Texas Audit Finds Flaws in State Design-Build Job Management
A state audit issued last month faults the Texas Dept. of Transportation for several shortcomings in administering design-build projects, based on reviews of four projects totaling $3.8 billion that were procured between September 2012 and February 2016. They included the addition of managed lanes to the I-35E corridor in Dallas and the replacement of the Harbor Bridge in Corpus Christi. State Sen. Bob Nichols (R), who heads the state Senate Transportation Committee, requested the audit. While TxDOT conformed with applicable procurement rules, auditors said its lack of “a fully established and documented framework” resulted in “weaknesses and inconsistencies” that could limit efficient use of design-build statewide. Their analysis said the agency lacks a consistent process for procurement-phase scope changes, which puts process transparency at risk and potentially reduces design-build best value. The review also noted shortcomings in TxDOT’s management of audits, change-order approval and oversight of key deliverables. An agency spokesperson says it is making the recommended improvements. TxDOT now is limited to three design-build projects per a year, with a minimum contract price of $50 million.