An inspector general report today criticized NASA’s program to find potentially hazardous asteroids, finding it disorganized and poorly managed.
The report faulted the NEO Program’s lack of structure, and said its resources are inadequate for handling its growing agenda. In addition to the program’s Washington-based executive, Lindley Johnson, NASA funding goes to support six employees at the Minor Planet Center in Massachusetts and six more at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, the inspector general’s office said.
The report said the program’s executive fell short when it came to overseeing progress in the asteroid-tracking effort. What’s more, there were no formal partnerships with the Defense Department or the National Science Foundation, or with international space agencies. Those groups could make significant contributions to the effort, the report said.
I do not doubt that this program has management problems. What government agency today doesn’t? And any that are managed well are the exception to the rule. However, the report’s conclusion that “resources are inadequate for handling its growing agenda” is typical Washington-speak for “Give us more money!” which almost never solves the management problems that made the program a failure in the first place.