VA Health Care:

Delays in Awarding Major Construction Contracts

HRD-90-91: Published: Apr 5, 1990. Publicly Released: Apr 5, 1990.

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Pursuant to a legislative requirement, GAO reviewed the Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) implementation of Public Law 100-404, which appropriated funds for 18 construction contracts, each estimated to cost at least $2 million.

GAO found that: (1) VA reported to the appropriate congressional committees all the required projects, but did not have working drawings or award construction contracts by September 1989, as the law required; (2) delayed contracting of 17 construction projects did not constitute an improper impoundment of budget authority; (3) VA actions showed no intent to refrain from using funds; and (4) VA contracting delays were most commonly caused by project changes or bids that exceeded available funds. GAO also found that VA had changed its guidelines to provide a reasonable framework for deciding which construction projects should be reported to the appropriate congressional committees.

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