The House on Tuesday approved a bill to increase oversight and management of large construction projects at the Department of Veterans Affairs after a new VA hospital in Aurora nearly tripled original cost estimates.
The bill requires the VA to allow the Army Corps of Engineers or other federal agencies to manage projects that cost more than $100 million. The VA also would be required to keep Congress closely informed about large projects. Money could not be spent on advance planning or design until 60 days after Congress is notified.
The House approved the bill on a voice vote. It now goes to the Senate.
The measure responds to a multiyear debacle in Aurora, where the hospital under construction is now projected to cost $1.7 billion. Investigators blame overruns on multiple design changes and a decision by VA officials to use a complicated contract process they didn’t fully understand.
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