A conversation with Inspector General Giovanni Colangelo
The idea that reports should not be published because they are disruptive is exactly the kind of reasoning from ESA that leads to its opaqueness. The whole point is for them to be objective and disruptive, to be sincere looks at programs past all the intra-project politics so that the outside world can apply an external force if need be.
We've all been part of doomed projects where noone dared to say out loud "This is not going so great." The IG's office should be that voice, and the opinion of the public and especially of political representatives, should be the its power lever to enact change within the programs.
If the IG only reports to parties involved in the process, it becomes all to easy for them to ignore their warnings when they are inconvient, and it erodes the trust of the public on the European space sector.
Seeing his comments and ESA's general policy I'd say the agency has a lot to learn, practically from scratch, about transparency. I expect better of European institutions
Very interesting post on a little-known position! Thank you!
I would add one body to which the Inspector General should report (and more generally ESA) : the European Parliament. As the body that directly represents EU citizens (from which pockets come a vast majority of ESA money) ESA should be accountable to EU Parliament, as NASA is in front of Congress.
Very ambitious, especially as ESA is not an EU agency. Also a big debate.