Thursday, July 10, 2014

That Hearing Did Not Go At All Well

While not agreeing with most of this histrionic opening statement, I must say that the Overseas Buildings Operations witnesses did themselves no good at the House Oversight Committee hearing on new embassy construction today.

If this was indeed "the beginning of a series of hearings" on OBO's Design Excellence initiative, as Rep. Chaffetz promised, and if the rest of them go anything like today's hearing did, then I wouldn't be surprised to find this guy back in charge of OBO one day.

There were no real defenders of OBO on either side of the Committee. In fact, it was the ranking Democratic member, Rep. Cummings, who made perhaps the most damning remark of the entire 3 hour-long session. When former Undersecretary for Management Grant Green said that, unless and until OBO produces facts and figures to substantiate its claims, it will not overcome skepticism that increased effort on architectural design won't result in buildings that cost more and take longer to complete, Cummings replied (according to my memory) "Mr. Grant, when I listen to you, you make sense."

If I were OBO's Director, I would be more worried about that remark than about all the hostile questioning she got from Rep. Chaffetz. 


Anonymous said...

Good post TSB! But if you were OMB's
Director and actually wanted to answer all the questions on that list how long do you think it would take? gwb

TSB said...

Good question. I can't tell how long it would take to satisfy the committee, but I can say for sure that I would flat out agree to doing the cost / benefit analysis that critics have asked for. Truly, I think OBO actually has a good story to tell there. It frustrates me that they aren't telling it, but just going into a defensive crouch instead.