What Has GSA Done To Resolve Previously Reported Problems in Its Construction Program?

PLRD-81-7: Published: Mar 27, 1981. Publicly Released: Apr 10, 1981.

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Several design and construction problems that the General Services Administration's (GSA) Public Buildings Service (PBS) has experienced in acquiring Federal buildings were reviewed. It is believed that these problems have a potential for recurrence. The actions taken to implement recommendations made in prior reports were also reviewed.

PBS has taken, or is taking, actions to incorporate improvements previously recommended. It has also taken corrective steps on its own initiative. Breakdowns in communication between PBS and design firms, tenant agencies, and construction contractors have been a serious problem. Failure to communicate effectively in the design phase of a project has shown up in the construction phase as project delays, change orders, and cost increases. A significant problem area has been construction contract design deficiency change orders. This was caused by inadequate or ineffective design reviews by PBS. The most visible construction problem has been in the area of site excavation and foundation construction. Testing and inspection deficiencies resulted in project delays, foundation problems, poor building performance, and vulnerability to contractor claims. Actions, or lack of action, by GSA design and construction management officials have caused contractor claims and construction, maintenance, and operation problems. GSA has experienced many after-occupancy problems relating to design and construction and has attributed some project delays and increases in project costs to the congressionally mandated authorization procedures and the appropriations process. Miscellaneous problem areas identified included: the major repairs and alterations program, the present-value cost analyses methods used by GSA, and the reuse of vacant or underused Government-owned facilities.

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