NASA Inspector General Auditing SBIR Program for Fraud, Waste and Abuse

A report submitted to NASA’s management last month titled, “NASA’s Top Management and Performance Challenges,” reveals that the space agency’s Inspector General is currently auditing the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program for fraud, waste and abuse:

Contract Management. NASA spends approximately 85 percent of its $18 billion budget on contracts and awards. Given the significant amounts of taxpayer funds at risk, continued findings by the OIG and GAO identifying systemic weaknesses in NASA’s contract management practices illustrate that this issue remains a top Agency challenge.

For example, the OIG has identified instances of fraud, waste, and abuse by program participants that bring into question the effectiveness of the internal controls in NASA’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program. OIG investigations have found that some award recipients received multiple SBIR contracts for essentially the same research and provided duplicate deliverables or questionable research products. An ongoing OIG audit of NASA’s SBIR Program is examining whether Program management has implemented adequate internal controls to ensure the contract funds are appropriately spent. In addition, the audit is reviewing whether SBIR contracts contain unallowable and unsupported costs.

Parabolic Arc will let you know when the Inspector General releases the audit.