The federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) is responsible for the custody and care of more than 201,000 federal offenders. To provide housing for the federal prison population, BOP manages the construction and maintenance of its prison facilities and oversees contract facilities. GAO was asked to look into recent increases in estimated costs for Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) construction projects located in Mendota, CA; Berlin, NH; and McDowell, WV, which have led to almost $278 million or 62 percent more being provided in funding than initially estimated. This report addresses (1) the reasons for the changes to the estimated costs and (2) the actions BOP has taken--or plans to take--to control future cost increases and delays. GAO reviewed and analyzed BOP's fiscal years 2001 to 2009 budget documents, files for these three projects, and project management guidance. GAO also reviewed government and industry guidance on project management and met with BOP officials.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Department of Justice||1. To improve accountability and transparency, the Attorney General of the United States should instruct the Director of BOP to clearly communicate to Congress and other stakeholders in the Department of Justice's (DOJ) annual congressional budget submission, in which BOP provides its requests for funding and reports on the status of construction project: (1) the extent to which project costs may vary from initial estimates, and (2) changes that may impact the functionality of projects.|