NASA should revise contract termination policy, GAO says

Cristina Chaplain, director of acquisitions and sourcing management, GAO

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The Government Accountability Office recommended NASA review its contract termination policy. In 2010, NASA terminated only 28 of its 16,343 contracts. As terminations become more likely due to tightening budgets, GAO said NASA needs to develop more guidance for its acquisition professionals.

“We found that NASA’s acquisition professionals generally do not monitor or track the potential termination liability costs of its contractors nor does the FAR require them to do so,” GAO said in its report. “The agency has not issued detailed instructions or provided guidance to direct contracting officers and others on how to monitor or track termination liability and to supplement the reliance on the relevant FAR provisions.”

Cristina Chaplain, director of acquisitions and sourcing management at GAO, spoke with Federal News Radio about the agency’s recommendations and what other departments can learn from NASA’s experience.