Click any of the sub-categories listed below to jump to that particular section of the page. You may also use CTRL+F to search for a particular question.

General Estimate Questions

Yes. Customers may not send an RWA for acceptance without an approved Summary Cost Estimate (SCE) or Overtime Utility Estimate (OUE) linked to their Work Request.

Customers have 30 calendar days to respond to a cost estimate provided by PBS.

PBS does not charge for estimates, as they are considered a cost of doing business.

The customer must always pay cost increases. This is why it is crucially important for the Project Manager to manage the customer's expectations, especially in regard to cost estimates and accurately utilize the ranges of accuracy identified on the SCE Form.

The OUET is used for all above standard services such as:

  • Custodial or janitorial services
  • Special cleaning (above office standard)
  • Operations and maintenance and additional utility costs related to special tenant agency program equipment or furniture
  • Electrical
  • HVAC utility costs that exceed 10 hours of operating service for Federally owned space and outside the normal operation hours as described in the lease for leased space. However, if local market practice provides standard HVAC that exceeds 10 hours (and/or Saturday hours), additional reimbursement is not required and the lease must state the building's normal operating hours.

The SCE is used for all other projects and services.

The GSA Project Manager associated with the RWA Work Request should complete the SCE in RETA.

Summary Cost Estimate (SCE)

Yes, it is based on the Independent Government Estimate (IGE) and must match the RWA authorized amount to within a dollar. The SCE is a summary of the IGE plus GSA fees.

An SCE is required for each RWA; thus, costs must be able to be separated.

The RWA must be amended to match the SCE to within a dollar before PBS can accept it.

Yes. PBS should continually update estimates and the SCE as work progresses and it becomes apparent that estimated costs may be higher or lower than originally estimated. The “range of accuracy” fields on the SCE allow PBS to be more transparent with how accurate an estimate is at any given point in the project lifecycle. As more requirements are known or phases of a project are completed, the final, total costs of a project become better known and the estimate and the authorized amount of the RWA should be adjusted accordingly.

PBS charges for travel when the travel is outside of PBS's local area (50 miles) or is in excess of the typical travel required for a project (e.g., the customer requires PBS to be on-site more than the typical project).

Line 8 is for reimbursable travel costs, e.g. per diem, airfare, car rental and mileage, of PBS employees overseeing the project where the project has design and/or construction related expenses. Line 22 is for reimbursable travel costs, e.g. per diem, airfare, car rental and mileage, of PBS employees overseeing the project where the scope of work for the RWA is completely for personal property. Both lines are directly charged to the RWA and paid for by the customer.

DVRs, cameras, metal detectors, and similar types of equipment.

Guard services are classified as security items that would be considered personal property, so they should be included in line 20 and not in the Construction Costs.

Enter the security clearances on line 21 “Other” and specify the number of clearances in the “identify” box.


No but the SCE must be approved in RETA.

Customer Estimates

The customer may provide cost estimates at their discretion, but it is always up to PBS to perform due diligence on the estimates to verify and validate them. PBS will still need to assess whether the costs are fair and reasonable by completing an IGE or confirming what is provided is sufficient.

Yes, but PBS must still conduct its own due diligence to verify the validity of the customer's estimate. Per PBS RWA Policy, GSA can accept customer-provided cost estimates to support an RWA as long as the customer is willing to share the basis for those estimates in order for the GSA Cost Estimator, or the GSA PM, to acknowledge in writing that the customer-provided cost estimate is acceptable.

Yes, customers are encouraged to send an RWA Work Request in eRETA as soon as they identify a need for a project or service. This will prompt GSA to assign a PM and start developing requirements including estimates.

Yes, this is acceptable, but PBS needs to perform due diligence to ensure the historical estimate is derived from projects with similar requirements, locations and time constraints. These estimates must be assembled in a costing database that tracks by location, and must account for inflation and material increases. For instance, historical estimates for alterations in New York, New York will differ greatly from a similar project in Billings, Montana.

Last Reviewed: 2022-05-23