Audit awards MDOT top rating for effectively measuring state highway pavement conditions

Contact: Jeff Cranson, Director of Communications, 517-335-3084
Agency: Transportation

Fast Facts:

- The independent Office of the Auditor General (OAG) has released the results of a performance audit of the Michigan Department of Transportation's (MDOT) measurement of state highway pavement conditions over a three-year period.
- The OAG gave MDOT's efforts to measure pavement condition a top rating of "effective" and touts MDOT's "efficient" system of pavement measurement.
- MDOT is in agreement with four audit recommendations and is working to strengthen its processes, eliminate duplication, and improve results.

March 8, 2012 -- The Michigan Office of the Auditor General (OAG) headed by Auditor General Thomas H. McTavish today (March 8) released the positive results of a performance audit of the measurement of state highway pavement conditions. The report assigns a rating of "effective" - its top rating - to the Michigan Department of Transportation's (MDOT) efforts to measure state highway pavement conditions. The report covers the condition of the state network of 9,655 miles of interstate, M and U.S. highways during a three-year period from Oct. 1, 2008, through June 20, 2011. These roads carry 53 percent of all traffic and 70 percent of all commercial traffic in Michigan.

The OAG report also noted that MDOT's system of pavement measurement is "efficient," and that the department has received national recognition for its sound asset management practices.

"The auditor general's report affirms that MDOT is following sound asset management principles to maintain the roads and bridges that are the lifeblood of Michigan commerce, and that jobs and economic growth depend on a well maintained state highway system," said Lt. Gov. Brian Calley, who heads the Snyder administration's Good Government Leadership Team.

"MDOT is committed to principles and practices that enable it to take good care of Michigan's valuable transportation assets."

The OAG report noted that MDOT was recognized in 2007 as one of the leading state transportation agencies in the practice of asset management in a study by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the National Cooperative Highway Research Program. The report also noted that in 2008 the Government Performance Project, a joint effort by the Pew Center on the States and Governing magazine, gave Michigan a grade of "A-" for several infrastructure categories, including capital planning, project monitoring, maintenance, internal coordination and intergovernmental cooperation.

"We are pleased that the auditor general recognized the department's efforts to monitor our performance maintaining our vital highway system," State Transportation Director Kirk T. Steudle said. "Building on our successes, we will continue to work with the Transportation Asset Management Council to even further improve our quality control and assurance processes in the most cost-effective manner possible. Faced with limited resources, Michigan must make strategic decisions to keep roads and bridges in good condition for as long as possible."

The OAG is responsible under Article 4, Section 53, of the state constitution for conducting post-financial and performance audits of state government operations, which are designed to provide an independent assessment of the performance of a governmental entity to improve public accountability and facilitate decision-making by parties responsible for overseeing or initiating corrective action. The new OAG report is number 591-0300-11. More information can be found online on the OAG Web site at www.audgen.michigan.gov.

In October 2011, Gov. Rick Snyder delivered a special message that linked investing in roads and bridges with building the foundation for a reinvented 21st century Michigan economy and called for state departments to make regular performance measurement reports available online on state Web sites. MDOT reports and performance measurement documents are posted to the "MDOT Performance" section of the MDOT Web site at www.michigan.gov/mdot.

MDOT reminds drivers: Snowplows need room to groom.