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration is the latest example that government employees do not use taxpayer money as economically as if it was their own. GAO's analysis "showed NASA passenger aircraft services were about $20 million more costly than comparable commercial coach ticket costs . . . in the order of $25 million, while commercial coach ticket for the same number of travelers would have been approximately $5 million." In fact, GAO added that "NASA's cost reporting did not take into account all costs." GAO also noted that NASA failed to comply with governmentwide direction that agencies "acquire and retain only the number and size aircraft needed to meet direct mission requirements," and their use did not meet that definition. While GAO takes NASA to the proverbial woodshed, where was Congressional oversight over NASA's operation? GAO noted they have been reporting on this issue since at least 1977.