GAO Calls for Through Evaluation of Funding Program

The Air Force should systematically evaluate a pilot program that funds its civilian space acquisition workforce from research and development accounts to determine if there’s merit in applying this approach to more of its civilian employees, recommended Government Accountability Office auditors. Nearly 1800 civilians at the Space and Missile Systems Center in Los Angeles manage the acquisition of the service’s space assets, and in 2012, the Air Force began the pilot program, which moved the funding for them from operation and maintenance coffers to the R&D accounts, according to the summary of GAO’s new report, issued on July 8. However, the Air Force did not define clear and consistent goals, and, as a result, “anecdotal opinions on the advantages or disadvantages of the pilot varied significantly,” states the summary. Without a thorough evaluation, the Air Force cannot gauge if there’s is an advantage to expanding this initiative, states the summary.