Scope & Methodology

This is the first in a planned series of reports on major construction projects the County currently has underway – the Central Courthouse and the Gladys McCoy Health Department Headquarters. Each report will focus on areas of high risk at different phases of the project.

These first reports cover the planning phases of the projects, where some of the greatest risks involve identifying the programming—what will be in the building—and scope and establishing a governance and project management structure. Carefully planning the programming reduces the likelihood that the County will need to make expensive changes later on in the project. And, having a good governance structure helps control costs by facilitating better and more timely decisions. The first reports cover the time period corresponding to the County’s early work leading to project start through the completion of design development.

The objectives of the first set of reports were to 1) review the County’s decision to pursue these particular projects at this time, 2) determine if the County followed leading project management practices to make sure the right people, including those with knowledge of essential business, operational, and other needs, were involved in establishing the building scope and programming requirements, and 3) determine if the County followed leading project management practices to create a governance and decision making structure for the projects.

To answer these questions, we compared County practices to the Project Management Institute’s Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) as well as the County’s own policies and procedures. PMBOK is a standard used for project management in various applications and we focused the audit on those PMBOK components related to project scope, program requirements, and governance. We reviewed program documents, including meeting minutes, program plans, contracts, and presentations. We also interviewed project team members and stakeholders and attended a variety of project meetings.

We conducted these performance audits in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain sufficient, appropriate evidence to provide a reasonable basis for our findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives. We believe the evidence obtained provides a reasonable basis for our findings and conclusions.