The inspection report “Review of Performance-Based Service Contract
Quality Assurance Surveillance Plans” (G-02-011) has been posted to the
NASA Office of Inspector General Web site at:

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Office of
Inspector General conducted an assessment of NASA’s contract quality
assurance surveillance activities under performance-based service
contracts. Specifically, the assessment focused on the use of Quality
Assurance Surveillance Plans (QASPs) as part of the contract
surveillance function. Fieldwork for this inspection was conducted at
Ames Research Center, Goddard Space Flight Center, and Langley Research

To facilitate effective contract surveillance, Federal procurement
regulations require agencies to develop QASPs for all service
contracts. A QASP, which directly corresponds to a contract’s
specified performance standards, is used to measure contractor
performance and to ensure that the Government receives the quality of
services called for under the contract and pays only for the acceptable
level of services received. We found several weaknesses related to
NASA’s use of QASPs as part of the contract surveillance function.
Our findings demonstrate the need for improved development, content,
and utilization of QASPs, more systematic and better documented
contract surveillance, and an increased emphasis on refresher training
for designated Contracting Officer’s Technical Representatives (COTRs).
We made two recommendations to the NASA Office of Procurement to
clarify and improve Agency guidance and three recommendations to the
NASA Centers to improve QASP training for its COTRs. NASA management
concurred with our five recommendations and has taken or plans
appropriate corrective actions.

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