recommended reading

Audit: NASA not doing enough to combat fraud in business program

The NASA Inspector General's office released a report Wednesday detailing more than $2 million of waste and fraud involving NASA research grants provided in conjunction with the Small Business Administration's Small Business Innovation Research program.

The audit was initiated after an investigation found unscrupulous applicants collected payments multiple times. The SBIR program works with other federal agencies such as NASA to direct federal research dollars to qualified small businesses.

The review found that "while NASA's initial choice of SBIR award recipients appeared objective and merit-based, its oversight and monitoring of awards was deficient," with the result that about 25 percent of the awards included improper payments totaling $2.7 million.

In response to the IG report, Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John (Jay) Rockefeller, D-W.Va., urged NASA to quickly implement the inspector general's recommendations. They included calling on the agency to implement 24 internal controls aimed at helping to prevent and detect SBIR fraud and abuse such as better training for SBIR evaluators and enhanced cooperation with SBA on combating waste and fraud.

"Government-supported scientific research and innovation is one of the keys to our country's future economic growth. We can't afford to lose any of our precious research and development dollars to waste, fraud or abuse," Rockefeller said in a statement.

The Senate passed legislation in the last Congress to reauthorize SBIR and the SBA's Small Business Technology Transfer program that included language added by Rockefeller and Senate Small Business ranking member Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, aimed at addressing concerns about fraud and abuse, Rockefeller said. The bill, however, died in the House.

Snowe said the IG's report "highlights the need for Congress to pass comprehensive legislation reauthorizing the SBIR program and providing agencies with the necessary tools to improve their oversight efforts."

Threatwatch Alert

Thousands of cyber attacks occur each day

See the latest threats


Close [ x ] More from Nextgov

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • It’s Time for the Federal Government to Embrace Wireless and Mobility

    The United States has turned a corner on the adoption of mobile phones, tablets and other smart devices, outpacing traditional desktop and laptop sales by a wide margin. This issue brief discusses the state of wireless and mobility in federal government and outlines why now is the time to embrace these technologies in government.

  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

  • A New Security Architecture for Federal Networks

    Federal government networks are under constant attack, and the number of those attacks is increasing. This issue brief discusses today's threats and a new model for the future.

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

  • Software-Defined Networking

    So many demands are being placed on federal information technology networks, which must handle vast amounts of data, accommodate voice and video, and cope with a multitude of highly connected devices while keeping government information secure from cyber threats. This issue brief discusses the state of SDN in the federal government and the path forward.

  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.