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Hydrographic Survey Cost Comparison

Hydrographic Survey Cost Comparison

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Hydrographic Survey Cost Comparison

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  1. Hydrographic Survey Cost Comparison August 18 – 19, 2005 Preliminary Investigations; Working Group 2 Lewis A. Lapine, Adam McBride and Larry M. Whiting

  2. Comments on Original Study From OMB Circular No. A-76 regarding policy • The original cost study was reviewed at length. • An attempt was made to refine the criteria for a future study. • The report stated that NOAA does not track cost by project. • Can we be sure that the limited number of projects used in the study is statistically valid? • Were all NOAA ship costs represented; annual shipyard costs or non-productive (winter in port) time added to a given project?   “The longstanding policy of the federal government has been to rely on the private sector for needed commercial services. To ensure that the American people receive maximum value for their tax dollars, commercial activities should be subject to the forces of competition. ……..”

  3. Questions Concerning the Surveys Used in the Study • The report did not elaborate on the technology used in each survey.  • Is it correct to assume all surveys used multi-beam sounding equipment?  • What was the percentage of bottom coverage? • Was the same coverage used for every survey? • Number of obstructions-Bottom complexity-AWOIS? • Each of these variables by themselves could add (or subtract) significantly to the time and cost of the survey. From OMB Circular No. A-76 regarding policy “The longstanding policy of the federal government has been to rely on the private sector for needed commercial services. To ensure that the American people receive maximum value for their tax dollars, commercial activities should be subject to the forces of competition. ……..”

  4. Too many variables in hydrographic surveys to assume square mile cost as an unbiased estimator Only two classes of surveys and limited number of surveys used in the study.  Sounding line spacing is set to avoid gaps in bottom coverage. Shallow water dictates closer sounding lines per square mile. Develop a statistic other than square miles that considers depth and variation in swath width. Total linear miles of survey may yield a more valid statistic for comparing cost. It is therefore recommended that the surveys used in the study be reevaluated against a better statistic to determine if there is a change to the disparity in the cost comparisons. Unit of Measure

  5. Comments on Estimating Cost • Linear nautical miles (LNM) of hydrography may eliminate differences in surveys as a result of swath coverage.  • Each survey could be estimated in advance using a fair estimate of depth and number of swath lines.  • Shallow water may dictate speed of the vessel and again a factor could be derived. • A daily factor could be derived which accounts for system calibration, bar check, STD casts, etc. • NOAA would contract for "xx" linear miles of survey for a given project area.  • It may even be a concept that the procurement folks could understand!! 

  6. Contractor’s Responsibilities From OMB Circular No. A-76 regarding policy • Limit the extent of the contractor's duties. • Simplify the contracting process and reduce the cost of individual surveys. • Be more specific by providing the contractor sheet layout, sounding line schemes, more specific details of the work.  • Real Time data quality control by NOAA.  “The longstanding policy of the federal government has been to rely on the private sector for needed commercial services. To ensure that the American people receive maximum value for their tax dollars, commercial activities should be subject to the forces of competition. ……..”

  7. Comments on Cost StudyAdam McBride It still seems to me that within relevant ranges of vessel size/capability, the cost per day of the vessel is a good way to range the alternatives. It is a conventional method of filtering out some of the many factors that affect productivity and performance which are beyond the control of the vessel operator, and I suspect that both the private sector and the NOAA fleet have a pretty good handle on their costs per day already.