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ARCHITECT OF THE CAPITOL
(Excludes New Facilities & Security)
It shows that the 1.7 percent in 1993 equated to $49.6 million, and escalated at 3 percent per year, to $57.5 million in 1998.
This totaled some $321 million in potential need for reinvestment for this period, but the red line plots actual reinvestment, from some $25.3 million, down to $14.5 million in 1997, including the $33.5 million for the Botanic Garden, that brought it to $47.9 million.
In 1998, it shows an increase from $14.5 million to $33.7 million, which this committee allocated, reversing the downward trend in recognition of the very real need to be responsible stewards of these national treasures.
I think it is important to note, however, that the total reinvestment made in the Capitol complex between 1993 and 1998 amounts to just under $175 million, some 54 percent of the $321 million benchmarked for that period.
The approximate $150 million difference between the benchmark and the actual expenditures accounts for the pent-up need for so many long deferred projects to finally be funded.
I believe that we would be in a lot worse shape, Mr. Chairman, if the day-to-day maintenance efforts by Larry Stoffel and our staff had not helped to extend the life expectancy of building systems and components way beyond what could reasonably be expected.
As this chart shows, our 1999 request for reinvestment funding of $60.5 million is within 2 percent of the $59.3 million benchmark. Each project must, of course, stand on its own merits and needs, but the overall magnitude is in line. We stand ready to discuss the validity of the projects at your convenience. The next chart basi
cally breaks it down into the areas of life safety, ADA, security, et cetera.
ARCHITECT OF THE CAPITOL FISCAL YEAR 1999 BUDGET REQUEST BY CATEGORY
I readily acknowledge that the amount requested is large and understand the pressures to achieve a balanced Federal budget in fiscal year 1999. As you are well aware, however, Mr. Chairman, the need for these projects do not go away, since they are needed to maintain our aging infrastructure.
I would be more than happy, Mr. Chairman, to address any questions, comments, whatever.
[The statement follows:)
PREPARED STATEMENT OF ALAN M. HANTMAN, AIA
GENERAL INTRODUCTION AND EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Mr. Chairman, I am pleased to once again appear before this Committee to present the budget for the Architect of the Capitol, one year, one month and sixteen days after I officially assumed my duties on February 3rd of 1997. As you are aware, I have been immersed in learning and evaluating the complexities of this agency, while also initiating concrete action in response to Congress' imperative to provide cost effective, quality service in support of its day to day activities. I heard Congress' mandate "loud and clear and have focused in on rebuilding this agency into a unified, yet flexible, responsive and quality oriented instrument of the Congress. A brief summary of actions to date includes:
Capital Projects.- Initiating the planning, drawings, contracts and construction for work on the $33 million of capital projects funded in fiscal year 1998 such as:
$3 million in projects under contract for design: Senate Legislative Garage; Cap
itol Dome; and Dirksen Building Telecommunications and Fire Sprinkler $12 million in projects under contract for construction: Jefferson Building Roof
and Elevator Modernization _$18 million in project development: Power Plant East Chiller Replacement and
ADA Improvements Also, we have completed construction documents for renovation of the U.S. Botanic Garden Conservatory, and this project is now being advertised for bid. The contiguous privately funded National Garden is in process and will follow shortly. Another significant project is the rehabilitation of the U.S. Capitol Dome. Initial portions of the study for necessary renovations of the Dome have been completed while others are still in process. This fiscal year 1999 budget recommends allocating $7.5 million to perform the complex task of removing lead-based paint in the interstitial space between the inner and outer domes, and, after study, repainting the
metal. This will permit the necessary detailed inspection of all cast iron elements to clearly define the scope of work for subsequent phases.
Operations, Personnel Policies and Procedures.- On the operations side we have initiated programs to: -Select and begin the introduction of a computer aided facility management sys
tem (CAFM) to track, coordinate, record and evaluate work management cost and staffing data throughout the campus, as well as to provide enhanced space management capabilities - Improve communications between the agency and our oversight entities, our cli
ents, and other arms of Congress -Upgrade internal administrative systems to achieve a Year 2000 fix for our pro
curement, financial and inventory operations -Initiate an agency wide strategic planning process -Facilitate initiatives with the Senate Sergeant at Arms, the Secretary of the
Senate, as well as their counterparts on the House side, and the Capitol Police, to coordinate services, and eliminate overlapping functions - Reorganize Central Staff to better support the work of all of our jurisdictions -Rebuild our Human Resources Management Division -- Create task forces to investigate alternative means of providing more cost effec
tive and quality services in many areas of the agency - Develop standardized policies and procedures for use by all AOC jurisdictions
across the campus - Provide management training programs for managers at all levels, as well as developing training opportunities to further enhance the trade and professional
skills of our employees. Vision and Goals
I believe, Mr. Chairman, that it is important for the Congress to know the philosophical underpinnings of these efforts, the foundation we are building upon, because there is no "quick fix” solution to what is needed in rebuilding and re-engineering business practices in this agency. Through our strategic planning process, we are building an organization that will be able not only to support the day to day workings of both houses of the Congress in an equitable and professional manner, but one that will go on performing its duties long after all of us in this room are gone. It is important for us to build not only for today but also for the future-not only in our capital and maintenance projects, but also to build the proper team to perform the necessary day to day functions and services of this agency. This would include developing the proper mix of in house staff, vendors, indefinite quantity service contracts, and temporary employees to be called upon as work load necessitates. Our new Vision Statement commits us to this: "We will be an innovative and efficient team dedicated to service excellence and to preserving, maintaining, and enhancing the national treasures entrusted to our care.
Our ongoing strategic planning process also produced a set of core values that we will use to guide us in our planning and our day to day activities: Service Excellence; Stewardship; Integrity; Professionalism; Creativity; Loyalty; Respect; Diversity; and Teamwork. Congressionally Mandated Changes
Change is necessary to assure that this agency makes these values and the vision part of our "corporate culture" so that all staff members truly make them the foundation of our work, the basis for how we do business. Many issues were identified and mandated for change in the Architect of the Capitol Human Resources Act, and in the Congressional Accountability Act. These include the requirement to develop human resources management programs consistent with the practices common among other federal and private sector organizations. In response, this agency has begun initiatives to: -more clearly define job descriptions and job expectations so that everyone will
know the requirements to successfully perform their jobs. create a viable job performance and evaluation system so that constructive feed
back can be given to improve performance where necessary, and to recognize and acknowledge those who provide quality service and work towards the achievement of our vision and goals. -assure that uniform and fair standards are developed, implemented and used throughout the Agency to the greatest extent possible with respect to working conditions, job postings, upward mobility, etc. - create a viable equal employment and conciliatory programs function that can fairly and efficiently address employee concerns in line with the Congressional Accountability Act.
-provide training opportunities to further enhance the trade and professional
skills of our employees, including helping supervisors better communicate with,
and monitor the work of, those who report to them. These initiatives are all in process and are part of the foundation that this Agency is being rebuilt on. The Congressional Accountability Act also created the Office of Compliance with the powers to monitor compliance with the intent of the Act, and also granted the employees of this agency, among others on Capitol Hill, the right to form unions. As you are aware, at this point AFSCME Council 26 has been designated to represent over 600 of our custodial and labor employees, and we are in the process of working with the union on a range of issues. Review and Evaluation Methodology
In order to address these realities and comply with these laws, this Agency is undergoing an intensive review of all of its operations with the goal of continuously refining and improving the quality of our services to Congress and our visitors to Capitol Hill, while at the same time responding to the imperatives of the laws discussed above. As part of this review we are investigating how to keep costs down and most efficiently deliver our services in fulfillment of our fiduciary responsibilities to the American Taxpayer.
This is in line with House recommendations over the past two years regarding future restructuring of the Office of the Architect of the Capitol, which discussed looking for sensible ways to streamline the Architect's operation and logical areas in which to involve the private sector. Specifically, consideration of the private sector was suggested for routine maintenance and remedial work, in addition to the major AOC projects for which this is now routinely done. Our on-going investigation therefore includes in-depth evaluations of: Logical areas in which to involve the private sector; internal opportunities to re-engineer and consolidate existing staff; and opportunities to eliminate duplication of services with other arms of the House and Senate.
If any of these initiatives result in staffing reductions, it is our recommendation that this agency be authorized to implement early out and buy out programs for affected employees. There are three basic components to this review and evaluation: Impartial peer group benchmarking for best business practices; Intra-Agency information gathering and assessment; and customer feedback.
These will be discussed in more detail under Goals and Processes for Sensible Agency Re-engineering. Fiscal Year 1999 Budget Overview
I would like to briefly address our fiscal year 1999 budget request. The Operating Budget requested for fiscal year 1999, $153,812,000, represents a 5.8 percent increase in operating costs, two-thirds of which are due to mandated pay and benefits costs, 12 percent to election move cycle costs, and 6 percent to an agency-wide uniform program based on the pilot program currently underway in the Senate. Cost savings will be achieved through re-engineering efforts planned in fiscal year 1998 and implemented in fiscal year 1999, and will be reflected in savings in subsequent budgets.
The requested increase in the Capital Projects portion of the budget is significant, but the magnitude of the total for cyclical maintenance projects is very much in line with the benchmark analysis discussed last year. That analysis indicated that a "campus-like” complex of this age, monumental quality and magnitude could expect to expend annually approximately 1.7 percent of the replacement value of the buildings and infrastructure. Based upon an estimated replacement value of $3.6 billion, 1.7 percent would equate to a target reinvestment level of $59.3 million with 3 percent escalation to fiscal year 1999. Each project must of course stand on its own, but the overall magnitude of our request of $60.5 million, correlates directly with the 1.7 percent benchmark of $59.3 million and we stand ready to discuss the validity of each of the 228 projects at your convenience. They have been categorized into Life Safety, Security, etc., for the purpose of analysis and decision making:
There have been unanticipated project cost increases included in this request, such as the Capitol Square Perimeter Security Improvements. Further, the ongoing study of the necessary repairs and repainting of the Capitol Dome has led to the conclusion that this project also has increased in complexity, scope, and therefore, cost. These two projects alone account for $27.5 million of the fiscal year 1999 budget request. The overall budget request is discussed in detail below.
I would like at this point to thank you, Mr. Chairman, and the members and staff of this Committee for providing your support and input during this process. The dialogue that we began last year has continued unabated and I believe that together we have created a foundation of communication and commitment to efficient quality
service that has already begun to show positive results. I look forward to working with you and this Committee in the coming year.
ROLE OF THE OFFICE OF THE ARCHITECT OF THE CAPITOL Mr. Chairman, I would like to take a brief moment to describe broadly the role of the agency before I describe our fiscal year 1999 budget request and the changes that I see on the horizon. By law, the Office of the Architect of the Capitol (AOC) is the agency responsible for the structural and mechanical care, maintenance, cleaning, and operation of the buildings and facilities supporting the Congress, including the Capitol Power Plant. This responsibility extends to the Botanic Garden, the structural and mechanical care and maintenance of the Library of Congress Buildings and Grounds, as well as the Supreme Court Building and grounds. The office also undertakes the design and construction of new facilities and the alteration of existing facilities.
Over the past year, this agency has focused significant energy on its first strategic planning process. The first steps of this process involved seeking and considering guidance from this Committee as well as our other oversight bodies, and have led to the development of a vision of how we should proceed to structure our organization to deliver quality services to the Congress. The next steps in this process inchude developing specific action plans to achieve our stated goals. A guiding philosophy in this strategic planning process includes the need to be responsive to our oversight bodies.
In performing our mission, the AOC utilizes staff and consultant architectural, engineering and professional expertise to provide the Congress with appropriate, timely and cost effective recommendations. The AOC also manages trade and service personnel who are charged with ensuring that the building systems operate efficiently and reliably in support of Congressional activities. The AOC also administers a wide variety of contracts for facility maintenance, professional design, technical and other services.
Critical to achieving this mission is the institutional knowledge that has accrued in the agency. The value of the long term role of the Architect as an advocate for the physical environment was recognized by the Congress when it established a ten year renewable term for the Architect. Such an advocacy role is no less appropriate for the core professional and trades staff. The merit of maintaining a long-term view for preserving and protecting the historical environment is self-evident. To the credit of the agency, Congressional activities have never been interrupted by failure of any major building system. I might add parenthetically at this time that I have learned in the past year that institutional knowledge does in fact run deeply in this agency. In a sensitive operation such as ours, those who provide the services are our greatest asset in carrying out our mission to the Congress. Any re-engineering efforts we undertake should recognize the devotion and service of our employees to the agency over many years and treat them in a considered, caring and humane
It goes without saying that many of the Congressional buildings are national treasures and require intimate knowledge and significant planning for their preservation. The U.S. Capitol, which is "the people's building,” for example, is a unique combination of National capitol, museum, office building, meeting center, ceremonial site, and tourist attraction. The building's systems are required to support all of these activities, and its architectural design, decorative arts and historical signifi. cance must all be carefully considered before undertaking any work or implementing any changes to the building.
Another benefit of the neutral, bicameral role of the AOC is the ability to provide technical and professional coordination of “joint” activities. Over the years, the role of the office has broadened as a result. There are now functions and activities, such as the shuttle service and telecommunications, as well as Inaugural and Rotunda ceremonies, conducted or supported by the AOC, that are often not recognized as being within the scope of the office's professional, architectural and engineering roles, yet the Congress has acknowledged the merit of the AOC's neutral, bicameral coordination capacity.
For over 200 years, an officer discharging the role of the Architect of the Capitol has provided to the Congress credible expertise on these matters. During this time, the ongoing and ever-changing institution of the Congress has been served by an agency that has responded to changing Congressional needs, and will continue to