GAO report - Export controls for NASA to improve technology security 

May 16: The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) published a report concerning how the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) could reduce the risk of unauthorized access to its technologies.

Reason for the GAO report

According to the GAO report [PDF 1.5 MB], NASA develops sophisticated technologies and shares them with its international partners and others. U.S. export control regulations require NASA to identify and protect its sensitive technology; NASA delegates implementation of export controls to its 10 research and space centers. Recent allegations of export control violations at two NASA centers have raised questions about NASA's ability to protect its sensitive technologies.

In this report, the GAO addresses:

  • NASA's export control policies and how centers implement them
  • The extent to which NASA Headquarters and Center Export Administrators apply oversight of center compliance with its export control policies

GAO recommendations

The GAO recommends that the NASA Administrator establish guidance to better define the Center Export Administrator function, establish time frames to implement foreign national access corrective actions and assess results, and establish a more risk-based approach to oversight, among other actions.

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