Summary: H.R.3106 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed House amended (02/09/2016)

Construction Reform Act of 2016

(Sec. 2) This bill requires the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to use industry standards, standard designs, and best practices in carrying out medical facility construction.

A super construction project is one for the construction, alteration, or acquisition of a medical facility involving a total expenditure of more than $100 million (but does not include an acquisition by exchange).

The VA shall provide, on a non-reimbursable basis, a non-VA federal entity with: (1) design, planning, and construction assistance; (2) project documents; and (3) other assistance upon request.

With respect to a proposed change to a contract entered into by a non-VA federal entity with which the VA has entered into an agreement that is estimated at a value of less than $250,000, the entity shall issue a final decision regarding such change within 30 days.

With respect to a proposed contract change estimated at a value of $250,000 or more:

  • the VA may make recommendations to the entity;
  • the VA may issue the final decision regarding the change within 30 days after the entity proposes it; and
  • if the VA does not issue a final decision within 60 days after the entity proposes the contract change, the entity shall issue a final decision regarding the change no later than 90 days after it proposes the change.

The VA shall ensure that each VA employee with responsibilities relating to the construction or alteration of medical facilities undergoes ongoing professional training and development.

The VA is prohibited from:

  • obligating or expending funds for advance planning or design for any super construction project until 60 days after congressional notification,
  • obligating funds for a major medical facility project or a super construction project by more than 10% of the amount approved by law unless certain congressional committees approve the obligation, or
  • using bid savings amounts or funds for other than their original purpose before 30 days after notifying those committees unless each committee approves the obligation.

The VA shall enter into a contract with an appropriate non-department federal entity to conduct an external forensic audit of: (1) the medical center construction project in Aurora, Colorado; and (2) the expenditures relating to any major medical facility or super construction project when such expenditures exceed the amount approved by law by more than 25%.

The VA must complete a 10-year master plan for: (1) each existing VA medical facility by December 31, 2016, and (2) each new VA medical facility by not later than the earlier of the date on which activation is completed or the date of the facility's formal dedication.

(Sec. 3) There is established in the Office of Inspector General an Assistant Inspector General for Construction who shall be responsible for conducting, supervising, and coordinating audits, evaluations, and investigations of the planning, design, contracting, and construction of VA facilities and infrastructure, including major and minor construction projects and leases.