ODOT Phase II - 2021
What led to this audit?
In 2019, the Ohio General Assembly raised Ohio’s tax on unleaded gas from 28 cents to 38.5 cents per gallon – an increase of 10.5 cents – to fund ongoing road maintenance. The increase was expected to generate $865 million in new tax revenue in Fiscal Year Ending 2021 and 2022, however, revenue was off over $150 million due to reduced travel related to the pandemic. All of this new funding will be used for road projects in Ohio with more than half – 55 percent – going to the Ohio Department of Transportation for state highway projects.
The Legislation (House Bill 62) required the Auditor of State to conduct a performance audit of ODOT in order to provide detailed, data-driven analyses of the Department’s operations. The audit was conducted in two parts, with the first report released on December 31, 2019. The first audit reviewed ODOT’s vehicle and equipment purchasing practices, construction inspection staffing, and information technology staffing. The second part of this audit, released February 25th, 2021, covered ODOT’s bridge and pavement management, maintenance practices, Key Performance Indicators, and Data and Information Management.
What did we find?
The report released February 25th, 2021 identified 14 recommendations for improved operations and one issue for further study. The report identifies $9.8 million in cost avoidance. In addition, the major areas covered by the report account for about $1.3 billion in annual expenditures so even minor improvements in Pavement, Bridges, and Maintenance is likely to lead to substantial additional savings—each 1 percent improvement could lead to $13 million in savings annually.