51 USC § 30307
Requirement for independent cost analysis
June 17, 2020

(a) Definition of Implementation.—In this section, the term "implementation" means all activity in the life cycle of a project after preliminary design, independent assessment of the preliminary design, and approval to proceed into implementation, including critical design, development, certification, launch, operations, disposal of assets, and, for technology programs, development, testing, analysis, and communication of the results.

(b) Requirement.—Before any funds may be obligated for implementation of a project that is projected to cost more than $250,000,000 in total project costs, the Administrator shall conduct and consider an independent life-cycle cost analysis of the project and shall report the results to Congress. In developing cost accounting and reporting standards for carrying out this section, the Administrator shall, to the extent practicable and consistent with other laws, solicit the advice of experts outside of the Administration.

Open Table
Historical and Revision Notes


Source (U.S. Code) Source (Statutes at Large)
30307 42 U.S.C. 2459g. Pub. L. 106–391, title III, §301, Oct. 30, 2000, 114 Stat. 1591; Pub. L. 109–155, title VII, §704, Dec. 30, 2005, 119 Stat. 2936.

In subsection (b), in the first sentence, the words "the Administrator shall conduct" are substituted for "the Administrator for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration shall conduct" to eliminate unnecessary words.

In subsection (b), in the last sentence, the word "experts" is substituted for "expertise" for clarity.

Cost Estimation

Pub. L. 115–10, title VIII, §836, Mar. 21, 2017, 131 Stat. 69, provided that:

"(a) Sense of Congress.—It is the sense of Congress that—

"(1) realistic cost estimating is critically important to the ultimate success of major space development projects; and

"(2) the [National Aeronautics and Space] Administration has devoted significant efforts over the past 5 years to improving its cost estimating capabilities, but it is important that the Administration continue its efforts to develop and implement guidance in establishing realistic cost estimates.

"(b) Guidance and Criteria.—The Administrator [of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration] shall provide to its acquisition programs and projects, in a manner consistent with the Administration's Space Flight Program and Project Management Requirements—

"(1) guidance on when to use an Independent Cost Estimate and Independent Cost Assessment; and

"(2) criteria to use to make a determination under paragraph (1)."

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