[ISN] Inspector General Finds NASA Export Control "May Be Inadequate".

From: mea culpa (jerichoat_private)
Date: Wed Apr 07 1999 - 12:16:22 PDT

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    Aerospace Daily - 04/06/99
    Inspector General finds NASA export control may be inadequate
    NASA's handling of "sensitive technologies" covered by U.S. export-control
    laws has been so poorly managed that the agency is at risk of
    "inappropriately" sending abroad technologies that might be applied "to
    uses detrimental to U.S. interests," the agency's inspector general has
    During a review of export-control activities at three NASA field centers
    that ended in February, officials of the IG's office found a number of
    shortcomings in the export-control procedures introduced at the agency
    over the past two years and in their implementation. The report comes
    against a backdrop of heightened concern about space-industry technology
    exports to China, Russia and Ukraine that has triggered a $10 million
    civil penalty against Boeing (DAILY, Aug. 11, Oct. 1, 1998) and a
    classified congressional investigation of Hughes and Loral (DAILY, Oct. 
    21, Jan. 13).
    "NASA has not identified all specific technologies that should be
    controlled and does not currently maintain a catalogue of classifications
    for transfers of export-controlled technologies," the IG report stated.
    "Although the agency has designated special categories for protection,
    such as export items, scientific and technical information, and software,
    NASA has not provided sufficiently comprehensive guidance or training to
    identify and classify export-controlled technology. As a result, NASA
    risks inappropriately transferring export-controlled technologies."
    In the report, "NASA Control of Export-Controlled Technologies" 
    (IG-99-020), dated March 31 and posted on the NASA IG's web site
    yesterday, IG auditors found the agency relied on the State Dept. 
    Munitions List and the Commerce Control List of dual-use items maintained
    by the Commerce Dept. to identify which of its technologies need special
    handling. At the request of John D. Schumacher, associate administrator
    for external relations, the IG revised its report to specify
    "export-controlled technologies" rather than "sensitive technologies" in
    the interest of greater precision, but it still found that Schumacher's
    organization needs to establish an agency-wide catalogue of specific NASA
    technologies subject to export controls.
    No audit of Space Station compliance
    In the area of training, the IG investigators found annual export control
    audits at Johnson Space Center, Tex., and Cleveland's Glenn Research
    Center were performed by personnel who "had no experience and had not
    received training in how to perform an annual audit." At JSC the export
    control auditor did not even examine exports carried out through the
    International Space Station program, which already has raised
    export-control concerns on Capitol Hill because of Russia's central role.
    Instead, a separate "Space Station Export Control Administrator"  oversees
    technology exports, and that official's work apparently was not audited. 
    Meanwhile, although the export control auditor at Marshall Space Flight
    Center, Ala., produced a report that was properly documented and followed
    policies and procedures, none of the auditor's recommendations had been
    addressed by the center by the time the IG audit was completed.
    According to the IG report, NASA has been making an effort to improve
    training for its export control personnel, including annual conferences
    for export control officials at the field center level and "periodic" 
    training for program and project managers. However, shortcomings remain,
    the IG found, including the failure of export files to list the purpose
    and end use of material to be exported.
    Top NASA management concurred with the IG recommendations, as revised
    after Schumacher's response to an earlier draft of the report. At a
    regular meeting of top headquarters managers and field center directors
    March 29, Administrator Daniel S. Goldin included export control issues in
    a larger message stressing the need for greater attention to security at
    NASA, according to minutes of the meeting also posted on the Internet.
    The agency has also established an "export control team" at its Washington
    headquarters to monitor compliance with relevant legislation and
    regulations, and to ensure that non-U.S. visitors to NASA facilities don't
    gain access to controlled information and technology (DAILY, March 29).
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