VA Health Care:

Delays in Awarding Major Construction Contracts

HRD-88-74: Published: Mar 11, 1988. Publicly Released: Mar 11, 1988.

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Pursuant to a legislative requirement, GAO reviewed the Veterans Administration's (VA) compliance with regulations requiring it to: (1) award contracts for construction projects funded through appropriation acts within a certain time limit; and (2) report to Congress on awards it did not make within the time limit.

GAO found that VA: (1) for fiscal years (FY) 1984 through 1987, reported that it had not awarded contracts for 26 construction projects within the required time limits; (2) did not include four other projects in its report, since it believed that it satisfied reporting requirements by including information about those projects in its budget or by awarding partial contracts; (3) blamed most contracting delays on changes in project scope and receipt of bids which exceeded available funds; and (4) expects to award contracts for 22 of the 29 projects by the end of FY 1988. GAO believes that: (1) VA actions show no intent to refrain from using the funds; and (2) the contract delays for 29 of the 30 projects did not constitute an impoundment of budget authority.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: This recommendation has been dropped because a similar recommendation, clarifying GAO intent, was included in GAO/HRD-89-75, issued March 31, 1989.

    Recommendation: The Administrator of Veterans Affairs should report on all major construction projects that do not have contracts awarded within specified time limits, including those that may: (1) be included in budget submissions; or (2) have had contracts awarded for some but not all of the funds appropriated.

    Agency Affected: Veterans Administration


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