VA May Never Be Able to Pinpoint How Hospital Costs Spiraled Out of Control

VA official says Integrated Design and Construct contract, handwritten agreement to start construction were the two biggest contributors to cost increases

The Denver Post

Department of Veterans Affairs Deputy Secretary Sloan Gibson has said the agency may never be able to explain precisely with line-item descriptions how the hospital project in Aurora went from a $604 million construction budget to $1.73 billion in two years.

Gibson says the best explanation of the cost overruns can be found in the Civilian Board of Contract Appeals court decision from December 2014. The ruling identified numerous VA errors but did not estimate how much any mistake cost.

Gibson also said the two biggest contributors to the cost increases were the decision to use an Integrated Design and Construct contract and the handwritten agreement signed in November 2011 to get construction started.

Since the budget has ballooned out of control, the VA has attempted to reduce the estimated project cost by dropping a nursing home and PTSD center from the plans. Congress currently has enough money to keep construction going through September, but about $625 million is still needed to complete the project.

(more on the explanation regarding the VA project cost overruns...