Perdue reforms Department of Transportation

January 12, 2009 3:48:23 PM PST
On her first day in office, Governor Bev Perdue signed a change order that effectively reforms the way the Department of Transportation does business."These change orders will make government more efficient, more accessible and more accountable to the people," offered Perdue.

The order prohibits DOT board members from voting on individual highway construction projects and turns that power over to Perdue's new Transportation Secretary Gene Conti. Perdue's office say that will "ensure that plans are developed and projects are awarded based on professional standards."

Some past members of the DOT board, who often include a governor's top fundraisers, have been accused in recent years of voting on projects that could personally benefit them or their families.

Board members will still be required by state law to vote on some types of projects, including right-of-way land purchases and non-highway projects such as mass transit, said Jim Trogdon, the DOT's new chief operating officer.

If a board member's participation is required by law, the Secretary will require the board member to sign a sworn statement affirming they have no financial interest related to the project.

Within 60 days, the Department of Transportation will create a new process for deciding where to build roads that's based on data and decisions of highway professionals.

"I believe that this is going to change the DOT paradigm," Perdue said. "And I invite my friends in the General Assembly to be eager and happy about this change."


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