Statement of House Speaker William J. Howell on Governor McDonnell's VDOT Performance Audit Results

-- Substantial inefficiencies and mismanagement uncovered over the last two years---- $1.4 Billion in funding identified for highway maintenance and new transportation construction --

RICHMOND, VA - Virginia House of Delegates Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford) today said it was "sobering news" that the McDonnell Administration's outside performance audit of the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) found substantial inefficiencies and mismanagement in their timely deployment of available funds in both highway maintenance and new transportation construction over the last two years. Speaker Howell also was "delighted" that the audit findings allow for the immediate obligation of over $1.4 billion in additional funding for maintenance and new transportation construction projects across Virginia.

"Today's major announcement by Governor McDonnell of VDOT audit findings is sobering news to lawmakers, taxpayers, commuters and job creators who are grappling daily with still uncertain economic times. I commend Governor McDonnell for not tolerating gross inefficiencies in one of state government's largest agencies.

"The results of the audit clearly demonstrate the validity of the long- and often-expressed concerns of mine and so many other reform-minded leaders that additional scrutiny of VDOT's  timely and efficient use of funds was not only required but overdue. While House Republicans repeatedly championed a whole host of VDOT reform bills over the last four years, some simply tried to dismiss our efforts as nothing more than an excuse for not doing anything, like raising taxes. Today's audit findings show just how wrong they were.

"Like all Virginians, I welcome the removal of obstacles to a more timely, efficient and well managed VDOT. While it is always prudent to maintain financial reserves, especially in tough economic and fiscal times, the multi-hundred million dollar amounts found languishing in VDOT coffers were almost triple normal industry standards for cash reserves. That money is now going to be put to much more productive uses.

"Because of the persistence of Republican legislators and strong leadership of Governor McDonnell, I am delighted that $1.4 billion in funding has been identified for highway maintenance and new transportation construction. Allowing for the immediate obligation of over $1.4 billion for transportation projects across Virginia will mean more bang for taxpayer bucks, more relief for congestion-weary drivers and more jobs and economic opportunities."

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