Chapter 2Roles and Responsibilities
2.1 Organizational Overview
2.2 Agency Management
2.3 Enterprise Management
2.4 Functional Management
2.5 Crosscutting Process Management
2.6 Manage Strategically
2.7 Provide Aerospace Products and Capabilities
2.8 Generate Knowledge
2.9 Communicate Knowledge
2.10 NASA and its Employees: Mutual Responsibilities
2.11 Office of Inspector General
NASA's organizational structure encompasses corporate, Agencywide management and the management of NASA's Strategic Enterprises. Strategic Enterprise management includes the management of NASA's Centers as well as programs and projects. A number of management councils and boards coordinate Agency planning. NASA's organizational structure is displayed in Figure 2-1 and is described in greater detail in NPG 1000.3.
* Wherever "Jet Propulsion Laboratory" or "JPL" appears in this document, note that the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) is NASA-owned, but contractor-operated.
Figure 2-1. Agency and Enterprise Management Structure
Agency management is responsible for Agency leadership, the development of NASA's strategy, and the integrated management of the Strategic Enterprises. It is the external focal point for NASA communication and accountability, serving as the principal interface with the Administration, Congress, and oversight agencies. Agency management integrates the NASA budget, determines long-term institutional investment strategy, sets NASA policy and standards, and ensures Agency functional management. Agency management defines the Strategic Enterprises and is responsible for reviewing requirements, allocating resources, assessing performance, and setting investment goals across the Enterprises. Executive management authority for the Agency resides with the Administrator, Deputy Administrator, and Associate Deputy Administrator, advised and supported by the staff officials of the Office of the Administrator and the senior-level councils and boards chartered to perform Agency-level integration (see Figure 2-2).
Figure 2-2. Agency Councils and Boards
The Administrator serves as NASA's chief executive officer, accountable to the President for the leadership necessary to achieve the Agency's mission. This leadership requires articulating the Agency's vision, setting its programmatic and budget priorities and internal policies, and assessing Agency performance. Senior staff officials within the Office of the Administrator include the Deputy Administrator, Associate Deputy Administrator, Chief Engineer, Chief Information Officer, and Chief Scientist.
Senior Management Council
NASA's Senior Management Council is chaired by the Administrator and consists of Associate Administrators, Officials-in-Charge of Headquarters offices, and Center Directors. This council advises the Administrator on the institutional health of the Agency and the status of its programs and plans and serves as a forum for the discussion of issues affecting Agency management. The council reviews the Agency and Enterprise Strategic Plans, Center Implementation Plans, and Functional Leadership Plans, and it recommends approval or redirection by the Administrator.
Program Management Council (PMC)
The PMC reviews the readiness of programs in formulation to proceed to implementation according to criteria established through the approval process. The PMC will also review the implementation of selected Enterprise programs and projects, as defined in the Program Commitment Agreement, and functional initiatives referred to it by the Capital Investment Council and requiring Program Commitment Agreements. The review of some programs may be delegated to Center Program Management Councils. The PMC's formal review process evaluates cost, schedule, technical content, performance, and safety to ensure that NASA meets its programmatic commitments.
Capital Investment Council (CIC)
The CIC examines
Agencywide capital investments and policy issues. This includes the balance
among Enterprise program investments, crosscutting technology investments,
and institutional investments. The CIC ensures an Agency perspective for
all large, long-term investments that enable the Agency and the Strategic
Enterprises to execute their programs. Investment areas include:
The CIC is the principal advisory group to the Administrator in resolving issues, prioritizing activities (capital investments, Functional Office initiatives, and programs), and balancing resources among the Strategic Enterprises. The CIC's advice to the Administrator is a significant element of the Agency's detailed implementation planning process and during the budget development process. The council resolves or recommends options to the Administrator on issues among the Enterprises, Functional Offices, and Centers, or combinations thereof, in terms of Agency investment in assets or functional capabilities. The council also reviews major Functional Office initiatives and reviews and recommends budget guidance initiating each annual budget cycle. When these reviews are required, the council will consider, among other criteria, the cumulative effect a proposed initiative will have on Agency resources. The Administrative Issues Board provides support for this review activity.
Significant augmentation of a Center of Excellence facility, human resource levels and skill mix, and proposals to change or designate new Centers of Excellence are all Agency investment decisions, on which the CIC makes formal recommendations to the Administrator.
Other Councils of the Office of the Administrator
The Administrator also has chartered the following councils, which are chaired by individuals from the Office of the Administrator or the Chief Financial Officer (CFO).
The Science Council, chaired by the Chief Scientist, coordinates NASA's science activities, promotes public communication, and ensures the quality of the Agency's science program. This council advises the Administrator on all aspects of science related to NASA's flight and ground programs.
The Science Council serves as a forum for reviewing Agency policies, practices, and issues as they relate to science activities; communicating and discussing interdisciplinary science goals and the national and international policies that guide their development; and integrating science plans. The council also participates in the Agency's process of developing recommendations for Agency-level science priorities and budgets. It shares information about operational areas of the Agency's Strategic Enterprises as they relate to the quality and content of the science program.
Technology Leadership Council
The Technology Leadership Council, chaired by the Associate Administrator for Aero-Space Technology, advises the Administrator on all material aspects of technology related to NASA's flight and ground programs. It coordinates NASA's technology activities, including advanced research and development, across Enterprises and promotes public communication of NASA's technology programs. The Technology Leadership Council also serves as a forum for reviewing Agency policies, practices, and issues as they relate to technology activities, communicating and discussing technology goals and the national policies that guide their development, and integrating technology plans. The council participates in the Agency's process of developing recommendations for technology priorities across Enterprise budgets for technology and supports the CIC with recommendations for Center of Excellence designation.
Engineering Management Council
The Engineering Management Council, chaired by the Chief Engineer, is a forum for assessing and improving Agency engineering practices, policies, training and certification standards, procedures, and capabilities. When requested by the chair of the PMC or the Chief Engineer, this council conducts or supports independent technical reviews of NASA programs and technology/advanced development activities.
Space Operations Council
The Space Operations Council, chaired by the Chief Engineer, serves as a forum for assessing and improving Agency space operations policies, practices, standards, procedures, and capabilities, while providing Agencywide policy guidance for activities associated with NASA operations. This council also provides policy guidance and recommends issue resolution to the NASA space operations management organization that provides operational mission support to all NASA Enterprises.
Space Transportation Council
The Space Transportation Council, chaired by the Chief Engineer, advises the Administrator and coordinates all aspects of space transportation investments related to NASA's flight and ground technology programs. The council serves as a forum for establishing and reviewing Agency and interagency policies, practices, and issues related to space transportation requirements and technology development. The council also defines an investment plan necessary for space transportation technology development and system upgrades and participates in the Agency process of developing recommendations for transportation technology priorities and advanced development programs across the individual Enterprises.
Information Technology Investment Council
The Information Technology Investment Council, chaired by the Chief Information Officer, is responsible for establishing Agency-level information technology policies, plans, and standards. This council approves NASA's information technology plans and conducts reviews of proposed major information technology investments required to accomplish these plans. The council also serves as the supporting panel for information technology and provides recommendations on proposed information technology investments to the CIC. With the support of this council, the Chief Information Officer provides leadership and advice to the Administrator and other senior officials for information technology plans, policies, and standards, as well as for assessing returns on information technology investments in terms of mission outcomes or support.
Information Technology Security (ITS) Council
The ITS Council, co-chaired by the Chief Information Officer and the Chief Infrastructure Assurance Officer (currently the Associate Administrator for Management Systems), is responsible for the coordination of Agency unclassified and classified ITS efforts. With the support of this council, the Chief Information Officer and the Associate Administrator for Management Systems provide support and advice to the Administrator and other senior officials for ITS.
Chief Financial Officer Council
The Chief Financial Officer Council, chaired by the CFO, is responsible for improving financial and resource management, strengthening communications, improving coordination, and promoting professional development. The council advises and coordinates the activities of the Agency on such matters as the development and implementation of financial and budget systems, the improvement of the quality of financial and resources information, financial data and information standards, management controls, professional development standards, and any other matters that will facilitate financial and resources management excellence.
Internal Senior Management Boards
To coordinate and
support Agencywide management in certain key areas, NASA has established
internal Senior Management Boards, which are chaired by one of NASA's
Associate Administrators or, in selected cases, by a designated senior
Agency official. These boards include, but are not limited to:
NASA has established the four Strategic Enterprises to function in primary business areas for implementing NASA's mission and serving customers. Each Enterprise has a unique set of strategic goals, objectives, and implementing strategies that address the requirements of the Agency's primary customers.
Enterprise Associate Administrators/Institutional Program Officers
The Enterprise Associate Administrators are accountable for delivering program results to the NASA Administrator. As such, they serve as the stewards, advocates, and chief executives of their respective Enterprises, setting Enterprise priorities and strategies for achieving them. In addition, the Strategic Enterprises provide program definition (requirements, opportunities for cross-program efficiency, and synergy). They are responsible for the safety and human health of their Enterprise's activities, integrated Enterprise budget development, program resource allocation, performance assessment, policies and standards, and the implementation of NASA policies.
The Enterprise Associate Administrator is the senior official in the Enterprise with principal responsibility for developing long-term strategy and ensuring that the necessary capabilities are in place to meet both the near-term program objectives and the longer term goals.
As the Enterprise
leader, the Associate Administrator determines what the Enterprise does
and why, with a specific focus on the requirements of external customers.
In this context, the Enterprise Associate Administrators are responsible
The Associate Administrators for Space Science, Earth Science, and Life and Microgravity Sciences and Applications have oversight of NASA's scientific research programs. These Associate Administrators' responsibilities in science research include strategic planning, implementation and performance planning, the selection of missions and investigations, and the ongoing evaluation of research activities. The Associate Administrator for Life and Microgravity Sciences and Applications is also responsible for all Agency health activities. Enterprise Associate Administrators are responsible for managing program initiation, formulation and integration, science management, and program oversight and performance assessment. The Centers are responsible for program implementation on behalf of their respective Enterprise Associate Administrator (see Figure 2-3).
Note: Bold type reflects primary management responsibilites.
Figure 2-3. Science Management
When a Strategic Enterprise consists of multiple Headquarters organizations, a Lead Associate Administrator is appointed who is responsible for setting policy and requirements guidance for that Enterprise. The Associate Administrator for Space Flight is the Lead Associate Administrator for the Human Exploration and Development of Space (HEDS) Enterprise and is responsible for an integrated human exploration and development of space strategy. The Associate Administrator for Life and Microgravity Sciences and Applications reports to the NASA Administrator and is a key member of the HEDS Enterprise. In this instance, the Associate Administrator is not an Enterprise Associate Administrator, but has the full responsibilities of an Enterprise Associate Administrator for programmatic activities in the areas of life sciences, agency health activities, microgravity sciences, and associated space product and commercial development.
To ensure alignment
between programs and institutional capabilities, the Administrator will
normally designate the Enterprise Associate Administrator for the predominant
activity at each Center that Center's Institutional Program Officer. As
an Institutional Program Officer, the Associate Administrator is responsible
for ensuring that the Center has the capability to meet its programmatic
and functional commitments, as well as long-term mission responsibilities,
in a safe and effective manner. The Institutional Program Officer/Associate
Administrator is also responsible for implementation, conformance, and
the assurance of safe and efficient functional operations. Enterprise
Associate Administrators serving as Institutional Program Officers must
have a broader perspective than their individual Strategic Enterprises.
In this management capacity, the Institutional Program Officer works with
the Centers, other Enterprise Associate Administrators, and Functional
Each Institutional Program Officer also ensures a broad perspective by providing the opportunity for all the Enterprises that have work at the Center to participate in institutional decision processes. These processes encompass policy decisions, allocation of common resources, approval of the Center's institutional operations budgets, and recommendations on proposed capital investments, including determining fund sources.
Centers and Center Directors
NASA's Centers are responsible for the safety and occupational health of their workforce and for the safe implementation of the Agency plans, programs, and activities of the Strategic Enterprises. Centers of Excellence and Center missions are two key concepts in the management of NASA. NASA's Center Directors are responsible for program management and execution. They determine how Enterprise programs and central services will be implemented. Center Directors manage the institution (including capability development and maintenance), manage multi-Enterprise resources, implement functional leadership and central service activities, and implement NASA, Strategic Enterprise, and Agency-level functional policies. In collaboration with Agency-level Functional Offices, the Center Directors will establish oversight and evaluations of Center functions through self-assessments, ISO 9000 audits, performance metrics, or other requirements identified. The Center Directors serve as both members of the Senior Management Council and as heads of their respective Centers. In this latter role, they have primary management responsibility in three areas: program management (determining how programs are accomplished), institutional infrastructure (maintaining and enhancing both human and physical resources), and the assurance of the Agency's capabilities in assigned Centers of Excellence.
Center missions identify the primary area of concentration of each Center's capabilities. A Center mission is a long-term responsibility. The Center Directors are responsible for building and maintaining human and physical resources to support their Centers' missions. Enterprise program and project assignments are based on mission designations. The Administrator assigns the Center missions. In implementing its mission, the Center may capitalize on capabilities residing at supporting Centers or outside of NASA, as necessary, to provide the cost-effective implementation of its mission. Designated Center Mission Areas and Centers of Excellence are listed in Appendix A.
Lead Center Directors for Programs
Each NASA program involving more than one Center is assigned to a Lead Center for implementation. NASA program Lead Center assignments are selected by the Enterprise Associate Administrator and approved by the Administrator. In making such assignments, the Enterprise Associate Administrators will consider Center mission and Center of Excellence responsibilities. (Lead Center designations for NASA's current programs are listed in Appendix C.) Lead Center Directors have full program management responsibility and authority. They are fully accountable for ensuring that assigned programs are managed to agreed-on schedule milestones, budget guidelines, technical requirements, and all safety and reliability standards.
The Enterprise Associate Administrators must configure each program so that it can be efficiently and effectively accomplished within the framework of Lead Center assignments and funding allocations. The level and number of Enterprise Associate Administratorcontrolled requirements must be consistent with safety, mission success, customer expectations, and statutory and regulatory requirements. The Lead Center Directors, in turn, establish supporting assignments for other Centers (Supporting Centers), considering Center mission and Center of Excellence responsibilities. The Center Directors delegate management responsibility to the Program Managers who report to them.
Centers of Excellence
Center of Excellence designation represents exceptional Agency capabilities in certain areas of science, engineering, or technology. These capabilities include personnel, facilities, and tools and may reside at more than one NASA Center. The exceptional capabilities a Center of Excellence represents are expected to serve the needs of the Enterprises as well as NASA's strategic objectives, and they are the responsibility of the Center Director.
A NASA Center designated as a Center of Excellence is responsible for planning and, as permitted by available resources, maintaining or augmenting the personnel skills, facilities, and tools required to sustain its area of excellence. A Center of Excellence's implementation plan must be prepared at the Center and approved by that Center's Enterprise Associate Administrator/Institutional Program Officer. It will include strategies for advocating, coordinating, collaborating among, and, where cost-effective, consolidating Agency capabilities supporting a particular Center of Excellence designation. Agency investment decisions in such areas as facilities development, human resource levels, and skill mix will consider and support such consolidations.
The Institutional Program Officer is responsible for ensuring the viability of the Centers of Excellence in keeping with NASA's Strategic Plan. Normally, Center of Excellence issues, including plans to cover resource shortfalls, will be resolved at the Strategic Enterprise/ Institutional Program Office level. However, significant adjustments in Center of Excellence assignments, personnel levels or skills, facilities, funding, and tools are all Agency investment decisions to be recommended to the Administrator by the CIC, supported for this purpose by the Technology Leadership Council.
Proposals to change or to designate new Centers of Excellence will be based on annual assessments conducted by the Center Director, as well as on reviews involving corresponding external expertise, which must be conducted every 3 years. Criteria used in assessments and reviews of Centers of Excellence will include record of performance, competitiveness with external sources of equivalent capabilities, adequacy of resources, and extent of support for NASA's Enterprises and strategic objectives.
Program and Project Managers
The Program Manager ensures the most expeditious and cost-effective implementation approach for a program, consistent with safety and taking into account Center of Excellence capabilities and Center mission assignments. Program Managers are selected by, and report to, the Lead Center Director. If more than one project exists within a program, they are managed by Project Managers who report to the Program Manager. Project Managers are selected by the responsible Center Director. A general model for the roles and responsibilities for Strategic Enterprise program management is shown in Figure 2-4. For programs and projects covered under NPD 7120.4 and NPG 7120.5, refer to these documents for the detailed responsibilities and procedures for specific program and project managers.
Bold type reflects primary management responsibilities.
Figure 2-4. Enterprise Program Management Roles and Responsibilities
While overall science management and direction resides with the science Enterprise Associate Administrators, as discussed in section 2.3.1, flight and ground systems development and operations management responsibilities are delegated to the Centers. NASA's Center scientists provide enabling support to the broader space research community by serving as project scientists and operating unique Center facilities. In addition, Center scientists may compete with external researchers for funding to conduct original research of their own (including instrument development) that also maintains their scientific currency. Agency policies and guidelines for science program management are provided in NPD 1080 and NPG 1080, currently under development.
The Headquarters Functional Office Associate Administrators and Officials-in-Charge are the Administrator's principal advisors for their areas of responsibility. They establish plans to improve functional performance across the Agency, disseminate internal Agency policies, and, in collaboration with the Enterprise Associate Administrators and Center Directors, maintain sufficient insight into Enterprise and Institutional Program Office activities to ensure that they are conducted in accordance with all statutory, regulatory, and fiduciary responsibilities. In addition, these officials advise the Administrator and senior managers of potential efficiencies and required compliance to be gained by implementing proposed functional initiatives.
Headquarters Functional Offices include the Offices of the Chief Financial Officer, Chief Engineer, Chief Information Officer, and Chief Scientist, as well as Headquarters Operations, Equal Opportunity Programs, Human Resources and Education, General Counsel, Procurement, External Relations, Management Systems, Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization, Legislative Affairs, Public Affairs, Safety and Mission Assurance, and Policy and Plans. The Associate Administrator for Management Systems serves as the Agency's Chief Infrastructure Assurance Officer.
Functional Office activities fall into any or all of three major categories: functional leadership, staff to the Administrator, and central services across the Agency. The Office of Headquarters Operations will be responsible for matters pertaining to the planning, execution, and evaluation of the management of the Headquarters institution. Figure 2-5 is an overview of NASA's Functional Office roles and responsibilities.
Figure 2-5. Functional Office Roles and Responsibilities
As functional leaders, Functional Office Associate Administrators and Officials-in-Charge focus on improving processes, stimulating efficiency in the performance of activities related to the programs, and providing consistency, when consistency serves Agency management objectives, across the Strategic Enterprises. They oversee the performance of their particular functions across all of the Centers, as well as provide liaison to external organizations performing similar functions and stakeholders who establish Governmentwide policy and requirements.
Central services for specific functional activities are offered to gain efficiencies and to eliminate redundancy across the Agency. The decision to provide a function centrally (for example, Agencywide payroll processing) is made by the Administrator, on the CIC's recommendation, on a case-by-case basis showing a clear benefit to the Agency. A Functional Office or Strategic Enterprise may provide central services. Such services include staff support, training, internal communications, and consolidated mainframe computing operations. The CIC will recommend a control mechanism (such as a memorandum of understanding) for the service provision. Once established, the service provision will be evaluated annually as part of the budget process and continued on the basis of cost-effective support to Agency customer requirements.
Principal Centers may be established to lead particular functional leadership operations. The Functional Office selects the Center that can best execute the function on behalf of NASA and submits that selection, with the concurrence of the Institutional Program Office Associate Administrator and the Associate Administrator for Headquarters Operations, to the Deputy Administrator for approval. Delegations of authority to conduct these responsibilities are negotiated and documented with memoranda of understanding, signed by the Functional Office Associate Administrator or Official-in-Charge, the Institutional Program Office Associate Administrator, the Associate Administrator for Headquarters Operations, and the Center Director. The memoranda of understanding must contain provisions for direction and funding flow, as well as performance review. The Principal Center Director, in turn, may establish supporting assignments for other Centers (Supporting Centers) considering their particular functional capability. The memoranda of understanding must stipulate that budget processes will follow guidance provided by the Headquarters Office of the Chief Financial Officer and Office of Headquarters Operations. (Principal Center designations for NASA's current programs and processes are listed in Appendix B.)
Crosscutting Process Management
NASA recognizes that
the broad application of certain operating principles can enhance the
returns on its work toward diverse programmatic and functional objectives.
As a framework for operating in accordance with these principles, NASA
has grouped the following major activities into four "Crosscutting Processes":
assigns stewardship responsibilities for the Crosscutting Processes. These
responsibilities have been assigned to:
No NASA organization can succeed for long unless NASA succeeds. Interorganization coordination and collaboration are essential to defining common strategic goals and operating principles, implementation planning, and achieving mission success. To bring about Agencywide coordination and collaboration among all of its organizational units, the Agency designed the Strategic Management System that is described in this NASA Procedures and Guidelines directive (NPG 1000.2).
The stewardship of NASA's strategic management process is the responsibility of the Office of Policy and Plans. The process is implemented by all NASA organizations as indicated in this directive (NPG 1000.2).
The scope of NASA's commitment to managing strategically is far-reaching and all-inclusive. The process includes the roles and responsibilities of Agency and Enterprise management as well as Functional Offices (see NPG 1000.3).
The Office of Policy and Plans is responsible for scheduling and coordinating an orderly, well-documented, and inclusive Agency process to update every 3 years the Agency's Strategic Plan and, as needed, its strategic management guidelines (NPG 1000.2). This office also collaborates with the Office of the Chief Financial Officer to define and apply assessment tools to evaluate its performance.
Provide Aerospace Products and Capabilities
NASA conducts aerospace programs to provide aeronautical and space technology to researchers, industry, and the general public. Provide Aerospace Products and Capabilities is NASA's process for delivering systems (for example, aeronautics, space and ground), technologies, data, and operational services to NASA customers. Management policies, procedures, and guidelines for the formulation, approval, implementation, and evaluation of NASA programs and projects are provided in NPD 7120.4 and NPG 7120.5.
NASA conducts and supports basic and applied research to extend the boundaries of knowledge of science, technology, and engineering, to capture new knowledge in useful and transferable media, and to share new knowledge with customers. This Crosscutting Process provides a framework for ensuring that the research is consistent with the Agency's strategic plans and that the quality of the research is maintained to the highest standards. Directives and guidelines for the Generate Knowledge process will be in NPD 1080.x and NPG 1080.x.
The Communicate Knowledge process coordinates, integrates, disseminates, and shares consistent information and experiences about the content, relevance, results, applications, and excitement of NASA's mission of research, development, education, and exploration. This process will be described in greater detail in NPD 1090.x and NPG 1090.x.
NASA and Its Employees: Mutual Responsibilities
The success of NASA's strategic plans, performance plans, and Strategic Management System, depends on the active support of all Agency employees. NASA management conducts the Agency's planning activities in an inclusive, open, and well-documented manner. All employees, including managers and executives, are responsible for familiarizing themselves with their respective Agency, Enterprise, Functional Office, and Center plans. NASA makes an investment with each employee. Employee development is an essential form of capital investment for the Agency.
Office of Inspector General
NASA's Office of Inspector General (OIG) is an independent organization with responsibility to detect fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement, while promoting economy, efficiency, and effectiveness in the Agency's programs and operations. The OIG conducts audits, criminal investigations, inspections, and assessments. The OIG staffs are located at NASA Headquarters, all NASA Centers, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and some ancillary offices. Additional information about OIG activities can be found in NPD 9800.1.