National Air and Space Museum Extension Site Selection Process

T-GGD-91-5: Published: Feb 5, 1991. Publicly Released: Feb 5, 1991.

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GAO discussed the Smithsonian Institution's site selection process for an extension to the National Air and Space Museum. GAO noted that the Smithsonian: (1) site selection process was not systematic, open, or cost-conscious enough to ensure the selection of the most cost-effective site; (2) failed to rank its requirements or distinguish between essential and desirable attributes; (3) never publicly announced its needs, and therefore had no assurance that the three offers it received encompassed all potentially competitive sites; and (4) failed to completely analyze the three proposals.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Smithsonian reduced the scope of the project by $193 million and did additional cost analyses. GAO is still monitoring the outcome of the reduced project.

    Recommendation: The Smithsonian should reopen its selection decision and use a more systematic and competitive process to better ensure that it and the government get the best value for their investments.

    Agency Affected: Smithsonian Institution


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