Friday, September 23, 2011

Government Waste, Part 1: Walter Reed Hospital

I find it implausible that construction costs alone can be a significant factor in the tripling of closing WRAMC and relocating it's services and functions. Construction costs have risen over the past six years, but only about 22% for basic materials (lumber & wood products, cement, iron products). All sector average wages in the Mid-Atlantic region have risen 14% - rounding up to 20% for the construction trades still suggests that the total fiscal impact of the six-year delay/adjustment in the closing/relocation plans would be impacted marginally and not by several X. There must be other factors at work here, possibly coordination with the Navy, programatic evolution, and bureaucratic inefficiencies are why the costs have skyrocketed. But it's not construction costs, as the article suggests. The GAO should aggressively market the property for reuse and repurposing, as it's imbedded real estate value must be tremendous. This would offset much of the cost increases, and prevent further fleecing of taxpayers due to uncreative governmental management.

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