Friday, January 11, 2013

47% Of Parks Capital Projects Behind Schedule - Millions in Cost Overruns - Comptroller


City-Wide

The Parks Department is not carrying out and overseeing capital construction projects in a timely and cost effective manner according to an audit released today by City Comptroller John C. Liu.

The audit found the Parks Department’s failure to monitor its capital construction projects in Fiscal Years 2010 and 2011, resulted in 47 percent of projects not being completed within their originally scheduled timeframes.  Some projects were years behind schedule and 10% of them went significantly over budget.

Additionally, the Department did not follow procedures to seek to recoup from consultants the cost of change orders that were necessitated by design errors or design omissions.

As a result, the Department expended almost $13 million in project costs—$2.2 million in additional staffing costs for construction management and almost $11 million in additional construction costs, which included $4 million in change orders that were necessitated by design errors or design omissions. 

“New Yorkers and visitors alike love our parks.  Repairs and upgrades must be better managed not only to reduce wasteful spending, but also to minimize the duration of park closures,” Comptroller Liu said in a press release. “The Parks Department can do better.”

In FY2010-FY2011, the Parks Department completed 315 capital construction projects, at a cost of $496.3 million.   Comptroller Liu’s audit found that:

·         149 (47%) of those projects finished late.  The projects were 218 days late on average. These late projects were supposed to have been complete within 284 days on average, so the delays resulted in almost doubling the length of time planned for completion.
·         30 projects combined to rack up $10 million in cost overruns, over and above the additional $8.6 million in contingency allowances for overruns that they burned through.  The projects had been budgeted at a combined cost of $69.6 million.
·         Despite spending $4 million to correct consultants’ design errors and omissions on various projects, the Parks Department did not use its right to try and recoup the money.

Comptroller Liu’s Audit Bureau launched the audit in response to numerous complaints from New Yorkers, including calls to the Comptroller’s 212-NO-WASTE hotline, and after independently assessing that an examination of the agency’s capital projects was warranted.

The audit recommended several steps that the Parks Department should take to better ensure that projects are completed on time and within budget.  For example, the audit recommended that the Parks Department flag projects for priority completion so that delayed work can be expedited.

Misleading Statistics in the Mayor’s Management Report

The MMR provides overall statistics for various “critical” agency performance indicators. The Department, however, is not providing accurate information to the MMR about the number of projects completed on time. According to the Fiscal Year 2010 MMR, the Department completed 150 projects of which 114 (76 percent) were completed “on-time or early.” In contrast, our review of the Department’s Q&A records indicated that in Fiscal Year 2010, 83 (55 percent) of 150 projects were completed on time—which is 21 percentage points less than reported in the MMR. Similarly, according to the Fiscal Year 2011 MMR, the Department completed 165 projects of which 130 (79 percent) were completed “on-time or early.” In contrast, our review of the Department’s Q&A records indicated that in Fiscal Year 2011, 83 (50 percent) of 165 projects were completed “on-time or early”—which is 29 percentage points less than reported in the MMR.



Today’s audit is available for download here: http://www.comptroller.nyc.gov/bureaus/audit/yearlyview.asp?selaudyear=2013

The complete list of projects that were delayed or overbudget is available in the audit’s appendix.

Parks Projects That Were Significantly Overbudget And Delayed

Project DescriptionBoroughDelay DaysOver Budget
 Amt
POE PARK VISITORS CENTER
Bronx
578
$ 1,234,802
SOUNDVIEW PARK - CONSTR OF
Bronx
693
777,884
EDENWALD PLAYGROUND
Bronx
187
163,000
CHARLTON GARDEN PLGD
Bronx
213
139,150
SCHOOLYARDS @ PS105K, PS 112, PS 205, PS 247
Brooklyn
555
572,000
KAISER PARK - REC BLDG
Brooklyn
930
449,674
ROBERT E. VENABLE PARK
Brooklyn
182
435,990
ROBERT E. VENABLE PARK
Brooklyn
421
161,028
RIVERSIDE PARK
Manhattan
366
$ 1,753,617
PAVEMENTS, SIDEWALKS
Manhattan
653
800,000
UNION SQUARE PK - CONSTR OF
Manhattan
325
309,454
SCHOOLYARDS @ PS 129Q, PS 79, JHS 25, PS 159
Queens
53
182,000
SCHOOLYARDS @ PS 116Q 
& IS 238
Queens
284
100,949
CONSTR OF TUSCAN GARDEN & LEMON HOUSE, SNUG HARBOR
Staten Island
1071
804,367




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