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Managing Construction and Infrastructure in the 21st Century Bureau of Reclamation (2006)

Chapter: Appendix B: Briefings to the Committee and Discussions

« Previous: Appendix A: Biographies of Committee Members
Suggested Citation:"Appendix B: Briefings to the Committee and Discussions." National Research Council. 2006. Managing Construction and Infrastructure in the 21st Century Bureau of Reclamation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11519.
×

Appendix B
Briefings to the Committee and Discussions

OPEN COMMITTEE MEETINGS

February 28, 2005

Opening Comment

Tom Weimer, Department of the Interior, Water and Science, acting assistant secretary

John W. Keys III, Bureau of Reclamation, commissioner


History of Reclamation

Brit Storey, Bureau of Reclamation, Office of Program & Policy Services, senior historian


Reclamation Today—John Keys and selected staff

Mark Limbaugh, Bureau of Reclamation, director, external and intergovernmental affairs and deputy commissioner

Bill Rinne, Bureau of Reclamation, director of operations, and deputy commissioner

Bob Wolf, Bureau of Reclamation, director of program and budget

  • Organization

  • Reclamation role, core mission, and self image

  • Reclamation budget and factors that determine the budget

  • Overview of Reclamation facilities and infrastructure

  • Major construction

Suggested Citation:"Appendix B: Briefings to the Committee and Discussions." National Research Council. 2006. Managing Construction and Infrastructure in the 21st Century Bureau of Reclamation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11519.
×
  • Relationships with stakeholders for water and power (other federal agencies, Congress, environmental groups, public interest groups, and states)

  • High-profile issues

April 6-7, 2005

Welcome and Introductions

Fred Ore, Operations, deputy director


Delivering Water and Generating Power

Robert Johnson, Lower Colorado Region, regional director

Brian Person, Eastern Colorado Area Office, area manager


Security Safety and Law Enforcement

Larry Todd, Security Safety and Law Enforcement, director

Bruce Muller, Dam Safety Office, chief


Policy Management and Technical Services

Michael Gabaldon, Policy, Management, and Technical Services (PMTS), director


Technical Service Center

Michael Roluti, Technical Service Center (TSC), director


Bureau of Reclamation Laboratory tour and discussion

Michael Roluti, TSC, director

Cliff Pugh, Water Resources Research Laboratory Group, manager


Project Cost Overview (flow of money)

Ephraim Escalante, Finance and Accounting System, manager


Administrative Requirements (Centralized Management, A-76)

Elizabeth Harrison, Management Services Office, director


Acquisition and Contracting

Karla Smiley, Acquisition and Assistance, manager


Roundtable Discussions on Case Studies and Site Visits of the Colorado–Big Thompson Project

Brian Person, Eastern Colorado Area Office, manager

Mike Applegate, Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District, president

Suggested Citation:"Appendix B: Briefings to the Committee and Discussions." National Research Council. 2006. Managing Construction and Infrastructure in the 21st Century Bureau of Reclamation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11519.
×

Eric Wilkinson, Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District, general manager

June 22-24, 2005

Roundtable Discussion to Determine Organizational and Operating Models and to Identify Good Practice Tools and Techniques for Infrastructure Management

Donald Basham, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Engineering and Construction, chief

Janet C. Herrin, Tennessee Valley Authority, River Operations, senior vice president

Leslie F. Harder, California Department of Water Resources, Division of Flood Management, director


Reclamation Customer Roundtable Discussion on Reclamation Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats

Dan Keppen, Family Farm Alliance

Tom Donnelly, National Water Resources Association


Discussions with Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Staff

Kellie A. Donnelly

Michael L. Connor

Nathan Gentry

August 16, 2005

Roundtable Discussion of Environmental Issues that Affect the Design, Construction, Operation, and Maintenance of Reclamation Facilities and Infrastructure and the Bureau’s Organization

Thomas J. Graff, Environmental Defense, regional director

COMMITTEE DISCUSSIONS AND SITES VISITED AT RECLAMATION REGIONS

Two- to three-member delegations from the committee visited Reclamation regions between April 8, 2005, and June 10, 2005. The visits involved meetings with regional office managers; regional division managers for the environment, operations and maintenance, construction, engineering design, planning, contracting and finance, and human resources; area office and project managers; and representatives of Reclamation power and water customers and contractors. The meetings addressed discussion questions (listed below) developed by the committee,

Suggested Citation:"Appendix B: Briefings to the Committee and Discussions." National Research Council. 2006. Managing Construction and Infrastructure in the 21st Century Bureau of Reclamation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11519.
×

but they were loosely structured to encourage a free exchange of ideas and opinions. The meetings also provided the committee an opportunity to ask follow-up questions regarding Reclamation’s written response to the committee’s request for background data (listed below).

Meetings were conducted with the following Reclamation offices and customer organizations:

Animas–La Plata Project Office

Boise Board of Control

Lower Colorado Dams Office

Central Utah Project

Central Valley Project Water Association

Colorado River Commission-Nevada

Eastern Colorado Area Office

Lower Colorado Regional Office

Mid-Pacific Regional Office

Northern California Power Agency

Pacific Northwest Regional Office

Provo Area Office

Provo Water District

San Juan Water Commission

San Luis and Delta Mendota Water Authority

Snake River Area Office

Upper Colorado Regional Office

Upper Colorado area offices

Utah Reclamation Mitigation and Conservation Commission

The sites visited included the following facilities:

Arrowrock Dam

Boise Diversion

Davis Dam

Deer Creek Dam

Hoover Dam

Jordanelle Dam environmental restoration

Parker Dam

Tracey Fish Collection Facility

Tracey Pump Facility

Meetings were conducted with the following organizations via conference calls:

Suggested Citation:"Appendix B: Briefings to the Committee and Discussions." National Research Council. 2006. Managing Construction and Infrastructure in the 21st Century Bureau of Reclamation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11519.
×

Bonneville Power Authority

Colorado River Energy Distributors Association

Great Plains Regional Office

Navajo Nation

Southern Ute Department of Natural Resources

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

The following questions were used to guide informal discussions between Reclamation personnel and committee site visit groups and between Reclamation customers and contractors and the committee site visit groups.

Overarching question

What do you see changing over the next 5, 10, 25 years, and what will you need to do to address these issues?

  1. How do you rate the performance of the Reclamation Technical Service Center on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being excellent and 1 being totally unacceptable?

    1. responsiveness,

    2. quality of service, and

    3. cost

  1. What is your interpretation of Reclamation’s mission, and how does it apply to the work in your region/area?

  2. What do you see as the greatest obstacle to achieving your mission now and in the future?

  3. If you could change one Reclamation policy or requirement, what would it be and how would you change it?

  4. What additional engineering and construction activity do you think your office could absorb effectively and easily?

  5. What do you see other organizations (public and private) doing that if adopted by Reclamation would make your job easier?

BACKGROUND DATA QUESTIONS

The regional offices were requested to provide written responses to the following questions:

Suggested Citation:"Appendix B: Briefings to the Committee and Discussions." National Research Council. 2006. Managing Construction and Infrastructure in the 21st Century Bureau of Reclamation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11519.
×
Human Resources

1. (a) How many employees are there in your regional and area offices? (b) What are Reclamation’s personnel resources and how are they distributed in the regional and area offices (percentages of staff are more important than actual numbers)?

Location

Design

Other Technical

Construction

O&M

Management

Support

Legal

Regional offices

 

Area offices 1

 

Area offices 2

 

Area offices etc.

 

2. What disciplines and specialties are included under “Other Technical” personnel (e.g., biologists)? Where are these disciplines located?


3. Are personnel allocated according to mission elements (power, water, other operations) or are the same technical experts available for all the mission elements?


4. What are the major differences in required skills and technologies for building dams versus rehabilitating or rebuilding them?


5. Do regional and area offices have the personnel resources (numbers and skills) needed to undertake the mission now? In the future? If shortages exist, what skills and in what specific areas?


6. What difficulties, if any, have the regional and area offices faced in recruiting personnel with the required engineering or other technical expertise?


7. What percentage of staff is projected to retire in the next 5 years? What skills will they represent? How might this affect the future composition of the workforce? What strategies are in place to retain staff? to recruit new talent?

Suggested Citation:"Appendix B: Briefings to the Committee and Discussions." National Research Council. 2006. Managing Construction and Infrastructure in the 21st Century Bureau of Reclamation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11519.
×

8. What personnel career development and training programs do the regional and or area offices have in place? How are they funded and at what level? How are these programs implemented? How are the staff who participate in these programs recognized and rewarded?


9. What processes or systems are in place to capture the regional and area offices’ institutional memory?

Workload

Location

Number of Projects

Number of Irrigation Facilities

Number of Power Facilities

O&M Budget

O&M Backlog

Number of Construction Projects

Value of Constr. Projects

Area offices 1

 

Area offices 2

 

Area offices etc.

 

Total for region

 

10. What are the critical issues regarding execution of the workload? What is the projected workload for the next 5-10 years?


11. What are the critical issues regarding compliance with regulatory responsibilities (e.g., the 1982 Reclamation Act, the Endangered Species Act, Native American water rights)?


12. What impacts have requirements for increased security had on the workload, budget, personnel allocation, and methods of operation?


13. Are there any elements of the current workload that are decreasing and could go away in the future? Are there any anticipated new elements?


14. How are operations and maintenance activities and costs changing as the infrastructure ages?

Suggested Citation:"Appendix B: Briefings to the Committee and Discussions." National Research Council. 2006. Managing Construction and Infrastructure in the 21st Century Bureau of Reclamation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11519.
×
Contracting Environment

15. What services/functions are currently being outsourced? How are these services/functions distributed—that is, is there greater use of outsourcing in some areas than others? If so, what might be driving these differences?


16. What core competencies (knowledge, skills, and abilities) are required in-house for Reclamation to effectively manage outsourced activities? Are these skills available now?


17. Does Reclamation measure the results/performance of its outsourced activities? If so, how?


18. Given that regional and area offices have the option of using Reclamation’s Technical Service Center or outsourcing, what are the historical trends? What reasons have been given for selecting one option or the other?


19. What projects and activities include customer pay-for-service and co-pay of expenses? How are they included in the budget? What are the mechanisms for repayment?

Asset Management

20. How are projects currently managed (as a portfolio, regionally, for river basins, or as individual entities)? Are there any plans to change current management practices? If so, what are they? What is driving the changes? What outcomes are expected?


21. What decision-making processes and procedures are used to prioritize construction projects? O&M activities? Is there documentation for these processes/procedures?


22. Does Reclamation apply adaptive management techniques? What has been the experience?


23. What types of internal and external reviews (management and technical) are routinely conducted and how are the results used?


24. What performance measures are used for asset management?


25. What internal or external benchmarking activities are undertaken?

Suggested Citation:"Appendix B: Briefings to the Committee and Discussions." National Research Council. 2006. Managing Construction and Infrastructure in the 21st Century Bureau of Reclamation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11519.
×
Operations

26. What are the regional and area office relationships with other organizations, including the Army Corps of Engineers, Bonneville Power, Western Area Power Administration, Nature Conservancy, Natural Resources Defense Council, Western Governors’ Association, Council of State Governments West? Others of import?


27. How smooth are the working relationships between TSC, the regions, and the area offices? What works well? What doesn’t? What are your suggestions for improvement?

Construction

28. Are construction project management policies and procedures from inception through preproject planning, design, construction, and commissioning determined by Denver or by the regional or area offices?


29. How are construction project teams structured (types of expertise; inhouse staff or contractors)?


30. How are accountability and responsibility assigned? Who signs off on a project? Who is responsible for any failures? Who has administrative and technical responsibility? How is performance assessed?


31. What contracting and delivery methods are used for construction projects? Are any new methods being considered for future use? If so, what training might be required?

Research and International Activities

32. What research activities are undertaken at the regional or area office to exchange/gather information on issues of science and technology?


33. What other issues, challenges, operating procedures should the committee be aware of in conducting this study?

Suggested Citation:"Appendix B: Briefings to the Committee and Discussions." National Research Council. 2006. Managing Construction and Infrastructure in the 21st Century Bureau of Reclamation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11519.
×
Page 119
Suggested Citation:"Appendix B: Briefings to the Committee and Discussions." National Research Council. 2006. Managing Construction and Infrastructure in the 21st Century Bureau of Reclamation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11519.
×
Page 120
Suggested Citation:"Appendix B: Briefings to the Committee and Discussions." National Research Council. 2006. Managing Construction and Infrastructure in the 21st Century Bureau of Reclamation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11519.
×
Page 121
Suggested Citation:"Appendix B: Briefings to the Committee and Discussions." National Research Council. 2006. Managing Construction and Infrastructure in the 21st Century Bureau of Reclamation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11519.
×
Page 122
Suggested Citation:"Appendix B: Briefings to the Committee and Discussions." National Research Council. 2006. Managing Construction and Infrastructure in the 21st Century Bureau of Reclamation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11519.
×
Page 123
Suggested Citation:"Appendix B: Briefings to the Committee and Discussions." National Research Council. 2006. Managing Construction and Infrastructure in the 21st Century Bureau of Reclamation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11519.
×
Page 124
Suggested Citation:"Appendix B: Briefings to the Committee and Discussions." National Research Council. 2006. Managing Construction and Infrastructure in the 21st Century Bureau of Reclamation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11519.
×
Page 125
Suggested Citation:"Appendix B: Briefings to the Committee and Discussions." National Research Council. 2006. Managing Construction and Infrastructure in the 21st Century Bureau of Reclamation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11519.
×
Page 126
Suggested Citation:"Appendix B: Briefings to the Committee and Discussions." National Research Council. 2006. Managing Construction and Infrastructure in the 21st Century Bureau of Reclamation. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/11519.
×
Page 127
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In the more than 100 years since its formation, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation of the Department of Interior (DOI), through its construction program, has brought water, electric power, and recreation facilities to millions of people in the Western United States. With major water and power systems in place, the Bureau’s attention has now turned to operation, maintenance, repair, and modernization of those facilities in an environmentally and economically sound manner. To help with this effort, DOI asked the NRC to advise the Bureau on “appropriate organizational, management, and resource configurations to meet its construction, maintenance, and infrastructure requirements for its missions of the 21st century.” This report presents an assessment of the requirements facing the Bureau in the 21st century, an analysis of good practices and techniques for addressing those challenges, and a review of workforce and human resource needs. The report also provides alternative scenarios that describe possible future organizations for infrastructure management.

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