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Peter Lehrer testifies on GSA procurement policy.

In testimony today before the Treasury, Postal Service and General Government Subcommittee of the House Committee on Appropriations, Peter M. Lehrer discussed several approaches for improving the General Services Administration's building process. Mr. Lehrer is president of Bovis, Inc., ranked as the second largest construction management firm in the United States. Bovis Inc. companies are currently serving as construction manager for several GSA projects, including the Foley Square Courthouse in New York City; the White Plains Courthouse in White Plains, NY; the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals building renovation in San Francisco, California; and,the Long Island Courthouse in Islip, New York.

In his presentation to the Subcommittee, Lehrer offered several recommendations for improving the GSA'S procurement process and building procedures.

"A major stumbling block to timely acquisition of facilities for federal departments and agencies is the position taken by the Office of Management and Budget in scorekeeping and expenditures," he pointed out. "Currently, the OMB scorekeeps the entire cost of construction of a facility ... in the first year of the project rather than amortizing the costs over the actual construction period or expected use life of the purchased building. While this makes the budget bottom line look better for the current year, it is fiction in terms of actual costs to the government."

Lehrer encouraged the Committee and Congress to direct OMB to cease its differentiation between acquisition of facilities for ownership by the federal government and leasing of facilities, which has a built in bias against federal ownership of facilities.

In his testimony, Lehrer suggested that the Central Office of GSA's Buildings Service encourage the regions to require that Construction Quality Management services be used on projects of a certain complexity or size. "Reduced or static numbers of facilities staff in the various regions are faced with substantial building projects," he explained. "All regions of the GSA should use the services of construction managers as a means of extending their capabilities to oversee the work underway."

Lehrer also called for the GSA and other federal agencies to consider a change in the procurement procedure to allow for the selection of a construction manager under a Brooks Act-like methodology, with qualifications and experience the ruling criteria in selection, not price. "Construction managers are the professionals of the construction industry." he commented. "Selection of CM's should focus on the professionalism, experience and technical assets a CM brings to the particular job."

In closing, Lehrer noted that the creation of a limited-duration industry/government advisory group might be a useful means of making recommendations on standards, economies, delivery systems and design participation. He stated: "I believe that methods can be uncovered to result in reductions of costs through economies of scale."
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Title Annotation:Bovis Inc. president Peter M. Lehrer outlines methods of improving building process; General Services Administration
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Apr 14, 1993
Words:450
Previous Article:New construction contracts fall 6% in Feb.
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