Auditor cites MoDOT for excessive spending

2 years 8 months 2 weeks ago Thursday, April 02 2015 Apr 2, 2015 Thursday, April 02, 2015 8:41:00 AM CDT April 02, 2015 in News
By: Genevieve Reaume, KOMU 8 Reporter

COLUMBIA - An audit on the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) says your money is being spent for the wrong reasons.

The audit says MoDOT is spending too much money on unnecessary aspects of their company including how they reimburse their employees, how often they use their vehicles and how they deal with settlements.  The audit looked at six areas and gave them a 'fair' rating. That's the second to lowest rating, which means the entity needs to improve in several areas, there needs to be immediate attention to one or more areas and the possibility that some recommendations have not been implemented.

 

 

The audit looked over the following six areas:

  • Restricted Funds
  • Personnel Payments
  • Sunshine Law
  • Property Damage
  • Vehicle Usage 
  • State Flight Operations 

The audit states MoDOT violated the Missouri Constitution under the area of restricted funds by using money from inappropriate funds for other tasks.The audit says the Constitution, "limits the use of State Road Fund monies to activities related to construction and maintenance of the highway system."

According to the audit, MoDOT used money from this fund for settlements, to pay employees on administrative leave, and for helping one employee offset the loss of a sale on his or her house when he or she had to move offices. The audit says this totals $7,148,195 of restricted money being  used in ways not in accordance with the State Road Fund disbursements.

MoDOT disagreed, citing another section which said, "It is the MoDOT's responsibility for the negotiation, compromise and payment of claims against the MoDOT."

The next area, personnel payments, criticized MoDOT for paying employees excessive amounts.

"The MoDOT paid benefits to, or on behalf of, employees that were excessive and provided little or no value to the MoDOT or the road and bridge system," the audit states.

The audit criticizes MoDOT for not having a proper plan for employees who go on administrative leave. In 2011, the Highways and Transportation Commission (the commission) approved a plan that would eliminate 1,200 staff positions. The criticism in the audit comes from the fact that these employees had to be terminated, but there wasn't a specific plan on how to pay them once on administrative leave.

The audit states, "The MoDOT has not established a policy regarding the use of administrative leave, other than its limited use in the employee reward program. In additions, the extensive use of administrative leave in this instance appears unnecessary and provided no benefit to the MoDOT or to the road and bridge system."

MoDOT defended keeping more employees than the original plan entailed because of the weather. "The hiring freeze had resulted in significant under-staffing in maintenance and we needed additional personnel on board and ready to fight the coming weather."

MoDOT responded by saying, "the paid administrative leave was limited to an extraordinary circumstance where leave with pay was warranted."

MoDOT was also criticized for paying an employee $91,168 in relocation assistance.

In the next point, MoDOT was cited for violating the Sunshine Law because they didn't provide the final resolution of an employee discrimination lawsuit. MoDOT said they didn't violate the law because they make the settlements from closed meeting available if requested, but the audit found this defense useless.

Deputy State Auditor Harry Otto said he doesn't think MoDOT is being transparent enough, and it is their job to inform the public of a settlement, not the public's job to ask.

MoDOT was also under fire for the efforts to locate persons who caused damaged state vehicles and other property. MoDOT spent $6,277,930 because they never found out who caused the damage.

The audit states an additional $2,168,518 was written off because is was defined as noncollectable.

On this point, MoDOT didn't disagree. MoDOT said they are "reviewing the advantages and disadvantages of outsourcing property damage collection."

The last two audit points dealt with vehicle usage and state flight operations. MoDOT was criticized for having too many underutilized cars and chartering unnecessary flights.

"During the 2 years ended June 30, 2013, MoDOT spent approximately $259,000 flying governor-appointed commission members to commission meetings held across the state." The audit says members of other similar state boards typically drive and receive mileage reimbursement.

The audit estimates MoDOT could have saved $211,000 by driving.

More News

Grid
List
JEFFERSON CITY - The first ever "Christmas Countdown" Sunday is giving Jefferson City an opportunity for some last minute Christmas... More >>
49 minutes ago Sunday, December 17 2017 Dec 17, 2017 Sunday, December 17, 2017 9:21:00 AM CST December 17, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA (AP) — Police say they have arrested a man charged in an August quadruple homicide that occurred in... More >>
10 hours ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 11:15:00 PM CST December 16, 2017 in News
NEW BLOOMFIELD - A two-vehicle car wreck Saturday left one dead and two others injured, according to the Missouri State... More >>
13 hours ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 8:15:00 PM CST December 16, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - An event in Columbia today addressed the prevalence of gun violence and misuse of firearms by offering gift... More >>
14 hours ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 8:04:00 PM CST December 16, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA – A six-year-old held a hot chocolate stand Saturday outside of a Hy-Vee in Jefferson City to help two... More >>
15 hours ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 6:51:00 PM CST December 16, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The Wyss Medical Foundation donated $2 million to the Missouri Orthapaedic Institute for the work of lead orthopaedic... More >>
17 hours ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 5:05:00 PM CST December 16, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - On Friday, the Columbia Police Department inducted eight new recruits, the largest class of officers in years. ... More >>
18 hours ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 4:03:00 PM CST December 16, 2017 in News
JACKSONVILLE - An estimated 400 people attended a wreath laying ceremony Saturday at the Jacksonville State Veterans Cemetery. It... More >>
18 hours ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 3:31:00 PM CST December 16, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA – Graduation day is long awaited by many and Amy Kiso Bledsoe is no exception. Bledsoe was... More >>
19 hours ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 2:47:00 PM CST December 16, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — As Missouri struggles with the epidemic of opioid abuse, no place in the state has been... More >>
21 hours ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 1:10:14 PM CST December 16, 2017 in News
BOONE COUNTY - A furnace malfunction caused a fire in a trailer home on Pratherville Road Saturday morning. Gale... More >>
22 hours ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 12:05:48 PM CST December 16, 2017 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — People returning to Kansas City after being released from prison will get a 90-day supply... More >>
22 hours ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 11:25:12 AM CST December 16, 2017 in News
BOONE COUNTY - Firefighters responded to a shed fire off of Highway 40 near Rocheport Saturday morning. Boone County... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 10:04:00 AM CST December 16, 2017 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Officials with the University of Missouri-Kansas City say students will soon have access to state-of-the-art... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 8:16:45 AM CST December 16, 2017 in Continuous News
COLUMBIA - Cat cafes have popped up across the world in cities including New York City, London and Tokyo, and... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 7:36:00 AM CST December 16, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Some Jefferson City kids are getting the chance at a Merry Christmas this year with the help... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, December 16 2017 Dec 16, 2017 Saturday, December 16, 2017 12:00:00 AM CST December 16, 2017 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - The Missouri State Highway Patrol has confirmed it has fired Trooper Anthony Piercy. KOMU 8 spoke to... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 8:42:00 PM CST December 15, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - St. Louis officers arrested a suspect that was on the run in a duplex on Sears Court in... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 15 2017 Dec 15, 2017 Friday, December 15, 2017 8:29:00 PM CST December 15, 2017 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 45°
11am 46°
12pm 46°
1pm 47°
2pm 48°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

10:00a
Give
10:30a
The Champion Within
11:00a
Wild About Animals
10:00a
Discover the Truth
10:30a
In Search of the Lord's Way
11:00a
Paid Program

Tonight's Schedule

6:00p
Football Night in America
7:20p
Sunday Night Football
7:00p
The Christmas Bunny
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Family Guy