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Get it together, IDOT

Friday, Jul 19, 2019

* Center Square

The Illinois Auditor General released an audit Thursday of the Illinois Department of Transportation for a two-year period ending June 2018. Among other issues, the audit found that 78 bridges that weren’t inspected on time. Twenty-eight bridges were overdue for routine inspections, some were up to 4 years overdue. Ten were listed as the responsibility of an adjacent state and five were rated structurally deficient, the audit said.

There were 27 bridges set for special inspections that were overdue. Five were overdue by more than two years. Another seven bridges were overdue for underwater inspections.

Eleven were overdue for fracture critical inspection. Two of those were over 21 years overdue.

State Rep. Margo McDermed, R-Mokena, is on a House transportation committee. She said it was important for information like that to reported on time, especially when lawmakers are planning infrastructure projects like the six-year, $45 billion capital plan that was just enacted. Lawmakers voted to double the state’s gas tax to fund the capital plan. […]

“That would have maybe made a difference in how we put together the capital bill or in what our expectations of what IDOT will accomplish in their beefed-up six-year plan,” McDermed said. “What if the beefed-up six-year plan is all sucked up by all these bridges. There’s going to be a lot of unhappy legislators that thought they were going to get some roads.”

The audit wasn’t limited to bridge inspections. It also found issues with the management of IDOT property, fund transfers and how the state agency handled outdoor advertising close to the state’s highways. […]

The audit found that bank accounts administered by a management company had authorized signors who were not state employees, cash deposits were uncollateralized, and there was no IDOT approval of some spending.

The report also found IDOT wasn’t in compliance with reporting requirements. No master plan was filed at the end of fieldwork. The department also did not publish the Multimodal Multi-year Improvement Program during fiscal years 2017 and 2018. Another report for a multi-year plan was delivered 195 days later than it was due.

A separate audit found that 20 percent of IDOT employee overtime cards tested during the audit period hadn’t been properly signed to attest for accuracy. The department spending a combined $63.7 million on overtime for the two years ending June 30, 2018.

Other findings included that about a third of tested IDOT vehicle trip tickets didn’t have supervisor approval or other proper trip documentation. Yet another found that 47 percent of outdoor advertising near highways might be illegal.

Oy.

The full audit is here.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

17 Comments
  1. - Precinct Captain - Friday, Jul 19, 19 @ 2:27 pm:

    The Rauner Special


  2. - Thomas Paine - Friday, Jul 19, 19 @ 2:36 pm:

    Margo McDermed of Will County complaining “if only we’d known the bridges were falling down” after her Leader complains of JB Pritzker’s reference to bridges in Will County being unsafe to drive over based on signs erected in Will County warning people the bridges might be unsafe.

    That so credible.


  3. - Dotnonymous - Friday, Jul 19, 19 @ 2:45 pm:

    Will a School bus have to fall through a bridge in Illinois before this becomes a Level One priority?…I should hope not.


  4. - SSL - Friday, Jul 19, 19 @ 2:57 pm:

    But other that it was all good right?


  5. - Morty - Friday, Jul 19, 19 @ 2:57 pm:

    The audit found that bank accounts administered by a management company had authorized signors who were not state employees, cash deposits were uncollateralized, and there was no IDOT approval of some spending.

    Would those be guys Rauner brought in to fix things, or are these hold overs?

    Wouldn’t this be grounds for the state to recoup those loses?


  6. - Bogey Golfer - Friday, Jul 19, 19 @ 3:05 pm:

    Realize the number of IDOT staff that retired or resigned in the last 5 years is significant. Engineering Contracts can typically take a year to execute.


  7. - Sonny - Friday, Jul 19, 19 @ 3:06 pm:

    There’s eight vacancies in top management positions out of a dz in the audit. Maybe the Pritzker triple salary bonus all stars need to stop patting themselves on the back and hire people.


  8. - Sonny - Friday, Jul 19, 19 @ 3:08 pm:

    Recount: 9/20 vacant


  9. - Donnie Elgin - Friday, Jul 19, 19 @ 3:14 pm:

    “A separate audit found that 20 percent of IDOT employee overtime cards tested during the audit period hadn’t been properly signed to attest for accuracy. The department spending a combined $63.7 million on overtime for the two years ending June 30, 2018″

    Sounds like poor management of state employees rather than budgetary issues.


  10. - illini - Friday, Jul 19, 19 @ 3:16 pm:

    This may be a simple question, but given what we have learned here about our State Departments and Agencies, are there any who do not have or are free from having serious deficiencies further exposed?

    Given the previous Administration, we should not be so surprised, but these reports highlight the seriousness of these problems.


  11. - revvedup - Friday, Jul 19, 19 @ 3:26 pm:

    And this right after Rich’s post on the pension miscalculations. Wow. I wonder how much this was caused by 4 years of Raunerism destroying State agencies, and how much predates him?


  12. - Anyone Remember - Friday, Jul 19, 19 @ 3:30 pm:

    Does anyone else find the irony in Center Square, once affiliated with IPI, writing stories “highlighting” audit findings caused by lack of headcount, a headcount IPI thinks is “bloated” ??


  13. - NBIS bridge inspector - Friday, Jul 19, 19 @ 3:45 pm:

    IDOT is responsible for entering all the bridge information for all structures in Illinois, but counties, townships and municipalities are responsible for the inspection and reporting to IDOT for their structures, so this may not be all IDOT’s fault. I find it hard to believe that a fracture critical inspection was 21 years overdue. I am hopeful it is either closed or was replaced and was not entered properly in the system.


  14. - Klaus VonBulow - Friday, Jul 19, 19 @ 3:45 pm:

    Now that JB Pritzker new IDOT sheriff is in town these deficiency will be promptly corrected. It appears the only way many of these types of problems are going to come to light and be corrected is through Audits. I don’t see any initiative to correct problems without this type of exposure.


  15. - Annonin' - Friday, Jul 19, 19 @ 3:45 pm:

    GovJunk at his best.


  16. - Honeybear - Friday, Jul 19, 19 @ 3:56 pm:

    For literally years I have been saying that the state workforce was collapsing, that we aspired to skeleton crew and that at some point the engine of state wouldn’t start.
    Well……
    told ya…


  17. - El Conquistador - Friday, Jul 19, 19 @ 4:23 pm:

    And now we’re preparing to give $42 billion dollars to a shell of an agency to administer. What could go wrong?


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