Local News

NCDOT Releases Consultant's First Recommendations

Posted October 4, 2007

— The North Carolina Department of Transportation, under orders from Gov. Mike Easley, on Thursday released documents related to a management review of the agency.

Since April, McKinsey & Co., a management consultant, has been conducting a $3.6 million, taxpayer-funded review of the agency that critics accuse of being inefficient and lacking accountability. McKinsey filed an evaluation in June, but DOT officials decided not to ask for any other material or release what they had received.

That decision drew criticism from Easley and state lawmakers. They also criticized McKinsey attorneys for blacking out several pages of its DOT contract before releasing that.

Easley spokeswoman Sherri Johnson said that the governor called state Transportation Secretary Lyndo Tippett on Wednesday and told him to release whatever documents he had.

"The governor has told the secretary (that) if there's a contract and it's been done with public money, he needs to release it," Johnson said. "And he has said anything that's been paid for with public money, the public has a right to see and to know what's going on."

Tippet said McKinsey will provide a full report to the public when the firm completes its work in November.

Tippett summarized the review as calling for the implementation of general common-sense themes: more accountability, better inter-agency collaboration and clearer priorities.

“We will focus more on outcomes rather than outputs, with greater visibility and accountability to the public,” he said.


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  • Capt Mercury Oct 5, 2007

    The problem with the NC DOT is the same problem that most government agencies have these days. They are commanded by politicians who get elected on the farce that governments can be run on the cheap. No more taxes should mean no more government services, but the public keeps electing politicians who say they can have their cake and eat it too. Wise up people. Governments can do a few things well or lots of things poorly with the taxes you pay. Sure, we need to get rid of waste and abuse and keep it out of government. A few more state politicians and their servant officials should probably be in jail, but it's not going to happen until voters stop believing the "free lunch" politicians.

  • whatelseisnew Oct 5, 2007


    Yes the term robbed is strong - however, all too often our elected people make sure the laws are written in a way to allow them to do something that is "legal" that is both unethical and immoral. When you tell your electorate you are collecting money for a specific purpose, then you need to keep your word and follow through on that. The robbery here was of the public trust. These politicians should have and could have handled things very differently. We went through some cycles of budget shortfalls; the Gov and the State legislature chose to raise taxes and rob the trust fund. They could have controlled the budget. when they had surpluses, they could have restored money to the trust fund; they spent in on further expansions. We are being robbed and we are being lied to; in part it is our own fault, we should have tossed the Governor and most of the legislature in the last election. Unfortunately, too many people just vote the D or the R label written on their foreheads.

  • wayne1961 Oct 5, 2007

    I need to correct my post

    The transfer from the trust fund to the general fund is $170 MILLION (not $170!).

  • peppercorns Oct 5, 2007

    Easley hates DOT and State employees - he is just trying to start trouble since he is nothing but a lame duck Governor - THere maybe problems that need addressing but he is going to make mountains out of mole hills. good by and good riddence easley...!

  • wayne1961 Oct 5, 2007

    whatelseisnew- let me first say, that I don't agree with the ~$170 transfer of highway money to the general fund, and I think all gas taxes should be allocated to highway needs.

    With that said, I do respectifully disagree with your term of "robbing" (i.e illegal). It is written in state law that this transfer will occur to make up for some taxes that the trust fund is collecting.

    I think we both agree that the transfer shouldn't happen, but nothing is getting "robbed". There's nothing illegal about the transfer.

    DOT studies have indicated they are $2 BILLION short per year on monies need to maintain and expand infrastructure to support a growing state. The $170M per year transfer is a good start, but it will not entirely fix the problem. As long as transportation infrastructure is consistently underfunded (roads, bridges, etc.) get used to more congestion.

  • casp3r Oct 5, 2007

    bpjamesncsu= No problem.It amazes me that whenever anything is shown to be failing there is always at least one person wanting to call others names instead of having a civil discussion about the problem.

  • casp3r Oct 5, 2007

    NCchick= I never complained. I tried to show you how silly your little argument was. Hey how about instead of pointing to the people that pay the taxes one way or another, point them were they belong. When you personally attack someone and call them idiot, shows a lot about you. If you want to act childish that’s one thing but to drag people down to your level is another. Shame on you.

  • whatelseisnew Oct 5, 2007

    I do understand how the funding is supplied and very unfortunately our legislature and government have been robbing some of said gas tax receipts for years now. This of course caused delays in projects and then leads to things like trying to get the public to buy into toll roads. 540 is a classic example of how we are being robbed. An extra 5 cents per gallon "temporary" (LOL) gas tax increase was implemented in 1989 and 540 was one of the projects for which this tax was added. I don't know how much money that adds up to since 1989, but I have a suspicion that it was more than enough to cover the expenses had the money been fully allocated to the DOT. On the other hand , it bothers me to hear that this expensive audit boils down to common sense recommendations. Just on that I-40 mess alone Mr. Tippet should tender his resignation. I don't expect that to happen.

  • Lissa13082 Oct 5, 2007

    bpjamesncsu - well said

    c4sp3r - the point was that most people don't know anything about DOT meaning they think that the taxes they pay year to year that the state takes goes, in part, to DOT, which it does not. The only taxes we get are through gas tax.

    I also wanted to say that I am actually amazed by the number of people who have posted not to complain but to stand behind and admit that they don't know what goes on behind the scenes instead of pretending they do. Very admirable. For those who are still ignorant and want to argue and complain, (like c4sp3r for one), know the facts first!

  • bpjamesncsu Oct 5, 2007

    c4sp3r--I apologize then if I misunderstood you.