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Report to Congressional Requesters: 

United States Government Accountability Office: 

GAO: 

February 2007: 

Architect Of The Capitol: 

Committed, Sustained Leadership Needed to Continue Progress: 

Architect of the Capitol: 

GAO-07-407: 

GAO Highlights: 

Highlights of GAO-07-407, a report to congressional requesters 

Why GAO Did This Study: 

The Architect of the Capitol (AOC) is responsible for the operation, 
maintenance, renovation, and new construction of the Capitol Hill 
complex, including the U.S. Capitol, the Library of Congress, and the 
Senate and House Office Buildings. In 2003, at the request of Congress, 
GAO issued a management review of AOC that contained recommendations 
designed to help AOC become more strategic and accountable. 
Subsequently, Congress directed GAO to monitor AOC’s progress in 
implementing recommendations. This is the fourth status report on AOC’s 
progress and summarizes GAO’s assessment of AOC’s overall progress and 
remaining actions in becoming more strategic and accountable, including 
AOC’s responses to specific recommendations GAO made in January 2003 
and subsequently. To assess AOC’s progress, GAO analyzed AOC documents; 
interviewed AOC officials; and relied on the results of related GAO 
reviews, including reviews of the Capitol Visitor Center (CVC). 

AOC generally agreed with GAO’s assessment of its progress, but noted 
that 2 additional recommendations—1 on financial management practices 
and 1 on collecting worker safety data—should be considered 
implemented. GAO acknowledges AOC’s efforts in these areas, but 
maintains that further steps are necessary to fully implement these 
recommendations. 

What GAO Found: 

AOC has made progress in becoming more strategic and accountable, but 
critical actions are needed to sustain and build on this progress. To 
date, AOC has filled key leadership positions, revised its strategic 
plan, improved communication, and continued initiatives to improve 
internal controls and accountability. AOC is thus establishing a 
foundation for becoming more strategic and accountable. However, 
completing the transition to new leadership—including the transition to 
a new Architect of the Capitol (a position that is now vacant)—and 
other actions remain to bring about lasting improvements in 
performance. For example, AOC must integrate nine new managers into the 
agency while ensuring its continued progress. In addition, the Chief 
Operating Officer faces the challenge of performing the Architect of 
the Capitol’s responsibilities and his own during the CVC project’s 
completion and AOC’s management transition. Furthermore, although AOC 
has revised its strategic plan to better focus on its mission and 
goals, it has not determined whether it can better deliver the services 
that support its mission and goals through outsourcing or in-house 
resources. Finally, a continued focus on communication and other areas 
that are key to greater internal control and accountability—including 
financial, information technology, and project management—is needed to 
sustain and further AOC’s progress to date. For example, full 
implementation of AOC’s cost accounting system—a key financial 
management initiative—is needed to more accurately track facilities 
management cost measures. Improvements in project management could be 
achieved, in part, by applying lessons learned in managing the CVC 
project. 

Appendix I of this report summarizes AOC’s progress on recommendations 
that GAO has made since January 2003 to help AOC establish a strong 
strategic management and accountability framework. This year, AOC has 
implemented 21 recommendations. For example, AOC implemented 6 of the 
strategic management recommendations, including the development of 
congressional protocols and the involvement of stakeholders in 
developing the revised strategic plan. For project management, AOC 
implemented 7 recommendations, including the development of performance 
measures. Implementing these 21 recommendations brings the total number 
of implemented or closed recommendations to 43 out of 64. 

Table: AOC's Progress in Implementing GAO's Recommendations: 

Issues area: Strategic management; 
Implemented or closed recommendations: 13; Total recommendations: 14. 

Issues area: Human capital management; 
Implemented or closed recommendations: 7; Total recommendations: 9. 

Issues area: Financial management; 
Implemented or closed recommendations: 1; Total recommendations: 4. 

Issues area: Information technology management; Implemented or closed 
recommendations: 3; Total recommendations: 7. 

Issues area: Project management; 
Implemented or closed recommendations: 9; Total recommendations: 13. 

Issues area: Facilities management; 
Implemented or closed recommendations: 0; Total recommendations: 2. 

Issues area: Worker safety; 
Implemented or closed recommendations: 5; Total recommendations: 8. 

Issues area: Capitol Power Plant management; Implemented or closed 
recommendations: 1; Total recommendations: 3. 

Issues area: Recycling; 
Implemented or closed recommendations: 4; Total recommendations: 4. 

Total; 
Implemented or closed recommendations: 43; Total recommendations: 64. 

Source: GAO analysis of AOC data. 

[End of table] 

[Hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-07-407]. 

To view the full product, including the scope and methodology, click on 
the link above.
For more information, contact Terrell Dorn at (202) 512-6923 or 
dornt@gao.gov. 

[End of section] 

Contents: 

Letter: 

Results in Brief: 

Background: 

AOC Is Making Progress in Becoming More Strategic and Accountable, but 
Completing the Management Transition and Other Critical Actions Remain: 

Agency Comments and Our Evaluation: 

Appendix I: Status of AOC's Progress on Recommendations: 

Strategic Management: 

Human Capital Management: 

Financial Management: 

Information Technology Management: 

Project Management: 

Facilities Management: 

Worker Safety: 

Capitol Power Plant Management: 

Recycling: 

Appendix II: GAO Contact and Staff Acknowledgments: 

Tables: 

Table 1: Current Status of Recommendations on Strategic Management: 

Table 2: Current Status of Recommendations on Human Capital Management: 

Table 3: Current Status of Recommendations on Financial Management: 

Table 4: Current Status of Recommendations on Information Technology 
Management: 

Table 5: Current Status of Recommendations on Project Management: 

Table 6: Current Status of Recommendations on Facilities Management: 

Table 7: Current Status of Recommendations on Worker Safety: 

Table 8: Current Status of Recommendations on CPP Management: 

Table 9: Current Status of Recommendations on Recycling: 

Figure: 

Figure 1: New Senior-Level Managers at AOC since January 2006: 

Abbreviations: 

AOC: Architect of the Capitol: 
BSMO: Business Systems Modernization Office: 
CFO: Chief Financial Officer: 
COO: Chief Operating Officer: 
CPP: Capitol Power Plant: 
CVC: Capitol Visitor Center: 
EA: enterprise architecture: 
FMIS: Facilities Management Information System: 
FTE: full-time equivalent: 
ICS: Inventory Control System: 
IRB: Investment Review Board: 
IT: information technology: 
JHA: job hazard analysis: 
MOR: Management Operations Reporting: 
OAP: Office of the Attending Physician: 
OIRM: Office of Information and Resource Management: 
OOC: Office of Compliance: 
PRB: Project Review Board: 
SDLC: systems development life-cycle: 
SHEC: Safety, Health, and Environment Council: 

[End of section] 

United States Government Accountability Office: 
Washington, DC 20548: 

February 28, 2007: 

The Honorable Mary L. Landrieu: 
Chairman: 
The Honorable Wayne Allard: 
Ranking Minority Member: 
Subcommittee on Legislative Branch: 
Committee on Appropriations: 
United States Senate: 

The Honorable Debbie Wasserman Schultz: 
Chair: 
The Honorable Zach Wamp: 
Ranking Minority Member: 
Subcommittee on Legislative Branch: 
Committee on Appropriations: 
House of Representatives: 

The Honorable Dianne Feinstein: 
Chairman: 
The Honorable Bob Bennett: 
Ranking Minority Member: 
Committee on Rules and Administration: 
United States Senate: 

The Architect of the Capitol (AOC) is responsible for the operations, 
maintenance, renovation, and new construction of the Capitol Hill 
complex, including such high-profile and historic buildings as the U.S. 
Capitol Building, Senate and House Office Buildings, Library of 
Congress, and Supreme Court. AOC also is managing the construction of 
the Capitol Visitor Center (CVC)--the largest incremental growth in the 
history of the Capitol complex. Preserving and modernizing these 
buildings while meeting the needs of Congress and the visiting public 
poses challenges for AOC. In 2001, Congress raised concerns about 
management shortcomings at AOC and asked us to review the management of 
AOC's operations. In response, we issued a report in January 2003 
containing recommendations that were designed to help AOC establish a 
strong strategic management and accountability framework.[Footnote 1] 
Congress subsequently directed us to monitor AOC's progress in 
implementing these recommendations. This report is the fourth in a 
series of status reports on AOC's progress.[Footnote 2] In our previous 
report on AOC's progress, we emphasized the need for improvement in 
communication with external stakeholders and in development of internal 
controls and stressed the importance of leadership support for these 
improvements. 

To continue our efforts in monitoring AOC's progress, this report 
includes an assessment of AOC's overall progress and remaining actions 
in becoming more strategic and accountable, including responses to 
specific recommendations we made in January 2003 and subsequently. The 
recommendations involve nine areas--strategic management, human capital 
management, financial management, information technology (IT) 
management, project management, facilities management, worker safety, 
Capitol Power Plant (CPP) management, and recycling. 

To assess AOC's progress in implementing our recommendations and 
identify remaining actions, we analyzed documents related to AOC's 
actions and interviewed AOC officials responsible for implementing the 
recommendations. Our analysis also relies on the results of other work 
we conducted during this past year--including reviews of the extent to 
which AOC outsources operations,[Footnote 3] AOC's procedures to 
estimate project costs,[Footnote 4] and AOC's efforts to improve the 
CPP's utility tunnels[Footnote 5]--as well as our ongoing oversight of 
the construction of the CVC.[Footnote 6] We conducted our work from 
September 2006 through February 2007 in accordance with generally 
accepted government auditing standards. 

Results in Brief: 

AOC has made progress in becoming a more strategic and accountable 
organization, but critical actions remain for the agency to sustain and 
build on this progress. Specifically, AOC has filled seven existing 
leadership positions--including the Chief Operating Officer (COO) and 
the Chief Financial Officer (CFO)--and two new leadership positions 
established to help AOC better meet the needs of its customers. In 
addition, AOC revised its strategic plan, improved communication with 
congressional stakeholders, and continued initiatives to improve 
financial management, IT management, and project management. Through 
these actions, AOC is establishing a foundation for becoming more 
strategic and accountable. However, completing the transition to new 
leadership--including the transition to a new Architect of the Capitol 
(a position that is now vacant)--and other actions are needed to bring 
about lasting improvements in performance. For example, AOC's new 
managers enhance its ability to advance the agency's strategic 
transformation, but AOC must integrate these new managers into the 
agency while ensuring its continued progress. Furthermore, the agency 
must sustain this progress despite the vacancy in the position of the 
Architect of the Capitol (Architect). The COO is performing the 
Architect's responsibilities in addition to his own; however, it will 
be challenging for one person to fulfill the critical roles of the 
Architect and the COO in completing the CVC project and continuing 
AOC's progress in becoming more strategic and accountable. In addition, 
although AOC has revised its strategic plan to better focus on its 
mission and goals, it has not identified how best to deliver the 
services that support its mission and goals and has not determined 
whether its workforce has the skills and capacity to deliver those 
services. Finally, a continued focus on improving communication and 
other areas, including financial management, IT management, and project 
management, is needed to ensure that improvements already made in these 
areas are sustained and further progress is made. For example, 
sustained commitment is required to fully implement the cost accounting 
system to more effectively track costs across all of AOC's operations. 
For project management, AOC's management of the CVC project provides 
lessons learned that can be applied to all projects, such as the 
importance of communicating with stakeholders throughout all phases of 
the project. 

Appendix I provides a summary of AOC's progress on recommendations that 
we have made in January 2003 and subsequently. Over the last year, AOC 
has implemented 21 recommendations. For example, AOC implemented 6 of 
our strategic management recommendations by involving congressional and 
other stakeholders in the development of its revised strategic plan, 
finalizing procedures to facilitate communication with congressional 
stakeholders, and revising its employee feedback process manual to 
establish a process for regularly collecting and reporting employee 
feedback information, among other things. In the project management 
area, AOC implemented 7 recommendations by taking several steps, such 
as developing tools to communicate priorities and progress of projects, 
informing congressional stakeholders on how and why specific projects 
are submitted for funding, and establishing project-management-related 
performance measures. Implementing these 21 recommendations brings the 
total number of implemented or closed recommendations to 43 out of 64, 
or 67 percent. These 64 recommendations were designed to help AOC 
establish a strong strategic management and accountability framework 
and were made in nine areas--strategic management, human capital 
management, financial management, IT management, project management, 
facilities management, worker safety, CPP management, and 
recycling.[Footnote 7] 

In responding to a draft of this report, AOC generally agreed with our 
assessment of the agency's overall progress, but noted that the 
following 2 additional recommendations--1 on institutionalizing 
financial management practices to support budgeting, financial, and 
program management and 1 on developing a rigorous approach for 
collecting worker safety data--should be considered implemented. 
According to AOC officials, the agency has made significant progress 
over the past year and installed a solid foundation for further 
improvements. The officials also recognized that continued focused 
attention to the agency's improvement initiatives is essential to 
maintaining progress. For our recommendation on financial management 
practices, AOC suggested that the two remaining actions for this 
recommendation--fully developing and implementing an appropriate risk- 
based internal control framework and cost accounting and management 
reporting initiatives--are addressed in the other financial management 
recommendations. We maintain that these two remaining actions are key 
strategies for institutionalizing internal control and accountability 
and strengthening and supporting effective budgeting, financial, and 
performance management at AOC and are necessary to fulfill this 
recommendation. For the recommendation on collecting worker safety 
data, AOC officials noted that they believe their current practices-- 
including conducting biennial focus groups, conducting daily shop 
safety meetings, and establishing a safety hazards hotline-- 
sufficiently meet the requirements of this recommendation. While we 
recognize that these initiatives provide the agency with some 
information on worker safety, these initiatives do not provide a 
rigorous and confidential approach for collecting employee perceptions 
of AOC's safety climate, such as perceptions of management commitment, 
discipline policies, and hazard corrections. This lack of 
confidentiality can impede the quality of information collected. AOC 
also made clarifying and technical comments that we addressed in the 
text of this report. 

Background: 

AOC is responsible for the operation, maintenance, renovation, and new 
construction of the buildings and grounds of the Capitol Hill complex. 
Organizationally, AOC consists of nine separate jurisdictions 
responsible for the day-to-day operations of the U.S. Capitol Building, 
Capitol Grounds, Senate Office Buildings, House Office Buildings, 
Library of Congress Buildings and Grounds, Supreme Court Buildings and 
Grounds, CPP, Botanic Garden, and Security Programs. AOC also has 
centralized staff that perform administrative and project management 
functions. AOC has managed major projects throughout the Capitol Hill 
complex and is currently managing the construction of the CVC. The 
historic nature and high profile of many of these buildings create a 
complex environment for AOC to carry out its mission; AOC must balance 
the diverse and sometimes divergent needs of congressional leaders, 
committees, members, and staffs as well as the visiting public. 

Congress has raised concerns about management shortcomings at 
AOC.[Footnote 8] For example, in 2001, the Senate Appropriations 
Committee cited several management issues, including a lack of 
strategic planning, inadequate financial and project management 
controls, and an unacceptably high level of worker injuries. Congress 
subsequently directed GAO to conduct a review of the management of 
AOC's operations[Footnote 9] and, later, to monitor AOC's progress in 
addressing recommendations that arose from the review.[Footnote 10] 

Our January 2003 report contained 35 recommendations designed to assist 
AOC in transforming itself into a more strategic and accountable 
organization. The recommendations were in seven areas, including 
strategic management, human capital management, financial management, 
project management, IT management, worker safety, and recycling. The 
report recognized this transformation as a long-term effort that 
involves a fundamental change in AOC's culture. For example, AOC faces 
the challenge of how best to marshal its jurisdiction-based resources 
to address the strategic planning and other functional issues that cut 
across the organization. Changes of this magnitude require the 
sustained commitment of the agency's top leadership.[Footnote 11] 

Subsequent reports on AOC's progress that we issued in 2004 and 2006 
concluded that, while AOC was making progress on all recommendations, 
substantial work remained to achieve the goal of becoming more 
strategic and accountable, and that sustained commitment and assertive 
involvement by AOC's leadership would be key to instilling long-term 
management improvements. Specifically, our last report in this series, 
issued in February 2006, concluded that the agency had not addressed 
two issues--communication with external stakeholders and development of 
internal controls--that affect a wide range of AOC operations, 
including cost accounting, procurement, and information security. 
Furthermore, leadership support is vital to ensure that needed 
improvements are implemented and sustained, but key leadership 
positions--including those of the COO, CFO, Chief Administrative 
Officer, and Director of CPP--were vacant and the term of the agency 
head, the Architect, was due to expire in less than a year. Therefore, 
it was critical for AOC to quickly fill the vacant management positions 
with qualified people so AOC would have a cohesive management team in 
place in preparation for a change in the agency's top leadership. These 
reports and two others on the CPP included assessments of two 
additional areas--facilities management and the CPP--and 29 additional 
recommendations for AOC, bringing the total number of recommendations 
to 64.[Footnote 12] 

In addition, we and AOC recently worked together to identify lessons 
learned from the ongoing CVC project, including practices that could be 
applied to AOC's future projects and practices that could have been 
done better or differently. The lessons covered four areas--acquisition 
planning and policy; decision making, coordination, and communication; 
project and contract management; and worksite safety and security--and 
included such lessons as the importance of communicating and 
coordinating with all relevant stakeholders and identifying and 
mitigating risks early in the development of a major construction 
project. 

AOC Is Making Progress in Becoming More Strategic and Accountable, but 
Completing the Management Transition and Other Critical Actions Remain: 

During the last year, AOC has filled nine key leadership positions, 
revised its strategic plan to better align its activities with its 
mission and goals, and continued initiatives to improve internal 
controls and accountability. These actions have furthered AOC's 
progress in establishing a foundation for becoming a more strategic and 
accountable organization. It is now important for AOC to continue to 
build on this foundation by transitioning to new management; 
determining how best to provide services to AOC's customers; and making 
further improvements in communication, financial management, IT 
management, and project management. 

Leadership Continuity and Planning Are Key to New Management 
Transition: 

The nine leadership positions that AOC has filled during the last year 
are vital to sustain improvements that have already been achieved, 
support further transformation efforts, and maintain operations during 
the transition to a new Architect. These new managers comprise 9 of the 
20 managers that report directly to the Architect or the COO. (See fig. 
1.) Most of these positions, including those of the CFO and the Chief 
Administrative Officer, were vacant because of retirements and 
resignations. To help AOC better meet the needs of its customers, AOC 
also created and filled two new leadership positions--the Director of 
Congressional and External Relations and the Director of Planning and 
Project Management. In addition to these nine positions, AOC has filled 
seven other management positions over the past year, such as the Deputy 
Director for the Office of the Chief Administrative Officer, Deputy 
Director of the Project Management Division, and Director of the 
Information Technology Division. 

Figure 1: New Senior-Level Managers at AOC since January 2006: 

[See PDF for image] 

Source: Architect of the Capitol. 

Note: The Office of the Attending Physician (OAP) is organizationally 
aligned under AOC and reports administratively to the Architect (e.g., 
time and attendance). The OAP receives direction from the Attending 
Physician (a separate and distinct officer of Congress) and is not an 
AOC senior manager. 

[End of figure] 

While these new managers can bring new energy and ideas to the agency, 
the introduction of so many new managers within a short period makes it 
challenging to integrate them into AOC while sustaining the progress 
made thus far. The turnover in AOC's senior leadership over the past 
year resulted in a loss of leadership continuity, institutional 
knowledge, and expertise--a loss that could adversely affect AOC's 
ability to continue its progress, at least in the short term. AOC has 
taken steps to mitigate these factors and integrate the new managers 
into the agency by, for example, holding weekly senior leadership 
meetings and monthly detailed briefings on various AOC construction 
projects. These managers are also part of AOC's senior executive 
performance management system, which links the managers' performance 
plans to AOC's mission-critical goals and holds the managers 
accountable for results. AOC officials also noted that 4 of the 9 new 
managers have been promoted from within the agency and have the 
institutional knowledge and expertise gained from several years of 
experience at AOC. 

The current vacancy in the Architect's position further challenges 
AOC's ability to sustain progress. The process for hiring the new 
Architect is in the early stages, and according to the COO, hiring the 
previous Architect took over a year.[Footnote 13] Until a new Architect 
is in place, the COO is authorized to act as the Architect and is 
assuming the Architect's duties along with his own.[Footnote 14] In 
general, the Architect's responsibilities include overall management of 
AOC, support and representation on boards and commissions--including 
the Capitol Police Board--and management of the CVC project, while the 
COO's responsibilities involve developing the agency's strategic and 
performance plans, proposing organizational and staffing changes needed 
to carry out AOC's mission, and reviewing and directing the operational 
functions of AOC. The COO identified the management of the CVC project 
as one of the agency's major challenges to becoming more strategic and 
accountable, because the CVC requires significant management attention 
that could otherwise be focused on AOC's transformation initiatives. 
The management responsibilities for the CVC project could increase if, 
as scheduled, the CVC reaches a critical juncture in the next year as 
the construction phase ends and operations begin. For example, before 
the CVC becomes operational, the roles and responsibilities for 
managing CVC operations, including those of AOC, will need to be 
determined. Furthermore, the CVC project executive is planning to leave 
the agency in March 2007, which is likely to place additional 
responsibilities on the COO. Given these factors, it will be 
challenging for one person to fulfill the critical roles of the 
Architect and the COO in completing the CVC and continuing AOC's 
progress in becoming more strategic and accountable. 

AOC has begun preparing for the transition to a new Architect by 
determining how to support the COO in the absence of an Architect and 
establishing a transition team for bringing in a new Architect. To 
support the COO, AOC has begun identifying individuals to assist the 
COO in managing various areas, such as project management and 
facilities management. While this strategy will provide support to the 
COO, it remains to be seen whether the strategy will provide the 
necessary support during the transition. AOC has also established a 
transition team that is chaired by the Director of Congressional and 
External Relations and that includes the COO and the Chief 
Administrative Officer, among others. This team has begun to prepare 
background materials for quickly bringing the new Architect up to speed 
on the agency and its initiatives, once a new Architect has been 
selected. The team also plans to be involved in preparing potential 
candidates for the confirmation hearings by providing the candidates 
with information on AOC's responsibilities and structure, including its 
strategic plan. 

AOC Revised Its Strategic Plan, but Has Not Clearly Delineated a 
Strategy for Best Delivering Its Services: 

Over the past year, AOC has revised its strategic plan to better focus 
on its mission and provide a means to demonstrate results. In January 
2007, AOC issued the revised plan, which sets forth AOC's mission--to 
provide Congress and the public with a wide range of professional 
expertise and services to preserve and enhance the Capitol complex and 
related facilities. The revised plan also has three strategic goals-- 
congressional and Supreme Court operations support, heritage asset 
stewardship, and leadership and administrative support--which cover all 
of AOC's operations. The plan includes performance measures that allow 
AOC to regularly monitor progress in achieving its strategic goals and 
convey the results of its activities in its annual performance and 
accountability report. AOC's revised strategic plan is an important 
building block in the agency's efforts to become more strategic and 
accountable and provides a framework for assessing and prioritizing the 
agency's activities. 

While AOC has defined its mission and goals in its revised strategic 
plan, the agency has not identified how best to deliver the services-- 
through outsourcing or in-house resources--that support the mission and 
goals and has not determined whether its workforce has the skills and 
capacity to deliver those services. These two initiatives--identifying 
how best to deliver services and developing a workforce plan--are 
interrelated. For example, contracting out for a service requires a 
different set of skills to manage the contract than to conduct the 
work. While AOC has included both initiatives in its strategic plan and 
COO action plan[Footnote 15] and recognizes that coordinating these 
initiatives is important, the agency's workforce planning efforts do 
not include an analysis of potential outsourcing opportunities that may 
arise as the result of AOC's identification of how best to deliver 
services. 

Service Delivery: 

Given recent trends and long-range fiscal challenges, we have reported 
the need for the federal government to engage in a fundamental review, 
reassessment, and reprioritization of what the government does, how the 
government does business, and who does the government's 
business.[Footnote 16] In fiscal year 2005, AOC outsourced about 23 
percent of the agency's operations and maintenance expenditures; this 
percentage was within the range of operations outsourced by similar 
organizations (12 to 41 percent).[Footnote 17] However, AOC has not 
comprehensively reviewed all the services it provides to determine 
whether the services could better be provided through outsourcing or in-
house resources. Consequently, few activities are outsourced 
consistently throughout AOC, and contracts are seldom consolidated to 
obtain similar services across jurisdictions.[Footnote 18] In 2006, the 
House Appropriations Committee instructed AOC to develop a plan that 
analyzes the costs, cost-effectiveness, benefits, and feasibility of 
the Architect's entering into contracts with private entities for 
managing and operating its facilities.[Footnote 19] AOC submitted a 
plan to Congress that outlines a long-term strategy for comprehensively 
reviewing operations and identifying opportunities for additional 
contracting; however, the plan does not provide time frames for 
executing this strategy. AOC officials told us that the time frames for 
the long-term strategy depend on coordination with the new 
congressional leadership to brief them on AOC's outsourcing plan. 

In 2002, the Commercial Activities Panel issued guiding principles for 
federal agencies to follow when making decisions on whether to 
outsource services.[Footnote 20] In briefings to congressional 
committees, we have reported that these principles could guide AOC in 
determining how best to deliver its services. For example, the panel 
recommended that the decision on whether to outsource services should: 

* support agency missions, goals, and objectives (as defined in the 
agency's strategic plan); 

* be based on a clear, transparent, and consistently applied process; 

* avoid arbitrary full-time equivalent or other arbitrary numerical 
goals; 

* ensure that competitions involve a process that considers both 
quality and cost factors; and: 

* provide for accountability in connection with all decisions. 

Workforce Planning: 

In addition, AOC has not assessed its current workforce to determine 
whether it has the appropriate balance of skills needed to provide 
services and manage contracts for services that are outsourced. An 
assessment of AOC's workforce can help AOC leadership further refine 
their decisions on whether to deliver AOC's services with outsourcing 
or in-house resources. As we recommended, AOC has taken steps to 
identify current and future workforce needs and address potential skill 
gaps by hiring a contractor to assist in the development of a strategic 
workforce plan. Although the scope of the contractor's work will 
include collecting and analyzing data on AOC's workforce, it does not 
include an analysis of potential outsourcing opportunities that may 
arise as the result of AOC's identification of how best to deliver 
services. Furthermore, the COO requested that the workforce planning 
efforts include an analysis of potential outsourcing opportunities, but 
the COO's guidance came after AOC had finalized its workforce planning 
contract. An AOC official responsible for the contract stated that this 
level of analysis either would require additional resources for the 
current contract or would need to be incorporated into a second phase 
of its workforce planning efforts. Another initiative in AOC's 
workforce planning efforts--the implementation of a skills assessment 
survey--has been delayed to revise the survey instrument and make a 
more useful tool for collecting data on AOC's current workforce. An 
official stated that AOC does not expect the skills assessment survey 
to be completed in the near future. Consequently, data from the skills 
assessment survey will not be taken into account in the work being done 
by AOC's contractor responsible for developing the strategic workforce 
plan. 

Improved Communication Procedures Need to Be Sustained: 

AOC took several steps over the past year to improve communication with 
its external stakeholders, and stakeholders are responding positively 
to these efforts. To improve communication with congressional 
stakeholders, AOC hired a Director of Congressional and External 
Relations. The director is responsible for developing and maintaining 
positive relations with congressional stakeholders, and she regularly 
provides them with updates on AOC issues. Other AOC officials, 
including the COO and the Director of Planning and Project Management, 
also periodically brief congressional stakeholders on a variety of 
issues, such as revisions to the strategic plan, the COO's action plan, 
and AOC's budget submission and the status of projects. As a result of 
these efforts, the COO believes that AOC better understands what 
Congress wants and is able to set expectations, obtain feedback, and 
make changes on the basis of that feedback. Congressional stakeholders 
we spoke with generally agree that AOC's outreach efforts have 
improved, and they said that the addition of the Director of 
Congressional and External Relations has improved AOC's responsiveness 
to congressional questions and requests for information. 

Although AOC has taken steps to improve communication with its 
congressional stakeholders, it is critical for these improvements to be 
formalized and sustained. AOC is finalizing written procedures for 
communicating with congressional and other external stakeholders and 
plans to brief congressional leadership on these procedures. In 
instituting these procedures, AOC is working to establish "one voice" 
for the agency and set expectations for AOC's response time to 
stakeholder inquiries. Although congressional stakeholders generally 
agree that communication has improved, documentation of AOC's 
communication procedures can help ensure that AOC deals with its 
congressional customers using clearly defined, consistently applied, 
and transparent policies and procedures.[Footnote 21] 

AOC also has taken actions to improve communication with its employees, 
but the effectiveness of these efforts remains to be seen. AOC recently 
revised its process for collecting and assessing data on employee 
satisfaction to address our recommendations on systematically 
collecting and communicating employee feedback. AOC continues to 
distribute newsletters to its employees; hold biannual town hall 
meetings and monthly, small-group sessions with the COO; and address 
issues that were identified in employee focus groups, first held in 
2004.[Footnote 22] AOC also contracted for an ombudsperson to serve as 
a confidential resource for responding to employee complaints, 
concerns, and questions on employment-related matters. Although these 
are positive steps, AOC will not be able to determine the extent to 
which communication has been improved until the next round of employee 
focus groups is completed and compared with the results of the 2004 
focus groups. AOC originally planned to conduct the next round of focus 
groups in fiscal year 2007; however, because of fiscal constraints and 
ongoing transformation efforts, AOC is considering the possibility of 
conducting focus groups in fiscal year 2008. 

The effectiveness of AOC's communication improvements also depends on 
how well AOC can identify and address issues that may arise as well as 
communicate the actions that are being taken to address the issues. For 
example, in 2006, employees involved in repairing AOC's utility tunnels 
expressed concerns over how AOC management communicated with them. 
Although AOC developed a plan to address problems in the utility 
tunnels, the tunnel workers expressed concern that they had no clear 
idea of when the problems would be solved. To improve communication, 
AOC began holding weekly meetings with the tunnel shop workers in April 
2006 to discuss tunnel issues and the actions being taken, but workers 
continued to express frustration about the lack of progress in 
addressing their safety and health concerns.[Footnote 23] As issues 
such as worker safety arise, it is important for employees to see that 
AOC's leadership not only listens to their concerns, but also takes 
action and makes appropriate adjustments in a visible and timely 
way.[Footnote 24] 

Further Progress in Improving Financial Management, IT Management, and 
Project Management Requires Ongoing Commitment: 

AOC has made progress in financial management, IT management, and 
project management, but sustained commitment is required to continue 
progress on the long-term efforts in these areas, many of which are 
needed to improve AOC's internal controls and accountability. Internal 
control and accountability are critical elements in managing an 
organization. Internal control involves the plans, methods, and 
procedures used to meet missions, goals, and objectives and, in doing 
so, to support performance-based management. Accountability represents 
the processes, mechanisms, and other means by which AOC managers 
demonstrate their stewardship and responsibility for resources and 
performance. Internal control and accountability initiatives require 
sustained and committed leadership to ensure successful implementation. 
While AOC has made progress in all nine areas that are important to a 
strong strategic management and accountability framework, work remains 
to develop significant and lasting internal control and accountability 
improvements in the areas of financial management, IT management, and 
project management. (See app. I for more information on the status of 
recommendations in all nine areas, including strategic management, 
human capital management, facilities management, worker safety, CPP 
management, and recycling.) 

Financial Management: 

AOC has made progress in preparing its financial statements and 
implementing a new financial management system, but significant work 
remains to establish an effective internal control framework and cost 
accounting system. AOC achieved its goal of preparing auditable 
comprehensive agencywide financial statements with the successful audit 
of its fiscal year 2005 and 2006 financial statements. To a significant 
extent, these achievements reflect the increased focus and attention by 
AOC's senior management on financial accountability and control. For 
example, AOC's senior management regularly meets with the AOC Audit 
Committee and its internal and external auditors to discuss the status 
of the financial statement audits, any related findings, and AOC's 
corrective plans. In 2006, AOC also implemented the final phase of its 
new financial management system. AOC has begun efforts to establish a 
risk-based internal control framework, although progress has been 
impacted by staffing shortages and limited resources. To improve 
accountability across the agency, AOC has begun the implementation of 
its cost accounting system, including working to get employees to 
charge their time to specific activities and project codes in the time 
and attendance system and working to develop reporting formats that 
demonstrate the types of information that can be generated when the 
system is fully implemented. Although these are important steps, the 
system will have to be further developed to link AOC's cost information 
to the strategic plan, performance measures, and performance-based 
budgeting--actions that are important to producing reliable information 
for decision making and performance evaluation. AOC officials noted 
that further progress in implementing the internal control framework 
and the cost accounting system will be limited by current resource 
constraints. Implementing this key effort impacts other AOC 
initiatives. For example, while AOC has taken steps to improve its cost 
and timeliness measures for facilities management, it will not be able 
to accurately and routinely track or benchmark these measures until the 
cost accounting system is further developed and linked with the 
facilities management information system. AOC officials noted that it 
will take several years for the systems and processes to evolve to the 
point that the system can be fully implemented. Successful 
implementation of these systems and processes that impact all of AOC's 
operations will require sustained organizational commitment to ensure 
these efforts are appropriately funded, staffed, and monitored. Until 
these efforts are implemented and operating effectively, AOC continues 
to face substantial risk in the area of linking cost and financial 
information to organizational performance. 

IT Management: 

AOC has made progress in improving IT management controls and 
accountability, but work remains to fully implement an effective 
agencywide approach to IT management. To improve management controls in 
AOC's IT investment management process, AOC developed and approved an 
IT investment management policy that describes the agency's investment 
management process and the roles and authorities of the boards involved 
in overseeing IT investments. AOC also has begun to plan for and 
implement the practices in our IT investment management guide 
associated with corporate, portfolio-based investment decision making. 
However, AOC has yet to prioritize all IT investments, develop an IT 
investment portfolio, and oversee each investment from a portfolio 
approach to ensure that it achieves its cost, benefit, schedule, and 
risk expectations. According to AOC officials, AOC has begun the 
process of establishing an IT portfolio management program that will 
arrange IT investment into a single portfolio and provide visibility, 
control, and decisions based on project objectives such as costs, 
resources, and risks. However, until AOC fully institutes these 
practices, it cannot ensure that the investments address the agency's 
strategic goals, objectives, and mission. 

Project Management: 

AOC also took actions to improve internal controls and accountability 
in the area of project management, but sustained commitment is needed 
to continue progress in managing project costs and developing a project 
information system to help manage and track projects. For example, AOC 
made internal control and accountability improvements by developing and 
tracking project-management-related performance measures, clarifying 
the roles and responsibilities of staff in the Project Management 
Division, and revising its project management manuals. However, AOC's 
lack of accurate cost data for the Construction Division--the division 
that provides construction services in-house (rather than by 
contractors)--hampers its efforts to fully account for the costs of 
projects. In April 2006, a peer review group within AOC issued 
recommendations designed to better track cost data for the division, 
including standardizing the cost estimating process. AOC is taking 
steps to address the peer review recommendations, such as developing 
centralized planning and estimating capabilities to provide better cost 
estimates for all Construction Division projects, but, according to AOC 
officials, the agency will not be able to fully account for project 
costs until the cost accounting system is in place. In addition, AOC 
plans to modify its project information system to improve AOC's ability 
to manage, track, and communicate the status of projects. AOC has 
developed the requirements for this system, which includes the 
automation of AOC's quarterly construction projects progress report. 
AOC plans to begin modifications to the current system with available 
in-house resources in fiscal year 2007 and requested funding for 
further modifications in its fiscal year 2008 budget. Sustained support 
of these project management initiatives is critical to improving AOC's 
efforts to manage projects, identify reasons for project cost and 
schedule changes, and report to the stakeholders. 

On the basis of our ongoing work and issued testimonies on AOC's 
management of the CVC project, we and AOC worked together to identify 
lessons learned from the ongoing CVC project, some of which are also 
relevant for project management across AOC. For example, one lesson 
suggests the importance of establishing and maintaining a detailed, 
realistic, and complete project schedule and ensuring that the schedule 
sufficiently reflects the impact of problems and changes and the likely 
impact of known risks. Another lesson suggests the importance of 
clearly identifying qualifications and limitations associated with cost 
and schedule estimates; understanding risks and uncertainties; and 
providing Congress with accurate, timely updates on the project's 
status, completion date, and costs. Recognizing the need to improve how 
AOC manages large projects, the agency is adding capital project 
administrators to its Project Management Division to lead the design 
and construction activities of larger projects. 

Agency Comments and Our Evaluation: 

In responding to a draft of this report, AOC generally agreed with our 
assessment of the agency's overall progress, but noted that 2 
additional recommendations--1 on institutionalizing financial 
management practices to support budgeting, financial, and program 
management and 1 on developing a rigorous approach for collecting 
worker safety data--should be considered implemented. According to AOC 
officials, the agency has made significant progress over the past year 
and installed a solid foundation for further improvements. The 
officials also recognized that continued focused attention to the 
agency's improvement initiatives is essential to maintaining progress. 
For our recommendation on financial management practices, AOC suggested 
that the two remaining actions for this recommendation--fully 
developing and implementing an appropriate risk-based internal control 
framework and cost accounting and management reporting initiatives--are 
addressed in the other financial management recommendations. In our 
August 2004 report, we noted the AOC's limited progress on the 
financial management initiatives, which lead us to make additional 
recommendations calling for senior management to provide strong and 
visible support and commitment to helping ensure that these important 
initiatives are successfully implemented. While some progress has been 
made on these initiatives, AOC officials noted that further progress 
will be limited by staffing shortages and resource constraints. The 
potential limited, near-term progress leads us to observe in this 
report that successful implementation of these systems and processes, 
which impact all of AOC's operations, will require sustained 
organizational commitment to ensure these efforts are appropriately 
funded, staffed, and monitored. We maintain that full implementation of 
these initiatives is necessary for institutionalizing internal control 
and accountability and strengthening and supporting effective 
budgeting, financial, and performance management at AOC. For the 
recommendation on collecting worker safety data, AOC officials noted 
that they believe their current practices--including conducting 
biennial focus groups, conducting daily shop safety meetings, and 
establishing a safety hazards hotline--sufficiently meet the 
requirements of this recommendation. While we recognize that these 
initiatives provide the agency with some information on worker safety, 
these initiatives do not provide a rigorous and confidential approach 
for collecting employee perceptions of AOC's safety climate, such as 
perceptions of management commitment, discipline policies, and hazard 
corrections. This lack of confidentiality can impede the quality of 
information collected. Furthermore, although AOC established a schedule 
to collect employee feedback every other year, AOC has not conducted 
focus groups since fiscal year 2004 and does not have plans to do so 
until possibly fiscal year 2008. AOC's recently revised employee 
feedback manual specifies that AOC can use other means or tools to 
collect and provide employee feedback information. This would allow AOC 
to pursue another, more rigorous and confidential method for collecting 
worker safety data. AOC also made clarifying and technical comments 
that we addressed in the text of this report. 

We are sending copies of this report to the appropriate congressional 
committees. We are also sending this report to the Acting Architect of 
the Capitol. We will make copies available to others upon request. In 
addition, this report will be available at no cost on the GAO Web site 
at http://www.gao.gov. Contact points for our Offices of Congressional 
Relations and Public Affairs may be found on the last page of this 
report. 

If you or your staffs have any questions about this report, you may 
contact me at (202) 512-6923 or at dornt@gao.gov. Major contributors to 
this report are listed in appendix II. 

Signed by: 

Terrell G. Dorn: 
Director, Physical Infrastructure Issues: 

[End of section] 

Appendix I: Status of AOC's Progress on Recommendations: 

Since January 2003, we have made 64 recommendations in nine areas to 
improve the Architect of the Capitol's (AOC) strategic management and 
accountability framework, which is needed to drive the agency's 
transformation effort and address long-standing program issues. These 
nine areas are strategic management, human capital management, 
financial management, information technology (IT) management, project 
management, facilities management, worker safety, Capitol Power Plant 
(CPP) management,[Footnote 25] and recycling. Over the past year, AOC 
has implemented 21 recommendations, bringing the total number of 
implemented or closed recommendations to 43 out of 64, or 67 percent. 

This appendix provides (1) the overall progress and remaining actions 
in each of the nine issue areas and (2) details on the status of the 
recommendations made in each area (see tables 1 through 9). For the 
recommendations that have been implemented, the "status" column in the 
tables includes the month and year of the GAO report that acknowledges 
the completion of that recommendation. Recommendations implemented 
since our February 2006 report were given an implementation date of 
February 2007. 

Strategic Management: 

AOC has made progress in improving its strategic planning and 
organizational alignment, establishing meaningful performance measures, 
improving the process to obtain feedback from employees and customers, 
and strengthening the relationship between AOC and congressional 
stakeholders. As a result, AOC has implemented 6 of our strategic 
management recommendations over the year. Specifically, AOC has issued 
its revised strategic plan and the Chief Operating Officer (COO) action 
plan and provided periodic briefings to update congressional 
stakeholders on these plans and related organizational changes. To 
improve communication with its employees, AOC revised its employee 
feedback process manual to establish a process for regularly collecting 
and reporting employee feedback information. Finally, to improve 
communication with its external stakeholders, AOC is establishing 
procedures for communicating with congressional and other external 
stakeholders and has taken a more proactive approach to communicating 
with these stakeholders. 

Although AOC has made progress in the area of strategic management, 
sustained commitment from the agency's new leaders is necessary to 
build upon this progress. To ensure that the strategic plan is current 
and useful to the agency, AOC leadership should review and update the 
strategic plan regularly and incorporate any changes that may result 
from AOC's review of options and strategies for delivering its services 
and operations. Furthermore, AOC should continue to work with 
congressional stakeholders to develop and report key measures that are 
meaningful to AOC's customers and reflect the agency's day-to-day 
operations. See table 1 for more information on the implementation 
status of our recommendations on strategic management. 

Table 1: Current Status of Recommendations on Strategic Management: 

GAO recommendation and date of the recommendation: 1. Improve strategic 
planning and organizational alignment by involving key congressional 
and other external stakeholders in AOC's strategic planning efforts and 
in any organizational changes that may result from these efforts; 
January 2003; 
Status (month/year of GAO report): Implemented (February 2007); 
Progress and remaining action: AOC has fulfilled our recommendation by 
involving congressional and other stakeholders in drafting the January 
2007 version of the strategic plan. For example, AOC conducted 
briefings with stakeholders on the strategic plan and COO action plan, 
sought feedback, and integrated the suggested changes into the plans. 
In addition, AOC has hired a permanent COO and a Director of 
Congressional and External Relations to coordinate the flow of 
information between Congress and the Architect of the Capitol 
(Architect) and the COO. 

GAO recommendation and date of the recommendation: 2. To strengthen the 
relationship between AOC and its congressional and other stakeholders, 
we recommend that the Architect of the Capitol direct the COO to 
actively consult with Congress on the design and implementation of 
meaningful outcome-based and performance-based measures that are useful 
to both AOC and Congress. This effort will enable AOC and Congress to 
assess AOC's progress; August 2004; 
Status (month/year of GAO report): Making progress; 
Progress and remaining action: Progress; 
* AOC has developed a mixture of outcome and output measures that are 
clearly linked to its strategic goals, and AOC has worked with 
congressional stakeholders to develop, review, and revise three 
documents designed to assist AOC in becoming a more strategic and 
accountable organization. All three documents track performance toward 
specific targets that are linked to the agency's strategic goals. 
* The strategic plan contains AOC's three strategic goals and a 
performance plan that outlines specific objectives and associated 
activities as well as performance measures that are linked to the 
strategic goals. This plan is used by the COO and the Architect to move 
AOC forward and track progress on AOC's strategic goals; 
* The COO action plan is for use by the COO and the Architect in 
tracking progress on a set of complimentary tasks to AOC's strategic 
plan. The action plan contains several short-term "quick hit" items 
intended to help AOC become a more strategic and accountable 
organization; 
* The AOC dashboard summarizes AOC's performance and contains a series 
of tactical or operational indicators that are tracked on a monthly 
basis and are for use by the COO and the Architect, as well as 
superintendents and division heads, to discuss AOC's performance; 
Remaining action; 
* Congressional stakeholders noted that they would like to see key 
measures that are meaningful to AOC's customers and reflect the 
agency's day-to-day operations. For example, response time on cleaning 
requests (such as a request to clean up a spill in a hallway) is 
important to AOC's building occupants, but AOC does not have a measure 
that captures how quickly the agency responds to this type of request. 
Stakeholders also suggested that AOC could develop a top 10 key 
indicators list that succinctly shows AOC's overall performance. 

GAO recommendation and date of the recommendation: 3. Develop a 
comprehensive strategy to improve internal and external communications 
by providing opportunities for routine employee input and feedback; 
January 2003; 
Status (month/year of GAO report): Implemented (February 2006); 
Progress and remaining action: AOC has established a process for 
obtaining employee input and feedback and finalized a process manual 
for employee feedback. The process manual provides guidance for 
obtaining employee feedback using a four-step approach: identifying 
concerns, obtaining data, giving feedback, and following up on results. 
The process manual also details responsibilities for staff and provides 
an implementation plan. While AOC has provided opportunities for 
routine employee feedback, it is important for AOC to collect a 
consistent and comprehensive set of data on a regular basis in order to 
monitor progress against an established baseline. 

GAO recommendation and date of the recommendation: 4. Gather and 
analyze employee feedback from focus groups or surveys before fiscal 
year 2005, as well as communicate how it is taking actions to address 
any identified employee concerns; January 2004; 
Status (month/year of GAO report): Implemented (February 2006); 
Progress and remaining action: AOC held focus group sessions in 
September 2004 and has communicated planned actions to employees by 
issuing three brochures. According to AOC, it has begun to implement 
several of the planned actions and will continue to communicate with 
employees as each action plan is implemented. In addition, AOC has 
issued a focus group guide that outlines procedures for conducting 
focus groups and reporting on the results. 

GAO recommendation and date of the recommendation: 5. To improve 
communication with employees, we recommend that the Architect of the 
Capitol direct the COO to fully and effectively implement the basic 
framework as defined in its communications plan and process manuals, 
and finalize its draft employee feedback manual to ensure that the 
current progress already made is maintained; August 2004; 
Status (month/year of GAO report): Implemented (February 2006); 
Progress and remaining action: AOC implemented the basic framework in 
its communications plan through a variety of communication methods to 
convey information to employees, including a weekly newsletter on 
project updates, policy announcements, management and communication 
tips, and other agencywide messages. AOC has also distributed a process 
manual for employee feedback. 

GAO recommendation and date of the recommendation: 6. Develop a 
comprehensive strategy to improve internal and external communications 
by completing the development of congressional protocols by involving 
stakeholders; January 2003; 
Status (month/year of GAO report): Implemented (February 2007); 
Progress and remaining action: AOC is finalizing its congressional 
protocols, designed to facilitate and improve internal and external 
communications. AOC has worked closely with its congressional 
stakeholders to develop these protocols to ensure that they are useful 
to AOC, Congress, and other external stakeholders. The Director of 
Congressional and External Relations has sought and incorporated input 
from both internal and external stakeholders during the development of 
these protocols. 

GAO recommendation and date of the recommendation: 7. Conduct a pilot 
of its congressional protocols in one or more of its jurisdictions to 
determine how well its protocols would work in addressing customer 
requests for service, while balancing the need of multiple requests 
with the strategic plan and corresponding project priorities of the 
agency; January 2004; 
Status (month/year of GAO report): Implemented (February 2007); 
Progress and remaining action: AOC has chosen to pilot its 
congressional protocols agencywide to avoid potential confusion among 
jurisdictions operating under different protocols and to take advantage 
of the benefits of training all employees concurrently. AOC officials 
stated that AOC expects to receive feedback from its stakeholders 
during the protocol's implementation and will revise the protocols, as 
appropriate. 

GAO recommendation and date of the recommendation: 8. Develop a 
comprehensive strategy to improve internal and external communications 
by improving annual accountability reporting through annual performance 
planning and reporting; January 2003; 
Status (month/year of GAO report): Implemented (February 2006); 
Progress and remaining action: AOC fulfilled our recommendation through 
the release of its fiscal year 2003 accountability report and plans to 
publish annual accountability reports thereafter. In addition, AOC 
released a performance plan in April 2005 that details steps to achieve 
its strategic goals and objectives. AOC staff, AOC Audit Committee 
staff, GAO, and other congressional stakeholders are involved in the 
development of these reports. AOC plans to monitor the progress toward 
meeting milestones outlined in its performance plan through monthly 
assessment meetings. 

GAO recommendation and date of the recommendation: 9. Develop a 
comprehensive strategy to improve internal and external communications 
by continuing to regularly measure customer satisfaction AOC-wide; 
January 2003; 
Status (month/year of GAO report): Implemented (January 2004); 
Progress and remaining action: AOC has fulfilled our recommendation by 
implementing the annual building services customer satisfaction survey. 
Information from the survey will be incorporated into AOC's business 
plan and will be useful in monitoring the quality of AOC's services and 
the progress of AOC's improvement initiatives. 

GAO recommendation and date of the recommendation: 10. To strengthen 
the relationship between AOC and its congressional and other 
stakeholders, we recommend that the Architect of the Capitol direct the 
COO to expedite the release of the 2003 building services customer 
satisfaction survey, as a transparency and accountability mechanism, 
and to provide Congress and other stakeholders with assurance that 
actions are being taken in response to their feedback; August 2004; 
Status (month/year of GAO report): Implemented (February 2006); 
Progress and remaining action: AOC has fulfilled our recommendation by 
releasing the results of the 2003 building services customer 
satisfaction survey in its 2004 report. The report tracked customer 
satisfaction between 2002 and 2004. In addition, AOC provided customers 
with letters detailing actions planned to address their concerns. 

GAO recommendation and date of the recommendation: 11. Establish action-
oriented implementation goals over the long term and a timeline with 
milestone dates to track the organization's progress toward achieving 
those implementation goals. The Architect of the Capitol should work 
with key congressional and other stakeholders to develop plans; January 
2003; 
Status (month/year of GAO report): Implemented (January 2004); 
Progress and remaining action: AOC fulfilled our recommendation by 
issuing its draft performance plan in March 2003, which was prepared to 
satisfy a congressional requirement for the development of a management 
improvement plan. This draft performance plan for fiscal years 2003-
2007 established action-oriented implementation goals over the long 
term and a timeline with milestone dates to track the organization's 
progress toward achieving those goals. 

GAO recommendation and date of the recommendation: 12. To enhance the 
usefulness of the COO action plan, we recommend that the Architect of 
the Capitol and the COO consult with Members of Congress and key 
committees on the specific information regarding AOC's plans, policies, 
procedures, actions, and proposed organizational changes. As part of 
this effort, the Architect of the Capitol and the COO should work with 
Congress to determine Congress's information needs and the timing and 
format of delivery of that information that will best meet Congress's 
needs. Furthermore, consistent with our findings and recommendations 
with respect to congressional and other stakeholder involvement in 
general and the Capitol complex master plan in particular, as well as 
our original January 2003 management review, specific emphasis should 
be placed on AOC's project management. Particular issues to be 
discussed could include how; 
* AOC's projects' priorities are determined; 
* AOC monitors and controls project cost, quality, and timeliness; 
* AOC uses lessons learned from projects and seeks to incorporate best 
practices; 
* project management accountability is assigned and managed; and; 
* AOC determines the best mix of in-house and contractor support when 
designing projects; 
Subsequent COO action plans and status reports will likely be most 
helpful to Congress to the extent that they are rigorously specific as 
to the problem or issue that needs to be addressed, the actions that 
are being taken in response, the progress to date, and milestones for 
additional actions; August 2004; 
Status (month/year of GAO report): Implemented (February 2007); 
Progress and remaining action: AOC fulfilled this recommendation by 
taking several actions; 
* In March 2006, AOC hired a permanent COO; 
* In August 2006, the COO issued an action plan, including actions 
related to project management. For example, the action plan includes 
establishing technical expertise in project scheduling to improve AOC's 
estimating process and enhancing project delivery services through 
continued use of an effective project process and monitoring of all 
projects to ensure completion of projects on time and within budget; 
* To ensure project priorities are determined, AOC continues to meet 
with congressional stakeholders to discuss how AOC targets its 
resources and prioritizes projects and revised its project 
prioritization process to more clearly articulate the criteria for 
assigning project ratings; 
* To monitor projects, AOC continues to issue quarterly reports to 
Congress on the cost and schedule of active projects; 
* To benefit from lessons learned, AOC developed and implemented design 
services and construction services surveys. Also, AOC developed and 
implemented an acquisition strategy process with an acquisition 
strategy board that meets on a regular basis to discuss, among other 
things, lessons learned from previous projects. AOC's acquisition 
strategy board also discusses the best mix of in-house and contractor 
support as part of their regular meetings; 
* To improve accountability, AOC established a project management 
organization with a project manager dedicated to each project from 
start to finish. Also, AOC uses its dashboard (see table 2, 
recommendation 1) to monitor project management performance and discuss 
performance issues with AOC senior management each month; 
* AOC officials, including the COO and the Director of Planning and 
Project Management, also regularly brief congressional stakeholders on 
a variety of issues, including AOC's budget submission, status of 
projects, and project priorities. 

GAO recommendation and date of the recommendation: 13. AOC should 
further refine its employee feedback efforts by establishing a 
method(s) to collect consistent and comprehensive information on a 
regular basis and to allow AOC to track results over time against an 
established baseline; October 2005; 
Status (month/year of GAO report): Implemented (February 2007); 
Progress and remaining action: AOC has recently revised its employee 
feedback process manual, which establishes a process for regularly 
collecting employee feedback information. In the revised employee 
feedback manual, AOC established the results of its 2004 focus groups 
as a baseline for its work environment assessment and planned to 
conduct focus groups every 2 years. AOC originally planned to conduct 
the next round of focus groups in fiscal year 2007; however, because of 
the fiscal constraints and ongoing transformation efforts, AOC may 
conduct focus groups in fiscal year 2008, according to AOC officials. 
AOC also plans to conduct other feedback efforts, such as surveys of 
customer satisfaction, as needed. 

GAO recommendation and date of the recommendation: 14. AOC should 
improve its communications strategy for employee feedback (as 
documented in its employee feedback manual) to ensure that employees 
and external stakeholders receive an adequate level of detail about 
employee feedback initiative results and related agency actions in a 
timely manner. The communications strategy also should emphasize the 
need to summarize the documents and provide a consistent level of 
detail; October 2005; 
Status (month/year of GAO report): Implemented (February 2007); 
Progress and remaining action: AOC has improved its communication 
strategy for employee feedback by revising its employee feedback 
process manual to reflect GAO's recommendations on the timeliness of 
feedback to employees and is completing final edits on the manual. For 
the next biennial assessment, AOC plans to make one person responsible 
for preparing initial feedback to employees as soon as practicable and 
for developing a feedback plan that provides information to 
stakeholders within 4 months of completing the assessment. AOC's 
revised employee feedback manual also states that the level of detail 
on feedback should be tailored for each audience and purpose. Although 
AOC has set up a process to fulfill this recommendation, AOC needs to 
demonstrate that it has improved its communication strategy in its next 
series of focus groups by providing employees and stakeholders with 
timely information on focus group results and initiatives. 

Source: GAO analysis of AOC data. 

[End of table] 

Human Capital Management: 

AOC has taken steps to strengthen performance management and strategic 
human capital management by implementing our recommendation to develop 
the capacity for collecting and analyzing workforce data. Additionally, 
AOC has hired a contractor to begin developing a strategic workforce 
plan intended to provide AOC with information on its current and future 
workforce as well as recommendations on how AOC could meet its 
strategic goals. Although hiring the contractor is an important step, 
AOC's current effort to develop a strategic workforce plan will not 
include an assessment of how best to deliver (either through 
outsourcing or in-house resources) the services it provides. Without 
this type of assessment, AOC's strategic workforce plan will not 
provide AOC leadership with the appropriate set of strategies to 
acquire, develop, and retain its current and future workforce. See 
table 2 for more information on the implementation status of our 
recommendations on human capital management. 

Table 2: Current Status of Recommendations on Human Capital Management: 

GAO recommendation and date of the recommendation: 1. Strengthen 
performance measurement and strategic human capital management by 
developing annual goals and measuring performance; January 2003; 
Status (month/year of GAO report): Implemented (February 2006); 
Progress and remaining action: AOC has implemented a performance 
management approach that includes strategic planning, annual 
performance planning and reporting, and assessment of AOC's progress in 
meeting agencywide milestones and measures. AOC has identified four 
strategic goals: facilities management, project management, human 
capital management, and organizational excellence. AOC also has 
identified a number of measures to monitor and evaluate performance, 
and these measures will serve as the basis for employees' annual 
performance goals as well as the assessment of AOC's overall success in 
meeting its strategic goals. The measures include quality facility 
management; projects delivered on time, on budget, and of high quality; 
highly skilled and motivated employees; and effects of managerial 
oversight. In addition, AOC has developed a document--the AOC 
dashboard--that summarizes performance in each of its strategic focus 
areas: project management, facilities management, human capital 
management, and organizational excellence. The dashboard includes 
several high-level indicators to track performance for each of the 
strategic goals as well as a target goal for each indicator. 

GAO recommendation and date of the recommendation: 2. Strengthen 
performance measurement and strategic human capital management by 
creating "a line of sight" by linking AOC's senior executive and 
employee performance management systems to mission-critical goals; 
January 2003; 
Status (month/year of GAO report): Implemented (February 2006); 
Progress and remaining action: AOC's senior executive performance 
management system and its employee performance evaluation system are 
linked to AOC's mission-critical goals. Employees are expected to 
ensure completion of a performance plan that outlines performance 
standards for each critical task related to the employee's position. 
The employee's performance is evaluated against the established 
performance plan as it relates to AOC's strategic goals and objectives. 
The employee is given a rating of "outstanding," "fully successful," or 
"unsuccessful" for each element as well as a summary rating. 

GAO recommendation and date of the recommendation: 3. Strengthen 
performance measurement and strategic human capital management by 
establishing agencywide core and technical competencies and holding 
employees accountable for these competencies as a part of the 
performance management system; January 2003; 
Status (month/year of GAO report): Making progress; 
Progress and remaining action: Progress; 
* AOC previously identified core competencies for most of the agency's 
positions and has linked these competencies to the positions' critical 
tasks; 
Remaining actions; 
* AOC is working with a contractor to develop a process to link 
identified core competencies to an individual's training plan and 
performance assessment. AOC has not set a specific completion date for 
this phase; 
* Employees still need to be notified of the competencies that they 
will be evaluated against. AOC is currently working to develop a 
communications plan for this notification. 

GAO recommendation and date of the recommendation: 4. Strengthen 
performance measurement and strategic human capital management by 
developing the capacity to collect and analyze workforce data; January 
2003; 
Status (month/year of GAO report): Implemented (February 2007); 
Progress and remaining action: AOC's Workforce Planning and Management 
Office has identified numerous ways to collect, report, and analyze 
workforce data. Additionally, several data sources have been identified 
for analyzing the agency's workforce and developing products such as 
AOC's retirement report. AOC also has developed a system to report and 
monitor full-time equivalents (FTE) on a regular basis using man-hours 
required for projects rather than estimating FTEs on the basis of 
funding. 

GAO recommendation and date of the recommendation: 5. Strengthen 
performance measurement and strategic human capital management by 
identifying current and future workforce needs and developing 
strategies to fill gaps; January 2003; 
Status (month/year of GAO report): Making progress; 
Progress and remaining action: Progress; 
* AOC has awarded a contract for the development of a strategic 
workforce plan, which AOC expects will identify and detail the (1) 
goals of the agency for the next 5 years, (2) areas where progress has 
previously been made, and (3) current and future changes that should be 
made to preclude gaps in staffing. The final plan was to be delivered 
in March 2007, but because of the increase in AOC's workload resulting 
from office moves for the new Congress, the contractor was unable to 
hold focus groups as planned. AOC now anticipates receiving the 
completed plan in May 2007; 
* To assess and analyze current skill sets, AOC has developed a skills 
assessment survey and a draft communications plan for rolling out the 
survey. This survey, which will identify, measure, and track employee 
skills agencywide, was tested in a focus group as it was developed, and 
AOC has consulted the unions and jurisdictions about implementing the 
skills assessment survey and a strategy for the data collection. 
However, these consultations have been suspended because of the recent 
congressional election and related office moves as well as because of 
needed revisions to the survey instrument; 
Remaining actions; 
* AOC needs to assess how best to deliver its services-- through 
outsourcing or in-house resources--that support AOC's mission and 
goals. This assessment is an important input into the development of a 
strategic workforce plan, which focuses on developing strategies to 
acquire, develop, and retain an organization's total workforce 
(including full-and part-time in-house staff and contractors) to meet 
future workforce needs; 
* AOC's contractor needs to complete work relating to a strategic 
workforce plan, including conducting focus groups with managers to 
ascertain the future direction of the agency. 
* AOC needs to complete the skills assessment survey. AOC plans to 
continue working with the contractor responsible for developing the 
survey to revise the survey instrument to produce the desired data. 
Once the revisions are completed and the survey has been approved by 
the union and AOC managers, AOC employees will complete the survey 
online. The results of the survey should be used as input into the 
strategic workforce planning process to identify the skill gaps of 
AOC's current workforce and develop strategies to fill AOC's future 
workforce needs; 
* To strengthen its organizational capacity and to leverage information 
collected in its Retirement Forecasting (2005-2009) Report, AOC should 
begin developing a succession plan for its workforce. We have 
previously reported that leading organizations use succession planning 
efforts that (1) receive the active support of top leadership; (2) link 
to the agencies' strategic planning; (3) identify talent from staff at 
multiple organizational levels, early in their careers, or identify 
staff with critical skills; (4) emphasize developmental assignments in 
addition to formal training; and (5) address specific human capital 
challenges, such as diversity. 

GAO recommendation and date of the recommendation: 6. Strengthen AOC's 
human capital policies, procedures, and processes by continuing to 
develop and implement agencywide human capital policies and procedures 
and by holding management and employees accountable for following these 
policies and procedures; January 2003; 
Status (month/year of GAO report): Implemented (February 2006); 
Progress and remaining action: AOC has approved a policy development 
schedule to revise human capital policies as part of its human capital 
plan. In addition, AOC developed a document for supervisors, 
Supervisors' Tools of the Trade, which provides supplemental guidance 
on human capital policies as needed. Supervisors are rated for 
performance in human capital management as part of AOC's evaluation 
system. However, it is important that AOC continue to monitor whether 
supervisors and managers are fairly administering the policies as the 
revisions are implemented. 

GAO recommendation and date of the recommendation: 7. Strengthen AOC's 
human capital policies, procedures, and processes by assessing ways in 
which AOC management could better gather and analyze data from the 
various employee relations offices and the employee advisory council 
while maintaining employee confidentiality; January 2003; 
Status (month/year of GAO report): Implemented (February 2006); 
Progress and remaining action: AOC has fulfilled this recommendation by 
holding monthly meetings between the Human Resources Director, the 
Equal Employment Opportunity and Conciliation Program Director, the 
chair of the employee advisory council, the employment council, the 
employee assistance program manager, and the Deputy Chief of Staff to 
review and discuss employee relations data. The group makes 
recommendations to senior management on the basis of findings and takes 
action on the items. According to AOC, the importance of maintaining 
employee confidentiality is emphasized at each meeting. 

GAO recommendation and date of the recommendation: 8. To improve 
communications with employees, we recommend that the Architect of the 
Capitol direct the COO to conduct an analysis of both AOC management 
and employee needs with respect to resolving employee concerns and 
issues as well as assessing the capacity of existing offices to fulfill 
those needs; August 2004; 
Status (month/year of GAO report): Closed - not implemented; 
Progress and remaining action: Although AOC has not completed an 
assessment of the capacity of existing offices to resolve employee 
concerns and issues and does not plan to do so, the agency has 
implemented a variety of mechanisms to resolve employee concerns and 
issues. According to AOC, multiple offices and programs address 
employee concerns and issues, including the Equal Employment Office, 
the Employee Assistance Programs, the standard grievance process, and 
the external Office of Compliance process. In addition, AOC holds 
monthly meetings between representatives of these offices to review and 
discuss employee relations data. The group makes recommendations to 
senior management on the basis of findings and takes action on the 
items. Employees in bargaining units are also represented by the union 
and have a process in place to resolve individual employee issues. In 
October 2005, AOC issued a brochure to all employees on all Equal 
Employment Office policies and the available programs. In addition, AOC 
is currently developing a proposal that would establish a mediation 
program as part of AOC's operational business strategy. After 
implementing the pilot program, AOC plans to assess its use and 
effectiveness and make any needed modifications before making it a 
permanent program and expanding the group of trained mediators. AOC 
should continue to monitor the effectiveness of the programs through 
employee feedback. 

GAO recommendation and date of the recommendation: 9. Establish a 
direct reporting relationship between the ombudsperson and the 
Architect of the Capitol consistent with professional standards; 
January 2003; 
Status (month/year of GAO report): Implemented (February 2006); 
Progress and remaining action: According to AOC, a direct reporting 
relationship has been established between the ombudsperson and the 
Architect. Officials noted that the ombudsperson has the ability to 
speak directly with the Architect at any time about any issue that the 
ombudsperson feels necessary to bring to the Architect's attention. 

Source: GAO analysis of AOC data. 

[End of table] 

Financial Management: 

Since our initial follow-up effort in January 2004, AOC has made 
progress--to varying degrees--on key control and accountability 
initiatives. AOC has developed agencywide audited financial statements, 
implemented a new financial management system, and continued to develop 
and implement a risk-based internal control framework and a cost 
accounting system that, when fully implemented, should generate 
meaningful cost and performance reporting information for managers. 
However, AOC's senior management needs to continue supporting the full 
implementation of key financial management and accountability efforts 
that are critical to AOC's operations. Although AOC senior management 
has helped to strengthen AOC's financial accountability by regularly 
monitoring and overseeing AOC's efforts to prepare agencywide 
comprehensive financial statements and have them audited, it needs to 
increase focus and attention on completing the development and 
implementation of the other three key financial management improvement 
initiatives--an internal control framework, a cost accounting system, 
and a management reporting system. According to AOC officials, current 
staffing shortages and funding constraints will likely limit meaningful 
near-term progress on these efforts. To continue AOC's progress, it 
will be essential for AOC's senior management to provide the 
commitment, attention, and resources needed to ensure the successful 
implementation of these important control and accountability 
initiatives. See table 3 for more information on the implementation 
status of our recommendations on financial management. 

Table 3: Current Status of Recommendations on Financial Management: 

GAO recommendation and date of the recommendation: 1. Continue to 
improve AOC's approach to financial management by developing strategies 
to institutionalize financial management practices that will support 
budgeting, financial, and program management at AOC. Such strategies 
could include developing performance goals and measures and associated 
roles aimed at increasing the accountability of nonfinancial managers 
and staff, such as jurisdictional superintendents, program managers, 
and other AOC staff--whose support is critical to the success of AOC's 
financial management initiatives--and ensuring that these staff 
received the training needed to effectively carry out their roles and 
responsibilities; January 2003; 
Status (month/year of GAO report): Making progress; 
Progress and remaining action: Progress; AOC has reported continued 
progress on key financial management initiatives intended to improve 
budgeting, financial management, and accountability agencywide; 
* According to AOC, it follows established governmentwide policies and 
procedures (OMB Circular A-11) for formulating and executing its 
budgets, but has not formally documented AOC-specific budget policies 
and procedures; 
* AOC officials reported that with the exception of two policies that 
are being drafted or revised, all accounting and financial reporting 
policies, procedures, and operating practices have been documented and 
implemented; 
* According to AOC, in January 2006, it completed the final phase of 
its multiyear implementation of a financial management system with the 
implementation of its inventory module. AOC reported that the financial 
management system as implemented satisfies all of the agency's 
functional system requirements; 
* AOC has achieved its goal of preparing auditable comprehensive 
agencywide financial statements with the successful audit of its fiscal 
years 2005 and 2006 financial statements, which received unqualified 
opinions on all statements audited; 
* AOC has initiated a multiphase approach for documenting and 
implementing a risk-based internal control framework. The approach 
calls for documenting relevant processes and policies; identifying, 
analyzing, and implementing needed controls; and monitoring the 
effectiveness of the controls. Initially, AOC is applying its approach 
to its three highest-risk areas--procurement (from purchase 
authorization through payment), payroll, and project management. AOC 
reported substantially completing the documentation of relevant 
processes and policies and identification and analysis of needed 
internal controls for both the procurement and the payroll areas, 
continuing to develop documentation of the current project management 
processes, and substantially implementing needed internal controls for 
the procurement area. AOC reported that it has begun manually 
monitoring implemented controls and hopes to implement an automated 
tool to monitor the effectiveness of its internal controls in the near 
future; 
* AOC reported making progress on its cost accounting/Management 
Operations Reporting (MOR) initiative by initiating its cost accounting 
system. Under this system, employees charge their payroll time to 
specific activities and project codes in the time and attendance 
system. AOC also reported rolling out an interim cost reporting 
structure to all jurisdictions and working with operating units to 
demonstrate the types of cost, finance, and performance-reporting 
information that can be generated when the cost accounting system is 
fully implemented. To make progress on these important initiatives, AOC 
has relied heavily on support contractors. According to AOC officials, 
further progress on these important efforts is likely to be limited by 
staffing shortages and funding constraints; 
Remaining actions; While AOC has made considerable progress on key 
financial management initiatives since we made our recommendation in 
2003, additional actions are needed to fully implement two important 
remaining initiatives--its risk-based internal control framework and 
its cost accounting/MOR initiative; 
* AOC needs to complete the documentation, analysis, implementation, 
and monitoring of internal controls associated with project management, 
payroll, and procurement high risk areas. In addition, AOC needs to 
identify all other areas of its operations where internal controls need 
to be documented, analyzed, implemented, and monitored; 
* AOC needs to continue its development and implementation of its cost 
accounting/MOR initiative by ensuring that all applicable employees are 
coding their time charges; by developing mechanisms for rationally 
assigning applicable indirect costs--those not directly tied to 
specific project codes; and by working to refine and improve the 
usefulness of the cost, finance, and performance information available 
to managers; 
Adequate resources in the form of AOC staff or contractor support and 
sustained leadership and management attention and support are needed to 
help ensure progress in institutionalizing these important financial 
management improvement initiatives. 

GAO recommendation and date of the recommendation: 2. To help 
strengthen and sustain AOC's emerging foundation of financial 
accountability and control, we recommend that the Architect of the 
Capitol, the COO, the Chief Financial Officer, and other senior 
management provide strong and visible support for efforts to prepare 
auditable financial statements and implement an effective internal 
control framework by monitoring the implementation and related 
milestones for each effort, ensuring the commitment to and support for 
each effort by participating AOC units, and acting to resolve any 
impediments that may arise; August 2004; 
Status (month/year of GAO report): Making progress; 
Progress and remaining action: Progress; AOC senior management reported 
supporting the development of annual AOC- wide financial statements and 
an effective internal control framework; 
* According to AOC, senior management and the Audit Committee, which 
senior management established, have provided regular monitoring and 
oversight of AOC's efforts to prepare agencywide comprehensive 
financial statements and have them independently audited; 
* While these audits have resulted in unqualified opinions on the 
statements, they also have continued to note material internal control 
weaknesses that adversely limit AOC's ability to establish a foundation 
for financial accountability and control; 
* Because AOC lacks in-house expertise, AOC senior management approved 
a permanent staff position and funding for contractor support needed to 
develop and implement an effective internal control framework. AOC is 
implementing this framework through a multiphased approach that 
documents processes and policies, identifies and implements needed 
controls, and establishes mechanisms to monitor the effectiveness of 
internal controls for its three highest-risk areas--procurement (from 
purchase authorization through payment), payroll, and project 
management. In implementing the framework, AOC officials applied 
available resources to these highest- risk areas; 
* AOC officials, however, noted that staffing shortages and limited 
resources have hampered progress in implementing internal controls for 
the three highest-risk areas. For example, AOC officials reported that 
they had difficulty finding qualified candidates for the permanent 
staff position approved by senior management to manage the development 
of the internal control framework and the contractor support provided 
for developing and implementing the internal control framework will be 
affected in fiscal year 2007 by current constraints on AOC's annual 
appropriations; 
* Senior management support for the internal control framework also 
included periodic presentations and discussions on ongoing 
implementation efforts at bimonthly meetings of AOC's Management 
Council. AOC also reported developing a high-level executive briefing 
on the internal control framework and training for those with a role or 
responsibility in designing or operating the controls within the three 
highest-risk areas. 
Remaining actions; 
* To expedite the implementation of an effective internal control 
framework, which represents an important accountability initiative, AOC 
senior management needs to enhance its management, monitoring, and 
oversight of AOC's current efforts to analyze, implement, and monitor 
needed internal controls in AOC's three highest-risk areas. As part of 
this initiative, AOC senior management needs to monitor and oversee 
efforts to develop and implement actions needed to resolve various 
material weaknesses identified as part of AOC's annual financial 
statement audit. AOC officials noted that they are developing a team of 
top executives and managers to act as a steering committee over 
internal control issues, but no date has been set for establishing the 
committee. Through such a committee, AOC senior management could 
regularly assess the progress on internal control-related efforts and 
identify and address impediments to planned progress (including those 
associated with limited staffing and resources); 
* Once the framework for the three highest-risk areas is fully 
implemented, AOC management needs to assess the rest of AOC's 
operations to determine the extent to which other areas need to be 
included in the risk-based internal control framework. 

GAO recommendation and date of the recommendation: 3. To enhance the 
successful development of useful financial, cost, and performance 
reporting for major operating units and appropriate cost accounting, we 
recommend that the Architect of the Capitol direct the COO and the 
Chief Financial Officer to work with operating managers to assess the 
usefulness of financial-statement-level information, take an active 
role in AOC near-term efforts to develop agencywide performance 
measures, and review all available options to determine whether 
substantial work can begin, prior to fiscal year 2006, on the analyses 
needed to identify changes necessary to implement useful cost 
accounting at AOC; August 2004; 
Status (month/year of GAO report): Implemented (February 2007); 
Progress and remaining action: AOC reported that it has made 
considerable progress since last year on efforts to develop useful 
cost, financial, and performance information; develop agencywide 
performance measures; and start implementing its cost accounting 
system. AOC reported that the Architect and the COO have taken an 
active role in developing of the revised strategic plan and related 
agencywide performance measures and in supporting the cost 
accounting/MOR initiative; 
* As part of its efforts to implement its cost accounting/MOR 
initiative, AOC determined that financial- statement level information 
was of limited use to jurisdictional managers. As a result, AOC 
management focused its attention on how it could provide useful cost, 
financial, and performance information to its operational managers. In 
so doing, AOC reported that it developed potential formats for MOR 
information that demonstrates to operating unit managers the types of 
cost, financial, and performance information that can be generated when 
the cost accounting system is fully implemented. AOC also reported that 
it now generates biweekly cost accounting/MOR reports for each 
jurisdiction and division; 
* AOC reported that it recently completed the development of a results-
based strategic plan that includes comprehensive agencywide outcome 
(performance) measures. This effort started with the Architect and the 
COO revising AOC's Strategic Goals, which were then used to develop the 
revised strategic plan. The Architect and the COO monitored the plan's 
development and actively participated in the plan's review and 
finalization; 
* AOC reported that during fiscal year 2006, it completed a pilot test 
of its cost accounting system and began implementing the system, 
including gathering cost data. In addition, AOC has begun recording 
salary-related cost information in its cost accounting system by 
working with all employees to charge their payroll time to specific 
activity and project codes in the time and attendance system; 
The collective actions taken on this recommendation are sufficient to 
close out this recommendation. 

GAO recommendation and date of the recommendation: 4. To enhance the 
successful development of useful financial, cost, and performance 
reporting for major operating units and appropriate cost accounting, we 
recommend that the Architect of the Capitol direct the COO and the 
Chief Financial Officer to have senior management visibly demonstrate 
its continuing commitment to and support for making AOC-wide system, 
procedural, and cultural changes necessary to provide managers with 
timely financial, cost, and performance information by monitoring the 
efforts' implementation and related milestones, ensuring the commitment 
to and support for the efforts by participating AOC units, and acting 
to resolve any impediments that may arise; August 2004; 
Status (month/ year of GAO report): Making progress; 
Progress and remaining action: Progress; 
* As previously noted, AOC reported that it has developed AOC-wide 
performance measures and has taken actions to develop a cost accounting 
system and related cost, financial, and performance reporting. AOC 
senior management has been taking an active role in supporting these 
initiatives. Effectively implementing these initiatives, as well as 
other important financial management improvement initiatives has 
required and will continue to require AOC- wide system, procedural, and 
cultural changes; 
Remaining action; Implementing effective cost accounting and reporting 
systems--ones that provide operating managers with useful cost, 
financial, and performance information--will require continuing 
leadership attention from AOC senior management to help ensure that 
needed system, procedural, and cultural changes occur; 
* To do so successfully, the COO, the Chief Financial Officer, and 
other AOC senior managers need to continue demonstrating their 
commitment and support for making the needed changes by working to 
ensure that these initiatives have sufficient staff and resources, by 
regularly monitoring progress against established milestones, and by 
working with senior managers AOC-wide to identify and resolve 
impediments to successful implementation. For example, AOC's senior 
management may wish to apply its leadership and attention by 
establishing a senior management level steering committee, similar to 
the one planned to monitor and oversee internal control issues, to help 
ensure that the cost accounting and management reporting initiatives 
are effectively implemented. Such a committee could regularly review 
the initiative's progress and work with AOC senior managers to resolve 
impediments as they arise. 

Source: GAO analysis of AOC data. 

[End of table] 

Information Technology Management: 

AOC continues to make progress toward adopting an agencywide approach 
to information management and has implemented 2 IT recommendations over 
the year. Specifically, AOC has developed, approved, and implemented a 
process, including those practices in our IT investment management 
guide, for controlling existing projects. AOC also has established the 
management structure for developing, implementing, and maintaining an 
enterprise architecture (EA) and has made significant progress toward 
planning for and implementing the practices in our architecture 
management guide. These practices include ensuring that adequate 
resources (i.e., funding, people, tools, and technology) are devoted to 
the program and developing a written policy for architecture 
development and maintenance. 

In addition, AOC has made progress toward addressing our remaining 
recommendations. For example, it has developed a policy that describes 
the procedures, practices, and guidelines that govern the management of 
its IT systems and the required processes that are to be followed when 
acquiring and developing these systems. Furthermore, AOC has taken 
steps toward establishing and implementing an effective information 
security program by designating a chief information security officer 
with the authority to implement an agencywide security program and by 
certifying and accrediting its general support systems and major 
applications. However, more work remains to fully implement our 
recommendations. For example, AOC has yet to prioritize all IT 
investments, develop an IT investment portfolio, and oversee each 
investment using a portfolio approach to ensure that AOC achieves its 
cost, benefit, schedule, and risk expectations. Until AOC completes 
these activities, it cannot ensure that the investments address not 
only the agency's mission and strategic goals and objectives, but also 
the impact of the investments on each other. Moreover, AOC has yet to 
fully implement key architecture practices, such as defining "as is" 
and "to be" architecture descriptions in terms of performance. Without 
instituting these practices, AOC risks limiting the quality and utility 
of its architecture and may not realize the benefits of a well-managed 
architecture program. In addition, the agency has not consistently 
demonstrated quality assurance, configuration management, and contract 
tracking and oversight processes. Until AOC consistently demonstrates 
these key acquisition processes, the agency runs the risk of projects 
not performing as intended, being delivered late, and not meeting 
estimated cost and schedule goals. AOC also has yet to develop system 
contingency plans for all of its systems and implement a security 
process to monitor and evaluate policy and control effectiveness. 
Without instituting these practices, AOC's data and systems are at risk 
of inadvertent or deliberate misuse, fraud, improper disclosure, or 
destruction, possibly without detection. See table 4 for more 
information on the implementation status of our recommendations on IT 
management. 

Table 4: Current Status of Recommendations on Information Technology 
Management: 

GAO recommendation and date of the recommendation: 1. Establish a chief 
information officer or comparable senior executive, with the 
responsibility, authority, and adequate resources for managing IT 
across the agency, who is a full participant in AOC's senior decision- 
making processes and has clearly defined roles, responsibilities, and 
accountabilities; January 2003; 
Status (month/year of GAO report): Implemented (January 2004); 
Progress and remaining action: AOC has fulfilled this recommendation by 
issuing a centralized IT management policy that assigned a senior 
executive--namely, the Office of Information and Resource Management 
(OIRM) director--the role, responsibility, and authority for managing 
IT across the agency, including the development, management, and 
oversight of IT. In addition, the policy made the OIRM director a key 
participant in executive decision making, such as serving as the 
principal adviser to the Architect of the Capitol in applying IT to 
improve business processes. The OIRM director's role also includes 
controlling AOC's IT budget and chairing the IT project management 
board. 

GAO recommendation and date of the recommendation: 2. Develop and 
implement IT investment management processes with the full support and 
participation of AOC's senior leadership. Specifically, the Architect 
of the Capitol must develop a plan for developing and implementing the 
investment management processes, as appropriate, that are outlined in 
our IT investment management guide. At a minimum, the plan should 
specify measurable tasks, goals, time frames, and resources required to 
develop and implement the processes. The Architect of the Capitol 
should focus first on the management processes associated with 
controlling existing projects and establishing the management 
structures to effectively implement an IT management process; January 
2003; 
Status (month/year of GAO report): Implemented (February 2007); 
Progress and remaining action: AOC has fulfilled this recommendation by 
developing and implementing an IT investment management process with 
support and participation of AOC's senior leadership and in accordance 
with our guidance through the development and approval of an IT 
investment management policy. Consistent with best practices, AOC has 
divided its investment management process into three phases: select, 
control, and evaluate. To effectively control existing and future 
projects through these phases, AOC established and assigned specific 
roles and responsibilities to three boards: Business Systems 
Modernization Office (BSMO), Investment Review Board (IRB), and Project 
Review Board (PRB). BSMO provides guidance during the select phase on 
items, such as the procurement schedule and stakeholder involvement, 
while the IRB and the PRB participate during the select, control, and 
evaluate phases. In particular, the PRB reviews specific areas of the 
project, including status, schedule and system development life-cycle 
documentation, and the IRB, among other things, provides approval and 
advice on items, including additional funding and critical issues that 
may arise on the project. Membership on these boards includes senior- 
level officials from various departments and offices throughout the 
agency; AOC has demonstrated this investment management process as 
evidenced by our review of two of AOC's large-size IT systems-- 
Facilities Management Information System (FMIS) 2005 and Inventory 
Control System (ICS). Both systems were approved by the appropriate 
management structures in accordance with AOC's IT investment management 
process. 

GAO recommendation and date of the recommendation: 3. Plan for and 
implement those practices in our IT investment management guide 
associated with corporate, portfolio-based investment decision making, 
such as (1) implementing criteria to select investments that will best 
support the organization's strategic goals, objectives, and mission; 
(2) using these criteria to consistently analyze and prioritize all IT 
investments; (3) ensuring that the optimal investment portfolio with 
manageable risks and returns is selected and funded; and (4) overseeing 
each investment within the portfolio to ensure that it achieves its 
cost, benefit, schedule, and risk expectations; January 2004; 
Status (month/year of GAO report): Making progress; 
Progress and remaining action: Progress; 
* AOC has begun to plan for and implement those practices in our IT 
investment management guide associated with corporate, portfolio-based 
investment decision making; 
* AOC has developed criteria to select investments that best support 
the organization's strategic goals, objectives, and mission; 
* According to AOC officials, the agency has begun the process of 
outlining an IT portfolio management program that will arrange IT 
investments into a single portfolio and provide visibility, control, 
and decisions on the basis of project objectives, such as costs, 
resources, and risks; 
Remaining action; 
* AOC has yet to prioritize all IT investments, develop an IT 
investment portfolio, and oversee each investment from a portfolio 
approach to ensure that it achieves its cost, benefit, schedule, and 
risk expectations; 
Until AOC completes these activities it cannot ensure that the 
investments address not only the agency's strategic goals, objectives, 
and mission, but also address the impacts that the projects have on 
each other. 

GAO recommendation and date of the recommendation: 4. Develop, 
implement, and maintain an EA to guide and constrain IT projects 
throughout AOC. The Architect of the Capitol should implement the 
practices, as appropriate, as outlined in the Chief Information Officer 
Council's architecture management guide. As a first step, the Architect 
should establish the management structure for developing, implementing, 
and maintaining an EA by implementing the following actions: 
* developing an agencywide policy statement providing a clear mandate 
for developing, implementing, and maintaining the architecture; 
* establishing an executive body composed of stakeholders from AOC 
mission-critical program offices to guide the strategy for developing 
the EA and ensure agency support and resources for it; and; 
* designating an individual who serves as a chief enterprise architect 
to develop policy, lead the development of the EA, and manage it as a 
formal program; January 2003; 
Status (month/year of GAO report): Implemented (February 2007); 
Progress and remaining action: AOC has fulfilled this recommendation by 
developing and approving an agencywide IT policy that provides for 
developing, implementing, and maintaining an EA. The agency also has 
established an EA Executive Steering Committee, composed of senior-
level officials from across the agency, to direct, oversee, and approve 
the AOC EA. The latest version of the EA--; EA FY06 version 1.0--was 
approved by the executive committee in December 2005. In addition, AOC 
has assigned responsibility for guiding EA development to the Chief 
Enterprise Architect. According to program officials, the Chief 
Enterprise Architect position was filled in February 2007. The chief 
architect's responsibilities include reviewing investments and 
investment-related projects to ensure that they are in compliance with 
the EA; developing and maintaining the EA documents to ensure that they 
continue to reflect the AOC strategic plan, business needs, and 
technological advancement; and providing expertise to the business 
systems modernization office and AOC management on EA concepts and 
implementation. 

GAO recommendation and date of the recommendation: 5. Plan for and 
implement the practices in our architecture management guide associated 
with leveraging an EA for organizational transformation, such as (1) 
ensuring that adequate resources are devoted to the program (funding, 
people, tools, and technology); (2) ensuring that the architecture 
describes both the "as is" and the "to be" environments in terms of 
performance; (3) ensuring that architecture business, performance, 
information and data, applications and services, and technology 
descriptions address security; and (4) ensuring that metrics are used 
to measure EA progress, quality, compliance, and return on investment; 
January 2004; 
Status (month/year of GAO report): Making progress; 
Progress and remaining action: Progress; In April 2003, we published 
version 1.1 of our EA management maturity framework, which is a five- 
stage architecture framework for managing the development, maintenance, 
and implementation of an architecture and understanding the extent to 
which effective architecture management practices are being performed 
and where an organization is in its progression toward having a well- 
managed architecture program. In short, the framework consists of 31 
core elements that relate to architecture governance, content, use, and 
measurement. These elements reflect research by us and others showing 
that architecture programs should be founded upon institutional 
architecture commitment and capabilities, and measured and verified 
products and results; 
* AOC has made significant progress toward planning for and 
implementing the core elements in our architecture framework; 
* Specifically, AOC has fully satisfied 25 (81%), partially satisfied 4 
(13%), and has not satisfied 2 (6%) of the 31 core elements identified 
in our EA management maturity framework; 
* Among the core elements that AOC has fully satisfied are ensuring 
that adequate resources are devoted to the program (funding, people, 
tools, and technology); developing a written policy for architecture 
development and maintenance; and measuring and reporting progress 
against architecture plans; 
* AOC has developed metrics for measuring and reporting EA progress, 
quality, and compliance; 
Remaining actions; 
* AOC has yet to fully implement some key elements. Specifically, AOC 
has yet to complete an "as is" and "to be" architecture description in 
terms of performance that also addresses security; 
* AOC has not yet implemented the measuring and reporting of EA return 
on investments and reported on the percentage of systems in compliance 
with the EA; 
Without these core elements, AOC may face the risk of limiting the 
quality and utility of the architecture and may not realize the 
significant benefits of a well-managed architecture program. 

GAO recommendation and date of the recommendation: 6. Require 
disciplined and rigorous processes for managing the development and 
acquisition of IT systems and implement the processes throughout AOC. 
Specifically, these processes should include the following: 
* quality assurance processes, including developing a quality assurance 
plan and identifying applicable process and product standards that will 
be used in developing and assessing project processes and products; 
* configuration management processes, including establishing a 
repository or configuration management system to maintain and control 
configuration management items; 
* risk management processes, including developing a project risk 
management plan, identifying and prioritizing potential problems, 
implementing risk mitigation strategies, as required, and tracking and 
reporting progress against the plans; and; 
* contract tracking and oversight processes, including developing a 
plan for tracking contractor activities, measuring contractor 
performance and conducting periodic reviews, and conducting internal 
reviews of tracking and oversight activities; January 2003; 
Status (month/year of GAO report): Making progress; 
Progress and remaining action: Progress; 
* AOC has developed a systems development life-cycle (SDLC) policy that 
describes the procedures, practices, and guidelines that govern the 
management of IT systems and processes that are to be followed when 
acquiring and developing these systems. Specifically, these processes 
include the following: 
- A quality assurance process that requires the development of a 
quality assurance plan and several quality checkpoint reviews during a 
project's life cycle; 
- A configuration management process that requires a configuration 
management plan that identifies configurations at given points in time, 
controls changes to the configuration, and maintains the records of all 
changes; 
- A risk management process that requires the development of a risk 
management plan; the identification of risks, risk assessments, risk 
impact and status, probability of occurrence, and mitigation 
strategies; and the tracking and reporting of progress against the 
plan. For FMIS 2005 and ICS systems, AOC demonstrated its risk process 
by developing risk reports that included the identification, 
description, owner, impact, status, probability, and mitigation of the 
risks; 
* AOC also has developed and approved a policy for contract 
administration, which assigns authority for administering contracts to 
the contracting officer. Further, the agency requires a communications 
plan, which directs senior management and stakeholders to monitor 
program management activities, use a project plan to manage and control 
contract activities and requirements, and develop change control 
procedures to manage contract changes; 
Remaining actions; AOC has not consistently demonstrated quality 
assurance, configuration management, and contract tracking and 
oversight processes; 
* Although AOC developed quality assurance plans, not all quality 
checkpoint reviews were completed to ensure that the projects met the 
contractual agreements and quality standards or complied with SDLC 
processes. According to officials, quality checkpoint reviews were 
determined a best practice and developed in June 2006 and, therefore, 
had occurred after the implementation of the FMIS 2005 system; 
* For configuration management, although AOC had developed a 
configuration management plan for the ICS system, it did not develop a 
plan for the FMIS 2005 system and did not control and maintain project 
changes for both systems; 
* Although AOC has a policy for contract administration, it has not 
developed and implemented contract tracking and oversight processes 
that include measuring contractor performance by developing and using 
metrics of software and system quality. Development and use of such 
metrics is a recognized best practice. For example, a communications 
plan was not developed for FMIS 2005 and metrics were not developed and 
used to measure product quality for both FMIS and ICS; 
Until AOC consistently demonstrates these key acquisition processes, 
the agency runs the risk of projects not performing as intended, being 
delivered late, and not meeting estimated cost and schedule goals. 

GAO recommendation and date of the recommendation: 7. Establish and 
implement an information security program. Specifically, the Architect 
of the Capitol should establish an information security program by 
taking the following steps: 
(1) designate a security officer and provide him or her with the 
authority and resources to implement an agencywide security program,; 
(2) develop and implement policy and guidance to perform risk 
assessments continually,; 
(3) use the results of the risk assessments to develop and implement 
the appropriate controls,; 
(4) develop policies for security training and awareness and provide 
the training, and; 
(5) monitor and evaluate policy and control effectiveness; January 
2003; 
Status (month/year of GAO report): Making progress; 
Progress and remaining action: Progress; 
* AOC has designated the chief information security officer with the 
authority to implement an agencywide security program and has reported 
that adequate resources (funding and staff) have been assigned to 
implement the program; 
* AOC designated a chief information security officer in January 2007; 
* AOC also has developed a policy to perform risk assessments on 50 
major applications by March 2008; 
* In March 2006, AOC completed its certification and accreditation of 
its general support systems and major applications and, according to 
officials, findings from the risk assessment have been placed into a 
plan of action and milestones, as a control measure, to track the 
corrective actions taken by the agency; 
* According to AOC, it is on target in certifying and accrediting 
mission-critical applications by March 2007 and mission-support and 
essential applications by March 2008; 
* AOC also has developed and issued policies for security and awareness 
training, which, according to the agency officials, has been completed 
by all employees; 
* Additionally, AOC has developed a process to monitor and evaluate the 
effectiveness of policies and controls. 
* AOC has yet to implement the process of monitoring and evaluating 
policy and control effectiveness or to provide us with evidence that 
training is based on user roles and responsibilities, and that 
identified risks are being documented in system security plans. These 
practices are important because if they are not in place, AOC's data 
and systems are at risk of inadvertent or deliberate misuse, fraud, 
improper disclosure, or destruction, possibly without detection; 
* Additionally, system contingency plans have yet to be developed for 
all systems. 

Source: GAO analysis of AOC data. 

[End of table] 

Project Management: 

AOC has made progress on several initiatives that should improve 
project management and accountability and has implemented 7 project 
management recommendations over the year. For example, AOC has 
established performance measures, including measures to track the 
quality and costs of projects. AOC also has clarified the roles and 
responsibilities for staff in the Project Management Division and 
updated guidance for managing projects. In addition, AOC is continuing 
efforts on longer-term initiatives to improve project management and 
accountability. For example, AOC plans to modify its project 
information system to assist managers in more proactively managing 
projects, provide needed cost and schedule data on projects, and track 
reasons for changes across all projects. AOC has developed the 
requirements for this system, which includes the automation of AOC's 
quarterly construction projects progress report, and plans to begin 
modifications with available in-house resources in fiscal year 2007. 
Additionally, AOC has conducted a review of Construction Division 
operations and management in 2006 and is currently implementing the 
recommendations from that review, including recommendations to improve 
project cost estimating and tracking. However, the new cost accounting 
system--a system that will be phased in over several years--must be 
completed before AOC can implement all of the recommendations intended 
to improve accountability for the Construction Division. Furthermore, 
AOC is reviewing its methods for estimating Construction Division 
project costs, including contingency costs and allocations for 
construction management and administration, to improve the accuracy of 
project cost estimates. AOC also is finalizing the Capitol complex 
master plan and anticipates that a draft of the plan will be ready for 
congressional review in the spring of 2007. See table 5 for more 
information on the implementation status of our recommendations on 
project management. 

Table 5: Current Status of Recommendations on Project Management: 

GAO recommendation and date of the recommendation: 1. Develop a Capitol 
complex master plan and complete condition assessments of all buildings 
and facilities under the jurisdiction of AOC; January 2003; 
Status (month/year of GAO report): Making progress; 
Progress and remaining action: Progress; 
* The Capitol complex master plan has three components--the vision 
statement, framework (concept) plan, and jurisdiction plans; 
* AOC is working with the leadership of each jurisdiction (e.g., the 
Librarian of Congress and the Marshal of the Supreme Court) and the 
consultant working on the plan to finalize these documents for 
consultation with congressional stakeholders; 
* As we reported last year, AOC has completed facility condition 
assessments for all facilities within the complex, except the Library 
of Congress and the Supreme Court; 
Remaining actions; 
* AOC needs to finalize the Capitol complex master plan. We reported 
last year that the master plan was scheduled to be completed at the end 
of 2006. AOC told us that the plan was delayed to obtain additional 
input from within the agency and the new congressional leadership. AOC 
estimates that a draft of the plan will be ready for congressional 
review in the spring of 2007; 
* AOC needs to complete the facility condition assessment for the 
Library of Congress and has requested funding for that assessment in 
its fiscal year 2007 and 2008 budget; 
* AOC needs to complete the facility condition assessment for the 
Supreme Court and plans to do so when renovations of the Supreme Court 
are completed. The renovations are estimated to be completed in 2009. 

GAO recommendation and date of the recommendation: 2. To improve 
Capitol complex master planning efforts, we recommend that the 
Architect of the Capitol, with support from the COO, lead efforts to 
ensure that congressional and other stakeholders are engaged early and 
throughout the development of the Capitol complex master plan; August 
2004; 
Status (month/year of GAO report): Making progress; 
Progress and remaining action: Progress; 
* AOC has involved congressional stakeholders and AOC stakeholders in 
the development of the Capitol complex master plan; 
* AOC's planning team has met with Senate Rules committee staff and 
House leadership staff to discuss a strategy for communication and 
outreach related to the master plan; 
Remaining action; 
* AOC needs to formulate and carry out a communication and outreach 
strategy for vetting the master plan. AOC expects to formulate this 
strategy in early 2007 and vet the master plan between April and June 
2007. 

GAO recommendation and date of the recommendation: 3. Develop a process 
for assigning project priorities that is based on clearly defined, well-
documented, consistently applied, and transparent criteria; January 
2003; 
Status (month/year of GAO report): Implemented (February 2006); 
Progress and remaining action: AOC implemented a program development 
process in 2003 that rated projects in the following five categories: 
(1) historic preservation and stewardship; (2) fire, life, safety, and 
code compliance; (3) impact on mission; (4) economics; and (5) 
security, with a score from 1 to 100. In the spring of 2004, AOC 
improved the program development process by establishing extensive 
procedures designed to ensure that project scopes fully met both 
customer needs and all criteria and standards. The project evaluation 
criteria are currently being expanded to include urgency (such as 
immediate, high, medium, or low) and classification of a project (such 
as deferred maintenance or capital improvement). This expansion of the 
evaluation criteria results from information being received from 
facility condition assessments. In September 2005, the AOC's project 
prioritization panel will evaluate these recommended changes. 

GAO recommendation and date of the recommendation: 4. To improve the 
process for prioritizing projects, we recommend that the Architect of 
the Capitol, with support from the COO, lead efforts to ensure that AOC 
informs and obtains agreement from congressional and other stakeholders 
on how and why specific projects are submitted for funding; August 
2004; 
Status (month/year of GAO report): Implemented (February 2007); 
Progress and remaining action: AOC fulfilled this recommendation by 
taking steps to inform congressional stakeholders on how and why 
specific projects are submitted for funding. For example, AOC has held 
and continues to hold regular briefings with congressional staff on 
AOC's funding requests and project prioritization process. In August 
and September 2006, AOC briefed congressional stakeholders on the 
status and results of facility condition assessments, its project 
prioritization process, and the future direction of AOC's facility 
programs. Congressional stakeholders noted that AOC has made 
improvements in developing a transparent process for understanding how 
and why projects are submitted for funding. 

GAO recommendation and date of the recommendation: 5. Develop tools to 
effectively communicate priorities and progress of projects, as a part 
of a broader communication strategy; January 2003; 
Status (month/year of GAO report): Implemented (February 2007); 
Progress and remaining action: AOC has established tools to effectively 
communicate priorities and progress of projects. For example, AOC has 
developed and continues to communicate its project prioritization 
processes through regular briefings to congressional stakeholders. 
According to feedback from congressional and other stakeholders, AOC 
made changes to the project prioritization process and plans to 
implement those changes in its fiscal year 2008 budget proposal. AOC 
continues to produce a quarterly status report on the budget and 
schedule status of projects that are released to congressional 
appropriators. 

GAO recommendation and date of the recommendation: 6. Define project- 
management-related performance measures to achieve mission-critical 
strategic and annual performance goals; January 2003; 
Status (month/ year of GAO report): Implemented (February 2007); 
Progress and remaining action: AOC has defined project-management-
related performance measures through its quarterly status report, 
dashboard, and performance plan. These measures include the status of 
project schedule, budget, cost, and safety. AOC also developed and 
implemented surveys on the quality of design and construction services. 
AOC could consider tracking the safety of its construction contractors, 
as is currently being done with the Capitol Visitor Center project. 

GAO recommendation and date of the recommendation: 7. To strengthen the 
relationship between AOC and its congressional and other stakeholders, 
we recommend that the Architect of the Capitol direct the COO to work 
with Congress on the design and implementation of a transparent process 
to facilitate an understanding between AOC and its congressional 
stakeholders about how AOC targets its efforts and resources to the 
highest project priorities and how strategic and tactical decisions and 
trade-offs are made; August 2004; 
Status (month/year of GAO report): Implemented (February 2007); 
Progress and remaining action: AOC fulfilled this recommendation by 
taking steps to develop and implement a transparent process for how AOC 
targets its efforts and resources to highest project priorities. AOC 
continues to meet with congressional stakeholders to discuss how it 
targets its resources and prioritizes projects. On the basis of its 
experience in evaluating projects for the fiscal year 2007 budget and 
input from congressional and other stakeholders, AOC revised its 
project prioritization process to more clearly articulate the criteria 
for assigning project ratings. In October 2006, AOC prepared an interim 
project prioritization guide to facilitate the prioritization of 
projects for the fiscal year 2008 budget submission. AOC issued a 
revised guide in February 2007. Congressional stakeholders noted that 
AOC has made improvements in developing a transparent process for 
understanding how and why projects are submitted for funding. 

GAO recommendation and date of the recommendation: 8. Align project 
management staff and resources with AOC's mission-critical goals; 
January 2003; 
Status (month/year of GAO report): Implemented (February 2006); 
Progress and remaining action: In October 2005, AOC implemented a 
project management organization. The organization includes 32 personnel 
with responsibilities for project management, construction management, 
and inspection. The organization is focused on "cradle-to- grave" 
project delivery. Duties considered to be "collateral," such as design 
reviews, are being reassigned to other AOC officials outside of the new 
organization. 

GAO recommendation and date of the recommendation: 9. Develop a method 
to establish and track more accurate budget targets. This method could 
include tracking and reporting on the following to help AOC refine 
targets: 
* accuracy of cost estimates compared with bids; 
* accuracy of budget compared with final project costs; 
* amount of excess project funds and how funds are used; and; 
* cost data for the Construction Branch (which is within the 
Construction Division), including current working estimates; September 
2005; 
Status (month/ year of GAO report): Making progress; 
Progress and remaining action: Progress; 
* AOC has established additional measures that should help the agency 
develop and track more accurate budget targets for projects; 
* In addition to measures for (1) the ratio of the government estimate 
to the average of the bid amount and (2) the contract award cost versus 
the government estimate,; AOC has implemented the use of a project 
closeout sheet that project managers are required to complete at the 
conclusion of each project. The sheet includes information on the 
accuracy of the budget compared with final project costs and the 
disposition of excess project funds; 
Remaining actions; 
* AOC must develop the capability to better track cost data for the 
Construction Division, including current working estimates for projects 
conducted by the division. A peer review group within AOC issued 
recommendations in April 2006 designed to improve the agency's ability 
to track cost data for the division, including standardizing the cost 
estimating process; 
* AOC is also reviewing its methods for estimating Construction 
Division project costs, including contingency costs and allocations for 
construction management and administration, to improve the accuracy of 
project cost estimates. 

GAO recommendation and date of the recommendation: 10. Expedite the 
development of a customer satisfaction survey for construction 
services; September 2005; 
Status (month/year of GAO report): Implemented (February 2007); 
Progress and remaining action: AOC completed the development of its 
customer satisfaction survey for construction services in March 2006. 

GAO recommendation and date of the recommendation: 11. Clarify roles 
and responsibilities of staff, including the role of jurisdictional 
executives and responsibility for developing Programs of Requirements; 
September 2005; 
Status (month/year of GAO report): Implemented (February 2007); 
Progress and remaining action: AOC defined roles and responsibilities 
and completed position descriptions for the jurisdictional executives, 
project managers, and construction managers. AOC has discussed and 
plans to continue discussing these roles and responsibilities at its 
staff meetings and individually with the jurisdictional executives, 
project managers, and construction managers. 

GAO recommendation and date of the recommendation: 12. Revise project 
management manuals to reflect changes in how AOC plans for, designs, 
and constructs projects; develop management controls to ensure 
compliance with manuals; September 2005; 
Status (month/year of GAO report): Implemented (February 2007); 
Progress and remaining action: AOC has identified revisions for and 
continuously revises its project management manuals. These manuals are 
made available through AOC's internal network. AOC tracks compliance 
with the manuals through its project performance measures. 

GAO recommendation and date of the recommendation: 13. Develop or 
modify information systems to provide needed cost and schedule data on 
projects and track reasons for changes across all projects; September 
2005; 
Status (month/year of GAO report): Making progress; 
Progress and remaining action: Progress; 
* AOC currently tracks cost and schedule data and reasons for changes 
across all projects in its quarterly status report--a report that is 
manually prepared and not supported by AOC's current information 
systems; 
* AOC's steering group, the Project Information Center Business 
Reengineering Task Force, identified AOC's project information system 
requirements, which includes the automation of AOC's quarterly 
construction projects progress report; 
* AOC officials noted that reengineering of the project information 
system is one of AOC's top project management priorities for AOC; 
* AOC requested funding for an assessment of the current system in its 
fiscal year 2007 budget; 
* In the interim, AOC plans to begin modifying the current project 
information system with available in-house resources in fiscal year 
2007 and requested funding for further modifications in its fiscal year 
2008 budget; 
Remaining action; 
* AOC needs to complete the modification of its project information 
system to assist managers in more proactively managing projects, 
provide needed cost and schedule data on projects, and track reasons 
for changes across all projects. 

Source: GAO analysis of AOC data. 

[End of table] 

Facilities Management: 

AOC has taken steps to improve how it measures performance and tracks 
demand work orders. For example, in May 2006, AOC began implementing a 
new facilities management information system that will enhance its 
tracking and reporting capabilities. Currently, all jurisdictions are 
using the new system to track demand work orders. As implementation 
continues, AOC plans to continue analyzing its workload data to develop 
metrics for the new system. Additionally, AOC officials plan to 
benchmark AOC's performance measures with peer organizations. These 
officials said that they used the International Facilities Management 
Association's key performance indicators to develop performance 
measures for AOC's revised strategic plan. While these are important 
steps, AOC must complete the development of its metrics and input its 
preventive maintenance work orders before it can more accurately track 
performance. Furthermore, the new facilities management information 
system must be used in conjunction with the new cost accounting system-
-a system that will be phased in over several years--before AOC will be 
able to fully use data provided by the new facilities management 
information system. See table 6 for more information on the 
implementation status of our recommendations on facilities management. 

Table 6: Current Status of Recommendations on Facilities Management: 

GAO recommendation and date of the recommendation: 1. To improve how 
AOC measures its performance in the areas of timeliness and cost, the 
agency should do the following: develop more specific timeliness 
measures that more accurately reflect the amount of time required to 
complete tasks; develop the capability to comprehensively and routinely 
track cost performance measures; and benchmark performance measures 
against those of similar institutions, such as the Smithsonian 
Institution and state capitols; December 2005; 
Status (month/year of GAO report): Making progress; 
Progress and remaining action: Progress; 
* To develop more specific timeliness measures, AOC made timeliness a 
requirement in the system specifications for the new facilities 
management information system--a system that is currently being 
implemented. Although this new system currently has the capability to 
collect data as granular as needed, AOC has not been collecting data at 
a level less than 30 days. AOC plans to assess whether there is a need 
for data in other timeliness categories; 
* As part of the implementation process for the new system, AOC 
officials told us they are collecting and analyzing data on their 
workload to develop more accurate metrics; 
* To benchmark performance measures, AOC has plans to reach out to peer 
organizations, including the Smithsonian Institution and Texas state 
capital. AOC officials told us that that they used the International 
Facilities Management Association's operations and maintenance 
benchmarks to develop performance measures for AOC's revised strategic 
plan; 
Remaining actions; 
* AOC needs to continue analyzing its workload data to develop more 
accurate timeliness and cost metrics; 
* Although AOC continues to develop more accurate cost metrics, the new 
facilities management information system must be used in conjunction 
with the new cost accounting system--a system that will be phased in 
over several years--before AOC will be able to fully use data provided 
by the facilities management information system; 
* AOC needs to continue with its benchmarking efforts with peer 
organizations. 

GAO recommendation and date of the recommendation: 2. Use the new 
facilities management information system to track preventive 
maintenance and demand work orders across all jurisdictions, including 
the time taken to complete work orders; December 2005; 
Status (month/ year of GAO report): Making progress; 
Progress and remaining action: Progress; 
* Currently, all AOC jurisdictions are using the new facilities 
management information system to track demand work orders; 
Remaining action; 
* AOC needs to input its preventive maintenance work orders into the 
new facilities management information system to improve the tracking of 
these work orders across all jurisdictions. According to AOC, these 
work orders will be implemented case by case, on the basis of funding 
and data availability. 

Source: GAO analysis of AOC data. 

[End of table] 

Worker Safety: 

AOC has taken steps to improve worker safety and has implemented 1 
worker safety recommendation over the past year. Specifically, AOC has 
implemented 7 of 34 specialized safety policies,[Footnote 26] completed 
a job hazard analysis process to identify hazards, and implemented a 
system to track investigations of incidents and follow-up. AOC also has 
selected a data management system that will track and record employee 
training, licensing, and certification and clarified the role of the 
Office of the Attending Physician (OAP), including having OAP provide 
reports to AOC jurisdictions when employees are due or past due for 
their medical surveillance examinations. Overall, AOC's injury and 
illness rate declined from 17.9 in fiscal year 2000 to 4.9 in fiscal 
year 2006. However, several critical actions remain to further improve 
worker safety. For example, AOC will not be able to fully achieve its 
goal of long-term cultural change until it fully implements the 
specialized safety policies, which current draft plans indicate will 
not occur until the end of fiscal year 2009. AOC also needs to align 
its training system with its system to track and identify corrective 
actions for hazards and incidents in order to target training needs to 
address high-risk areas. Finally, although AOC added worker safety as a 
standard topic in its biennial employee focus group script, AOC needs a 
more rigorous (and anonymous) approach to measuring employee's 
perceptions of AOC's safety climate, which may identify successful 
strategies to expand and areas that need focused attention to improve. 
See table 7 for more information on the implementation status of our 
recommendations on worker safety. 

While AOC is making progress in improving worker safety, in March 2006, 
the utility tunnel workers sent a letter to Congress complaining of 
unsafe working conditions in the tunnels, including falling concrete, 
asbestos, and extreme heat. In February 2006, the Office of Compliance 
(OOC) filed a complaint against AOC concerning hazards in the tunnels, 
including falling concrete, an inadequate communication system for 
these confined spaces, and inadequate escape exits. AOC has taken steps 
to address these issues--including establishing safety and access 
procedures for the tunnels and upgrading 15 tunnel entry and exit 
points--and continues to work with the tunnel workers and the OOC to 
address these issues. 

Table 7: Current Status of Recommendations on Worker Safety: 

GAO recommendation and date of the recommendation: 1. Identify 
performance measures for safety goals and objectives, including 
measures for how AOC will implement the 43 specialized safety programs 
and how superintendents and employees will be held accountable for 
achieving results; January 2003; 
Status (month/year of GAO report): Making progress; 
Progress and remaining actions: Progress; 
* As of December 2006, AOC's plan is to consolidate individual safety 
policies into a safety manual (with a tentative completion date of 
December 31, 2007). The individual safety policies, which now number 
34, remain at various stages of implementation. Seven policies have 
been implemented; AOC has identified draft implementation dates for the 
remaining policies, ranging from September 2007 to September 2009. In 
addition to these 34, AOC has implemented 2 additional safety policies 
covering safety meetings among senior management officials (Safety, 
Health, and Environment Council (SHEC)) and jurisdiction-level 
officials (Jurisdiction Occupational Safety and Health Committees); 
* AOC has developed workbooks to help AOC staff implement the safety 
policies. AOC employee evaluations contain a broad safety evaluation 
criterion, which can be customized to individual employees; 
Remaining action; 
* AOC has yet to fully implement the safety policies. AOC plans to 
complete its safety manual by the end of calendar year 2007. It has 
developed draft plans to finish implementing the policies by the end of 
fiscal year 2009. 

GAO recommendation and date of the recommendation: 2. Establish clearly 
defined and documented policies and procedures for reporting hazards 
similar to those that apply to injury and illness reporting; January 
2003; 
Status (month/year of GAO report): Implemented (February 2007); 
Progress and remaining actions: AOC has completed a job hazard analysis 
(JHA) process including describing the steps associated with each job 
task, identifying potential hazards associated with each task, 
developing the appropriate controls to eliminate or reduce the hazards, 
developing a training program to perform JHAs, and assisting first-line 
supervisors with performing qualitative JHAs. In addition, AOC has 
completed a "step-by-step plan" that provides a general approach for 
jurisdictions to manage their implementation of the JHA process. 
Finally, AOC has included a telephone number for reporting hazards in 
its monthly safety newsletters, which are distributed AOC-wide. The 
Architect has approved the Hazard Assessment and Control Policy. 

GAO recommendation and date of the recommendation: 3. Establish a 
consistent AOC-wide system for conducting investigations and follow- 
up; January 2003; 
Status (month/year of GAO report): Implemented (February 2006); 
Progress and remaining actions: AOC has fulfilled this recommendation 
with the approval of its interim incident notification, investigation, 
and reporting policy. AOC also implemented the incident analysis 
module, a component of the facility management assistant program. This 
module provides an electronic recordkeeping approach to track the 
investigation of incidents associated with AOC personnel and property. 
In addition, the module interfaces with the facility management 
assistant program by creating a deficiency report when corrective 
actions associated with an incident are identified. Moreover, an AOC-
wide incident investigation form has been implemented across the 
jurisdictions. Finally, lessons learned are shared in a number of ways, 
including through AOC's safety support group. 

GAO recommendation and date of the recommendation: 4. Establish a 
safety-training curriculum that fully supports all of the goals of the 
safety program and further evaluate the effectiveness of the training 
provided; January 2003; 
Status (month/year of GAO report): Implemented (February 2006); 
Progress and remaining actions: AOC has fulfilled this recommendation 
in establishing training that supports the goals of the current safety 
policies. For example, during the implementation review process, AOC 
revalidated training requirements against regulatory requirements. 
Moreover, Safety Policy Managers have worked with the Human Resources 
Management Division to ensure that training required by upcoming 
policies has been identified. In addition, AOC has completed a training 
workbook exercise to assess the overall impact of required safety 
policy training on its budget. Also, central staff safety professionals 
continue to audit training courses and provide feedback to course 
instructors. Finally, AOC has been using injury and illness data to 
identify training needs. 

GAO recommendation and date of the recommendation: 5. Assign clear 
responsibility for tracking and recording training received by AOC 
employees, including maintaining an inventory of employees' 
certifications and licenses; January 2003; 
Status (month/year of GAO report): Making progress; 
Progress and remaining actions: Progress; 
* AOC has chosen a data management system--AVUE--that will, among other 
things, track and record employee training, licensing, and 
certification. Safety personnel have met with AVUE designers to ensure 
that the designers fully understand AOC's safety training needs; 
Remaining action; 
* AOC needs to develop AVUE's capacity to track employee training. AOC 
expects to implement the first phase of AVUE in July 2007. This phase 
would establish an automated training request and approval process. The 
second phase of AVUE implementation will expand the system's capacity 
to track required training, licenses, and certification, but AOC has 
not set a specific completion date for the second phase. 

GAO recommendation and date of the recommendation: 6. Clarify and 
explore the possibility of expanding the role of the Office of the 
Attending Physician (OAP) in helping AOC meet its safety goals, 
consistent with the broad responsibilities laid out in the 1998 
Memorandum of Understanding between AOC and OAP; January 2003; 
Status (month/year of GAO report): Implemented (February 2006); 
Progress and remaining actions: AOC has fulfilled this recommendation 
by working with OAP to ensure that the lists of medical surveillance 
program participants are current. In addition, OAP is providing reports 
to AOC jurisdictions when employees are either (1) due or (2) past due 
for their medical surveillance examinations. AOC is also drafting a 
document on the scope of medical surveillance services to better define 
and communicate the agency's requirements to OAP to ensure a common 
understanding and set of expectations. 

GAO recommendation and date of the recommendation: 7. Establish a 
senior management work group that will routinely discuss workers' 
compensation cases and costs, and develop strategies to reduce these 
injuries and costs; January 2003; 
Status (month/year of GAO report): Implemented (August 2004); 
Progress and remaining actions: AOC has fulfilled this recommendation 
by developing performance measures to assess the long-term impact and 
trends of workers' compensation injuries and costs. In addition, 
through SHEC, safety and human resource officials are exchanging 
information and data to control workers' compensation injuries and 
costs. Finally, through SHEC, the relationship between safety and 
workers' compensation injuries and illnesses is being promoted. 

GAO recommendation and date of the recommendation: 8. To enhance worker 
safety performance measures at AOC, the Architect of the Capitol should 
direct the COO to expand upon its safety perception survey by 
developing a more rigorous methodological approach and collecting such 
information on a more regular basis; August 2004; 
Status (month/year of GAO report): Making progress; 
Progress and remaining actions: Progress; 
* AOC has added worker safety as a standard topic in its biennial focus 
group script, indicated it conducts daily shop safety meetings, and 
included a telephone number for reporting hazards in its monthly safety 
newsletters; 
Remaining action; 
* AOC needs to adopt a more rigorous (and anonymous) approach to 
measuring employee's perceptions of AOC's safety climate--perceptions, 
for example, of management commitment, discipline policies, and hazard 
corrections-- that could help AOC identify successful strategies for 
application to other areas as well as areas that need focused attention 
to improve. 

Source: GAO analysis of AOC data. 

[End of table] 

Capitol Power Plant Management: 

AOC has made progress in improving CPP management[Footnote 27] and 
efficiently staffing the modernized power plant, but more work remains. 
For example, AOC took interim steps to modify existing positions--as 
they have been vacated--to reflect the additional skill sets required 
to successfully operate and maintain the modernized plant. Since 
October 2005, AOC has been working with a consultant to develop a new 
workload analysis and staffing implementation plan and received the 
results of the analysis and recommendations in November 2006. On the 
basis of these results, AOC is developing a reorganization plan to 
reflect the recommendations, which it expects to submit to Congress for 
approval in March 2007. In anticipation of the staffing changes, AOC 
has been using attrition to reduce and realign the CPP workforce and is 
currently keeping seven vacated positions vacant, four of which will be 
filled by internal candidates and will not impact the staffing numbers. 
See table 8 for more information on the implementation status of our 
recommendations on CPP management. 

Table 8: Current Status of Recommendations on CPP Management: 

GAO recommendation and date of the recommendation: 1. By the end of 
fiscal year 2005, AOC should develop an implementation plan for 
adopting its consultant's November 2004 recommendations without 
decreasing system reliability or violating environmental air permits 
that are in effect. The consultant's report recommended that AOC; 
* use the most economically priced fuel to operate the steam boilers 
and; 
* reduce current CPP staff from 88 positions to 46 positions; April 
2005[A]; 
Status (month/year of GAO report): Making progress; 
Progress and remaining action: Progress; 
* AOC evaluates and adjusts fuel sources on an ongoing basis to use the 
most economically priced fuel; 
* AOC has worked with a contractor to develop a new workload analysis 
and staffing implementation plan. The workload analysis, completed in 
November 2006, recommends a reduction in staff, and AOC is developing a 
reorganization plan; 
* AOC also has been using attrition to reduce and realign the CPP 
workforce in anticipation of recommended changes. For example, seven 
vacated positions are currently being kept vacant, four of which will 
be filled by internal candidates and will not affect CPP's staffing 
numbers; 
Remaining action; 
* AOC needs to develop and implement a staffing plan that is based on 
the recommendations from the recent consultant's study. 

GAO recommendation and date of the recommendation: 2. AOC should not 
wait to implement prudent operational and incremental organizational 
changes in anticipation of a more permanent organization when the West 
Refrigeration Plant Expansion project is complete. If carefully 
planned, anticipated workforce reductions can be managed in a manner 
that minimizes adverse impacts. Workforce planning can result in CPP 
employees being placed in other AOC organizations and can account for 
natural attrition by considering the retirement eligibility of current 
employees; April 2005[A]; 
Status (month/year of GAO report): Implemented (February 2007); 
Progress and remaining action: AOC fulfilled our recommendation to 
implement prudent operational and incremental organizational changes in 
anticipation of a more permanent organization when the West 
Refrigeration Plant Expansion project is complete. In January 2007, the 
CPP took use and possession of the new West Refrigeration Plant 
Expansion chiller systems to support the campus cooling loads. The West 
Refrigeration Plant Expansion project is scheduled to finish in June 
2007, but the construction contract will remain open until the Boiler 
House Distributed Control System project is completed in January 2008. 
To implement incremental organizational changes, AOC indicated that it 
has taken steps to modify existing positions--as they have been 
vacated--to reflect the additional skill sets required to successfully 
operate and maintain the modernized plant. These steps are intermediate 
to permanent staffing changes that are expected to be made once AOC 
implements the staffing plan outlined in its November 2006 consultant's 
report. Moreover, the completion of AOC's staffing study, which 
includes a phased implementation plan to achieve CPP's permanent 
organizational structure, supersedes the need to make interim changes. 
Accordingly, we expect AOC to take no further action to implement this 
recommendation. 

GAO recommendation and date of the recommendation: 3. To ensure that 
CPP is staffed efficiently and that CPP personnel are trained to 
operate the modernized power plant safely, we recommend that the 
Architect of the Capitol; 
* develop and implement a staffing plan for CPP that is based on the 
results of its most recent consultant's study and; 
* evaluate the training provided to CPP operators and use the 
evaluation results in implementing the staffing plan; February 2006[B]; 
Status (month/year of GAO report): Making progress; 
Progress and remaining action: Progress; 
* AOC has worked with a consultant to develop a new workload analysis 
and staffing implementation plan. The consultant issued the results of 
the study in November 2006. On the basis of these results, AOC is 
developing a reorganization proposal, which it expects to deliver to 
Congress for approval in March 2007; 
* The consultant also evaluated the operator training program and is 
preparing its evaluation report. AOC expects to receive the results of 
the evaluation by early March 2007; 
Remaining action; 
* AOC needs to develop and implement a staffing plan for CPP and 
incorporate the results of the training evaluation. 

Source: GAO analysis of AOC data. 

[A] GAO, Capitol Power Plant: Actions Needed to Improve Operating 
Efficiency (Washington, D.C.: Apr. 8, 2005), issued as unnumbered 
correspondence. 

[B] GAO, Architect of the Capitol: Addressing Staffing and Training 
Issues Is Important for Efficient and Safe West Refrigeration Plant 
Operations, GAO-06-321R (Washington, D.C.: Feb. 10, 2006). 

[End of table] 

Recycling: 

AOC has implemented the recommendations related to developing a 
strategic approach to recycling. In January 2006, AOC finalized its 
recycling program mission, goals, and performance measures. The 
performance measures are also in AOC's revised strategic plan and the 
Senate and House business plans. To monitor performance, AOC reports on 
the status of its recycling performance measures in the quarterly 
Safety, Health, and Environmental Council meetings. Additionally, AOC 
formed a Legislative Branch recycling group that met for the first time 
in September 2006. This group plans to meet quarterly to discuss common 
issues and best management practices. To clarify responsibilities and 
hold staff accountable for achieving recycling goals, AOC has included 
recycling tasks in its position descriptions and included recycling 
responsibilities for recycling managers and supervisors in its 
evaluation system. For example, the performance evaluation system 
includes recycling objectives in the ratings of Senate and House 
recycling managers to hold them accountable for program results. See 
table 9 for more information on the implementation status of our 
recommendations on recycling. 

Table 9: Current Status of Recommendations on Recycling: 

GAO recommendation and date of the recommendation: 1. Develop a clear 
mission and goals for AOC's recycling program with input from key 
congressional stakeholders as part of its proposed environmental master 
plan. AOC may want to establish reasonable goals on the basis of the 
total waste stream--information it plans to obtain as part of its long- 
term environmental management plan--that could potentially be recycled; 
January 2003; 
Status (month/year of GAO report): Implemented (February 2006); 
Progress and remaining action: AOC drafted a mission statement, goals, 
and performance measures for its recycling program and shared this 
draft with congressional stakeholders. The mission for the recycling 
program is to foster an environment that encourages recycling by the 
legislative branch staff through convenient and efficient programs, 
resulting in the diversion of wastes from the solid waste stream. AOC 
established three main goals for its recycling program: (1) increase 
overall recycling rates by diverting office wastes, (2) increase 
overall recycling tonnage by diverting nonoffice wastes, and (3) 
improving communication and coordination among interested legislative 
branch agencies by establishing a recycling working group by the end of 
fiscal year 2006. 

GAO recommendation and date of the recommendation: 2. To further assist 
AOC in developing a more strategic approach for its recycling programs 
and to ensure that congressional input is obtained when it would be 
most useful, we recommend that the Architect of the Capitol direct the 
COO to obtain preliminary input from congressional stakeholders on its 
environmental program plan--particularly as the plan relates to the 
mission and goals of AOC's recycling programs--prior to the completion 
of the plan; August 2004; 
Status (month/year of GAO report): Implemented (February 2006); 
Progress and remaining action: AOC relied on input from internal and 
external stakeholders, including congressional stakeholders, to assist 
in the development of the mission, goals, and performance measures as 
part of its recycling program. 

GAO recommendation and date of the recommendation: 3. Develop a 
performance measurement, monitoring, and evaluation system that 
supports accomplishing AOC's recycling mission and goals; January 2003; 
Status (month/year of GAO report): Implemented (February 2007); 
Progress and remaining action: AOC has established a performance 
measurement, monitoring, and evaluation system that supports its 
recycling mission and goals. AOC finalized its recycling program 
mission, goals, and performance measures in January 2006. These 
performance measures are in AOC's revised strategic plan and the Senate 
and House business plans. To monitor performance, AOC reports on the 
status of its recycling performance measures in the Safety, Health, and 
Environmental Council meetings. Additionally, AOC formed a Legislative 
Branch recycling group that met for the first time in September 2006. 
This group plans to meet quarterly to discuss common issues and share 
best management practices. 

GAO recommendation and date of the recommendation: 4. Examine the roles 
and responsibilities of AOC's recycling program staff to ensure that 
they are performing the right jobs with the necessary authority, and 
holding the staff accountable for achieving program and agency results 
through AOC's performance management system; January 2003; 
Status (month/year of GAO report): Implemented (February 2007); 
Progress and remaining action: AOC included recycling tasks in its 
position descriptions and included recycling responsibilities for 
recycling managers and supervisors in its evaluation system. For 
example, the performance evaluation system includes recycling 
objectives in the ratings of Senate and House recycling managers to 
hold them accountable for program results. 

Source: GAO analysis of AOC data. 

[End of table] 

[End of section] 

Appendix II: GAO Contact and Staff Acknowledgments: 

GAO Contact: 

Terrell G. Dorn, (202) 512-6923, or dornt@gao.gov: 

Staff Acknowledgments: 

In addition to the individual named above, key contributors to this 
report were Shirley L. Abel, Mark Bird, John C. Craig, Elizabeth Curda, 
Amr Desouky, Elizabeth R. Eisenstadt, Elena P. Epps, Brett S. 
Fallavollita, Jeanette M. Franzel, Mary Hatcher, Randolph C. Hite, 
Heather Krause, Neelaxi Lakhmani, Steven G. Lozano, Valerie Melvin, 
David Merrill, Susan Michal-Smith, Sara Ann Moessbauer, Stephanie Sand, 
Natalie Schneider, Bernice Steinhardt, John J. Reilly, Jr., Sarah E. 
Veale, Sara Vermillion, and Merry Woo. 

FOOTNOTES 

[1] GAO, Architect of the Capitol: Management and Accountability 
Framework Needed for Organizational Transformation, GAO-03-231 
(Washington, D.C.: Jan. 17, 2003). 

[2] GAO, Architect of the Capitol: Management Challenges Remain, GAO-06-
290 (Washington, D.C.: Feb. 21, 2006); Architect of the Capitol: 
Midyear Status Report on Implementation of Management Review 
Recommendations, GAO-04-966 (Washington, D.C.: Aug. 31, 2004); and 
Architect of the Capitol: Status Report on Implementation of Management 
Review Recommendations, GAO-04-299 (Washington, D.C.: Jan. 30, 2004). 

[3] In September 2006, we briefed the House Appropriations Committee on 
AOC's outsourcing efforts. 

[4] In June 2006, we briefed the Senate Appropriations Committee on 
AOC's procedures for estimating project costs and a comparison of AOC's 
and other agencies' project costs. 

[5] GAO, Capitol Power Plant Utility Tunnels, GAO-07-227R (Washington, 
D.C.: Nov. 16, 2006). 

[6] Since February 2006, we have testified at nine hearings on the 
status of the CVC project. Our most recent testimony was in February 
2007. See GAO, Capitol Visitor Center: Update on Status of Project's 
Schedule and Cost as of February 16, 2007, GAO-07-507T (Washington, 
D.C.: Feb. 16, 2007. 

[7] Although this report draws on our ongoing work on the CVC, we did 
not include the status of the specific recommendations made to AOC on 
the management of the CVC project. 

[8] Sen. Rep. No. 107-37, at 28-29 (2001) and H.R. Conf. Rep. No. 107- 
148, at 73 (2001). 

[9] Pub. L. No. 107-68, 115 Stat. 560, 580 (2001), 2 U.S.C. § 1801 
note. 

[10] H.R. Conf. Rep. No. 108-10, at 1225 (2003), accompanying Pub. L. 
No. 108-7 (2003). 

[11] GAO-03-231. 

[12] The 29 additional recommendations include 4 issued in January 
2004, 13 issued in August 2004, 9 issued in February 2006, and 3 issued 
on the management of CPP. The recommendations to improve the management 
of CPP were issued in April 2005 and February 2006. See GAO, Capitol 
Power Plant: Actions Needed to Improve Operating Efficiency 
(Washington, D.C.: Apr. 8, 2005), which was issued as an unnumbered 
correspondence; and Architect of the Capitol: Addressing Staffing and 
Training Issues Is Important for Efficient and Safe West Refrigeration 
Plant Operations, GAO-06-321R (Washington, D.C.: Feb. 10, 2006) for the 
CPP recommendations. 

[13] Pursuant to 2 U.S.C. § 1801, the process for hiring a new 
Architect involves the establishment of a commission composed of the 
Speaker of the House; the President Pro Tempore of the Senate; the 
majority and minority leaders of the Senate and House, and the Chairmen 
and Ranking Minority Members of the House Oversight Committee, the 
Senate Rules and Administration Committee, and the Senate and House 
Appropriations Committees. The commission recommends at least three 
individuals to the President for the position of the Architect. An 
Architect is then appointed by the President with the advice and 
consent of the Senate for a term of 10 years. 

[14] 2 U.S.C. § 1804. 

[15] In August 2006, AOC also issued a COO action plan, which is a 1-to 
2-year plan that sets forth "quick hit" tactical actions intended to 
help AOC become a more strategic and accountable organization. 
According to the plan, once these actions are completed, the action 
plan will no longer be necessary, since the strategic plan will serve 
as the vehicle for change and process improvement. 

[16] GAO, Commercial Activities Panel: Improving the Sourcing Decisions 
of the Federal Government, GAO-02-847T (Washington, D.C.: Sept. 27, 
2002). 

[17] AOC also outsourced about 90 percent of capitalized expenditures 
for fiscal year 2005; however, AOC's capitalized expenditures were not 
comparable with similar organizations. 

[18] We provided this finding in our September 2006 briefing to the 
House Appropriations Committee on AOC's outsourcing efforts. 

[19] House Rep. No. 109-485, at 14 (2006). 

[20] Section 832 of the Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2001, 
Pub. L. No. 106-398, 114 Stat. 1654 (2000) required the Comptroller 
General of the United States to convene a panel of experts to study the 
process used by the federal government to make sourcing decisions. 
After a year-long study, this panel published its report in April 2002. 
See Commercial Activities Panel, Improving the Sourcing Decisions of 
the Government: Final Report (Washington, D.C.: Apr. 30, 2002), on the 
GAO Web site, http://www.gao.gov. 

[21] GAO-03-231. 

[22] AOC established employee focus groups as a method for collecting 
employee feedback information on a regular basis. 

[23] GAO-07-227R. 

[24] GAO-04-299 and GAO-04-966. 

[25] During this same time period, GAO made an additional 8 
recommendations related to the Capitol power plant master plan. See 
GAO, Capitol Power Plant Utility Master Plan, GAO-04-456RNI 
(Washington, D.C.: Mar. 1, 2004). AOC implemented 6 of the 
recommendations and is making progress in implementing the remaining 2 
recommendations. Due to the security sensitive nature of these 
recommendations, we did not include these recommendations in this 
report. 

[26] AOC reduced the number of specialized safety policies from 43 to 
34. 

[27] As previously reported, we also reported on CPP's 2004 master plan 
during this same time period. Due to its security sensitive nature, we 
did not include it in this report. 

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