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Before the Subcommittee on the Legislative Branch, Committee on 
Appropriations, U.S. Senate: 

United States Government Accountability Office: 


For Release on Delivery Expected at 10:30 a.m. EDT: 

Thursday, September 15, 2005: 

Capital Visitor Center: 

Schedule Delays Continue; Reassessment Underway: 

Statement of Bernard L. Ungar, Director; 
Terrell Dorn, Assistant Director Physical Infrastructure Issues: 


Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee: 

We are pleased to be here today to assist the Subcommittee in 
monitoring progress on the Capitol Visitor Center (CVC) project. Our 
remarks will focus on (1) the Architect of the Capitol's (AOC) progress 
in managing the project's schedule since the Subcommittee's July 14 
hearing on the project; (2) our estimate of a general time frame for 
completing the base project's construction and the preliminary results 
of our assessment of the risks associated with AOC's July 2005 schedule 
for the base project; and (3) the project's costs and funding, 
including the potential impact of scheduling issues on cost.[Footnote 
1] However, we will not, as originally planned, provide specific 
estimated completion dates because AOC's contractors revised the 
schedule in August to reflect recent delays, but AOC has not yet 
evaluated the revised schedule. AOC believes that the time added to the 
schedule by its contractors is unreasonable. Until AOC completes its 
evaluation and we assess it, any estimates of specific completion dates 
are, in our view, tentative and preliminary. Similarly, we will wait 
until the schedule is stabilized to update our November 2004 estimate 
of the cost to complete the project. Currently, AOC and its consultant, 
McDonough Bolyard Peck (MBP), are still developing their cost-to- 
complete estimates. 

Our remarks today are based on our review of schedules and financial 
reports for the CVC project and related records maintained by AOC and 
its construction management contractor, Gilbane Building Company; our 
observations on the progress of work at the CVC construction site; and 
our discussions with CVC project staff (including AOC, its major CVC 
contractors, and representatives of MBP), AOC's Chief Fire Marshal, and 
officials responsible for managing the Capitol Power Plant. We also 
reviewed applicable appropriations legislation. Appendix I provides 
more detailed information on our assessment of the project's schedule. 
We did not perform an audit; rather, we performed our work to assist 
Congress in conducting its oversight activities. 

In summary, although AOC and its construction contractors have 
continued to make progress since the Subcommittee's July 14 CVC 
hearing, several delays have occurred and more are expected. These 
delays could postpone the base project's completion significantly 
beyond September 15, 2006, the date targeted in AOC's July 2005 
schedule.[Footnote 2] Although not yet fully reviewed and accepted by 
AOC, the schedule that AOC's contractors revised in August 2005 shows 
February 26, 2007, as the base project's completion date. The 
contractors reported this revised date largely because some key 
activities associated with the heating, ventilation, and air- 
conditioning (HVAC) and fire protection systems had not been included 
in previous schedules and because delays were occurring, both in 
constructing the utility tunnel and in completing interior stonework. 

According to our preliminary analysis of the project's July 2005 
schedule, the base project is more likely to be completed sometime in 
the spring or summer of 2007 than by September 15, 2006. Unless the 
project's scope is changed or extraordinary actions are taken, the base 
project is likely to be completed later than September 15, 2006, for 
the reasons cited by the contractors and for other reasons, such as the 
optimistic durations estimated for a number of activities and the risks 
and uncertainties facing the project. AOC believes that the contractors 
added too much time to the schedule in August for activities not 
included in the schedule and that it can expedite the project by 
working concurrently rather than sequentially and by taking other 
actions. While AOC may not need all of the time added for the missing 
activities, CVC project personnel believe that more time will be needed 
than is currently scheduled for other activities, such as the utility 
tunnel, interior finishes and stonework, and the East Front. Because of 
the uncertainty surrounding the base project's construction schedule, 
we cannot estimate a specific completion date at this time. 
Additionally, we are concerned about actions that have been, or could 
be, proposed to accelerate work to meet the September 15, 2006, target 
date. While such actions could expedite the project and save some 
costs, they could also increase other costs or adversely affect the CVC 
facility's quality, functionality, or life safety provisions. The 
project's schedule also raises a number of management concerns, 
including the potential for delays caused by not allowing enough time 
to address potential problems or to complete critical activities. Since 
the Subcommittee's July 14 hearing, we have discussed several actions 
with AOC that we believe are needed to address the CVC project's 
schedule problems and our concerns. These actions include: 

* evaluating the project's revised schedule, including the activity 
durations, to ensure that adequate time is provided;

* analyzing the impact of various factors on the schedule and the 
adequacy of the resources scheduled to be applied to meet completion 

* carefully considering the costs, benefits, and risks associated with 
proposals to accelerate work or reduce its scope and ensuring that 
appropriate management controls are in place to prevent or minimize the 
possible adverse consequences of such actions, if taken;

* proposing a CVC opening date that allows reasonable time between the 
completion of construction and the facility's opening to address 
problems that may arise;

* ensuring that delays and their causes are adequately determined and 
documented on an ongoing basis; and: 

* advising Congress of any plans for accelerating work or reducing its 
scope so that Congress can be involved in such decisions. 

AOC agreed with our suggestions. 

Fiscal year 2006 appropriations have provided sufficient funds to cover 
AOC's request for CVC construction funding as well as additional funds 
for some risks and uncertainties that may arise, such as costs 
associated with additional sequence 2 delays or unexpected conditions. 
Although sequence 2 delays have been occurring, the extent to which the 
government is responsible for their related costs is not clear at this 
time. Additional funding may be necessary if the government is 
responsible for significant delay-related costs or if significant 
changes are made to the project's design or scope or to address 
unexpected conditions. In addition, we and AOC identified some CVC 
construction activities that received duplicate funding. AOC has 
discussed this issue with the House and Senate Appropriations 

Work on the Project Is Progressing, but Delays Continue: 

AOC and its contractors have continued to make progress on the project 
since the Subcommittee's July 14 hearing. However, mostly because some 
key activities associated with the HVAC and fire protection systems 
were not included in earlier schedules and because delays occurred in 
installing stonework and excavating the utility tunnel, the sequence 2 
contractor's August schedule shows the expected completion date for the 
base project as February 26, 2007. As discussed at the Subcommittee's 
July 14 hearing, AOC recognized some delays in its June 2005 schedule, 
which showed the base project's expected completion date as October 19, 
2006. Although AOC has not evaluated the contractor's August schedule, 
it does not believe that so much additional time will be needed. 
Furthermore, as discussed in the next section, AOC maintains that work 
could be accelerated to meet the September 15, 2006, target date. 

Project's Schedule, Including Possible Actions to Accelerate Work, 
Raises Management Concerns: 

According to our analysis of the CVC project's schedule, the base 
project is unlikely to be completed by the September 15, 2006, target 
date for several reasons. AOC believes that it could take actions to 
complete the project by then, but these actions could have negative as 
well as positive consequences. These and other schedule-related issues 
raise a number of management concerns. We have discussed actions with 
AOC officials that we believe are necessary to address problems with 
the schedule and our concerns. AOC generally agreed with our 

Base Project's Construction Is Likely to Be Completed Later Than 
Scheduled for Several Reasons: 

For several reasons, we believe that the base project is more likely to 
be completed sometime in the spring or summer of 2007 than by September 
15, 2006: 

* As we have previously testified, AOC's sequence 2 contractor, 
Manhattan Construction Company, has continued to miss its planned dates 
for completing activities that we and AOC are tracking to assist the 
Subcommittee in measuring the project's progress. For example, as of 
September 8, the contractor had completed 7 of the 16 selected 
activities scheduled for completion before today's hearing (see app. 
II); however, none of the 7 activities was completed on time. 
Unforeseen site conditions, an equipment breakdown, delays in stone 
deliveries, and a shortage of stone masons for the interior stonework 
were among the reasons given for why the work was not completed on 
time.[Footnote 3] Our analysis of the sequence 2 contractor's 
production pace between November 2004 and July 2005 indicates that the 
base project's construction is unlikely to be finished by September 15, 
2006, if the contractor continues at the same pace or even accelerates 
the work somewhat. In fact, at the current or even a slightly 
accelerated pace, the base project would be completed several months 
after September 15, 2006. To finish the base project's construction by 
that date, our analysis shows that the sequence 2 contractor would have 
to recover 1 day for every 8 remaining days between July 2005 and 
September 2006 and could incur no further delays.[Footnote 4]

* We continue to believe that the durations scheduled for a number of 
sequence 2 activities are unrealistic. According to CVC project team 
managers and staff, several activities, such as constructing the 
utility tunnel; testing the fire protection system; testing, balancing, 
and commissioning the HVAC system; installing interior stonework; and 
finishing work in some areas are not likely to be completed as 
indicated in the July 2005 schedule. Some of these are among the 
activities whose durations we identified as optimistic in early 2004 
and that we and AOC's construction management contractor identified as 
contributing most to the project's schedule slippage in August 2005; 
these activities also served as the basis for our March 2004 
recommendation to AOC that it reassess its activity durations to see 
that they are realistic and achievable at the budgeted cost. Because 
AOC had not yet implemented this recommendation and these activities 
were important to the project's completion, we suggested in our May 17 
testimony before the Subcommittee that AOC give priority attention to 
this recommendation.[Footnote 5] AOC's construction management 
contractor initiated such a review after the May 17 hearing. Including 
more time in the schedule to complete these activities could add many 
more weeks to the project's schedule. 

* AOC's more aggressive schedule management is identifying significant 
omissions of activities and time from the sequence 2 schedule. AOC's 
approach, though very positive, is coming relatively late in the 
project. For example, several detailed activities associated with 
testing, balancing, and commissioning the CVC project's HVAC and fire 
protection system were added to the schedule in July and August, 
extending the schedule by several months. AOC believes, and we agree, 
that some of this work may be done concurrently, rather than 
sequentially as shown in the August schedule, thereby saving some of 
the added time. However, until more work is done to further develop 
this part of the schedule, it is unclear how much time could be saved. 
Furthermore, the July schedule does not appear to include time to 
address significant problems with the HVAC or fire alarm systems should 
they occur during testing. 

* In August 2005, CVC project personnel identified several risks and 
uncertainties facing the project that they believed could adversely 
affect its schedule. Examples include additional unforeseen conditions 
in constructing the utility and House Connector tunnels; additional 
delays in stonework due to slippages in stone deliveries, shortages of 
stone masons, or stop-work orders responding to complaints about noise 
from work in the East Front; and problems in getting the HVAC and fire 
protection systems to function properly, including a sophisticated air 
filtration system that has not been used before on such a large scale. 
Providing for these risks and uncertainties in the schedule could add 
another 60 to 90 days to the completion date, on top of the additional 
time needed to perform activities that were not included in the 
schedule or whose durations were overly optimistic. 

* Over the last 2 months, AOC's construction management contractor has 
identified 8 critical activity paths that will extend the base 
project's completion date beyond September 15, 2006, if lost time 
cannot be recovered or further delays cannot be prevented. These 8 
activity paths are in addition to 3 that were previously identified by 
AOC's construction management contractor. In addition, the amount of 
time that has to be recovered to meet the September 15 target has 
increased significantly. The activity paths include work on the utility 
tunnel and testing and balancing the HVAC system; procuring and 
installing the control wiring for the air handling units; testing the 
fire alarm system; millwork and casework in the orientation theaters 
and atrium; and stonework in the East Front, orientation theaters, and 
exhibit gallery. Having so many critical activity paths complicates 
project management and makes on-time completion more difficult. 

Possible Actions to Accelerate Work Raise Concerns: 

AOC believes it can recover much of the lost time and mitigate 
remaining risks and uncertainties through such actions as using 
temporary equipment, adding workers, working longer hours, resequencing 
work, or performing some work after the CVC facility opens. AOC said 
that it is also developing a risk mitigation plan that should contain 
additional steps it can take to address the risks and uncertainties 
facing the project. Various AOC actions could expedite the project and 
save costs, but they could also have less positive effects. For 
example, accelerating work on the utility tunnel could save costs by 
preventing or reducing delays in several other important activities 
whose progress depends on the tunnel's completion. Conversely, using 
temporary equipment or adding workers to overcome delays could increase 
the project's costs if the government is responsible for the delays. 
Furthermore, (1) actions to accelerate the project may not save time; 
(2) the time savings may be offset by other problems; or (3) working 
additional hours, days, or shifts may adversely affect the quality of 
the work or worker safety. In our opinion, decisions to accelerate work 
must be carefully made, and if the work is accelerated, it must be 
tightly managed. 

Possible proposals from contractors to accelerate the project by 
changing the scope of work or its quality could compromise the CVC 
facility's life safety system, the effective functioning of the 
facility's HVAC system, the functionality of the facility to meet its 
intended purposes, or the life-cycle costs of materials. In August, 
project personnel raised such possibilities as lessening the rigor of 
systems' planned testing, opening the facility before all planned 
testing is done, or opening the facility before completing all the work 
identified by Capitol Preservation Commission representatives as having 
to be completed for the facility to open. While such measures could 
save time, we believe that the risks associated with these types of 
actions need to be carefully considered before adoption and that 
management controls need to be in place to preclude or minimize any 
adverse consequences of such actions, if taken. 

Project's Schedule Presents Other Management Concerns: 

AOC's schedule presents other management issues, including some that we 
have discussed in earlier testimonies. 

* AOC tied the date for opening the CVC facility to the public to 
September 15, 2006, the date in the sequence 2 contract for completing 
the base project's construction. Joining these two milestones does not 
allow any time for addressing unexpected problems in completing the 
construction work or in preparing for operations. AOC has since 
proposed opening the facility to the public on December 15, 2006, but 
the schedule does not yet reflect this proposed revision. Specifically, 
on September 6, 2005, AOC told Capitol Preservation Commission 
representatives that it was still expecting the CVC base project to be 
substantially completed by September 15, 2006, but it proposed to 
postpone the facility's opening for 3 months to provide time to finish 
testing CVC systems, complete punch-list work, and prepare for 
operating the facility. In our view, allowing some time to address 
unexpected problems is prudent. 

* AOC's and its contractors' reassessment of activity durations in the 
August schedule may not be sufficiently rigorous to identify all those 
that are unrealistic. In reassessing the project's schedule, the 
construction management contractor found some durations to be 
reasonable that we considered likely to be too optimistic. Recently, 
AOC's sequence 2 and construction management contractors reported that, 
according to their reassessment, the durations for interior stonework 
were reasonable. We previously found that these durations were 
optimistic, and CVC project staff we interviewed in August likewise 
believed they were unrealistic. 

* We have previously expressed concerns about a lack of sufficient or 
timely analysis and documentation of delays and their causes and 
determination of responsibility for the delays, and we recommended that 
AOC perform these functions more rigorously. We have not reassessed 
this area recently. However, given the project's uncertain schedule, we 
believe that timely and rigorous analysis and documentation of delays 
and their causes and determination of responsibility for them are 
critical. We plan to reexamine this area again in the next few weeks. 

* The uncertainty associated with the project's construction schedule 
increases the importance of having a summary schedule that integrates 
the completion of construction with preparations for opening the 
facility to the public, as the Subcommittee has requested and we have 
recommended.[Footnote 6] Without such a schedule, it is difficult to 
determine whether all necessary activities have been identified and 
linked to provide for a smooth opening or whether CVC operations staff 
will be hired at an appropriate time. In early September, AOC gave a 
draft operations schedule to its construction management contractor to 
integrate into the construction schedule. 

* As we noted in our July 14 testimony, AOC could incur additional 
costs for temporary work if it opens the CVC facility to the public 
before the construction of the House and Senate expansion spaces is 
substantially complete. As of last week, AOC's contractors were still 
evaluating the construction schedule for the expansion spaces, and it 
was not clear what needs AOC would have for temporary work. The 
schedule, which we received in early September, shows December 2006 as 
the date for completing the construction of the expansion spaces. We 
have not yet assessed the likelihood of the contractor's meeting this 

* Finally, we are concerned about the capacity of the Capitol Power 
Plant (CPP) to provide adequately for cooling, dehumidifying, and 
heating the CVC facility during construction and when it opens to the 
public. Delays in completing CPP's ongoing West Refrigeration Plant 
Expansion Project, the removal from service of two chillers because of 
refrigerant gas leaks, fire damage to a steam boiler, management 
issues, and the absence of a CPP director could potentially affect 
CPP's ability to provide sufficient chilled water and steam for the CVC 
facility and other congressional buildings. These issues are discussed 
in greater detail in appendix III. 

Actions Are Needed and Being Taken to Move the Project Forward and 
Address Concerns: 

Since the Subcommittee's July 14 CVC hearing, we have discussed a 
number of actions with AOC officials that we believe are necessary to 
address problems with the project's schedule and our concerns. AOC 
generally agreed with our suggestions, and a discussion of them and 
AOC's responses follows. 

* By October 31, 2005, work with all relevant stakeholders to reassess 
the entire project's construction schedule, including the schedule for 
the House and Senate expansion spaces, to ensure that all key 
activities are included, their durations are realistic, their sequence 
and interrelationships are appropriate, and sufficient resources are 
shown to accomplish the work as scheduled. Specific activities that 
should be reassessed include testing, balancing, and commissioning the 
HVAC and filtration systems; testing the fire protection system; 
constructing the utility tunnel; installing the East Front mechanical 
(HVAC) system; installing interior stonework and completing finishing 
work (especially plaster work); fabricating and delivering interior 
bronze doors; and fitting out the gift shops. AOC agreed and has 
already asked its construction management and sequence 2 contractors to 
reassess the August schedule. AOC has also asked the sequence 2 
contractor to show how it will recover time lost through delays. 

* Carefully consider the costs, benefits, and risks associated with 
proposals to change the project's scope, modify the quality of 
materials, or accelerate work, and ensure that appropriate management 
controls are in place to prevent or minimize any adverse effects of 
such actions. AOC agreed. It noted that the sequence 2 contractor had 
already begun to work additional hours to recover lost time on the 
utility tunnel. AOC also noted that its construction management 
contractor has an inspection process in place to identify problems with 
quality and has recently enhanced its efforts to oversee worker safety. 

* Propose a CVC opening date to Congress that allows a reasonable 
amount of time between the completion of the base project's 
construction and the CVC facility's opening to address any likely 
problems that are not provided for in the construction schedule. The 
December 15, 2006, opening date that AOC proposed earlier this month 
would provide about 90 days between these milestones if AOC meets its 
September 15, 2006, target for substantial completion. However, we 
continue to believe that AOC will have difficulty meeting the September 
15 target, and although the 90-day period is a significant step in the 
right direction, an even longer period is likely to be needed. 

* Give priority attention to effectively implementing our previous 
recommendations that AOC (1) analyze and document delays and the 
reasons and responsibility for them on an ongoing basis and analyze the 
impact of scope changes and delays on the project's schedule at least 
monthly and (2) advise Congress of any additional costs it expects to 
incur to accelerate work or perform temporary work to advance the CVC 
facility's opening so Congress can weigh the advantages and 
disadvantages of such actions. AOC agreed. 

Project Costs and Funding Provided as of September 2005: 

AOC is still updating its estimate of the cost to complete the CVC 
project, including the base project and the House and Senate expansion 
spaces. As a result, we have not yet had an opportunity to 
comprehensively update our November 2004 estimate that the project's 
estimated cost at completion will likely be between $515.3 million 
without provision for risks and uncertainties and $559 million with 
provision for risks and uncertainties. Since November 2004, we have 
added about $10.3 million to our $515.3 million estimate to account for 
additional CVC design and construction work. (App. IV provides 
information on the project's cost estimates since the original 1999 
estimate.) However, our current $525.6 million estimate does not 
include costs that AOC may incur for delays beyond those delay costs 
included in our November 2004 estimate. Estimating the government's 
costs for delays that occurred after November 2004 is difficult because 
it is unclear who ultimately will bear responsibility for various 
delays. Furthermore, AOC's new estimates may cause us to make further 
revisions to our cost estimates. 

To date, about $528 million has been provided for CVC construction. 
(See app.V.) This amount does not include about $7.8 million that was 
made available for either CVC construction or operations.[Footnote 7] 
In late August, we and AOC found that duplicate funding had been 
provided for certain CVC construction work. Specifically, about 
$800,000 was provided in two separate funding sources for the same 
work. The House and Senate Committees on Appropriations were notified 
of this situation and AOC's plan to address it. The funding that has 
been provided and that is potentially available for CVC construction 
covers the current estimated cost of the facility at completion and 
provides some funds for risks and uncertainties. However, if AOC 
encounters significant additional costs for delays or other changes, 
more funding may be needed. 

Because of the potential for coordination problems with a project as 
large and complex as CVC, we had recommended in July that AOC promptly 
designate responsibility for integrating the planning and budgeting for 
CVC construction and operations. In late August, AOC designated a CVC 
staff member to oversee both CVC construction and operations funding. 
AOC had also arranged for its operations planning consultant to develop 
an operations preparation schedule and for its CVC project executive 
and CVC construction management contractor to prepare an integrated 
construction and operations schedule. AOC has received a draft 
operations schedule and has given it to its construction management 
contractor to integrate into the construction schedule. Pending the 
hiring of an executive director for CVC, which AOC would like to occur 
by the end of January 2006, the Architect of the Capitol said he 
expects his Chief Administrative Officer, who is currently overseeing 
CVC operations planning, to work closely with the CVC project executive 
to integrate CVC construction and operations preparations. 

Work and costs could also be duplicated in areas where the 
responsibilities of AOC's contractors overlap. For example, the 
contracts or planned modification for both AOC's CVC construction 
design contractor and CVC operations contractor include work related to 
the gift shop's design and wayfinding signage. We discussed the 
potential for duplication with AOC, and it agreed to work with its 
operations planning contractor to clarify the contractor's scope of 
work, eliminate any duplication, and adjust the operations contract's 
funding accordingly. 

Mr. Chairman, this concludes our statement. We would be pleased to 
answer any questions that you or Members of the Subcommittee may have. 

Contacts and Acknowledgments: 

For further information about this testimony, please contact Bernard 
Ungar at (202) 512-4232 or Terrell Dorn at (202) 512-6923. Other key 
contributors to this testimony include Shirley Abel, Michael Armes, 
John Craig, George Depaoli, Jr., Maria Edelstein, Elizabeth Eisenstadt, 
Brett Fallavollita, Jeanette Franzel, Jackie Hamilton, Bradley James, 
Scott Riback, and Kris Trueblood. 

[End of section]

Appendix I: Risk Assessment Methodology: 

With the assistance of a contractor, Hulett & Associates, we assessed 
the risks associated with the Architect of the Capitol's (AOC) July 
2005 schedule for the Capitol Visitor Center (CVC) project and used the 
results of our assessment to estimate a time frame for completing the 
base CVC project with and without identified risks and 
uncertainties.[Footnote 8] In August 2005, we and the contractor 
interviewed project managers and team members from AOC and its major 
CVC contractors, a representative from the Army Corps of Engineers, and 
AOC's Chief Fire Marshal to determine the risks they saw in completing 
the remaining work and the time they considered necessary to finish the 
CVC project and open it to the public. Using the project's July 2005 
summary schedule (the most recent schedule available when we did our 
work), we asked the team members to estimate how many workdays would be 
needed to complete the remaining work. More specifically, for each 
summary-level activity that the members had a role or expertise in, we 
asked them to develop three estimates of the activity's duration--the 
least, most likely, and longest time needed to complete the activity. 
We planned to estimate the base project's most likely completion date 
without factoring in risks and uncertainties using the most likely 
activity durations estimated by the team members. In addition, using 
these three-point estimates and a simulation analysis to calculate 
different combinations of the team's estimates that factored in 
identified risks and uncertainties, we planned to estimate completion 
dates for the base project at various confidence levels. 

In August 2005, AOC's construction management and sequence 2 
contractors were updating the July project schedule to integrate the 
construction schedule for the House and Senate expansion spaces, 
reflect recent progress and problems, and incorporate the results to 
date of their reassessment of the time needed for testing, balancing, 
and commissioning the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning, (HVAC) 
system and for fire alarm testing.[Footnote 9] This reassessment was 
being done partly to implement a recommendation we had made to AOC 
after assessing the project's schedule in early 2004 and finding that 
the scheduled durations for these and other activities were optimistic. 
AOC's construction management and sequence 2 contractors found that key 
detailed activities associated with the HVAC system had not been 
included in the schedule and that the durations for a number of 
activities were not realistic. Taking all of these factors into 
account, AOC's contractors revised the project's schedule in August. 
AOC believes that the revised schedule, which shows the base project's 
completion date slipping by several months, allows too much time for 
the identified problems. As a result of this problem and others we 
brought to AOC's attention, AOC has asked its contractors to reassess 
the schedule. AOC's construction management contractor believes that 
such a reassessment could take up to 2 months. In our opinion, there 
are too many uncertainties associated with the base project's schedule 
to develop reliable estimates of specific completion dates, with or 
without provisions for risks and uncertainties. 

[End of section]

Appendix II: Capitol Visitor Center Critical Construction Milestones, 
July-September 2005: 

Activity: Wall Stone Area 8 Layout; 
Location: Great Hall; 
Scheduled completion: 6/20/05; 
Actual completion: 7/25/05. 

Activity: Wall Stone Area 9 Layout; 
Location: Great Hall; 
Scheduled completion: 6/24/05; 
Actual completion: 7/28/05. 

Activity: Wall Stone Area 3a; 
Location: Great Hall; 
Scheduled completion: 7/06/05; 
Actual completion: 7/22/05. 

Activity: Wall Stone Area 2a; 
Location: Great Hall; 
Scheduled completion: 7/06/05; 
Actual completion: 7/25/05. 

Activity: Drill/Set Soldier Piles Sta. 0:00-1:00; 
Location: Utility Tunnel; 
Scheduled completion: 6/08/05. 

Activity: Wall Stone Area 9 Pedestals; 
Location: Great Hall; 
Scheduled completion: 7/05/05. 

Activity: Wall Stone Area 1; 
Location: Cong. Auditorium; 
Scheduled completion: 8/08/05. 

Activity: Wall Stone Area 2; 
Location: Cong. Auditorium; 
Scheduled completion: 8/22/05. 

Activity: Bridge Over First Street; 
Location: Utility Tunnel; 
Scheduled completion: 8/02/05; 
Actual completion: 8/12/05. 

Activity: Wall Stone Area 3; 
Location: Cong. Auditorium; 
Scheduled completion: 9/06/05. 

Activity: Excavate and Lag Stations 1:00-2:00; 
Location: Utility Tunnel; 
Scheduled completion: 8/02/05; 
Actual completion: 8/24/05. 

Activity: Wall Stone Area 4a; 
Location: Great Hall; 
Scheduled completion: 7/15/05; 
Actual completion: 8/30/05. 

Activity: Excavate and Shore Sta. 0:00-1:00; 
Location: Utility Tunnel; 
Scheduled completion: 7/21/05. 

Activity: Concrete Working Slab First Street; 
Location: Utility Tunnel; 
Scheduled completion: 7/26/05. 

Activity: Waterproof Working Slab Sta. 0:00-1:00; 
Location: Utility Tunnel; 
Scheduled completion: 7/29/05. 

Activity: Wall Stone Area 9 Base; 
Location: Great Hall; 
Scheduled completion: 7/15/05. 

Source: AOC's April 2005 CVC sequence 2 construction schedule for the 
scheduled completion dates and AOC and its construction management 
contractor for the actual completion dates. 

Note: Actual completion information was obtained on September 8, 2005. 

[A] These activities are not critical. All other activities were 
critical in the April schedule or became critical in subsequent 

[End of table]

[End of section]

Appendix III: Issues Affecting the Capitol Power Plant's Cooling and 
Heating Capacity: 

Several issues could affect the capacity of the Capitol Power Plant 
(CPP) to provide sufficient chilled water and steam for the CVC 
facility and other congressional buildings. CPP produces chilled water 
for cooling and dehumidification and steam for heating Capitol Hill 
buildings. [Footnote 10] To accommodate the CVC facility and meet other 
needs, CPP has been increasing its production capacity through the West 
Refrigeration Plant Expansion Project. This project, which was 
scheduled for completion in time to provide chilled water for the CVC 
facility during construction and when it opened, has been delayed. In 
addition, problems with aging equipment, fire damage, management 
weaknesses, and a leadership vacancy could affect CPP's ability to 
provide chilled water and steam. More specifically: 

* In July, two chillers in CPP's East Refrigeration Plant were taken 
out of service because of a significant refrigerant gas leak. The 
refrigerant, whose use is being phased out nationally, escaped into the 
surrounding environment. Because of the chillers' age and use of an 
outdated refrigerant, AOC has determined that it would not be cost- 
effective to repair the chillers. CPP's chilled water production 
capacity will be further reduced between December 1, 2005, and March 
15, 2006, when the West Refrigeration Plant is to be shut down to 
enable newly installed equipment to be connected to the existing 
chilled water system. However, the remainder of CPP's East 
Refrigeration Plant is to remain operational during this time, and AOC 
expects that the East Refrigeration Plant will have sufficient capacity 
to meet the lower wintertime cooling demands. Additionally, CPP 
representatives indicated that they could bring the West Refrigeration 
Plant back online to provide additional cooling capacity in an 
emergency. CPP is developing a cost estimate for this option. 

* In June, one of two CPP boilers that burn coal to generate steam was 
damaged by fire. According to a CPP incident report, CPP operator 
errors contributed to the incident and subsequent damage. Both boilers 
were taken off-line for scheduled maintenance between July 1 and 
September 15, and CPP expects both boilers to be back online by 
September 30, thereby enabling CPP to provide steam to CVC when it is 

* Several management issues at CPP could further affect the expansion 
plant's and CPP's operational readiness: 

* CPP has not yet developed a plan for staffing and operating the 
entire plant after the West Refrigeration Plant becomes operational or 
contracted for its current staff to receive adequate training to 
operate the West Refrigeration Plant's new, much more modern equipment. 

* CPP has not yet received a comprehensive commissioning plan from its 

* A number of procurement issues associated with the plant expansion 
project have arisen. We are reviewing these issues. 

* CPP has been without a director since May 2005, when the former 
director resigned. CPP is important to the functioning of Congress, and 
strong leadership is needed to oversee the completion of the expansion 
project and the integration, commissioning, and operation of the new 
equipment, as well as address the operational and management problems 
at the plant. Filling the director position with an experienced manager 
who is also an expert in the production of steam and chilled water is 
essential. AOC recently initiated the recruitment process. 

[End of section]

Appendix IV: Cost Growth for the CVC Project: 

Dollars in millions. 

Project budget, original (1999): $265.0. 

Factors beyond or largely beyond AOC's control: 

5 additional scope items[A]; 
Cost increase: $29.7. 

House and Senate expansion spaces; 
Cost increase: $70.0. 

Air filtration system funded by Dep't. of Defense (DOD); 
Cost increase: $33.3. 

Enhanced fire safety and security; 
Cost increase: $13.7. 

Subtotal: $146.7. 

Bid prices exceeding estimates, preconstruction costs exceeding 
budgeted costs, unforeseen field conditions; 
Cost increase: $46.0. 

Subtotal: $46.0. 

Other factors (costs associated with delays and design-to-budget 
Subtotal: $57.6; 
Total: $250.3. 

Project budget after increases (as of November 2004): $515.3. 

GAO-projected costs to complete after proposed scope changes (as of 
June 2005, excluding risks and uncertainties)[B]; 
Subtotal: $7.2; 
Total: $522.5. 

Additional cost-to-complete items (as of August 2005):  

Design of the Library of Congress tunnel (Funds from Capitol 
Preservation Fund); 
Cost increase: $0.7. 

Wayfinding fabrication and installation; 
Cost increase: $1.0. 

Gift shop design; 
Cost increase: $0.1. 

Gift shop construction and fit-out; 
Cost increase: $1.3. 

GAO-projected costs to complete (as of August 2005, excluding risks and 
Subtotal: $3.1; 
Total: $525.6. 

Potential additional costs associated with risks and uncertainties (as 
of November 2004)[D]; 
Cost increase: $43.5. 

Less: Risks and uncertainties GAO believes the project faced in 
November 2004 [Congressional seals, orientation film, and backpack 
storage space ($4.2) + US Capitol Police security monitoring ($3.0)]; 
Cost increase: $(7.2). 

Less: Additional cost-to-complete items (as of August 2005); 
Cost increase: $(3.1). 

Potential remaining costs related to risks and uncertainties; 
Subtotal: $33.2. 

GAO estimate of total cost to complete: $558.8. 

Sources: AOC and its contractors. 

[A] The five additional scope items are the House connector tunnel, the 
East Front elevator extension, the Library of Congress tunnel, 
temporary operations, and enhanced perimeter security. 

[B] The proposed scope changes totaling $7.2 million include $4.2 
million for congressional seals, an orientation film, and backpack 
storage space and $3 million for U.S. Capitol Police security 

[C] Because of rounding dollars in tenths of millions, this estimate 
excludes $2,892 for CVC ceremonial groundbreaking activities. 

[D] Risks and uncertainties can include shortages in skilled stone 
masons and stone, security and life safety changes, unknown operator 
requirements, unforeseen conditions, and contractor coordination 

[End of table]

[End of section]

Appendix V: Current Funding Provided to the CVC Project: 

Dollars in millions. 

Funding as of June 2005. 

Base project (as of November 2004); 
Total: $351.1. 

Expansion spaces. 

Funding: $35.0. 

Funding: $35.0. 

Subtotal: $70.0. 

Filtration system; 
Funding: $33.3. 

US Capitol Police security monitoring; 
Funding: $3.0. 

Subtotal: $36.3. 

Transfer of emergency response funds; 
Funding: $26.3. 

Current funding provided (as of June 2005) [A]; 
Total: $483.7. 

Funding provided for FY 2006 [B C]; 
Subtotal: $41.9. 

Design of Library of Congress tunnel (funds from the Capitol 
Preservation Fund) [B]; 
Subtotal: $0.7. 

Construction-related funding provided in operations obligation plan: 

Gift shop [B]; 
Funding: $0.7. 

Wayfinding [B,C]; 
Funding: $0.3. 

Commissioning systems [B,C]; 
Funding: $0.2. 

Miscellaneous design and construction [B,C]; 
Funding: $0.4. 

Construction-related funding provided in operations; 
Subtotal: $1.6. 

Other funding provided; 
Subtotal: $2.3. 

Additional funding; 
Total: 44.2. 

Current funding provided (as of August 2005) [D]; 
Total: $527.9. 

Sources: Legislation, Conference Reports, and AOC. 

[A] Because of rounding dollars in tenths of millions, the $483.7 
million does not include $2,892 made available by the Capitol 
Preservation Commission from the Capitol Preservation Fund in October 
2000 for the groundbreaking ceremony. 

[B] Fiscal year 2006 CVC construction funding does not include some 
construction-related items funded from other sources. Funds for these 
items include $700,000 for the Library of Congress tunnel provided by 
the Capitol Preservation Fund and $1.6 million provided in CVC's June 
2005 operations obligation plan. The $1.6 million is part of the $10.6 
million made available in December 2004 by Public Law 108-447 for both 
CVC construction and operations. 

[C] Funds were provided for certain items that duplicated funding 
already provided in fiscal year 2006 CVC construction funding. The 
$41.9 million represents fiscal year 2006 funding made available for 
CVC construction-related activity. Included in this $41.9 million 
fiscal year 2006 funding are some construction-related items (i.e., 
$150,000 for wayfinding design, $232,000 for commissioning systems, and 
$423,000 for miscellaneous design and construction) totaling $805,000 
for which AOC received the duplicative funding. These items had also 
been included in the $2.8 million operations obligation plan approved 
in June 2005. AOC has stated that it will not use fiscal year 2006 
funding for these items. Thus, $805,000 of the $41.9 million fiscal 
year 2006 funding will be available for other uses. 

[D] Two construction-related items have not yet been fully funded. 
These are the gift shop construction (approximately $771,000) and 
wayfinding fabrication and installation (approximately $800,000). 

[End of table]


[1] See GAO, Capitol Visitor Center: Update on Status of Project's 
Schedule and Costs, GAO-05-910T (Washington, D.C.: July 14, 2005). 

[2] AOC set September 15, 2006, as the contractual date for completing 
the base project's construction and for opening the CVC facility to the 
public. The House and Senate expansion spaces were scheduled to be 
completed after that date. AOC set the September contract completion 
date in November 2004, when it reached agreement with the contractor on 
a new date for starting sequence 2 that reflected the delays 
experienced on sequence 1. On September 6, 2005, AOC informed Capitol 
Preservation Commission representatives that it still expected the base 
project's construction to be substantially complete on September 15, 
2006, but was postponing the date for opening the facility to the 
public to December 15, 2006, so that it could complete system tests, 
minor punch-list work, and preparations for operations. 

[3] Also see, for example, GAO, Capitol Visitor Center: Effective 
Schedule Management and Updated Cost Information Needed, GAO-05-811T 
(Washington, D.C.: June 14, 2005). 

[4] This analysis assumes the 60-day delay shown in the project's July 

[5] GAO, Capitol Visitor Center: Priority Attention Needed to Manage 
Schedules and Contracts, GAO-05-714T (Washington, D.C.: May 17, 2005). 

[6] See, for example, GAO-05-714T. 

[7] Public Law 108-447, enacted in December 2004, provided that up to 
$10.6 million could be so transferred upon the approval of the House 
and Senate Committees on Appropriations for the use of the CVC project. 
In June 2005, AOC received approval to use about $2.8 million of this 
$10.6 million, leaving a balance of about $7.8 million that can be used 
in the future. 

[8] We did not include the schedule for work on the House and Senate 
expansion spaces in our assessment because the schedule was not 
completed in time for analysis before the Subcommittee's September 

[9] AOC's sequence 2 contractor was unable to integrate the detailed 
schedule for the expansion spaces into the overall project schedule 
because of a number of problems, but plans to do so in the September 

[10] The Capitol Power Plant is no longer used to generate electric 
power, but it does generate steam and chilled water to serve the 
heating and cooling needs of the U.S. Capitol and 23 surrounding 
facilities. These facilities include about 16 million square feet.