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For release: 09/19/03
Release #: 03-164

Marshall Center earns top award from government-industry data exchange program for avoiding costs

A U.S. and Canadian government program that concentrates on trimming or eliminating unnecessary costs by promoting technical information has given its top award to the Marshall Center. The Government-Industry Data Exchange program presented its Highest Cost Avoidance Award for fiscal 2002 to Marshall for avoiding more than $2.4 million in costs.

The Government-Industry Data Exchange Program, a U.S. and Canadian government effort to trim or eliminate unnecessary costs by promoting technical information sharing, has given its top annual award to NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. The organization's Highest Cost Avoidance Award for fiscal year 2002 recognizes the Marshall Center for avoiding more than $2.4 million in costs.

The Government-Industry Data Exchange Program, or GIDEP for short, provides technical information essential during research, design, development, production and operational phases of the life cycle of systems, facilities and equipment.

Employees of Hernandez Engineering Inc., of Houston, Texas, working under contract at the Marshall Center, used the data exchange program to find a hard-to-locate custom replacement part needed for NASA's Gravity Probe-B satellite. The employees found a supplier that guaranteed quick delivery for the needed hardware, preventing a two-to-three month shipping schedule delay for the program and avoiding approximately $2.1 million in costs.

Cited for their use and support of the data exchange program were Prince Kalia, Marshall's representative for the program, John McPherson and Sandy Haraway, Hernandez GIDEP program coordinators.

The recognition for the Marshall Center effort is for the period November 2001 through October 2002. The Marshall Center's avoided costs for the period amounted to more than 10 percent of NASA's total savings of $21 million. Overall, hundreds of participants in the program avoided costs of $65.3 million during the period.

Since its inception in 1959, participants in the Government-Industry Data Exchange Program have reported more than $1 billion savings through prevention of unplanned expenditures. U.S. and Canadian military services, government agencies, aerospace companies, manufacturing firms, research organizations and universities participate in the program.

The program began as the Interservice Data Exchange Program through a mutual agreement by the U.S. Army, Air Force and Navy to reduce duplicate testing on the same parts, components or materials. It went through several name changes before becoming the Government-Industry Data Exchange Program in 1970. Also in that year, the U.S. Navy assumed management of the effort, a role that continues today.

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