WASHINGTON, Nov. 16, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- NASA has received an unmodified audit opinion on its Fiscal Year 2016 (FY 2016) financial statements, marking the sixth consecutive year of "clean" opinions. The agency has released its FY 2016 Agency Financial Report (AFR), which provides details on its financial results and performance highlights.
The auditor's unmodified opinion is that NASA's financial statements fairly present the agency's financial position and results of operations. An unmodified opinion is the highest audit opinion that may be received from an external auditor. "This sixth consecutive 'clean' audit opinion reflects NASA's continued commitment to excellence in financial management and effective stewardship of taxpayer dollars," said NASA Chief Financial Officer David Radzanowski. The AFR highlights NASA's progress toward meeting its strategic goals, including significant achievements in research aboard the International Space Station, Earth science, technology development, aeronautics research and deep space exploration. FY 2016 saw the return of the first one-year mission crew from the International Space Station, a key step in preparing astronauts for future deep space missions, including journeys to an asteroid and Mars. Later in the fiscal year, NASA launched its Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security-Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft, the first U.S. mission designed to collect a sample of an asteroid and return it to Earth for study. NASA also reached a major milestone in the development of its next Mars rover, getting approval in July to proceed with final design and construction. The Mars 2020 rover will investigate a region of Mars where the ancient environment may have been favorable for microbial life, probing the Martian rocks for evidence of past life. Throughout its investigation, it will collect samples of soil and rock and cache them on the surface for potential return to Earth by a future mission.