District of Columbia:
Status of the New Convention Center Project
AIMD-00-262: Published: Aug 30, 2000. Publicly Released: Aug 30, 2000.
- Full Report:
Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the status of the new Washington Convention Center project, focusing on: (1) changes in the Washington Convention Center Authority's (WCCA) estimated project costs and financing plan since GAO's last report; and (2) actual expenditures and collection of dedicated taxes.
GAO noted that: (1) while project costs continue to rise, construction at the new convention center site is still scheduled to meet the estimated completion date of March 2003, and WCCA's April 30, 2000, estimated project costs are within the projected funding level stated in its financing plan; (2) according to information provided by WCCA officials, total estimated project costs increased $22.9 million (2.8 percent) from $791.1 million to $814 million from June 30, 1999, to April 30, 2000; (3) the net changes include a $17.4 million increase in total estimated construction costs, a $25.1 million increase in estimated other costs, a $.3 million increase in additions to WCCA's project budget, and a $19.9 million cost savings in financing-related costs; (4) WCCA's records indicated that about $162.5 million had been disbursed on the project with $404 million under contract as of April 30, 2000; (5) from June 30, 1999, through April 30, 2000, WCCA's estimated total funding from sources listed in its financing plan increased by $11.2 million; (6) with the $22.9 million increase in estimated project costs, the excess of total estimated funds over estimated project costs has been reduced to $8.3 million; (7) the increase in WCCA's financing plan included more than $6 million of additional committed federal grants and another $4.9 million of administrative costs funded by WCCA's operating budget; (8) however, WCCA's contingency (reserve funds) may be reduced if: (a) vendor contracts do not fund the $10 million cost of certain equipment; or (b) the $10 million included in the District of Columbia's capital budget request for fiscal year (FY) 2001 is not approved; (9) WCCA's contingency can absorb the $20 million if the capital budget funds and equipment financing do not materialize; and (10) WCCA's records indicated that $40.5 million of dedicated taxes were collected for the first 9 months of FY 2000, which on an annualized basis is slightly higher than the $51.8 million assumed in the District's Fiscal Year 2001 Proposed Operating Budget and Financial Plan.