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Letter to the President Requesting Dismissal of NOAA Administrator and Deputy Administrator

May 12, 2006
Reps. Gordon, Wu Argue for Termination of Administrator Conrad Lautenbacher and Deputy Administrator Kelly
Science Committee letterhead image
May 12, 2006

The Honorable George W. Bush
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20502

Dear Mr. President:


We write today to ask that you act expeditiously to put a new management team in place at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).  The largest acquisition in the history of that agency is for the National Polar Orbiting Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS).  As recently as March of 2005, managers at NOAA were reassuring our staff that the project was under control in terms of cost and schedule.  At that time, the baseline budget for the program was $6.8 billion.  Today, the program is estimated to cost $13.8 billion to complete.  With NOAA having an entire annual budget of just $4 billion dollars, this 100% cost overrun of $7 billion is simply unacceptable....

We passionately believe that public service should require competence and personal accountability.  At NOAA, the evidence is in that a monumental failure of leadership and management has occurred.  We urge you to immediately intervene and replace Admiral Lautenbacher and General Kelly, holding them accountable for the dismal failure at NOAA.

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109th Congress