SC

SC Senators Want Roads Agency Audited

LAWMAKERS WANT ANSWERS FROM S.C. TRANSPORTATION DEPARTMENT …  || By FITSNEWS || Twenty-three South Carolina State Senators – half of the “upper” chamber of the S.C. General Assembly – want the state’s mismanaged transportation bureaucracy to be placed under a microscope. The lawmakers – led by S.C. Senator Lee Bright…

LAWMAKERS WANT ANSWERS FROM S.C. TRANSPORTATION DEPARTMENT … 

|| By FITSNEWS || Twenty-three South Carolina State Senators – half of the “upper” chamber of the S.C. General Assembly – want the state’s mismanaged transportation bureaucracy to be placed under a microscope.

The lawmakers – led by S.C. Senator Lee Bright – sent a letter to the S.C. Legislative Audit Council (SCLAC) last week urging the oversight agency to “conduct a comprehensive audit of the Department of Transportation.”

Specifically, the audit request seeks “the actual level of funding that the department receives from all sources and how that funding changed since (FY 2005-06).”  It also seeks a list of all S.C. Department of Transportation (SCDOT) expenditures including “any irregularities among expenditures and any areas of wasteful expenditures the department has failed to curtail.”

Furthermore, the Senators ask the auditors to determine whether the agency has “followed the letter and spirit” of the 2007 SCDOT reform effort – which was supposed to prioritize projects based on need, not politics.

Clearly that reform didn’t take … as this website first began exposing in the spring of 2011.

Since then things have clearly gotten worse … with lawmakers so far only proposing to throw more money at the problem.

Oh well … at least they are finally asking how much they’ve already thrown at the problem (with abysmal results).

SCDOT AUDIT REQUEST (.pdf)

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38 comments

Happy March 9, 2015 at 5:18 pm

Most excellent!

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Babs March 9, 2015 at 5:18 pm

Reform now! Discuss taxes later!!

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FastEddy23 March 9, 2015 at 7:19 pm

Absolutely!

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Ben Jaegerschnitzel March 9, 2015 at 5:21 pm

Clearly, this is needed. SCDOT has all but stopped the routine maintenance (sweeping roadways, clearing debris, patching critical pot holes, etc) of our State’s roadways, presumably to play hardball with the tax payers over a proposed tax increase. In this way, they’ve taken a page from the Lexington-Richland District 5 “Chapin Strategy” for its 2008 Bond Referendum whereby that school district drug the disgusting portables to the front parking lot of the school (and yeah, blighting the community) to secure the bond’s passage by dividing the typically more conservative Chapin area on the bond issue. So yeah, well played SCDOT… and Godspeed General Assembly with an audit of their activities.

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Soft Sigh from Hell March 9, 2015 at 7:03 pm

It always works.

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euwe max March 10, 2015 at 5:38 am

Appoint someone to hand out the punishment for failing to be efficient, then punish the appointee and the appointers… and work thereby up the chain until everyone has been punished.

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Yep! March 10, 2015 at 3:50 pm

“SCDOT has all but stopped the routine maintenance (sweeping roadways, clearing debris, patching critical pot holes, etc) of our State’s roadways, presumably to play hardball with the tax payers over a proposed tax increase. ”

Exactly. It’s completely obvious.

If a slack worker in the private sector slacks off more after being told he’s not getting a raise, you know what happens? He gets fired.

In government, they throw more money at the slacker and then beg the to work.

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Yep! March 10, 2015 at 3:51 pm

*beg them

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Halfvast Conspirator March 9, 2015 at 6:03 pm

They ought to add the Infrastructure Bank in there too

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JJK March 9, 2015 at 6:51 pm

Hell yea! That is the land of the crooks!

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FastEddy23 March 9, 2015 at 7:09 pm

Yes! The banks, all of them, any secret accounts, all public accounts … and who gets the vigorish and who should. … And do those banks play paper hanging games and paper chase games with the state taxpayers money … and do the taxpayers benefit …

A Full Investigative Audit … Investigative being the operative word. With rewards for those investigators who discover irregularities … …

Otherwise it will be the same old foxes searching the same old hen house.

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jimlewisowb March 9, 2015 at 6:53 pm

OK, do another audit, management review or whatever you want to call it

Hold hearings, Call witnesses, Convene press conferences, Issue the sky is falling press releases, Appoint ad hoc committees, Toss in a couple of Task Forces, Conduct an International search for an expert who knows how to fix potholes from the bottom up (the ones who currently fix them from the top down don’t have shit for brains)

After all is said and done two years will have pasted and DOT will be at the core the same as it is today and the same as it was prior to 1950

Poking a stick in DOT’s eye will only make it hunker down – if the Cockroaches ain’t willing to cut DOT’s balls off they are wasting everyone’s time

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Soft Sigh from Hell March 9, 2015 at 7:02 pm

I see no displaying of heads.

Demote or fire failing bureaucrats. That’s the only thing that gets the attention of the others on the brink.

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FastEddy23 March 9, 2015 at 7:23 pm

… Or jail time. It is called fiduciary irresponsibility … and if more than one bureaucrat is in on the skim, it can be a federal crime investigated and punished under RICO statutes … Just saying LOL. … And Federal Crimes detection and prosecttion can have paid whistleblowers LOL.

And ya all better believe the current administration would Love to catch some republicrats with their hand in the cookie jar(s). LOL.

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Buz Martin March 9, 2015 at 9:01 pm

Assuming that all the crooks in SC with hands in the cookie jar are Republicans is always a mistake. It is the polar opposite of the GT mistake,which is to assume that they are all Democrats.

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FastEddy23 March 10, 2015 at 12:35 pm

Well, yes. My label for rino republicrats includes those supposed republicans who are just in it for the ride, the skim and power and have no real intention of pursuing the actual criminals.

As for the “pure” democrats, I’m guessing that the party membership knows who those thieves are and the few who may actually have the voters and taxpayers’ best interests.

Look this state house corruption thingy is nation wide. The political classes of all stripes are suspect and have always tried to wire themselves into the receiving end of the skim.

Buz Martin March 10, 2015 at 12:54 pm

AND of course, money from the Koch brothers and Soros (or whoever the big funder on the left is now), pays for their votes on legislation they have paid to create.
Here’s where the tea freaks went wrong. Too many of them are funded by those characters. Imposing on local constituencies their legilsation cobbled together in their damned “think tanks.”

That big money is a big reason both parties and all the slinter groups like the tea parties and greens are so full of shit and so corrupt. Deep pockets buying votes, sometime even the same funders playing one faction against another.

Why even pretend, as Will sometimes does, that any of these people are pure and pristine in their intentions.

I will say this about Lee Bright, though: He’s nowhere near as stupid as he looks. If he were, he’d have a hard even finding his way into the statehouse from the parking lot.

FastEddy23 March 10, 2015 at 1:14 pm

One thing about the Tea Parties: Even you could attend a Tea Party meeting and give a speech on your feelings, desires and ideas … Both the democrat and republican are all closed to non-members.

(I have attended Tea Party gatherings and my ideas received just as many boos and cheers ,,, I have also attended Libertarian meetings with similar results. I have tried to attend democrat meetings here in Taxifornia, and those are absolutely closed to any outsiders [and to many of the rank and file democrats, too]. Check it out.)

Buz Martin March 10, 2015 at 3:00 pm

This does not square with the history of the Myrtle Beach Tea Party and related groups down here. There have been coups, purges, and forceful removal from the room of dissenting or questioning voice. I was invited to speak at one point, but was then disinvited because the person who had booked me was either kicked out of the group or resigned. And at that time they were refusing to let anyone speak against the MB Chamber or the Ad Tax.

Will used to be resolutely against the MB Tea Party, as well as it’s crooked leaders. This is, until he was granted so much access to all the freak candidates who came down for this years version of their only success as an organization, their nationally-covered combination dog-and-pony-show and cash cow, the Tea Party Convention.

Blame them for all the crap article on here about “The Donald.”

FastEddy23 March 11, 2015 at 12:28 pm

“… There have been coups, purges, and forceful removal from the room of dissenting or questioning voice. …”

And all in the full light of day, I’m betting. At least the dirty laundry is open to the public … Democrat, Republicrat, Not!

Buz Martin March 11, 2015 at 1:10 pm

Only if “full light of day” includes keeping the press out of the room, not letting the rank and file know about meetings, and that sort of thing. Stacking the deck with cronies and fellow-travellers. Nah, this really can’t be spun into any kind of open and accountable group. Transparent it has mostly not been.

FastEddy23 March 11, 2015 at 3:46 pm

Well, I have not been to any Tea Parties in SC, so I don’t know.

But if the rinos and/or good old boys are co-opting the meetings, throw your own party … of find someone similarly inclined. (I used to go to libertarian meetings, but their agenda was a laundry list of issues, too long to get anything accomplished … so I just quite going.)

Buz Martin March 11, 2015 at 3:49 pm

I honestly don’t care enough about the tea party movement to go to that trouble. They are ruined, as I see it. Too much Koch money, too much following idiots and fanatics of the Christian right like Bachman and Santorum. Too much pandering to bigotry. The hell with them.

btw, the Yankees — northern transplants — pretty much rule the TP down here. And much of the GOP leadership. Most of the good ol’ boys are nominally mainstream GOP, but don’t get much involved in the party governance. And most of them are former Dems who have switched over.

Senate Smoke Screen March 9, 2015 at 8:09 pm

S-M-O-K-E S-C-R-E-E-N

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Guest March 10, 2015 at 12:12 am

The County Transportation Committees, spending state gas tax revenue should be audited too, for corruption involvin. Local paving con tractors greasing palms of county council members and their appointees, or in some cases appointes of the Local Delegation.

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snickering March 10, 2015 at 4:55 am

Let’ get interrogation rooms (where they are buckled on wrists and ankles and proceed with the questions. When LAC gets a vague, I don’t know, To the best of my knowledge answer, THEN ZAP SMALL ELECTRICAL SHOCK.

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Electrodes to the nuts March 10, 2015 at 3:19 pm

…a shock to their balls

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Sam March 10, 2015 at 8:04 am

Since Mr. Bright is half an audit away from prison himself for his personal and business fraudulence, this seems a fitting cause for him.

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sparklecity March 10, 2015 at 4:54 pm

Good point – I was thinking the same thing!!!!

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just another guy March 10, 2015 at 8:38 am

The Godfather of pork will not allow this to go too deep. Why do people think the penny sales tax all around the state to “fix the roads”? It was a bail out of SCDOT which has been raided by the high ups in the GA and their well connected donors. Just look at who the backers were for the penny sales tax and that will tell you who is scared and who has been taking money from SCDOT.

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nitrat March 10, 2015 at 8:46 am

I wish the LAC could go back to 1993 when SCDOT became a cabinet agency and evaluate how the changes since then have led us to where we are today.

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BillBrasky March 10, 2015 at 8:48 am

I wish the LAC didn’t take over a year to do a single audit. If they actually did their jobs with a minimal level of competence, maybe this state’s legislative oversight wouldn’t be complete joke.

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nitrat March 10, 2015 at 9:01 am

I agree. They take way too long. But, I’m sure some of it has to do with the legislature not providing the funding to hire enough professionals to get the jobs done in a timely manner.
When we elect legislators who don’t understand that it takes actual people who have to be paid to do the work the legislature wants the agencies to do, this is what you get across state agencies.
Every agency can be more efficient than it is. But, when you don’t have enough people to do the job you end up with problems like DSS.

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D.Draper March 10, 2015 at 12:52 pm

Having a background in financial consulting and having also worked in the legislative branch of this state, I can tell you that a comprehensive financial audit (more complicated than a “performance audit”) of a Fortune 500 company, for a team of 4-6 people, takes three to four months. Maybe five tops. The LAC has more than enough people to complete their audits in less than four months each. First of all, they never look at an entire agency: they always look at specific problems. On top of that, they always have 3-4 auditors per team. The problem isn’t funding. The problem is that you had* a director that would drag his feet on every single audit that went out and was terrified of his own shadow to the point that he sacrificed efficiency to ease his own insecurities. You also have a “new” deputy director that looks and acts like absolute trailer trash; when she comes to the statehouse, it’s a complete joke. They may have some good auditors in that agency, but their talents are overshadowed by terrible (and I mean TERRIBLE) management. Hopefully the new director will turn it around, but if he listens to the deputy or any of the audit managers that have been there for 15+ years, he’s digging his own career’s grave. Look at it another way: if the LAC actually did their job, the House wouldn’t have had to create their own oversight committee and staff who do/will do the exact same thing the LAC does, but in a tenth of the time.

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Pete Campbell March 10, 2015 at 3:52 pm

Well done, have yourself a drink.

Pollution Permit Paper Pusher March 10, 2015 at 7:12 pm

“They may have some good [fill in discipline] in that agency, but their talents are overshadowed by terrible (and I mean TERRIBLE) management.”

This describes too many agencies and big areas within agencies. What kind of audit can or will reveal details of this sort of dysfunction?

Lot's of good auditers about March 10, 2015 at 3:35 pm

“But, I’m sure some of it has to do with the legislature not providing the funding to hire enough professionals to get the jobs done in a timely manner.”

There’s no reason the audit can’t be done by outside, private sector firms on a case by case, bidded basis.

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Nothingisfree March 24, 2015 at 5:57 am

I’ve been contracting work from SCDOT for the past twenty years. Everything from highway signs to traffic signals. I try to be honest and straight forward when bidding my prices and include a modest 8-10 percent profit. I used to work for for a contractor who had his own company. Deciding he was going to “fleece’ the system, he started to use the “DBE”(Disadvantaged Business Entity) which is basically hiding behind minority status to get work. He made and still is making millions off of contracts doing this. He has had to open and close different businesses due to the fact of getting in trouble. There are plenty of DOT employees who get cutbacks from contractors like these who use many loopholes to avoid the rules. There are plenty of dishonest people out there and it really is upsetting when they won’t fix a road that is in dire need of repairing when they are lining their pockets with pet projects. For example, replacing a signal on US 378 at Corley Mill Rd that was built two years ago for around $80,000. Now there is a new contract to “rebuild” this signal with a Mast Arms(to eliminate overhead cables) that is going to cost around $150,000. “But we have no money in the budget to fix the roads.” I know life isn’t fair, but it upsetting to see all the corruption and nothing ever gets done about it.

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