SC

SCDOT: Internal Audits Show Rash Of Scandals

SHOCKER, RIGHT? Two months ago, this website published the latest in a long line of exclusive reports exposing bad behavior at the chronically mismanaged, hopelessly corrupt S.C. Department of Transportation. It didn’t take long for other news outlets to get in on the action (here and here) – or for us…

SHOCKER, RIGHT?

Two months ago, this website published the latest in a long line of exclusive reports exposing bad behavior at the chronically mismanaged, hopelessly corrupt S.C. Department of Transportation.

It didn’t take long for other news outlets to get in on the action (here and here) – or for us to expose additional problems at this government behemoth.  And obviously this month’s “Floodmaggedon” disaster has driven home just how costly SCDOT’s failure really is …

Anyway, this week the hits keep-a-coming …

According to a story by investigative reporter Ron Aiken of The Nerve, the agency has been “regularly investigating serious charges from all corners of the state involving employees at nearly every level of compensation.”

“In the four years leading up to the most-destructive single event for South Carolina’s road and bridge system, the agency responsible for it was mired in internal controversies ranging from DOT supervisors engaging in private business relationships with vendors they oversee; state employees forced to work on private property and falsify documents at the behest of politicians; thefts of materials covered-up by management; procurement irregularities resulting in overpayments to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars; and allegations of racism. fraud and conflicts of (interest),” Aiken wrote.

Perhaps most troubling in Aiken’s report?  Further evidence of SCDOT’s refusal to hold itself accountable – even as its budgets were soaring (from $1.1 billion in 2012 to more than $1.8 billion this year).

“In 2013 DOT stripped the internal auditor’s authority to conduct independent investigations,” he wrote, adding “a fraud hotline number and P.O. Box were shut down.”

Yeah … viva transparency and accountability.

We’ve said it before, we’ll say it again:  SCDOT is an abject failure – wasting billions of dollars on unnecessary projects while vital infrastructure needs go unaddressed.

And when vital infrastructure needs go unaddressed, bad things happen.

It’s time for real leadership, real transparency and real accountability at this agency … although the likelihood of that happening under the administration of Nikki Haley is slim-to-none.

SCDOT needs to be completely reinvented as an agency … with a direct line of accountability to the public, aggressive and transparent internal auditing and (most importantly) strict adherence to an infrastructure plan based on real needs, not political “prioritization.”

State leaders – including then S.C. Rep. Haley and former governor Mark Sanford – claimed to have “reformed” SCDOT back in 2007.

Clearly they didn’t … and our state is continuing to pay the price for this ongoing failure.

***

Related posts

SC

Follow-Up File: S.C. Beach Patrol Tragedy

Will Folks
SC

S.C. Beach Patrol Tragedy: Police Truck Kills Woman

Will Folks
SC

Lowcountry Ferry Owner’s Court Appearance Scheduled

Callie Lyons

39 comments

nitrat October 12, 2015 at 5:20 pm

“…with a direct line of accountability to the public…”
Do you mean electing SCDOT agency heads directly?
That seems to have worked out really well with the Dept. of Labor in NC…see News and Observer or Charlotte Observer.
What is the Libertarian idea of ‘a direct line of accountability to the public’?
As long as SCGOP voters keep electing SCGOP governors with no shame… who are lazy and/or corrupt to boot, there will be no accountability. Voters who elected Libertarian Mark Sanford and Nikki Haley aren’t smart enough to even know what accountability is.
Brad Warthen, Cindi Scoppe and the editorial board at The State will never admit they totally missed the mark on ‘accountability’ as the prime result of ‘reorganization’ and the cabinet system. Pigs will fly before even one of them admits it.

Reply
Direct Accountability October 12, 2015 at 5:26 pm

Libertarians would rather the crooks not be elected so that scamming the public at large is purely a private venture, open to anyone and everyone capable and willing.

Reply
CNSYD October 12, 2015 at 6:39 pm

Turn over the highways to the private sector. That worked wonderfully on I-185 in Greenville County didn’t it.

Reply
TroubleBaby October 12, 2015 at 6:56 pm

It would have never happened if the taxpayers didn’t back the crony bank loan. No gov’t backing…no I-185.

Reply
TroubleBaby October 12, 2015 at 6:55 pm

“Voters who elected Libertarian Mark Sanford and Nikki Haley”

What?!

Jesus, everyone’s a Libertarian now, or libertarian…

Reply
Dick October 13, 2015 at 7:53 pm

It is not about Democrat or Republican.

it is about honor and integrity.

Get people of character and many, if not most, of the ethical and partisan problems go away.

Reply
Elfego October 12, 2015 at 5:38 pm

All government agencies from D.C. to the smallest cities reek with waste and fraud.

By GRETCHEN MORGENSON

The New York Times updated 4/1/2011 5:29:02 AM ET 2011-04-01T09:29:02

-Regulators have approved generous executive compensation at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the taxpayer-backed mortgage finance giants, with little scrutiny or analysis, according to a report published Thursday by the inspector general of the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

The companies, whose fates are to be decided by Congress this year, paid a combined $17 million to their chief executives in 2009 and 2010, the two full years when Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were wards of the state, the report found.

The top six executives at the companies received $35.4 million over the two years. Since Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were taken over in September 2008, the companies’ mounting mortgage losses have required a $153 billion infusion from taxpayers. Total losses may reach $363 billion through 2013, according to government estimates.

Feds Made $125 Billion in ‘Improper Payments’ in 2010–Enough To Fund State Department 11 Times Over

Fannie Mae seeks $8.5 billion more in federal aid

By DANIEL WAGNER

AP Business Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fannie Mae asked the government Friday for an additional $8.5 billion in aid after declining home prices caused more defaults on loans guaranteed by the mortgage giant

Friday, April 22, 2011

By Matt Cover

Federal agencies reported improper payments estimated at $125.4 billion in fiscal year 2010, an increase of $16.2 billion from the $109.2 billion estimate in fiscal 2009, the Government Accountability Office said. Ninety-four percent of those payments came from social spending programs, including Medicare and Medicaid, GAO said in its April 15 report.

IRS refunded $12 million to dead people in scam

Forbes ^ | May 6, 2011 | Janet Novak

Posted on Saturday, May 07, 2011 9:54:26 AM by BAW

Last year Obama flew in Air Force One 172 times, almost every other day.

White House officials have been telling reporters in recent days that the Democrat doesn’t intend to hang around the White House quite so much in 2011. They explain he wants to get out more around the country because, as everyone knows, that midterm election shellacking on Nov. 2 had nothing to do with his health care bill, over-spending or other policies, and everything to do with Obama’s not adequately explaining himself to his countrymen and women.

And with only 673 days remaining in Obama’s never ending presidential campaign, the incumbents travel pace will not likely slacken.

At an Air Force-estimated cost of $181,757 per flight HOUR (not to mention the additional travel costs of Marine One, Secret Service, logistics and local police overtime), that’s a lot of frequent flier dollars going into Obama’s carbon footprint.

We are privy to some of these numbers thanks to CBS’ Mark Knoller, a bearded national treasure trove of presidential stats. According to Knoller’s copious notes, during the last year, Obama made 65 domestic trips over 104 days, and six trips to eight countries over 22 days. Not counting six vacation trips over 32 days.

He took 196 helicopter trips, signed 203 pieces of legislation and squeezed in 29 rounds of left-handed golf.

Obama last year gave 491 speeches, remarks or statements. That’s more talking than goes on in some entire families, at least from fatherly mouths.

In fact, even including the 24 days of 2010 that we never saw Obama in public, his speaking works out to about one official utterance every 11 waking hours. Aides indicate the “Real Good Talker” believes we need more.

Related: Obama spends nearly half his presidency outside Washington , plans to travel more

Related: Vacationer-in-Chief Spends $1.75 Million to Visit Hawaiian Chums

Obama has spent over $100 million taxpayer dollars flying around in Air Force One, and probably another $100 million on his entourage. Obama is just another tin-pot dictator living lavishly at the expense of his subjects.

And we seniors have to “tighten our belts” because we aren’t getting a COLA again this year… and none last year!

THANKS TO ALL WHO HELPED PUT THIS GREEDY WINDBAG IN OFFICE!!

Report: It Takes At Least 170 Days to Fire a Government Employee

Then they can appeal!

BY: Elizabeth Harrington

March 10, 2015 5:00 am

A minimum of 170 days is required to fire a federal employee for poor performance, if a government agency properly follows the required dismissal process.

The government firing process is so lengthy that departments often keep bad employees to avoid it, according to a report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

“The time and resource commitment needed to remove a poor performing permanent employee can be substantial,” the GAO said. “It can take six months to a year (and sometimes longer) to dismiss an employee.”

In order to fire a government worker federal managers can consult a 12-step flow chart, which the GAO provided in the report released Monday. The report examined the “long-standing personnel issue” of the government’s inability to fire bad employees.

Federal agencies have two procedural options when faced with firing a poor worker: chapters 43 and 75 of title 5 of the United States Code, and Office of Personnel Management (OPM) implementing regulations.

Chapter 43 takes between 170 to 370 days to complete, and includes “counseling sessions” for the worker. The employee also gets a chance to improve their performance, which can last up to 110 days.

Throughout the process the government agency must consult with the Human Resources department and their General Counsel before the worker is informed of their dismissal and their “grievance rights.”

After dismissal, the employee is then given the opportunity to appeal, which itself takes an average of 243 days to complete.

Alternatively, agencies can use chapter 75, which is “largely similar to chapter 43.” Chapter 75 is generally faster since it does not require time to allow the employee to improve, but the “burden of proof for sustaining a dismissal” is higher.

Agencies are able to avoid both processes by firing poor performers during their first year on the job, or by declining to dismiss a bad employee.

All civil service workers are required to undergo a one-year probationary period when they start working for the government to prove their value. If a worker is dismissed during the probationary period the government does not have to follow either chapters 43 or 75.

The GAO found that supervisors often choose to do nothing to poor performers due to “concern over litigation,” and because firing them is too time consuming. The termination processes can be “bureaucratic obstructions” to supervisors, they said.

The government fired just 3,489 employees for performance in 2013, representing 0.18 percent of all federal workers. Seventy percent of these dismissals occurred during the initial probationary period, 21 percent through chapter 75, and 8 percent through chapter 43.

Nearly half of workers fired through chapter 43 appealed their dismissal to the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB), taking an average of 243 days to adjudicate.

Last week CBS News reported that the inability to fire federal workers, such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) employee who spent six hours a day watching porn on the job, is costing taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars every week.

This entry was posted in Issues. Bookmark the permalink.

– See more at: http://freebeacon.com/issues/report-it-takes-at-least-170-days-to-fire-a-government-employee/#sthash.MD3UbV44.dpuf

Labor Dept Employees Watch Porn, Lie About Hours

PATRICK HOWLEY

10:30 PM 05/31/2015

Employees at the Obama administration’s Department of Labor look at porn on the job and lie about how many hours they work while the department gives out hundreds of millions of dollars in stimulus money to groups that can’t manage their finances.

As Obama works on his comedy career, his administration also doesn’t seem to care anymore.

“An OIG investigation involving allegations of accessing and viewing pornographic materials during work hours against a Grade 14 employee was completed in February 2015. The OIG substantiated the allegations and referred the matter to the agency for administrative action,” according to the department’s inspector general in a newly submitted semiannual report to Congress (p. 37).

Social Security overpaid nearly half on disability, watchdog says

Published June 07, 2015Associated Press

WASHINGTON – Social Security overpaid nearly half the people receiving disability benefits over the past decade, according to a government watchdog, raising questions about the management of the cash-strapped program.

In all, Social Security overpaid beneficiaries by nearly $17 billion, according to a 10-year study by the agency’s inspector general.

Many payments went to people who earned too much money to qualify for benefits, or to those no longer disabled. Payments also went to people who had died or were in prison.

Social Security was able to recoup about $8.1 billion, but it often took years to get the money back, the study said.

“Every dollar that goes to overpayments doesn’t help someone in need,” said Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa. “Given the present financial situation of the Social Security Disability Insurance trust fund, the program cannot sustain billions of dollars lost to waste.”

The trust fund that supports Social Security’s disability program is projected to run out of money late next year, triggering automatic benefit cuts, unless Congress acts. The looming deadline has lawmakers feuding over a solution that may have to come in the heat of a presidential election.

FEDS GAVE LOW-INCOME HOUSING TO MILLIONAIRES

HUD SPENDING $104.4 MILLION ON HOUSING FOR INELIGIBLE TENANTS THIS YEAR

APAP

BY: Elizabeth Harrington — July 27, 2015 5:20 pm

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) gave low-income housing to millionaires, according to a recent audit.

25 families had more than $1 million in assets, or income significantly greater than the income limits

Millionaire paying $300 in Nebraska

Watchdog finds widespread fraud at U.S. Census Bureau

By SARAH WESTWOOD (@SARAHCWESTWOOD) • 9/17/15 2:53 PM

ns of government employees at the U.S. Census Bureau have been billing taxpayers for time they never actually worked, wasting more than $1 million.

The 40 officials were supposed to be performing background checks on the census personnel who walk door-to-door throughout the country to collect information about Americans. Instead, they “engaged in pervasive misconduct over several years,” according to an investigation by the Commerce Department’s inspector general.

The watchdog found at least one employee in the Census Bureau’s employment office who “used his official position as a personal hiring vehicle for friends and their families.”

GAO: Feds made nearly $1 trillion in overpayments since fiscal 2003

Elizabeth MacDonaldBy Elizabeth MacDonaldPublished October 02, 2015FoxNews.com

Government waste took a significant turn for the worse in fiscal 2014, rising dramatically to $124.7 billion from $105.8 billion in fiscal 2013.

That’s a striking increase of nearly 20 percent in improper federal payments. As the White House and Congress continues to blow out the federal deficit to $18 trillion in their Miracle-Gro, “Supersize Me” approach to government, little is being done to stop federal overpayments. Since fiscal 2003, “cumulative improper payment estimates have totaled almost $1 trillion,” the Government Accountability Office (GAO) said in a new report.

U.S. Comptroller General Gene Dodaro testified Thursday on the GAO’s new findings (http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-16-92T) before the Senate Finance Committee.

The Washington Way

There’s a story in The Washington Post this week about a pair of bureaucrats at the scandal-scarred Veterans Affairs agency who abused their positions of public trust to get plum jobs and perks.

These two executives – Diana Rubens and Kimberly Graves – “inappropriately used their positions of authority for personal and financial benefit when they participated personally and substantially in creating opportunities for their own transfers to positions they were interested in filling,” according to a report by the agency’s watchdog.

Not only did they take these jobs, they also “gamed VA’s moving-expense system for a total of $400,000” via a series of “questionable reimbursements.”

And yes … this is the agency that’s supposed to be taking care of U.S. veterans.

Anyway, according to Chris Edwards of the Cato Institute, the report is further evidence of how many government bureaucrats “serve themselves and not the public.”

“By and large, the federal government is not full of people that help us,” Edwards wrote. “They tax us, regulate us, defend their bureaucracies, and some of them try to actively fleece us. So in structuring the government, a basic assumption should be that it will not be populated by ‘public servants,’ but by people who are in it for themselves. That is one reason why all of us should want to keep the government’s power strictly limited.”

Amen to that …

Read more at https://www.fitsnews.com/2015/10/02/the-washington-way/#ItOkaBwXqfW77jsW.99

Ex-Chicago public schools chief to plead guilty in contract kickback scheme

Aamer Madhani, USA TODAY 10:52 p.m. EDT October 8, 2015

AP CHICAGO SCHOOLS INDICTMENT A FILE USA IL

CHICAGO — Former Chicago Public Schools chief Barbara Byrd-Bennett plans to plead guilty to federal charges that she steered more than $23 million in no-bid contracts from the school system to her previous employers in exchange for kickbacks that would have made her millions of dollars, federal prosecutors announced Thursday.

REPORT: EPA ‘RUNNING A $160 MILLION PR MACHINE’

OPEN THE BOOKS FINDS WASTEFUL SPENDING IN THE AGENCY

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy / APEPA Administrator Gina McCarthy / AP

BY: Elizabeth Harrington — October 12, 2015 5:00 am

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) spent over $15 million on outside public relations consultants despite employing nearly 200 full-time in house PR workers.

$15.1 million on outside PR consultants

$261,456 on badges and insignia

$23,884 on trophies

Reply
Sic Semper Tyrannis October 12, 2015 at 7:40 pm

Great break down ! See if you can find the same on the Dubya wars please.

Reply
Victorious Secret October 12, 2015 at 8:01 pm

TL:DR

Reply
Bout Time October 12, 2015 at 5:58 pm

Thanks for turning me on to The Nerve.
Been looking for a blog with actual journalism.

Reply
Bible Thumper October 12, 2015 at 6:09 pm

$1.8 billion dollar budget, 4,400 employees. Three stolen chainsaws, borrowed equipment, moonlighting, one driveway snafu, inspections for a private development and a serious procurement issue.
If all of these issues were corrected, SCDOT would have been able to build an additional quarter mile of two lane road or resurface a mile or two. Seriously, I was once a manager of a retail chain location that had sales of 1/3600ths of the SCDOT budget. if our losses from theft were less than $3,000 a year, I got a bonus. 3600 X $3,000 = $10,800,000. That is $10,800,000 divided by $1.4 billion times 100% is 0.77%.
These are the type of problems every business has. Sure they need to be dealt with, but it does not indicate wide spread mismanagement. Come back if the waste rises to several million dollars per year or top management is involved in corruption and I’ll say let’s clean house.

Reply
Thank you Statist October 12, 2015 at 6:35 pm

“Come back if the waste rises to several million dollars per year”

How can anyone know what the waste is when the SCDOT has stripped it’s auditor of the power to do her job in addition to killing the methods to report fraud & corruption?

Reply
Sic Semper Tyrannis October 12, 2015 at 7:36 pm

Well said

Reply
Bible Thumper October 13, 2015 at 1:58 am

Everything revealed in this article and the original NERVE article were discovered by the SCDOT themselves.

Reply
The Buzzman October 13, 2015 at 9:52 am

Yes. And the person who discovered it got in trouble for even talking about it. What’s wrong with this picture.

Reply
Bible Thumper October 13, 2015 at 10:03 am

Define what you mean by trouble. He will be OK if he puts his big boy pants on.

Thank you Statist October 13, 2015 at 10:26 am

“In 2013 DOT stripped the internal auditor’s authority to conduct independent investigations,” he wrote, adding “a fraud hotline number and P.O. Box were shut down.”

You keep ignoring this line. It’s somewhat critical to understanding the situation.

Reply
YouWontPostThis October 12, 2015 at 6:39 pm

You confused him when you started in with actual numbers, and completely lost him at the “/” symbol.

Reply
fred farkel October 14, 2015 at 12:01 pm

Sorry pal, but like your trailer trash neighbor, Bible Thumper, you are all wet as well. Specifically when he makes an inane comment, “but that doesn’t mean the whole agency is mismanaged”. Oh yes it does. How can you take a guy with a logo like “Bible Thumper” seriously, and he was a “manager of a retail chain location”. Wow and I bet he attended Liberty University’s business school!!!!

Reply
fred fatkel October 13, 2015 at 12:13 am

Another mental midget speaks. Thank god you are not working for that chain store anymore. Better check your math pal it’s way off.

Reply
Bible Thumper October 13, 2015 at 1:44 am

The math is correct. The chain store did one half of a million in sales a year. 3600 times that is 1.8 billion. If you don’t think that a well run $1.8 billion dollar operation with 4000 employees is going to have occasional incidents of improper behavior, then your naive.

Reply
Nuff Said October 12, 2015 at 7:03 pm

Many heads better roll in this mess, or the DOJ will be forced to come in and clean it all up. Nuff Said

Reply
Yosemitte Sam October 12, 2015 at 7:22 pm

LMAO!!!!What horseshit.DOJ!!!!!A fucking traitor occupies the wH and the DOJ is gonna go after SCDOT.

I swear you people are idiots.Haley,Sanford etc….just laugh at you folks!

Reply
Sic Semper Tyrannis October 12, 2015 at 7:32 pm

Why not ? Obama is more American than you, Haley, and Sandford, we just laugh at you 24 / 7. LMAO !!!!

Reply
RogueElephant October 13, 2015 at 8:12 pm

I wouldn’t be so fast to make a statement like that. Things are starting to surface. Like the ID card that has him listed as a foreign student. He has always been a devout Muslim. All covered up by the MSM. It will be interesting if he leaves office just what has been pulled over our eyes.

Reply
fred farkel October 14, 2015 at 11:53 am

“He has always been a devout Muslim”. Utter nonsense. Where the hell do you get this absurd information. You stupid rednecks should get a life and get real. Your pals that you elect aren’t representing. Got to get rid of Duncan, Mulvanney and the that idiot Gowdy, who has spent more time and money trying to pin something on our next president Hillary Clinton.

RogueElephant October 15, 2015 at 8:24 am

Wait and see.

fred farkel October 15, 2015 at 10:38 am

Just answer my question stupid. WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR INFORMATION? Wait and see is no answer. Howdy has spent over $4.7MILLION and 17 MONTHS time on his ridiculus committee to investigate Hillary. Is that representing you and your trailer park buddies?

fred fatkel October 13, 2015 at 12:05 am

Yosemite Sam I think we have had enough of your BS and people like you. All this crap about President Obama a traitor, excuse me a “fucking traitor” is so laughable. How about your “boy” Gowdy spending MILLIONS of dollars on the stupid Benghazi Committee, which has lasted longer than Watergate. We folks are sick and tired of your tea bagger mentality. Get life asshole.

Reply
Not This Year October 12, 2015 at 7:12 pm

Anything to take our minds off those dreaded Lamecocks!

Reply
Truth Be Told October 12, 2015 at 7:42 pm

At least DOT isn’t as poorly run as the Treasurer’s office.

Reply
RogueElephant October 12, 2015 at 9:22 pm

Curtis Loftis needs to be governor for eight years and clean up this mess.

Reply
opengovernmentup October 13, 2015 at 7:29 am

You kid, I mean he can’t control the business revenue

Reply
Dorothy Berner October 13, 2015 at 7:56 am

my collaborator’s stride mother makes $97/hr on the web…….…..Last weekend I Bought A Brand new McLaren F1 after earning $18,512,this was my last month’s paycheck ,and-a little over, $17k last-month .No-doubt about it, this really is the most comfortable work I have ever had . I began this 8-months ago and pretty much immediately was bringing home at least $97, p/h…..Learn More right Here.
it……………….
??
???? http://www.googlefeedbuzzmoneybestusamonyuklo290.blogspot.com/ ??????????????????????????????????????????????????

Reply
Sic Semper Tyrannis October 13, 2015 at 8:36 am

Damn, I agree with you. Glad you’re evolving.

Reply
RogueElephant October 13, 2015 at 8:13 pm

Glad you are starting to catch on.

Reply
Waverunning October 12, 2015 at 10:47 pm

Cockroaches hate the light. . . .

Reply
Louie Bouy October 13, 2015 at 1:15 am

Heck the SCDOT let the Bogg’s Paving boys from Monroe NC into the state while they were being targeted for corruption in NC. The whole brain-trust is now in prison, but they still have active projects in SC. Great job as usual SCDOT!

Reply
Rakkasan October 13, 2015 at 1:03 pm

If you’re going to have a rash, there are definitely worse kinds to have, like the kind you would get from GT

Reply

Leave a Comment