oversight

Building Authorized To Provide Office Space at Manned Spacecraft Center Redesigned To Provide Laboratory Space

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1971-03-29.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

RE’PORT To ‘COMITTEE   0~                         OY~J~-&
AERONAUTICAL     AND SPACE                        SCIENCES
UNITED STATES SENATE



                            IllllllllIlllclli~l~ll~lll~llllll~li~el
                                       LM090557




      ing Authorized To Provide
Office Space      Manned Spacecraft
Center Redes      ed To Provide
Laboratory Space            B-765718




National Aeronautics    and
   Space Administration    RGeOoD3~




BY THE COMPTROLLER    GENERAL
OF THE UNITED  STATES
                          COMPTROLLER     GENERAL        OF      THE   UNiTED   STATES,
                                        WASHIN’GTON.      D.C.     20548




B-165118



Dear    Mr.   Chairman:

        The    accompanying        report    presents      the results   of our review,       made
pursuant     to your request        of February       24, 1971, of the differences        between
the Engineering       Building      as authorized        by the Congress     and the building
that the National      Aeronautics        and Space Administration          is constructing
at the Manned       Spacecraft      Center,     Houston,      Texas.

          As agreed     with your office,  we provided      a copy of the draft     re-
port to the National        Aeronautics   and Space Administration          for its re-
view.      Its comments      are included  as appendix     II, and appropriate      con-
sideration      has been given to them      in the report.

       We plan to make    no further    distribution      of this report     unless
copies   are specifically requested,     and then we shall        make    distribution
only after your agreement      has been obtained        or public    announcement                   has
been made by you concerning         the contents     of the report.

         As you requested,            a report     will be provided       to you as soon as
possible     on similar     facilities       funded     with construction      funds and on
major     or new facilities          and equipment         funded   with research      and devel-
opment     funds or with research               and program       -management      funds,

                                                                 Sincerely       yours,




                                                                 Comptroller              General
                                                                 of the United            States

The Honorable        Clinton     P. Anderson,  Chairman
Committee        on Aeronautical      and Space Sciences
United    States   Senate




                     50 TH ANNIVERSARY                 ?921-       1971
    COMPTROLLERGENERAL'S REPORT $0      '                                  BUILDING       AUTHORIZED TO PROVIDE
    THE COMMl-TTEEON AERONAUTICAL AND                                      OFFICE SPACE AT MANNED SPACECRAFT
    SPACE SCIEflCES, UNITED STATES SENATE                                  CENTER REDESIGNED TO PROVIDE
                                                                           LABORATORY SPACE
                                                                           National       Aeronautics       and Space
                                                                           Administration          B-165118


     DIGEST
    ------


    WHY THEREVIEWWAS MADE
          In August      1970 the National   Aeronautics   and Space Administration            (NASA)
          b                                                                      nned  Spacecraft
I
          C                                                                      sX?~~T"i"cin,
          was authorized      by the Congress    in the National     Aeronautics     and Space
          Administration      Authorization   Act for fiscal     year 1967, approved          August 5,
          1966 (80 Stat.      337).

              The Chairman,      Senate   Committee   on Aeronautical        and Space Sciences,    re-
              quested     the General   Accounting    Office      (GAO) to determine    (1) the extent,
              if any, to which the Engineering           Building      that was being   constructed
              differed      from the one that NASA described           to the Congress   and (2) NASA's
              legal    authority    to revise    such a project      after   it had been authorized
              by the Congress.


    FINDINGS AllD CONCLUSIONS

              The building    currently        under construction          at Houston       is substantially
              different    in function,        program  application,         and cost       from the one NASA
I             described    and justified         to the Congress.

                 --The building      the Congress     authorized       would have provided            office
                    space for 704 employees        of the Manned Space Flight               Program.         The
                    building    under construction       will    provide    primarily       laboratory
                    space for the employees        of the Earth        Resources      Survey Program.

                 --The building        authorized     by the Congress      was estimated     to cost about
                    $2.6 million,       which did not include          any cost for equipment.      The
                    building      under construction       will   cost $2.4 million      plus about
                    $14.8 million       for laboratory      equipment.      (See p. 18.)

              The Engineering        Building     was initially         designed       as an office    building.
              Construction,      however,       was postponed        several     different      times  because
              of the lack of funds.             Meanwhile       the need for office          space declined
              because     of reductions       in personnel         and the shift        in program    emphasis.

I
    Tear Sheet
    Furthermore,        the Manned Spacecraft'center                 had not      been      able     to    get     ap-
    proval    for     a space science  laboratory             building.

    The Center     had included         the laboratory        facility      in its budget       requests
    for fiscal     years     1969, 1970, and 1971.              It was deleted      from NASA's
    1969 budget      request      by the Office       of Management         and Budget     (then    the
                                                                                                                         I
    Bureau   of the Budget)          and from the 1970 and 1971 budget                requests      by
    NASA Headquarters.            After     the last   deletion        NASA decided     to redesign                      I
    the Engineering        Building       to provide    primarily        laboratory     space.      (See                 I
    p- 11.)
                                                                                                                         I
    GAO found no indication              that   the Congress        or its committees                had been
    notified  of the redesign              of the Engineering         Building.

     The Office  of Management      and Budget was informed         in November   1970 by
     NASA that the Engineering       Building      had been redesigned      and was being
     constructed   as a laboratory.         An official    of the Office     of Management
     and Budget  told GAO that his agency had not objected               because:

       --NASA was constructing              the   building     using     funds      saved     from        other
          approved projects.

       --Laboratory        space    was needed        more   than   office       space.

       --The program    which was to be housed in the redesigned                              building            had
          been approved    by the Congress.  (See p. 14.)


AGENCY ACTIONS AND UNRESOLVEDISSUES

    NASA, after         reviewing       a draft    of this     report,       advised    GAO that     it
    did not agree with the conclusion                    that    the building        under construction
    was substantially            different.       NASA stated         that the primary        function
    of the building           the Congress       had authorized          was to provide       environmen-
    tally     conditioned        space in which employees               could perform      their     assigned
    duties     and that       the functional        capability        of the building        under con-
    struction        remained      substantially       the same.

    GAO believes         that such a broad interpretation      of function,   which would
    permit    substitution        of a laboratory   building for an office    building,
    would provide          little  or no control  by the Congress    over construction
    projects.

    With regard       to the laboratory       equipment,        NASA stated       that  all of this
    equipment       would have been acquired           whether      or not the Engineering
    Building     was constructed       and that      other    facilities       would have been used
    to house it.         NASA stated    that    the equipment            cost should   not have been
    included      in the subsequent       reconstruction          of the cost of the Engineer-
    ing Building.

    With regard       to the matter    for        consideration      by the         Committee,    NASA
    stated  that      authorizing   funds         in the authorization              act by individual


                                                  2
I   .
I

                  projects     would not necessarily     have altered        the result   in this     case
                  since    the building    that was being      built   could    and did lend itself       to
                  the nomenclature      "Engineering    Building."        NASA stated   that,    as long
                  as this     was so, specifying     the project     in the legislative       language
                  as such would not,       in NASA's view,       have changed the result.          (See
                  p. 25.)


        ?!AJ'TERS FOR CONSIDERATION BY T'HE COMTTEE

                  The Committee             may wish to identify,          in the authorization           acts for    NASA,
                  the specific            projects    to be constructed             with appropriated      funds.     This
                  identification             would restrict         the availability        of funds appropriated
                  under the construction                of facilities        appropriations         to the projects     and
                  amounts        identified        in the authorization             acts.




        Tear   Sheet
                                 Contents
                                                                          Page

DIGEST                                                                      1

CHAPTER

    1        INTRODUCTION                                                   5

        2    CHANGES TO ENGINEERING BUILDING AFTER AUTHO-
             RIZATION BY THE CONGRESS                                       6
                 Authorization                                              8
                 Design                                                     9
                 Proposed Space Science Laboratory               Build-
                     ing                                                    9
                 Decision     to redesign     Engineering      Build-
                     ing                                                   11
                 Construction                                              14
                 Differences     between authorized         and re-
                    designed Engineering        Building                   18
                 Legal authority      to revise      construction
                    project                                                22
                 Conclusions                                               24
                 Matters     for consideration       by the Com-
                    mittee                                                 24

    3        AGENCY COMMENTS                                               25

APPENDIX

         I   Letter   dated February     24, 1971, from the
                Chairman,   Committee on Aeronautical     and
                Space Sciences,    United States Senate,    to
                the Comptroller    General of the United
               States                                                      29

    II       Letter   dated March 22, 1971, from the Asso-
                ciate Administrator  for Organization and
                Management,   NASA                                         30

  III        Principal     officials   of the National     Aero-
                nautics    and Space Administration      respon-
                sible   for the activities     discussed    in this
                report                                                     38
                          ABBREVIATIONS

GAO    General    Accounting      Office

MSC    Manned Spacecraft         Center

NASA   National    Aeronautics      and Space Administration
COMPTROLLERGENERAL'S R?ZPORTTO                                          BUILDING       AUTHORIZED TO PROVIDE
THE COMMITTEE ON AERONAUTICAL AND                                       OFFICE SPACE AT MANNED SPACECRAFT
SPACE SCIENCES, UNITED STATES SENATE                                    CENTER REDESIGNED TO PROVIDE
                                                                        LABORATORY SPACE
                                                                        National       Aeronautics       and Space
                                                                        Administration          B-165118


 DIGEST
-----_


WHY THE ,!?EVIEWWAS MADE

      In August      1970 the National     Aeronautics      and Space Administration        (NASA)
      began construction          of the Engineering    Building       at the Manned Spacecraft
      Center      at Houston,     Texas.  Construction,      estimated      to cost $2.6 million,
      was authorized        by the Congress     in the National        Aeronautics   and Space
      Administration        Authorization    Act for fiscal       year 1967, approved     August 5,
      1966 (80 Stat.        337).

          The Chairman,      Senate   Committee   on Aeronautical        and Space Sciences,    re-
          quested     the General   Accounting    Office      (GAO) to determine    (1) the extent,
          if any, to which the Engineering           Building      that was being   constructed
          differed      from the one that NASA described           to the Congress    and (2) NASA's
          legal    authority    to revise    such a project      after   it had been authorized
          by the Congress.


FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS

          The building    currently         under construction          at Houston       is substantially
          different    in function,         program  application        , and cost       from the one NASA
          described    and justified          to the Congress.

            --The building      the Congress    authorized       would have provided            office
               space for 704 employees        of the Manned Space Flight             Program.          The
               building    under construction      will    provide    primarily       laboratory
               space for the employees        of the Earth       Resources      Survey Program.

            --The building        authorized     by the Congress      was estimated     to cost about
               $2.6 million,       which did not include          any cost for equipment.       The
               building      under construction       will   cost $2.4 million      plus about
               $14.8 million       for laboratory      equipment.      (See p. 18.)

          The Engineering         Building     was initially         designed       as an office    building.
          Construction,       however,       was postponed        several     different      times  because
          of the lack of funds.              Meanwhile       the need for office          space declined
          because      of reductions       in personnel         and the shift        in program    emphasis.
    Furthermore,        the Manned Spacecraft     Center     had not             been      able     to    get     ap-
    proval    for     a space science  laboratory     building.

    The Center     had included       the laboratory         facility      in its budget       requests
    for fiscal    years     1969, 1970, and 1971.              It was deleted      from NASA's
    1969 budget     request     by the Office       of Management          and Budget     (then    the
    Bureau   of the Budget)        and from the 1970 and 1971 budget                 requests      by
    NASA Headquarters.          After     the last    deletion        NASA decided     to redesign
    the Engineering      Building       to provide     primarily        laboratory     space.      (See
    p. 11.)

    GAO found no indication             that   the Congress         or its committees               had been
    notified  of the redesign             of the Engineering          Building.

    The Office  of Management      and Budget was informed         in November    1970 by
    NASA that the Engineering       Building      had been redesigned      and was being
    constructed   as a laboratory.         An official    of the Office     of Management
    and Budget  told  GAO that his agency had not objected              because:

       --NASA was constructing             the   building      using    funds      saved     from        other
          approved projects.

       --Laboratory       space    was needed        more   than   office       space.

       --The program    which was to be housed in the redesigned                             building            had
          been approved    by the Congress.   (See p. 14.)


AGENCY ACTIONS AND UNmSOLWD ISSUES
    NASA, after         reviewing       a draft   of this     report,       advised   GAO that      it
    did not agree with             the conclusion       that    the building        under construction
    was substantially            different.       NASA stated        that    the primary     function
    of the building           the Congress      had authorized          was to provide       environmen-
    tally     conditioned        space in which employees              could perform      their     assigned
    duties     and that       the functional       capability        of the building        under con-
    struction        remained     substantially       the same.

    GAO believes         that such a broad interpretation      of function,   which would
    permit    substitution        of a laboratory   building for an office    building,
    would provide          little  or no control  by the Congress    over construction
    projects.

    With regard        to the laboratory       equipment,         NASA stated       that  all of this
    equipment       would have been acquired            whether       or not the Engineering
    Building     was constructed        and that      other     facilities       would have been used
    to house it.         NASA stated     that    the equipment             cost should   not have been
    included      in the subsequent        reconstruction          of the cost of the Engineer-
    ing Building.

    With regard       to the matter    for       consideration      by the        Committee,    NASA
    stated  that      authorizing   funds        in the authorization             act by individual


                                                 2
    projects would not necessari.ly     have altered the result in this case
    since the building   that was being built       could and did lend itself   to
    the nomenclature   "Engineering    Building."     NASA stated that, as long
    as this was so, specifying      the project   in the legislative   language
    as such would not, in NASA's view, have changed the result.            (See
    p. 25.)


.Wi'TER5 FOR CONSIDERATIONBY THE COMTTEE
    The Committee may wish to identify,            in the authorization        acts for NASA,
    the specific    projects    to be constructed         with appropriated     funds.   This
    identification     would restrict        the availability      of funds appropriated
    under the construction        of facilities      appropriations      to the projects    and
    amounts identified       in the authorization          acts.
                                    CHAPTER1

                                  INTRODUCTION

        Is, August 1970 the National       Aeronautics    and Space Ad-
ministration      began construction      of the Engineering     Building
at the Manned Spacecraft         Center @EC) at Houston,       Texas.
Construction      of the building,     estimated     to cost $2.6 mil-
lion,     was authorized  by the Congress in the NASA Authoriza-
tion Act for fiscal      year 1967.

        Each NASA field        center prepares,          as part of the annual
budget formulation         process,       a list    for NASA Headquarters            of
construction      projects      to be funded from NASA's construction
of facilities       appropriation.          After     evaluating      these lists,
NASA Headquarters        decides which projects              will  be included
in the budget request           that is sent to the Office                of Manage-
ment and Budge t for transmission                 to the Congress.           The Con-
gress, after      reviewing       the individual        project     justifications
submitted      by NASA, authorizes          a specific        amount to be appro-
priated     for construction         projects      at each NASA field           center.
Subsequently,       the Congress appropriates              a lump sum for the
construction      of all of these facilities.

        At the request of the Chairman,             Senate Committee on
Aeronautical       and Space Sciences (see app. I>, we reviewed
the legislative        history     relating    to the approval   of the En-
gineering     Building      by the Congress and the subsequent         de-
sign and construction           of the building      by NASA, to determine
 (1) the extent,       if any, to which it differed         from the one
that NASA described           to the Congress and (2) NASA's authority
to revise     such a project         after  it had been authorized     by the
Congress.

      Our review was conducted at NASA Headquarters,    Washing-
ton, D.C., and at MSC. Discussions     were held with officials
of both NASA and the Office of Management and Budget.        Our
review did not encompass an evaluation     of the need for the
Engineering    Building which NASA was constructing.




                                            5
                                     CHAPTER2

                    CHANGES TO ENGINEERING            BUILDING

                 AFTER AUTHORIZATION           BY THE CONGRESS

        The Engineering  Building       currently        under construction
at MSC is substantially       different       in function,        program ap-
plication,    and cost from the office            building     that NASA de-
scribed    and justified  to the Congress during               the authoriza-
tion and appropriation      hearings       on NASA's budget request
for fiscal    year 1967.

         Upon enactment         of the NASA authorization            act, MSC be-
gan final       design of the Engineering             Building      as an office
building.         The estimated       cost was $2.6 million,            which did
not include         any cost for equipment.            Over the next 3 years,
however,       NASA Headquarters         rejected     several     requests     by MSC
to start       construction        of the building       because sufficient
funds were not available.                By October      1969 the need for ad-
ditional       office     space for engineering          employees      at MSC had
substantially          diminished.       According     to    NASA,   however,
there was a pressing              need for more laboratory           space.      During
this     period     the Office      of Management and Budget deleted               a
space science          laboratory     building     from NASA's budget re-
quest for fiscal           year 1969, and NASA Headquarters                deleted
it from the budget requests                for fiscal      years 1970 and 1971.

       In October     1969 NASA decided         to redesign     the Engineer-
ing Building       to provide    primarily      laboratory     space instead
of office     space and in July 1970 approved              its construction
as redesigned.        The estimated        cost of the redesigned         build-
ing is $2.4 million         funded from the construction            of facili-
ties   appropriation      and $14.8 million         for laboratory      equip-
ment funded from the research              and development      appropriation.

        A chronology      of the     major events relating            to these two
projects     is shown in the         illustration        on the   following    page,
and the details        relating      to these events are          discussed    in
the following       sections    of      this    chapter.




                                           6
; CHRONOLOGYOF MAJOR EVENTSRELATINGTO ENGINEERING BUILDING PROJECI j
i                    AND SPACE SCIENCESLABORATORYPROJECT           !
;,1,1,111,1.~11,111.~.~.~.~~~.-.-.~.~.~~~,~.”.~.~,~.“,~.~,         VI




                                                       REDESIGNING ENGINEERING BLDG.
AUTHORIZATION

      On August 5, 1966, the Congress authorized         $12.8 mil-
lion for the construction    of projects     at MSC. According      to
the legislative   history  of the authorization      act, the
$12.8 million   was for the following     four projects.

                                                                Amount
                                                             authorized
                                                             (millions)

        Lunar Sample Receiving            Laboratory           $ 8.1
        Flight    crew training        facility                  1.1
        Engineering    Building                                  2.6
        Center support      facilities                           1.0

                                                               $12.8

       NASA had originally        requested    $13.8 million   for the
four projects,       including    $9.1 million     for the Lunar Sample
Receiving     Laboratory.       The House bill     authorized  $13.8 mil-
lion,    but the Senate bill        authorized   only $12.8 million,
reducing    the amount for the Lunar Sample Receiving             Labora-
tory to $8.1 million.           The committee of conference       agreed
on the $12.8 million          amount.

       The project     description      furnished      to   the Congress as
part of the budget justification              material      stated that the
purpose of the Engineering           Building     was to      provide
administrative-type        space for MSC functions             associated   with
(1) manned space flight          mission     operations       and (2) the de-
velopment,       test, and evaluation        of manned      spacecraft    systems.
         The five-story       building     was to have a gross area of
approximately        90,000 square feet and to accommodate 704 en-
gineering      and administrative          employees.    The project    justi-
fication     stated      that construction       of adequate office     space
for MSC personnel           had not kept pace with the population
growth at MSC and recommended that the Engineering                   Building
be constructed         to alleviate      the deficiency.




                                         8
DESIGN

        In August 1966 MSC awarded a contract           for $96,500 to an
architect-engineer       firm in Houston     for design of the Engi-
neering     Building.    The contract     was terminated    3 months
later     at the request     of the Office   of Manned Space Flight
because construction         funds were not available.

      NASA's records     showed that,    at the time the contract
was terminated,    contract    costs were $43,000 and the design
work was about 40 percent       completed.

       In October 1968 MSC awarded another      contract  for
$59,300 to the same architect-engineer      firm for completion
of the detailed   plans and specifications.       Work under the
contract   was completed in December 1968.

      In December 1968 the Office         of Manned Space Flight,
because of insufficient       funds,   turned down MSC's request               to
begin construction      of the building.

PROPOSED SPACE SCIENCE LABORATORY BUILDING

        In August 1967 MSC requested            the Office       of Manned
Space Flight     to include       in NASA's fiscal         year 1969 budget
request    a space science        laboratory      building     estimated      to
cost $9.6 million,        of which $3.6 million            was for equipment.
The purpose of the facility              was for research,        development,
and data utilization         activities      associated       with the Lunar
and Planetary      Exploration        Program and the Earth Resources
Survey Program.        The Office        of Manned Space Flight           advised
MSC in October       1967 that a limited          construction       program ne-
cessitated     a reduction      in the cost of the project              to
$4.6 million.        In November 1967 the Office              of Management
and Budget deleted        all funds for the laboratory               from NASA's
budget request.

        Although      the project     was included       in MSC's budget re-
quests for construction             of facilities      funds for both fiscal
years 1970 and 1971, it was deleted                  at NASA Headquarters      by
the Office        of Administration       because of a limitation         on con-
struction       funds.     In advising       MSC of the deletion    from the
fiscal     year 1971 budget request,              the Office  of Manned Space
Flight     stated     that efforts     were under way to obtain         approval

                                        9
from the Office   of Administration           to construct          the Engineer-
ing Building   as a laboratory      facility.

      The organization   chart below shows the offices                        which
were involved    in the decision  to change the function                        of the
Engineering   Building.   All of these offices,   except                      those
at MSC, are at NASA Headquarters.


                    iiATIfH#AtAERONAUTICS
                                       AND SPACEADHINtSTRATION



                                       ADMINISTRATOR
                                     EXECUTIVE        OFFICER




        ORGANIZATION




I       OFFICE OF
      ADMINISTRATION             I
                                                                      MANNED
                                                                SPACECRAFT CENTER
                                                                   HOUSTON,   TEX.




    DIRECTOR   OF   FACILITIES




                                                 10
DECISION TO REDESIGN ENGINEERING BUILDING

          In October 1969 the Office           of Manned Space Flight              re-
quested the Office           of Administration        to reconsider           the dele-
tion of a s;>ace science laboratory                from the fiscal           year 1971
budget request          for construction       of facilities          funds.     The
Associate      Administrator        for Manned Space Flight              stated that
this facility        would serve the needs of the Earth Resources
Survey Program.            He requested     permission       to construct        the
Engineering        Building,     for which authorization             and funds were
available,       if a space science laboratory               could not be in-
cluded in the fiscal            year 1971 program.           He stated that,           in
this way, MSC might be able to make internal                       adjustments         in
utilization        and to find a more economical               solution       to the
space science needs.

         On October 22, 1969, the Director          of Facilities     in-
formed the Office         of Manned Space Flight        that he had again
reviewed     the need for the Engineering          Building     at MSC and
had concluded        that there was no r&al pressing          need for ad-
ditional     office     space at MSC so long as the current          person-
nel strengths       were not substantially       increased.       He said,
however,     that there was a need at MSC for additional              labo-
ratory     and storage      space-- the most pressing       need being for
laboratory       space for the 750 employees in space sciences
and applications         and for their   related    equipment.

       The Director  of Facilities       stated that             it appeared to
make more sense to redesign        the Engineering               Building     from
purely   an office  building     to that of mainly               a laboratory      for
space sciences and earth resources.            He said             that,  if this
approach were approved,      NASA could go ahead                 with the rede-
sign and with such clearances         with or advice               to the Office
of Management and Budget and to the Congress                       as might be
deemed appropriate.

          By memorandum dated October 29, 1969, the Associate                 Ad-
ministrator       for Manned Space Flight         advised     the Assistant
Administrator        for Administration        of the results     of the space
utilization       analysis  at MSC that had been developed              in con-
junction      with the Office      of Facilities.        He stated that for
 several     years a shortage      of both office       and laboratory      space
had existed       at MSC, which it had attempted            to resolve    by re-
questing      construction    of the Engineering         Building    and the

                                           11
space science laboratory.         He stated that several            changes
had recently     taken place which dictated           a reevaluation      of
MSC's space problem.       First,     significant      manpower reductions
had occurredat      MSC so that the office         space problem had
diminished     to a great extent,         Second, and more significant,
however,    according   to the Associate         Administrator,      was the
deletion    of the space science laboratory             from the fiscal
year 1971 construction       of facilities        budget request.

        The Associate      Administrator         stated that,       as evidence     of
the critical      shortage      of laboratory         space, MSC had submit-
ted for approval         several minor construction             projects      esti-
mated to cost about $1 million,               to alleviate        this serious
problem on an interim           basis.     He stated,        however,    that a
more effective      solution      would be to redesign           the Engineering
Building     as a laboratory-type          facility.        Accordingly,       he re-
quested approval        to proceed with the construction                 of the
redesigned     Engineering       Building,       to alleviate       the critical
laboratory     space problem at MSC.

       On October 30, 1969, the Director                 of MSC advised the
Associate    Administrator      for Manned Space Flight               that,     if the
Engineering    Building,     which was then designed to provide
59,600 square feet of usable office                space, were to be rede-
signed as a predominantly          laboratory-type           facility       for MSC,
many of MSC's pressing        requirements        for space could be met.
Accordingly,    he requested       the Associate           Administrator's         sup-
port in obtaining        the necessary      approvals        to construct,        as
soon as possible,        the Engineering       Building        redesigned      as a
space sciences-oriented         laboratory       facility.

        On October 29, 1969, the Office       of Manned Space Flight
authorized     MSC to spend $8,778 for redesign          of the Engineer-
ing Building     as a space science laboratory.           On March 6,
1970, MSC awarded a contract        to an architect-engineer        firm
in Houston for the preparation         of a "Feasibility       Study for
Redesign of Engineering     Building,"     which was completed        on
April    27, 1970, at a cost of $6,041.

        On April    23, 1970, the Office of Manned Space Flight
authorized       MSC to spend $50,000 additional      for the redesign
of the Engineering       Building.    On June 10, 1970, MSC awarded
another    contract    to the same architect-engineer       firm for
$51,973 for the final         design of the building.

                                          12
The plans      and specifications          were completed         in September
1970,

       The revised      project  description  prepared     by the Office
of Facilities      stated that the purpose of redesigning         the
Engineering     Building     was to provide  a laboratory     for the
development     and use of remote-sensors       technology    in support
of the Earth Resources Survey Program and that the building
as redesigned     would provide      45,200 square feet of laboratory
space and 15,800 square feet of office            space and would house
300 employees,

         According     to the revised         project     justification         prepared
by the Office         of Facilities,         MSC is the only NASA cebter
where the Earth Resources Survey Program consists                            of both
aircraft      and spacecraft         flights     to make quantitative             measure-
ments in agriculture,             cartography,        forestry,        geography,     geo-
logy, hydrology,          and oceanography.             Research and development
using aircraft         and spacecraft         are necessary          to develop the
remote-sensor         systems for, and to'provide                 technical     support
to, the Earth Resources Survey Program being conducted                              for
NASA's Office of Space Science and Applications.                              The facil-
ity will      also be used to support the Lunar and Planetary
Exploration        Program.

        The project      justification  stated that              the following    lab-
oratories    would      be housed in the Engineering                Building   as re-
designed.

       --Sensor    and Ground Data Systems Laboratories
       --Mapping     Sciences Laboratories
       --Photographic      Sciences Laboratory




                                            13
CONSTRUCTION

        On June 18, 1970, the Associate               Administrator           for
Manned Space Flight        requested      the approval            of the    Associate
Administrator      for Organization         and Management to              proceed
with the construction         of the Engineering              Building      redesigned
as a space science       laboratory-type           facility.          He   stated    that
sufficient     funds for construction            were available            at MSC due
to savings     in ongoing     construction        projects         which    could be
transferred      to the Engineering         Building         project.

        On July 20, 1970, the Assistant        Administrator       for Ad-
ministration,       acting for the Associate     Administrator        for Or-
ganization     and Management,    approved   the construction         of the
Engineering      Building  as redesigned    and released       $2.6 million
to finance     it.

        Funds in the amount of $300,000 were released            by NASA
Headquarters     on July 22, 1970.      A contract    was awarded in
August 1970 for construction         of the foundation,       and construc-
tion was started       in that month.     In November 1970 a second
construction     contract    was awarded for completion        of the
building.     The building     is scheduled   to be completed       in De-
cember 1971 at a cost of $2.4 million.             The pictures     on the
following    pages, which were taken by MSC in March 1971, show
the status    of construction     at that time.

        The Office    of Management and Budget was first            informed
by NASA that the Engineering          Building    was being constructed
as a laboratory        in November 1970.       An official     of the Office
of Management and Budget informed             us that his agency had not
objected     to the redesign     for three reasons:         (1) NASA was
constructing       the building   using funds that were saved from
other approved projects,         (2) laboratory       space was needed
more than office         space, and (3) the Earth Resources           Survey
Program which was to be housed in the redesigned                 Engineering
Building     had been approved by the Congress.

        Our review   of available    NASA records       and our discussions
-with cognizant    NASA officials       did not show any evidence        that
the Congress or its committees            had been advised     of NASA's
redesign    of the Engineering     Building     as a space science       lab-
oratory.      The Director    of Facilities      informed   us, however,


                                           14
CONSTRUCTION   OF ENGINEERING   BUlLDlNG   AT THE MANNED   SPACECRAFT   CENTER.
                                                                                i


CONSTRUCTION   OF ENGINEERING   BUILDING   AT THE MANNED SPACECRAFT   CENTER.
that he had discussed   the Engineering Building    situation
with a staff member of the House Committee      on Science    and
Astronautics  during  1970.

       We found that NASA had furnished               some information        on
the Engineering      Building      to the Senate Committee             on Aero-
nautical     and Space Sciences         on March 5, 1970.           In its re-
port on the NASA authorization               act for fiscal       year 1970
(S. Rept. 91-282),        the Senate Committee           on Aeronautical        and
Space Sciences      requested      NASA to furnish        to the Committee         by
March 1 of each year a report              showing,     as of the preceding
December 31, the status           of each project        authorized       in prior
years to be constructed.             The report      was to show the name
of each facility       authorized       but not completed,          the current
estimated      cost to complete,        estimated     completion       date,   and
any other pertinent         information       necessary     to keep the Com-
mittee    informed    as to the status          of the facility.

       The first        report  was furnished  on March 5, 1970.       The
report     stated     that the Engineering    Building    had not been
scheduled       for construction      because of constraints     by the
construction        reduction    plan but that it was scheduled       for
award in June 1970.

       The report      did not mention          the fact that in October
1969 the Associate          Administrator         for Manned Space Flight
and the Director         of Facilities         had concluded,         as a result    of
a space utilization          study,      that,    although     there was no
longer     a pressing     need for administrative              space, there was
an urgent      requirement      for laboratory          space oriented       toward
the space sciences          and that NASA therefore              had decided      to
redesign     the Engineering         Building       to alleviate       the critical
laboratory       space problem       at MSC. We believe             that this infor-
mation would be pertinent              information       necessary       to keep the
Committee      fully   informed.




                                           17
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN AUTHORIZED AND
REDESIGNED ENGINEERING BUILDING

        Differences             between the building as authorized              and the
building      under           construction are shown below.

                               Building authorized             Building    under
                                by the Congress                 construction

cost:
        Construc-
          tion                     $2,600,000                   $ 2,400,OOO
        Equipment
           (labora-
          tory 1                          I
                                                                 14,809,700

             Total                 $2,600,000                   $17,209,700
Area (square
   feet):
      Gross                             90,112                        84,000
      Net:
           Office                       67,580                        15,800
           Labora-
              tory                                                    45,200

                      Total             67,580                        61,000

Number of employ-
  ees to be housed                              704                       300

Purpose                       Office   space for           Laboratory  space for
                              Manned Space Flight          Earth Resources Survey
                              programs                     Program

        The functional    capability     of the two-story       building       cur-
rently    under construction       at MSC is substantially         different
from the building      authorized     by the Congress.        The original
building    would have provided       67,580 square feet of office
space for 704 employees,         whereas the revised       building       will
provide    15,800 square feet of office        space and 45,200 square
feet of laboratory      space and house 300 employees.               The floor
plans on the following        pages show the functional           changes.


                                                      18
       NASA's records relating     to the Engineering   Building     as
authorized     by the Congress make no mention of equipment.
The building     that is being constructed,    however, will     house
laboratory     equipment estimated   by NASA to cost about
$14.8 million,      as shown in the following   table.   A NASA offi-
cial advised us that the equipment was being funded with re-
search and development      funds.

                 Equipment    for   Redesigned Engineering         Building
                                    as of May 14, 1970

                                                                     Total
                           on               on           To be      estimated
 Laboratories             hand             order        ordered        cost

Photogramme-
   try               $   865,000    $     350,000   $     -       $ 1,215,ooo
Geosciences,
    Image Anal-
   ysis                  142,000           25,000         -            167,000
Cartography,
    Screening,
    Indexing,
   Plotting              325,000          196,000         -            521,000
Infrared,      Mi-
    crowave,
   Physics                77,266           88,034       310,500        475,800
Metric,      Photo
    Sciences             275,000               -        436,500        711,500
Photometry,
   Photo-
    Optics           $2,006,000           958,000       300,000     3,264,OOO
Data Analysis
    Techniques           347,000        7,112,900       995,500     8,455,400

      Total          $4,037,266     $8,729,934      $2,042,3E - $14,809,700




                                          19
            PLANS FOR AUTHORIZED ENGINEERING BUILD(NG
                                  PijOVlDlNG OFFICE SPACE




                                                FIRST         FLOOR         PLAN




     L-L----~    .------L-----J------J------.                                            ~----L-----I--i




                                                TYPICAL           FLOOR           PLAN
                                         SECOND                THRU              FlFTH


                                  220‘-0”.             ___
    k.                                                                                                          4
                                                                                                                  I
r+r-----r        ----         -      ____         ~.    ---    - .‘------                ---      T----r+




                                                                                                                SCALE:     1 INCH   - 60   FEET




                                                                                                            DRAWINGS     PROVIDED    BY    NASA



                                                                            20
                                               FiRST FLOOR PLAN




                                                      OFFICE




                                            SECOND             FLOOR PLAN



-KEY                                                                          SCALE:         1 INCH     - 60    FEET
   1 PHOTOGRAMMETRY           LABS
 2   GEOSCIENCES,IMAGE          ANALYSIS      LABS                                     SCALE IN FEET
 3   CARTOGRAPHY,SCREENING,              INDEXING,    PLOTTING    LABS
 4   INFRARED,MICROWAVE,           PHYSICS     LABS
 5   METRIGPHOTO         SCIENCES     LABS
 6   PHOTOMETRY,       PHOTO-OPTICS         LABS
 7   DATA    ANALYSIS     TECtMiiQUES       LABS                            DRAWtNGS         PROVIDED          BY   NASA




                                                                  21
LEGAL AUTHORITY TO REVISE CONSTRUCTION PROJECT

        In view of the fact that the building       being         constructed
differs    from that for which funds were requested               from, and
provided     by, the Congress,   a question   was raised          concerning
the authority      of NASA to revise   the project.

       In its budget request      for construction      of facilities
funds for fiscal      year 1967, NASA included,       in the amount re-
quested for construction       at MSC, an item of $2.6 million           for
construction     of the Engineering     Building.     The project     was
approved,     and $2.6 million    was included     in the lump sum of
$12.8 million     authorized   to be appropriated       for construction
projects     at MSC by the NASA Authorization        Act for fiscal
year 1967.

        Although      the Independent     Offices    Appropriation    Act for
fiscal     year 1967, approved September 6, 1966 (80 Stat. 6751,
provided      a lump sum for construction           of facilities,    the
amount     was less than the total         amount authorized       by the au-
thorization       act for fiscal      year 1967; however, none of the
individual       projects    was denied.      We have been advised by
NASA that the cost of constructing               the Engineering     Building
will    be paid from savings effected            on other construction
projects.

        We have long held the position       that the breakdown into
amounts of individual      items in an agency's         budget estimates
presented     to the Congress that are the basis on which lump
sums are appropriated      is not binding      on the administrative
officers    of the agency unless such breakdown is carried             into
the law.       (See 17 Comp. Gen. 147.1      We see no reason why
such position      should not be equally     applicable      insofar  as
lump-sum authorizations       are concerned.

        If the Congress desires         to restrict     the availability      of
a particular     appropriation       to the several       items and amounts
therefor     as submitted      in the budget estimates,         such control
may be effected      by limiting       or specifying      such items and
amounts in either       the authorization         or the appropriation       act
involved.

        Since    the authorization       act involved  in this case did
not   identify      specific    budget   items, the only limitation

                                         22
                          .


concerning     the use of funds for construction       of facilities
are those placed on the amounts that may be expended for
construction      at the various   sites listed  in the act.         Where
we note that there have been substantial         deviations       from the
budget justifications       or budget estimates,   however, we re-
port such matters to the Congress or to its cognizant                com-
mittees.




                                  23
CONCLUSIONS

        The Engineering  Building       currently      under construction
at MSC is substantially       different       in function,      program ap-
plication,    and cost from the office           bui1d.r.g   that NASA de-
scribed and justified     to the Congress during the authoriza-
tion and appropriation      hearings      on NASA's budget request
for fiscal    year 1967.

       The Engineering         Buildin g authorized      by the Congress
would have provided        office       space for employees associated
with the Pknned Space Flight               Program, whereas the building
under construction        will     provide     primarily  laboratory  space
for the Earth Resources Survey Program.                  The building  was
redesigned,     according       to NASA, because the need for office
space had declined        du ring the period when construction          was
postponed,    whereas there continued              to be a need for addi-
tional   laboratory     space.

      The cost of the building   authorized     by the Congress
was estimated   to be about $2.6 million,     which did not in-
clude any cost for evipment,      The building     under construc-
tion is estimated   to cost $2,4 million     plus about $14,8 mil-
lion for laboratory   equipment.

        Since the Engineering      Building    was not identified       as a
specific     item in the NASA authorization          act, we did not
find any legal basis to question            NASA's redesigning      the
building     to provide laboratory        space instead   of office
space.
        We believe,    however,   that the authorization      committee
is in the best position         to decide whether NASA's practices
with respect       to changing the scope of projects       are in accor-
dance with the committee's          intent and satisfy   its oversight
objectives.

MATTERS FOR CONSIDERATION BY THE COMMITTEE

     The Committee may wish to identify,             in the authoriza-
tion acts for NASA, the specific        projects       to be constructed
with appropriated   funds.      This identification        would restrict
the availability   of funds appropriated          ,under the construc-
tion of facilities    appropriations     to the projects        and
amounts identified    in the authorization          acts.
                                     24
                                     CHAPTER 3

                                 AGENCY COMMENTS

        NASA's comments on our draft       report     were provided     by
the Associate        Administrator  for Organization      and Management
 in a letter      dated March 22, 1971,      (See app. II.>        He
stated that NASA did not agree with our concl,usion                that the
b,uilding    ,under construction    was substantially      different     in
function,      program application,     and cost from the one that
was described        and justified  to the Congress.

        Regarding       the functional      capability         of the building,
NASA stated that the Engineering                Building        presently      ,under
construction         was not substantially          different,       in a broad
 sense, from that initially             described       to the Congress,             The
basic need for the facility              was to enable MSC to meet its
broad housing requirements,               and in this broad context                NASA
was, and still          is, of the conviction           that it had not sub-
stantially       departed       from the broad purpose initially                 in-
tended to be served by this building.                      NASA stated that the
primary      function      of the building      was to provide           environ-
mentally       conditioned        space in which employees could perform
their     assigned      duties.

        We believe      that NASA's description           of the primary
function    of the b,uilding         as providing      "environmentally          con-
ditioned    space in which personnel              could perform their          as-
signed duties"        is so broad as to encompass almost any Gov-
ernment building          constructed      in recent years.        Such a
broad interpretation           of function,      which would permit sub-
stitution      of a laboratory        building     for an office       building,
would provide      little      or no control       over construction          proj-
ects by the Congress.

       With respect   to the cost of the building,           NASA stated
that the $14.8 million      worth of equipment        should not be in-
cluded in the subsequent       reconstruction       of the facility
cost for the following      reasons,       The $14.8 million       worth of
research   and development-funded         equipment was on hand or on
order prior    to the decision     to proceed with the Engineering
Building.    Much of it was of the move-in-plug-in              type and
was not to be substantially        affixed     to the building.        NASA

                                           2.5
stated that,    since all of this equipment would have been
acquired  whether or not the Engineering     Building  was con-
structed,    it was not directly  related  to the Engineering
Building.

      Regarding   our conclusion    that the report         submitted      by
NASA to the Committee on March 5, 1970, did not fully                  in-
form the Committee of the status of the building,                 NASA
stated that the report      was accurate     and was as complete as
could reasonably    have been expected.          NASA stated also that
the conclusion    of the Associate     Administrator       for Manned
Space Flight    and the Director    of Facilities        in October 1969
that a redesigned     Engineering   Building      was a prudent       action
did not represent     a NASA decision.       NASA also pointed         out
that the contract     for the preparation        of a "Feasibility
Study for Redesign of Engineering         Building"      was not awarded
until  March 6, 1970, whereas the report            to the Committee
was as of December 31, 1969.

      We noted, however,       that the funds for the preparation
of the feasibility       study were made available    to MSC by NASA
Headquarters      in October 1969.     Therefore  we continue  to be-
lieve  that the report       was not as complete as could reason-
ably have been expected.

       With respect       to our suggestion          that the Committee may
wish to consider        recommending to the Congress that construc-
tion of facilities          appropriations        be restricted        to specific
projects    by limiting       or specifying        such projects         and amounts
in the authorizations           acts, NASA stated that such limita-
tion would not necessarily              have altered      the result       in the
case of the Engineering            Building.       NASA stated also that
the building     being constructed            could and, still         did, lend
itself    to the nomenclature           "Engineering      Building,"         In
NASA's view, as long as this is so, specifying                       the project
as such in the legislative              language would not have changed
the result.

       Our suggestion  to the Committee is based on the assump-
tion that the authorization        acts would make appropriate
reference   to the detailed     project  descriptions   which NASA,
in the past, has furnished       to the Congress in support       of
its budget requests.       If that were done, we believe       that
changes of this magnitude       would not be permissible.

                                        26
27
                                                                                             APPENDIX I




                                                      February           24,   197 1




The Honorable         Elmer     B. Staats
Comptroller       General     of the United          States
General     Accounting      Office
Washington,       D. C. 20548

Dear    Mr.      Staats:

            The National           Aeronautics        and Space Administration             is constructing
an engineering           building       which    was authorized          in fiscal   year 1967 at the
Manned        Spacecraft         Center.       I would     like to have the General          Accounting
Office     review      this project         and determine:          (1) the extent,     if any, that it
differs     from     the one described             to the Congress,          and (2) NASA’s       legal
authority       to revise        such a project        after    it has been authorized         by the
Congress.          I would       appreciate       receiving       your report      on these matters        by
April     1.

            Subsequently,          I would    like to have a more             comprehensive           report    on
 similar     facilities      built   with construction          of facilities      funds as well as major
or new facilities           funded    with either      research         and development,            equipment,
 or research          and program         management         funds,    or various        combinations
thereof.        The Authorization           Act each year authorizes                 minor    construction
with research            and development          and research        and program           management
appropriations.             When the cost exceeds              a specified       dollar    amoqunt,      however,
NASA       must notify        the Congress.          I would     like your staff to review              NASA’s
implementation             of this provision.

              Your   assistance      to the    Committee          is appreciated.




                                                       Clinton      P,     Anderson
                                                       Chairman




                                                     29
APPENDIX II



                                 NATIONAL      AERONAUTICS            AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION
                                                        WASHINGTON.     D C.   20546




                                                                                   MARCH    22   1971




       Mr. James K. Spencer
       Assistant Director,    Civil Division
       U. S. General      Accounting    Office
       Washington,    D. C.       20548

       Dear Mr.    Spencer:

       We appreciate         the opportunity   to comment on the draft report to the Chairman
       of the Senate Committee           on Aeronautical    and Space Science relating     to the
       Engineering       Building   being constructed    at the Manned Spacecraft      Center.    The
       attached      detailed     comments set forth our observations      and reactions based on
       consideration       of the report contents by interested     NASA elements.

       In summary, we do not agree with the GAO conclusion                  that the building      under
       construction      is substantially different in function,    program application,        and cost
       from the one that was described          and justified   to the Congress.        Further, we do
       not agree with the conclusion         that the cost of the Engineering       Building     is $2.4
       million    plus about $14.8 million       for laboratory   equipment.     We feel that it is
       important     that the following   points be emphasized:
                                                                           .
       1.   Equipment      - as noted in our detailed            comments,    the $14.8 million        of R&D-
            funded equipment,           which is now scheduled           to be housed in the Engineering
            Building,    is all associated with the Houston-based                Earth Resources activi-
            ties.    Much of this equipment             which is associated with the enhancement                 of
            these activities,        was on-hand or on-order prior to the decision to proceed
            with the Engineering           Building.       Much of it is of the “move-in          - plug-in”
            type and not substantially            affixed to the facility.       All of this equipment
            would have been acquired               whether the Engineering        Building      was constructed
            or not. Alternate          proposals for housing the equipment             involved the use of
            substandard     facilities     at Ellington      Air Force Base, further crowding            up in
            improvised     space and/or         location in several proposed minor addition-type
            projects at MSC, or as a last resort the use of off-site rental space.                          It is,
            therefore,    clear that this equipment,             regardless of its on-hand        or procure-
            ment status, is not directly            related to the Engineering        Building.      It is agreed
            that the Engineering          Building      did evolve as being the,best candidate             to house




                                                       30
                                                                                                 APPENDIX II


         this equipment.         Consequently,       minor revisions were made in the planned
         facility  to better     accommodate        this equipment   as a reflection of the decision
         on its use.   The      building,     however,    was intended   to and does largely solve
         basic and broad        Center-wide      housing needs and its initial assignment    to the
         Earth Resources       function     does not dilute this primary intent.

         In the FY 1967 presentation          to Congress no equipment     was indicated    as a
         part of the facility     project.     Equipment related to on-going      MSC programs
         was intended to be used in the building.           This is further substantiated    by the
         fact that the project ultimately         approved by NASA likewise       did not include
         such equipment.        In either case the equipment      involved was not required        to
         make the building       useful or operable for the general housing of MSC activities.
         The subsequent decision to house $14.8 million            of equipment    in this building
         should not alter the fact that inherent in this project was the fact that equip-
         ment would be provided           from other sources and that any such equipment          should
         not be included      in a subsequent reconstruction      of the facility   project cost.

    2.   Building   - as noted in our detailed        comments,   the Engineering       Building     for
         MSC in the FY 1967 budget estimates ($2.6 million)                was depicted     as being
         basically   an office-type    structure of abouf 90,000 gross SF and to be occupied
         by 5ome 700 engineering/administrative            personnel.      The Engineering       Building,
         as now planned ($2.4 million),          involves about 84,000 gross SF and is to be
         occupied    by some 300 laboratory/administrative            personnel.    The building        is,
         therefore,   substantially  of the same gross size and cbst as initially             envisioned.
         The number of occupants        is reduced to reflect the al.location        of about 75% of
         this net space to laboratory       usage. flowever,      the broad functional         or progrom-
         matic use is as was initially      intended.

    The GAO recommends that Congress may wish to consider the desirability                         of
    restricting the availability      of the construction    of facilities   appropriation       to specific
    projects by specifying       those projects in the legislation.        However,      such limitation
    would not necessarily       have altered the result in the instant case.            The building      that
    is being built can and does still lend itself to the nomenclature               “Engineering
    Building”.    As long as this is so, specifying       the project in the legislative           language
    as such, would not, in our view, have changed the result.

    Again,  we appreciate  the opportunity  to present our comments on the draft                     report
    and we trust that our position on these points coupled with the explanations
    provided will serve to place this matter in a more appropriate  perspective.



k;G;k&R
w
    Associate    Administra  r for
    Organization     and Management

    Enclosure




                                                        31
APPENDIX II



     NASA            COMMENTS                              ON           THE       GAO             DRAFT               REPORT               TO       THE           CHAIRMAN                       OF        THE
     SENATE               COMMITTEE                                ON           AERONAUTICAL                              AND                SPACE                SCIENCES,                      UNITED
     STATES              SENATE,                     ON    REVIEW    OF BUILDING       AUTHORIZED                                                                          TO      PROVIDE
     OFFICE              SPACE             AT        MANNED       SPACECRAFT     CENTER     REDESIGNED                                                                            TO PROVIDE
     LABORATORY                          SPACE


    The basic    General                             Accounting                     Office              (GAO)            findings                 were    that the building     had
    been  redesigned                           to      provide                  primarily               laboratory             space               in lieu of office      space for
    704 personnel                       and          that         approximately                     $14.8              million              for         laboratory      equipment                          was
    being   expended                           for          the      redesigned                   building               while               no          funds     were   included                         for
    equipment                   in the authorization                                  of the Engineering                              Building.                  The          GAO            further
    found          “no         legal  basis to question                                  NASA’s    redesigning                              the           building”.


    We      believe              that         a review                   of the           MSC          Engineering                    Building                should          keep         in clear
    focus  two distinct      elements,                                          i.e.,     (1) the building,      including      its scope       and cost
    and (2) the equipment            which                                       may ultimately        be housed      in it.   With     respect     to
    (1) the GAO       Report     indicates                                          that the Engineering       Building      as redesigned        is of
    similar          scope       (90,000                     SF vs.             84,000            SF) and of similar                              cost           ($2.6M            vs. B2.4M)
    to that          authorized.                           However,                with          respecf to (2) the                              GAO              Report          implies   that
    the equipment       which      is to be placed                                                    in the Engineering                          Building                 for the conduct
    of work   aL=ciated       with     the previously                                                   approved     and                     established                   Earth  Resources
    Program              should           be considered                           as a port             of      the      cost         of     the         building.


    With       the        foregoing                   in      mind,             the     following     comments                               represent      our position                          regard-
    ing issues                raised          by      the          GAO.                The quotations      were                             taken      from the GAO                              Draft
    Report.


    A.      ” -----Building                            under             construction                    is estimated                      to cost            $2.4         million         for
              ‘brick            and      mortar’                  plus        about           $14.8          million            for        loboratory                 equipment.”


            We           agree          that         the          Engineering                   Building               under          construcfion                       is estimated                 to
             cost         $2.4          million.

              In the            FY        1967             presentation                    to Congress                  no equipment                          was        indicated               as a
             part          of the          facility                 project.              Equipment                    related           to on-going       MSC     programs
             was          intended              to be               used in            the building.                       This        is further    substantiated        by the
              fact        thot    the           project               ultimately                  opproved     by                 NASA        likewise                      did       not include
              such         equipment.                             In either      case              the equipment                     involved         was                   not       required  to
              make             the      building                  useful          or operable                   for     the       general                 housing            of MSC              activities.
             The subsequent                            decision                 to house $14.8                      million               of equipment                        in this building
             should  not alter                          the fact                 that inherent                    in this             project     was the                     fact   that equip-
             ment             would         be        provided                  from          other      sources              and          that         any       such        equipment                should
             not         be      included                   in a subsequent                       reconstruction                       of         the     facility            project            cost.


             However,                    it is emphasized                              that       the     $14.8           million                 o,f R&D             funds          for   laboratory
            equipment                    would               hove          been           expended               whether                   the      Engineering                   Building             was
            constructed        or not.  This equipment        wos                                                      being   purchased                             or planned    for purchase
            without     regard    to the ultimate   existence                                                          or non-existence                                of the Engineering
            Building.                    As        a matter                of     fact,          the     record           shows              that         over        f 1 .O million                  in




                                                                                                          32
                                                                                                                                                                                 APPENDIX II


      equipment         was on hand    and over  $2 million     in equipment                                                                      was on order     even
      before      consideration    of use of the Engineering        Building                                                                   for these functions      was
       originally        proposed.   Over   $4.0  million    in equipment                                                                      was an hand     and over
      $8.0        million             in equipment     on order                             before             the       decision       was made     to locate
      these        functions             in the Engineering                                Building.              it       is clear      that  the procurement                                       of
      this equipment                      (mainly              of the         “move-in                   - plug-in”               type)    was not intended                                    and
      in fact was not                      directly             related          to the             Engineering                        Building.


8.   ” -----is            substantially                     different              in function,                      program             application,                   and        cost-----‘I

      The        Engineering                  Building               presently              under          construction                        is not        substantially
      different,             in a broad  sense,                             from      that initially                      described                  to Congress.
      The basic              need for the facility                                 was to enable                       the Center                   to meet its
      broad  housing     requirements.         At that time    it was                                                           agreed        that the require-
      ments  were    more critical       for office   space  than for                                                              laboratory       space
      and as a consequence           thebuilding     wos characte353                                                                     as an “office
     bui iding”.      Subsequent         events                                  (i.e.,            reduction                  in personnel,                   shift   in
     program     emphasis,      authorization                                         by        the Congress                    of an Earth                  Resources
      Program,              etc.)         necessitated                    a reevaluation                        of these                Center-wide                     housing
      requirements.                       This reevaluation                      led to the reorientation                                           and redesign                   of
      the Engineering                       Building     from                 one which   woirld    initially                                       accommodate
      primarily            office            type          activities              to one          that  would      initially        accommodate
     a combination        of office      and                                laboratory           activities.           It would         have  been
     possible     to have    constructed                                     the building             as originally           conceived       ond to
     have         later       modified                it for         different             occupancy.             However,            to do so would
     have  entailed     added                              expense          and would     not                        have         re’alistically              reflected
     the basic     needs which                               were        then so evident.                               in      this brood              context        then,
      NASA,           was           and       is stifl         of the          conviction                  that         it has           not       substantially
     departed              from        the      broad            purpose             initially             intended                 to be           served         by     this
     building.

c*    “-----        to redesign     the Engineering                                        Building                  Project           ond         to construct                the
     Space          Sciences    Laboratory-----”


     As noted              earlier,         we agree     that                       the      Engineering                        Building  was reoriented   and
     redesigned.                      it wa-s not,   however,                              redesigned                   in       such a manner   or to such a
     significant               degree               that       it then           became             dedicated                    solely            to the       activities                of
     “the  Space   Sciences    Laboratory”.                                                it     is our view    that too much   emphasis                                                  should
     not be placed     on nomenclature                                             since         in both    cases we ore dealing    with                                                program-
     matic         housing.                  The       currently              planned               initial             use of           the       Engineering                   Building            is
     predominantly                     for      some           activities              of the            Space               Science            function              at MSC.                  As
     now configured,                          the          Engineering                Building                will           provide           approximately                      45,200
     square         feet      of laboratory     space                              and 15,800        square   feef of office     space.                                                   With        a
     minimum               of cost,    for example,                                it could   easily      be configured      or adopted                                                  to
     provide          46,000               square             feet      of office                space         and            15,000           square          feet       of




                                                                                                    33
APPENDIX II


          laboratory               space.    Thi;                building             is nof now planned                              fo be of              such a special
          character               or so unique                  as that         the     general  and broad                             purposes               involved   in
          its     initial         intended             use have              been        circumvented.                          It was          intended                  to have
          and as planned     does                       have    the character       of a general    purpose                                                 facility
          adaptable    to a variety                         of functions      as progtam    changes     occur                                                and certain
          housing             needs         are     rovisrtd.


     0.    “-----to               provide           administrative-type                           space-----”


          The project    description                              did     not address      itself                 to the              type of space                     nor the
          functions   to be provided,                                   but simply    states:                     “It will              accommodate                       704
          engineering                  and administrative                          personnel”.                 However,                       the     Project               Purpose
          does indicate                  that the project                        (Engineering                 Building)                will         provide               the
          Manned               Spacecroft              Center            with         administrative-type                             space           for      center
          functions    associated                         with    manned     space                   flight mission     operations,         ond
          the development,                           test,     and evaluation                       of manned      spacecraft       systems
          ond          subsystems.             The activities                      of the Earth                 Resources                  program             certainly
          are         functions           associated     with                   space    flight.                Development                      of         remote       sertsars
          and         the techniques                  related            to the reduction;                        correlation,                      and interpreta-
          iion         of the sensar                data will             be one of the                   major        activities                   undertaken
          within            the     Engineering                  Building.               These        sensors            will         be      used          aboard
          spacecraft                as well          as aircraft                to make           quantitative                   measurements                        in
          agriculture,                  cartography,                forestry,                 geography,               geology,                     hydrology,
          and oceanography.                                 It is the NASA                     view     that        the j>rimary                     element               of
          concern   are the                       functions             to be housed                and       nof     fhe.details                     relating             to
          ‘type          of space”,                  It therefore               follows     that the                Engineering                           Building              as
          now         planned       is in            consonance                 with    this aspect                 of concern.


     E.   ” -----was                  advised          of     NASA’s             redesign           of      the     Engineering                       Building              to a
          Space             Science          Laboratory.                 ”


          As      noted           in C.       above,             NASA           does       not      agree         that          the        Engineering                    Building
          wos redesigned                      as a Space                 Science     Laboratory         nor                     that        if was            or     is now
          NASA’s     intent                  to consider                the reoriented          Engineering                                Building                in the
          same context                   as the previously                       considered      Space                     Science      and Application
          Laboratory.                    The Engineering                        Building    is basically                      a general     purpose
          facility            adaptable       to a variety                       of functions.        Even                       though              it     is currently
          planned             that    it will   be initially                       used by activities                           associated                   with    the
          Earth    Resources     program        this fact does not                                         change               the     basic              NASA            intent
          to relate     it to broad      Center      housing  needs.




                                                                                         34
                                                                                                                                                                               APPENDIX II


F.    “The        first      such        report         was-----on                   March                5,     1970.”                “With            regard-----in
      June         1970.            No     mention             was         made-----”


       The report               indicated             the status   of Construction                                      Projects    in Progress     as of
       December                31,      1969.           At that time (December                                         31,    1969)   the Engineering                                        Building,
       as a matter of fact, was                                not scheduled                        forconstruction                          although       there                     was         a pro-
       posal on the part of MSC                                  to construct                    it and this was                          under     consideration                            in     NASA
      Headquarters.                      this       desire,           on      the       part          of MSC,                 had         been          in existence
      since      t966           when   the “final”      design   of the Engineering                                                      Building   was firs!
      initiated.                The fact    that   the Associate     Administrator                                                    for Manned      Space
      Flight      and          the Director      of Facilities    had in October                                                      1969 concluded
      that       a redesigned                   Engineering                 Building                was a prudent                      action   did
      not represent                 a NASA               decision.               Their              predecessors                     had concluded                         that
      an Engineering                  Building              satisfying                a different   set of conditions                                           was
      necessary              some three    years                     earlier.           It is noted    that a contract                                          was
      awarded              on March     6, 1970                       (the report                was           “as     of”       December                   31,          1969)
      for       preparation               of a “Feasibility                      Study              for        Redesign              of     Engineering
      Building”.                 It is therefore                very          clear            that        the       NASA              report            referred              to
      was       accurate            and         OS complete                 as could                reasonably                  have             been       expected.


G.    “The        functional               capability                of the          building-----”


      We donot      agree     that   the functional          capability      of                                                 the building                     is different
      from that authorized         by the Congress.              The primary                                                      function                of      the building
      was to provide      environmentally           conditioned         space                                                   in which                 personnel                   could
      perform           their     assigned              duties.    As noted      elsewhere,                                        the currently                         planned
      initial         utilization        of          the Engineering       Building       will                                   be by elements                           of the
      MSC      staff          engaged   in office and laboratory                                                 activities               of the           Earth          Resources
      Program.                This does not mean    that increased                                                office             activities             or,         for that
      matter,             laboratory              activities            are         precluded                   from         later         consideration                       for
      assignment               to the           Engineering       Building.         While                                 there   is a modification                                in the
      initial         occupancy,                  the fur.ctional        capability       of                              the building     remains                              substan-
      tially        the same             OS initially                planned.


ii.   “Differences                  Between             Original               and       Redesigned                     Engineering                       Building”


      The       tobulation               under        this     heading                as presented                     is in          NASA’s               opinion              grossly
      misleading.                   As     noted         earlier,             the       equipment                    ($14.8               million)             listed          and
      thereby       implied                as a part           of the redesigned                                Engineering                    Building                 was          in
      port    acquired                 before   any            consideration     was                            given     to’its              placement                   in        the




                                                                                               35
APPENDIX II



            Engineering                  Building.               Addition01               equipment              was acquired              and       sti I I more was
           ordered             before         the      final       decision             to redesign             the Engineering                   Building      was
           made.               This     equipment                would         have        been        placed         in     and    utilized            in such
           temporary                  space         at Ellington              Air      Force        Base     or     in other        improvised                  areas         of
           MSC     hod            the Engineering         Building      not emerged     as the best overoll                                                  solution
            to Center              housing     problems.        This equipment       was being   acquired                                                  in order
           that MSC                could   satisfy     the requirements        of the previously     approved                                                 ond
           established               Earth   Resources     Survey                        Program     ot MSC.                      In any         event,   in             the
           FY 1967              presentation       to Congress                          no equipment      was                  indicated           OS o part               of
           the      facility    project.            Equipment        related                         to on-going               MSC       programs                 was in-
           tended        to be used in the building.                       This                       is further           substantiated          by            the fact
           that       the project        ultimately         opproved         by                      NASA           likewise         did       not     include               such
           equipment.                    In either         case the                 equipment          involved        was not required         to moke
           the bullding                  useful         or operable                  for the      general       housing    of MSC     activities.
           The subsequent                      decision            to house     $14.8               million   of equipment                        in this building
           should  not alter                    the fact            thot  inherent                in this project    wos the                      fact that equip-
           ment would      be                 provided    from                other        sources         ond   that any such                    equipment              should
           not be included                      in o subsequent                       reconstruction            of the facility                    project          cost.       it
           is the NASA    position                             thot the procurement,                         use and ultimate                     location           of this
           equipment   are distinct                              and seporote    matters                     from      the      construction               of     the
           Engineering                   Building          which         should           be evaluoted                solely        on     its own          merits.


    I.   -----“The                building             being        constructed,                  however,            includes           laboratory
            equipment-----”


           The building                  (Engineering                 Building)             being        constructed               was     not        intended               to
           and does not now include     laboratory                                             equipment.       Equipment                    acquired                   in
           support of an approved   MSC     program                                            will   be placed     in the                 Engineering
           Building             when          the     building           is completed                  in accordance                with         current          plans.
           This utilization                    of the building                       is considered         to be the highest                          and best
           under    the current                  Center-wide                        housing      situation     now existing                          and expected
           to     exist        in the         immediote             future.


    J.     ” Conclusions”


           We refer     to our response        under      items B, C, D, E, and G for our comments
           regarding      function      and cost and to our response         under    items      A, F, i-i, and                                                                    I
           for our comments          regarding      laboratory    equipment.       In summary,       it is the
            NASA     position      that the construction        of the Engineering        Building     at MSC




                                                                                           36
                                                                           ,
                                                                                                                                     APPENDIX II



is a matter           to be considered                   by     itself     in     the     context         of broad         MSC      housing
requirements,               In this         context;           which           NASA         feels       is the   only      appropriate
one,       the    Engineering               Building          as now           proposed         is within        the    scope        and      cost
of the       FY     1967     authorization                and       is planned    to serve   the basic  functional
or  programmatic               purposes      intended.                   The equipment     to be housed     in this
building     should           not be coupled           with this                   building         but     considered            separately.
Yhis equipment               would      have     been     necessary                     and provided             without          regard      to
the    Engineering               Building        to support              established            Earth       Resources         Program
activities          at MSC.            ft is the NASA       view                   then that   the decision                      to proceed
with     the      construction           of the Engineering                        Building  was legal      and                   proper    and
that it was a sound                   and      prudent          action.




                                                                          37
APPENDIX III                                .



                   PRINCIPAL       OFFICIALS    OF THE

        NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION

                RESPONSIBLE FOR THE ACTIVITIES

                    DISCUSSED IN THIS REPORT


                                                      Tenure     of office
                                                      From                   To
ADMINISTRATOR:
    George M. Low (acting)                      Sept.    1970        Present
    Thomas 0. Paine                             Oct.     1968        Sept. 1970
    James E. Webb                               Feb.     1961        Oct.    1968

DEPUTY ADMINISTRATOR:
    George M. Low                               Dec.     1969        Present
    Thomas 0. Paine                             Mar.     1968        Oct.    1968
    Robert C. Seamans,      Jr..                Dec.     1965        Jan.    1968

ASSOCIATE ADMINISmTOR          FOR
  MANNED SPACE FLIGHT:
    Dale D. Myers                               Jan.     1970        Present
    Charles W. Mathews      (acting)            Dec.     1969        Jan.    1970
    George E. Mueller                           Sept.    1963        Dec.    1969

ASSOCIATE ADMINISTRATOR FOR
  ORGANIZATION AND MANAGEMENT:
    Richard  C. McCurdy                         Oct.      1970       Present
    Bernard Moritz    (acting)                  May       1969       Oct.    1970
    Harold  B. Finger                           Mar.      1967       May     1969

ASSISTANT ADMINISTRATOR FOR
  ADMINISTRhTION:
    William B. Lilly                            Mar.      1967       Present
    John D. Young                               Jan.      1966       Mar.    1967

DIRECTOR OF FACILITIES:
     Robert H. Curtin                           May       1968       Present
     Ralph E. Cushman                           Jan.      1966       May     1968



                                       38
                                                  APPENDIX III


                                         Tenure   of office
                                         From                 -To
DIRECTOR,MANNED SPACECRAFT
  CENTER:
    Robert R. Gilruth             Nov.     1961     Present




U.S.   GAO   Wavh..   D.C.
                             39