Delays in GSA's Process for Contracting for Architect/Engineer Services

PLRD-82-112: Published: Sep 3, 1982. Publicly Released: Sep 13, 1982.

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GSA investigated an allegation that the General Services Administration (GSA) takes too long to award architect/engineer contracts for new construction and major repair projects and, as a result, incurs increased costs.

GAO found that the GSA architect/engineer procurement process is more time consuming than those of the other Government and military agencies reviewed during the investigation. Delays on the GSA projects reviewed occurred in almost all phases of the procurement process, and the completion time more than doubled the GSA goal in each case. The primary reason for delays is the difficulty GSA has in assuring the proper scope of work to be done. Because GSA makes numerous revisions to its project scopes, it often encounters severe delays in the procurement process. Furthermore, GSA does not have adequate procedures to ensure that the various steps in the procurement process are accomplished promptly, and it has not taken sufficient actions to ensure that the goals set are met. A comparison with other agencies showed that their process time was significantly faster. GAO stated that sources indicate that contracting delays and process mismanagement have often resulted in added construction, repair, and alteration costs.

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