The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently released its report on delayed payment of change orders to federal contractors.
The GAO found that two agencies with large construction budgets, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the General Services Administration (GSA), regularly track how long it takes to process contract changes. This makes it more difficult for them to identify and respond to problems.
GAO was asked to review federal construction contract change processes and time frames. The agency reviewed relevant regulations and agency policies, analyzed available data, and interviewed officials from GSA's Public Buildings Service and USACE—two agencies with large amounts of obligations on construction—and two industry associations.
After completing the report, the GAO recommended that GSA's Public Buildings Service and USACE develop strategies to collect information on and monitor time frames for construction contract changes at the headquarters level. Both agencies concurred with the recommendation.
Timely resolution of change orders and contractor payment is a consistent problem in federal contracting and recognition by these two significant government entities that a strategy must be put in place to address this issue at the highest level is a step in the right direction.
Read the entire report with recommendations here.
Additionally, an interview with Bill Woods, director of contracting and national security acquisitions issues at GAO, discusses why more data is needed on federal construction contract changes is available to view here.