DC Government:

Problems Have Created Delays in Constructing Educational Facilities at Lorton

GGD-88-1BR: Published: Oct 23, 1987. Publicly Released: Nov 25, 1987.

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J. William Gadsby
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In response to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the status of $12.3 million in appropriated funds intended for constructing permanent educational and vocational facilities at the District of Columbia's (D.C.) Lorton Prison complex, to determine if D.C. spent the funds in accordance with congressional intent.

GAO found that: (1) although the D.C. Department of Public Works (DPW) assigned the projects a high priority, construction progress was slow; (2) planning for the facilities' construction was developed near the end of the fiscal year; (3) a departmental reorganization that led to the establishment of DPW disrupted its ability to give the projects adequate management attention; (4) the contract procurement process was lengthy; (5) DPW did not adequately oversee construction activities; and (6) DPW did not ensure continuity of program management. GAO also found that DPW has initiated action to: (1) improve overall departmental operations; (2) strengthen its inspection activities; and (3) improve contract processing.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: DPW has hired additional inspectors, established an Engineering Branch for inspectors, filled the Division Chief of Project Management slot, and established bimonthly internal coordination meetings. The City Administrator advised GAO that DPW has implemented significant improvements since October 1987 which have significantly contributed to the current operational effectiveness of DPW.

    Recommendation: Recognizing that the Director, DPW, has taken action to improve departmental operations, the Mayor, after allowing sufficient time for corrective measures to be implemented, should direct the City Administrator to have an independent assessment made of the effectiveness of the operational improvements.

    Agency Affected: District of Columbia


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