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Death of a Spy Satellite Program

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Benjamin Carroll

on 19 March 2014

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Transcript of Death of a Spy Satellite Program

Death of a Spy Satellite Program
Case through the Political Approach
- Did not use political approach values when planning, researching, and developing the project

- Representativeness was limited by selected members

- Actors were too political when continuing the project

- From the projects conception, it relied too heavily on the managerial approach

- The bidding process was too political and not equitable

- The construction process lacked oversight and thus, political influence

- As a result, the project is referred to as the greatest failure of all spy satellites
Case through the Managerial Approach
Managerial approach over emphasized in FIA project with quality lost to minimize cost

CIA hired contractor that promised the lowest costs
with highest innovation

Boeing's self regulation resulted in biased progress reports and billions of federal dollars
Future Image Architecture (FIA) project
Case through the Legal Approach
- Non-equitable bidding

- Individual rights of U.S. citizens were not considered

- In 2001, 9-11 had a substantial impact on the decision to continue with the project

- Boeing executives were given too much autonomy without the need to prove progress
Course Concepts
Three Approaches to Public Administration:
1. Managerial ~ 2. Political ~ 3. Legal
Ben Carroll, Shannon Etherson, Alexandra Chevalier
Budgeting utilizes managerial values to lower costs and increase productivity
The Managerial Approach
The Political Approach
Values: accountability, responsiveness, responsibility
Budget through incrementalism and historical costs
The Legal Approach
Values: equity, constitutionality, individual rights, procedural fairness
Budgeting emphasizes equity of the individual's rights, companies rights, and national rights
- In 1996, a commission created by the CIA recommended building a fleet of satellites to take more advanced images, as a result of the Gulf War

- Planning began in 1997 with a budget of $5 billion

- Classified project

- Bidding war between Boeing and Lockheed

- In 2005, FIA was killed; estimated loss of
$18 billion
Discussion Questions
Values: efficiency, economy, effectiveness
Traditional and NPM
Do you think the political approach could have helped the project succeed? If yes, how? If not, why not?
Budgetary Process
Budgeting is the process of estimating the revenue and expenses over a specified future period of time
Budgetary processes are necessary to manage decision making and limit spending

Complications of budgeting: length, budgetary politics, uncontrollable spending
How would prioritizing different aspects of the managerial approach impacted the FIA project?

Would focusing on effectiveness and efficiency have made a difference?
"It's clearly a budget. It's got a lot
of numbers in it."
- George W. Bush

How do you think the legal approach could have proactively helped this project and set a standard for projects to come?
Full transcript