Water Resource Construction Costs Could Be Reduced if Value Engineering Were Applied to More Designs and Applied Earlier in the Design Process

RCED-83-127: Published: May 11, 1983. Publicly Released: May 11, 1983.

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GAO evaluated the effectiveness of the Corps of Engineers' in-house value engineering (VE) program to identify whether opportunities exist to increase VE savings on water project construction.

GAO found that, although VE has reduced the Corps' water resource construction costs by about $565.7 million, greater savings could be achieved by applying VE to more project designs and by applying it earlier. The Corps needs to give increased attention to its water project VE program if maximum savings are to be realized. Further, the selection of designs to be reviewed for VE savings is vital to the success of a program. Given the current budgetary and personnel constraints, GAO believes that more effective use of existing staff is the best alternative for achieving greater VE savings.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army should direct the Chief of Engineers to require that: (1) only water project designs with estimated construction costs exceeding $1 million be considered for VE review unless district management determines that resources are available to review designs of lower cost projects or, in their opinion, circumstances warrant the expenditure of resources for such reviews; and (2) such reviews be done early in the design process, when General Design Memorandums and/or Feature Design Memorandums are approved.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Army should direct the Chief of Engineers to provide guidance to field offices on how they can more effectively use resources to review designs for VE savings. The guidance should provide field offices alternatives which, taken either singly or in combination, could result in VE being applied to more designs. Alternatives that should be considered for inclusion in the guidance are reassigning existing staff to do VE workshops and identifying and using VE expertise in other districts when workload permits.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense: Department of the Army

 

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