Cost estimating by the U.S. Energy Dept. on its construction and cleanup projects needs revamping to keep overruns under control, says a new report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office. Outdated estimating guidelines have caused the agency to sometimes request too little money from Congress to complete work, adds GAO.
Contractors do almost all DOE’s site construction and waste-cleanup projects. Some jobs will take decades; cost estimates total hundreds of billions of dollars. “Without a way to ensure that its contractors use best practices in generating cost estimates” and without adequate federal oversight, “DOE has effectively ceded a significant portion of its control...to its contractors,” the report adds.