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Audit of PBS Basic Repairs and Alterations Project: Fort Lauderdale Federal Building and Courthouse

Why We Performed This Audit

We initiated this audit in response to a hotline complaint that raised concerns over project management in the GSA Public Buildings Service (PBS) Southeast Sunbelt Region’s (PBS Region 4’s) Gulf Coast Branch. Although we determined that the complaint did not have merit, we identified risks concerning the Gulf Coast Branch’s award and administration of contracts that warranted an audit. To conduct our audit, we selected one basic repair sand alterations project from the Gulf Coast Branch. Our audit objective was to determine whether PBS Region 4 planned, awarded, administered, and closed out the task order for water intrusion repairs and mold remediation at the U.S. Federal Building and Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Florida (Fort Lauderdale Federal Building and Courthouse), in accordance with the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), GSA Acquisition Manual (GSAM), and other applicable policies.

What We Found

PBS Region 4 did not plan, award, administer, and close out the water intrusion repairs and mold remediation task order for the Fort Lauderdale Federal Building and Courthouse in accordance with the FAR, GSAM, and other applicable policies. We found that PBS Region4 did not maintain a complete and accurate task order file. PBS Region 4 also did not ensure that contractor and subcontractor employees were paid in compliance with the Davis-Bacon Act.

Additionally, PBS Region 4 improperly allowed project managers to perform contracting officer’s representative duties without delegation of authority. Finally, PBS Region 4 did not perform the required review to identify and resolve any issues when the task order file was transferred to a new contracting officer.

Our finding and conclusions are based on the evidence we were able to gather during our audit. Due to the extent of incomplete and inaccurate documentation in the task order file, we were unable to evaluate or review many of PBS Region 4’s contract decisions.

What We Recommend

We recommend that the PBS Region4 Regional Commissioner:

  1. Provide training to Gulf Coast Branch contracting officials with respect to:
    1. Maintaining complete and accurate contract file documentation in accordance with the FAR, GSAM, and other applicable policies;
    2. Ensuring employees are paid in accordance with applicable statutory and regulatory labor requirements;
    3. Designating contracting officer’s representatives properly before delegating contract responsibilities; and
    4. Complying with applicable FAR and GSAM clauses governing the transfer of contract files. 
  2. Prepare and implement oversight procedures to ensure contract file documentation within the Gulf Coast Branch complies with the FAR, GSAM, and other applicable policies.
  3. Perform a review of all certified payroll documentation for this task order and take action to compensate any contractor employees who were underpaid.
  4. Perform a review of contracts awarded by the Gulf Coast Branch to ensure that the contract files contain complete and accurate contract documentation in accordance with the FAR, GSAM, and other applicable policies.

The PBS Region 4 Regional Commissioner agreed with our recommendations and provided general comments on PBS Region 4’s efforts to improve acquisition processes, oversight, and training. These comments did not affect our finding and conclusions. PBS Region 4’s written comments are included in their entirety in Appendix B.

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Public Buildings Service
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