Monday, June 02, 2008

"Significant changes are needed... tweaking the status quo is simply not enough."

Report: TxDOT "out of control"

June 2, 2008

James Osborne
The Monitor
Copyright 2008

A state panel is recommending a massive overhaul of the Texas Department of Transportation, as well giving the Texas State Legislature far greater authority in overseeing the beleaguered agency.

"Many expressed concerns that TxDOT was ‘out of control,' advancing its own agenda against objections from both the Legislature and the public," a report from staff of the legislature's Sunset Advisory Commission reads. "Significant changes are needed... tweaking the status quo is simply not enough."

The report is not scheduled to be released until Tuesday, but an advanced copy was obtained by The Monitor.

TxDOT is presently undergoing its sunset review, a periodic assessment which all Texas agencies must undergo, and is scheduled to appear for a legislative hearing next month. The state's road building authority has faced substantial criticism for months since it announced they were halting all new road construction projects due to cuts in federal funding, a decision TxDOT later rescinded.

The report from the state panel makes a laundry list of recommendations, including the abolishment of the Texas Transportation Committee in favor of a transportation commissioner and opening TxDOT up to far greater transparency through public and legislative review.

© 2008 The Monitor

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