Back from a few weeks of daddy-duty, and this caught my eye right off the bat…
One year ago, almost to the day, I posted here defending the TxDOT $1 billion “accounting error” that toll opponents, gubernatorial candidates, and other TxDOT-haters were using to justify their anti-TxDOT rhetoric. In it, I noted that if people would just take a few minutes to understand what happened, they would realize that the “error” was in reality quite harmless, easy to make, and, most importantly, that no money had actually been lost.
Well, lo-and-behold, the TxDOT Restructure Council’s recent final report with recommendations on how to improve that agency included a footnote about the error and guess what– it completely validated my position. From the Ft. Worth Star:
And, the report included a miscellaneous note about the 2007 fiasco involving a $1.1 billion “accounting error” that briefly led to a statewide shut down of road work.
The report concluded that in fact there was no actual accounting error — and the department didn’t actually lose $1.1 billion, as many critics have alleged. Instead, the department was in effect a victim of its own dissemination of inaccurate information.
In September 2007, the report noted, a memo was sent to all district engineers regarding the next year’s letting schedule. The memo informed them that $4.1 billion would be available for construction projects, but that figure was inaccurate because it included $600 million in bond funding that had been double-counted internally, and $500 million from the Texas Mobility Fund that wasn’t available.
Steps were quickly taken to correct the mistake and prevent it in the future, the report noted.
The full report is available here:
The discussion of the accounting error is on page 55 of the report.