TxDOT's $1.1 Billion Accounting Error- NOT the Texas Lege's Fault- but BookkeepingSomervell County Salon-Glen Rose, Rainbow, Nemo, Glass....Texas


TxDOT's $1.1 Billion Accounting Error- NOT the Texas Lege's Fault- but Bookkeeping

6 February 2008 at 12:15:57 PM

and the Texas Lege is not happy about it. What's funny is that, without Ric Williamson (who died recently) there to keep off the questions,the whole ugly story was laid bare to the aghast.

Bottom line: TxDOT was headed into the red — $3.6 billion by 2015. The agency said it would have to slice out $1.1 billion in projects this fiscal year, on top of $900 million pushed back months before because projections had been too optimistic. That left just $3.1 billion for construction, way down from $5 billion in 2006, dubbed the "go-go year." 

But what wasn't widely known, until Tuesday, was that the $1.1 billion was an accounting error. That money was never there to begin with — some bean counters or planners had tallied some bond proceeds twice.

"Let me state right off that we should have done a better job of anticipating this state of affairs," TxDOT Director Amadeo Saenz said in a written statement to senators.

Kip Averitt, who is our Senate District 22 Texas Senator, was not happy about the cuts.

The Texas Department of Transportation made a billion-dollar error, officials with the agency admitted Tuesday under stern questioning from legislators, a mistake they said contributed significantly to the department’s sudden cash crunch.

Transportation department officials say agency planners inadvertently counted $1.1 billion of revenue twice, a mistake that caused them to commit to more road projects than the agency could handle. And about $225 million of the resulting cuts came from projects in the transportation department’s Waco district, said state Sen. Kip Averitt, R-Waco, who attended the hearing.

The Waco district, encompassing eight Central Texas counties, received a greater proportion of the cuts “by far” compared with the transportation department’s 24 other districts, he said.

“We can’t let stand having Waco take the brunt of the process,” Averitt said in a Tribune-Herald phone interview after the hearing. “The folks in Central Texas are paying their fair share of the taxes and we are due our fair share of the road improvements.”

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