Sequester and Consequences

se·ques·ter

/səˈkwestər/
Verb
Isolate or hide away (someone or something): “the artist sequestered himself in his studio for two years”.
Noun
A general cut in government spending.

the sequester – a “series of across-the-board cuts to government agencies totaling $1.2 trillion over 10 years” (CNN) — has finally hit NASA right in the outreach.

NASA circulated two internal memos on the subject of Education and Public Outreach on Friday, March 22.  The first memo notes that “effective immediately, all education and public outreach activities should be suspended, pending further review. In terms of scope, this includes all public engagement and outreach events, programs, activities, and products developed and implemented by Headquarters, Mission Directorates, and Centers across the Agency, including all education and public outreach efforts conducted by programs and projects.”

Read the full memo from NASA Public Affairs here.

The second memo: Memo: NASA AA for Communications David Weaver to Communications Coordinating Council: EPO Activities Under Sequestration

SUBJECT: Instructions for Waiver from Guidance and Additional information for Education and Public Outreach Activities Under Sequestration

I am providing additional information and instructions regarding the review of public outreach activities under sequestration as outlined in the memorandum from the NASA Chief Financial Officer and Chief of Staff dated March 22, 2013.

First, I am exempting the following activities from immediate suspension:

* Mission announcement media events and products
* Breaking news activities
* Responses to media inquiries

I think that NASA may be slightly confused about how to handle this matter.  The first memo’s across the broad cuts statement “Effective immediately, all education and public outreach activities should be suspended, pending further review.” Followed by:  “First, I am exempting the following activities from immediate suspension,” shows that NASA knew that the memos would leak out, but they did not plan for the speed at which the memos got circulated.

I am sure that NASA has heard of the Internet, but maybe the people in the administration have yet to catch on to that new fangled thing.

Naturally, there will additional clarification as soon as the dust from these two memos settles a bit, but until then, I bestow the double face palm epic fail on the administrators at NASA for their less than deft handling of this situation.

Even the United Federation of Planets facepalms for this!!

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities.  Connect with me on Google +.  If you need help with any patent, trademark, or copyright issue, or know someone that can use my help, please contact me for a free 30 minute consultation by sending me an email or call TOLL FREE at 1-855-UR IDEAS (1-855-874-3327) and ask for Norman.

Norman

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