Audit of the Lunar Exploration Accelerator Program Provides Mostly Clean Report

File photo: Lunar Exploration Accelerator Program (LEAP). Credit: Canadian Space Agency.

An internal audit of the Canadian Space Agency’s Lunar Exploration Accelerator Program (LEAP) did not reveal any substantive issues but did provide some additional details on program spending.

The audit was conducted by Chief Audit Executive Dany Fortin and his team at the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and released on June 6, 2023.

The report states in its Summary of Findings that “The audit demonstrate that the LEAP established sound mechanisms to ensure that activities are planned and controlled effectively.”

It further states that “In terms of implementation, we found that the activities are tracked individually within the LEAP’s portfolio of activities, and the project risks are monitored on a continual basis. In fact, some project risks have materialized and adjustments have been made to planning. The closing of activities initially expected in 2025 has been postponed to 2027. The main cause of this change is the alignment of activities with those of international partners. Financial and human resources planning have been adjusted accordingly.”

The one issue that was raised was related to documentation and states that “Although we noted good identification and management of project risks in the LEAP, we have identified an opportunity for improvement in regard to the documentation of the thought and decision-making process for integrating the corporate risk profile into activity and project planning. One recommendation has been made for all CSA activities.”

That recommendation is: “For the CSA as a whole, properly document the thought and decision-making process for integrating the corporate risk profile into activity and project planning.”

Of interest is the additional details on spending. The report states that “A large proportion of the budget, that is approximately $136 million (of the $150M), is split among six activities under a science and technology component, and the remainder, that is $14 million, is allocated to the health component.”

It then breaks down the $136M into “six elements of the science and technology component” as follows:

  • Approximately $65 million is allocated to developing a Canadian lunar rover.
  • Approximately $20 million is allocated to a scientific instrument that will eventually be used on the moon.
  • Approximately $20 million is allocated to a contribution for a partner’s mission to return a sample from Mars.
  • Approximately $31 million is awarded in contracts, grants and contributions to the space industry and academic community, to increase the market potential of Canadian businesses and to support various scientific research initiatives that will help develop key capabilities in research areas sought after for future lunar missions.

About Marc Boucher

Boucher is an entrepreneur, writer, editor & publisher. He is the founder of SpaceQ Media Inc. and CEO and co-founder of SpaceRef Interactive LLC. Boucher has 20+ years working in various roles in the space industry and a total of 30 years as a technology entrepreneur including creating Maple Square, Canada's first internet directory and search engine.

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