Federal Construction

Use of Construction Management Services Gao ID: GGD-90-12 January 18, 1990

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed eight agencies' use of the construction management concept for building construction and renovation, focusing on the feasibility of adapting private-sector construction management practices to the federal government.

GAO found that: (1) the federal government selectively used the construction management concept for about 20 years; (2) although two agencies experimented with using construction managers more like general contractors in an effort to cut overall project time and cost, they de-emphasized phased construction after numerous contractors successfully filed claims arising from construction delays; (3) although federal agencies could adapt the private-sector construction concept to federal programs, they were limited by law in how much authority over spending and other decisions they could delegate to agents; (4) regulations covering competition and potential conflicts of interest also discouraged the federal government from using contractor construction management; (5) between 1986 and 1988, the 6 civilian and 2 defense agencies completed 268 building construction projects costing more than $10 million each; and (6) 117 projects experienced time delays exceeding 6 months and 62 experienced cost increases exceeding 10 percent.

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