GAO: Green building projects lack performance measures

Thursday - 12/8/2011, 10:24am EST

David Wise, director of physical infrastructure issues, GAO

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By Jolie Lee
Web Editor
Federal News Radio

Economic, environmental, and health concerns have encouraged green building, but the agencies need to do a better job of measuring the success of these initiatives, according to a new Government Accountability Office report.

The report examined how agencies evaluate projects to help make buildings outside of government more eco-friendly.

"It's not an entirely bleak picture, but I would say the overwhelming majority of issues we looked at did not have performance measures as designed in the Government Performance and Results Act," said David Wise, GAO's director of physical infrastructure issues, in an interview with The Federal Drive with Tom Temin and Amy Morris.

GAO examined 94 federal projects run by 11 agencies. Three agencies oversaw a majority of these projects — the departments of Housing and Urban Development, Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency.

The watchdog agency recommended that these three agencies take the lead in coordinating with other agencies to measure green performance.

"The technology is there, and they can do it. We found they are very open to the idea of doing this, and hopefully they will be able to implement this recommendation, and we can come back in a couple of years and see some real progress in this area, so the U.S. taxpayer feels they are getting a reasonable return on the investment," Wise said.

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