- . r.. , ,.- . . _ epartment of the Army epartment Of the COMPTROLLER GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES WASHINGTON. D.C. 20548 B-171496 To the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives This is our report on measures needed in the De- partments of the Army and the Navy to ensure compliance with contract specifications in construction o f mili- tary facilities. Our review was made pursuant to the Budget and Ac- counting Act, 1921 (31 U.S.C. 5 3 ) , and the Accounting and Auditing Act of 1950 (31 U.S.C. 67). Copies of this report are being sent t o the Di- rector, Office of Management and Budget; the Secretary of Defense; and the Secretaries of the Army and the Navy. Comptroller General of the United States 50TH ANNIVERSARY 1921 - 1971 I I I I I I I 1 I I COMPTROLLER GENERAL ' S MEASURES NEEDED TO ENSURE COMPLIANCE WITH I I REPORT TO THE CONGRESS CONTRACT SPEC1FICATIONS IN CONSTRUCTION I I OF MILITARY FACILITIES Department of the Army I I Department of the Navy B-171496 I WHY THE REVIEW W A S MADE I I Because of the size of appropri a t i ons for mi l i tary cons t r u c t i on-- $4.8 b i l l i o n f o r f i s c a l years 1967 through 1969--the General Accounting Office (GAO) has reviewed the inspection procedures of the Army Corps o f Engineers and the Naval Faci l i t i e s Engineering Command intended t o ensure t h a t cons tructi on i s in accordance w i t h contract speci f i cati ons . The Corps and the Engineering Command are agents for the Department o f Defense (DOD) i n construction o f military projects. I I F I N D I N G S A N D CONCLUSIONS I The Army Corps of Engi,neers and the Naval F a c i l i t i e s Engineering Com- mand need t o t i g h t e n t h e i r procedures and practices f o r inspecting con- I struction s o that military projects will be constructed as contracts speci fy . I I I I I A number of military f a c i l i t i e s accepted by the Government as completed I I were n o t b u i l t i n comp.liance with contract requirements. As a r e s u l t , I I the f a c i l i t i e s were not f u l l y satisfactory f o r t h e i r intended use and/ I I or the Government had t o spend additional time and e f f o r t having defi- I ciencies corrected. (See pp. 5 t o 9 . ) For example, neither the con- I I tractor nor t h e Government prior t o acceptance .by the Government de- tected t h a t the roof an a $2.4 million 'hangar had.not been inst,alled i n I I I . accordance w i t h specifications After completi on and acceptance of I the hangar, portions of i t s roof were blown o f f on three occasions. I The cost t o repair the roof on the f i r s t two occasions was borne by the contractor, and responsibility f o r repair on the t h i r d occasion had not been resolved a t the time of-completion o f GAO's fieldwork. (See I I P. 6.) I I I The two construction agencies need t o improve (1) enforcement of con- I t r a c t o r quality controls (see p. s ) , ( 2 ) reports from and training o f I I Government inspectors (se,e pp. 12 and i 7 ) , ( 3 ) evaluations by head- I quarters of f i e l d a c t i v i t i e s (see p. 23), and (4) coordination of ac- I I t i v i ties of the two construction agencies i n solving problems common t o b o t h (see p. 25). Tear Sheet APRIL 1 6 , 1 9 7 f 1 I I I I I I I I RECOMMENDATIONS OR SUGGESTIONS I I I I The Secretaries of the Army and the Navy should have the two construc- I 1 t i on agencies I I I I --systematically monitor f i e l d offices I enforcement of contractor I 1 quality control programs (see p , 10); I I I I --review inspection reporting practices of f i e l d offices, correct I those not complying w i t h agency regulations, and implement a system 1 I f o r prompt communication o f inspection findings t o d i s t r i c t (Army) I I or division (Navy) construction management (see p . 16}; and I I I I --improve Army training programs f o r inspectors and establish such 1 programs i n the Navy (see p. 2 2 ) . I I I I Both construction agencies should perform more comprehensive reviews of I I f i e l d offices' implementation of agency procedures f o r inspection and I I supervision of military construction. (See p . 24.) I I I I The Secretary of Defense should take action t o ensure that the two con- I I struction agencies exchange information and coordinate a c t i v i t i e s i n I I areas of mutual interest. (See p. 26.) I I I I I I AGENCY ACTIONS A N D UNRESOLVED ISSUES I I I I DOD agreed w i t h GAO's f i n d i n g s and recommendations and reported t h a t I both construction agencies were making improvements t o correct cited I I deficiencies. (See p. 10.) I I I I I I MAirl'ER5 FOR COflSIDERATION BY THE CONGRESS I 1 1 This report is issued t o inform the Congress of DOD actions t o better I I ensure that the mi l i tary services receive the quality of construction I planned and paid for. I I I I I I I I 1 I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I 2 I I I I I I C o n t e n t s - Page DIGEST 1 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION 3 2 NEED TO ENSURE EFFECTIVE IMPLEMENTATION OF CONTRACTOR QUALITY CONTROL SYSTEMS 5 The Corps program 5 Actions to improve implementation a The Engineering Command program 8 Actions to improve implementation 10 Conclusions 10 Recommendation 10 Agency comments 10 3 NEED FOR BETTER INSPECTION REPORTING 12 Procedures for advising management of inspection results 15 Conclusions 16 Recommendations 16 Agency comments 16 4 NEED FOR IMPROVED TRAINING PROGRAMS FOR INSPECT1ON PERSONNEL 17 Corps training programs for inspection personnel 18 Engineering Command training programs for inspection personnel 20 Development of agencywide training programs 21 Conclusions 21 Recommendations 22 Agency comments 22 5 NEED FOR MORE COMPREHENSIVE REVIEW OF FIELD OPERATIONS 23 Construction review program of the Corps 23 Construction review program of the En- gineering Command 23 Recommendations 24 Aeencv comments 24 Page CHAPTER 6 NEED FOR BETTER INTERAGENCY COORDINATION 25 Conclusions 26 Recommendation 26 Agency comments 26 7 SCOPE OF REVIEW 27 APPEND1 X I Letter dated October 19, 1970, from the Deputy Assistant Secretary o f Defense (Installations and Logistics) to the General Accounting Office 31 I1 Principal officials of the Department of Defense and t h e Departments of the Army and the Navy responsible for administra- tion o f activities discussed in this report 33 ABBREVIATIONS ASPR Armed Services Procurement Regulation DOD Department of Defense GAO General Accounting Office COMPTROLLER GEflERAL ' S MEASURES NEEDED TO ENSURE COMPLIANCE WITH REPORT TO TflE CONGRESS CONTRACT SPECIFICATIONS IN CONSTRUCTION OF MILITARY FACILITIES Department of the Army Department of the Navy B-171496 D- - IG --E- ST- WHY TEE REVIEW WAS MADE Because of the si ze of appropri a t i ons f o r mi 1i tary cons tructi on-- $4.8 billion f o r f i s c a l years 1967 through 1969--the General Accounting Office (GAO) has reviewed the inspection procedures of the Army Corps of Engineers and the Naval Facilities Engineering Comand intended t o ensure that cons tructi on i s i n accordance w i t h contract speci f i cati ons . The Corps and the Engineering Command are agents for the Department o f Defense (DOD) in construction of military projects. FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS The Army Corps of Engi,neers and the Naval Facilities Engineering Com- mand need t o tighten t h e i r procedures and practices f o r inspecting con- struction so t h a t military projects will be constructed as contracts speci fy . A number of military f a c i l i t i e s accepted by the Government as completed were n o t b u i l t in compliance w i t h contract requirements. As a r e s u l t , the f a c i l i t i e s were not f u l l y satisfactory for t h e i r intended use and/ or the Government had t o spend additional time and e f f o r t having defi- ciencies corrected. (See pp. 5 t o 9 .) For example, nejther the con- tractor nor the Government prior t o acceptance by the Government de- tected t h a t the roof on a $2.4 million hangar had not been installed i n accordance w i t h specifications . After completi on and acceptance of the hangar, portions of i t s roof were blown off on three occasions. The cost t o repair the roof on the f i r s t two occasions was borne by the contractor, and responsibility for repair on the t h i r d occasion h a d n o t been resolved a t the time of completion of GAO's fieldwork. (See P. 6 . ) The two construction agencies need t o improve ( 1 ) enforcement of con- t r a c t o r quality controls (see p. 5) ( 2 ) reports from and training of y Government inspectors (see pp. 12 and 1 7 ) , ( 3 ) evaluations by head- quarters of f i e l d a c t i v i t i e s (see p . 23) ' a n d ( 4 ) coordination o f ac- y t i v i t i e s of the two construction agencies i n solving problems conimon t o both (see p. 25). 1 RECOMMENDATIONS OR S U G G E S T I O N S The Secretaries of the Army and the Navy should have the two construc- ti on agencies --systematically monitor f i e l d offices' enforcement of contractor quality control programs (see p , 10); --review inspection reporting practices of f i e l d offices, correct those n o t complying w i t h agency regulations, and implement a system f o r prompt communication of inspection findings t o d i s t r i c t (Army) or division (Navy) construction management (see p. 16); and --improve Army t r a i n i n g programs f o r inspectors and establish such programs i n the Navy (see p . 2 2 ) . Both construction agencies should perform more comprehensive reviews of f i e l d offices' implementation o f agency procedures f o r inspecti on and supervision of military construction. (See p. 24.) The Secretary of Defense should take action t o ensure that the two con- struction agencies exchange information and coordinate a c t i v i t i e s i n areas of mutual i n t e r e s t . (See p. 26.) AGENCY A C T I O N S AND UNRESOLVED ISSUES DOD agreed w i t h GAO's findings and recommendations and reported t h a t both construction agencies were making improvements t o correct cited deficiencies. (See p. 10.) MATTERS FOR C O N S I D E B I T I O N BY T H E CONGRESS This report i s issued t o inform the Congress of DOD actions t o better ensure that the m i 1i tary services receive the qual i ty of cons tructi on planned and paid for. 2 CHAPTER 1 IKTRODUCTION The General Accounting Office examined the procedures and practices of the Army Corps of Engineers and the Naval Facilities Engineering Command for inspecting projects being constructed for the military services. Projects include fa- cilities such as aircraft runways and hangars, housing, bar- racks, and administrative offices. The purpose of our re- view was to evaluate the need f o r improvement of the inspec- tion procedures and practices to better ensure that military projects are completed in accordance with contract spe-cXi- cations. Our examination, which was -conducted during the _cc period June 1969 through May 1970, did not include an over- all evaluation of the agencies' administration of the mili- tary construction program. Details on the scope of our ex- amination are given on page 27. The Corps and the Engineering Command are the desig- nated construction agencies o f the Department of Defense. As such, these agencies are responsible for the award and administration of construction contracts for the Army, the Navy, and other DOD organizations. Their---- -. responsibilities_- include ensuring that construction is-completed according -- - to contract specifications. - The Armed Services Procurement Regulation (ASPR) pro- visions 7-602.9, 7-602.10, and 7-602.11, set forth DOD guidelines for inspecting projects. The Corps and the En- gineering Command have issued implementing instructions and regulations. The agencies have two primary controls avail- able to ensure that contract specifications are met. These are (1) the contractor quality control systems, whereby the contractors take specific actions to ensure compliance with all contract terms and conditions and maintain records con- cerning the results of the quality control efforts, and (2) onsite inspection by Government inspectors during con- struction. These controls are required for each project with a price in excess of $10,000. The Congress appropriated about $4.8 billion for the military construction program for fiscal years 1967 through 1969. The Corps and the Engineering Command have indicated 3 a significant interest in construction quality for the pro- grams they administer. Both agencies had representatives from their top management officials participating on the Federal Construction Council of the Building Research Ad- visory Board, which in 1968 published the results o f its study in a report entitled "Supervision and Inspection of Federal Construction." Many areas affecting construction quality were covered by the Federal Construction Council study, and a number of recommendations were made for im- proving the inspection and supervision of Government con- struction. The Corps and the Engineering Command have each con- ducted several internal studies and have also arranged for independent research groups to perform studies of areas in which construction administration could be improved. Each agency has also established review groups at the headquarters level that have the responsibility for evalu- ating the success of construction activities of their re- spective field offices. The principal officials responsible for administration of activities discussed in this report are listed in appen- dix 11. 4 CHAPTER 2 NEED TO ENSURE EFFECTIVE IMPLEMENTATION OF CONTRACTOR OUALITY CONTROL SYSTEMS We found that the Army Corps of Engineers and the Na- val Facilities Engineering Command needed to improve their procedures to ensure that contractors effectively imple- mented required quality control systems. Pursuant to ASPR provision 7-602.10, dated November 1961, a clause is included in construction contracts in ex- cess of $10,000 directing contractors to implement and maintain an adequate inspection system to ensure that the work performed conforms to all contract requirements. The contractor must also maintain and make available to the Government adequate records of the inspections made. THE CORPS PROGRAM In December 1966 the Corps issued a regulation to its field offices providing guidance on the proper implementa- tion of contractor quality control systems and the effect of the systems on the requirements for Government inspec- tion. The regulation stated that each contractor would be required to develop a specific quality control plan t o meet the inspection needs of each construction contract. The plan was to be reviewed and approved by the Corps prior to the start of any major construction. The regulation empha- sized that the contractor quality control plans were not intended to reduce the inspection efforts of the Government but were intended to promote better quality construction. At the Los Angeles District, we identified a number of projects in which the contractor quality control systems were not functioning properly. Following are some o f the projects and problems noted. A high-altitude test runway built by the Corps at Coy- ote Flats near Bishop, California, at a cost of $422,000 had not been utilized for its intended purpose since its completion in October 1968 because of poor surface condi- tions. 5 In October 1969 the Air Force advised the Corps that, because of large rocks in the surface of the runway and the erosive effect of one winter season, the runway could not be used to test the vertical takeoff and landing and short takeoff and landing aircraft for which it was designed. Our review in May 1970 indicated that the runway was still not being used as intended and that the Air Force did not have sufficient funds for repairs. We found that the contractor for this project did not have a specific quality control program in effect. The contractor's reports to the Government provided no infor- mation as to what actions, if any, the contractor had taken to ensure that construction met contract specifications. Further, as discussed on page 13 of this report, we were unable to locate the Government inspector's reports for this project. An aircraft hangar built by the Corps at Edwards Air Force Base, California, at a cost of $2.4 million had por- tions of its roof blown off on three occasions after the roof installation had been completed, supposedly in confor- mance with contractual requirements. The cost to repair the roof on the first two occasions was borne by the con- tractor, and responsibility for repair of the roof damage on the third occasion had not been resolved at the time of completion of our fieldwork. We found that the roofing subcontractor had not com- plied with contract specifications in installing the hangar roof. The hangar roof, as installed, contained various construction deficiencies, such as insufficient fastening of insulation to the deck, insufficient nailing of the roofing to the insulation, and incorrect lapping of the roofing sheets. The prime contractor on the project did not have a n effective quality control program and, there- fore, did n o t advise the Government of the subcontractor's poor roofing installation. The contractor's quality con- trol reports for the hangar provided a partial description of the construction activity on a daily basis; however, the reports did not disclose what inspections were being performed by the contractor to ensure that construction met contract specifications. 6 A $1.8 million runway constructed by the Corps at Williams Air Force Base, Arizona, although currently in op- eration, was described as being only a marginal facility by the Construction Evaluation Branch at Corps headquarters. The Corps contemplates no corrective action at this time as the extent of the deficiency will not be known until some time in the future. The runway project was described as a marginal facil- ity because tests conducted after the placement of certain runway materials disclosed that the materials did not con- form to contractual requirements. The tests which dis- closed the nonconforming materials should have been con- ducted prior to placing the materials in the runway. The tests were not conducted at the time required, and the con- tractor's quality control reports did not indicate the rea- sons for omitting the tests. Although the quality control reporting for the runway did provide some information on construction progress, the extent of inspection and testing reported by the contractor for the project was not in sufficient detail to enable the Corps to determine whether an effective quality control program existed. The Los Angeles District had delegated authority for the review and approval of contractor quality control plans to its supervisory engineers at field sites. During our review we noted some projects for which contractor quality control plans had not been submitted and other projects where contractors had submitted quality control plans but had received no formal notice of approval or disapproval by the supervisory engineers at the field sites. We presented to district officials our views of the need for greater emphasis on the review and approval of contractor quality control plans. The district promptly issued a directive which stated that all future contractor quality control plans would be reviewed by the district of- fice as well as supervisory engineers in the field. In the Baltimore District we found a significant vari- ance in quality control reports concerning construction progress, contractors' inspection o f construction, and the results o f the contractors' inspections. Contractor quality 7 control reporting for some of the projects seemed to be complete, while reporting for other projects was minimal. We also examined the Baltimore District's procedure for review and approval of contractor quality control plans prior to construction. As in the Los Angeles District, the review and approval authority had been delegated to super- visory engineers in the field. Actions to improve implementation During July and August 1969, the Office, Chief of En- gineers, conducted seminars on construction quality con- trol. The seminars were conducted because of evidence that the contractor quality control programs were not fully ef- fective. A summary of the findings of the quality control seminars noted that improved construction quality, as well as other benefits, could be derived by both the contractor and the Government with effective quality control programs. Subsequent to the quality control seminars, Corps of- ficials were revising regulations to provide the field of- fices with additional guidance on proper implementation and enforcement o f contractor quality control systems. Corps officials advised us that the revised quality control di- rective was being completed and should be issued during fiscal year 1971. THE ENGINEERING COMMAND PROGRAM At the Western Division and Southwest Division of the Command, we found that, although the required clause for contractor quality control was being inserted in construc- tion contracts in excess o f $10,00Q, the contractor quality control systems were not functioning properly in a number of projects. Following are some of the projects and prob- lems noted. Bachelor officers' quarters constructed by the Engi- neering Command at the Naval Training Center, San Diego, California, at a cost of $2.4 million received both inte- rior and exterior water damage after acceptance by the Gov- ernment. Responsibility for performing needed repairs on this project had not been resolved at the time of our re- view. 8 The interior and exterior water damage resulted from (1) the omission of gutters and downspouts for proper drainage from the roof, ( 2 ) the omission of caulking where the walls met the ceilings and floors, and ( 3 ) failure of the contractor to properly apply a liquid sealer to the ex- terior of the porous masonry block walls. Application of the liquid sealer was required in the contract specifica- tions but installation of the gutters and downspouts and the application of the caulking were not. In an aircraft maintenance facility built by the Engi- neering Command at the Naval Auxiliary Air Station, Impe- rial Beach, California, at a cost of $1.3 million, the han- gar doors would not function and a noticeable sag had de- veloped in the roof. On this project, there was a disagreement between the Government and the contractor as to whether the problems resulted from poor construction or inadequate design. The contractor did-not have a specific quality control- program for effective supervision of his subcontractors and did not provide the Government with quality control reports dis- closing job progress and the contractor's quality control efforts, if any. The Engineering Command concluded that it did not have sufficient evidence to demonstrate poor construction and that, therefore, design errors had caused the problems. As a result, a contract change order was issued for about $13,000 for repair o f the hangar doors. The roof sag was not corrected. Officials at both the divisions cited advised us that they had not enforced the requirement for contractor qual- ity control and that they did not require their contractors to provide reports on the results of any inspections con- ducted. The officials also stated that they had not re- ceived any direction from Engineering Command headquarters on the proper implementation of contractor quality control. Since the two divisions did not require specific quality control systems, there were no contractor-prepared reports available for the projects concerning job progress, inspec- tions performed, or results of inspections. 9 Actions to improve implementation In October 1969 Engineering Command officials advised us th at a regulation was being drafted which, when issued, wo u l d provide specific guidance to field divisions on the proper implementation of contractor quality control sys- tems. The instruction was issued on April 10, 1970, and shortly thereafter headquarters officials visited field di- visions to assist them in implementing the procedure. This instruction provides guidance for implementation of con- tractor quality control systems on construction contracts of $1,000,000 or more, awarded after July I, 1970. The in- struction contains the statement that it is the policy of the Commander, Naval Facilities Engineering Command, to im- plement the ASPR requirement on a progressive basis. The base, presently $1,000,000, is to be progressively lowered, depending on the rate of assimilation capability of Engi- neering Command field divisions. CONCLUSIONS The Corps and the Engineering Command have recognized the need for procedures which will ensure that contractors implement effective quality control systems, and the two agencies are currently attempting to achieve that goal, Af- ter implementation of quality control systems, the head- quarters level of each agency should systematically review the implementation to ensure that it is consistent and ef- fective at all field sites and is meeting agency goals. RECOMMENDATION We recommend that the Secretary of the Army have the Chief of Engineers establish and the Secretary of the Navy have the Commander, Naval Facilities Engineering Command, establish procedures for systematically monitoring field of- fices' enforcement of contractor quality control programs. AGENCY COMMENTS In a letter dated October 19, 1970 (see app. I), the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (Installations and Logistics) advised us that DOD concurred in our findings and recommendations and stated that, as indicated in our draft report, both construction agencies had been develop- ing and were continuing to develop improvements in the 10 areas cited. We were further advised that our draft report had been helpful in noting areas for further improvements and would be of assistance to both agencies in their devel- opment of improved procedures and policies for construction quality assurance. 11 CHAPTER 3 NEED FOR BETTER INSPECTION REPORTING We found that inspection reporting needed to be im- proved to provide the management at Corps districts and En- gineering Command divisions with better information on con- struction progress, inspection activities, and potential problems. Information of the type described was not being prepared for all military construction projects, although it was required by each agency's inspection reporting regu- lations. The Government inspector is responsible, under ASPR 7-602.11, for conducting onsite inspections of military projects, His observations and testing of the work being performed by the contractor are the primary assurance to the Government that the contractor is performing the construc- tion in accordance with the drawings and specifications and is meeting all contractual requirements. The Government inspector communicates the results of his observations and testing through his daily reports. Well-prepared reports should tell management whether job progress is satisfactory and should also indicate to manage- ment how well the inspector is fulfilling his responsibility. The inspector's report may be used as a legal document in the event of a dispute between the Government and the con- tractor. The Corps and the Engineering Command have various other reports for assisting management in administering the military construction program, but the inspector's daily re- port is the only report prepared by the Government based on continuous onsite inspection which is intended to present in detail the construction progress. The Federal Construction Council, in its 1968 report (see p. 4), recommended that Government agencies issue in- structions for the preparation and maintenance of complete and accurate records for each construction project. The recommendation further stated that reports should contain all facts pertinent to the project and should be transmitted to higher echelon supervision in a manner that will ensure 12 timely and effective communication. The Council concluded that effective central or regional office control of the quality of construction projects was dependent, to a large extent, upon preparing and maintaining complete and accurate records and reporting information to management in a system- atic manner. The Corps and the Engineering Command have issued regu- lations to their field offices on the proper preparation of inspector's reports. The regulations state that inspector's reports are to be prepared on a daily basis for each con- struction project inspected. The reports are to be an ac- curate detailed history of job progress with the purpose of keeping management advised of construction activity. Our tests revealed, however, that the reporting did not always provide sufficient information to keep management ad- vised of conditions at the construction site. Examples of inadequate inspection reporting are discussed below. During our review of the high-altitude test runway (see p. 5 ) , we were not able to locate the inspector's reports. Corps officials in the Los Angeles District also were unable to locate the reports. After the incident of the lost rec- ords, the district issued a directive to its field offices on the procedures for maintenance, handling, and storage of construction project records to reemphasize their importance. The district also issued instructions requiring periodic as- sessments by representatives of its construction division to determine whether field inspection reporting was being prop- erly completed and maintained. The available project files did not provide sufficient information to determine construction progress. It was not possible to determine if the project was constructed in ac- cordance with the contract specifications or what actions were taken by the Government inspector to ensure compliance with the construction contract. Regarding the $2.4 million hangar project which had various deficiencies in the construction of the roof (see p. 6 ) , we were advised that the Government inspector had not examined the roof. However, the failure to examine the roof was not disclosed in the inspector's reports. Also, there was no information in the inspector's reports as to 13 what alternative action, if any, was taken by the inspector to ensure that the roof was properly installed. Incomplete reporting, as described above, undermines construction man- agement's awareness of potential problems such as the bad roof. Concerning the $1.8 million runway (see p. 7 ) con- structed by the Corps' Los Angeles District for the Air Force, the inspector's reports, in conjunction with other available information, provided a fair description of the day-by-day construction activity. The reporting was not in sufficient detail, however, to advise management of the ac- tions taken by the Government inspector to ensure that con- struction met contract specifications. There was no expla- nation as to why certain tests were omitted, although the tests were necessary to determine whether the base-course materials used in the project met the requirements in the specifications. Tests conducted after placement of the materials indicated that the materials did not meet specifi- cations. We found that inspection reporting on the bachelor o f - ficers' quarters project (see p. 8), which was constructed for the Navy by the Southwest Division of the Engineering Command, was not in sufficient detail to determine construc- tion progress. Nor was it possible to determine from the reports what efforts were made by the inspector on a day- by-day basis to ensure that construction met contract spec- ifications. We found that inspection reporting on the $1.3 million maintenance facility (see p. 9 ) , which was built by the Southwest Division, provided very little information on the progress of construction or the adequacy of the contractor's construction practices. The reports covering the 60-day period just prior to the discovery that the hangar doors would not operate indicated that the inspector made only three tests during that time to provide assurance that construction was in accordance with specifications. It was not possible to determine from the reports what other ac- tions were being taken by the inspector during the 60-day period to ensure that construction met specifications. On the basis of' our review of the inspection reporting practices followed for the five projects described and our 14 overall review o f inspection reporting practices at the lo- cations visited, we believe that difficulties experienced in obtaining properly constructed military facilities are at- tributable, in part, t o failure of inspection reporting to meet the established requirements of the Corps and the Engi- neering Command. PROCEDURES FOR ADVISING MANAGEMENT OF INSPECTION RESULTS The results of inspections, to be effective as a man- agement tool, must be made known t o management on a timely basis in order that prompt action can be taken on problems noted. In reviewing the procedures and practices of the Corps and the Engineering Command regarding the communication of inspection results from the field to management levels, we found that standardized procedures for advising management of inspection results had not been developed. We found, at the Corps' Los Angeles District, that the inspector's reports were retained in the field until proj- ect completion and only the inspector's immediate supervisor was responsible for reviewing the reports. The only opportu- nity for district office officials t o review the reported results of inspections was during the periodic field visits by representatives of the district's construction division. We found, at the Baltimore District, that reports were also retained at field sites. However, the inspector's su- pervisor prepared a daily report on each project which was forwarded to the district office on a daily basis. This report, when properly completed, provided the district with an accurate detailed history of job progress. At the Western Division and Southwest Division of the Engineering Command, the inspectors' reports were generally forwarded t o the inspectors' supervisors in the field on a daily basis. The Western Division had directed its field supervi- sors to forward the reports to the division weekly. South- west Division had not provided guidance t o its field supervisors as t o the frequency for submitting the reports, and the supervisors' practices varied considerably. CONCLUSIONS We believe that construction inspection reports, which are accurate and complete and which identify the actions be- ing taken by the Government inspector, can provide the Corps and the Engineering Command with the type of information needed to more effectively manage the progress of construc- tion in the military construction program. To be useful, the results of inspections must be made known to management on a timely basis in order that prompt action can be taken on noted problem areas. RECOMMENDATIONS We recommend that the Secretary o f the Army and the Secretary of the Navy have the Chief of Engineers and the Commander, Naval Facilities Engineering Command, respectively, review the current inspection reporting practices o f their field offices, correct those not complying with agency regu- lations, and implement a system for prompt systematic commu- nication of inspection findings from the field offices to the construction management levels. AGENCY COMMENTS DOD concurred in our findings and recommendations. Its comments are discussed on page 10 of this report. 16 CHAPTER 4 NEED FOR IMPROVED TRAINING PROGRAMS FOR INSPECTION PERSONNEL Our review has revealed that the Army Corps of Engi- neers and Naval Facilities Engineering Command need to im- prove the training programs for inspection personnel in or- der that inspectors will be better qualified to protect the Government's interest in the military construction program. The Government construction inspector performs the onsite evaluation of military construction as required by the ASPR and in so doing is the primary means by which the Govern- ment ensures that construction conforms to contract speci- fications. The Government Employees Training Act of July 7, 1958 ( 7 2 Stat. 3 2 7 ) , directed Government agencies on the need for training of civilian personnel. The act stated that, to promote efficiency and economy in Government operations and to develop maximum proficiency in Government employees, Government-sponsored training programs should be provided to employees to develop the skills, knowledge, and abili- ties which will best qualify them €or their position. Federal regulations require training programs to be continuous in nature. The head of each agency is respon- sible for determining the training needs of his agency and establishing and operating training programs to meet those needs. The agency head is also responsible for extending agency training programs to employees of other agencies, establishing criteria for the selection o f employees for training, evaluating the results of training, and conduct- ing research to improve his agency's training programs. The Army and Navy implemented the Federal training require- ments through their respective civilian personnel regula- tions. The Federal Construction Council reported in 1968 that Government inspectors should possess training and experi- ence sufficient to ensure recognition of improper construc- tion and should be assigned to inspect only that construc- tion in which they have had adequate training and experience. 17 An inspector may be assigned to any one of many diver- sified projects such as runways, housing, barracks, water- ways, dams, and hangars. Rather than being assigned to one major facility, he may be required to inspect several smaller projects concurrently. The inspector also has re- sponsibilities in the areas of quality of materials, safety, and administrative matters related t o the job. The Civil Service Commission has established the re- quirements for attaining the position of construction in- spector. An individual's starting position is based on his experience and education. As an inspector gains experience and demonstrates ability, he may be advanced to positions of higher authority which might entail administrative and supervisory responsibility in addition to inspection activ- ities. The inspection personnel of the Corps and the Engi- neering Command generally are individuals who have had work experience in one aspect of construction. In conducting inspections of military projects, an inspector frequently encounters aspects o f construction outside his area of work experience; and, therefore, for an inspector to be effec- tive, his work experience must be supplemented by agency- sponsored training programs in other areas o f construction. CORPS T R A I N I N G PROGRAMS FOR I N S P E C T I O N P E R S O N N E L We found that the Corps had an agencywide training pro- gram for inspection personnel. There were 2 3 different courses available for inspection personnel, although the number and content o f the courses given could vary from year to year. The headquarters of the Corps administered the agency training program for inspection personnel but did not main- tain centralized records of training given. Corps head- quarters had no formal means for determining training needs of inspectors. The headquarters had assigned to its field offices the responsibility for selecting inspection person- nel to attend the various agency training courses. From the recommendations by field offices on inspection courses to be given and personnel to attend, headquarters developed an annual. training program for inspection personnel. 18 We found at the Corps' Los Angeles District that there was no formal means for determining the training needs of inspection personnel. The district's supervisory engineers in the field had been assigned the responsibility for se- lecting inspection personnel to attend the headquarters' training courses, but the engineers did not have informa- tion available by which to compare inspectors' training with the future inspection needs of the agency. Also, the engineers had to rely on their observations of inspectors' performances in selecting personnel to attend training, be- cause inspectors were not tested to determine areas of in- spection weakness and information was not available con- cerning the types of construction deficiencies which had not been detected by inspectors. The headquarters training was supplemented by periodic seminars given in the district, but the district did not maintain information on the frequency and content of the local seminars. The district did not have centralized rec- ords, other than individual personnel files, of agency training received by inspection personnel, and no record was maintained of local training given inspectors. The inspectors' personnel files showed that 2 3 inspec- tors had received no training after being employed by the Corps, 17 had taken one of the agency's courses, 15 had taken two courses, 10 had taken three courses, six had taken four courses, and 17 inspectors had taken five o r more of the agency 'courses. We found that the Baltimore District had no formal means for determining the training needs of its inspection personnel. The supervisory engineers in the field were re- sponsible for recommending specific inspectors for the agencywide training program but were subject to the same limitations as the supervisory engineers in Los Angeles in selecting inspection personnel to attend training. The supervisory engineers developed seminars for the inspectors under their supervision to supplement the training provided by headquarters. The Baltimore District recorded all training received by inspectors on centrally maintained training files. Training information for individual inspectors, or the 19 inspection force as a whole, was readily available in the central file. A district official advised us that their training plans called for each inspector to take at least one of the agency courses each year. Our review of training records indicated that inspection personnel in the Baltimore District had received a substantial amount of training at both the agency and district levels, In April 1970 Corps officials in Washington, D . C . , ad- vised us that a procedure was being implemented whereby personnel of the Corps' Construction Evaluation Branch at headquarters would be reviewing the adequacy of inspection during the branch's periodic evaluations of Corps' field activities. The observations of the branch concerning adequacy of inspection by individuals, as well as the in- spection forces as a whole, would be reported to the ap- propriate district and division levels in order that needed improvements in the area of inspection could be accom- plished. This action by the Corps, when fully implemented, should provide better information as to needed improvements to individual inspectors and to the inspection forces as a whole, and should assist the Corps in developing training programs for inspectors. ENGINEERING COMMAND TRAINING PROGRAMS FOR INSPECTION PERSONNEL We found that the Engineering Command did not have an agencywide training program for inspection personnel. The training of inspection personnel was determined and estab- lished by each division. The Engineering Command head- quarters had not monitored the training activities o f its divisions to determine whether the programs for inspectors were in accordance with Federal criteria. At the Western Division of the Naval Facilities Engi- neering Command, there was no formal training program for inspectors. Training provided was in the form of seminars, but these were not systematically scheduled. At the time of our review, all training for inspectors had been discon- tinued. The division had no formal technique for determin- ing training needs of inspection personnel. The division did not maintain centralized records of training received, 20 and inspectors' personnel files disclosed that training had not been consistently recorded since 1965. We found also that the Southwest Division had no for- mal program for training of inspectors. Periodic seminars on construction, human relations, and safety were conducted for inspectors; but the seminars were not given to all in- spectors and were not systematically scheduled. The topics presented were determined on the basis of seminars avail- able, not on the basis of areas identified as inspection weaknesses. The division did not have a systematic means for determining training needs of inspectors and did not maintain centralized records of training provided. During 1962 and 1963, the division tested its inspec- tion personnel to determine their knowledge of construction practices. Test results demonstrated that inspection per- sonnel did not have sufficient knowledge in the areas of cement, concrete, plumbing, electricity, painting, and in many other aspects of construction which they would fre- quently encounter in their inspection duties, The division had not developed a training program o r taken any other ac- tion to improve the inspectors' capabilities in the areas of demonstrated weakness. DeveloDment of anencvwide trainine Droerams In October 1969 Engineering Command officials advised us that agencywide training programs were being developed for all civilian career personnel, including construction inspectors. Our review showed that a training program for inspectors was being planned but had not been definitized. In April 1970 we found that the program was still in the planning stage and had not been implemented. CONCLUSIONS We believe that the Corps and the Engineering Command should improve their training of inspectors and help them attain greater proficiency in the examination of military construction. Improvements in training given by the two agencies should provide added assurance that the Govern- ment's interests are protected in the military construction program. 21 RE COMMENDATIONS We recommend that the Secretary o f the Army and the Secretary of the Navy have the Chief o f Engineers--in im- proving the Corps of Engineers' current prograa--and the Commander, Naval Facilities Engineering Command--in devel- oping a program for the Navy--respectively: 1. Establish a better means for determining training needs of inspectors and matching training to the inspection needs of the agency. 2 . Develop a continuous systematic training program to meet the determined needs. 3 . Maintain centralized training records t o facilitate planning and evaluation of training for groups and individuals. AGENCY COMMENTS DOD concurred in our findings and recommendations. I t s comments are discussed on page 10 o f this report. 22 CHAPTER 5 NEED FOR MORE COMPREHENSIVE REVIEW OF FIELD OPERATIONS We found that the Army Corps of Engineers and Naval Facilities Engineering Command needed to perform more com- prehensive reviews of the construction practices and pro- cedures at field locations to ensure that the field activi- ties of the two agencies were complying with all agency policies relating to construction inspection and contract.or quality control and were effectively carrying out their re- sponsibilities in these areas. CONSTRUCTION REVIEW PROGRAM OF THE CORPS The Corps headquarters had delegated the authority for review o f its divisions' and districts' construction prac- tices relative to inspection and contractor quality control to its Construction Evaluation Branch. Officials of the branch have advised us that their review plans call for an examination of such practices at each distri'ct and division 'at 6-month intervals.. Due to shortage 0.f staff, however, the reviews have been about 10 months apart. We found that the reports prepared by the branch identified deficient con- struction practices on a project-by-project basis. However, the reports generally did not indicate what problems, if any, existed within the division's or district's systems o f imple- mentation of Corps' policies and procedures. Also, the re- ports did not advise the division o r the district as to what actions should have been taken to correct system weak- nesses. We also found indications that the branch did not always make a timely follow-up t o ensure that corrective action had.been taken by field sites on deficiencies noted. CONSTRUCTION REVIEW PROGRAM OF THE ENGINEERING COMMAND During our reviews at the Western Division and South- west Division, we found no evidence that the headquarters had reviewed the implementation of agency policies and pro- cedures relating to construction inspection and contractor quality control. We were advised by headquarters officials 23 that prior t o 1969 there had not been an organization within the Command which had responsibility for monitoring the adequacy of the field divisions' construction activities. In May 1969 the Engineering Command announced the es- tablishment of the Construction Engineering Division, and in January 1970 the division became operational. The new divi- sion was assigned responsibility for reviewing the construc- tion activity of the field divisions t o ensure that agency policies and procedures were being followed and that proper coordination was maintained between field divisions and be- tween the divisions and headquarters. The review group has been assigned responsibility for formulating and administer- ing construction plans, policies, and procedures. The re- view group is to identify weaknesses in the construction program and recommend corrective action. The group is a l s o responsible for ensuring the training of inspectors and effective implementation of contractor quality control pro- grams. RECOMMENDATIONS We recommend that the Secretary of the Army have the Chief of Engineers take appropriate action to ensure that the Corps' Construction Evaluation Branch performs more com- prehensive reviews of field offices' implementation of agency procedures f o r inspection and supervision of military construction. We recommend also that the Secretary of the Navy have the Commander, Naval Facilities Engineering Command, take appropriate action to ensure that the Command's Construction Engineering Division develops an adequate system to monitor implementation by field offices of agency procedures for in- spection and supervision of military construction. AGENCY COMMENTS DOD concurred in our findings and recommendations. Its comments are discussed on page 1 0 of this report. 24 CHAPTER 6 NEED FOR BETTER INTERAGENCY COOREINATION Our review revealed a need for the Army Corps of Engi- neers and the Naval Facilities Engineering Command to co- ordinate their efforts directed toward improving the onsite inspection of construction proje cts. Each of the agencies is responsible for identifying and e 1iminating repetitiv.e construction prob lems, training construction inspection staff, ensuring implementation of effective contractor quality control programs, and ensuring that construction conforms to specifications. We found that each of the agencies had taken various actions to improve its administration of the military con- struction program. The results of such efforts by one agency should be useful to the other. Following are some of the actions which we believe would have been useful to both agencies. The Corps contracted with the Texas A. 6 M. Research Foundation for a s t u d y of areas affecting construction quality. The study, on which a report was submitted in May 1968, covered many areas of concern to both the Engineering Command and the Corps, but we found no evidence that the study results had been conveyed to the Navy. The Construction Division at Corps headquarters pre- pared and transmitted t o Corps field offices lists of re- petitive construction deficiencies which the division had noted in its field inspections. Information of this type could be used by Corps field officials for preparation of check lists of items for inspection personnel to consider. The Engineering Command could utilize such information in the same way if the Engineering Command were provided with the data. The Corps had an agencywide training program f o r in- spection personnel. It would be useful to the Engineering Command in establishing a training program for inspectors to know the type and content of the courses given by the Corps and the effect such training had on the quality o f Corps inspections. 25 We pointed out to the Southwest Division of the Engi- neering Command that the Corps had developed a program re- quiring contractors to implement quality control systems. We forwarded to the division the quality control regula- tions and directives used by the Corps in order that those items might assist the division in developing a program for contractor quality control. The progress by the Corps in developing contractor quaiity control programs should be of significant benefit to the Engineering Command in its en- forcement of contractor quality control. In 1967 the Engineering Command performed an agency- wide study of change orders attributable to design problems and the type of design errors most frequently encountered. The Corps is often involved in change orders resulting from design problems and might have found the Engineering Com- mand's study very useful in reducing or eliminating some of the causes of design errors. The Command has conducted internal reviews of areas which affect quality in its construction programs and also has requested an independent research group to evaluate areas affecting construction quality, The results of such studies should be useful to the Corps as well as the Navy. CONCLUSIONS Because there are many areas of mutual interest to both the Corps and the Engineering Command, some of which we have described, we believe that closer coordination be- tween the two agencies in areas o f mutual interest can serve to better ensure that military facilities are con- structed as specified. RECOMMENDATION We recommend that the Secretary o f Defense take ap- propriate action to ensure that the two construction agen- cies coordinate activities in areas of mutual interest re- garding construction quality assurance. AGENCY COMMENTS DOD concurred in our findings and recommendation. Its comments are discussed on page 10 of this report. 26 CHAPTER 7 SCOPE OF REVIEW Our review was directed primarily t o an examination of the practices and procedures of the Army Corps of Engineers and the Naval Facilities Engineering Command for onsite in- spection of military construction projects. Our review was conducted at: Headquarters, Army Corps of Engineers, Washington, D.C. Army Corps of Engineers, Los Angeles District, Los Angeles, California Army Corps o f Engineers, Baltimore District, Baltimore, Maryland Headquarters, Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Washington, D.C. Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southwest Divi- sion, San Diego, California Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Western Division, San Bruno, California We also made visits to various military bases and mili- tary construction projects in progress. For fiscal years 1967 through 1969, t h e Congress ap- propriated about- $4.8 billion for military construction: The cost of military construction at each o f the four field sites at which GAO conducted its review was as follows: Fiscal year Audit site 1967 1968 1969 Total (000 omitted) Engineering Command, Southwest Division $21,076 $ 71,966 $ 62,469 $155,511 Engineering Command, Western Division 21,467 48,896 12,901 83 ,264 Corps, Los Angeles District 29,655 33,344 39,773 102,772 Corps, Baltimore District 11,604 20,281 19,850 51 ,735 Total $83,802 $174.487 $134,993 $393.282 27 From discussions with agency officials and scanning of project files, we identified a number of significant proj- ects in which problems during construction were known to have occurred. At each of the above offices, we reviewed in more detail selected projects to confirm the occurrence of construction deficiencies involving a lack of compliance with contract requirements. Illustrative of our findings are the projects discussed in this report. Our purpose in selecting projects in which problems had occurred was to identify possible contributing causes and to determine if the two agencies could improve their inspection procedures and practices to reduce the possibility of recurrences of such problems. In performing our review, we examined pertinent poli- cies, procedures, regulations, correspondence, and documen- tation relating to individual construction projects, con- tractor quality control systems, inspection reporting, in- spector training, and other aspects o f the military con- struction program. We also interviewed military and civil- ian personnel responsible for administering the program. In the course of our review at each military installa- tion, we also contacted the cognizant military audit or in- ternal review organizations to ascertain whether they had recently completed any reviews regarding the inspection of military construction projects. We were advised by these organizations that no such reviews had been performed. 28 APPENDIXES 29 APPENDIX I Page 1 ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF DEFENSE WASHINGTON, B.C. 20301 19 OCT 1970 Mr. C. M. Bailey Director, Defense Division U.S. General Accounting Office Washington, D. C. 2 0 5 4 8 Dear Mr. Bailey: We have completed our review of the draft report by the General Accounting Office on "Improved Inspections Needed to Assure Compliance with Contract Specifications in the Construction of Military Facilities" (OSD Case #3160) provided by your letter of 12 August 1970. The draft report noted no significant discrepancies in the procedures of the Army Corps of Engineers (OCE) and the Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) field offices and divisions which were inspected during the period May 1969 to June 1970. However, the draft report did note that some improvements in the procedures and practices of the two agencies were required to provide better assurance that military construction projects were constructed in accordance with contract specifications. Specific areas i n which the need for improvement was noted in the draft report are: (1) more effective implementation of contractor quality control systems; ( 2 ) more comprehensive inspection reporting by Government inspectors; ( 3 ) increased emphasis on training of Govern- ment inspectors; (4) more intensive evaluation of field activities by the two construction agencies' headquarters; and (5) increased coordination between the two construction agencies in resolving mutual inspection problems. We concur with the GAO findings and recommendations and note that the findings are in accordance with current Department of Defense policies. As indicated in the draft report both OCE and NAVFAC have been and are con- tinuing to develop improvements to their procedures in the areas cited. 31 APPENDIX I Page 2 [See GAO note] The draft report has been most helpful in noting areas for further improvements to OCE and NAVFAC and will be of assistance t o b o t h agencies in their development o f improved procedures and policies for construction quality assurance. Sincerely, GAO n o t e : These comments make reference t o statements con- tained in the draft report which have been omitted in the final report. 32 APPENDIX I1 Page 1 PRINCIPAL OFFICIALS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE AND THE DEPARTENTS OF THE ARMY AND THE NAVY RESPONSIBLE FOR ADMINISTRATION OF ACTIVITIES DISCUSSED IN THIS REPORT Tenure of office From To - DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: Melvin R. Laird Jan. 1969 Present Clark M. Clifford Mar. 1968 Jan. 1969 Robert S. McNamara Jan. 1961 Mar. 1968 DEPUTY SECRETARY OF DEFENSE : David M. Packard Jan. 1969 Present Paul H. Nitze July 1967 Jan. 1969 Cyrus R. Vance Jan. 1964 June 1967 ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF DEFENSE (INSTALLATIONS AND LOGISTICS): Barry J. Shillito Jan. 1969 Present Thomas D. Morris Sept. 1967 Jan. 1969 Paul R. Ignatius Dec. 1964 Aug. 1967 DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY SECRETARY OF THE ARMY: Stanley R. Resor July 1965 Present ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF THE ARMY a (INSTALLATIONS AND LOGISTICS): J. Ronald Fox June 1969 Present Vincent P. Huggard (acting) Mar. 1969 June 1969 Dr. Robert A. Brooks Oct. 1965 Feb. 1969 33 APPENDIX I1 Page 2 Tenure of office From To - DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY (continued) CHIEF OF ENGINEERS: Lt. Gen. Frederick J . Clark Aug. 1969 Present Lt. Gen. William F. Cassidy July 1965 Aug. 1 9 6 9 DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY SECRETARY OF THE NAVY: John H. Chafee Jan. 1969 Present Paul R. Ignatius Aug. 1967 Jan. 1 9 6 9 John T. McNaughton July 1967 July 1967 Paul H. Nitze Nov. 1963 June 1967 ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF THE NAVY (INSTALLATIONS AND LOGISTICS): Frank Sanders Feb. 1969 Present Barry J. Shillito Apr. 1968 Jan. 1 9 6 9 Graeme C. Bannerman Feb. 1965 Feb. 1 9 6 8 COMMANDER, NAVAL FACILITIES ENGINEERING COMMAND: Rear Adm. Walter M. Enger Aug. 1969 Present Rear Adm. A. C. Husband Nov. 1965 Aug. 1 9 6 9 US. GAO Waah.. D.C. 34
Measures Needed To Ensure Compliance With Contract Specifications In Construction Of Military Facilities
Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1971-04-16.
Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)