Management Assistance Report: Building Deficiencies Identified at U.S. Embassy Kabul, Afghanistan Need Prompt Attention

AUD-MERO-17-44
    Report Contents
    Unclassified
    Unclassified
    Recommendation Number
    1
    Closed Implemented

    OIG recommends that the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations have a qualified professional experienced in the installation of plumbing systems conduct a full inspection, analysis, and recommissioning of waste and vent plumbing systems in the Staff Diplomatic Apartment-1. This inspection should include a comprehensive review of all submittals, plans, and specifications, as well as all installation methods and materials.

    Recommendation Number
    2
    Closed Implemented

    OIG recommends that the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations implement actions to replace and correct all plumbing installations in the Staff Diplomatic Apartment-1 found not to conform to the contract requirements.

    Recommendation Number
    3
    Closed Implemented

    OIG recommends that the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations have a qualified professional experienced in the installation of electrical systems conduct a full inspection, analysis, and recommissioning of electrical systems in both the New Office Annex and Staff Diplomatic Apartment-1. This inspection should include a comprehensive review of all submittals, plans, and specifications, as well as all installation methods and materials.

    Recommendation Number
    4
    Closed Implemented

    OIG recommends that the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations implement actions to replace and correct all electrical system installations in the New Office Annex and Staff Diplomatic Apartment-1 found not to conform to the contract requirements.

    Recommendation Number
    5
    Closed Implemented

    OIG recommends that, prior to issuing the certificate of final acceptance for the New Office Annex and Staff Diplomatic Apartment-1, the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations establish guidance for hydronic water systems in both buildings, including specifying recommended concentrations of tolytriazole (40–50 parts per million) and nitrite (600–1,000 parts per million).

    Recommendation Number
    6
    Closed Implemented

    OIG recommends that, prior to issuing the certificate of final acceptance for the New Office Annex and Staff Diplomatic Apartment-1, the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations require Caddell to conduct an examination of existing copper pipe in both buildings by removing samples of the piping or by ultrasound testing and submit the results for independent laboratory analysis to verify whether scaling, corrosion, or other life-expectancy impacts are detected from the high pH operating conditions.

    Recommendation Number
    7
    Closed Implemented

    OIG recommends that if the independent laboratory analysis verifies the existence of pipe scaling or corrosion in the New Office Annex or Staff Diplomatic Apartment-1, the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations implement actions to remedy any damage to hydronic pipes.

    Recommendation Number
    8
    Closed Implemented Significant

    OIG recommends that the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations develop and implement protocols to verify that its water treatment programs are in compliance with industry best practices, including (a) determining the best possible treatment to effectively protect copper piping, (b) conducting regular testing based on the specialized requirements of each system, (c) conducting quarterly quality-assurance testing performed by an independent industrial water treatment lab, and (d) installing a corrosion testing system.

    Recommendation Number
    9
    Closed Implemented

    OIG recommends that the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations have a qualified technician conduct an inspection of the New Office Annex and Staff Diplomatic Apartment-1 to identify poor workmanship and incorrect installations affecting heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems. This inspection should include a comprehensive review of all submittals, plans, and specifications, as well as all installation methods and materials.

    Recommendation Number
    10
    Closed Implemented

    OIG recommends that the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations implement actions to correct all heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system installations in the New Office Annex and Staff Diplomatic Apartment-1 that do not conform to the contract requirements, including the specific examples OIG cited in this report.

    Recommendation Number
    11
    Closed Implemented

    OIG recommends that the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations identify and relocate all inaccessible smoke detectors in the New Office Annex and Staff Diplomatic Apartment-1 so that they can be accessed for periodic testing and maintenance.

    Recommendation Number
    12
    Closed Implemented

    OIG recommends that the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations have a qualified professional experienced in the certification of fire safety systems conduct a full inspection of the New Office Annex and Staff Diplomatic Apartment-1 elevator lobby fire doors and the Staff Diplomatic Apartment-1 efficiency suite connector door frames to determine whether they meet National Fire Protection Association code standards. This inspection should include a comprehensive review of all submittals, plans, and specifications, as well as all installation methods and materials.

    Recommendation Number
    13
    Closed Implemented

    OIG recommends that the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations implement actions to replace and correct all elevator lobby doors and efficiency suite connector doors in the New Office Annex and Staff Diplomatic Apartment-1 found not to conform to the contract requirements or National Fire Protection Association standards.

    Recommendation Number
    14
    Closed Implemented

    OIG recommends that the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations have a qualified professional experienced in the certification of elevators to meet EN 81 standards conduct a full inspection, analysis, and recertification of the New Office Annex and Staff Diplomatic Apartment-1 elevator sets. This inspection should include a comprehensive review of all submittals, plans, and specifications, as well as all installation methods and materials.

    Recommendation Number
    15
    Closed Implemented

    OIG recommends that the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations implement actions to correct all work related to the elevator sets in the New Office Annex and Staff Diplomatic Apartment-1 found not to conform to the contract requirements.

    Recommendation Number
    16
    Closed Acceptable Alternative Significant

    OIG recommends that the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations establish and implement standards for quality assurance and oversight for construction projects, including (a) a minimum number of staff members assigned to provide management oversight, administration, and quality assurance on the basis of the size and complexity of the project and (b) minimum requirements for quality assurance staff regarding years of experience and technical qualifications.

    Recommendation Number
    17
    Closed Implemented

    OIG recommends that the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations assign a project manager to oversee all efforts related to the inspection, analysis, recommissioning, and required repairs of existing installations in the New Office Annex and Staff Diplomatic Apartment-1. This project manager should help to prioritize corrective actions to address identified deficiencies and coordinate with key stakeholders in order to ensure that they are completed in a timely, cost-effective, and efficient manner.

    Recommendation Number
    18
    Closed Implemented

    OIG recommends that the Bureau of Oversees Buildings Operations either a) require Caddell Construction, Inc. to replace and correct all work in the New Office Annex and Staff Diplomatic Apartment-1 found to be defective or non-conforming to contract requirements or b) seek an appropriate adjustment in contract price for all instances where, in the public interest, the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations consents to accept work that is defective or does not conform to contract requirements.

    Recommendation Number
    19
    Closed Implemented

    OIG recommends that, in all cases where the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations conducts an inspection, analysis, or recommissioning of existing installations in the New Office Annex and Staff Diplomatic Apartment-1 and finds the work to be defective or nonconforming in any material respect due to the fault of the contractor or its subcontractors, the Bureau of Overseas Buildings Operations should a) determine the cost of all inspections, analysis, or recommissioning of existing installations and b) recover this amount from Caddell Construction, Inc.