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ODOT Fleet, Rest Areas Offer Nearly $6 Million in Savings

State agency performance audit gives 20-to-one return

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Columbus – Nearly 42 percent of Ohio’s heavy equipment is used only 5 percent of the time, according to preliminary results from the first-ever performance audit of a state agency under Senate Bill 4.  A total of $6 million in potential savings was identified in the status update report to the Ohio Department of Transportation released today by Auditor of State Dave Yost.

"Performance is always about the numbers, whether it's the score of a basketball game, factory production statistics or annual sales figures," Auditor Yost said. "It's time to run government by the numbers and on the merits, too. Director Wray gets that and will put this information to good use."

"Auditor Yost’s report is a welcome, independent, third party analysis of ODOT operations and we welcome suggestions on ways we can improve operations,” said ODOT Director Jerry Wray. “We are open to all ideas that will ultimately help ODOT improve efficiency and save public tax dollars.”

The Ohio Department of Transportation was one of four agencies selected last year for the first performance reviews under S.B. 4, which established regular performance audits for state agencies. Also chosen for review were the Department of Education, Department of Job and Family Services and the Ohio Housing Finance Agency.

The savings identified to date offer a potential return of $20 for each dollar spent on the audit, a figure that will increase as further savings are identified. Total savings include $5.1 million from the sale of underused equipment and $805,000 in reduced annual expenditures.

The report focuses on two areas:

  1. Fleet use, where five classes of vehicles were found to be underutilized
  2. Two rest stops that ODOT may want to consider closing.  Subsequent audit reports later this year will address additional operating areas

Auditor Yost said the Auditor of State’s Ohio Performance Team carefully balanced needed services against unneeded cost.

“I promised a scalpel, not a chainsaw, when the legislature passed Senate Bill 4,” Auditor Yost said. “With this first report, we start delivering on that promise.”

Auditor Yost commends both Ohio’s local governments and his predecessors, including Jim Petro, Betty Montgomery and Mary Taylor, for establishing a strong Ohio tradition of performance auditing in local government and school districts.

“What’s good for local governments is good for state government,” Auditor Yost said, noting that his office was the first state agency to receive a performance audit following passage of S.B. 4.

A full copy of the report is available online

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The Auditor of State is one of five independently elected statewide offices under the Ohio Constitution. Auditor Yost’s office is responsible for auditing over 5,600 state and local government agencies. Staff also works in partnership with state and local governments to deal effectively with financial, accounting and budgetary issues.

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