VA Health Care:

Delays in Awarding Major Construction Contracts

HRD-92-111: Published: Jun 11, 1992. Publicly Released: Jun 11, 1992.

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Pursuant to a legislative requirement, GAO reviewed the Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) legislatively required report on contract award delays on construction contracts.

GAO found that: (1) VA reported that, as of the end of fiscal year (FY) 1991, it had not awarded 4 of 6 working drawings contracts for FY 1991 or 2 of 11 FY 1990 construction contracts, as required; (2) VA reported that, as of the end of FY 1991, it had not awarded contracts for 8 other projects funded through appropriation acts for FY 1984 through FY 1990; (3) VA correctly identified the 14 projects for which it did not meet the contract award time limits; (4) those contracting delays do not constitute an impoundment of budget authority under the Impoundment Control Act, since VA shows no intent to refrain from using the funds; (5) VA attributed the contracting delays to such programmatic considerations as changes in project scope or design, receipt of bids that exceeded the available funds, and funding projects before the completion of preliminary design work; and (6) VA expects to award contracts for 7 of the 14 projects by the end of FY 1992.