Chaffetz: State Dept. Fumbles Construction of New Embassies

Rep. Jason Chaffetz slams a new State Department initiative attempting to tailor the design of new U.S. embassies to their location and climate, which has resulted in millions of wasted dollars and months of construction delays. 

Reports CBS News:

Building beautiful embassies comes at a cost.

In London, a modern glass structure nicknamed “the cube” will house the new U.S. Embassy when it opens in early 2017.

Six months into construction, however, CBS News learned the $1 billion project is already $100 million more expensive than initial estimates.

This is partly because of the unique blast-proof glass at the heart of the design, reports CBS News’ Nancy Cordes. It’s made in Europe and then shipped under guard to the U.S. for framing before being sent back to England for installation.

“Sometimes you have to move things, sometimes you don’t,” said Patrick Kennedy, U.S. State Department undersecretary for management.

The question is why this glass design is being used at all, as there were reports that the State Department’s value engineering assessment team recommended using a different glass design because this one was too costly.