This is the accessible text file for GAO report number GAO-07-129T 
entitled 'Capitol visitor Center: Update on Status of Project's 
Schedule and Cost As of November 15, 2006' which was released on 
November 16, 2006. 

This text file was formatted by the U.S. Government Accountability 
Office (GAO) to be accessible to users with visual impairments, as part 
of a longer term project to improve GAO products' accessibility. Every 
attempt has been made to maintain the structural and data integrity of 
the original printed product. Accessibility features, such as text 
descriptions of tables, consecutively numbered footnotes placed at the 
end of the file, and the text of agency comment letters, are provided 
but may not exactly duplicate the presentation or format of the printed 
version. The portable document format (PDF) file is an exact electronic 
replica of the printed version. We welcome your feedback. Please E-mail 
your comments regarding the contents or accessibility features of this 
document to Webmaster@gao.gov. 

This is a work of the U.S. government and is not subject to copyright 
protection in the United States. It may be reproduced and distributed 
in its entirety without further permission from GAO. Because this work 
may contain copyrighted images or other material, permission from the 
copyright holder may be necessary if you wish to reproduce this 
material separately. 

Testimony: 

Before the Subcommittee on the Legislative Branch, Committee on 
Appropriations, U.S. Senate: 

United States Government Accountability Office: 

GAO: 

For Release on Delivery Expected at 2:30 p.m. EST: 

Wednesday, November 15, 2006: 

Capitol Visitor Center: 

Update on Status of Project's Schedule and Cost As of November 15, 
2006: 

Statement of Bernard L. Ungar, Director Bradley M. James, Assistant 
Director Physical Infrastructure Issues: 

GAO-07-129T: 

Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee: 

We are pleased to be here today to assist the Subcommittee in 
monitoring progress on the Capitol Visitor Center (CVC) project. Our 
remarks will focus on (1) the Architect of the Capitol's (AOC) 
construction progress and problems since the Subcommittee's September 
21, 2006, hearing and their impact on the project's schedule; and (2) 
the project's expected cost at completion and funding 
situation.[Footnote 1] As part of this discussion, we will address a 
number of key challenges and risks that continue to face the project as 
well as actions AOC has recently taken, and plans or needs to take, to 
meet its currently scheduled completion date. 

Our remarks today are based on our review of schedules and financial 
reports for the CVC project and related records maintained by AOC and 
its construction management contractor, Gilbane Building Company; our 
observations on the progress of work at the CVC construction site; and 
our discussions with the CVC team (AOC and its major CVC contractors), 
AOC's Chief Fire Marshal, and representatives from the U.S. Capitol 
Police. We also reviewed AOC's construction management contractor's 
periodic schedule assessments, potential change order log, and daily 
reports on the progress of interior wall and floor stonework. We 
retained a mechanical engineering consulting firm (Kincaid/Bryant) to 
help us assess the CVC team's progress in completing the project's 
heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) system. In addition, 
we reviewed the contract modifications made to date and the estimates 
of cost increases provided by AOC and its construction management 
contractor, including their estimates of the costs related to 
delays,[Footnote 2] and their preliminary cost estimates for recent 
changes to the CVC's fire protection and security systems. 

At the Subcommittee's September 21 CVC hearing, we reported that our 
assessment of the project's schedule and expected cost at completion 
was somewhat constrained because the CVC team was still analyzing the 
impact on the project's schedule and cost of the recently identified 
changes required for certain components of the fire protection and 
security systems. We also noted that the team expected to have firmer 
schedule and cost information around mid-October. However, the CVC team 
did not receive firmer information on the impact of the recent fire 
alarm system changes on the schedule until late last week, noted some 
remaining uncertainty about how long the pretesting of the fire alarm 
system would take, and recently learned of significant changes that 
would be needed in the security system and in the sequence for bringing 
the CVC's air handling units online. In addition, the impact of these 
changes on the project's cost is not yet fully known. Therefore, we 
could not thoroughly assess the project's schedule or estimated cost at 
completion and are basing our views on the information available as of 
November 9, 2006, recognizing that our views could change as more 
information on the impact of these changes becomes available. 

In summary: 

Since the Subcommittee's September 21 CVC hearing, the CVC team has 
continued to move the project's construction forward, but the project's 
scheduled completion date has slipped by 6 weeks, to October 26, 
2007,[Footnote 3] and further delays are possible. The 6-week delay was 
attributable to problems with the project's most critical activity--the 
fire protection system. Under the current schedule, the construction of 
the House and Senate expansions spaces will be completed before the 
CVC's construction, but both the CVC and the expansion spaces will be 
available for occupancy at the same time because final acceptance 
testing of both is slated to be done concurrently. 

 During the past month, the CVC team has made progress on the 
project's HVAC system, interior floor stone and ceiling installation, 
and other interior and exterior construction work. In addition, AOC 
sent Congress an action plan for improving its execution of the project 
and the project's schedule, as the Subcommittee requested and we had 
recommended, and this plan is responsive to our recommendations. AOC is 
also considering other action not discussed in this plan. 

 Despite this progress, problems have occurred in many important 
activities besides the CVC's fire protection system, according to AOC's 
construction management contractor. Although these delays did not add 
time to the project's schedule this month, additional delays could do 
so in the future. For example, the completion date for wall stone 
installation in the East Front basement slipped by 38 workdays since 
the Subcommittee's last CVC hearing, and an additional 17-workday 
slippage could delay the CVC project's scheduled completion date. 
Similarly, work on the HVAC system slipped 19 workdays, and an 
additional slippage of 46 workdays could delay the project's scheduled 
completion date. Recently identified issues associated with the CVC's 
HVAC system, fire protection system, and security system--including 
issues associated with their coordination and testing--also pose risks 
to the project's scheduled completion date. In addition, concerns have 
arisen about AOC's ability to achieve a high-quality, complete, and 
usable facility within the current estimated time frame and cost now 
that the contractual date for completing sequence 2 construction work-
-September 15, 2006--has passed. In particular, there is a risk that, 
without negative consequences, the resolve of some major stakeholders 
to complete the project in a timely and efficient manner could be 
adversely affected. Finally, all the indicators of progress that we 
have been tracking for the Subcommittee, together with other risks and 
uncertainties, suggest that the project is likely to finish later than 
October 2007. 

As we said at the Subcommittee's September 21 CVC hearing, AOC will be 
able to meet or come close to meeting its scheduled project completion 
date only if the CVC team promptly makes significant improvements in 
its execution of the project and the project's schedule. It is too 
early to tell whether the actions identified in AOC's November 2006 
action plan will be effective in curtailing additional schedule 
slippages. Furthermore, the concerns identified since the 
Subcommittee's last CVC hearing, particularly those related to the 
CVC's HVAC system, if not quickly addressed, could adversely affect the 
project's schedule. Thus, until it is clear that AOC's actions are 
effective in curtailing additional schedule slippages, we believe that 
the facility is more likely to be completed in early 2008 than in the 
fall of 2007. To improve AOC's ability to meet its schedule and to 
reduce the risks to the project's schedule and cost facing AOC now that 
the contract completion date is past, we are recommending that AOC (1) 
promptly work with the CVC team to address the concerns associated with 
the CVC's HVAC system and (2) carefully consider the existing 
contractual remedies available to achieve completion of all necessary 
work within the current estimated time frame and cost without otherwise 
compromising any of the government's contractual rights or remedies. 

Since the Subcommittee's September 21 CVC hearing, we have increased 
our estimate of the total cost to complete the entire CVC project by 
about $8 million to account for the delays and changes identified 
during this period,[Footnote 4] but our estimate is rough because we 
have not had the information or the time needed to fully assess the 
impact of these delays and changes on the projects' cost. With this $8 
million increase, we now estimate that the total cost of the entire CVC 
project at completion is likely to be about $592 million without an 
allowance for risks and uncertainties, recognizing, however, that the 
extent of AOC's responsibility for the delay-related costs is 
uncertain. To date, about $531 million has been provided for CVC 
construction. For fiscal year 2007, AOC has requested $26 million in 
CVC construction appropriations, plus $950,000 in AOC general 
administration appropriations for contractual support to complete 
acceptance testing of the CVC's fire protection system on schedule. 
During fiscal year 2007, AOC is also likely to need, but has not yet 
requested, additional funds to pay for changes. At the Subcommittee's 
last CVC hearing, we roughly estimated that AOC would need an 
additional $5 million to $10 million in fiscal year 2007 over and above 
what it had already requested for changes unless it decided to use 
funds slated for other purposes, after obtaining the necessary 
congressional approvals. AOC agrees with this rough estimate at this 
time and notes that it will likely need additional money in fiscal year 
2008 to replenish these funds and to cover other costs if they 
materialize. 

Construction Progress Has Not Been Sufficient to Offset Impact of 
Changes and Delays on the Project's Schedule and Completion: 

Work on the CVC project has progressed in many areas, but the project 
completion date has slipped to October 26, 2007, about 6 weeks beyond 
the September 17, 2007, completion date discussed at the Subcommittee's 
last CVC hearing. This 6-week slippage is due to continuing problems 
associated with the CVC's fire protection system, but many other 
important activities, including those associated with the HVAC system, 
East Front, and security system, have been delayed as well. Last week, 
at the request of the Subcommittee and as we had recommended, AOC 
completed and sent to Congress an action plan for improving management 
execution of the project and its schedule. The action plan was 
responsive to our recommendation. However, it is too early to tell 
whether implementing the plan will curtail the types of schedule 
slippages that have occurred since the Subcommittee's last CVC hearing 
and throughout the project. Moreover, although the CVC team and AOC's 
Fire Marshal Division have agreed on a number of important elements of 
the CVC's fire protection system, they have not yet agreed on all 
important elements. Additionally, as noted, concerns have emerged 
regarding the CVC's HVAC system, as well as the impact of the passage 
of the sequence 2 September 15, 2006, contract completion date. 
Accordingly, priority should be given to accomplishing all of the 
identified critical tasks so that pretesting of the facility's fire 
protection system can begin in the spring of 2007. Additionally, to 
ensure that AOC gets a high-quality, fully functional facility, it is 
essential that AOC effectively implement the actions it has identified 
and give careful consideration to existing contractual remedies 
available to it to achieve completion of all necessary work within the 
current estimated time frame at a reasonable cost without otherwise 
compromising any of the government's contractual rights or remedies. 

Progress: CVC Team Has Advanced Interior CVC and Other Construction 
Work and Has Begun to Implement an Action Plan for Strengthening Its 
Project Management: 

According to information provided by AOC and its construction 
management contractor and our observations, work on the project has 
advanced, in terms of both the dollar value of the work in place and 
individual project elements. In dollar terms, AOC's construction 
management contractor reported that, as of October 31, the overall CVC 
project was about 88 percent complete and the sequence 2 work was about 
84 percent complete--up from about 86 percent and 77 percent, 
respectively, as of the Subcommittee's last CVC hearing. Progress on 
individual project elements includes the following: 

 Interior CVC work has moved forward, according to AOC's construction 
management and sequence 2 contractors. For example, the CVC team and 
AOC's Fire Marshal Division have reached or nearly reached agreement on 
the design for several critical elements of the facility's fire 
protection system. Agreement on these elements is necessary for the 
system's installation to proceed. In addition, the mechanical 
subcontractor has completed certain preparations for operating the 
CVC's air handling units,[Footnote 5] all but two of which passed a 
required test for leaks as of Monday, and the CVC team expects 
conditioned air to begin flowing to certain parts of the facility later 
this month. The sequence 2 contractor has also installed about 65 
percent of the CVC's floor stone, up from about 43 percent at the time 
of the Subcommittee's last CVC hearing, and ceiling installation is 
complete or essentially complete in the great hall, south side corridor 
(lower level), both orientation theaters, and the food service area. 
(AOC notes that blistered ceiling tile in the orientation theaters will 
have to be repaired or replaced.) 

 Surface work continued, including paving and brick gutter work on the 
Senate plaza. Work on the House connector tunnel and on linking the 
Library of Congress tunnel with the Jefferson Building has also 
continued. 

 East Front work continued, including completion of stone installation 
on the redesigned archway above the main central staircase from the CVC 
to the East Front and installation of ductwork and metal stud framework 
to support wall stone at the rotunda and gallery levels. 

 In the House and Senate expansion spaces, ceiling close-in 
inspections, ceiling panel installation, and stone work have continued, 
and installation of the circular staircase that will connect all three 
levels of the Senate expansion space has begun. 

On November 7, 2006, AOC sent Congress an action plan setting forth a 
number of steps it has taken, plans to take, or is considering to 
ensure that the CVC is ready for occupancy in the fall of 2007. AOC 
developed this plan at the Subcommittee's request in response to 
recommendations we made to AOC at the Subcommittee's September 21 CVC 
hearing. These recommendations were aimed at enhancing AOC's execution 
of the schedule and project and at facilitating the Subcommittee's 
efforts to (1) hold AOC accountable for managing the project and (2) 
work with AOC to ensure that the schedule implications of proposed 
scope or design changes are quickly determined and considered by all 
appropriate stakeholders before final decisions on the proposed changes 
are made. AOC's actions included: 

 meeting weekly with the CVC team to deal exclusively with schedule 
issues; 

 having its construction management contractor identify areas needed 
to meet the project's schedule that the contractor believes are 
understaffed or face obstacles to progress; 

 identifying sequence 2 and construction management personnel who are 
responsible for meeting key schedule dates and resolving identified 
problems; 

 basing the sequence 2 contractor's future award fee on meeting 
schedule milestones; 

 reassessing the scope, depth, and time frames associated with the 
pretesting and final testing of the facility's fire and life-safety 
protection systems; 

 increasing communication among the CVC team, AOC's Fire Marshal 
Division, and the U.S. Capitol Police; and: 

 discussing proposed significant scope or design changes with Capitol 
Preservation Commission representatives before such proposed changes 
are adopted and getting the congressional leadership's approval for 
discretionary changes requested by the Senate or House. 

The actions AOC has identified are generally responsive to our 
recommendations and, if implemented effectively and quickly, should 
help AOC improve its project and schedule management as well as help 
ensure that the schedule and cost implications of proposed 
discretionary design or scope changes are appropriately considered 
before final decisions on them are made. However, we have concerns 
about the usefulness of one step AOC is considering--the possible 
establishment of a CVC peer review panel to assess the approaches 
planned for the fire protection system's pretesting and final testing. 
We have expressed our concerns to AOC, and it has agreed to consider 
them. 

Besides the actions it identified in its November 2006 action plan, AOC 
has been considering how to deal with the impact of passing the 
sequence 2 contract completion date, September 15, 2006. This is a 
complex issue, in part because its resolution potentially involves 
preliminary determinations about the causes of, and responsibility for, 
project delays during sequence 2 up to September 15. AOC has also been 
considering other factors, such as the need to instill a sense of 
urgency and responsibility to meet the contractor's currently 
established fall 2007 completion time frame; the possibility of setting 
a specific date as the new contract completion date and the 
implications associated with alternative dates; the constructive manner 
in which the sequence 2 contractor has worked with AOC and the rest of 
the CVC team to accomplish work and resolve problems; and the need to 
ensure that the work necessary to get the facility completed is done 
expeditiously at a reasonable cost. We have discussed these issues with 
AOC and pointed out that it needs to decide how it intends to proceed 
as quickly as possible and also consider the risks that various options 
pose. In view of additional schedule slippages that have occurred and 
issues that have arisen since the Subcommittee's last CVC hearing, we 
are making additional recommendations to AOC, which we will discuss 
later in this testimony. 

In addition to the actions identified by AOC, the sequence 2 contractor 
has reported adding five superintendents to its CVC staff in the last 
several months to help achieve the schedule. Given the number and 
magnitude of the changes that have occurred to the sequence 2 contract 
since it was initially awarded and the extent to which problems have 
constrained progress, we believe that this additional supervision 
should put the team in a better position to meet schedule dates and 
address problems quickly. 

Problems: Required Changes to Fire Protection System and Continued 
Slippages in Other Important Activities Have Extended the Project's 
Schedule and Completion Date: 

The additional time needed to make design changes to the CVC's fire 
protection system has extended the project's completion date by about 6 
weeks since the Subcommittee's September 21 CVC hearing--from September 
17, 2007, according to the schedule in effect at that time, to October 
26, 2007, according to the October 2006 schedule issued last week. In 
addition, AOC's construction management contractor reported slippages 
in construction work for all of the 20 near-critical activity paths it 
identified in its schedule report for October 2006. For many of these 
activity paths, the schedule slipped at least 4 weeks. For example, the 
contractor reported a 65-workday delay for two East Front elevators due 
to late completion of necessary preceding work, a 66-workday delay for 
fabrication and installation of bronze doors because of fabrication 
problems experienced by the supplier, a 38-workday delay in ceiling 
close-ins in the upper level security lobby needed to resolve 
unexpected ceiling problems, and a 38-workday delay in completing wall 
stone work in the East Front basement area attributable to 
unanticipated design issues. The contractor also reported a 130-workday 
delay in the delivery of custom light fixtures, apparently the result 
of contractual issues between the sequence 2 contractor and its 
supplier. According to the construction management contractor, there 
are now five near-critical activity paths--including the HVAC system, 
East Front work, and work in the upper level security lobby and 
assembly rooms, for which additional slippages of 17 to 53 workdays 
could further delay the CVC's completion date. 

Neither the September 17, 2007, nor the October 26, 2007, project 
completion dates included any time for (1) installing artifacts in the 
exhibit gallery after a certificate of occupancy has been issued, (2) 
preparing for operations, or (3) dealing with risks and uncertainties. 
AOC's October 2006 schedule shows the artifacts installed in the 
exhibit gallery by November 30, 2007, but does not allow any time for 
dealing with risks or uncertainties associated with completing the work 
necessary for a certificate of occupancy, and it is not clear whether 
the additional time provided for installing the artifacts will be 
sufficient to prepare for operations. 

Problems with the HVAC System: 

In work on the CVC's HVAC system, AOC's construction management 
contractor reported a 19-workday slippage, which the contractor 
attributed to a steam pipe support problem and a problem at the Capitol 
Power Plant. As we indicated at the Subcommittee's last CVC hearing, we 
asked our mechanical engineering consultant to reassess the status of 
the CVC's air handling units in early November 2006 because the CVC's 
HVAC system affects many activities, has had a number of problems, and 
poses significant risks to the project's successful completion. We 
asked the consultant to compare the units' mechanical readiness to 
provide conditioned air to the CVC as of November 1 with their 
readiness as of his previous assessment, on September 6, 2006. On 
November 1, he found that the installation of controls for the air 
handling units was nearing completion, substantial work had been done 
to insulate 7 of the units, and all of the units could be ready on 
schedule with committed effort by the sequence 2 mechanical 
subcontractor. He noted, however, that except for pressure and leak 
testing and controls installation, little visible work had been done on 
12 of the units to address the issues he had identified during his 
September visit. He said he did not see a large number of workers in 
the air handling unit areas and the work that was being done appeared 
to be on pipe insulation. Moreover, he saw little coordination between 
work on completing the air handling units and on the spaces they are to 
serve, and he noted a number of concerns about the operational 
readiness of both, indicating that delays in providing conditioned air 
to the facility and in balancing of the air handling units could 
potentially delay the project's schedule. 

Even though the HVAC system's installation and associated work are 
progressing, a number of issues besides those observed by our 
mechanical engineering consultant have arisen since the Subcommittee's 
last CVC hearing, heightening our concerns about the CVC team's ability 
to meet its schedule for completing and commissioning the system. 
Because some of the spaces to be served by the air handling units were 
not yet ready, the sequence 2 contractor recently decided to change the 
sequence in which some of the air handling units would be placed in 
service. However, as of last week, the technical implications of this 
change had not been fully determined. The commissioning contractor has 
questioned whether enough people will be available to support the 
commissioning process within the scheduled time frames, and, as noted, 
our mechanical engineering consultant has raised operational readiness 
concerns. AOC's construction management contractor has also expressed 
concerns about these issues, and we have raised the issues in a number 
of CVC team meetings, but the responses have not given us confidence 
that (1) all the work associated with bringing the air handling units 
on line and commissioning them has been sufficiently coordinated among 
the team members; (2) all technical issues and risks associated with 
fully operating the units have been adequately addressed; and (3) that 
sufficient staff will be available to meet the scheduled dates. 

According to sequence 2 contractor personnel, these types of problems 
and ongoing schedule adjustments to address day-to-day events are not 
uncommon in large, complex construction projects. Not all the problems 
with the air handling units have to be resolved fully before 
commissioning work can proceed, they said, and air handling units are 
typically turned on before other work is completed to provide 
conditioned air for materials that need it. The sequence 2 contractor 
said it would work with the mechanical subcontractor and other parties 
to ensure that the HVAC system issues are resolved in a timely manner. 
Furthermore, according to the contractor personnel, contractual 
provisions are in place to address providing conditioned air to the CVC 
while construction work is underway. We understand these points and 
recognize the progress that has been made. However, in light of the 
recurring slippages in the HVAC system's schedule, the system's 
importance to the pretesting and final testing of the facility's fire 
protection system, and the concerns expressed by AOC's construction 
management contractor and the commissioning contractor, we believe 
prompt action is needed to resolve the concerns and ensure that the 
schedule for completing the HVAC system work is realistic and will be 
met. 

Delays in Completing the Expansion Spaces and the Library of Congress 
Tunnel: 

The schedule for essentially completing the construction of the House 
and Senate expansion spaces (currently scheduled for April 23, 2007) 
has slipped about 6 weeks since the Subcommittee's last CVC hearing, 
and several activities important to completing these spaces have also 
been delayed. For example, AOC's construction management contractor 
reported another 14-workday delay in completing the circular stairs in 
the atrium areas. Delays have also occurred in, for example, the 
installation of the stone arch in the House lower level, because the 
work is taking longer than expected, and in the installation of 
millwork in the House lower level, because of fabrication delays. In 
addition, a special fire suppression system was not installed because 
it had not been approved. Furthermore, the sequence 2 subcontractor 
doing the expansion space work identified a number of concerns that 
could affect the project's completion. For example, the subcontractor 
reported that its schedule could be adversely affected if significant 
scope or design changes continue. Assuming that scope and design 
changes are controlled, the sequence 2 subcontractor responsible for 
the expansion space work hopes to recover some of the lost time and 
essentially complete its construction work in March 2007. In addition, 
the project's schedule shows that the construction activity (excluding 
testing) remaining after the April 2007 essential completion date is 
primarily related to work necessary to complete the circular stair in 
the House atrium. AOC anticipates that a design change will enable the 
circular stairs in both the House and the Senate atriums to be 
completed sooner than currently scheduled. 

Finally, although not critical to the CVC's opening, work being done to 
connect the Library of Congress's Jefferson building to the tunnel 
linking it with the CVC has fallen more than 3 weeks behind since the 
Subcommittee's last CVC hearing, according to the construction 
management contractor, at least in part, because certain stone work has 
taken longer to install than anticipated. The subcontractor responsible 
for this work, which is currently scheduled for completion on April 24, 
2007, expects to recover lost time and complete the work in March 2007. 
Furthermore, the construction management and sequence 2 contractors 
report that, for a number of reasons, the work on the tunnel itself has 
slipped about 9  weeks beyond the completion date in effect at the 
Subcommittee's last CVC hearing. 

Indicators of Construction Progress Point to Further Delays unless 
AOC's Project Execution Significantly Improves: 

The four indicators of construction progress that we have been tracking 
for the Subcommittee, together with the risks and uncertainties that 
continue to face the project--which we will discuss shortly-- 
demonstrate to us that AOC will be unlikely to meet its fall 2007 
project completion date unless it significantly improves its project 
execution. An update on these indicators follows: 

Sequence 2 contractor has continued to miss most milestones. Starting 
with the Subcommittee's June 2005 CVC hearing, at the Subcommittee's 
request, we and AOC have been selecting and tracking sequence 2 
milestones to help the Subcommittee monitor construction progress. 
These milestones include activities that were either on the project's 
critical path or that we and AOC believe are critical to the project's 
timely completion. As figure 1 shows, the sequence 2 contractor has 
generally missed these milestones. For today's hearing, the contractor 
met or was expected to meet 4 of the 18 milestones that were due to be 
completed, according to the project's September 2006 schedule, and for 
1 of these 4, the work was completed ahead of schedule.[Footnote 6] 
However, the contractor was late in completing work for 4 other 
milestones and had not completed or was not expected to complete the 
work for the remaining 10 milestones by November 15, 2006. (See app. 
I.) The sequence 2 contractor attributed the slippages to a number of 
factors, including design issues and a need to relocate ductwork, add 
steel support for wall stone, and resequence work. 

Figure 1: Sequence 2 Contractor's Progress in Meeting Selected 
Milestones as of CVC Hearing Dates: 

[See PDF for image] 

Source: Sequence 2 contractor, AOC and its construction management 
contractor, and GAO. 

[End of figure] 

Value of completed work has increased since the last hearing, but trend 
reflects the sequence 2 contractor's difficulties in meeting scheduled 
completion dates. Another indicator of construction progress that we 
and AOC's construction management contractor have been tracking is the 
value of the completed construction work billed to the government each 
month. Overall, the sequence 2 contractor's monthly billings, including 
the bills for March through October 2006, indicate that construction 
work is about 2 months behind the late finish curve, which indicates 
completion around November 2007. While this indicator has some 
limitations (for example, billings lag behind construction), it is 
generally regarded in the construction industry as a useful measure of 
how likely a project is to be completed on time. Figure 2 compares the 
sequence 2 contractor's billings since May 2003 with the billings 
needed to complete construction work on schedule and suggests that AOC 
faces challenges in meeting its fall 2007 completion date and is more 
likely to complete the facility later than its current schedule shows. 

Figure 2: Total Billings by the Sequence 2 Contractor for the Entire 
CVC Project Compared with the Billings Needed to Finish Construction 
Work on Schedule: 

[See PDF for image] 

Source: AOC's construction management contractor. 

Notes: 

1. The early and late lines on this figure reflect the cumulative 
billings that would be required to complete the project through 
contract modification number 144 ($237.5 million total contact value) 
by the early and late finish dates shown in the sequence 2 contractor's 
schedule, which is based on the September 2006 contractual completion 
date. 

2. The actual line reflects the sequence 2 contractor's actual monthly 
billings. 

3. Although bills are typically submitted for payment after work is 
completed, it is often likely that construction work will be completed 
on schedule when the actual billing line falls between the early and 
the late lines in the figure. For the CVC, the actual billing line has 
been trending below, and in March 2006 went below, the late finish 
line, where it remained through October 2006. Even with the lag in 
billings, this trend indicates that the amount of work being completed 
and billed each month is not sufficient to keep the project on 
schedule. 

[End of figure] 

Installation of interior wall and floor stone is taking longer than 
expected. Overall, about 86 percent of the CVC's interior wall stone 
has been installed (in the CVC, East Front, atrium areas, and tunnels), 
according to AOC's construction management contractor, and the sequence 
2 contractor installed nearly 85,000 of the 129,780 square feet of 
interior floor stone required as of November 9. Although the sequence 2 
contractor has installed almost all of the wall stone in the CVC itself 
and all of the wall stone in the atrium areas, wall stone installation 
in the East Front is significantly behind schedule. According to the 
sequence 2 contractor's January 2006 wall stone installation schedule, 
the East Front wall stone was to be completely installed by July 10, 
2006. As of November 10, about 4,700 pieces of wall stone remained to 
be installed in the East Front--the same quantity as we reported at the 
Subcommittee's last CVC hearing. During the 8 weeks since that hearing, 
the sequence 2 contractor installed about 34,900 square feet of 
interior floor stone, or about 65 percent of the 52,060 square feet 
specified in the floor stone installation plan that the contractor had 
previously provided to AOC. According to the construction management 
contractor, the sequence 2 contractor's installation of interior floor 
stone has been impeded by a lack of available space and by some work 
taking longer than expected. 

Figure 3 shows the sequence 2 contractor's progress in installing 
interior floor stone since February 13, 2006.[Footnote 7] 

Figure 3: Progress of CVC Interior Floor Stone Installation Compared 
with Preliminary Targets Set by the Sequence 2 Contractor: 

[See PDF for image] 

Source: AOC's construction management contractor. 

[End of figure] 

Project's Schedule Remains Vulnerable to Challenges, Risks, and 
Uncertainties: 

As we have indicated during the Subcommittee's previous CVC hearings, 
we believe that the CVC team continues to face challenges, risks, and 
uncertainties in quickly completing the project. Given the project's 
history of delays, the difficulties the CVC team has encountered in 
quickly resolving problems that arise, and the large number of near-
critical activities that can affect the project's overall completion, 
the CVC team's efforts to identify potential problems early and resolve 
issues quickly will be even more important from this point forward, 
because AOC has left no "slack" in the schedule for contingencies. In 
our view, the remaining work associated with the fire protection and 
HVAC systems poses the greatest risks to meeting AOC's fall 2007 
project completion date. The steps AOC has taken to mitigate these 
risks have been helpful, but much work remains to be done on these 
systems and on their linkages with other building systems. In addition, 
the project continues to face risks and uncertainties associated with 
other work important to its completion, such as the East Front, and 
additional design or scope changes. The project's current schedule does 
not provide the 2 to 3 months that a previous schedule allowed for 
addressing ongoing challenges, risks, and uncertainties. Accordingly, 
we plan to continue to monitor the CVC team's efforts to meet its 
schedule for the fire protection, HVAC, security, and other building 
systems and other key near-critical activities as well as the 
timeliness of the actions taken by the CVC team to address problems, 
concerns, and questions that arise. A brief update follows on the 
challenges, risks, and uncertainties the CVC team continues to face and 
the team's plans for addressing them:  

* Complex building systems remain a significant risk. The CVC will 
house complex building systems, including HVAC, fire protection, and 
security systems. These systems not only have to perform well 
individually, but their operation also has to be integrated. If the CVC 
team encounters any significant problems with them, either separately 
or together, during the resolution of design issues, installation, 
commissioning, or testing, the project could be seriously delayed. The 
unanticipated problems that emerged in reviewing the design of the fire 
alarm system and in programming it illustrate the impact such problems 
can have on the project's schedule. AOC's Fire Marshal Division and the 
CVC team have recently made considerable progress in reaching agreement 
on the design of a number of important elements of the CVC's fire 
protection system that are important to the purchasing and installation 
of wiring and equipment. As of November 13, the Fire Marshal Division 
had approved or essentially agreed to the designs of the sprinkler, 
smoke control, and emergency public address systems as well as most 
aspects of the CVC's and East Front's fire alarm systems that are 
related to the ordering and installation of wiring and equipment. 
According to the Fire Marshal Division, any outstanding comments on 
these system elements are minor. On the other hand, agreement has not 
yet been reached on a number of other system elements, including the 
sequence of operations for the CVC fire alarm system, the design for 
the special fire protection system in the exhibit gallery, and the plan 
for final acceptance testing of the facility's fire protection system. 
A sequence 2 subcontractor has identified dates by which certain 
elements must be approved to avoid further delays. Thus, additional 
delays could occur if the team takes longer than expected to get 
necessary remaining approvals or if the fire protection system does not 
work effectively individually or in concert with the security or other 
building systems.[Footnote 8] It is because of constraints such as 
these that we believe it is so important to address open issues 
associated with the HVAC system and to continue coordination with the 
U.S. Capitol Police on the security system. Since the Subcommittee's 
last CVC hearing, the Capitol Police have identified another security 
problem that will require additional work. The impact of this work, if 
any, had not been determined as of November 9. 

* Building design and work scope continue to evolve. The CVC has 
undergone a number of design and work scope changes. Since September 
15, 2006, AOC's architectural contractor has issued five design changes 
or clarifications. As of November 8, 2006, this contractor reported, 
another four were in process. In addition, since the project began, AOC 
has executed over 100 sequence 2 contract modifications for work that 
was not anticipated.[Footnote 9] Some of these changes, such as changes 
in the exhibit gallery and in the East Front, have resulted in delays. 
Furthermore, although shop drawings have been approved for almost all 
project elements, according to AOC, further design or scope changes in 
various project elements are likely, given the project's experience to 
date. Project design and scope changes are typically reflected in the 
development of potential change orders (PCO), many of which result in 
contract modifications. Figure 4 shows the PCOs submitted for 
consideration for sequences 1 and 2 since September 2003. Although PCOs 
are not always approved, they are often regarded as a reasonably good 
indicator of likely future design or scope changes that can affect a 
project's cost and schedule. Even more important, the adverse impact of 
scope and design changes on a project's schedule is likely to increase 
as the project moves toward completion. 

Figure 4: Cumulative Number of Potential Change Orders Submitted for 
CVC Sequences 1 and 2 between September 2003 and November 2006: 

[See PDF for image] 

Source: AOC's construction management contractor. 

[End of figure] 

As the figure indicates, new PCOs for sequence 1 were submitted until 
shortly before, and even for several months after, November 2004, when 
AOC determined that the sequence 1 contract work was substantially 
complete. Similarly, PCOs for sequence 2 are still being submitted, and 
we have seen no indication that their submission is likely to stop 
soon. It therefore appears likely to us that some of the design or 
scope changes indicated in PCOs could lead to contract modifications 
that will affect the project's schedule. AOC agrees that it is 
important to minimize the impact of proposed design and scope changes. 

* Trade stacking could delay completion.[Footnote 10] As we discussed 
during the Subcommittee's previous CVC hearings, trade stacking could 
hold up finish work, such as drywall or ceiling installation, 
electrical and plumbing work, plastering, or floor stone installation. 
This work could be stacked because of delays in wall stone 
installation. Trade stacking could also increase the risk of accidents 
and injuries. Hence, it remains important, as we said at previous CVC 
hearings, for the CVC team to closely monitor construction to identify 
potential trade stacking and promptly take steps to address it. The CVC 
team has also identified trade stacking as a high risk. The sequence 2 
contractor has developed plans that show when various subcontractors 
will be working in various areas of the CVC. According to the sequence 
2 contractor, it has been continuing to meet regularly with its 
subcontractors to identify and resolve potential issues. The CVC team 
identified instances of trade stacking that occurred in an effort to 
expedite certain East Front work and in doing millwork and stone work 
in the orientation theaters. AOC's construction management contractor 
has noted trade stacking as a potential issue associated with the 
compressed time frame for bringing all of the air handling units on 
line. 

* Additional delays associated with the CVC's new utility tunnel have 
resulted, or could result, in additional work or slippages. The delay 
in starting up the utility tunnel's operations has necessitated the use 
of temporary humidity control equipment for several areas to avoid 
damage to finish work and ceiling tile. Such delays may subject certain 
work to the risk of damage or may delay finish or ceiling work in areas 
not suitable for the use of temporary humidity and temperature control 
equipment. For example, the CVC team installed ceiling tile in portions 
of the great hall to take advantage of the scaffolding in place, even 
though neither the temperature nor the humidity was controlled in that 
area. According to the CVC team, the installed tile could be damaged if 
the temperature or humidity is not within specified levels, and certain 
exhibit gallery woodwork has been delayed because conditioned air has 
not been available. Although the CVC team expected in early August to 
be providing dehumidified air to the exhibit gallery by mid-August, the 
sequence 2 contractor now expects to begin providing conditioned air to 
the CVC later this month. However, as noted, the contractor has 
resequenced the order for bringing some air handling units on line 
because some spaces--including the exhibit gallery, which was slated to 
receive conditioned air first--were not clean enough for the units to 
operate. The air handling unit serving the exhibit gallery is now 
expected to come on line early in December. Remaining risks include 
having sufficient manpower to meet the scheduled dates for getting the 
HVAC system fully operational, having sufficiently clean spaces, and 
being able to quickly overcome any problems that may arise in getting 
the system properly balanced, controlled, and commissioned, including 
providing enough manpower without causing trade stacking. 

* Late identification or slow resolution of problems or issues could 
delay completion. Historically, the project has experienced or been at 
risk of experiencing some delays resulting from slow decision- making. 
In addition, some CVC team members believe that some of the problems 
that have resulted in delays, such as certain problems associated with 
the East Front or with problematic sequence 1 concrete work could have 
been identified and addressed earlier than they were. In responding to 
these comments, the sequence 2 contractor said that although earlier 
identification of these types of problems is conceptually possible, it 
is difficult in practice. Looking forward, we do not believe that the 
team will be able to meet its scheduled completion date if it does not 
quickly decide on issues; respond to concerns, questions, and 
submittals; or resolve problems. In September 2006, AOC told the CVC 
team that starting October 1, the architectural contractor would be 
decreasing its staff support to the project. In our opinion, this 
change increased the risk of slow responses to design questions or 
requests for design instructions at a very critical time, particularly 
because we have not seen evidence of a decrease in potential change 
orders. AOC believes that it will be able to provide its CVC 
construction contractors with sufficient architectural support to 
respond to appropriate questions or requests in time to avoid delays. 
We believe that this situation needs close monitoring as well as 
corrective action if problems arise. AOC has not reported any problems 
in this area since the last CVC hearing, and has identified steps in 
its November 2006 action plan aimed at identifying and resolving design 
problems quickly. 

Finally, as we noted earlier in our testimony today, AOC's delay 
analysis is even more critical given the passage of the sequence 2 
September 15, 2006, contract completion date and the need to obtain a 
complete facility without further delays and unreasonable costs, 
including delay-related costs. On April 11, 2006, AOC executed a 
contract modification authorizing its construction management 
contractor to have one of its managers who has not been involved in the 
CVC project assess the adequacy of this type of information. The 
manager submitted his report to AOC in early June. He reported 
generally positive findings but also identified desired improvements. 
He made several recommendations to AOC, which AOC has generally agreed 
with and plans to implement consistent with the availability of 
resources. 

Project's New Schedule Appears Achievable Only under Certain 
Conditions: 

The October project schedule shows that almost all physical 
construction work on the CVC, the East Front, and the expansion spaces 
will be completed by spring 2007 and that the pretesting and final 
testing of all fire protection, life safety, and related systems for 
these areas will be carried out between then and late October 2007. 
This schedule reflects the amount of time that AOC's Chief Fire Marshal 
said he would need to perform his acceptance testing, although the CVC 
team is working to see if certain aspects of the testing can be done 
differently to save some time. The October 2006 schedule also calls for 
completing the installation of artifacts in the exhibit gallery by 
November 30, 2007. However, this schedule does not allow any time for 
addressing problems, risks, or uncertainties associated with obtaining 
a certificate of occupancy or for preparing for operations. 

Given the uncertainty about how much time will be needed to pretest the 
fire protection system, the concerns associated with the HVAC system, 
the unknown effectiveness of AOC's recently identified actions to 
curtail future schedule slippages, and the limited amount of time we 
had to assess the October project schedule, we do not feel that we are 
in position to suggest a definitive project completion date. However, 
in light of the work we have done, we do not believe AOC will be able 
to complete the project by fall 2007 if the actions it has identified 
are not effective in curtailing future schedule slippages. Thus, until 
we see that AOC has satisfactorily addressed our schedule- related 
concerns, we believe that the project is more likely to be completed in 
early 2008 rather than in the fall of 2007. 

Recommendations: 

To minimize the risks associated with the CVC's HVAC system and the 
government's ability to get the CVC completed within the current 
schedule and cost estimates and to give Congress and us greater 
confidence in the CVC team's project schedules from this point forward, 
we recommend that the Architect of the Capitol promptly take the 
following two actions: 

* Work with the rest of the CVC team to ensure that the schedule for 
completing and commissioning the HVAC system is realistic, that all the 
work necessary for the proper and safe functioning of the HVAC system--
including work in the spaces the air handling units are to serve--is 
completed in a timely, well-coordinated manner, and that sufficient 
resources will be available to meet the schedule without creating a 
trade-stacking problem. 

* Carefully consider the contractual remedies available to AOC to 
complete all tasks that must precede the start and completion of final 
acceptance testing of the CVC's fire protection and life safety systems 
within the time necessary to meet the estimated fall 2007 project 
completion time frame. 

AOC generally agreed with our recommendations. 

Project's Estimated Cost and Funding: 

Since the Subcommittee's September 21 CVC hearing, we have added about 
$8 million to our estimate of the total cost of the CVC project at 
completion.[Footnote 11] This increase reflects a rough estimate of the 
impact on the project's cost of the 6-week delay associated with the 
fire protection system and other scope and design changes identified 
during the past 8 weeks; however, the actual costs for changes are not 
yet known, and we have not had sufficient time to fully assess the CVC 
team's cost estimates incorporated in our estimate. [Footnote 12] With 
this approximately $8 million increase, we now estimate, on the basis 
of our limited review, that the total cost of the entire CVC project at 
completion is likely to be about $592 million without an allowance for 
risks and uncertainties. We nevertheless recognize that the project 
continues to face a number of uncertainties, including uncertainty over 
the extent of AOC's responsibility for the delay-related costs. (We 
have not updated our estimate of the project's cost at completion with 
an allowance for risks and uncertainties.) 

To date, about $531 million has been provided for CVC construction. 
This amount includes about $3.9 million that was made available for 
either CVC construction or operations[Footnote 13] and has been 
approved for CVC construction by the House and Senate Committees on 
Appropriations. An earlier cost-to-complete estimate, prepared for the 
Subcommittee's March 2006 CVC hearing, showed that another $26 million 
in construction funds would be necessary to reach the previous cost 
estimate of $556 million, which did not include an allowance for risks 
and uncertainties. AOC has requested this additional $26 million in its 
fiscal year 2007 budget for CVC construction. AOC has also requested 
$950,000 in fiscal year 2007 general administration appropriation funds 
to provide contractual support for the Chief Fire Marshal's final 
acceptance testing of the CVC. During fiscal year 2007, AOC is also 
likely to need, but has not yet requested, additional funds to pay for 
changes. At the Subcommittee's last CVC hearing, we roughly estimated 
that AOC would need an additional $5 million to $10 million in fiscal 
year 2007 for changes unless it decides to use funds slated for other 
purposes, after obtaining the necessary congressional approvals. AOC 
agrees with this rough estimate at this time and notes that it would 
likely need additional funding in fiscal year 2008 to replenish these 
funds and to cover certain additional costs if they materialize. 

Mr. Chairman, this completes our prepared statement. We would be 
pleased to answer any questions that you or Members of the Subcommittee 
may have. 

Contacts and Acknowledgments: 

For further information about this testimony, please contact Bernard 
Ungar at (202) 512-4232 or Terrell Dorn at (202) 512-6923. Other key 
contributors to this testimony include Shirley Abel, John Craig, Maria 
Edelstein, Elizabeth Eisenstadt, Jeanette Franzel, Jackie Hamilton, 
Bradley James, Joshua Ormond, and Scott Riback. 

[End of section] 

Appendix I: Capitol Visitor Center Critical Construction Milestones 
September-November 2006: 

Activity: Install wood ceiling panels; 
Location: Orientation Theater; 
Scheduled completion: 10/13/2006; 
Actual completion: 10/24/2006[A]. 

Activity: CONOP matrix; 
Location: Fire alarm system; 
Scheduled completion: 10/30/2006; 
Actual completion: [B]. 

Activity: Flush steam piping; 
Location: HVAC Steam; 
Scheduled completion: 10/23/2006; 
Actual completion: 10/31/2006 . 

Activity: Relocate kitchen exhaust duct; 
Location: Food Service; 
Scheduled completion: 10/23/2006; 
Actual completion: [C]. 

Activity: Set cab shell/ control panel; 
Location: Elevator VC # 17 East Front; 
Scheduled completion: 10/25/2006; 
Actual completion: [D]. 

Activity: Dismantle scaffold; 
Location: Orientation Theater; 
Scheduled completion: 10/27/2006; 
Actual completion: 10/24/2006[E]. 

Activity: Finish paint; 
Location: Food Service; 
Scheduled completion: 10/30/2006; 
Actual completion: 11/6/2006[F]. 

Activity: Ceiling fabric; 
Location: Congressional Auditorium; 
Scheduled completion: 10/30/2006; 
Actual completion: 11/15/2006[G]. 

Activity: Plaster Ceilings; 
Location: West Lobby & Assembly; 
Scheduled completion: 10/31/2006; 
Actual completion: [H]. 

Activity: Install marble wall stone 1st Third; 
Location: Exhibit Gallery; 
Scheduled completion: 11/7/2006; 
Actual completion: [I]. 

Activity: Resubmit Riser Diagram; 
Location: Fire alarm system; 
Scheduled completion: 11/9/2006; 
Actual completion: 11/9/2006. 

Activity: Wall stone Area #1; 
Location: East Front Principal; 
Scheduled completion: 11/10/2006; 
Actual completion: [J]. 

Activity: Interior cab finishes; 
Location: Elevator VC # 12 Orientation Theater; 
Scheduled completion: 11/10/2006; 
Actual completion: [D]. 

Activity: Fabric Ceiling Panels; 
Location: West Lobby & Assembly; 
Scheduled completion: 11/14/2006; 
Actual completion: [K]. 

Activity: Hang Drywall Bulkheads; 
Location: Orientation Lobby; 
Scheduled completion: 11/14/2006; 
Actual completion: [L]. 

Activity: Mechanically Ready; 
Location: Great Hall AHU # 3 &16; 
Scheduled completion: 11/15/2006; 
Actual completion: 11/15/2006[M]. 

Activity: Floor stone; 
Location: Orientation Lobby; 
Scheduled completion: 11/15/2006; 
Actual completion: 11/15/2006[N]. 

Activity: Wood wall panels; 
Location: Congressional Auditorium; 
Scheduled completion: 11/15/2006; 
Actual completion: [O]. 

Source: AOC's September 2006 CVC sequence 2 construction schedule for 
the scheduled completion dates and AOC and its construction management 
contractor for the actual completion dates. 

Note: Reasons for delay, as provided by the sequence 2 contractor, and 
explanations, as provided by the sequence 2 contractor and GAO, are 
listed in the following notes: 

[A] While the ceiling has been completed, the blistered panels will 
need to be repaired or replaced. 

[B] Continuing efforts are being made to understand and develop the 
sequence of operations (CONOP) matrix requirements. The matrix must be 
approved by December 8, 2006, to avoid an impact on the critical path. 

[C] Enough of the ductwork has been relocated to allow hood 
installation to begin. Currently three of the six hoods have been 
installed. The balance of hood installation is scheduled to be complete 
by November 24, 2006. 

[D] Control panels are set and operational. This activity included 
setting cab shells without finishes. The cab vendor decided to 
prefinish the cabs rather than to finish the shells on site. Finished 
cabs are on site and preparations are being made for installation this 
week. 

[E] While the scaffold for ceiling installation has been removed, 
scaffolding has been erected along the walls in the south theater to 
install wood panels. This scaffolding will affect installation of the 
stone stair steps. 

[F] This work is essentially completed. 

[G] Ceiling panel installation began on November 9, 2006. 

[H] Plaster ceilings have been completed in the main lobby area and 
south assembly room. Hanging of the north assembly room ceiling began 
on November 7, 2006. 

[I] Installation of the unistrut framing was delayed because of 
structural design concerns. Additional cross bracing was added to 
stiffen the assembly. Wall stone installation is to begin this week. 

[J] The work has been delayed because structural steel was added to 
support the metal stud wall at the east side of stair #37. Upon the 
completion of metal stud wall, the stone work is scheduled to begin. 
The revised start date for wall stone on the principal level is 
November 30, 2006. 

[K] Fabric ceiling panel installation has been delayed because of 
delays in necessary preceding East Front work--completion of the East 
Front archway stone, ceilings, and escalator installation. Installation 
of the fabric panel currently cannot be completed until the escalator 
trusses are set to clear the floor area. Setting of the trusses is 
currently projected to be completed by the end of January 2007. 

[L] Because of above-ceiling conflicts, the work was resequenced to 
allow the floor stone installation to proceed ahead of the ceiling 
work. Hanging of bulkheads started in the south screening area on 
November 2, 2006 and is expected to be completed in November 2006. 

[M] Mechanically ready priorities have been resequenced. AHU #1 has 
been switched with AHUs #3 and 16, which are now scheduled for November 
15, 2006. AOC's construction management contractor believes that this 
activity is essentially complete. AHU #1 is now scheduled for December 
6, 2006. 

[N] The sequence 2 and construction management contractors expect this 
work to be essentially completed by close of business today. 

[O] The start of wood panel installation is pending humidity control 
within the space. 

[End of table] 

[End of Section] 

(545049): 

FOOTNOTES 

[1] GAO, Capitol Visitor Center: Update on Status of Project's Schedule 
and Cost As of September 21, 2006, GA0-06-1058T (Washington, D.C.: 
Sept. 21, 2006). 

[2] The estimates for most of the delay-related costs were provided by 
AOC and its construction management contractor for budgetary purposes 
only and do not reflect any judgments by GAO of the validity of any 
potential contractor claims. 

[3] This date does not allow time for installing artifacts in the 
exhibit gallery, preparing for operations, or addressing risks and 
uncertainties. AOC has allowed another 5 weeks, until November 30, 
2007, for installing the artifacts and has not estimated a time frame 
for operations preparations. 

[4] Our estimate includes delay-related costs that AOC and its 
construction management contractor estimated for budgetary purposes 
only. Our inclusion of these costs in our estimate does not reflect any 
judgments by GAO of the validity of any potential contractor claims. 

[5] Chilled water balancing. 

[6] As of November 14, AOC's sequence 2 and construction management 
contractors expected that work associated with three tracked milestones 
would be completed today. We therefore counted them as completed today. 
We did not have the opportunity to verify the completion of these 
activities before we submitted our prepared statement to the 
Subcommittee for today's hearing. We did not count as completed 
activities that the sequence 2 contractor believed were completed that 
were not confirmed as such by the construction management contractor. 

[7] Our statement no longer includes a figure comparing actual to 
targeted wall stone installation because all targeted quantities were 
to have been installed by August 7, 2006, according to the sequence 2 
contractor's January 2006 installation plan. 

[8] According to the sequence 2 subcontractor that is fitting out the 
House and Senate expansion spaces, the delays in getting approved shop 
drawings for the fire protection system have already postponed ceiling 
close-ins in the expansion spaces, and AOC believes that further such 
delays, along with possible requests for design changes, pose the 
greatest risks to the schedule for completing the expansion spaces. 

[9] These data exclude sequence 2 contract modifications for work that 
was planned but not included in the sequence 2 base contract. Examples 
include the fit-out of the House and Senate expansion spaces, the 
construction of the utility tunnel, and the purchase and installation 
of food service equipment. 

[10] Trade stacking can occur when workers from different trades, such 
as stone masons, electricians, plumbers, or plasterers, have to work in 
the same area at the same time to meet a schedule, sometimes making it 
difficult to ensure sufficient space and resources for concurrent work. 

[11] At the Subcommittee's September 21 CVC hearing, we estimated that 
the total cost of the entire CVC project at completion was likely to be 
about $584 million without an allowance for risks and uncertainties and 
about $596 million with such an allowance--increases of $28 million and 
$12 million, respectively, over our previous estimates. We also pointed 
out that a number of uncertainties, such as the possibility of further 
delays associated with the CVC's fire alarm system, could affect our 
estimates. 

[12] AOC estimated the additional delay-related costs for budgetary 
purposes only and did not provide for possible concurrent delays. 

[13] Public Law 108-447, enacted on December 8, 2004, provided that up 
to $10.6 million (reduced to $10.5 million by a subsequent budget 
rescission of $84,000) could be transferred from AOC's Capitol Building 
appropriation account for the use of the CVC project. The use of the 
amount transferred is subject to the approval of the House and Senate 
Committees on Appropriations. AOC has now received approval to obligate 
the entire $10.5 million. 

GAO's Mission: 

The Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of 
Congress, exists to support Congress in meeting its constitutional 
responsibilities and to help improve the performance and accountability 
of the federal government for the American people. GAO examines the use 
of public funds; evaluates federal programs and policies; and provides 
analyses, recommendations, and other assistance to help Congress make 
informed oversight, policy, and funding decisions. GAO's commitment to 
good government is reflected in its core values of accountability, 
integrity, and reliability. 

Obtaining Copies of GAO Reports and Testimony: 

The fastest and easiest way to obtain copies of GAO documents at no 
cost is through the Internet. GAO's Web site ( www.gao.gov ) contains 
abstracts and full-text files of current reports and testimony and an 
expanding archive of older products. The Web site features a search 
engine to help you locate documents using key words and phrases. You 
can print these documents in their entirety, including charts and other 
graphics. 

Each day, GAO issues a list of newly released reports, testimony, and 
correspondence. GAO posts this list, known as "Today's Reports," on its 
Web site daily. The list contains links to the full-text document 
files. To have GAO e-mail this list to you every afternoon, go to 
www.gao.gov and select "Subscribe to e-mail alerts" under the "Order 
GAO Products" heading. 

Order by Mail or Phone: 

The first copy of each printed report is free. Additional copies are $2 
each. A check or money order should be made out to the Superintendent 
of Documents. GAO also accepts VISA and Mastercard. Orders for 100 or 
more copies mailed to a single address are discounted 25 percent. 
Orders should be sent to: 

U.S. Government Accountability Office 

441 G Street NW, Room LM 

Washington, D.C. 20548: 

To order by Phone: 

Voice: (202) 512-6000: 

TDD: (202) 512-2537: 

Fax: (202) 512-6061: 

To Report Fraud, Waste, and Abuse in Federal Programs: 

Contact: 

Web site: www.gao.gov/fraudnet/fraudnet.htm 

E-mail: fraudnet@gao.gov 

Automated answering system: (800) 424-5454 or (202) 512-7470: 

Public Affairs: 

Jeff Nelligan, managing director, 

NelliganJ@gao.gov 

(202) 512-4800 

U.S. Government Accountability Office, 

441 G Street NW, Room 7149 

Washington, D.C. 20548: