Congress Needs Reliable Cost Estimates and Established Priorities for Allocating Funds for Water Resources Projects

PSAD-79-13: Published: Jan 29, 1979. Publicly Released: Feb 23, 1981.

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GAO examined the estimated costs and efficiency of project construction in water resources programs.

The Bureau of Reclamation and the Corps of Engineers need to improve cost estimates, establish priorities for allocating funds, and request full funding for their water resources construction projects. Cost estimates are based on incomplete data, are not always based on current prices, and do not consider inflation through project completion. In addition, neither the Corps nor the Bureau sets priorities on its projects for use by Congress in allocating funds. Delays and backlogs causing cost growth on major programs could be reduced if the Bureau and Corps set priorities and requested full funding of their projects.

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