VA Health Care:

Delays in Awarding Major Construction Contracts

HRD-93-101: Published: May 26, 1993. Publicly Released: May 26, 1993.

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Pursuant to a legislative requirement, GAO reviewed the Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) report on contract award delays on construction contracts funded by 1991 and 1992 appropriations.

GAO found that: (1) VA had not awarded 5 of 12 construction documents contracts for fiscal year (FY) 1992 or 4 of 11 FY 1991 construction contracts, as required; (2) VA had not awarded contracts for 9 other projects funded through FY 1984 through FY 1990 appropriation acts; (3) VA correctly identified 18 projects for which it did not meet the contract award time limits; (4) contracting delays did not constitute an impoundment of budget authority under the Impoundment Control Act, since VA intended to use the funds; (5) VA attributed the contracting delays to project scope and design changes, receipt of construction or construction documents appropriations before preliminary design work had been completed, and unexpected and extensive asbestos abatement projects; and (6) VA expected to award contracts for 12 of the 18 projects by the end of FY 1993.

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