position in the organizational matrix, the members' individual and collective expertise, their independence, and their impartiality.

Thus, such a panel provides additional benefits to those provided by the ongoing safety efforts: independence and lack of involvement in internal politics, additional confidence that nothing falls through the cracks from a safety viewpoint, accountability to management and the public, and a means for an open forum and expanded communications for all levels and types of technical and administrative personnel.

Although software should be part of the normal ASAP activities, special expertise is needed to deal with software issues. A special subcommittee of the ASAP to consider software safety issues could demonstrate and give visibility to NASA's understanding of the growing importance of, and dependence upon, software to the safe accomplishment of NASA 's mission and its commitment to resolving the issues related to this relatively new technology.

Recommendation #10: NASA should establish better reporting and management relationships between developers, centers, programs, and the headquarters Safety Office.

Recommendation #11: NASA should consider the establishment of a NASA safety certification panel or board separate from the program offices and also the establishment of a subcommittee of the Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel to deal with software issues.

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