VA Construction:

Additional Actions Needed to Decrease Delays and Lower Costs of Major Medical-Facility Projects

GAO-13-556T: Published: May 7, 2013. Publicly Released: May 7, 2013.

Additional Materials:


Lorelei St James
(202) 512-2834


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

What GAO Found

In summary, GAO recognizes that some cost increases and schedule delays result from factors beyond VA's control; however, GAO's review of VA's largest projects indicated weaknesses in VA's construction management processes also contributed to cost increases and schedule delays. Given that VA is currently involved in 50 major medical-facility construction projects, including four large medical centers, VA should take further action to improve its management of costs, schedule, and scope of these projects.

Why GAO Did This Study

This testimony discusses GAO's recent work examining cost increases and schedule delays at the Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) major medical-facility construction projects. According to VA's fiscal year 2013 budget submission to Congress, the Veterans Health Administration's (VHA) existing infrastructure does not fully align with the current health care needs of the veteran population. To help address this situation, VA has 50 major medical-facility projects under way, including new construction and the renovation of existing medical facilities, at a cost of more than $12 billion. Although VA has taken steps to improve its process for managing these construction projects, opportunities exist for VA to improve its efforts.

This testimony discusses VA construction management issues, specifically (1) the extent to which the cost, schedule, and scope for selected new medical-facility projects have changed since they were submitted to Congress and the reasons for these changes, (2) actions VA has taken to improve its construction management practices, and (3) the opportunities that exist for VA to further improve its management of the costs, schedule, and scope of these construction projects. This testimony is based on GAO's April 2013 report. In that report, GAO discussed VA's current 50 major medical-facility projects, including the original cost estimates and completion dates and the projects' current status according to November 2012 data.

For more information, contact Lorelei St. James at (202) 512-2834 or

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