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Resource ID: #27030
Subject: Government
Source: CBS News
Affiliation: 
Date: June 4, 2014

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Description

For this story, Nancy Cordes and the producers working with her took a much closer look at the State Department's new “Design Excellence” initiative for embassy construction and found it had some serious problems. The new embassy in London, nicknamed 'The Cube' that is currently under construction is $100 million over the original cost estimate. CBS found its glass was problematic to say the least. We broke the news that the thick glass for the building is acquired in Germany, shipped to Connecticut and then shipped back to London for construction. Critics told us they are concerned that the State Department is sacrificing safety and cost to make new embassies “pretty”. Our story looked at other embassies as well including a new building in Papua New Guinea where the cost has ballooned from $50 million to $211 million. In light of the terrorist attack in Benghazi, an independent review of embassy construction by former State Department officials found that delays in “design excellence” embassies meant that State Department employees were in harm's way for longer periods of time.

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