National Parks:

Views on the Denver Service Center and Information on Related Construction Activities

RCED-95-79: Published: Jun 23, 1995. Publicly Released: Jun 23, 1995.

Additional Materials:


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the quality and timeliness of services provided by National Park Services' (NPS) Denver Service Center, focusing on: (1) how NPS sets priorities for funding construction projects and how Congress modifies those priorities during consideration of annual NPS budget requests; (2) the process NPS uses to develop project cost estimates; and (3) the makeup of the projects' contingency and supervision funds.

GAO found that: (1) park managers were generally satisfied with the Center's service quality and timeliness for projects completed during fiscal year (FY) 1991 through FY 1993; (2) reported problems did not appear to be systemic, since they varied among the construction projects and park units; (3) park managers' decisions not to use the Center's services were generally not based on concerns about the quality of those services; (4) NPS sets construction priorities through a bottom-up decision making process with input from individual park units; (5) NPS is planning to revise its priority-setting process, since the current process is not based on objective criteria; (6) Congress often funds construction projects in addition to those on the NPS priority list, and also provides funding levels far above those requested by NPS; (7) the gap between NPS budget requests and appropriations is narrowing because of annual limits on discretionary spending; (8) although the Center develops and refines cost estimates prior to funding requests, congressionally designated projects are often funded before they are planned and designed; (9) contingency and project supervision costs are usually included in project cost estimates; and (10) historically, contingencies and project supervision have accounted for 16 percent and 15 percent, respectively, of a project's cost, but there are no standards for reasonable contingency or supervision costs.

Mar 12, 2018

Feb 22, 2018

Jan 26, 2018

Jan 19, 2018

Jan 4, 2018

Dec 22, 2017

Dec 13, 2017

Nov 15, 2017

Nov 2, 2017

Oct 30, 2017

Looking for more? Browse all our products here