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Investigation of the Relationship between Green Design and Project Delivery Methods

Description: The selection of the project delivery method (PDM) for any project is critical--it establishes communication, coordination, and contractual issues between the owner, contractor, and designer. With an increase in the number of green design projects, understanding the relationship between the PDM and green design is paramount to project and contract management. It is reasonable to assume that a positive relationship between green design and design-build (DB) exists since both theoretically are intended to foster an integrated, holistic, and collaborative project. This research examines the relationship between the design-bid-build (DBB), construction management (CM), and DB PDMs and green design with the goal of establishing best practices and identifying potential synergies between them. The research collected information by conducting primarily telephone interviews with approximately twenty-five individuals, including owners, contractors, and designers involved in completed green design projects, mainly in the public sector. The interviews developed a general understanding of the current state of knowledge and experience and not a rigorous quantitative analysis. Upon completion of the interviews, the tabulated results were summarized and green project characteristics and project-PDM interactions emerged. Existing published research was evaluated to reveal aspects of PDMs independent of green design. Best practices were ascertained by combining information from the interviews and published research. Best practices are as follows: (1) Project implementation features--The decision to use DB as PDM on green design or other projects should be based on the specific project features; e.g., well-defined scope and adequate owner staffing. DB will not produce successful results on all projects. (2) Collaboration--Project team collaboration early in the design and construction process is an important aspect of green projects, and collaboration was considered somewhat more important in projects that used DB. (3) Experience--Team experience is important on all green design projects independent of the PDM. Owners should use a 'best value' ...
Date: April 24, 2008
Creator: Bilec, Melissa M. & Ries, Robert J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

HANFORD SITE WELDING PROGRAM SUCCESSFULLY PROVIDING A SINGLE SITE FUNCTION FOR USE BY MULTIPLE CONTRACTORS

Description: The Department of Energy, Richland Operations (DOE-RL) recently restructured its Hanford work scope, awarding two new contracts over the past several months for a total of three contracts to manage the sites cleanup efforts. DOE-RL met with key contractor personnel prior to and during contract transition to ensure site welding activities had appropriate oversight and maintained code compliance. The transition also provided an opportunity to establish a single site-wide function that would provide welding and materials engineering services to the Hanford site contractors: CH2M HILL Plateau Remediation Company (CHPRC); Mission Support Alliance (MSA); Washington River Protection Solutions (WRPS); and Washington Closure Hanford (WCH). Over the years, multiple and separate welding programs (amongst the several contractors) existed at the Hanford site leading to inefficiencies resulting from duplication of administrative efforts, maintenance of welding procedures, welder performance certifications, etc. The new, single program eliminates these inefficiencies. The new program, co-managed by two of the sites' new contractors, the CHPRC ('owner' of the program and responsible for construction welding services) and the MSA (provides maintenance welding services), provides more than just the traditional construction and maintenance welding services. Also provided, are welding engineering, specialty welding development/qualification for the closure of radioactive materials containers and materials evaluation/failure analysis. The following describes the new Hanford site welding program.
Date: November 19, 2009
Creator: Cannell, G. R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The independent verification process in decommissioning, decontamination, and reutilization activities - description, benefits, and lessons learned

Description: Oak Ridge National Laboratory Environmental Technology Section has been performing Independent Verification (IV) activities for U.S. DOE sites since 1986. DOE has successfully used IV in the Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Program, Decontamination and Decommissioning projects, and Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Projects/Surplus Facilities Management Program. Projects that have undergone IV range from small residential properties to large, industrial sites. The IV process provides a third-party review conducted by an independent organization. The purpose is to verify accuracy and completeness of contractor field measurements and final documentation, evaluate the credibility of procedures, and independently assess post-cleanup conditions versus decommissioning project plans and release criteria. Document reviews of plans, dose models, procedures, and reports are some IV activities undertaken. Independent measurements are also collected during field visits to confirm the contractor`s findings. Corrective actions for discrepancies are suggested if necessary. Finally, archival and reporting of the final site environmental conditions for project closeout and certification are completed. The IV contractor reports to DOE headquarters and acts as a quality assurance feedback mechanism. An IV also provides additional assurance that projects are planned, carried out, and documented properly. Decommissioning projects benefit from the IV process by: (1) cost and time savings from early identification of potential problems, (2) assurance that cleanup meets regulatory guidelines, and (3) technical reviews and consultation with experts in field instrumentation, sampling strategy, etc. Some lessons learned from the IV process include avoiding: (1) improper survey techniques, (2) reporting data in units not comparable with guideline values, (3) premature release of surfaces, (4) poor decommissioning project planning, (5) misapplication of release guidelines. 20 refs.
Date: June 1, 1997
Creator: Egidi, P.V.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Contract Management: Opportunities to Improve Pricing of GSA Multiple Award Schedules Contracts

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Federal agencies can directly purchase more than 8 million commercial products and services through the General Services Administration's (GSA) multiple award schedules (MAS) contracts. Over the past 10 years, MAS contract sales have increased dramatically--with sales jumping from $4 billion to $32 billion. In addition to simplifying the procurement process, the MAS program is designed to take advantage of the government's significant aggregate buying power. While GSA seeks to negotiate best pricing for its MAS contracts by analyzing vendor-provided information--such as discounts given to other customers and recent sales data for the same or similar items--past reports have found that GSA has not always used pricing tools effectively and that management controls for better ensuring fair and reasonable pricing had been reduced. This report discusses GSA's process for negotiating most favored customer prices for MAS contracts and its efforts to improve the overall quality of negotiations."
Date: February 11, 2005
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Contract Management: Coast Guard's Deepwater Program Needs Increased Attention to Management and Contractor Oversight

Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "The Coast Guard's Deepwater program, the largest acquisition program in its history, involves modernizing or replacing ships, aircraft, and communications equipment. The Coast Guard awarded the Deepwater contract to Integrated Coast Guard Systems (ICGS) in June 2002. The Coast Guard estimates the program will cost $17 billion over a 30-year period. ICGS is a system integrator, with responsibility for identifying and delivering an integrated system of assets to meet the Coast Guard's missions. GAO was asked to assess whether the Coast Guard is effectively managing the Deepwater program and overseeing the contractor and to assess the implications of using the Deepwater contracting model on opportunities for competition."
Date: March 9, 2004
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Contract Management: New Authority for Severable Service Contracts

Description: Correspondence issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Pursuant to a legislative requirement, GAO reviewed the Department of Defense's (DOD) authority to award severable service contracts in fiscal years 1998 and 1999 under section 801 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1998, focusing on: (1) the extent to which DOD used the authority in the last month of the fiscal year; and (2) whether contracts reportedly valued at about $1 million or more and whose work was performed entirely in the following fiscal year were abuses of section 801."
Date: May 2, 2000
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Contract Management: Roles and Responsibilities of the Federal Supply Service and Federal Technology Service

Description: Correspondence issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "GAO reviewed the roles and responsibilities of the General Services Administration's (GSA) Federal Supply Service (FSS) and Federal Technology Service (FTS). Specifically, (1) the possible impact of the current FSS/FTS overlap on the prices paid for and quality of the services provided customer agencies by FSS and FTS, (2) whether the use of streamlined practices and procedures could result in savings and increases in service effectiveness, and (3) whether the statement of work that governs the study of the FSS and FTS that GSA has under contract will likely result in the kind of information needed to assess whether the current organization needs to be restructured."
Date: June 7, 2002
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Contract Management: Opportunities to Improve Surveillance on Department of Defense Service Contracts

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Department of Defense (DOD) is the federal government's largest purchaser of contractor services, spending $118 billion in fiscal year 2003 alone--an increase of 66 percent since fiscal year 1999. DOD is expected to rely increasingly on contractors to carry out its mission. In recent reports, DOD has identified inadequate surveillance on service contracts. This report examines how DOD manages service contract surveillance. It looks at the extent of DOD's surveillance on a selection of service contracts, reasons why insufficient surveillance occurred, and efforts to improve surveillance."
Date: March 17, 2005
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Contract Management: DOD Developed Draft Guidance for Operational Contract Support but Has Not Met All Legislative Requirements

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The U.S. military has long used contractors to provide supplies and services to deployed U.S. forces as well as for post-conflict support. The Department of Defense's (DOD) use of contractors has grown significantly to the extent that the force in Iraq is composed of approximately 143,000 military personnel and 149,000 DOD contractor personnel. Congress,GAO, and others have frequently reported on or expressed concerns about the long-standing challenges that DOD faces when managing operational contract support. These challenges include a failure to adequately plan for the use of contractors, poorly defined or changing requirements, a lack of deployable contracting personnel with contingency contracting experience, and difficulties in coordinating contracts and contractor management across military services in joint contingency environments. Furthermore, as we have previously reported, DOD has not provided a sufficient number of trained contract oversight and management personnel in contingency operations, and visibility of contracting activities and contractors has been limited. As we have testified, problems associated with DOD's inability to overcome these challenges have resulted in higher costs, schedule delays, unmet goals, and negative operational impacts. To respond to these concerns, Congress enacted an amendment to title 10 of the U.S. Code adding section 2333, which directed the Secretary of Defense in consultation with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to develop joint policies by April 2008 for requirements definition, contingency program management, and contingency contracting during combat and post-conflict operations. In January 2008, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008, hereafter referred to as the NDAA FY08, amended section 2333 to add a new subparagraph directing that these joint policies provide for training of military personnel outside the acquisition workforce who are expected to have acquisition responsibilities including oversight of ...
Date: November 20, 2008
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Contract Management: DOD Vulnerabilities to Contracting Fraud, Waste, and Abuse

Description: Correspondence issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "In recent years, the Department of Defense (DOD) has increasingly relied on goods and services provided by the private sector under contract. Since fiscal year 2000, DOD's contracting for goods and services has nearly doubled, and this trend is expected to continue. In fiscal year 2005 alone, DOD obligated nearly $270 billion on contracts for goods and services. Given the magnitude of the dollar amounts involved, it is essential that DOD acquisitions be handled in an efficient, effective, and accountable manner. In other words, DOD needs to ensure that it buys the right things, the right way. Enacted January 6, 2006, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2006 required us to review DOD's efforts to identify and assess the vulnerability of its contracts to fraud, waste, and abuse. We reviewed the areas of vulnerability that DOD faces with regard to contracting fraud, waste, and abuse, and the recent initiatives that DOD has taken to address these vulnerabilities, including actions DOD has taken in response to a March 2005 Defense Science Board report on management oversight in acquisition organizations."
Date: July 7, 2006
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Contract Management: Minimal Compliance with New Safeguards for Time-and-Materials Contracts for Commercial Services and Safeguards Have Not Been Applied to GSA Schedules Program

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Federal agencies have used time-and-materials (T&M) contracts to purchase billions of dollars in services. These contracts are risky because the government bears the risk of cost overruns. Effective February 2007, the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) was revised, pursuant to a statutory change, to allow T&M contracts to be used to acquire commercial services under FAR Part 12, which uses a streamlined procurement process. Certain safeguards were included in FAR Part 12, including a requirement that contracting officers prepare a detailed determination and findings (D&F) that no other contract type is suitable. Based on a mandate to review the use of T&M contracts for commercial services, we assessed (1) agencies' reported use of such contracts and what they acquired, (2) the degree to which agencies complied with the new safeguards, and (3) the applicability of the safeguards to General Services Administration (GSA) schedule contracts. GAO reviewed contracts and orders at DOD and civilian agencies and spoke with contracting officials."
Date: June 24, 2009
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Contract Management: Service Contract Approach to Aircraft Simulator Training Has Room for Improvement

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Air Force has turned to service contracts for the F-15C, F-16, Airborne Warning and Control System, and F-15E, and the Army has done the same for helicopter simulator training at its Flight School XXI. The contractors own, operate, and maintain the simulator hardware and software. The military services rely on industry to capitalize the required up-front investment, with the understanding that the contractors will amortize this investment by selling training services by the hour. GAO was asked to address (1) the factors that led the Air Force and Army to acquire simulator training as a service and whether the decision to use this approach was adequately supported; (2) whether implementation of the approach has resulted in the planned number of simulator training sites being activated; and (3) whether the Air Force and Army are effectively tracking the return on their expenditure of taxpayer dollars. GAO makes recommendations to the Secretary of Defense intended to improve management and oversight of these service contracts to help ensure that the best approach is used to provide the war-fighter with needed training. In written comments on a draft of this report, DOD concurred with all but one of the recommendations, only partially concurring with one pertaining to the Army's simulator utilization rates. GAO continues to believe that the Army needs to track the extent to which it is using simulator availability."
Date: September 22, 2006
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Contract Management: OFPP Policy Regarding Share-in-Savings Contracting Pursuant to the E-Government Act of 2002

Description: Correspondence issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "In January 2003, we issued two reports that provide insight regarding the share-in-savings (SIS) provisions of the E-Government Act of 2002: one on critical elements of training for new acquisition initiatives and one on commercial practices that foster successful SIS contracting. As follow-up to these reports, we are writing to underscore the need for the Office of Federal Procurement Policy (OFPP) to ensure (1) that members of the federal acquisition workforce understand and appropriately apply this new authority and (2) that appropriate data are collected and available to meet mandated reporting requirements regarding the effective use of SIS contracting. SIS contracting represents a significant change in the way the federal government acquires information technology. In our report on improving training for new acquisition initiatives, we emphasized the importance that industry and government experts place on training to successfully implement such change. Training on this information technology acquisition initiative will be essential to its effective implementation. In our report on SIS contracting, we highlighted the federal government's limited experience with SIS contracting as well as conditions that fostered successful implementation in commercial SIS contracts."
Date: March 24, 2003
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Contract Management: Guidance Needed to Promote Competition for Defense Task Orders

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Department of Defense (DOD) spends billions of dollars each year acquiring services through task orders issued under multiple-award contracts or the General Services Administration's federal supply schedule program. However, previous GAO and DOD Inspector General reports found that DOD was not obtaining the level of competition on these task orders that Congress had envisioned. Congress responded by enacting section 803 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2002, which requires procedures to promote competition and provides when waivers of competition are allowed. In response to a congressional mandate, GAO identified the extent to which selected DOD buying organizations waived the competition requirements of section 803 and determined the level of competition on orders available for competition. For this review, GAO randomly selected 74 orders at five DOD buying organizations."
Date: July 30, 2004
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Contract Management: Comments on Selected Provisions of the Services Acquisition Reform Act of 2003, H.R. 1837

Description: Correspondence issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "This is a follow up to our April 30, 2003, testimony on the proposed Services Acquisition Reform Act of 2003 (SARA). Because our testimony was based on a section-by-section analysis of the proposed legislation, the House Committee on Government Reform requested that we review the specific provisions of the bill as introduced and provide any additional comments."
Date: June 13, 2003
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Contract Management: Agencies Are Not Maximizing Opportunities for Competition or Savings under Blanket Purchase Agreements despite Significant Increase in Usage

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) allows agencies to establish blanket purchase agreements (BPA) under the General Services Administration's (GSA) Schedules Program, where contracts are awarded to multiple vendors for commercial goods and services and made available for agency use. BPAs are agreements between agencies and vendors with terms in place for future use; funds are obligated when orders are placed. When establishing BPAs under schedule contracts, agencies must follow procedures regarding the number of vendors considered, request discounts, and conduct annual reviews in accordance with requirements. This report assesses selected agencies' use of schedule BPAs and evaluates whether they considered more than one vendor when establishing BPAs and placing orders under them, took opportunities for savings, and conducted annual reviews. To conduct this work, GAO reviewed a sample of 336 schedule BPAs and 352 fiscal year 2007 orders and met with officials."
Date: September 9, 2009
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Contract Management: Selected DOD Consulting Services

Description: Correspondence issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Pursuant to a legislative requirement, GAO reviewed the Department of Defense's (DOD) contract management, focusing on contracts for advisory and assistance services and other services."
Date: June 23, 2000
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Contract Management: Commercial Use of Share-in-Savings Contracting

Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "The Congress and federal agencies are increasingly turning to performance-based contracting methods to enhance the delivery of government services. Share-in-Savings (SIS) contracting--in which the contractor assumes more risk by investing upfront costs but also receives a share in any savings generated by its efforts--is one performance-based technique that Congress is trying to promote. We were asked to examine its use by industry in terms of whether there were any key conditions that needed to be in place to make this technique successful. In conducting our review, we found that the form of SIS used in a commercial contract varied by contract. Some contracts employed a basic SIS approach, in which a contractor's total compensation was paid entirely through sharing a portion of a client's savings or increased revenues. And some employed a tailored approached in which contractors were paid for at least some portion of their time and materials costs, even if savings or increased revenues were not realized. We performed a detailed analysis on four specific contracts to identify conditions that fostered success."
Date: January 31, 2003
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Contract Management: Opportunities Continue for GSA to Improve Pricing of Multiple Award Schedules Contracts

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Each year, federal agencies spend billions of dollars to buy commercial products and services through the General Service Administration's (GSA) Multiple Award Schedules program. The program has grown significantly over the past several years. Currently, federal agencies can directly purchase, through more than 16,000 schedule contracts, over 8 million products from more than 10,000 commercial vendors. In fiscal year 2004, purchases from these contracts totaled more than $32 billion. The multiple award schedules program is designed to take advantage of the government's significant buying power. To maximize savings, GSA negotiates discounts that are equal to or greater than those given to the vendor's most favored customers. This testimony focuses on GSA's historic use of two proven negotiation tools to improve the pricing of schedules contracts--pre-award audits and postaward audits of pre-award information. Pre-award audits allow GSA to avoid potential overpricing by verifying vendor pricing information before contracts are awarded. Postaward audits allow GSA to identify overpricing of awarded contracts and recover overcharges."
Date: July 26, 2005
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Contract Management: Purchase of Army Black Berets

Description: Testimony issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "The Army's decision to issue black berets to all of its forces in just eight months placed enormous demands on the military's procurement system. To meet this challenge, the Department of Defense (DOD) increased the domestic supplier's production, awarded contracts to known foreign sources, and procured berets from additional sources. This testimony discusses DOD's contracting strategy, including (1) the contracting procedures DOD used to buy the berets and (2) the circumstances surrounding waivers to the Berry Amendment, a statutory requirement to buy clothing from domestic suppliers. The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) took several steps to expedite award of the contracts. However, DLA failed to (1) provide for full and open competition as required by the Competition in Contracting Act of 1984 or (2) obtain a review of these contract actions from the Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization Office for possible small business participation. GAO also found that authority to waive the Berry Amendment was delegated to DLA's Director and Senior Procurement Executive by the Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics), but later canceled to ensure that any request for a waiver to the Berry Amendment received attention at an appropriate level within DOD. GAO concluded that the eight-month deadline placed DOD in a high-risk contracting situation. In their eagerness to serve the customer, DOD procurement officials chose to shortcut normal contracting procedures. The deadline allowed very little time to plan for the purchase of the berets and little room to respond to production problems."
Date: May 2, 2001
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Contract Management: Update on DOD's Purchase of Black Berets

Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "The Army announced in October 2000 that personnel would begin wearing berets eight months later. To meet the tight deadline for the production of 5 million berets at a cost of about $30 million, the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) shortcut normal contracting procedures and waived restrictions that limit military purchases of some items, including clothing, to those produced in the United States or its possessions. Despite these efforts, DLA was unable to meet the Army's deadline, and it terminated three contracts because the contractors did not meet delivery requirements. So far, the Defense Department (DOD) has received about 2.1 million berets--less than 1 million of which were distributed to Army personnel. DOD still expects another 1.6 million berets to be delivered by September 2002. DOD has taken steps to ensure that proposed waivers are considered at an appropriate management level. DOD no longer allows the Under Secretary of Defense or the service secretaries to delegate their authority to approve waivers. Requests for waivers must also be supported by analyses of why alternatives that would not require a waiver were unacceptable."
Date: December 11, 2001
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Contract Management: Benefits of Simplified Acquisition Test Procedures Not Clearly Demonstrated

Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "In 1996, Congress authorized a test program that permits government buyers to use procedural discretion and flexibility, so that commercial items may be obtained in a simplified manner. This report discusses how federal agencies demonstrated whether the test program produced the desired results and (2) assesses how the authority provided under the test program was being used on selected contracts. GAO found that (1) the Office of Federal Procurement Policy did not collect data to provide a basis for measuring whether the test program produced the desired results and (2) government buyers did not always demonstrate that prices were fair and reasonable for the contracts included in GAO's review. However, OFPP's 1999 survey of procurement executives showed that these executives believed that the program has had a positive impact on the federal procurement process. These executives believed that the authority provided under the test program should be made permanent. However, OFPP's survey did not collect empirical data that would have supported these views."
Date: April 20, 2001
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Contract Management: Civilian Agency Compliance with Revised Task and Delivery Order Regulations

Description: A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "Multiple-award task and delivery order contracts were intended to streamline the acquisition of goods and services. Prior GAO reviews cited concerns that some agencies using these contracts were not attaining the level of competition Congress had initially envisioned. In response, Congress required that additional guidance be published in the Federal Acquisition Regulation and asked GAO if the guidance conformed to the law and agencies were complying with it. To evaluate compliance, GAO examined how agencies provided vendors with a fair opportunity to be considered for orders, clearly described the services or supplies needed, and complied with capital planning requirements."
Date: August 29, 2003
Creator: United States. General Accounting Office.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department