Local News

Insider to oversee quality control, risk management at DOT

Posted September 2, 2008 5:59 p.m. EDT
Updated September 2, 2008 8:55 p.m. EDT

— A 33-year veteran of the state Department of Transportation has a new post – making sure the organization cuts wasteful spending.

Bruce Dillard was appointed Friday to the position of Inspector General in an effort to better evaluate risk-management systems, promote accountability and efficiency and minimize fraud, waste and abuse.

Last month, top agency officials announced they were reorganizing the department after a $3.6 million report by international management consultant McKinsey & Co. found DOT's structure prevented divisions from working well with each other and that contributed to delays and overspending on products, specifically road construction.

Dillard has been an auditor with the DOT since 1975 and has directed the department's External Audit Branch since 1990. He will lead a 46-member staff responsible for quality control and risk management.

"We're kind of the watchdogs for DOT spending," he said Tuesday.

DOT senior management looked at a handful of internal candidates for the position following the McKinsey report, which recommended 20 changes to the way the department is run.

"They didn't indicate we had a problem with new ideas and freshness," Roberto Canales, DOT's deputy secretary for transit, said. "They indicated we had a problem with actually implementing them."

In recent years, the DOT 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 to fix.

In February, the Office of the State Auditor released a report criticizing the DOT for being deficient in key management controls and for not meeting accountability requirements.

State Auditor Les Merritt said Tuesday that he believes the DOT is taking steps in the right direction with the creation of the Office of Inspector General and the appointment of Dillard to head it.

A review following the I-40 job resulted in at least 20 recommendations. Dillard said one of his priorities is to go back and see how many have been implemented and whether they are working.