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Managing the Space Sciences (1995)

Chapter: Appendix E: NASA Roles and Responsibilities in the Science Programs

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Suggested Citation:"Appendix E: NASA Roles and Responsibilities in the Science Programs." National Research Council. 1995. Managing the Space Sciences. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9297.
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APPENDIX

E

NASA Roles and Responsibilities in the Science Programs

Extracted from NASA Handbook 1101.3, The NASA Organization (September 1994), the following is not intended to be a detailed accounting of NASA's planning, budgeting, and managing of its programs, but it does describe some elements of that system as a context for identifying the roles and responsibilities of the key officials associated with the science program. In the following, excerpts from the formal responsibilities statements are employed, and in some cases, paraphrased.

The content of each science program is established by the Program Associate Administrator, who:

  1. Develops strategic plans consistent with the NASA strategic plan to define program goals and objectives and establish program priorities.

  2. Plans the programmatic activities, including financial and technical plans, consistent with the program strategic plan.

  3. Manages the program, delegating authority as appropriate, to include establishing program budgets and allocating resources, identifying and funding program facility requirements, overseeing and controlling program performance schedules, and expending resources to meet program objectives.

  4. Provides for full coordination with other NASA offices and program managers and with persons, groups, and organizations external to NASA who have responsibilities related to the program.

  5. Participates with other senior NASA officials to provide advice and counsel to the Administrator in the development and administration of the overall NASA program and in the continual development of NASA program policies and direction and the review of NASA programs.

The out-of-house science research program is carried out by universities, industry, other government groups, and others, either managed directly from Headquarters by the staff of the Program Associate Administrator or managed by field center staff. The in-house science research program is carried out by personnel at the centers. Program funds are provided to the center, for either in-house or out-of-house research, through center management by the Program Associate Administrator. However, other resources (in-house research personnel, facilities, and other support) are provided by the Center Director. Specifically, each Center Director:

  1. Develops strategic plans consistent with the NASA strategic plan to define center goals and objectives and establish center priorities.

Suggested Citation:"Appendix E: NASA Roles and Responsibilities in the Science Programs." National Research Council. 1995. Managing the Space Sciences. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9297.
×
  1. Allocates and reprograms resources as required to meet approved objectives in accordance with delegated authority.

  2. Manages the day-to-day operations of the Center in support of program roles and missions.

  3. Assures the safety, reliability, maintainability, and quality assurance for facilities, operations, functions, and products of the Center.

  4. Participates with Headquarters in the continual development of NASA policies and the review of NASA programs.

Each NASA Center Director acquires his/her institutional resources (personnel, facilities, etc.) from and reports to an Institutional Associate Administrator, who, because each center may work on many different programs, may or may not be the same as the Program Associate Administrator. Each Institutional Associate Administrator, in addition to any program responsibilities he or she might have:

  1. Develops strategic plans consistent with the NASA strategic plan to define institutional goals and objectives and establish institutional priorities.

  2. Allocates and reprograms resources as required to meet approved objectives in accordance with delegated authority.

  3. Provides direction, leadership, and support to reporting Centers in order to maintain the infrastructure, as well as the technical and management capabilities commensurate with their roles and missions within the Agency.

  4. Provides leadership and policy guidance to reporting Centers regarding the assignment of projects from all Program Offices, including the assurance of program-level documentation committing sufficient institutional resources to adequately support the assigned projects.

The program, institutional, and center relationships most relevant to the science programs are:

  1. The AA for MTPE is the Institutional AA for GSFC. GSFC has a major role in the Space Science Program, as well as the MTPE Program.

  2. The AA for SS is the Institutional AA for JPL (a contract “center”). JPL has a significant role in the MTPE Program, as well as the Space Science Program.

  3. Other centers having significant involvement with the indicated NASA science programs, and their respective institutional AA's, are:

Center (science program)

Institutional AA

MSFC (microgravity, space science)

AA for Space Flight

JSC (life, space science)

AA for Space Flight

ARC (life, Earth, space science)

AA for Aeronautics

LaRC (Earth science)

AA for Aeronautics

LeRC (microgravity science)

AA for Aeronautics

The Program and Institutional Associate Administrators report to the NASA Administrator, who:

  1. Serves as the Agency head in carrying out the mission of the Agency and conducting all of its activities.

  2. Represents NASA before the President, Congress, and the heads of Federal or other appropriate governmental agencies, external organizations, and communities.

  3. Serves as the final Agency decisionmaker concerning all NASA activities, except as may be specified by law, regulation, Presidential directive, or delegated authority.

Suggested Citation:"Appendix E: NASA Roles and Responsibilities in the Science Programs." National Research Council. 1995. Managing the Space Sciences. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9297.
×
  1. Organizes the NASA workforce, delegating authority, and determining Agency priorities in accomplishing its mission, activities, or goals.

The Administrator is supported, not only by the Program and Institutional Associate Administrators and their staffs, but by a number of senior officials in the Office of the Administrator and by Officials-in-Charge of staff offices. In the Office of the Administrator, the Chief Scientist is responsible for providing the principal interface between NASA and the national and international science community to ensure that NASA programs are universally regarded as scientifically and technologically well-founded and are appropriate for their intended applications.

Two Officials-in-Charge of staff offices particularly closely involved with the science program are the Chief Financial Officer/Comptroller and the Associate Administrator for Policy and Plans. The former is the Administrator's principal advisor on financial and budgetary matters and plays a major role in the budget decision process. Specifically, the Chief Financial Officer/Comptroller:

  1. Provides for the overview and financial management of Agency resources relating to programs and operations, including all resources aspects of the planning, programming, and budgeting process.

  2. Reviews, assesses, and validates Agency resources requirements, including recommendations to the Administrator for fiscal resources approvals and authorizations.

  3. Performs economic and cost analyses for Agency assessments of program alternatives.

  4. Develops and maintains an integrated Agency budgeting, accounting, and financial management system, including financial reporting and financial management internal controls.

  5. Monitors the financial execution of the Agency budget in relation to actual expenditures, and prepares and submits to the Administrator timely performance reports.

Finally, the Associate Administrator for Policy and Plans is the Administrator's senior advisor on policy and strategic planning and is responsible for providing executive leadership for Agency-level policy and strategic-planning activities. Specifically, that official:

  1. Directs, conducts, and coordinates analyses and activities to identify Agency policy needs; investigates alternative policy strategies; and develops compelling rationales for Agency-level programs and plans. Ensures coherence and consistency in the formulation, integration, and dissemination of Agency-level policy and plans.

  2. Evaluates, facilitates, and assures implementation and compliance of cross-cutting Administration, congressional, and Agency-level policies and directives.

  3. Organizes and leads the strategic-management process, including the annual update of the Agency's Strategic Plan.

  4. Serves as the focal point for NASA interactions with Executive branch interagency forums, advisory committees, commissions, and other external and internal committees and groups. Facilitates and supports the activities of the NASA Advisory Council.

  5. Facilitates NASA participation in interagency forums and communicates guidance and direction from the Administrator for such participation.

Suggested Citation:"Appendix E: NASA Roles and Responsibilities in the Science Programs." National Research Council. 1995. Managing the Space Sciences. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9297.
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Page 88
Suggested Citation:"Appendix E: NASA Roles and Responsibilities in the Science Programs." National Research Council. 1995. Managing the Space Sciences. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9297.
×
Page 89
Suggested Citation:"Appendix E: NASA Roles and Responsibilities in the Science Programs." National Research Council. 1995. Managing the Space Sciences. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/9297.
×
Page 90
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