Hearing on Space Leadership Preservation Act Set for Thursday

Capitol Building
Full House Science Committee Hearing

The Space Leadership Preservation Act and the Need for Stability at NASA
Thursday, February 25, 2016 – 10:00 am

Witnesses

Panel 1:

The Honorable John Culberson
Member, U.S. House of Representatives

Panel 2:

The Honorable Michael Griffin
Former Administrator, NASA

Colonel Eileen Collins
USAF (Retired); NASA Astronaut, Commander, STS-93 and 114; NASA Astronaut, Pilot, STS-63 and 94

Ms. Cristina Chaplain
Director of Acquisition and Sourcing Management, U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO)

Background

The Space Leadership Preservation Act (H.R. 2093), to improve NASA’s management structure and accountability. The Space Leadership Preservation Act proposes a number of changes to the management structure of NASA and its procurement authority to address the issue of constancy of purpose.

The bill includes the following provisions:

10 Year Term for the NASA Administrator: The bill establishes a 10-year term for the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The Administrator shall be chosen from a list provided by a new “Board of Directors”.

Establish a Board of Directors: The bill establishes a “Board of Directors.” It provides the manner of the selection and appointment as well as the criteria to qualify for the board and the length of each member’s term. This section empowers the board to provide to the President and Congress a proposed budget for NASA; to provide a list of nominees to the President for appointment to Administrator, Deputy Administrator, and Chief Financial Officer, all Senate confirmed appointments; to provide reports on specific policy matters deemed important by Congress; to review current space programs and future space exploration plans; and to provide a recommendation to Congress and President for the removal of the Administrator for cause.

Budget Deliberation Review: The bill directs NASA to provide the “Board of Directors” with the budget they send to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), thereby allowing them to see any differences between what NASA asked for in a budget and what the Administration formally requested for NASA. The bill also requires the President to provide an explanation of any discrepancy in the budget proposal provided by the “Board of Directors.”

Long-Term Procurement: The bill provides NASA with the capability to enter into contracts for rocket propulsion systems and manned and unmanned space transportation vehicles and payloads, including expendable launch vehicles, and any other infrastructure intended for placement or operation in space or on celestial bodies, and services related thereto for periods in excess of the period for which funds are otherwise available for obligation under certain conditions.