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DOT realigns to become more efficient

Posted August 7, 2008
Updated August 14, 2008

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— The Department of Transportation is reorganizing to make the state agency more efficient, Secretary Lyndo Tippett announced Thursday.

The changes, which affect all seven divisions of the department, come after an 18-month internal review and are aimed at making the agency more strategic, accountable, efficient and effective. (Read an overview of the restructuring.)

“With demand on the state’s transportation system increasing, the cost of doing business rising and revenues remaining relatively flat, we cannot continue to do business as usual,” Tippett said.

Officials say that ultimately means more checks and balances and more communication between those involved in delivering DOT projects, products and services.

"The effort here is to reduce the layer of government – bureaucracy – to get people talking to each other and make sure we are doing things consistently and right – to reduce the silo mentality we're seeing within the department," DOT communications manager Ernie Seneca said.

The DOT is also creating a new unit called the Office of Inspector General, which will be responsible for quality control and risk management. About 50 employees will be reassigned to the unit.

Managers will begin reassigning existing positions immediately, and the new organizational structure should be in place by Sept. 2.

Tippett called the realignment a significant move that will affect everything the DOT does.

"We will make these (changes) work," he said following his announcement to a group of senior DOT staff and managers Thursday. "We will adjust this organization to reflect the needs of the 21st century as we have been talking about for almost seven years."

In recent years, the department has been riddled by delayed and troubled road projects, including a botched paving job on a 10.6-mile stretch of Interstate 40 in Durham County that cost the department $21 million from its administrative budget to fix.

That prompted the DOT to spend $3.6 million for international management consultant McKinsey & Co. to evaluate the agency.

Among McKinsey's findings in its 472-page report was that the DOT's structure prevents divisions from working well with each other. It also identified a need to improve productivity, use key performance indicators and increase accountability within the department.

Workers also complained about low morale and a lack of vision.

"It's been more or less business as usual, and it was time to make a change to upgrade the department to make it more efficient and more effective," said Doug Galyon, chairman of the North Carolina Board of Transportation. "I think you're going to see a re-energizing of the people who work for the DOT."

Legislative Transportation Oversight Committee member Rep. Ty Harrell, D-Wake, who has been critical of the DOT and its leadership, said he is encouraged by the realignment but that it is still too early to tell what the long-term results of it will be.

"I'm optimistic to the steps DOT is taking right now, and hopefully, they're going to be serious about revamping, revising and being more accountable to the citizens of North Carolina," Harrell said.

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  • Sweetgrl3 Aug 8, 2008

    I can't wait for the new administration to clean house. Starting at the top and working their way down to the people who do not deserve raises, promotions or have their positions changed because this party likes them.

    I wonder if this realignment will be in place January 1. I admit there are some major changes needed but this is a not going to work.

  • oldschooltarheel Aug 8, 2008

    Ba, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha! They are prime wasters of taxpayers moneies - waaay high gasoline taxes & low bid contracts that end up overrunning & having faulty materials (wink, wink, nudge, nudge, thanks buddy) & roads that are nothing to sneeze at when comparing to surrounding states who seem to manage it all at waaay less expense to the suckers - I mean ignorant taxpayers.
    The only good thing I see in all this is the gasoline tax touches everyone & it is fair in that the more you use the roads the more you pay. Wish the state primary/secondary education system was that way here.

  • badmonkey Aug 8, 2008

    hey, its working, i've already done more today than I did in the last 4 years

  • RonnieR Aug 7, 2008

    Amber, go to www.ncdot.org and click on the Bicycle under Divisions. It would be easier than me writing it.

  • FromClayton Aug 7, 2008

    there is a Div of Bicyles and Pedestrians? Never heard of them. What do they do? Repair sidewalks and bike lanes????

  • RonnieR Aug 7, 2008

    badmonkey, me thinks you're confusing the divisions of the Division of Highways with the 7 Divisions of DOT of which the
    Division of Highways is one, along with the Div of Motor Vehicles, the Div of Ferries, the Div of Rail, the Div of Public Transit, the Div of Aviation and the Div of Bicyles and Pedestrians.

  • FromClayton Aug 7, 2008

    They have now all gone into their little cubicals to write hundards of handbooks with thousands of pages on how to be more efficent and not waste time, money and paper. 2 copies will be handed out to everyone.

  • badmonkey Aug 7, 2008

    DOT has 14 Divisions actually throughout the State (i.e. Wake County is included in Division 5)......the 7 divisions today were just more or less business units

  • Timtooltime Aug 7, 2008

    Fire from the top down ! Right Mr. Bashnight! you for starters, and the rest of the good ol boys and girls, right MZ. Perdue !

  • Adelinthe Aug 7, 2008

    Too late!

    God bless.

    Rev. RB

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