FORT BLISS, Texas - Last week, President Donald Trump signed into law a sweeping defense policy bill that authorizes a $700 billion budget for the military.
A section within the act called for a report on design errors and omissions related to the Hospital Replacement Project at Fort Bliss.
A new hospital under construction will replace the current William Beaumont Army Medical Center, which was opened in 1972. The hospital under construction will house 135 beds, 10 operating rooms, and will have 30 specialty clinics to include: women's health services, behavioral health, physical and occupational therapy and more. It will be located near Loop 375 and Spur 601 in Far East El Paso.
However, the replacement hospital is far behind schedule and over budget and the Secretary of Defense must step in to find out who is responsible.
The government is asking for "identification of the 'design errors' and 'omissions' that have been used to explain why the project is $245-million over budget. The project was originally budgeted at $648-million.
The Committee on Appropriation says the project has "suffered from mismanagement and management deficiencies," which it blames for the major delays and cost overruns.
The federal government is also asking for the identification of any organization responsible for such design errors or omissions. According to the act, the secretary of defense is ordered to hold the organizations for individuals accountable for the design errors and omissions.
There is a limitation within the section, which states: "...of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available for the hospital replacement project at Fort Bliss, Texas, $50-million may not be obligated or expended for the project until the Secretary of Defense submits to the congressional defense committees (1) the report required under subsection (a); and (2) a written certification that sufficient steps have been taken by the Department of Defense to prevent massive cost ad overruns on such project in the future."