Panel: State DOT wastes $210M, can save $60M more

Diane J. Savino

April 21, 2010

By BRYAN FITZGERALD, Special to the Times Union
First published in print: Wednesday, April 21, 2010

ALBANY -- Claiming taxpayers are not getting the best return on their dollar, the state Senate Task Force on Government Efficiency released a report Tuesday documenting more than $210 million in wasteful spending by the Department of Transportation and outlining another $60 million in potential savings.The 41-page report is the third a series of examinations by the Senate panel, led by Sen. Jeffrey Klein, D-Westchester, into how to cut spending out of existing state agencies as the state struggles with a $9.2 billion deficit. The task force released reports on the state university system and the Department of Corrections earlier this year.

"The state DOT is just throwing taxpayer money out of the window," Klein said at a news conference outside the Capitol. "The time of giving government agencies a blank check has to end."

The task force detailed wasteful spending by the agency that included $33.5 million spent on replacing temporary concrete road barriers and $150.3 million on contract management.

Money spent by the DOT on outsourcing independent contracts remains the largest area of tax waste, the task force said. Its report claims much of the consulting work could be done by state employees rather than outsourcing the work to vendors.

"The state spends far too much money on private consultants for contracts," said Sen. Diane Savino, D-Staten Island, another task force member...

Read more: