Home California DeSaulnier Responds to Veto of Transportation Inspector General Bill

DeSaulnier Responds to Veto of Transportation Inspector General Bill

by ECT
Here is a Press Release from Senator Mark DeSaulniers office the other day which I wanted to share.  I too am disappointed because this is clearly needed for the State. Both parties were for the bill by a vote of 35-0. It also would have been a huge step in the direction of improving the public’s trust for all the right reasons. Shame on the Governor who has been nothing short of a disaster!

N E W S    R E L E A S E
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                        Contact:  Krista Pfefferkorn
Monday, October 01, 2012                                                                           (916) 651-4007 or (916) 806-0506
[email protected]

DeSaulnier Responds to Veto of Transportation Inspector General Bill
SB 878 Vetoed by the Governor

Today Senator Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord) announced his disappointment in the Governor’s veto of Senate Bill 878.  SB 878 would have created the State Office of Inspector General (OIG) to oversee transportation agencies with projects funded with state dollars.  SB 878 received wide bipartisan support in the Senate with a vote of 35-0.

“I am very disappointed in the Governor’s veto.  The limited oversight that SB 878 would have provided over billions of taxpayers’ dollars, would have helped to regain the public’s trust in how the State spends their money,” said DeSaulnier.  “This bill is a modest first step to assure that we are getting the most out of our transportation dollars.”

The California Transportation Commission is responsible for adopting the five-year State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP), which is the funding plan for future expansion projects on the state highway system. The most recent STIP consists of more than $3 billion to be allocated and spent over the next five years.  These funds, once allocated, are spent by various state and regional entities with relatively little oversight.

“Billions of dollars are spent each year on California’s transportation infrastructure,” said DeSaulnier.  “We are operating in a challenging world of shrinking transportation revenues and increasing demands.  It is imperative that we make every transportation dollar go as far as possible.”

SB 878 establishes the Office of the Inspector General to ensure the California Department of Transportation, the High Speed Rail Authority, and all other state, regional, and local agencies that use state transportation funds are operating efficiently, effectively, and in compliance with federal and state laws.  The Inspector General would be appointed by the Governor and serve a six year term.  In addition, SB 878 directs the Inspector General to report annually to the Governor and Legislature with a summary of his/her findings, investigations, and audits and requires that this summary be posted on the Inspector General’s Internet website.

Many states have successfully adopted the OIG model, including New York and Pennsylvania, and many major cities employ an Inspector General to oversee transportation projects.  The federal government employs OIGs in most of its departments and agencies, charging them with identifying fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement within its parent agency.  The US Department of Transportation relies heavily on its OIG to ferret out fraud as well as recommend areas of improvement and efficiencies.

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Sen. Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord) is the Chair of the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee and
represents the Seventh Senate District, which includes most of Contra Costa County.

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JimSimmons42 Oct 7, 2012 - 10:14 am

What this tells me is our Governor really doesn’t care about oversight and responsible spending. Nice work Senator DeSaulnier, I hope CA wakes up to how irresponsible our Governor has acted.

Frank S Oct 7, 2012 - 7:22 pm

Way to go Mark. Thank you for trying.

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