Eliminate the unnecessary and inefficient budget micromanagement forced upon NASA by Congress. Allow NASA to set its own internal funding allocations based on the space policy priorities set by the President. Congress should not be directing NASA to spend $X million on this program and $Y million on that (or worse, having non engineers design the next heavy lift launch system). To do so is at best wastefully inefficient and at worst akin to pork barreling for home districts. The President must set the space research and exploration priorities for the nation and Congress must then allocate the funds for NASA’s overall budget. Then, like any other CEO or agency head, the NASA Administrator should be allowed to set funding levels internal to his agency to most efficiently carry out the President’s priorities. The NASA Administrator would be responsible for meeting those priorities but the key element is that it should in fact be the responsibility of the Administrator, not Congress. Allowing the internal disbursement of funds will also greatly enhance the flexibility of the NASA workforce to tackle projects as necessary rather than worrying about the specific color of money or the current bewildering array of charge codes. It would also free Congress and OMB from having to worry about micromanaging how every dollar is distributed within the agency; that is the Administrator’s job. The Administrator would then, of course, report back to Congress and the President on how NASA’s money is being spent – with complete transparency as required by law.
Idea No. 15405